Upgrade! Boston


Monthly Archives: March 2009


Internet Art in the Global South @ Joburg Art Fair 2009 :: curated by Tegan Bristow (Upgrade! Johannesburg and Digital Arts Division of the Wits School of Arts) in collaboration with Upgrade! International: Boston – Turbulence.org, Berlin, Chicago, Lisbon, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem.

Internet Art in the Global South explores and highlights a broad range of Internet art genres by artists in the global south, and works orientated towards its geography and politics. The project was born out of an interest to uncover artists working with the Internet as a primary medium in South Africa. The selection grew to encompass works from or about South America and Asia. Reviewed in The Times (Johannesburg) and the Mail & Guardian.

Events Saturday, March 21st, 2009 at 7:38
Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Studio for Interrelated Media, North 181, Evans Way (off 621 Huntington Ave) Boston.

farbrookApril 14, 2009; 7:00 – 9:00 pm [map] Follow the signs posted on the outside of the Tower Building (black glass)[Green Line Train "E"]

Multi-media artist Joseph Farbrook grew up in Philadelphia and New York City. His father was a concrete poet and his mother a realist painter. He focused on performance and narrative while studying at the University of Colorado, where he wrote electronic music, poetry, and fiction. As he became interested in a more immersive approach to narrative, he began using computers and the Internet as creative media. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, he was subsequently discovered by the art department and offered a scholarship to pursue an MFA in digital art. Farbrook began creating electronic installations, interactive video, and virtual reality narratives. His work also includes media-reflexive live performances with interactive video projections. Farbrook’s latest work is in the emerging field of Machinima (machine animated cinema) where he shoots movies from within his custom-made 3D environments.

netfashionIn Gone with the Wind net surfing creates a movie that fully engages a viewer for a time and then disappears into the ether, lost forever. The web pages themselves continually change, reflecting the net-fashion of the time. At some point, the net will look nothing like it does now and this movie will be unrecognizable, a relic, a captured moment stolen from the oblivion of the past.

nostalgiaNostalgia for Neverwas is the graphic narrative of Casual Boy, a 3D object created inside of the computer program ‘Poser’ that becomes sentient and embarks on a search for something more meaningful than thin facades and faux appearances. Casual Boy, upon realizing that he is only a hollow skin that is able to move about on display screens, searches the Internet for a time before such technology existed, when things were solid and substantial. Stepping into images of the past, Casual Boy seeks to live in a previous time, yet he is unable to resolve the conflict of his own nature.

Farbrook exhibits both nationally and internationally. Recent venues include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, La Fabrica Arte Contemporaneo in Guatemala, The International Center of Bethlehem in Palestine, as well as venues in Mexico, Chile, Korea, and the USA. Farbrook is presently an assistant professor of interactive media and game development at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

rosenstockJoshua Pablo Rosenstock is a multimedia artist, musician, and educator currently based in Boston. He employs an ever- expanding variety of traditional and electronic media techniques to create works incorporating moving images, sound, sculptural installation, and interactive performance.

jacketRecent projects include Nomadic Remix Jacket, a wearable electronic instrument (2008). It consists of two hand-made jackets wired with electronics to form mobile sound samplers. The wearer circulates throughout the city, collecting sounds. The audio samples are continuously remixed into a rhythmic musical collage that accompanies their explorations. At any point in their journey, the wearer may add a new sound to the composition, which they are encouraged to do by interacting with other humans and by recording sounds specific to their current locale. At the end of the nomadic sound collecting journey, the sounds can be downloaded into a cumulative collection database.

The jackets (by Florence W. Rosenstock) themselves represent a trans-global remix of textile traditions, incorporating shibori and other Asian, African, and American techniques, as well as found and recycled materials. Brightly-colored and richly textured, they invite curiosity from spectators and encourage interaction with the wearer. More >>

Rosenstock earned a BA in Visual Art & Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in Art & Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In between, he worked to launch ZEUM, an art and technology museum in San Francisco, creating interactive exhibits and developing digital art curricula for students and teachers. He has presented work in venues as diverse as the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich, Switzerland, the Dislocate festival in Yokohama, Japan, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and the Montreal Anarchist Book Fair. Additionally, he is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed in musical ensembles throughout the Bay Area, Midwest, and New England.

He is currently an Assistant Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was the first visual art professor on the faculty, and teaches in the Interactive Media & Game Development program. He received WPI’s Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education in 2008.

Supported by:


3333238960_67e6197bb7Recently, I spent a week in Amsterdam attending Network Cultures Winter Camp. Twelve networks were invited, including Upgrade! International. Our group consisted of representatives from Skopje, Munich, Dakar, Zagreb, Berlin, Istanbul, New York, Montreal, Tel-Aviv, Paris, Boston and Eindhoven; Sao Paulo and Chicago participated remotely.

For four days, networks held closed morning and afternoon sessions. At the end of each day, everyone gathered for a plenary session; there were screenings and other festive events in the evenings. Many networks engaged in extra-networking activities: Upgrade! met with freeDimensional, Gengerchangers, Edu-Factory, and MyCreativity to discuss possible collaborations. We also attended a FLOSS Manuals demo.

All in all, Winter Camp was inspiring and productive. The organizers — all of whom did a flawless job — provided bloggers for most of our sessions. Their posts about Upgrade! are available here.

One of the Upgrade! outcomes of Winter Camp was the decision to create an Open Upgrade! listserve. Everyone is invited to subscribe and post announcements about their projects, calls for collaborators, and opportunities for residencies, exhibitions, etc.