May 31, 2005
One Free Minute
Anonymous Free Speech
You are invited to participate in the inaugural performance of One Free Minute, a mobile sculpture designed to allow for instances of anonymous free speech. Callers to One Free Minute's cell phone are connected to an amplifier and have their speech projected in public space for exactly one minute. One Free Minute also houses a digital archive of calls made to its answering machine, which are played back randomly between live calls.
There are two ways to participate in One Free Minute: (1) Call the archive number and leave a message for future performances: 614-441-9533. (2) Call live during the first performance Friday June 3rd, 5-7PM EST. Your calls during this time will be projected in the public green space of the Ohio State University Oval. 614-288-7248
The principal intent behind One Free Minute is to investigate how public discourse, and the human communication that makes it possible, has been changed by technology. Cellular phone technology has increasingly brought private space into the public realm, metering human interaction in billed-by-the-minute increments. One Free Minute inverts the private nature of cellular technology, using it to break the soundscape of public space with unpredictable acts of improvised, anonymous free speech.
A secondary intent of One Free Minute is to create a tool to facilitate anonymous free speech in public places. Governments everywhere are increasingly vigilant of who is saying what and where: One Free Minute puts a bit of a blur on the 'who' and 'where', meaning that participants can speak without fear of recrimination. For information on how to borrow One Free Minute (free) for demonstrations or similar events, please email info[at]onefreeminute.net
Videotage FLOSS in Media Workshop
FLOSS Away Technical Constraints
Videotage FLOSS in Media Workshop--Speakers: Kam Wong (Assistant Professor of School of Creative Media, City University) and Annie Wan (Instructor of FLOSS in Media Work Shop); Date: 5 June 2005 (Sunday), 2pm; Venue: Videotage, Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon.
The limits of media art should not be the software license or functionalities created by software designers. Pure Data, free libre and open source software allow you to tailor your own software to match the requirements of your own art piece. FLOSS stands for free libre and open source software. Pure data, an excellent example of the FLOSS idea, is a programming language that can be used in a wide variety of multimedia creation. Annie Wan will touch on interactive installation, VJ performance, audio synthesis & analysis, motion detection and tangible media. You will be working on your own creative project, and you will have a chance to present your work at the party on 27 August.
Annie Wan is a young international artist specializes in audiovisual art and interactive art development, Her recent works have been shown in Sweden, Latvia, Germany, France, Norway, Singapore and Iceland. She will be a PhD candidate with scholarship and Top Scholar Award in DXARTS, University of Washington, Seattle. Check out www.slimboyfatboyslim.org for more information about Annie.
Videotage (literally merging the two concepts of "Video" and "Montage") is a non-profit interdisciplinary artist collective, which focuses on the development of video and new media art in Hong Kong. Founded in 1985, Videotage began as a facilitator for collaborative time-based projects. In a small shared office with two chairs and table, Videotage's support to artists came in the form of labour and equipment for production and post-production, and the exchange of ideas. Videotage has since expanded to include publications, education, exhibitions and screenings.
Interaction as Pure Sound
Across-Offshoot--by Keiko Uneshi (o.blaat)--was recorded and broadcast by ORF radio in Vienna in April of 2005. In the words of the artist it is an ‘acoustic laptop’ recording with radio and laptop computer interaction as pure sound. One of these pure sounds became the feedback that Keiko Uenishi, aka o.blaat, used for her radio piece “across-offshoot.” The artist used a portable radio to create feedback in the laptop speaker. As we listen we hear airwave communication between two everyday devices – laptop and transistor radio – in the form of feedback off the FM carrier frequency. Listen to Across-Offshoot (.mov)
Brief Bio: Based in Brooklyn, New York, sound artist, composer, [electroluxe] event schemer, core member of SHARE, o.blaat (keiko uenishi) is known for creating various interactive audio environments. Her sound and interactive works ceaselessly pursue ways in which to erase the performer's presence and ultimately alter a listening situation. Her powerbook performance has appeared at many music venues/ events/ museums including; Tonic, The Kitchen, SHARE, Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, American Museum of Moving Image, Chelsea Art Museum, UnityGain, phonomena, Rhizome.org, White Columns, MIT, Cornell University, and toured extensively in Europe. [blogged by Diane Ludin on thing.blogs]
Hosting Open Jams Every Sunday
SHARE Audio Jam: Prepared and spontaneous music from eight plus simultaneous performers. This is the time and place to perform a piece of music you've written and hear it on a large sound system, improvise spontaneously with other participants, get feedback on your latest project or try out that new max patch/software setup. Bring your noise maker of choice and an XLR, quarter-inch or RCA cable to join.
SHARE Video Jam: multi-user live video synthesis. Generating an immersive visual environment, in the SHARE tradition, in which multiple participants are able to jointly compose the video output. Try out and learn about new VJ wetware. As with the audio, walk-in sets are encouraged. Bring your clips or camera or laptop/amiga and VGA, S-Video, or RCA cables to join.
Share.mobile events happen in the context of teaming up with other venues and festivals to create a forum for large scale audio/visual jams.
With these forums we seek to encourage artistic expression and promote cooperation within communities. Modern Society often pits us against each other, stifling expression and the realisation of a healthy, sustainable existence. If people can express themselves loud and clear, 'Share' believes, a workable concensus is attainable. By going mobile we bring an example of this philosophy, played out to a new audience and that audience is participatory.
SHARE @ Club Transmediale 004
Berlin - February 2 + 3 + 4, 2004
SHARE @ PixelACHE
Montreal - June 6, 2003
SHARE @ eLECTRONIC xTRAVAGANZA
the Kitchen, New York - March 14 + 15, 2003
SHARE @ Transfert Festival
Zoobizarre, Bordeaux - Spring, 2003
SHARE is a community for portable performers, founded in 2001 by Barry Manalog, geoffGDAM and Newclueless, that provides an open forum, in real life, for data exchange and media performance. Every week we host a free multimedia jam open to all participants and observers. Walk-ins welcome.
We are the place to: preview that video project you're working on, learn about new software developments, sing a new pop song you've written, join an open jam of digital artists, form an impromptu collaboration, hear how your new songs sound on a big system, meet co-conspirators for art projects, spin some mp3s, look for new Max patches and Buzz machines, or relax and have a sunday drink with interesting people.
Environment-Sensing Adventures in the City
Neighbourhood Satellites is one of my favourite projects. Ever. I've spammed Myriel Milicevic with messages asking her if she'd send me pictures, when she'll have something online, etc. So far, there's only the PDF of her brilliant thesis project. Proper website is coming soon.
Neighbourhood Satellites are handheld sensing devices that monitor people's local environment. In its current prototype form, the satellite is able to sense air quality, light, and the presence of cell phone signals.
The data collected is presented in three different modes:
- In "status" mode, it displays the current conditions.
- In "game" mode, the satellite leads a parallel existence inside a video screen, navigating amongst the offending pollutants in need of analysis.
- In "map" mode, the system receives data from the other "satellites" carried by people in the area, and displays on a map, their location and contamination level. This mode could generate some interesting behaviours: A group of players, gathering in larger numbers at polluted street junctions, navigating their satellites through thick air, might just as well be interpreted as a silent protest.
The way the satellite is tilted by the hand controls its navigation on the screen. So the satellite’s position in the hand is just as relevant to the game as the position of the player inside a space.
The satellite also communicates through tangible behaviour. For example, when approaching air pollutants onscreen, the satellite inside the game will suck in air to capture specimen. Simultaneously, the physical satellite emits streams of air that the player can feel in his hand. A gentle vibration accompanies the sensation.
Note to Myriel: Hope you're not mad at me because I didn't wait for the website...
Audio x 3
Audio Messages Left in Space
Theodore Watson's Audio Space allows you to leave messages in specific locations within the room. Wearing a headset equipped with earphones and a microphone, visitors record messages that are then placed in the spot where it was recorded. Through the earphones, the messages are played along with those recorded by previous visitors. Each message sounds as if it is coming from the spot where it was recorded. The resulting effect is the sensation of walking through a space inhabited by ghosts, with each visitor leaving an aural mark for others to uncover. Video (wear headphones!) This work is part of the Parsons Thesis Show 2005.
Audiograffiti, by Andreea Chelaru, Ben Dove, Noel Perlas and Thomas Stovicek, investigates the "space with an audio memory" idea as well. The system allows you to leave tracks behind you through an "audio imprint", just by going into an inflatable fabric tunnel, and activating one of the microphones that are ready to record and broadcast whatever we like, in a sort of melodic loop. More info: 1 and 2.
With Audiotag, by Lalya Gaye and Margot Jacobs, from the Interactive Institute in Sweden, previously recorded personal messages are left at hidden places in public spaces to be whispered to passersby as they lean towards small boxes fixed in urban environment (blogged last year.) See also: Siemens' electronic Post-It (via textually.) [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Whispers in the Maze
Since May 6, visitors to the oldest maze in the world, Hampton Court Palace Maze can hear cymbals, a dog barking, a child laughing, the rustle of silk skirts, a tune from a music box, and the murmurs and sighs of three centuries of chatter at the palace. The sounds float around the maze so subtly that it is hard to distinguish them from real-life ones. Besides, quotes from staff discussing the facts and figures behind the attraction are interspersed in the sound effects.
The maze has been filled with sensors that trigger hidden speakers, which emit a variety of strange sounds and voices, waiting to be triggered by a footfall. The sounds are part of Greyworld's last installation, Trace. The centre has been replanted with hornbeam and features touch-sensitive benches that create subtle sounds as visitors sit to relax. There are thousands of permutations of the sounds triggered from 20 speakers, so no visitors will ever hear exactly the same. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 30, 2005
mission: engage playful imagination
Jenny Marketou's Flying Spy Potato mission-based reality game sends the player into a demarcated section of the urban environment with a tethered weather balloon equipped with a networked cam that transmits wirelessly via radio receiver back to the gallery where the video from the floating cam is both logged and projected.
The game objective is for each player to complete their mission which contributes toward the collective capturing of the game board.
perform your role
information technology for everybody else
The Incommunicado 05 Conference has grown out of the internet forum of the same name to explore accountability and representation in an emerging global info-politics negotiated in terms of corporate accountability, state transformation, and the role of an international civil society in the creation of a new world information order. The working conference will start mapping some of the faultlines of such a politics, and it will do so by engaging people from different info-political backgrounds in a collaborative exploration of concepts and strategies.
The conference explores the shifting definition of the digital divide, NGO's, stakeholders, multinationals, borders, governance, open source, intellectual property, and more.
Organized by the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam) together with Waag Society (Amsterdam) and the New Media Centre Sarai (Delhi), with support from HIVOS, IICD, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
the freeways of art practice
Pall Thayer's latest work Autodrawn, subtitled: Sketching landscapes seen through my window, is a real-time software application that renders or "sketches" an image grabbed from online freeway webcams. In reference to the Krawftwerk song Autobahn, Pall presents a contemplative, aesthetically based experience of the increasingly complex associations with freeway culture.
The experience is meditative in its abstraction and repetition: the image is never completed before it is wiped and redrawn. The experience is made richer with the accompaniment of the sound assemblage made of electronica and what seems to be police and traffic control audio pulled from scanners.
There are no bodies or human interaction in this work, but the proposition that the computer is performing as an intermediary of a live moment. Autodrawn personifies the computer through a first person perspective. The pronoun in the subtitle is the computer's. Pall presents the computer as playing artist by co-opting the artists creative exercise of sketching, real-time drawing as consciousness, and the appropriation of public web cam images as framing the computer's subjectivity: my windows: my eyes.
Pall describes the work: "The rapid pencil sketch is one of the staples of traditional visual arts. It can be anything from simple art-calisthenics and studies to a full blown work of art. Here we see the computer "playing" artist, making rapid sketches (traces) of landscapes (real-time images from traffic cameras) seen through its windows (browser windows). The subject matter is something that many of us take for granted, seldom stopping to consider the aesthetic charm of the increasingly complex structures that Kraftwerk sang so memorably about in their song "Autobahn". But they portrayed the freeway as a blissfull place for a leisurely, automotive, family outing. Can this place of increasingly severe accidents, con-artists, high-speed police chases and practice-range for morally deprived gun owners still be seen in the serene imagery conjured up by Kraftwerks song?
Now, instead of being presented with the profoundly "pretty" cover-art by Emil Schult, we are presented with "the real thing" in real-time, drawn by a machine that takes a completely abstract approach to the subject matter. The accompanying music, instead of an underlying melody tricked out with spacy synthesizer effects, flutes and guitars, is garnered with live streams of police scanners, those pillars of public safety that now scour the majestic cement structures that are at the same time a constant threat to human life and an essential element in modern city living."
Pall also makes the source code available to others.
PulsArt: IT, Salt and Water for Family Awareness
Say it with Salt
"PulsArt [PDF]--by Jonas Fritsch, Maiken Hillerup Fogtmann, and Henrik Sommer Pouslon--is a physical and digital installation designed for the home to represent different family members’ level of activity by water running down blocks of salt based on a real-time reading of the individual family member’s pulse. We describe how pulsArt explores novel ways of looking at the interaction between the physical, the social and the digital and how it acts as a context-aware artefact, amplifying the domestic setting to provide a new kind of awareness in the family. In doing so, we seek to develop new perspectives on designing interactive and context-aware systems for the home and what values they might support." [Related] [via angermann]
Moulding Music in Your Hands
Malleable Music is a project by Sidney Fels at the Human Communication Technologies Laboratory at the Unversity of British Columbia in Canada. "The malleable surface touch interface combines a deformable input surface and video processing to provide a whole-hand interface that exhibits many attributes of conventional touch interfaces, such as multi-point and pressure sensitivity. This interface also offer passive haptic feedback, which can be effective with applications such as sculpting or massage. (…) This interface allows for people to control the computer using pinching, twisting, squeezing and other forms of whole hand manipulation. We want to use this device to create a new musical instrument." [blogged by nicolas on pasta and vinegar]
Parsons School of Design: Design & Technology Thesis Exhibition
DT Saved My Soul
This past Wednesday was the opening for the Design & Technology Thesis Exhibition at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. The exhibit featured amazing thesis projects from both the MFA and BFA students in the department. It provides a chance to check out work and artists that have been mentioned elsewhere, such as Lina Fenequito’s Swap-O-Matic and fi5e’s Graffiti Analysis.
However it also provides an opportunity to check out new brilliant projects of those less known to the blog sphere media circuit. Discreet Interfaces, by Kaho Abe, explores the idea of wearable technology. By imbedding switches in the sleeves and hiding them with simple buttons or tags, the user can navigate the controls of a portable electronic device discretely without drawing any attention to themselves (well… other than that of someone who fidgets incessantly). Continue reading >> [blogged by Carol T. Chung on cool hunting]
art> technology> experiment> discovery
The name beta refers to a new piece of software or hardware that needs testing and feedback from its users to help the project team to eliminate design and engineering errors.
The Powerhouse Museum and Creativity and Cognition Studios (CCS), University of Technology, Sydney are collaborating to create beta_space an experimental environment where the public can engage with the latest research in art and technology.
beta_space will show interactive artworks in development by CCS researchers and collaborators. The works may be at different stages, from early prototype to end product. In all cases engagement with the public will provide critical information for further iterations of the art work or of the research.
beta_space will give visitors to the Powerhouse Museum the chance to experience collaboration between art and technology. Information displays will contextualize the role of CCS and beta_space in this international field.
beta_space will be a working environment a laboratory - yielding valuable research outcomes. It will give people the opportunity to be creatively involved in the development of new forms of artistic expression, and it will give an insight into the creative process of artists and technologists.
Benefiting from the joint technical expertise of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia's premier presenter of interactive exhibits, and CCS, a leading research group in creative interaction at the University of Technology Sydney, beta_space will show experimental content with high standards of production and presentation within the cultural precinct developing in the inner city district of Ultimo.
Live Audiovisual Performance
Many sounds and images in our everyday lives slip past our notice simply because they are too small, or because we lack the proper receivers to pick them up. ResonanCITY is an ongoing project to gather these microscopic sounds from various cities, and to amplify and transform them. The goal is to build a new city of sound and visuals inside the old one, and to inspire curiosity and exploration of one's own environment. Video artist Sara Kolster, searches for details and objects which she transformed in a microscopic way into macro-images. She uses different macro-lenses and a lightbox, capturing and manipulating these images live, without the use of any filters. The combination of film- and video techniques with analogue tools as found footage, positive film and photographs gives the performance a layered character.
The sound of resonanCITY is based on gathering elements which are specific to each location and reinterpreting them in a performance setting. Field recordings, found objects, folk music and spoken texts are mixed and processed live with the computer with the intention of uncovering hidden details and nuances that escape everyday perception. For some performances, the audience is encouraged to bring objects which they think might become interesting if listened to more carefully, and an improvisation is based on these objects. Quicktime movie.
How remote am I?
"What does it mean to be remote in an electronic art world? This was one of the questions posed by re:mote, a gathering of digital artists and theorists in Auckland, Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand) on 19 March 2005. Held in a geographically remote country, the event was an opportunity for local wired artists to meet face-to-face as well as an invitation to ponder the meaning of "remote" in the 21st century.
Re:mote was an event by and for artists, organised by r a d i o q u a l i a and ((ethermap. The first in a series of one-day experimental festivals, it was run "on the smell of an oily rag" (as we say here) and made possible in part by Adam Hyde's residency at the University of Waikato. Questions posed by the organisers included: are there 'centres' and 'peripheries' within a world increasingly bridged, criss-crossed and mapped by digital technologies? Can technologically mediated communication ever be a substitute for face-to-face dialogue? Is geographical isolation a factor in contemporary art production? Is remote a relative concept?
Fourteen presentations from new media art practitioners and theorists in Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were squeezed into eight hours and ranged from a cosy midnight feast in Finland to a glimpse of the expansive Antarctic wilderness, and from musings on information from outer space to the virtual escape of a row prisoner. Various methods were employed to connect remote (as opposed to re:mote) participants with those at the Auckland venue - the Elam School of Fine Arts lecture theatre. A live MP3 audio stream enabled the off-site audience to hear everything from the venue, and they could communicate through a text chat which was also used to convey an impression of what they couldn't see. QuickTime, Skype, IRC, iChatAV, iVisit and the Palace were among the applications used in different presentations.
The international speakers were scheduled first to accommodate their time zones, with Steve Kovats and Graham Smith from Rotterdam kicking things off. Visible via web cam, their presentation nicely illustrated their discussion on how telecommunication transforms the concept of distance from space to time. They were in the dark of Friday night, while we in Auckland were well into a sunny Saturday. Also still in Friday night and dressed in her best pyjamas, Sophea Lerner (an Australian new media theorist and artist currently studying in Helsinki) tucked into a midnight feast while elaborating on the promises and assumptions of remote communication. She proposed that the most interesting thing about a remote location is not the remoteness, but the location. This contrasted with the previous presentation's focus on time as the distancing element rather than space or location. Any location, whether it's the heart of a teeming metropolis or an empty beach in southern Aotearoa, can be remote when you're outside it, rendering it exotic, intriguing and desirable. It's the differences, rather than distances, that make a "remote" location interesting - and the unexpected similarities.
Lerner also addressed the concept of peripherality and how one can experience being peripheral in many different places, depending on one's perspective of the "centre". Finland may appear peripheral to Europe, but from the New Zealand perspective it's almost in the middle of that centre. Contemporary politics place Europe and North America in the centre, but as the power balance shifts that centre may relocate to Asia or even cyberspace. Today's technologies release us from the geographical definition of centre, creating globally dispersed "peripheral centres" and "central peripheries". Technology has penetrated even the periphery of Antarctica, as shown by Phil Dadson's presentation about his recent artist's residency there. A looping video of his shadow crunching across the endless white landscape, broken only by the bones of some unfortunate beast, removed not only all sense of place but also time. The simple act of filming his shadow on the ice placed Dadson at the centre of a peripheral environment.
Japanese radio pioneer and artist Tetsuo Kogawa spoke about technology and the body and gave a history of Mini FM, a project which aimed to tactically deregulate the Japanese airwaves by teaching people how to create and broadcast from their own free radio stations. During the 1970s and 80s, Kogawa held radio parties in Tokyo apartments where he taught people to build transmitters, broadcasting from the domestic periphery to the centre of the airwaves. Footage from these events reveal the political act of taking ones own space on the airwaves as also entertaining and community-building. His goal was to use radio technology not as a substitute for face-to-face communication but as a means to bring people together and to propose political and social alternatives. During re:mote, Kogawa also gave an audio performance and the following day led a mini FM transmitter building workshop.
Pre-recorded appearances were made by New Zealander Sally Jane Norman, who has lived in Europe since the 1970s, and Zina Kaye from Australia, who discussed her project "The Line Ahead", which gathers data from airports to create LED signs in a . Sally Jane Norman began with pre-internet architectures of performance, asking how physical gesture can invest digital space, and described the remote manipulation of space probes as "advanced puppeteering". Achieving physicality within digital spaces alters the concept of remoteness; how remote am I if, from Aotearoa/New Zealand, I can physically move an object on the moon? Both air and space travel create bridges between centres and peripheries, destroying the relative remoteness of New Zealand in the space of a few hours and offering instead the greater remoteness of outer space.
The trials and tribulations of remote collaboration were addressed by a number of presenters including myself, Zina Kaye and Trudy Lane. Zina had encountered some difficulties in working with technicians located elsewhere, while Trudy's ongoing collaboration with mi2 in Zagreb (on the online magazine ART-e-FACT) works smoothly. Physically meeting your remote collaborators may make some things easier, but it's also possible to work successfully without meeting, as demonstrated by Avatar Body Collision. This work was presented by Leena Saarinen (in Finland), Vicki Smith (in NZ's South Island) and myself at the venue. Our greatest difficulty is in finding times when the four of us can be online together for rehearsals, but the advantages are many. We taste each others' geographical and social locations and are telematically transported from our peripheral homes to the centres of arts festivals and conferences. Returning to one of the questions posed by re:mote - Can technologically mediated communication ever be a substitute for face-to-face dialogue? - during four years of artistic collaboration, Leena Saarinen and I have never met, so technologically mediated communication is an excellent and necessary substitute for face-to-face. Our "remote" relationship is as real and valuable as if we had met, so how remote are we?
The variety of local presentations given during the afternoon illustrated the diversity of concepts of "remote": a web site about a fictional nation state; universal nomadism and the generic city; "glocalisation"; and a multi-locational artistic picnic were among the projects discussed (for more information on all presentations see www.remote.org.nz). While these presenters were all New Zealanders living in New Zealand, their presentations had connections all over the globe - Lithuania, Croatia, Amsterdam, the USA. As an artist in the electronic world, living in an isolated location doesn't mean that your work must be of that location. There will always be some degree of local perspective, but sources and context are often global; this combination of local and global is "glocalisation".
Live improvised audio performances were given by Tennis (London) in the morning, and at the end of the day by Tetsuo Kogawa, Adam Hyde and Adam Willetts. Tennis (Ben Edwards and Doug Benford) performed with a web cam showing them seated at their computers. As our off-site audience could only hear the audio stream, I provided them with a commentary of what we could see on the screen in the IRC chat. This created another level to the performance, and an extrapolation of remoteness: I was interpreting and relaying my visual observation of an audio performance back to a twice-removed audience, some of whom were in the same country as the performers and on the other side of the world from me. For the Auckland audience in the same room as me, I and my commentary became a part of the performance as well - yet the performers themselves were not aware of this. Thus at least three different performances were taking place: the audio performance given by Tennis; the sound, text and images experienced in the venue in Auckland; and the online version, consisting of sound and text. Reading the chat log several weeks after the event, the remoteness doubles again - comments on now unheard sounds and descriptions of vanished images are like shadows cast by an invisible body. This fascinating unplanned metamorphosis was a result of the event and our various layers of remotenesses. A briefer but related "performance" had occurred earlier in the day when Adam Hyde and James Stevens were speaking over Skype, but James had left his computer speakers on, generating an echo loop that took on an unstoppable life of its own.
My personal experience of re:mote was bound up with the technologies, both in my presentation (using the Palace and iVisit) and in my role at the keyboard as a "chat wrangler", delivering commentary to the off-site audience. The off-site audience's responses to my descriptions of the visuals and the audio stream they were hearing are preserved in the chat log and offer a surreal perspective on the day. Once again, re:mote was answering its own questions, as the chat substituted face-to-face communication reasonably effectively and rolled our individual peripheries into the centre.
As someone who communicates and collaborates remotely on a daily basis, I always value the opportunity to work and collaborate in the same physical space with others. Creating such gatherings in far off places like Aotearoa/New Zealand is especially important, as sometimes we're so busy worrying about what's going on in the rest of the world that we overlook the wealth of activity happening locally. How remote are we when we know what our colleagues in New York, Amsterdam or Belgrade are doing but we don't know what's going on in Dunedin or Wanganui? Our perceived remoteness is embedded in the identity of the people of this small, distant and relatively insignificant country, and fuels a need to be a part of the wider world to counter this feeling of isolation. Yet one of the ideas that came through strongly during re:mote was the possibility to feel peripheral in any situation, and the individual relativity of a myriad of centres and peripheries which are now becoming bridged, mapped and interconnected by digital technologies.
Congratulations and thanks to Adam Hyde, Honor Harger, Adam Willetts and Zita Joyce for making re:mote happen; it was an intense, enjoyable and thought-provoking day. The second re:mote has just taken place, in Regina, Canada - unfortunately I was "remote" in the sense of being offline while on holiday so I was unable to attend, but I'm told it went well. Documentation of both events should soon be online at www.remote.org.nz, and I'm looking forward to re:mote 3."
--Helen Varley Jamieson for Rhizome
May 29, 2005
I am a (kaleido)scope
Exploring embodiment between people and machines Sidney Fels Iamascope uses a video camera as the eye of a kaleidoscope that projects the observer into the kaleidoscopic image where they become a performer within the work.
Once inside the Iamascope, participants can gesture, dance, sing and speak to control and choreograph the imagery and music in real-time. Both the audience and the performer experience a rich aesthetic interactive experience."
Technical description: The Iamascope currently uses a firewire camera attached to an Apple G5 Computer running the Iamascope code. The code is written in a combination of C and Tcl/Tk using OpenGL. As well, the music synthesizer used here is based on SimpleSynth and the video capture code for the Mac is based on open source code called SeeSaw. The video data is placed in texture memory where it is mapped using mirror reflections onto the geometry.
About Sidney Fels: "I have been exploring intimacy and embodiment between people and people, and people and machines for the last 10 years. This work uses a special type of mirror (a kaleidoscope) to explore the rich interaction aesthetics inherent in self reflective interactive works. As one of the original interactive artworks I created, it formed the basis for understanding interaction aesthetics deriving from response, control, self-reflection and belonging."
May 27, 2005
Hertzian Space Made Audible
ætherspace--by Nick Knouf--is a computational garment that uses transducers of electro-magnetic waves to make hertzian space audible, make the invisible sonic, giving the wearer a better understanding of the electronically-embodied world.
Transducers pick up the various components of hertzian space as you walk around. These components feed to a scaling algorithm that brings the range of hertzian space to that of normal hearing and can be perceived through the headphones. The project raises questions such as: What does a cell phone sound like when it is idle in a bag? What do dangerous EM waves sound like? Should the scaling algorithm take into account the perceived danger of certain types of EM radiation, e.g., make gamma waves a high-pitched screeching noise? If so, how would this change our interaction with space? Related: Electroprobes, the Amazing All-Band Radio, and Urban Chameleon. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Featuring Audience Interactivity
INTERCHANGE 3: An Evening of Interactive Music/Art/Video Performance & Installation; Saturday, June 4, 2005: This is the third "Interchange" event in what has become a recurring series. An evening of interactive music/art/sound/ video performances and installations, this show challenges the notion that art and performance are things to be merely watched by an audience. Instead, the audience plays a vital role in the event. Each work engages the audience to interact, participate or contribute to the creation and experience of the art.
Performances & Installations by: __Doug Goodwin __D. Jean Hester __Michele Jaquis __Liam Mooney __James Orsher __Albert Ortega __Adam Overton __Rise Industries __Louisa Van Leer; Curated by D. Jean Hester.
Doors open at 7:30; Performances begin at 8:00; Installations can be viewed before and after the performances, and during intermission.
// Tickets: //
$5 for G825 Members and Students with valid Student ID / $10
General Admission Tickets available at the door.
825 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles
Between Melrose and Santa Monica Blvd.
Street Parking available, nearby restaurants offer Valet Parking
// For More Info: //
Contact the Curator: D. Jean Hester - interchange[at]divestudio.org
-- D. Jean Hester
ARTISTS AND MAPPING:
Situationism and Locative Media
"The Situationists were no different from the Dadaists and the Surrealists in their desire to suppress art. Art and culture should be part of everyday life, and it is an interesting component of recent art, that the Situationist International is often associated with emerging locative media, ubiquitous computing and urban life.
The post-war movement Lettrist International, along with Asger Jorn and his International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus (IMIB), were precursors of the SI. Jorn, a close friend and collaborator with SI leader Guy Debord, is considered one of the most notable Situationist artists." From ARTISTS AND MAPPING: Situationism and Locative Media by Ana Boa-Ventura, Net Art Review, May 24, 2005. Also in NAR's series WEEKLIES: ART AND MOBILE TECH, 05/01/2005 - 05/07/2005, 05/08/2005 - 05/14/2005, 05/15/2005 - 05/21/2005.
Next OPEN PLAN event:
PLAN TECHNOLOGY CAMP
OPEN PLAN: Venue: Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham; Date: October 2-8, 2005; Deadline for Expressions of Interest: July 4, 2005
Cross-disciplinary teams will be formed to work on seed project ideas and develop methodologies, encouraging cross disciplinaryexperimentation. Proposals may develop into real projects or may be entirely hypothetical. There will be opportunities to take the projects further, in particular as part of the PLAN final exhibition at Futuresonic 2006 in Manchester UK during July 2006.
Please send a 2-page expression of interest, including details of your areas of interest, experience and expertise to the address below by Monday 4 July 2005. Suggestions for seed ideas in the area of locative-based media are also welcomed. Places at the workshop are limited and the steering committee reserves the right to seed ideas and put together diverse teams from the best submissions, based on the expressions of interest together with views generated at the ICA Event.
UpStage Open Walk-Through
Next Session: June 1/2
The next open session in UpStage will happen on Wednesday, June 1 (or Thursday, June 2 depending on time zones) at the following times: 2pm June 1 California; 5pm New York; 10pm UK; 11pm Western Europe; 12 midnight Finland; 7am June 2 Sydney; 9am June 2 NZ
Check http://www.worldtimeserver.com for your local time. If you want to join us as an audience member, come directly to: http://upstage.org.nz:8081/stages/presentation.
If you want to log in and play, email me first for a username and password, then go to: http://upstage.org.nz:8081 and log in.
May 26, 2005
Neuromirror is an EEG enhanced interactive installation by Iman Moradi. It consists of a computer vision and processing augmented mirror that distorts participants' faces based on their own realtime brainwave readings. Its primary visual effects use the medium of the fake Digital Glitch or Glitchalike.
Neuromirror reflects how we mask our internal anxieties and fears behind our perfectly framed public image. It is about mimicking a facet of imperfect technology to reflect those internal struggles and imperfections. You can download Moradi's dissertation Glitch Aesthetics here.
The Journey of Narrative: The Story of Myst Across Two Mediums
Tense, Mood and Voice
"With this paper I want to look at how the narrative of Myst and Riven develops through the mediums of the novel and the CD-ROM. I am going to incorporate Gerard Gennette's 3 classes of determinations (tense, mood and voice) to focus my discussion (31). Tense refers to aspects of the narrative that deal with temporal relations between narrative and story. Mood refers to the aspects that deal with modalities (forms and degrees) of narrative "representation." And voice refers to the aspects that deal with the way in which the narrating itself is implicated in the narrative situation or its instance and its two protagonists: the narrator and his/her audience, real or implied (31)." From The Journey of Narrative: The Story of Myst Across Two Mediums by Drew Davidson
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Plotting the Story and Interactivity
"In this paper, the experience of the videogame, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, is analyzed by comparing two diagrams, one that illustrates the plot of the game's story and another that delineates the stages of interactivity. Performing a close reading of this game from these perspectives enables an exploration of how the game's story relates to the interactive elements of its gameplay...
...This interactive diagram was developed in a previous paper...and outlines the interactive experience of playing a game. Briefly, the experience is posited to have 3 stages: involvement - being initially introduced into the game; immersion--becoming comfortable with the gameplay and the gameworld; and investment--feeling compelled to successfully complete the game." From Plotting the Story and Interactivity in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time by Drew Davidson
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media, exploring narratives and mediums across texts, comics, games and other media. Primarily, he is interested in conceptual interactive design, integrated narrative and interwoven media, collaborative design and development, applied media and game logics. His interdisciplinary theoretical interests focus on the performance of narratives between multiple mediums. He looks to illustrate how we interact with our stories. Davidson is intrigued by the way a medium can shape the creation and the reception of meaning and how a range of media can be utilized in order to communicate ideas. He explores how the juxtaposition of various mediums can be made into an additive methodology that allows for continual (re)presentation and critical analysis. He would like to see more collaborative, dialogic and interactive work between scholars that reflects the interdependence of authors, readers, texts and other media, in establishing value and meaning. It is important to him to discover the possible and myriad applications of interactive media that would compliment and enhance traditionally used mediums, in order to develop pedagogies which inspire newly viable learning, teaching and communication. Davidson brings a diverse and deep educational perspective to his professional endeavors. He is continually looking for new opportunities and challenges in helping to design and develop integrated and engaging high tech, rich media experiences for education and entertainment. He believes his experience, expertise and enthusiasm makes him invaluable in doing such work. Davidson focuses on how to integrate creative content, applied theory and media technology to create engaging and relevant experiences for people.
Drew Davidson is Academic Department Director, Game Art & Design and Interactive Media Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Art Institute Online.
Images, Sounds and Motions in Academic Discourse
"...Would the use of a performative, ekphrastic academe better allow us to place theory into our lives? And do the new technologies of multimedia open up to ekphrasis more than our current text-based form of academic scholarship?... In this essay, I want to explore the potential ekphrastic implications multimedia has for academia. I will do so, by first looking at the potential rhetorical aspects of the components of multimedia; images, sounds, motions, and text. I will then discuss the performative and rhetorical implications found in the interactivity and variability made possible in multimedia documents. Finally, I will delineate the ekphrastic effects that I see multimedia could have on academia." From Ekphrastic Academia: Images, Sounds and Motions in Academic Discourse by Drew Davidson [moontide, his blog]
May 25, 2005
2001: Online Show Examines PDA, Wireless Art
August 8, 2001: Palm Pilots and cell phones are quickly becoming venues for portable art. And cultural theorists are beginning to analyze how and why we use such nomadic devices. A just-opened online exhibition entitled (re)distributions (on view through October 31) is one of the first international shows to examine the new genres of handheld and wireless art. "(re)distributions" includes work by both established new media and Net artists and up and coming talent, as well as thought-provoking essays by leading scholars on PDAs and mobile phones and how they affect our lives and our culture. [Rhizome's Net Art News]
Alternative Realities in Networked Environments
A Comprehensive Medium for Exploring Emotions
The Alternative Realities in Networked Environments [ALTERNE] working group has completed the project and the results are being transferred to a new web site. The ALTERNE project objective was to construct an Alternative Reality platform to support the development of digital, interactive and participatory artistic activities. We define Alternative Reality as a generalization of Virtual and Mixed Realities beyond the common "space-based" simulation. The aim of the technical development is to extend the current techniques of Mixed Reality to support the more advanced experimentation with reality and virtuality that are required by the process of artistic creation. While traditional Virtual Reality essentially addresses the construction of visually realistic synthetic worlds, ALTERNE supports additional layers that will make it possible to explore other concepts such as: causality, relations between time and space, alternative laws of physics, alternative life forms, etc., in a more radical fashion.
ALTERNE platform brings a high level of integration between the current techniques supporting Mixed Reality, graphics, interaction and behavioural models. It promotes the artistic development and explorations of various forms of perception of spatiotemporal orders by placing the human body and its digital surrogates at the centre of the aesthetic considerations. One example is to provide a more comprehensive medium for the exploration of emotions, from the movements of the human body to the socialized interpretations of action.
Certain tools developed by ALTERNE will be made available over its web site and the MARCEL site as well. Some network tools are already posted for downloading.
Information Society Technologies: ALTERNE is a multi-annual research and development project supported by European Commission within Cross Programme Action 15 (Technology Platforms for Cultural & Arts Creative Expressions) of DG Information Society (reference nr. IST-2001-38575).
SWARM the Minutemen
"Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) in solidarity with Swarm The MinuteMen action will hold a 3 Day Virtual Sit-In on the MinuteMen Project from May 27th to May 29th (2005). We call on you to join us and let the MinuteMen Project know that hard borders are alien in an age of global interdependence and to the ideals of liberty as a “golden door” that is open to all. An ideal that so many have died trying to reach.
The MinuteMen are a non-governmental group of people vowing to patrol the US/Mexico border with guns in order to stop migrant people from crossing the border. They represent an intensification of the trend of violence towards migrant people and people of color that has increased since 9/11/2001. While they claim that they are not violent, their very use and display of deadly weapons is a violent act in itself.
Listening to Place
In FLOAT--by Tuomo Tammenpää and Tamas Szakal--the ship is the play-head and the route is the track. Depth, direction, speed and surrounding islands build the score of the sound installation. The ship plays the track as it moves across the Baltic Sea. On the surface, there are shapes of islands and the coastline, drawn on the sea. The multitude of ship routes and passages that connect countries and cities together weave a vast invisible network of paths.
The sea, especially the deep unknown, holds its mysterious nature in the era of extreme traveling. There is a fascination for the dimensions of waterbodies and the secrets it possesses. The power of a storm, the long horizon and the incomprehensible raises respect among most of us.
Crossing the various locations, the voyage, provides a lots of information, which can't be seen or heard. Taking a ferry on the Baltic Sea is usually just transportation or entertainment on board. In both cases, the sea itself is insignificant. This sound installation makes some of the invisible dimensions and the silent layers of data, audible. The ferry travels through a map moving high above the bottom of the sea floor, sometimes shallow, sometimes deep. The passage in time generates various data. All these data streams: the GPS coordinates, distance to islands, depth, direction and speed are translated to sounds. The result is a slowly developing soundscape that invites the traveler to listen to the place in time. [originally posted by inf* from information aesthetics, ReBlogged by marisa on eyebeam reblog]
May 24, 2005
Unseen City: Cape Town/Amsterdam
Journey of Mutual Discovery
"Unseen City is a unique project aimed at restoring the torn halves of two cities that have been both pulled apart, and conjoined by a shared history. Situated in the digital domain (intranet, web streaming, electronic and orthodox publication), Unseen City will evolve into a multi-author, multi-language publication — grounded in history and yet mindful of the propensity of youth to refigure issues of urbanity, culture, heritage and social inclusion.
...In line with the observation that the single most important invention of recent times (the world wide web), did not arise from the academies, this publication will focus on the work of artists, grafitti-ists, muralists, poets, architects, dramatists, community artists, and social interventionists who came to recognition through the ‘university of the streets’..."
C5 GPS Media Player
Massive Performative Expeditions
The C5 GPS Media Player--this month's artport gate page--was developed in conjunction with "The C5 Landscape Initiative," a series of projects initiated by C5 that involve mapping, navigation and search of the landscape using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). "The Landscape Initiative" examines the changing conception of the landscape as we move from the aesthetics of representation to those of information visualization and interface. Consisting of three parts -- "The Analogous Landscape: Rim of Fire," "The Perfect View," and "The Other Path" -- "The Landscape Initiative" consists of massive performative expeditions all over the world that involve network technologies and explore the status of our relationship to the landscape in a networked data world.
For "The Analogous Landscape," members of the C5 team climbed mountains such as Mt. Shasta (14,162 ft.) in the Cascade Range of North America, Mt. Whitney in California (14,162 ft), and -- with two teams simultaneously -- Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan at 12,395 ft. (3,776 m) and Mt. Lassen in California (10,457 ft.). The respective journeys were tracked by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Digital Elevation Mapping (DEM), with the goal of establishing analogies between the journeys through the different terrains. For "The Other View," C5 asked people who are making use of GPS technology in their travels -- thus "geocaching" them -- to recommend locations they experienced as sublime and then revisited the places according to the original coordinates in order to photograph document them. The goal of "The Other Path" was to accurately track the Great Wall of China and then use pattern matching procedures in order to find an analogous "significant path" in the US.
By means of the C5 GPS Media Player, visitors can access the GPS track logs of each C5 member's route in the different manifestations of the project,
see associated media documentation (photographs / video), and investigate multiple track logs to compare the landscapes. Exploration does not only unfold in the traversing of landscape but in raising the question whether strategies of navigation can be translated from one site to another (or whether similar sites induce the same techniques for exploration).
The C5 GPS Media Player suggests a trajectory from personal experience and live performance to a data representation of this very experience and the possible contexts for understanding it. The virtual track logs and overlapping paths accessible through the GPS Media Player form their own kind of landscape -- rooted in a personal interaction with the actual landscape yet accumulating into a virtual, relational set of data that transcends both the subjective and actual. The different forms of data combined at the website -- from photorealistic documentation to simulation -- are a reflection on the construction of reality and a shared resource that invites investigation by its users.
"The Landscape Initiative" is currently on view at SF Camerawork. The exhibition features digital photographic prints, fabricated sculptural objects, 3D visualizations and digital video.
C5 Corporation specializes in cultural production informed by the blurred boundaries of research, art, and business practice. Focus is on the development of tactical strategies involving information visualization, databases, and distributed networks.
C5 projects have been featured at institutions such as ICA-London, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center, Center for Creative Inquiry at ASU, and the Cantor Center for the Arts. C5 representatives have participated in international symposia and festivals including Transmediale, Berlin; Ars Electronica, Austria; AUT, New Zealand; and the II International Biennial in Buenos-Aires.
Previous projects include Radio Controlled Surveillance Probes RCSP, 16 Sessions, YDSTYDS (You Don't See That You Don't See), 1:1, and SoftSub. Full documentation is available at www.c5corp.com=20
THE PATH MORE OR LESS TAKEN
C5 and their Landscape Initiative
"...Close to midnight, following a more ore less successful 14-hour, 14-kilometer assault on the California "other path" of the Great Wall of China, [Joel Slayton] summarizes the day's events:
We continually seek something definite. Where are we? How do I get there from here? . . . Determining what leads to what is the demeanor of the short path, . . . [which] is like a paragraph in a great run on sentence. Go here, go there, go around that, go back, move, stop, start, faster, slower. . . . To get there from here is not a matter of direction but rather the inference of similarity, memory and discovery. Every short path is an other path and every other path is a set of directions." From The Path More or Less Taken by Steve Dietz. [Related]
Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet
"Thus, the motivation for the text, as Nakamura repeatedly remarks, is the observation that "[t]he Internet is a place where race happens" (xi); consequently, to explore the methods of just how race happens, Nakamura deploys the neologism of cybertype to "describe the distinctive ways that the Internet propagates, disseminates, and commodifies images of race and racism" (3). In particular, she explores how race factors into both the cultural layer of the Internet (i.e., content) and the computer layer (i.e., infrastructure) of computer networks (2). Therefore, in this single-authored, book-length study of race and cyberspace, Cybertypes explores many angles, including the role of online avatars, the images of corporate advertising, the function of e-mail jokes, and representations of cyberspace in science fiction." From Graham J. Murphy's review of Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet by Lisa Nakamura. [via WRT]
Lisa Nakamura is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Visual Culture Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002) and a co-editor of Race in Cyberspace (Routledge, 2000). She has published articles on cross-racial roleplaying in Internet chatspaces, race, embodiment, and virtuality in the film The Matrix, and political economies of race and cyberspace in publications such as the The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, Women's Review of Books, Unspun: Key Terms for the World Wide Web, The Cybercultures Reader, Reload: Rethinking Women and Cyberculture, Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices, and the Visual Culture Reader 2.0. She is working on a new book entitled Visual Cultures of the Internet, forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press 2006.
Lisa Nakamura is giving the talk Subjects & Objects of Interactivity: Racial Formation and Media Convergence at UC Riverside’s Global Interface Mellon Workshop, this Wednesday (May 25) at 5pm. She’ll discuss the interface-like logic of Jennifer Lopez’s 2000 video “If You Had My Love.”
Life Support Systems
Vanda Hybrid Orchids
Life Support Systems--by Mateusz Herczka--deals with the possibility of enabling life to continue after death in the form of information. Electronically recording all of a creature’s memories and reactions would theoretically make life extension in virtual space possible.
The installation collects data generated by the tiny shifts in electrical current produced by the metabolic processes of vanda hybrida orchids. Then, computers running artificial intelligence software reproduce these physical states, as a virtual model, which continues to generate similar signals long after the original orchids are gone. The flowers' language and behaviour model is stored in a hacked Microsoft Xbox, its future container.
"Besides turning a scientific experiment into an aesthetic construct, the work tangents questions of consciousness, longevity, and new lifeforms through computing." vanda_full_text.pdf [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Mix the Acoustic Space
Mapamp--by Tamás Szakál--uses existing structures and systems (architecture of a city, navigation and radio systems) to layer an artificial acoustic space over the original one. The participant walks the streets wearing a special vest that allows him/her to navigate through different sound data fields. These virtual spaces differ from the geographic city scape. Changing his/her position, the walker can pick up and mix the sounds, which come into connection with the architectural features of the public space: the noise of the surroundings, distant radio stations and abstract sound samples intermingle in the space, depending upon the position, direction and velocity of the visitors. Related: Steve Symons' Aura, Sonic City, Sonic Interface by Akitsugu Maebayashi. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 23, 2005
Let's Do Lunch  - TAKE2030
Pervasive Connections- Instructions Included
"Pervasive Connections was an event organised by SPACE Media Arts and Iniva 'focusing on opportunities for artists to work with new social technologies'. The day comprised of presentations, workshops and panel discussions and tickets were sold out, mainly to artists, arts organisers and producers. Let's Do Lunch by Take2030 which 'tracks Hackney's public access wireless nodes and its lunch menus along bus route 26 in the form of a series of documentary videos' was also installed in the Space gallery.
A recurring theme was artists' arguably halting adoption of wireless and locative technologies and the lag in their response to the cultural questions and opportunities they give rise to." Continue reading Ruth Catlow's review at Furtherfield.
Electronic Literature Organization
Showcasing Exemplary Electronic Literature
"The Electronic Literature Organization’s new site is now in place. A very visible feature of the site is a showcase that features exemplary electronic literature. [Teri Rueb's Itinerant is currently featured.] The five most recent items appear at the top of the main page, and everything featured to date is accessible via the “Showcased E-Lit” link just below the search field. The showcase is an excellent descriptive complement to the extant Electronic Literature Directory, a large index of information about e-lit. An RSS feed of the showcase is available so that readers can automatically keep bookmarks to the current entry or syndicate the showcase on their own pages.
News entries and other pages on the site are now easily searchable. The news (including a five-year archive) is also accessible by category and by date. The new site is also designed to be easier to maintain and manage into the future, allowing the ELO to communicate with members and the reading public more effectively.
This new site, which will be more frequently updated and more useful for those interested in e-lit, is the first of several new initiatives planned by the organization. Stay tuned to the site for the ELO’s other new programs in coming months. (The ELO, by the way, is a 501( c )( 3 ) nonprofit literary organization, founded in 1999, that has a mission to promote and facilitate the writing, reading and distribution of electronic literature.)
Props to Nick, a vice-president of the ELO who designed and engineered the new site, for a job well done. Noah and I helped out with the migration of news and in creating showcase entires. We hope you’ll enjoy the fruits of our work." [blogged by scott on grand text auto]
Transvergence in Art History
The Polymathic Spirit of Transvergence
"In transdisciplinary projects, the traditionally assumed binary nature of art and science is exposed, and not taken for granted. Transvergence philosophy implies that the conventional distinctions between art and science have been artificially constructed and must be transcended for innovative artistic possibilities to happen. Creating permeable boundaries between art and science is a positive leap out of a restrictive, historical Western mind set that dictates these fields are dichotomous. Many have argued that art and science in fact share many common elements in conception and practice. According to Robert Scott Root-Bernstein, a self-proclaimed “practicing scientist and amateur artist,” “both scientists and artists are engaged in the common pursuit of new ways of perceiving and of controlling nature.”" From Transvergence in Art History by Ami Davis, Switch 20
May 22, 2005
Voice Mosaic--Martha Carrer Cruz Gabriel--is a web-art application that converges speech and image, building a visual mosaic on the web with the chosen colors and recorded voices of people who interact with it from any place around the globe. The voice interface, developed with open-standards in speech synthesis and voice recognition technologies, works through phone calls from any telephone.
Martha Carrer Cruz Gabriel is Director of Technology at NMD Internet & Multimedia, Ltd. - developers of several successful websites in Brazil, like HBO's, Sony's, and Warner Bros' television channels and Monica's Gang - winner of 9 Internet Best Awards in Brazil since 1998. She is Professor of 'New Technologies' and 'Marketing' at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi; International technical advisor in US for AllHealthNet.com; and a frequent speaker at Internet conferences in Brazil and the US. Engineer, postgraduate in Marketing and Graphics Design, she is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Multimedia at ECA/USP, focusing on man/machine interfaces.
May 21, 2005
Games Migrate to Mobile Phones
News from E3: the Electronic Entertainment Expo
"While next-generation consoles and cutting-edge graphics dominate the floor at E3, if you look around the edges, away from the crowds, you'll find a number of companies hoping that the next big platform will be one that you may already have in your pocket: the mobile phone.
Cell phones are largely unstandardized and often more than a decade behind the times in rendering power. Nevertheless, there are plenty of game producers banking on them.
Mobile-phone gaming has historically been driven by casual games, ports of old arcade games, and simplified versions of sports games. " by Lore Sjoeberg, Wired News. Read more >>
May 20, 2005
SPACE AND PERCEPTION
LIVE STREAM OF MIXED REALITY SYMPOSIUM
SPACE AND PERCEPTION will focus on new phenomenon of Mixed Reality --the environment generated by new technologies that contain significant interaction possibilities in both virtual and physical spaces. Identifying the common in these different views on realities and perception of space, the aim of the symposium discussions is to contextualise and to set up the conceptual background for the development of emerging field of Mixed Reality. It also intends to activate the collaborative potential of the sciences, art, technology and other creative fields of contemporary society.
GORmeans an open hook in Korean and it is often used to represent human relationships. GORI.Node Garden--by Jee Hyun OH--explores the node of privatized networks and expresses the image of fastening or loosening the relationship to your will. The biggest difference between Privatized Network and Social Network is the maintenance of relationships, how one maintains whom one takes care of. In GORI, the garden represents the social network you belong to and the flowers symbolize your privatized network nodes -GORIs- which you are growing.
As a gardener, you decide which GORI from your mobile contact list you will plant and grow. It could be somebody from either your phone list or somewhere else. A flower planted at the edge of the garden, starts to grow when you exchange messages and it moves towards the centre. When it moves, it vibrates. The growth speed and location of each GORI is set by the frequency and duration of the calls. The growth speed and planted location determine the value of the scale and pitch of music that plays when gardeners water the gardens. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 19, 2005
WiFi Bedouin @ Vectors
Call for Projects
What would you do with a mobile Internet?
Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular is seeking proposals for creative or scholarly uses of a mobile server/transmitter unit known as the WiFi Bedouin for inclusion in its Mobility issue to be published in late Summer 2005. Designed by Julian Bleecker, the WiFi Bedouin uses a portable 500mW 802.11b transmitter and Mac OS X based web server that is ready to receive your portable web content. The system includes basic software for web pages, group chat, an open blog and iTunes music streaming, but users are free to add custom software as desired.
We are particularly interested in projects that use the Bedouin to investigate issues related to the intersection of physical and virtual spaces and questions of locality, proximity, materiality, community, etc. Once your project or event has been completed, we will ask you to submit documentation of the project outcomes for inclusion in the Mobility issue of Vectors.
Please submit your WiFi Bedouin proposals to vectors[at]annenberg.edu by May 25, 2005.
Projects should be able to be completed and documentation submitted by
July 1, 2005.
Proposals should include the following information:
--Name of applicant(s) and contact information
--One sentence description
--Brief explanation of project goals and interests
--Approximate timeline for completing the project
--Previous work or experience in related areas
If you're in the Cambridge, MA, area, don't miss the Seamless show to be held tomorrow. It will feature garments at the intersection of fashion and technology. "Some fashions are designed to cause people to examine the disconnect that many feel in the electronically augmented society," commented Nick Knouf who organised the event with Christine Liu. Among the works to be shown:
Simon Says: TOUCH, by Alison Lewis, is a wearable simon-like experience with integrated touch sensors which enable you to play on the back of your fellow man. With this shrug, you get simultaneous play time and a wonderful massage. She will also show her fabulous Closer pullover that respond to positive touch interactions.
Bea Camacho's Extensions are crocheted gloves and sleeve-like garments which embody the impulse to create connections with others but prevent any such interaction from taking place. They extend from the body but reinforce a sense of separation.
She also made untitled sound objects that make sounds when you squeeze them. The sounds were produced by systematically converting 2D shapes into sound waves. When squeezed, the objects become animated and seem as if they are trying to talk to you, as well as to each other.
Balance and Fair Use
Ben Hanbury has created Recycled TV, a wicked video installation that remarks on ever changing copyright laws and Creative Commons.
"The concept behind this piece then is to take two groups of video clips, one group which is licenced under the Creative Commons and one group which is copyrighted but is old enough that it would be in the public domain by now if the terms of copyright had not been extended so many times. The videos will then be broken down into very short clips (milliseconds) which will then be used to form beats in various audio tracks. The user will then be able to use a retro tv interface to mix between tracks thereby forming a new creative product out of old ones, however the user will also have to make choices of balance and fair use between public domain and copyrighted material."
View a video and more work by Ben on Free Culture. He has now finished his degree and will soon been looking at job offers, so get in touch if you are interested. Nice one. [blogged by Chris on pixelsumo]
Playable Media and Textual Instruments
This is Not a Game
"The statement that "this is not a game" has been employed in many ways — for example, to distinguish between high and low culture electronic texts, to market an immersive game meant to break the "magic circle" that separates games from the rest of life, to demarcate play experiences (digital or otherwise) that fall outside formal game definitions, and to distinguish between computer games and other forms of digital entertainment. This essay does not seek to praise some uses of this maneuver and condemn others. Rather, it simply points out that we are attempting to discuss a number of things that we play (and create for play) but that are arguably not games. Calling our experiences "interactive" would perhaps be accurate, but overly broad. An alternative — "playable" — is proposed, considered less as a category than as a quality that manifests in different ways. "Playable media" may be an appropriate way to discuss both games and the "not games" mentioned earlier.
The impetus for coming to this term was not a love of terminology, but the author’s need as an artist to situate a set of experiments in creating "instrumental texts" and "textual instruments" within an appropriate context. While it doesn't make sense to discuss all of these experiments as games, what distinguishes them from other electronic texts is their playability — both that they can be usefully considered as playable, and their particular structures of play. This essay discusses, particularly, two "textual instruments" recently constructed by the author in collaboration with David Durand, Brion Moss, and Elaine Froehlich. While both of these instruments operate according to the logic of n-grams (as first used in textual play by Claude Shannon), one instrument is designed to play with known local texts while the other is designed to employ the contents of network RSS feeds and web pages. One composition for each of these instruments — Regime Change and News Reader, respectively — is considered." Read Playable Media and Textual Instruments by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Dichtung-Digital, Issue 1, 2005
May 18, 2005
A Survey of New Applications in the Arts
"ABSTRACT: "Computer vision" refers to a broad class of algorithms that allow computers to make intelligent assertions about digital images and video. Historically, the creation of computer vision systems has been regarded as the exclusive domain of expert researchers and engineers in the fields of signal processing and artificial intelligence. Likewise, the scope of application development for computer vision technologies, perhaps constrained by conventional structures for research funding, has generally been limited to military and law-enforcement purposes. Recently, however, improvements in software development tools for student programmers and interactive-media artists — in combination with the rapid growth of open-source code-sharing communities, predictable increases in PC processor speeds, and plummeting costs of digital video hardware — have made widespread artistic experimentation with computer vision techniques a reality.
The result is a proliferation of new practitioners with an abundance of new application ideas, and the incorporation of computer vision techniques into the design vocabularies of novel artworks, games, home automation systems, and other areas. This article attempts to demystify computer vision for novice programmers, through a survey of new applications in the arts, system design considerations, and contemporary tools." Computer Vision for Artists and Designers: Pedagogic Tools and Techniques for Novice Programmers by Golan Levin
Let Your Fingers and Toes Do the Talking
Technojewelry incorporates emerging electronics into everyday attire. Focusing on the hands and feet as nonintrusive locations for useful innovations, these concepts prove that new devices needn’t look alien to your person and that we can make technology adapt to our lifestyles rather that the other way around.
Penta Phone and Ring Phone are concepts for mobile phones. The design takes its cue from the universal gesture for using a telephone, but is feasibly grounded in the nanotechnology research emerging from start-ups and established companies. Calls can be initiated by raising the hand to the proper position, and voice-activated interaction will allow instant communication. The little-finger units will vibrate to indicate incoming calls and the thumb unit will beam the sound towards the ear when the hand is held in the listening position.
Using similar low-power, nano-derived technology, GPS Toes are toe rings that communicate to a GPS receiver kept in a purse or worn on a belt. Wearing one on each foot, the GPS Toes device will guide the wearer to a preset destination by vibrating and lighting up to signal upcoming direction changes. The left toe ring will indicate left turns and the right toe right turns, whether driving on the highway, walking on city streets, or hiking on the mountain trail.
Also read The Experience of Enchantment in Human-Computer Interaction by John McCarthy et al. [via pasta and vinegar]
The Touchy Internet
Eggheads Invent Tele-Petting
"Researchers have developed a cybernetic system to allow physical interaction over the internet. The system allows touching and feeling of animals or other humans in real time, but it's first being tried out on -- chickens. Built by a wacky group of researchers at the Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore, the Touchy Internet works as follows: You walk into your office, where a hollow, chicken-shaped doll sits on a mechanical positioning table close to your computer. The doll whirs to life as soon as you switch on the system, duplicating the motion of a real chicken in the backyard whose movements are being captured by a webcam. Fondling the doll translates into touching the real fowl." Continue reading Eggheads Invent Tele-Petting by Lakshmi Sandhana, Wired, May 17, 2005.
May 17, 2005
The Ghost in the Network
Off the Grid: Adhocracy Rules
In discussing the difference between the living and the nonliving, Aristotle points to the phenomena of self-organized animation and motility as the key aspects of a living thing. For Aristotle the "form-giving Soul" enables inanimate matter to become a living organism. If life is animation, then animation is driven by a final cause. But the cause is internal to the organism, not imposed from without as with machines. Network science takes up this idea on the mathematical plane, so that geometry is the soul of the network. Network science proposes that heterogeneous network phenomena can be understood through the geometry of graph theory, the mathematics of dots and lines. An interesting outcome of this is that seemingly incongruous network phenomena can be grouped according to their similar geometries. For instance the networks of AIDS, terrorist groups, or the economy can be understood as having in common a particular pattern, a particular set of relations between dots (nodes) and lines (edges).
A given topological pattern is what cultivates and sculpts information within networks. To in-form is thus to give shape to matter (via organization or self-organization) through the instantiation of form--a network hylomorphism.
But further, the actualized being of the living network is also defined in political terms. "No central node sits in the middle of the spider web, controlling and monitoring every link and node. There is no single node whose removal could break the web. A scale-free network is a web without a spider" . Having-no-spider is an observation about predatory hierarchy, or the supposed lack thereof, and is therefore a deeply political observation. In order to make this unnerving jump--from math (graph theory), to technology (the Internet), to politics ("a web without a spider")--politics needs to be seen as following the necessary and "natural" laws of mathematics; that is, networks need to be understood as "an unavoidable consequence of their evolution" . In network science, the "unavoidable consequence" of networks often resembles something like neoliberal democracy, but a democracy which naturally emerges according to the "power law" of decentralized networks. Like so, their fates are twisted together.
Rhetorics of Freedom
While tactically valuable in the fight against proprietary software, open source is ultimately flawed as a political program. Open source focuses on code in isolation. It fetishizes all the wrong things: language, originality, source, the past, status. To focus on inert, isolated code is to ignore code in its context, in its social relation, in its real experience, or actual dynamic relations with other code and other machines. Debugging never happens through reading the source code, only through running the program. Better than open source would be open runtime which would prize all the opposites: open articulation, open iterability, open practice, open becoming.
But this is also misleading and based in a rhetoric around the relative openness and closedness of a technological system. The rhetoric goes something like this: technological systems can either be closed or open. Closed systems are generally created by either commercial or state interests-courts regulate technology, companies control their proprietary technologies in the market place, and so on. Open systems, on the other hand, are generally associated with the public and with freedom and political transparency. Geert Lovink contrasts "closed systems based on profit through control and scarcity" with "open, innovative standards situated in the public domain" . Later, in his elucidation of Castells, he writes of the opposite, a "freedom hardwired into code" . This gets to the heart of the freedom rhetoric. If it's hardwired is it still freedom? Instead of guaranteeing freedom, the act of "hardwiring" suggests a limitation on freedom. And in fact that is precisely the case on the Internet where strict universal standards of communication have been rolled out more widely and more quickly than in any other medium throughout history. Lessig and many others rely heavily on this rhetoric of freedom.
We suggest that this opposition between closed and open is flawed. It unwittingly perpetuates one of today's most insidious political myths, that the state and capital are the two sole instigators of control. Instead of the open/closed opposition we suggest the pairing physical/social. The so-called open logics of control, those associated with (non proprietary) computer code or with the Internet protocols, operate primarily using a physical model of control. For example, protocols interact with each other by physically altering and amending lower protocological objects (IP prefixes its header onto a TCP data object, which prefixes its header onto an HTTP object, and so on). But on the other hand, the so-called closed logics of state and commercial control operate primarily using a social model of control. For, example, Microsoft's commercial prowess is renewed via the social activity of market exchange. Or, using another example, Digital Rights Management licenses establish a social relationship between producers and consumers, a social relationship backed up by specific legal realities (DMCA). Viewed in this way, we find it self evident that physical control (i.e. protocol) is equally powerful if not more so than social control. Thus, we hope to show that if the topic at hand is one of control, then the monikers of "open" and "closed" simply further confuse the issue. Instead we would like to speak in terms of "alternatives of control" whereby the controlling logic of both "open" and "closed" systems is brought out into the light of day.
Aristotle's famous formulation of "man as a political animal" takes on new meanings in light of contemporary studies of biological self-organization. For Aristotle, the human being was first a living being, with the additional capacity for political being. In this sense, biology becomes the presupposition for politics, just as the human being's animal being serves as the basis for its political being. But not all animals are alike. Deleuze distinguishes three types of animals: domestic pets (Freudian, anthropomorphized Wolf-Man), animals in nature (the isolated species, the lone wolf), and packs (multiplicities). It is this last type of animal--the pack--which provides the most direct counter-point to Aristotle's formulation, and which leads us to pose a question: If the human being is a political animal, are there also animal politics? Ethnologists and entymologists would think so. The ant colony and insect swarm has long been used in science fiction and horror as the metaphor for the opposite of Western, liberal democracies. Even the language used in biology still retains the remnants of sovereignty: the queen bee, the drone. What, then, do we make of theories of biocomplexity and swarm intelligence, which suggest that there is no "queen" but only a set of localized interactions which self-organize into a whole swarm or colony? Is the "multitude" a type of animal multiplicity? Such probes seem to suggest that Aristotle based his formulation on the wrong kinds of animals. "You can't be one wolf," of course. "You're always eight or nine, six or seven" .
Unplug from the grid. Plug into your friends. Adhocracy will rule. Autonomy and security will only happen when telecommunications operate around ad hoc networking. Syndicate yourself to the locality.
Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker
 Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Linked (Cambridge: Perseus Publishing, 2002), p. 221.
 Geert Lovink, My First Recession (Rotterdam: V2, 2003), p. 14.
 Ibid., p. 47.
 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 29.
UbiComp 2005 Workshops
Call for Papers
UbiComp 2005 Workshops: September 11, 2005, Tokyo, Japan--workshops to be held in conjunction with the Seventh International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2005, Tokyo, September 11-14) are now accepting submissions. All workshops will be held on Sunday, 11th September at the conference hotel. Unless otherwise noted, submissions will be accepted until June 17, and notifications of accepted submissions will be sent by July 25. The deadline for early advance registration will be July 28 (more information on the conference hotel and conference registration will be posted on the web site soon).
Please note that prospective workshop attendees require an invitation from the workshop organisers based on acceptance of submitted position papers or explicit request. Upon acceptance, attendees will need to explicitly register for the workshop, which will include a separate workshop fee, in addition to registering for the main conference.
Workshop titles are listed below.
W1: Ubiquitous Computing in Next Generation Conference Rooms: Interweaving Rich Media, Mobile Devices and Smart Environments
W2: Pervasive Image Capture and Sharing: New Social Practices and Implications for Technology
W3: Smart Object Systems
W4: Privacy in Context
W5: Ubiquitous Computing, Entertainment, and Games
W6: The Spaces in-between: Seamful vs. Seamless Interactions
W7: Situating Ubiquitous Computing in Everyday Life: Bridging the Social and Technical Divide
W8: UbiPhysics: Designing for Physically Integrated Interaction
W9: Smart Environments and Their Applications to Cultural Heritage
W10: Monitoring, Measuring, and Motivating Exercise: Ubiquitous Computing to Support Physical Fitness
W11: Metapolis and Urban Life
W12: ubiPCMM: Personalized Context Modeling and Management for Ubicomp Applications
W13: Ubiquitous Wireless Communications
Prospective authors are encouraged to visit the updated Workshop Call for Participation at the UbiComp 2005 web site (www.ubicomp.org), and/or visit individual workshop homepages (listed at http://www.ubicomp.org/ubicomp2005/calls/callworkshops.shtml).
General questions about the workshops can be addressed to the Workshop Co-Chairs (Yoshito Tobe and Khai N. Truong, workshops-2005[at]ubicomp.org); specific questions about any individual workshop should be directed to the organizer(s) of the workshop.
Performance Studies International #12
Call for Proposals and Ideas
PSi #12: Performing Rights--June 15-18, 2006--will be a gathering of artists, activists and academics who are making and researching performance that declares its interest and intent within the field of Human Rights. PSi #12 is being approached as a festival of creative dialogues investigating the boundaries and relationships between Human Rights and performance and will present an integrated schedule of conference and contextualising events.
Queen Mary, University of London, East End Collaborations and the Live Art Development Agency are seeking proposals for all aspects of PSi #12: Performing Rights.
PSi #12: Performing Rights will attempt to create a context for exploring the role of performance and the responsibilities of artists in effecting political, social and cultural change through a series of contextualising events including performances, interventions, new media presentations, installations, screenings, displays, artists led laboratories, spontaneous interactions and a library of research and resource materials.
PSi #12 Performing Rights are inviting proposals and recommendations from artists, activists, curators and commentators about performances, new media projects, publications, videos, websites, events, networks, organisations that are concerned with issues of Human Rights for all aspects of the contextualising programme. Proposals are welcome at any time from May 2005.
For more detailed information about the Call for Proposals for PSi #12: Performing Rights Contextualising Events:
email psi12[at]qmul.ac.uk or info[at]thisisLiveArt.co.uk
or visit www.psi12.qmul.ac.uk or www.thisisLiveArt.co.uk
The PSi #12 conference will comprise plenary sessions, curated panels, papers and presentations, in which contributors will engage with the political, aesthetic and philosophical dimensions of the relationship between performance and human rights, on topics ranging from public and collective acts of insurrection to the intimacies and fragility of individual freedom and subjectivity.
PSi #12: Performing Rights are seeking paper, presentation and panel proposals for the conference. All submissions are due by 12 September 2005.
For more detailed information about the Call for Proposals for PSi #12: Performing Rights Conference:
or visit www.psi12.qmul.ac.uk
PSi #12: Performing Rights Organisations:
Queen Mary, University of London, is a campus university in London's East End, only twenty minutes by tube from the city centre. Arts and Humanities research at Queen Mary is regarded as some of the very best in the UK. Drama at Queen Mary has a particular emphasis on live art, contemporary performance and theatre for social change.
The Live Art Development Agency is the leading development organisation for Live Art in the UK and works in partnership with practitioners, venues and institutions on artist and programme initiatives; develops strategies for increasing popular and critical awareness; provides practical information and advice; and offers opportunities for dialogue, debate, research and training.
East End Collaborations (EEC) responds to the professional development needs of graduates and emerging artists working with Live Art and based in London by offering information, advice and expertise and the opportunity to showcase work in an annual open submissions platform. East End Collaborations is collaboration between Queen between Queen Mary, University of London and the Live Art Development Agency.
Performance Studies International (PSi) is an international organisation founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange among scholars and practitioners working in the field of performance.
Live Art Development Agency
London E2 7ES
t: +44 (0)20 7033 0275
f: +44 (0)20 7033 0276
The Haptic Gloves allow their wearers to create musical compositions by linking hands together. Each participant wears the gloves, headphones (through which they can hear their personal music) and a clip-on box housing circuits. As soon as they touch the gloved hand of another, they can hear their own music mixed with the other person's sound. The more people holding hands, the more sophisticated the track.
The interaction through physical touch attempts to physically bring people together even if they don't speak the same language. The Haptic Gloves are a work in progress by Kaho Abe and Jung Sin. Video on the website. More sound gloves: Saturday, Remote VJ control. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Sonic Fabric--by Alyce Santoro--is made of textile woven from 50% pre-recorded audiotape and 50% cotton. Originally designed as a piece of conceptual art that would merely be looked at, it was discovered that the audiotape retained its magnetism throughout the weaving process, and the fabric could actually be "played" by running a tape head over it.
A custom dress made for Phish percussionist Jon Fishman was worn and "played" live on stage using specialized tape head gloves during a concert in april 2004. Pictures from designboom. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Distributed Immersive Performance
Real-time, Multi-Site Performance
The Integrated Media System Center (University of Southern California) is working on the architecture, technology and experimental applications of a real-time, multi-site, distributed, interactive and collaborative environment called Distributed Immersive Performance (DIP). The objective of DIP is to develop the technology for live, interactive musical performances in which the participants - subsets of musicians, the conductor and the audience - are in different physical locations and are interconnected by very high fidelity multichannel audio and video links. DIP is a specific realization of broader immersive technology - the creation of the complete aural and visual ambience that places a person or a group of people in a virtual space where they can experience events occurring at a remote site or communicate naturally regardless of their location.
May 16, 2005
Space, Place and Technology:
Human Presence in Mediated Experiences
"The current issue of Psychnology [PNJ] proposes an emerging framework to look at mediated environments, the framework of Space and Place. This dichotomy dates back to the Seventies (Tuan, 1977, 2001), but probably due to the appearance of new, original spaces supported by digital technologies, it has been appropriated now with renewed enthusiasm by scholars interested in mediated relations. This theme attracted our attention several years ago, and the success of the call for papers confirms its current resonance. Borrowed from Human Geography, where these philosophical concepts have been heavily used, Space and Place seem to have filled a gap in current reflection on the human relationship with technologies." Continue reading Editorial Preface.
Remaking Other Peoples' Blogs
BlogStarTheater is a weekly web show in which people create theatrical reinterpretations of strangers' blog entries, in video format. Anyone can produce and submit an episode, and every blog is a potential source of material. The project, an experiment in participatory mass media, is a show by everyone, for everyone, and about everyone. It was created at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, by Laura Garcia-Barrio, John Geraci, Luna Vega, Pete Vigeant, and Akio Wada. The idea is to examine the tension between blogging as a form of public diary versus blogging as a form of broadcast media. [via]
doc_u is an interactive installation made up of visual self-documentation. The project exploits user-friendly technology (mobile phone cams and Macromedia Flash) to allow multiple images to be shown simultaneously. Rather than concentrating on ‘Virtuality’ or even ‘Reality’ as a digital thematic, the project focuses on the ‘beautiful seams’ of the relational space between. Although facilitated by high-tech, software, hardware and the potential of ubiquitous computing, the work underlines the beauty of the ordinary, the domestic and the lo-tech. The installation draws on popular culture and a viewer’s familiarity with concepts of self-documentation, video diaries and docu-soaps to encourage participation and overcome fear of technology.
Jess Loseby and the Babylon Gallery have been holding workshops with schools and community groups local to the gallery using 5 mobile camera phones. The participants were asked to randomly document themselves and their environment in a set time. They were encouraged not to delete or alter any images, as part of the aesthetic of the installation was to highlight the beautiful ‘accidents’ and to dismiss attempts to make ‘art’. The project is now open across the Internet to everyone. If you would like to participate please see the guidelines below. There is no age limit, focus or geographical restriction placed on the submissions. The youngest participant in the project is currently 3 years old - the oldest, 70!
Sonic Interventions Conference Report
The Sounds/Noise of Silence
Conference Report: Sonic Interventions: Pushing the Boundaries of Cultural Analysis, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Universiteit von Amsterdam, by Marisa S. Olson
The Sonic Interventions Conference was described by its organizers, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, as an interdisciplinary conference "dedicated to exploring the cultural practices, aesthetics, technologies, and ways of conceptualizing sound, noise, and silence." One might imagine that this is an enormous topic, just as enormous as attempting to categorize something as pervasive as light, with which sound is frequently lumped. Taking the example of a panel discussionon the radio, consider the differences between discussing the radio in domestic life in the 1920s and the entire cultural history of the police radio. Interesting connections emerged and, yet, there was not enough time to address them in a single panel. And, of course, theseare just fractional aspects of radio history, and of sound, writ large.
The conference was driven by a large number of such concurrent panel sessions, which tended to foreclose the possibility of any two conference-goers having a "common experience," or of a consistent discourse emerging. The organizers also asked speakers to limit their presentations to ten minutes, rather than the standard twenty, in order to be more conducive to conversation among the thinly-spread audience.
Despite the structural obstacles and the broad topic, Sonic Interventions managed to play host to a number of interestingpresentations. Though a wide net was cast in the call for proposals, inviting artists and engineers to contribute, in addition to thetypical range of academic papers, the program ultimately skewed in thedirection of the academy. Sonic Interventions, then, became an opportunity to survey some of the more interesting contemporary humanities research related to sound.
Keynote speaker Douglas Kahn was among the better-known sound theorists present and his opening talk provided an art historical backdrop for the next four days of discussion. In lieu of discussing sound art, proper, Kahn actually discussed artistic research into states of soundlessness. In a reprise of his catalogue essay for theSon et Lumiere show at the Pompidou, Kahn discussed John Cage's and James Turrell's notions of "silence," and perception in general. Discussing the former's visit to an anechoic chamber and the latter's emulation of such a space, Kahn began to outline a phenomenology of corporeal sound; one concerned with the difference between perceiving the sounds of the body (of the blood flow, or even of thought) as interior or exterior events that is, whether the sounds of the body's systems or the retinal changes experienced in a transition to darkness, would be read as coming from the self or as environmentally specific to the anechoic chamber.
Kahn's arguments find extension into the realms of site-specificity and composition, of course, but also 1960s military research and counter-cultural resistance, or the ever-slippery relationship between light and sound, as manifest through shades of withdrawal and hallucination. This approach echoed the ethos of the overall conference, made evident in ASCA's CFP, which stated, "Sound is a mental impression, a penetrating sensation, a transmitted disturbance that may be structured or chaotic, narrative or non-narrative, organic or technologically produced, communicative, and even politicallycharged."
Despite the vagaries of the call (which were, admittedly, posited in a gesture towards inclusion and diversity), Kahn's specific approach became an apt backdrop for the ensuing days of Sonic Interventions. The overall intent of the conference was to not only define what constitutes sound or silence, but what historic discourses and ideological models of value have been associated with thosedefinitions.
A glance at the conference program reveals that all of the following stood as specimens in the study of sound: music (of many genres, eras, and areas), the spoken word (also of many genres, eras, and areas), radio, noise (political, mental, static, dynamic), the sound of writing, silence (as in "the silent arts," anechoism, "queer silence,"and beyond), orality, the voice, what the dead would say if they could, what the subaltern would say if they could, the soundscape, instruments, recording and playback technology, the broadcast and its political economy, field recordings, sound memories, sound trauma, and the ecology of sonic waste, among others.
Punctuated by performances by Mary Flanagan and Jay Needham were presentations under the heading of four continuous themes: Sound and the Moving Image & Sound Technologies and Cultural Change; The Sonic in the 'Silent' Arts and Bring in the Noise; Silences/Orality; and Soundscapes: Sound, Space, and the Body & Sound Practices and Events. In the interest of time and space, I will present the best or most interesting panels from each heading.
Under the first category, which considered sound in relationship to the moving image, technology, and cultural change, there was an interesting meeting of Cageian theory and pop aestheticism, brought about by Seda Ergul, Jal Kraut, and Luke Stickels. Kraut's approach to reading Cage's notion of silence, and the means of "defeating" it, sounded almost staid in comparison with Ergul's paper on "Cageian Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or Stickels's, on "Violence versus Silence: exploding binaries in Hana Bi." The three bounced nicely off each other, while proving that a seemingly-flimsy definition of silence could be profitable in its potential for widespread application.
The second category, "The Sonic in the 'Silent' Arts and Bring in the Noise" seemed to yield some of the most interesting, if diverse presentations. The title of the category sounds like a collision between ancient philosophy and a contemporary Broadway musical. Nonetheless, conference attendees with an openness to such "accidents"could find themselves presently surprised, as I was in attending a panel of a literary bent. Hannah Bosma, Alix Mazuet, and John M.Picker did an excellent job in excavating the polyvalent "sounds" with which literature is infused, ranging from rattling in one's head space to the scratchy scrawling of ecriture, to the narrative representation of aurality. Where Bosma opened with an elucidation on "Different Noises," Mazuet and Picker looked at Victorian-era instanciations of them. Picker compared the latter to contemporary urban noise problems.
Pulling at a similarly literary thread, under the heading of "Silences/Orality," Greg Esplin, Maria Boletsi, David Copenhafer, and Zachary Sifuentes plunged into canonical texts by Melville, Conrad, Kafka, and Eliot. Each presented studies of characters and contexts in which the cacophony of an encroaching modernity is "heard." The panel was interesting in that each presenter took a very specifically-angled approach to looking at issues with which many media theorists are currently concerned. These include the notions of private/public, orprivacy/publicity; the relationship of the part to the whole (be it a character in a book, an individual in a society, or a cog in a wheel); and modes of distribution and broadcast. Discourses of power, be it individual agency or the apprehensively aligned electrical power, were understatedly present, and the entire conversation was "enlightening."
Finally, under the fourth broad category, "Soundscapes: Sound, Space, and the Body & Sound Practices and Events," Ros Bandt, Ching Fang Chiang, and Pieter Verstraete comprised the panel most oriented toward contemporary art. This very international group looked at variations on installation art ranging from large museum works to smaller-scale immersive works, to Janet Cardiff's "audio walks." The panelists performed close-readings of sonic aspects of the works, which could also have been inspected under the lens of the previous topics. In particular, the thread of modernity (surprisingly more so than postmodernity) permeated the majority of the conference presentations and the aforementioned tenets of this discourse particularly the distinction between the personal and the public were uniquely embodied by the art works discussed here.
Elsewhere under the "Soundscape" category, Julian Henriques presented a paper, entitled "The Reggae Sound System: Music, Culture and Technology," which in a certain sense represented the best synthesis of all of the conference themes: comparing sensorial and political notions of sound and silence, tracing diasporic and ideological roots and metaphorically equating them with root objects in an evolving musicology, and tracing the simultaneous evolution of recording technology and its relationships to the sound it plays and the people who hear it.
In the end, were one to draw any one conclusion about the Sonic Interventions conference, it might be that "sound theory" is currently finding room to "intervene" in other humanistic studies. For better or for worse, this all-encompassing conference worked less to establish sound as a category in its own right (as one will recall was once done for film studies and new media, in the conferences of yore) than to posit is as a useful, if intricate, gloss upon other areas of enquiry. [via Rhizome]
RadioActive--by Aaron Zinman and Judith Donath--is a forum for large-scale mobile-based asynchronous audio discussions. It allows participants to engage in persistent discussions on a number of different topics, similar to usenet. Users may moderate posts, allowing the dynamics of the chat space to change over time. Navigation through the threads is made possible by both audio and visual interfaces that are optimized for the device. In addition to arbitrary topics, users may also engage in discussion surrounding time-shifted media clips. This is a reaction to the phenomena of TiVO and podcasting, all which allow users to access their media in a personalized fashion but completely passively. RadioActive gives audiences a chance to talk back, contrasting the typical unidirectional model of broadcasting. [PDF] [via]
The Principle of Notworking
"In this essay I present ongoing theoretical work, developed throughout 2004, the year I took up the position of 'lector' at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. I will focus on three conceptual fields: the relation between multitude, network and culture, the art of collaboration and 'free cooperation', and finally present elements of a theory of 'organized networks'." The Principle of Notworking by Geert Lovink [via NOEMA]
John Schimmel's Fireflies are networked nightlights for a local environment, the jars can be placed in different bedrooms or other spots around a home so people can communicate with one another through simply tapping on the jars. For example, if you tap the jar in your bedroom you will pulse the colored fireflies associated with that jar. The neighboring jars in your home will receive and pulse your taps, record them and then play them back. The neighboring jars can respond with their own tapping and broadcast themselves to the nightlights in the home. While a person is tapping the jar, they are in a broadcast mode where they get approximately 4 seconds of tap time and the other jars are in listening mode, again, for approximately 4 seconds *. After the 4 seconds is up there all the jars play back the recorded taps they have received. It's a firefly jam session.
May 13, 2005
The Future of the Reciprocal Readymade:
An Essay on Use-Value and Art-Related Practice
"The Future of the Reciprocal Readymade: An Essay on Use-Value and Art-Related Practice" by Stephen Wright [via 16 beaver group]
In a late text, Marcel Duchamp set out to distinguish several different types of readymades. Of particular interest here is the genre which he punningly described as "reciprocal readymades." Anxious, he claimed, "to emphasize the fundamental antinomy between art and the readymade," Duchamp defined this radically new, yet subsequently neglected genre through an example: "Use a Rembrandt as an ironing-board."(1) More than a mere quip to be taken at face value, or a facetious mockery of use-value, Duchamp’s example points to the symbolic potential of recycling art – and more broadly, artistic tools and competence – into the general symbolic economy of everyday life. For in that respect, the reciprocal readymade is the obverse of the standard readymade, which recycles the real – in the form of manufactured objects – into the symbolic economy of art.
Historically speaking, the readymade is inseparably bound up with objecthood: it refers to a readymade, manufactured object .Yet, it would be reductive to confine the readymade to its objective dimension alone, if only because it provides such a strong general image of the reciprocal logic between art and the real.
In the same way that framing an object in an art context neutralizes it as an object (distinguishing it, as it were, from the mere real thing), can the de-framing of an artwork neutralize it, in reciprocal fashion, as art? This is an important question, and one to which Duchamp was expressly alluding, because it would enable art to produce a use-value. Since Immanuel Kant’s influential championing of “purposeless purpose” and “disinterested satisfaction” as defining features of our engagement with art, it has been broadly held that art cannot produce use-values. Kant argued in effect that art, unlike design, could not be evaluated and appreciated on the basis of its objective purpose – be it external, regarding the utility of the object, or internal, regarding the perfection of the object. In so doing, Kant sought to preserve art from the realm of the “merely useful”; and in the contemporary world where utilitarian rationality and the sort of cost-benefit analysis to which it leads reign supreme, where art is regularly co-opted by such profit-driven, subjectivity-production industries as advertising, to even mention use-value tends to smack of the philistine. Of course one might say that in such a context there is something circular about defending art on the basis of its uselessness alone (or even its “radical uselessness,” as Adorno put it), for it would seem to suggest there is something worthwhile and thus useful about something ostensibly lacking use-value…
In any event, I have found that many contemporary artistic practices in the public sphere cannot be adequately understood unless their primary ambition to produce a use-value is taken into account. In trying to grasp what is at stake and at play in many of the art-informed practices which are, today, self-consciously concerned with generating use-value by injecting artistic skills into the real, it is useful to anchor their approach in art-historical terms; I want to argue that one way of understanding these works is as attempts to reactivate the unacknowledged genre of artistic activity conceived by Duchamp. For though he never got beyond the speculative phase – never actually putting his thoughts on the reciprocal readymade into practice – Duchamp clearly saw it as a way of “de-signing” art, of removing the signature by using an artwork to produce a use-value. For it is quite difficult to imagine how an artist-signed artwork (a “Rembrandt”), put to use as an ironing board, could then be re-signed as an “artistic” ironing board. Indeed, Duchamp’s point was that it would revert to non-art status – the price to be paid for acquiring use-value, though it would assuredly be a most uncommon ironing board.
That’s just art!
By that reckoning then, Kant was quite right: use-value and art, at least as it is now conventionally understood, are mutually exclusive terms. But is it perhaps possible to envisage dealing with use-value in substantively different terms? In terms literally reversing the dominant mode of twentieth-century artistic production? By thinking of art in terms of its specific means (its tools) rather than its specific ends (artworks)? In contexts often far removed from art-specific spaces and time, the past few years have witnessed the emergence of a broad range of such practices, which, in spite of certain affinities and indeed, in some cases, of undeniable family ties, can only be described as art-related rather than art-specific activities – often laying no particular claim to art status. The particular form of these activities suggests that they may be motivated by the desire to escape what is surely one of the most enfeebling accusations with which art is often, implicitly or explicitly, targeted: that it’s not for real; or to put it bluntly, that it’s just art. For much of modernity, this could be dismissed as quite an unfair charge, and in any case situating art tautologically as what it is would not have been seen as disqualifying its role or impact in the public sphere. Much twentieth-century aesthetic philosophy was devoted to placing art in invisible parentheses, in an effort to separate art objects from the “mere real things,” as analytical aesthetics cleverly puts it. Comparing a readymade to the “mere real thing” is certainly an elegant way of underscoring art’s ontological privileges; but there is something insolent and obviously fraudulent about describing non-art as “merely” real, particularly as art has often shown itself all too ready to fall back on its status as the “mere” partner of the real. Invariably, when some artwork or other is threatened with censorship, the artworld’s reaction is to assert the work’s art status, upholding the privileged status it enjoys in the symbolic order. Ironically however, in so doing, it is implicitly acknowledged that it is merely art, not the dangerous, and thus potentially censorship-deserving, real thing. In other words, cordoning art off from the real has, in many cases, afforded art a place in the public eye, but it has done so at the considerable cost of stripping art of its capacity to find a way to have any real use-value and undermining its claim to do much damage to the dominant order of signs.
Art without artists, without artworks, and without an artworld
What happens when art crops up in the everyday, not to aestheticize it, but to inform it? When art appears not in terms of its specific ends (artwork) but in terms of its specific means (competence)? Well, for one thing, it has an exceedingly low coefficient of artistic visibility: something is seen, but not as art – for without the validating framework of the artworld, art cannot be recognized as such, which is one reason why it is from time to time useful to reterritorialize it in an art-specific space through documentation. The four collectives whose work I shall consider in a moment – The Yes Men, bureau d’études, AAA Corp, and the Grupo de Arte Callejero – all confront a common operative paradox: though informed by art-related skills, their work suffers from – or, one could say, enjoys – impaired visibility as art. Yet this impaired visibility may well be inversely proportional to the work’s political efficiency: since it is not partitioned off as “art” – that is, as “just art” – it remains free to deploy all its symbolic force in lending enhanced visibility and legibility to social processes of all kinds. It is a form of stealth art, infiltrating spheres of world-making beyond the scope of work operating unambiguously under the banner of art. The art-related practitioners I mention here, and many others like them, have all sought to circumvent the reputation-based economy of the artworld, founded on individual names, and have chosen to engage in collaborative action; they use their skills to generate perception and produce reality-estranging configurations outside the artworld. As the wide range of tools developed by these collectives show, this has nothing to do with shunning or banning image production; art has no reason to renounce representation, a tool it has done much to forge and to hone over its long history. The question is the use to which such tools are put, in what context, and by whom: tools whose use-value is revealed as they are taken up and put to work. Specifically, then, how can art-related skills and perceptions be channelled in such a way that they empower rather than impress people? In other words, what do reciprocal-readymade practices, which see art as a latent activity rather than as an object or a process, physically look like?
The Yes Men: donning the fictional garb
The device which The Yes Men have most effectively gleaned from the toolbox of art history is verisimilitude, which they deploy in a framework of what might be described as deferred-disclosure tactics. The group is perhaps best known for designing fake-functional websites that parody, imperceptibly and incisively, those of socially pernicious political and business organizations, including the G.W. Bush campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and perhaps most notoriously, the World Trade Organization (WTO). So un-artlike – that is, so unidentifiable as art – was The Yes Men’s parallel WTO website design that it actually led to the group being invited, on several occasions, to represent the WTO at prestigious gatherings of various sectors of the business community, invitations which The Yes Men were only too pleased to accept. Asked to represent the WTO at a textile-manufacturers congress in Finland, one of The Yes Men took the podium and proceeded to deliver a keynote address on the virtues of free-trade and the evils of protectionism, which appeared to most audience members so WTO-like that they barely cringed when the speaker went on to argue that the abolition of slavery was an unreasonable interference in a market-driven economy. This impeccably designed performance was only revealed for what it was – a radical and thought-provoking spoof on the absurdity of laissez-faire discourse – when the impostor stripped off his three-piece, pin-striped suit and, clad only in a skin-tight bodysuit, proceeded to deploy a four-foot long phallus-like object attached to his midriff. Deadpan as ever, he described this Priapic excrescence – to the dismay of the security guards and the guffaws of the audience suddenly shaken from its ideological torpor – as a managerial tool for keeping close tabs on labour activity on the factory floors of the world. Such antics are made possible only by the deployment of art-related, fiction-design skills to infiltrate spheres well outside the world of art.
Perhaps a still more caustic fiction-based instance of “subversion of corporate subversion,” as The Yes Men put it, was the genuinely fake press release they designed and sent out by email to thousands of people, ostensibly from Dow Chemical Corporation, on the eighteenth anniversary of the accident in Bhopal, India, which begins as follows:
December 3, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOW ADDRESSES BHOPAL OUTRAGE, EXPLAINS POSITION
Company responds to activist concerns with concrete action points
In response to growing public outrage over its handling of the Bhopal disaster's legacy, Dow Chemical (http://www.dow-chemical.com) has issued a statement explaining why it is unable to more actively address the problem.
"We are being portrayed as a heartless giant which doesn't care about the 20,000 lives lost due to Bhopal over the years," said Dow President and CEO Michael D. Parker. "But this just isn't true. Many individuals within Dow feel tremendous sorrow about the Bhopal disaster, and many individuals within Dow would like the corporation to admit its responsibility, so that the public can then decide on the best course of action, as is appropriate in any democracy.
"Unfortunately, we have responsibilities to our shareholders and our industry colleagues that make action on Bhopal impossible. And being clear about this has been a very big step."
In many cases unaware that what they were reading was art, public reaction was one of outrage. Dow’s reaction was to use its corporate influence to immediately shut down the ThingNet – the New York-based Internet provider The Yes Men had been using (along with tens of thousands of other subscribers) – which offers stinging testimony as to how the corporation assessed the action’s veritable use-value, and gives some insight into the limits of corporate respect for the Internet as a public domain. In light of this action (further information on which can be found at www.theyesmen.org/dow/), I emailed The Yes Men the following question:
If threatened legally for having defamed, slandered or libellously depicted the WTO, the GATT, the Republican presidential candidate, DOW Chemical or whomever, would you argue that, ontologically speaking, your work is in the realm of fiction, rather than in the realm of the real, and therefore no more subject to prosecution than a character in a novel can be judged in a court outside of that novel’s fictional framework? In other words, do you consider yourselves to be intervening in the real or in fictional representation?
To which I received the following, unambiguous reply:
In the real. Using fiction very truthfully, is how we see it. Providing transparency through truth masquerading as fiction. Actually not even masquerading, for that implies dressing-up, and there's no dressing-up – it's by donning the fictional garb that the nakedness is achieved. (2)
All too often, art’s engagement with the real is construed in terms exemplified by the fruitless efforts of Don Quixote to set the world aright: the cockeyed knight’s self-detrimental though sublime misapprehension of reality has led many to the melancholic conclusion that art is well advised to remain in its own sphere, rather than combating an order of reality entirely foreign to it. The Yes Men, however, seem to take fiction by the horns, reversing the logic of Quixotic antics, thereby suggesting that today the conventional relationship between fiction and reality has itself been reversed. Rather than fighting a reality anachronistically misconstrued in terms of fiction, The Yes Men “don the fictional garb” to smuggle a public reality check right to the foreground of the stage-managed theatrics devised to conceal big business interests, exposing the naked truth beneath the mantle of legitimacy which media consultants – the real fictioneers of today – spend their days carefully spinning.
bureau d’études: autonomizing cartography
The truth-value of fiction, particularly when wielded with humour, can be powerful indeed. But in the end, the point is to incite people to look at the real – and to do something about it. Mapping information, power and influence networks, producing flowcharts that link the often invisible, overlapping interests of technological, bureaucratic and economic power – in short, the component parts of biocracy in the era of the post-national state – has been the project of the art collective, bureau d’études over the past eight or so years. The Paris-based group has produced a dozen or so cognitive maps in an attempt to foster autonomous knowledge – autonomous, that is, from the monopoly held by the information-production regime of contemporary capitalist society. While many of the maps are denunciatory, revealing the collusion between pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications, media and resource-extraction interests, others contribute to solidarity by drawing attention to networks of alternative knowledge and power (social centres, alternative media coops, squats, etc.). Typically, the group produces hand-out maps (60 x 84 cm), which are distributed in contexts where such autonomizing cartographic information may be empowering – in demonstrations or social forums, for instance. What is significant is that nothing whatsoever indicates that the maps have anything to do with art: of course, if one thinks about the extraordinary intricacy – and no less remarkable legibility – of the maps’ design, one might well conclude that they are informed by art-related, graphic-design skills. Yet, situated outside the legitimating frame of the artworld, from which they have freed themselves financially and ideologically, they lay no claim to artistic status, and as such are diametrically opposed to Kant’s “purposeless purpose” of aesthetic delectation: their objective purpose is clearly the production of autonomous knowledge. For it would be a mistake to reduce bureau d’études’ work to graphic design alone: the maps are not an end in themselves, but an art-informed contribution to a far broader resistance to the transnational production line. Unfolding the map, one is confronted with an almost dizzying accumulation of information; bewilderment however quickly yields to fascination and – thanks to the index of proper names on the back of the map – to the desire to investigate these unnoticed ties of power more carefully. The maps designed by bureau d’études have often been compared to the wonderfully detailed maps, hand-drawn by the late New York-based artist Mark Lombardi. The information presented is indeed comparable – but after all, the information is all publicly available and verifiable, and appears seditious only because the links are seldom explicitly drawn. The difference lies in the very different artistic status of the two projects, and the entirely different gaze to which that status leads: whereas Lombardi produced unique artworks whose coefficient of artistic visibility was consequently maximal, bureau d’études batch-print and distribute their maps by the thousands, inviting an entirely different perception.
AAA Corp: the use-value of the artworld
What bureau d’études does in figurative terms – pulling apart the intricate semiotic machinery of post-Fordist capitalism and reassembling it in unconventional ways – the group AAA Corp, also based in France, does in entirely literal, hands-on fashion. With technical means and an esprit de bricolage comparable to what one might find in an automotive repair shop in the outskirts of Africa, the group’s members recuperated the carcass of a Mercedes 508 diesel truck, which they entirely redesigned and re-outfitted into a mobile and (more or less) roadworthy silkscreen studio, which they drive from event to event, making the silkscreen equipment available to those who wish to use it to print stickers, etc. Behind this low-tech, autonomous media truck, known as AAA Corp Serigraphik (2001), they tow a mobile pirate FM radio station (AAA Corp Transmission, 1999), comprised of a sound and broadcasting studio which is also open to all those desirous to disseminate alternative information. A second trailer has been revamped as a fully functional refinery for extracting oil from such oleaginous plants as rape seed. The oil produced serves a double purpose: as an edible oil for salad dressing and French fries, and as a fuel oil used for running the group’s expanding fleet of vehicles. In this instance, AAA Corp’s slightly blurred, yet nonetheless undeniable, visibility on the radar screens of the artworld is a crucial tactical component in the group’s work: just as the legitimacy of using a pirate radio broadcasting unit is dependent on the group’s quasi-art status (“It’s just art!”), so too their provocative use of self-pressed (and thus of course road tax-free) fuel oil to run their trucks escapes prosecution because of the exceptional status of art-related activities as opposed to their merely real counterparts. In this respect, AAA Corp is playing a double game; however, the contradiction is a productive one, for it enables them to engage in a reciprocal questioning both of the use-value of art and of the artworld (which in this light appears to be founded less upon a commitment to freedom than on the extension of privilege). The group’s point is not to suggest that the world should abandon fossil fuels, nor even to merely condemn the wars waged to ensure their extraction, in favour of rape seed fuels – which would necessitate growing vast tracts of pesticide-concentrated monoculture. The point is to offer a tangible and infectious example of do-it-yourself autonomy.
Grupo de Arte Callejero: Making absence felt
Its name notwithstanding, the Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC, “Street Art Group”) is, of the four groups mentioned, undoubtedly the one with the lowest coefficient of artistic visibility, though its contribution to enhancing the visibility of popular movements in Argentina has been highly significant. Founded in 1997 in Buenos Aires, it is currently made up of eight members, some of whom have formal artistic training, while others are bio-chemists or graphic designers. The group works in situations of public participation, rather than art-referenced contexts, using its graphic-design and art-related competencies to challenge the public consumption and foster the public production of signs. Over the past few years, the GAC has worked with the steering committee of the H.I.J.O.S. movement (“Hijos” is the Spanish word for sons and daughters, and was founded by the children of some of the 30,000 people those who were “disappeared” by the military dictatorship), in organizing public actions with the objective of drawing attention to the ongoing presence in Buenos Aires’ residential neighbourhoods of those who, in one capacity or another, took part in the criminal activities of the military government. These actions, highly specific to the Argentine context, and developed by H.I.J.O.S. in 1995, are known as escraches. An escrache is a sort of collective performance, where the production of memory and knowledge is inseparable from the production of form. The point is not so much to demand that the perpetrators of the genocide and political repression – which were of course not carried out by a handful of officers and their henchmen but required an extensive network of profiteers from all walks of life – be brought to trial, nor certainly to lynch them in a further miscarriage of justice, but to shed light on the role they played and their ongoing impunity, in order to constitute a sort of social memory and a popular understanding at the neighbourhood level of how the dictatorship actually functioned, so as to prevent its re-emergence. To this end, the GAC has developed a full array of tools – street signs indicating the location of clandestine detention centres, city maps showing the addresses of the perpetrators of repression – that the group deploys itself and makes available to others.
To a greater extent than the other examples I have mentioned, the GAC has chosen to inject art-specific competence into social processes as a tangible form of energy, while at the same time maintaining art as such in a state of objective absence. What they do is not art, yet without art it would not be possible to do it. This paradox underscores an ethical imperative: how could art adequately reconcile form and content to represent the absence of the 30,000 people assassinated by Argentina’s military regime some two decades ago, for it is not their presence which is absent, but their absence which is so devastatingly present. In such circumstances, and others too, art must have the grace to respect that absence with its own.
An earlier version of the above text was first published in the leaflet accompanying the exhibition “The Future of the Reciprocal Readymade,” shown at Apexart, New York, March 17 – April 17, 2004.
1. Marcel Duchamp, “Apropos of ‘Readymades’”, was initially given as a lecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 19, 1961; first published in Art and Artists, 1, 4 (July 1966), it is included in Michel Sanouillet and Elmer Peterson (eds.), The Writings of Marcel Duchamp (New York: Da Capo, 1989), p. 32. The text is easily accessible online, at http://iaaa.nl/cursusAA&AI/duchamp.html. In a spirited television interview with Guy Viau on Radio Canada, first aired on July 17, 1960, Duchamp gave an even more explicit description of his notion of reciprocal readymades. A transcription of this little known conversation is now available in French on the website of the online journal Tout-fait (vol. 2, isue 4, january 2002):
2. The Yes Men, email correspondence with the author, April 27, 2003.
Visual Identity and Virtual Community
From Avatars to Webcams
"Introduction: Identity plays an inherent role in defining our social interactions. In face-to-face communication, many physical cues exist with which to convey our identity and our intentions. In the realm of computer-mediated communication, identity becomes a much more ambiguous conception. Traditional platforms for online interaction are largely defined by language and text, stripping away many of the visual cues that we are used to. What are the ways in which visual identities are manifested online? This paper will explore some key issues related to visual identity in virtual communities, with a focus on avatars and webcams, and how traditional notions of identity may be transformed by these emerging modes of online representation." From Visual Identity and Virtual Community by Karyn Y. Lu, Atopia: Polylogic E-Zine.
May 12, 2005
Building Blocks for Collaboration
Audio d-touch, by Enrico Costanza is a set of 3 tangible interface applications for music composition and performance: the Augmented Stave, the Tangible Drum Machine and the Physical Sequencer. It uses a consumer-grade web camera and customizable block objects to provide an interactive tangible interface for a variety of time based musical tasks such as sequencing, drum editing and collaborative composition. Three instruments are presented here. Future applications of the interface are also considered. It was developed with Simon Shelley at the University of York. Informal observations revealed that the mapping strategy employed make the interfaces very intuitive and simple to use. Read more [PDF]
Robotic Webcam Embedded in Multi-User Environment
During live events viewers can choose to either actively control the camera's point of view and zoom level or to passively observe other user's choices. Images and text may be saved and stored in a shared archive. Excerpts of Coupland's text are superimposed upon the webcam images that show the characters in everyday surroundings such as kitchen, forest or work place. Caught in a loop of activity, struck by a frenzy or interrupted in a daydream, they incorporate Coupland's quest for meaning and soul searching in Life After God.
May 11, 2005
Users Transform Real Into Virtual
Diogo Terroso’s Natural Interfaces uses objects from nature to create a physical interface for controlling the emergence of a virtual terrain. Real objects such as tree branches, leafs and sand, function as an interface between the visitors and the art piece. By moving and repositioning the physical objects in space, the visitors initiate the real-time transformation of a digital landscape, in which mountains emerge, clouds move in the sky and trees grow. Evolutionary processes are inter-connected with the interaction, making the visitors pro-active in the development of the virtual environment. The concept departs from the idea of opening a dialogue between the real and the virtual by the interaction with physical objects. [via]
Collective Subconscious--by Zehao Chang--is an installation that imprints reverberating thoughts on a public space as people move through it. Traces of one's thoughts are left behind in the gallery and "collaged" with other people's thoughts. New messages are prominently placed while older messages slowly fade away. Words that are repeated by many people will become larger and brighter. As such the display becomes a visual representation of people's state of being.
Each person has a unique RFID tag that has a personal message associated with it; the message can be modified at any time through a web page. When a visitor places the tag near the RFID sensor, the data is sent to a computer and the new message is added to the collage with a short highlight. If a word in the new message is already present in the collage, each instance of that word would highlight and reverberate, echoing in unison the idea they are trying to convey. The message would then slowly fade into the background, waiting for repetition of its words. The collage generated is then projected onto a wall. [via]
Street Art for All
Omnivisu--an urban installation by Willy Sengewald and Richard The--was designed for a facade at the S/U station Warschauer Str. which is "not only a symbol of the desolated GDR–industries. It is a relict of the new–economy boom and its ending as well as the arrival of MTV and Universal."
The tower at the the S/U station has an odd glass cube on the top and the artists decided to give it eyes. The passersby could participate by looking inside the box. Their eyes were then projected onto the glass–front of the tower, making it look like the head of a robot with ever changing and personalized eyes. The project was an attempt to make "street–art that anybody can influence and use playfully." Movie. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970
Radically Rethinking the Object of Art
Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970 brings together the work of international artists who radically rethought the object of art in the late 1960s and 1970s. The featured artists sought to connect with the increasingly urgent political developments of the decade and make their work more responsive to the world around them. Building on the structures of Minimalism and Conceptualism, they reacted against art's traditional focus on the object by adopting experimental aesthetic 'systems' across a variety of media including photography, dance, performance, painting, installation, video and film.
The exhibition begins with a room devoted to the cube exploring how artists reacted and rebelled against it. Included is Hans Haacke's Condensation Cube(1963-65) which directly responds to the conditions of the space it is exhibited in thus exploring the direct relationship between an object and its environment. Also presented are key installations from this period, including Hélio Oiticica's Projecto Filtro - Para Vergara New York 1972, Gordon Matta Clark's collaborative work Anarchitecture (1974) and Mel Bochner's Measurement: Room (1969).
Cut & Splice 2005: Dots and Lines
The Gap Between Ideas and Experience
Sonic Arts Network and BBC Radio 3 are proud to announce the programme for the most ambitious Cut and Splice to date. This year’s Cut and Splice presents DOTS AND LINES, a cluster of events that explore the idea of notation and the relationship between score, image, text and sound in electronic music and sound art.
Focusing on the gap between ideas and experience, between abstract concepts and their relation to the tangible, DOTS AND LINES considers the analytical, performative and documentary nature of music as written document and code. It throws into relief our very concept of what constitutes the musical experience and considers the complex dialogue between time based and static art forms.
The series includes gallery and online exhibitions, a concert series, and weekly radio programmes for Radio 3’s Hear and Now.
Cut & Splice is an annual festival of performance and exhibition that explores key themes and ideas in the history of art, technology and music. It is co-curated by the BBC and Sonic Arts Network and it takes place in May each year. Each year the festival showcases the work of the leading artists in the field of radical electronic music and digital sound art.
Interactive Sound and Tactile Environment
Francis Rwama presents his latest work Wireless, an interactive audio installation based on the sound and touch world of visually impaired people. Using sounds specially recorded in Uganda, West Africa and London, Francis has created an environment that reflects the orientation of his world without sight - the magic, the frustrations, the cautions and the subtleties.
Wireless invites the audience to explore the darkness, to question their relationships with sound and asks, how do we navigate and respond to everyday sounds, space and proximity without a visual landscape of confirmation? Tactile pieces designed by collaborator Diane Pungartnik create a boundary mapping of the space, adding a textural layer coupled with often humorous relationships to order in this experience of sensory deprivation and enhancement.
16 May – 27 May 2005
Stoke Newington Gallery
Stoke Newington Library
Stoke Newington Church Street
London N16 0JS
Enquiries and group bookings: 020 8806 5401
Mon 16 May: Launch 6pm-8pm, Mon 23 May: 10am-8pm, Tues/Thurs/Fri: 10am-8pm, Wed: 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sunday closed
Alternative format materials will be available
Guide dogs are welcome
Guidance will be available for VI visitors if required
Locative Media in the Wild
Human Interaction with Space
An invitation to researchers, faculty, staff, and graduate and PhD students to submit a letter of interest for a 4-day interdisciplinary workshop--Locative Media in the Wild--to be held July 20th- July 23rd*, 2005 at the Crooked Creek Research Facility in the White Mountains of Inyo County, California. Convened by Brett Stalbaum and Naomi Spellman, Interdisciplinary Computing Arts, University of California San Diego. Funded by the UCSD Center for the Humanities and the UC Humanities Research Institute the goal of this workshop is to share knowledge, methods, and tools between various research disciplines that have a focus on human interaction with space. Our hope is to identify common interests as well as blind spots among a range of disciplines, in order to enrich the various practices represented, and to inspire new areas of research. Four individuals will be chosen to participate. Each will be provided with overnight accommodations, all meals, travel expenses ($300 cap), and $500 compensation.
BACKGROUND The fields of cognitive science, anthropology, archaeology, sociology, psychology, dance, art, computer science, the earth sciences, and geography are concerned with the negotiation of space. Recent advances in wireless telecommunications, sensor technology, and Geographic Information System tools have inspired a tide of experimental creative projects. These tools are being used to address how communication, navigation, and big data are played out in space. As the landscape and urban streets become the canvas for ubiquitous computing applications, what kinds of possibilities emerge? How can research across multiple disciplines enrich the various practices?
WORKSHOP GOALS AND ACTIVITY While the workshop is intended to yield useful tools and problem-solving methods for all workshop participants, we are most concerned with fostering an interaction among disciplines, and examining and expanding upon how researchers approach spatial problems. Discussion and facilitated activity will set up a framework for activity over the 3-day workshop. Participants will be asked to present and demonstrate their own approach to spatial problems, and to collaboratively address problems outside their discipline.
The problem(s) addressed will be culled from workshop participants. Possible approaches include but are not limited to: Geographic Information System software, GPS-enabled mobile phones, narrative strategies, social navigation, performance (performative engagement of surrounding), data visualization, and data mining. Mediated or unmediated, digital or analogue a variety of means to communicate with and through space will be explored. A people-centered approachwill be emphasized in a supportive and flexible environment. Results of the workshop will be made publicly available online. Results will serve as a basis for ongoing multi-disciplinary research in this area.
WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS Participants may be at any stage in their career, and do not need tobe affiliated with an institution, academic or otherwise.
WORKSHOP LOCATION The physical location should inspire activities with a range of possible scales, problems, methods, and outcomes. By placing the research group outside of a familiar context, participants will be encouraged to rely on each other to address problems that engage the surrounding. The Crooked Creek facility is located at 10,000 feet in the White Mountains in Central California. Facilities and labs include dormitory-style rooms, a weather station, a Geographic Information System lab, and high-speed telecommunications.
TO SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTEREST Please email a short letter of interest to email@example.com with "Locative Workshop" in the subject line. Attach your CV. Explain how your research activity or practice relates to this general theme. Include any specific information you deem relevant. Letters of Interest should be received by June 10, 2005. Questions should be directed to naomi.spellman[at]gmail.com or stalbaum[at]ucsd.edu.
*Date of workshop to be confirmed
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION An online discussion and bibliography hosted by Brett Stalbaum and Naomi Spellman, November 2004: Exploring and defining the social and cultural implications of Geographic Information System tools and computerized mapping in a multidisciplinary setting: http://34n118w.net/UCHRI/
prog:ME (programa de mída eletronica)
Programa de Mída Eletronica
prog:ME (programa de mída eletronica) is the 1st Festival of Electronic Media of Rio de Janeiro which will be an annual event in the city. Organized by Carlo Sansolo and Érika Fraenkel, the festival will take place on the 19th July until the 18th September 2005 in the Centro Cultural Telemar, in Rio de Janeiro-RJ, with 30.000 reais in prizes (approximately $11,000 US). The deadline for application is 15th of June of 2005. To apply please go to www.progme.org.
The event hopes to contribute to the stimulation of national production by highlighting new and established artists who develop works of art and technology, domestically and internationally. Running parallel to this is a program of invited foreign curators who will introduce artists of video-art from around the globe.
In this festival we’ll be inviting submissions for net-art, interactive cd-roms and dvds, and video-art works; we’ll also exhibit performance and urban intervention pieces using electronic media. There will be talks with theorists in electronic arts; workshops; electronic music shows with DJs/VJs and talks with selected artists who will be presenting their works.
There will be 10 prizes of 3000 reais each, five destined for national artists and five for international artists, distributed in the categories of net-art, interactive cd-rom/dvd and video-art.
All the participants will receive a catalogue, the catalogue will register all the activities developed on the event, all this information will be also at this web site, and it will feature more Data regarding every work and every artist. All the net art works will be also available from the web site through links and we intend to keep all this info and the works as an on-line catalogue.
All the activities, and the programme will be published on this site so you can have follow what is going on.
Any queries about the event please send an email to info[at]progme.org
May 10, 2005
Public Discourse>>Public Space
"Various ideas of ‹the public› have been theorized at least since the Greeks, but whether it is Socrates confronting Callicles about mob rule in Plato's Gorgias or Jürgen Habermas' «public sphere,» Walter Lippmann's «big picture» or Mouffe's agonistics, this public has almost always been intimately connected with a parallel notion of public space. From the agora to the piazza to the commons to the park, in some sense robust public discourse can only flourish in public space. In part this is an issue of audience. What makes discourse public is having an audience. With the rise of the printed press, radio, television, and now Internet-enabled communications, the potential public expands beyond physical space into the virtual spaces of communications systems.
In contemporary culture, a number of spheres of activity intersect: speech, art, identity, communications systems, economic and legal regimes. In the so-called public domain, these activities increasingly conflict. This is not necessarily a new development, but with the increasing mediatization and hybrid virtualization of each of these spheres, the boundaries between public, private, commercial and government are in flux." From Public Sphere_s by Steve Dietz
Beyond the Archive: Bit Mapping
"Let me get right to the point. A «spatial turn» has recently been announced in Cultural Studies: privileging mapping.  There is a difference between the culturalogical notion of «mapping,» which refers to cartography, and the technological and mathematical use of the term, which means «mapping one content on another.» Do the respective media in which mapping takes place make a difference for the notion of mapping? In digital operations, «space» is nothing but a metaphor. There is space in the physical world, but a map is just a model of space, not space itself. And this model itself is not spatial, but logistical: anaesthetic; not for physical experience, but for cognition, for our mental computing. Why then is there such an abundance of metaphorical representation in cyber‹space›? This is for users, i.e. human use, because the human capacity for data navigation is bound to spatio-temporal metaphors, whereas communication between computers, operating in discrete states, does not need mapping metaphors at all." Continue reading Beyond the Archive: Bit Mapping by Wolfgang Ernst [via]
May 09, 2005
A Percussive Site Work
Tip tap tip tap. Is that the sound of dripping or is it someone in a cell tapping a code on the wall? Now there are many more tapping sounds. Far and near. Loud and soft. Now someone is banging on a pipe, now a cupboard. Now the hall is filled with a cacophony of beats, working their way back and forth, a PANDEMONIUM of percussion.
Using the existing elements in the prison cells Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have made the entire Cellblock Seven into a giant musical instrument, producing a percussive site work. This instrument, controlled by a computer and midi system, is made up of one hundred and twenty separate beaters hitting disparate objects such as toilet bowls, light fixtures and bedside tables found within the prison cells. The composition begins subtly as if two prisoners are trying to communicate and then moves through an abstract soundscape and lively dance beats until it reaches a riot-like crescendo.
Cardiff and Miller were born in Canada, and currently live and work in Berlin. Their signature audio and video walks have been presented in many cities, including New York, London, Rome, Pittsburgh, Berlin, Muenster and San Francisco. In 2001 they won a Premio Prize for their installation, The Paradise Institute at the Venice Biennale.
The massive Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Its gothic, castle-like towers stood as a grim warning to lawbreakers in the young United States. This was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison intended to inspire profound regret – or penitence—in the hearts of criminals. The influential design featured cellblocks extending like the spokes of a wheel; each inmate lived in solitary confinement in a vaulted sky-lit cell. The prison itself had running water and central heat before the White House, and once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.
Eastern State closed in 1971. The prison stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and a place of surprising beauty. Today the prison is among the most popular visitor attractions in Philadelphia, hosting exhibits on both prison history and artist installations. Eight other artist installations will be on view during the 2005 season.
Cardiff and Miller will present Pandemonium in Cell Block Seven, a massive, cathedral-like, two-story wing completed in 1836. It has never been open to the public, and has been stabilized especially for this exhibition. The installation will open to the public on May 12, 2005 and will remain on view through November.
Pandemonium is the second installation at Eastern State organized by Philadelphia-based independent curator Julie Courtney. She co-curated Prison Sentences: The Prison as Site/The Prison as Subject, fourteen site-specific installations by twenty artists in 1995.
The public can find more information about upcoming events and the publication for Pandemonium at http://www.easternstate.org or (215) 236-3300.
Pandemonium has been funded by the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by the University of the Arts, Philadelphia; The Pew Fellowships in the Arts; The National Endowment for the Arts; and the LEF Foundation. [via e-flux]
In Response to the 'Unknown'
Based in New Zealand, as far from Venice as you can get, the group et al. will use the internet to monitor and make changes to their installation at the 51st Venice Biennale of International Art. This will allow group members to continue working in New Zealand and around the world while retaining 24/7 contact. Et al.’s installation, The Fundamental Practice will be representing New Zealand at the 51st Venice Biennale of International Art.
Central to et al.’s work is an exploration of the human tendency to establish truths and orthodoxies in response to the ‘unknown’. It is a concern that is reflected in et al.’s long-standing choice not to reveal their identities. The group is currently steered by one artist who remains anonymous outside the title et al., thereby protecting her own mutability, and the homogeny of the group.
A Mutual Friend
Creative Interventions in Daily Life
A Mutual Friend attempts to explore how your mobile phone can act as a platform for cultural experiences; as a medium for reflecting on the human condition and as a means for making creative interventions in daily life. The project sets out to propose and develop a mobile phone application which engages with the developing patterns of social behaviour in relation to mobile phones.
Increased mobility has brought about an increasingly disjointed relationship to physical and social space. The transit from home to driveway > car > side street > bypass > industrial estate to workplace and back can be sparsely populated. Public spaces are more likely to be areas of transit, weariness and solitude than of easy sociability, participation, frankness and debate. The mobile phone has had an ambiguous role in these spaces, at once, providing a means to feel safe and talk to friends, while disrupting your attachment to those around you. These are the spaces which A Mutual Friend aims to work in.
Art on the Move in Montreal
The MDCN Symposium featured presentations on the following MDCN projects:
Global Heart Rate: Project Lead/Chef de projet : Sara Diamond; Project Participants/Participants au projet : Tom Donaldson, David Gauthier, Anita Johnston, Geoff Lillemon--Global Heart Rate is a large-scale game experience for players and learners in specific urban and natural outdoor environments. It will eventually be networked over distance and amongst time zones. The current version takes place in Banff National Park. These participant-driven mobile experiences are both fun and informative, utilizing the structure of a game todisseminate interactive knowledge about a particular topic, such as Banff's wealth of natural history. Technically, these experiences include real-time synchronous and asynchronous processes, allowing immediate and/or thoughtful response.
Players use mobile telephones and a wearabletechnology component that enters information from sensor data. A rich, information-sharing experience for participants is enhanced by Global Heart Rate's use of micro movies, blue tooth networking, GPS mapping and data caching. Other research outcomes include a mobile gaming authoring system and iterative engineering/content methodology. Mimichi and the Flower Throw games are developed using participatory design methods.
Digital Cities: Project Lead/Chef de projet : Michael Longford & Kajin Goh; Project Participants/Participants au projet : Amitava Biswas, Daniel Lemay, Bita Mahdaviani, Antoine Morris, Rongxin Zhang
Digital Cities presents a locative media project designed for Parc Émilie-Gamelin using sound, image and GPS (Global Positioning System) sensors. An exploration of the urban environment as a wireless ecology, the project looks at the ways in which memory is inscribed in space, drawing on field recordings, oral history, and archival material to form a deeply-layered spatio-temporal mediascape. The viewer's orientation in space shapes the nature of their audio-visual experience. As they move through the site, different media events attached to GPS coordinates are triggered, ranging from sound (heard through headsets) to images and micro-movies (displayed on a handheld PDA). This project repositions our relationship within space and information flows somewhere between the public and the private, the material and the immaterial, and the virtual and the real.
CitySpeak: Project Lead/Chef de projet : Jason Lewis; Project Participants/Participants au projet : David Bouchard, Zehuan Liu, Bruno Nadeau, Alexander Taler, Frank Tsonis
CitySpeak is an investigation of how data acquired from an urban environment’s virtual networks can be used to investigate the same urban space’s physical environment. Using the Île sans fil hotspots in Montréal, CitySpeak selects several locations in the city that are rich nodes of both virtual and real-world traffic, and samples the geo-encoded data related to these particular locations. The dynamic qualities of the data are processed using a database called Next Text to construct ‘texts’ that interpret the data and determine how the texts will be represented visually. The resulting stream of text is layered back onto the locations using both very intimate (PDAs) and very public (large-scale projections) technology.
Mobile Cartographic Command Centre (MC3): Project Lead/Chef de projet : Marc Tuters & Karlis Otto Kalnins; Project Participants/Participants au projet : Jesse Cizauskas, Luke Moloney, Jaanis Garancs, Adrian Sinclair, Gabe Sawhney
Advances in peer-to-peer technology are changing how we connect to the internet as well as to each other, bringing about the idea of a niche-driven Commons. This installation presents the research of the MC3 mobile media lab, an art-led technology development project that explores concepts around unlicensed wireless communication, and civic engagement in the Canadian context. Housed within a modular field-research unit, the installation functions as a forward command post for map interpretation, digital piracy, and civic surveillance via an airborne remote visualization system.
Policy Report: Project Lead/Chef de projet: Barbara Crow; Project Participants/Participants au projet : Candice D'Souza, Ganaele Langlois, Samantha Moonsammy
The policy component of the MDCN project is reviewing and assessing the current status of national and international, industry, and social movement regulations of wireless communications in several countries. [blogged by tobias van veen on MDCN]
Flickr Peep Show
Flickr Peep Show is an interactive SMS installation based on photos from the photosharing website Flickr.com. Users are encouraged to submit a keyword via SMS, after which photos from the Flickr database that are tagged with the particular keyword are projected onto a surface that is visible through a number of peepholes.
Flickr Peep Show is exhibited at Mediamatic/POST CS in Amsterdam during May and June 2005. Furthermore, in the course of week 19, the installation Playing FLICKR (similar to the Flickr Peep Show) will be running at the Club/Restaurant 11, allowing dinner guests and club goers to interact with surrounding Flickr projections, also via SMS. Finally, read The Sacred Banality of Everyday Life, an interview with Martin Butler on his performance Ritter, Dene, Voss during the opening of Flickr Peep Show. [via]
De-Grammatical: Rhythm and Language Transformation
Art of Noises
Next at HTTP// [House of Technologically Termed Praxis]: De-Grammatical: Rhythm and Language Transformation by Elisabeth Penker: For the opening--Tuesday 10 May 2005 7-9pm--Penker will perform live to the composition "Die Bildhauerin."
At the turn of the last century the Futurists introduced sounds of motors and vocals as instruments for orchestras, which consequently influenced Dada and Fluxus movements that pioneered the early days of electronic music. The Dadaists phonetically experimented with grammatical structures. Penker combines these different approaches to rhythm and language transformations. Die Bildhauerin breaks up the grammatical structure of the word "DIE-BILD-HAU-ER-IN" into minimal units which are called morphemes. The composition is arranged with the sound of two stone masons, chiselling this broken grammatical structure into a wall.
The morphemes build the base rhythms of the composition. The performance is supported by a sonic structure constructed of wood and various industrial floor materials which are amplified and function as instrument and interactive sound sculpture during the exhibition. The audience can play on the sonic structure, and this is combined structurally with the conceptual logic of Luigi Russolo’s (1913) Manifesto, The Art of Noises and the technical methodology of Jack Foley’s recordings for films.
Exhibition: 10 May - 5 June 2005, Friday - Sunday 12-5pm
HTTP gallery is pleased to present Austrian artist Elisabeth Penker's first solo exhibition in the UK. In her work Elisabeth Penker is questioning visual structures in relation to language. By decoding visual systems and displacing rhythm and language into a non-linear structure, Penker is showing the commonality of Modern Art and First Nation Art. It is of particular interest how polysynthetic languages which are common in First Nation Languages (i.e. there is no clear distinction between a word and a sentence), compare to Indo-European languages and how visual languages relate to grammar and syntax.
Elisabeth Penker, born 1974 lives and works in Vienna recent exhibitions include:
2005 "The Red Thread" Howard House Contemporary, Seattle
2004 "Sound Studio" Gallery Priestor for Contemporary Arts, Bratislava,
SK "Born to be a Star" Künstlerhaus, Vienna
2003 "Sound System", Salzbuger Kunstverein, Salzburg, A ; Liste 03 with
Galerie Michael Hall, Vienna (solo), "Selected Sound Sculptures",
Galerie 5020 Salzburg /A (solo)
2002 "Butterfly reached the sound-barrier", Kibla New Media Center,
Maribor, SL; "Waiting for the Ice Age"(curated by Michael Hall), Galerie
Georg Kargl, Vienna; "hear the art", Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna
2001 Kunstbüro, Vienna (solo) "First Story-Women Building", Galerie do
Palacio Cristal, Porto (curated by Ute Meta Bauer) and "(untitled)
654321", Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, DK (curated by Jacob
Fabricius & Tommy Lund)
"De-Grammatical: Rhythm and Language Transformation" is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum.
Unit A2, Arena Business Centre,
71 Ashfield Rd, London N4 1NY
Tube: Manor House, Buses: 341, 141,
Car: free parking facilities
for further information contact: info[at]http.uk.net
tel: +44 (0) 208-8022827
3D Navigable Platform Exhibition and Workshops
LAb[au] is happy to invite you to Liquid Space 01+02 exhibition + lqs03 workshop taking place at Brakke Grond, Amsterdam_ the Netherlands. Liquid Space is a series of artistic workshops LAb[au] is setting up with different cultural institutions to design spatial audiovisuals with a specific focus on collaborative and shared processes resulting in installations, exhibitions and performances.
Here, the space navigable music platform--a 3D engine developed by LAb[au]--is proposed as the starting-point for development and exchange to the invited artists. The engine is based on the principle of integrating different media in a structural, programmed manner, inside and through electronic space navigation. An environment where the performer navigates his created 3D space to compose music in real time, displayed in a 360° projection space and a quadra-phonic sound system.
..lqs01: deSIGNforms _ Nabi Art Center,Seoul
..lqs02: deSIGNing by numbers MediaRuimte, Brussels
..lqs03: deSIGNing feedback loop systems _ Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
..04.05 - 14.05.05: liquid space 03 - workshop
..10.05 _ 20.00 h: liquid space 01+02 exhibition opening + presentation
..11.05 - 14.05 _ 10.00 - 24.00 h: exhibition *
..14.05 _ 20.00 h: liquid space 03 closing event, performance
LAb[au] + Eavesdropper, Els Viaene, Petersonic invited by Brakke Grond to perform Exploring the Room in the context of the Liquid Space 03 deSIGNing feedback.loop systems workshop theme and as an opening-event of the Liquid Space 01+02 - exhibition.
Exploring the Room is a performance where music, best defined by the practice of soundscaping, and real time generated computer graphics stand on the same level. Establishing a constant dialog through its particular stage-design, sound and visuals are building the room, a 3.00 x 3.00 x 2.25 meters "cube" made out of projection screens and quadraphonic speaker setting, giving the minimal footprint able to host 3 musicians during 1.00 hour.
Performers and the audience are projecting shadows on the screen-walls, the system is capturing this image and reintroduce it as an overlaid projected image, closing the loop. All acting then is a matter of balance in between black and white, light and shadow, sound and silence, one and zero.
May 07, 2005
First Open Source Interactive Table
More from Cybersonica. Chris O'Shea presented another table to add to the list of musical tables. This one has a peculiarity though: it's the first to be open source. Sonicforms is an open source research platform developed to improve the research on tangible interfaces for audio visual environments by creating a community knowledge base and open tools for production.
Sonicforms is a repository for others to learn how to make their own interfaces and share their experiences; a set of tools for extending open source software to create these projects and of course it's also a physical installation. Video. SonicForms will be presented at OFFF in Barcelona, on May 13, 5.30pm. Open Room. The first showing of the installation will be at Submerge, 29th June - 1st July, Bristol UK. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
iFloor, developed by Interactive Spaces, University of Aarhus (Denmark), is an interactive floor aiming at encouraging users to communicate with each other. They can ask and answer questions through SMS or email and have them shown in a public space. The messages are registered by a server and displayed on the floor. Each question is marked with an ID reference number that is used when responding to the specific question. If someone answers a question the answer is both displayed on the floor and sent to the person who asked the question.
A remote server handles the questions and answers and a projector mounted on the ceiling connected to a local computer displays the messages on the floor. The floor works on the basis of a video tracking system observing the rim of the interface by means of a web cam mounted on the ceiling. The recordings of people’s position and movement are translated into magnetic forces attracting the cursor. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 05, 2005
LIVE FROM PARADISE
Three Venues, Four Performances
Nine people in three different cities perform together in one single production. An empty shop in Birmingham, a disused church in Colchester, a former courtroom in London merge to become a fourth imaginary space. Three audiences, one in each city, witness the performance simultaneously.
Live from Paradise is a global internet project that breaks new ground in live performance. The show takes place in three different locations which are linked by video streaming to create a simultaneous combined performance, telling a story that uses cinematic language to create a fourth imaginary space. In each place the audience witnesses a live performance and a large-screen video projections from the other two venues. The resulting single narrative is like a report transmitted from somewhere metaphysical – live from paradise. SATURDAY 21 MAY to SATURDAY 4 JUNE [no performance on 23 May] at 7:30pm
Station House Opera’s Live from Paradise is a co-production with De Daders, Amsterdam and premiered in October 2004 performed simultaneously in three apartments across the city. In 2006, Live from Paradise will be presented in three cities in Europe and finally at three locations on three different continents.
28, Commercial Street
London E1 6AB
Box Office: 07952 769633
Presented by Colchester Arts Centre
ST. Martins Church
Box Office: 01206500900
Presented by Fierce
The Mailbox, Wharf Side
Birmingham B1 1 XL
Box Office: 08707301234
Live from Paradise is produced by artsadmin Funded by Arts Council of England
Contact Judith Knight email: judith[at]artsdmin.co.uk
tel: +44 (0) 20 7247 5102 fax: +44 (0) 20 7247 5103
Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6AB
Full-Body Interfaces for Linking People
CINE--by Miro Kirov, Houston Riley, and James Tunick--is a new type of networked computing environment that exists in an immersive dynamic space instead of in a PC box. Its displays fill entire walls instead of being confined to small, isolating screens. It is our belief that the mouse and 2D desktop are dated and inadequate. CINE's full-body interfaces will allow richer modes of expression and creative 3D data organization will engage users, inspiring a sense of magic while also making information retrieval and collaboration more efficient.
Similar to the futuristic vision of the *Holodeck, CINE is envisioned as an immersive visualization platform and advanced collaboration space equipped with an intuitive multi-user gesture interface. CINE, however, is not merely an illusionary virtual space, it is a mixed-reality space that augments group experiences by linking people in virtual spaces to people in real spaces. [via ColumnNetwork]
Phonurgia Nova awards 2005
Sound is Art))): Call For Entries
"The Loud-speaker is probably the greatest common denominator in all our lives to-day. Video, multimedia, car radios, mobile phones are all crafting a new life for sound. In all domains sound is an objet of research, of reflexion. It is essential to open up creative, imaginative spaces for sound. And to encourage people to listen."-Christian Leblé
#01 Background: Among the prizes awarded for acoustic creation, the Phonurgia Nova competition has, since 1986, occupied a special place by virtue of its recognition of artists whose work exploits sound as a medium for expressing the real and the imaginary. The contest is open to all radio station formats and to all authors, independant radio producers, musicians, composers, sound artists. An international jury panel made up of representatives from the radio industry, the press and the sound art world judge the entries. In 2003, 150 productions from 19 different countries were entered in the prize.
#02 Call for Works
This year's competition will distinguish authors whose work manifests a keen sense of sound and listening as means of expression. The jury will deliberate on two areas:
A) Radio Arts will privilige all forms of inventive radiophonic creation: documentary, feature, fiction, essays, radio mix, Hörspiel, experimental forms etc.
B) New Media awards will go to sound installations or works which have been specially created for "new media" to bring new experiences in sound art to listeners - mobile phone, audioblog, website .
In each category the jury will deliberate on two types of work:
#03 How to apply
The competition is open to all artists without exception and for any work produced later than 2001, regardless of language, format, duration or genre. Each work or project submitted must be accompanied by a separate registration form, filled out in English or in French, and must be sent on a separate CD or other digital medium.
Each submission must include
-for finished products: a digital copy or transfer of the work (audio CD or DVD), accompanied by a well documented presentation of the work
-for projects: a description and/or maquette and/or a scenario of the project, accompanied by any documentation which could inform the jury as to the intention of and the technical facilities required for completion of the piece.
-a biography of the author(s) and general information concerning his (their) habitual manner of working (this will not be given to the jury).
-an authorization to participate from the production or the co-authors of the works submitted
-30 euros registration fee for each work submitted to the competition (there is a limit of two works per author).
One application form per project or production (and not one per author/producer)
An application form is available in PDF format from the link below
The jury will award: one Radio Arts prize and one New Media prize each of 1 500 euros and three artist's residencies at GRM/INA, IMEB and GMVL, (three famous french sound art centers located in Paris, Bourges and Lyon). Ten works will be selected in each area for presentation at the third Festival de l'Ecoute, Arles, july 2006. Additional prizes could be given at this time.
The closing date for registration of entries: September 1, 2005. Results will be announced on Saturday, October 1, 2005, in Paris at la Maison du Geste et de l'Image. The terms of artist-in residence will be organized during the year 2005-2006, in accordance with dates chosen by the prize winners. Prize winning works, or works produced during residencies, will be auditioned or exhibited at the Festival de l'écoute, Arles, 2006 and also by the associated production partners.
# 06 A listening room
From September 30th, an online "listening room" on www.transradio.org will enable visitors to have access to the selected works.
# 07 Sound archives
All the materials received at the Phonurgia Nova contest will constitue a permanent archive of audio works. This archive will be opened to the public.
# 08 Send Entry form and submissions must be received before September, 1st, at the address below :
Phonurgia Nova Awards
39, rue Genive
All payment from outside France must be made by Internatinal Money order, by a cheque written on a bank located in France, or by direct bank to bank transfer to Association PHONURGIA NOVA, Bank : BNP Arles, 10 place de la République, 13200 Arles, IBAN FR76 3000 4000 4400 0201 4673 195 / BIC BNPAFR PPNIM. All bank charges must be prepaid. No refunds will be made.
# 09 Further information
For further information about this competition, please feel free to contact the Phonurgia Nova office in Arles :
tél. + 33 (0) 4 90 93 79 79
fax. + 33 (0) 4 90 93 86 23
May 04, 2005
FIELDWORKS: Art-Geography Symposium at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, May 5-6, 2005--The 'field' is a shared and privileged space for both art and science. While geographical information gathered in the field is conventionally recorded and translated into graphic form, artists often engage landscape or the city for raw materials. New technologies and critical frameworks are currently transforming the nature and meaning of the field, the practices that take place there, and the ways both artists and geographers identify, secure and circulate field-founded knowledge. This symposium includes an evening of performance and a day of discussion to bring together practitioners from art, architecture, and geography to present original (field)works and address emerging relations between geographical science and artistic production.
Of Note: Thursday May 5, 2005 8:00 pm
Performance and open discussion (45 min): Ultra-red: In the world of modern electronic music and sound art, Ultra-red distinguish themselves for their intrepid blend of political commitment and innovative sound. This event, an original piece commissioned for Fieldworks, is a rare opportunity to see Ultra-red perform live in Los Angeles.
Public Spaces; Shared Places?
Mono-cultural to Inter-cultural: the networked public domain
Public Spaces; Shared Places? examines how and why public spaces are shared and valued in different ways. Public space as a policy idea has come of age over the past five years. But there’s nothing new about sharing space in cities. By its very nature urbanity has always been an experiment in spatial membership. Contact with others is both part of the appeal of living in cities but also determines how, why and where we move within them. This project starts from the standpoint that public space isn’t something that is simply created on the architect’s drawing board, but develops over time as a result of the interaction of complex social relationships.
The research process will widen the understanding of public space from something that exists in squares and parks, to a prism through which an entire city can be viewed. Rather than selecting specific spaces in a city to study, we seek to uncover the collective spaces that people value and how they are shared.
Public Spaces; Shared Places? WHY?
Public Spaces; Shared Places? DIARY
Public Spaces; Shared Places? OBJECTIVES
Public Spaces; Shared Places? PLACES
Public Spaces; Shared Places? PROJECT PEOPLE
[via Gerrit on Smart Mobs]
Next Gen VR Modeling
A giant leap forward in the realism of virtual reality (VR) may be just around the corner as a team of European researchers near the completion of a pioneering project to add textures, lighting effects and ‘feel’ to computer-generated 3D models. Launched in 2002, the RealReflect project was the first attempt to use a new image acquisition technique known as Bidirectional Texture Function (BTF) that captures the look and feel of different materials. [...]
"RealReflect is a major advancement over traditional virtual reality modelling, which basically relies on simplifications of reality by describing optical properties of a surface by a 2D matrix of data that does not show the real effects of lighting...Traditional virtual reality modelling, despite its name, lacks the feeling of reality and is a poor representation of it because the way things look highly depends on how they are illuminated and from what direction they are being viewed."
By taking those two aspects – lighting and viewing direction – into account, the RealReflect system is capable of acquiring and rendering in VR even the most subtle textures, from leather on a car seat and wood panelling on a dashboard to metallic paint or chrome on door handles. Textures can be acquired from physical samples and then rendered onto the 3D models. [Link to full image of gearshift on right modeled by Uffizi lighting] [...]
That in turn brings with it additional complications. In order to be able to realistically represent textures the system requires a thousand times more data than other VR modelling tools, leading the project partners to develop compression techniques for the BTF information. The compression allows the models to be viewed and worked on in real time. [...]
The project also developed methods to take a small acquired sample of a material and multiply it seamlessly on a 3D model, which when viewed would show not only the texture but also its appearance under different types of illumination from different angles.“
Make Your Mark
TouchMe is an interactive installation that allows people to create and add a personal image to a public space. Simply press a part of your body or objects against the frosted glass surface, and you'll leave a kind of imprint for you and others to see, as the results remain a part of the piece and are displayed when no interactions occurs for a given time.
TouchMe is intended for one of those modern public spaces that seem designed to withstand large flows of people without any impact, while passerbys would be glad to be able/allowed to physically interact with- and leave marks in their environment. Author: Dutch interaction design group Blendid. Quicktime video. The work will be shown at Digifest, at the Ontario Science Centre, on May 12-15. [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 03, 2005
The Lost Art of Screaming
Scream is a software application to facilitate screaming. Scream sits quietly in your computer's system tray and automatically springs into action when it detects a scream. Scream disturbs your Windows interface. But it isn't aimed just at computer frustrations. In a world where "anger" is paired with "management," Scream encourages the return to prominence of the lost art of screaming. As Howard Beale said in 1976, "I don't have to tell you things are bad.... all I know is that first you've got to get mad."
But whereas Howard advised his viewers to turn their television sets off to get mad, Scream proposes that you leave your computer on. Scream can be used in private. Or public. It can be used at home, at work, or on the street; at a Fluxus-style Scream-in; at the mall or at your favorite cafe. When your throat gets tired, Scream can double as an unusual music visualizer - or as a new approach to digital filmmaking. Use Scream to start a meme. Or simply as a random act of deprogramming. Try this (RealMedia)
Scream - The Screaming Enhancer. (Also indicated for use with door slams, domestic disputes, and police helicopters.) More info, demo movies, software download and more at: http://scream.deprogramming.us
For more Deprogramming software, VJ/musical performances, and more(?) visit the deprogramming.us homepage.
SPACE AND PERCEPTION
International Symposium on Mixed Reality
SPACE AND PERCEPTION: International Symposium on Mixed Reality May 20-21, 2005, Riga, Latvia. The symposium will focus on new phenomenon of Mixed Reality--the environment generated by new technologies that contain significant interaction possibilities in both virtual and physical spaces.
As we still have a limited number (of 3-5 spots) for artists and researchers (working in field related to Mixed Reality issues) to participate in symposium - we ask for an informal application -- please enclose short statement describing your field of research or project you would like to present. Deadline: May 9, 2005. Please send your submissions to rixc[at]rixc.lv (applications from Nordic-Baltic region, West-Russia/Belarus are particularly welcome).
The symposium will focus on the following themes:
MR + digital physics (computable space)
MR + navigation (transformation between real and virtual space maps)
MR + social interaction (public space in physical and virtual environments)
MR + sonification (sound architecture in interactive environments)
MR + game studies (industry vs. gamers)
MR + mobile media (role of users in future applications)
Throughout the existence of the humankind the understanding of space, its frontiers and dimensions has changed a number of times. During the last century the newest scientific theories and the researches in the structures of micro (atom and quantum) and macro (the universe) seek to expand the boundaries of the visible space. As the result of the development of information and communication technologies the new frontier-free space is opened up -- the virtual space of the electronic media.
At the beginning of the 21st century, when mobile media and wireless networks come into dominance - after surfing in the virtual world the navigation in physical space acquired importance. However nowadays in present reality we unavoidably interfere with pervasive media, daily dividing the attention between the events in virtual (media) and physical (real) space. The merger of the digital and physical space alters not only our perception of space but also the sense of the reality...
Artists, scientists, media researchers and technology experts will present their creative discoveries, newest ideas, theories and researches that have taken place in the fields related to space and perception.
Identifying the common in these different views on realities and perception of space, the aim of the symposium discussions is to contextualise and to set up the conceptual background for the development of emerging field of Mixed Reality. It also intends to activate the collaborative potential of the sciences, art, technology and other creative fields of contemporary society.
* Preliminary list of participants:
Maja Kuzmanovic / TRG project / FoAM/Belgium // Robert van Kranenburg / Amsterdam / Virtual Platform // Yon Visell / Croatia - (physicist) / Zero-Th Studio // Karmen Franinovic / Croatia - (architect/designer) / Zero-Th Studio // Alkan Chipperfield / Australia (anthropologist) // Geska Helena Andersson - The Trans-Reality Game Lab (studio director) / Interactive Institute / Gotland University // Sha Xin Wei / Canada - (media researcher and techno-scientist) // Juris Zhagars / Latvia - (scientist, radioastronomer) / VIRAC institute - tbc. // Nicholas Gaffney / FoAM/Belgium // Steven Pickles / FoAM/Belgium // Evelina Kusaite / FoAM/Belgium // Tim Boykett (artist) (Austria) / Time's Up // Andreas Mayrhof (artist) (Austria), Time's Up // Brigitta Zics (artist) / Germany // Perttu Hämäläinen (research scientist) / Finland / Telecommunications software and multimedia laboratory / Helsinki University of Technology // Normunds Kozlovs (sociologist) / Latvia and others...
The conceptual background for the symposium is developed in collaboration with EU Culture 2000 supported project "TRG - Trans Reality Generator" project team: FOAM (Belgium), TIMES UP (Austria), and KIBLA (Slovenia).
Developing the framework for this event are also previous RIXC research projects and networked activities on exploring fields of media architecture, acoustic space and locative media.
* Organisers and support:
The symposium is organised by the RIXC Center for New Media Culture (Latvia). Supported by the Latvian Ministry of Culture, Nordic Cultural Fund and Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation.
* Contact: rixc[at]rixc.lv or rasa[at]rixc.lv (Rasa Smite)
Mobile Bristol - Active Posters
Point and Scan
The Mobile Bristol Centre is part of the DTI’s City & Buildings Research Centre: "The purpose of Mobile Bristol is to provide an experimental test-bed for technology and user value research in pervasive mobile media. The vision of the test-bed is to provide a digital canvas over the city onto which rich situated digital experiences can be painted and new commercial ventures can be explored. As you walk through the city a diverse range of digital media experiences such as soundscapes, games, interactive media and art bring the city alive and augment the ambiance of the physical places."
Active Posters is part of the project in 2005: "Active posters are standard printed advertising posters that would be found on hoardings, at bus stops, outside cinemas or the Underground. Unlike standard posters, they have special "barcodes" printed on them. These are read using standard camera phones and link the poster to online content, applications and services." [blogged by Jon on Diablog]
Urban Game with Semacodes
GridLockd is an urban game, created by Mohit SantRam, where teams compete to capture grid positions in a half hour. Loosely based on Othello, a two player game of tiles, the game board is made up of 36 unique semacodes placed within intersection points on a 5 block by 5 block city grid. Using their camera phone to photograph a semacode, the first team to send it to semacode[at]gridlockd.net will win possession of the intersection.
Whichever team captures a point first claims the intersection but rivals can claim that intersection by capturing two surrounding intersections. This project is meant to display how semacodes, cameraphones, ad-hoc groups, and social dynamics are effected under time pressure. The work will be at the Spring Show 2005, on May 10-11, in New York (ITP - 721 Broadway, 4th Floor). [blogged by Regine on near near future]
May 02, 2005
Out of the Ink Jet and Into the Streets
Imprimatur, by Andy Deck, is a free, easy-to-use tool for producing posters. Users create or contribute to poster layouts via their web browser, print them, and place them strategically in the city. They then photograph the posters in situ and upload them to the website.
Creativity becomes a shared process, as unpredictable as the people who are passing through. The artist, rather than providing images, provides a system intended to activate the viewer's thought and expressiveness. Against the backdrop of a mass media culture that promotes conformity and passivity, Imprimatur encourages 'viewers' to choose themes and produce their own messages. It propels on-line expression out of the ink jet and into the streets.
"Imprimatur" is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Andy Deck is an American media artist specializing in Internet art. His work addresses the politics and aesthetics of collaboration, interactivity, software, and independent media. Deck's aesthetic program seeks a cultural break from the modernization of passive consumerism. Using the site Artcontext.net, he combines code, text, and image, demonstrating new patterns of participation and control that distinguish online presence and representation from previous artistic practices.
Deck is a co-founder of the environmentalist arts organization "Transnational Temps" which was awarded a prize in the VIDA 4.0 Art and Artificial Life Competition (Spain). His site, Artcontext, was a finalist for the 2003 Webby Award in NetArt. A retrospective of his online work was presented at Furtherfield (U.K.) in 2004; and, as part of the Athens-based arts collective, "Personal Cinema," he developed "The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game," a precursor to the game which won a 2005 award at the Electronic Media Art Festival. Deck teaches in the MFA Computer Art department at the School of Visual Arts, New York City.
The International Database of Corporate Commands
Just Obey Your Ads
"The chipper, poignant and irksome imperatives launched from all corners of daily routine by competing companies permeate our commutes, grocery lists, and vernaculars. Current mantras like 'Laugh More. Cry More. Experience More.' (Blockbuster), 'Try Being More Of A Woman!' (Coty Perfume) and 'Get the Most Incredible Memory Ever.' (Dell) make big demands or promises to their targets! The Institute for Infinitely Small Things, based in and out of Boston, endeavors to compile authoritative research on this topic, comprising a project called The International Database of Corporate Commands.
In the opinion that these commands function within society and public consciousness on a nano level that is virtual and powerful, the white-lab-coated Institute invites researchers from all over the world to upload documentation of corporate commands to their online database. By gathering them all in one place and enacting certain slogans in real spaces--a recent flash-mob-meets-teach-in 'microperformance' at a Cingular store produced 10 minutes of literal 'Roll(ing)over'--the institute hopes to produce a better understanding of the ramifications of constant commercial programming." - Kevin McGarry, Net Art News, Rhizome.