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Category: Design

MOBILE ART FEATURES #2


New Media Artist Peggy Nelson: Exploring the Parallax of Identity

Interviewed by Molly Hankwitz, Contributing editor, NewmediaFIX

Peggy Nelson is a Boston-based  new media artist, writer, and filmmaker, who has been exploring Twitter as a medium for literary interaction with audiences, and using various high- and low-tech tools to explore urban history and psychogeographic casts upon places. Nelson’s work is part of trends in art and writing to more fully engage public spaces through use of new technologies to probe and intervene in the surface layers of human memory, thought and interaction.

MH: Twitter literature, what is it and how is it collaborative?

PN: Twitter literature is published via Twitter, 140 characters at a time. Some authors are posting their already-written novels, one tweet at a time. Some are re-posting diary entries from real people, often long-dead. I am creating a narrative within Twitter as I go, and leaving it open for responses by other people who might ask the main character questions. In a sense, every Twitter account is a character, a “performance,” even if that performance is “me” or “you.” So when I create an account for a character, the character is actually telling their story, and I am not just pasting in sentences from a prewritten novel. I don’t co-write or crowdsource. I still believe in individual creation, and Twitter as a propagation medium, or platform. However, during my recent project, In Search of Adele H [https://twitter.com/adelehugo], people didn’t interact as much as they might have or I thought they would. They realized it was art, and kept a respectful distance. I was not encouraging them to step back. It just happened.

MH: You create the work through a Twitter account and individuals receive the tweets and can weave their own stories with the fiction subconsciously or even start a thread. How do they get to the work, or you to them? Through Twitter?

PN: Yes. The first piece was inspired by The Story of Adele H, by Francois Truffaut (1975). My ‘Adele H’ happened within Twitter. ‘She’ was a public account. Thus Adele H gained followers just like any other Twitter account and she followed people back. I had a supplemental blog for the project, where I explained the piece, and periodic articles in various journals, including OtherZine [http://www.othercinema.com/otherzine/index.php?issueid=22&article_id=89]. I also invited interested people by asking them to follow and participate. However, what happened was that almost no one intervened with their own replies or tried to change the narrative. Even though all these tools allow interactivity, we don’t always avail ourselves of it. We still like to kick back and “listen.” I think there is great value in being an audience for each other.

I called Adele H a Twitter “film,” following along the lines of Yoko Ono’s Instruction Pieces. The movie occurs in your mind as you read the tweets. Ono’s paintings were supposed to occur in your mind as you read the Instructions. I started with an outline for a “normal” art film that I had written about Adele Hugo, Victor Hugo’s youngest daughter, as my narrative structure. I intended to take a similar approach to Ross McElwee’s in Sherman’s March (1986), where he sets out to do a documentary about Sherman’s March and ends up telling the story of his own relationships and girlfriends. I intended to tell Adele’s real history woven through with my own relationship stories; to tell tragedy as comedy. But once I got on Twitter, it occurred to me that it would be more interesting to bring “Adele” back to life as a cyber-entity, and to have her tweet, in the present, from both her own century and ours. This would give the feminism more depth.

Her own writing was obsessive fantasies created with quill pen and diary; these fantasies became her life. Today many people journal very publically through blogs and Twitter, and while it’s not always clear exactly where reality leaves off and fantasy takes over, when it goes public, numerous differences emerge which can be very intriguing. First of all, audiences can read what is written immediately, or at least this is possible and it’s increasingly more difficult to secrete away thoughts in some attic endlessly embroidering them. Online, writers need to be self-aware. It’s substantially different from a diary. Also, readers and authors are both “in” Twitter, in the same narrative space as the characters, so there can be some wonderful overlaps. Thirdly, we are using this technology to reinvent ourselves and our characters. A parallax is provided, therefore, to what we are doing in the present, by using an older character, one from another time, to mediate.

MH: Are you working on other social media projects?

PN: I have begun a Twitter novel, Shackleton [https://twitter.com/EShackleton], about another real person, Ernest Shackleton, and his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Shackleton’s ship was crushed in the ice, and he spent two years trying to escape; they couldn’t get a message out because they had no radio system, and radios didn’t reach that far back then anyway. There were other mishaps while trying to survive and get the men back alive. Numerous films have been made and books published on this adventure; the 1999 exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York rejuvenated Shackleton’s reputation and publicized the story. However, most of the books and films leave out significant events – there is too much to absorb.

Paradoxically, the micromoments of Twitter allow me to tell stories of substantial length, and to reveal all the close calls and death-defying escapes, without them all hitting at once, since you don’t have to stay with micromoments all the time. You don’t have to make a special interruption in your day, to enjoy them per se. They fit into minutes, bus rides, ordinary  activities. You get the tweets and in your mind you can start aggregating the larger story. But fragmentation is fine. You don’t have to get the whole story. You can miss some and get the rest of it later, you’re never locked into a strict chronological narrative.

Best of all, the medium is truly democratic. Anyone can make one of these Twitter projects. Twitter accounts are free. I’m influenced by graffiti, and public art of this kind; the idea of many messages all over the city; small interventions into urban spaces. Tweeted characters (like Adele H) are interventions into cyber-spaces. I use computers and communications technologies constantly, in my job as a designer. I am always thinking of how I can repurpose them for art.

MH: Do you think personal blogs perceived to be written by males are read differently, as something more like gaming, identity, news?

PN: We still have a gender differentiation in the culture about how we receive written material and male authors still tend to be taken more seriously, more quickly, even if what they’re writing is a series of extemporaneous personal reflections; while women still have to prove themselves, often over and over. Men can also be very critical of and aggressive toward each other’s writing, sure, but the fact is that there is still a gender gap in perception. We have a lot of work to do as feminists in this area.

MH: In this work on Shackleton you play a male character. Do you think audiences may choose to interact more with this narrative character?

PN: Good question. They might. Not only is Shackleton a male character, but the narrative is an action-adventure story, whereas Adele H was about unrequited love that took place in a woman’s head. I don’t know if readers will react more aggressively to such an alpha-male story, and try to post or interact with “him” more because of that, or if they will again keep a respectful distance because they see it as art. I don’t have a preference for a certain reaction, I’m fine with the distance, but if there’s more interaction, I’ll see how it goes. I’m not hiding the fact that I am a woman and I am writing Shackleton’s life, but will they see the character as male, or have an issue with a woman writing it?  I don’t know. I’m sure you have had the experience of having to identify with male characters in a story or film because that’s what was there. That feels familiar to many women. Men don’t tend to have the same problem.

MH: Talk about your outdoor public mobile projects, please.

PN: I am working on some distributed narratives in real space. The first one, The Audio Tour [http://theaudiotour.com], premiered at Burning Man in 2006. I recorded various sounds and impressions  from blogging my travels both on and off the playa. These were downloadable to any mp3 player, and I also had mp3 players to take or borrow at my camp. I was inspired by the Situationist concept of the dérive, which encouraged not conforming to main avenues and official urban spaces; finding your own version of a city or place, when coming up with the tour. I tried to do a dérive of the space of Burning Man, if you will, and then let others hear it.

The Audio Tour drew from museum audio guides, the kind where you are told to “play No. 3″ and an art historian tells you about the art — but with a twist. My audio was randomized. You play the entries at random with no “listening stations” marked as such. Thus, the listener decides what a listening station might be. You wander around with the downloads and arrive at a listening station — simply by deciding you are at one!  The recorded passages, juxtaposed with the place the listener is, tend to match up. We are pattern-making and pattern-seeking animals. Whenever we walk around, we are flowing along with our stream of consciousness. It might be about the place we are in, it might be about a conversation we need to have, it might be music, some ideas from a book, or concerns about public affairs. Our experience of a place is not only determined by the place but all that we bring to it, vertically, historically, and especially when traveling. I wanted that kind of “mash-up” to comprise the content of the tour. The basic idea is: stream of consciousness out in the world.

The second project was Web021 [http://www.web021.org/]. “021” is the beginning of the Boston zip code. Web021 was somewhat similar to The Audio Tour, but not as random. It was about real Boston history plus quotes and passages of fiction set in Boston. It used 2D barcodes (or QR codes) on stickers. You see them more often in magazines now, advertising various things, but you can make your own. I designed my own 2D barcodes on stickers and put them up all over Cambridge, MA, where I live; each one was linked to a unique URL that would give you one of these passages, from Hawthorne, or Santayana, or Samuel Adams, about Boston. It was location-specific in that the stickers were intentionally put at particular places and the text was centered around both real and fictional “Bostons.” Of course, the piece was in Boston. I was very influenced by graffiti and all the stickers we see drawn on with Sharpies. I guess it is locative art. I think of it like Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, as art in the environment, except not all in one spot; Web021 was distributed; deliberately made not to be seen all at once. Twitter is also a distributed medium, more in time than space. The audiences doesn’t need to read it all at once and the distributed fragments can add up to something much larger, deeper and more substantial.

MH: Your pieces differ on the grounds of their interactivity, and what’s interactive changes from contexts of the computer at home to an augmented reality context/QR code application. Do you feel a greater familiarity with Twitter and social media and, perhaps, continued exposure to these mobile literary art forms in your audience, will lead to their participation in your future works?  Will you design for this?

PN: That’s a good question. I have not been as concerned with interactivity being a central component of my work up to this point. I have included it as a possibility in some of my pieces, especially the Twitter work, but it’s optional, and does not “break” the piece if it doesn’t happen. What I’d really love to see is other people becoming inspired to do their own locative art, either in real space or in cyberspace, so we can have many artistic and cultural interventions like these, similar to how we have lots of graffiti by different makers. In many urban environments graffiti is the norm, not the exception. I’d love to see narrative and sonic interventions achieve a graffiti-like saturation.

MH: Thank you.

Peggy Nelson, New Media and Film – artist’s website

http://peggynelson.com/

The Open Hardware Scholarship







    CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The Open Hardware Scholarship!
    Do you have the next big Open Hardware idea, but just don?t have the funds
    for it?

    The Open Hardware Summit (OHS) is announcing its first Open Hardware
    scholarship this year! The purpose of the OHS scholarship is to support
    emerging artists/inventors and developers by providing funding for works
    that are released as Open Source Hardware. Granting these funds is an
    opportunity to draw attention to the Open Source Hardware movement, to give
    back to the DIY community, and to give you the chance to join a growing
    roster of gamechangers in Open Source Hardware history. If you have a
    project that is in the spirit of the OHS and supports the OHSW definition,
    we welcome your submissions.

    PRIZE
    Upwards of $2000 will be awarded. The scholarship is made available by the
    generous individuals and sponsors who have made the Open Hardware Summit
    possible.

    PUBLIC VOTE
    The winner will be chosen by the public. All projects will be viewable
    online and votes will be collected during the week of the summit. People
    will be able to vote on their favorite project remotely or onsite. A check
    will be presented to the winning artist/group at the conclusion of OHS on
    September 15th at the New York Hall of Science

    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. upload a 30 second (maximum) video clip to youtube that showcases the
    concept of your project. The title of the video MUST be the title of the
    work

    2. include a short paragraph in the description of the video. Your
    description must start with the following sentence, and go on to explain
    your project in less than 500 characters.
    Example:
    ?The following project is a submission to the Open Hardware Scholarship
    awarded by the Open Hardware Summit 2011.
    Project title: ?
    Project Description:..?

    3. email the following information to hirumi.n@gmail.com :

    name of artist/collaborative group
    email address
    place of resident (city, state/province, country)
    title of project
    summary of project (500 characters max)
    URL of video clip
    URL of project site that includes your application of the OSHW Definition
    (optional)
    DEADLINE
    For submissions is 12:01am, September 14th EST. NO EXCEPTIONS

    NOTES:
    Please feel free to email hirumi.n@gmail.com if you have any questions.

    Where does the money come from? We had $2,000 USD left over from our funds
    last year and we thought the best way to use it is to give it back to the
    community.

    Good luck!

    Hirumi Nanayakkara
    Scholarship Chair
    Open Hardware Summit 2011

Form + Code, Book Review

Written by Eduardo Navas

This is a snippet from my review of Form + Code.  You can read the entire text on Vodule.

Excerpt:

Form and Code in Design, Art and Architecture, as the book’s cover proposes, is a “guide to computational aesthetics.”  As such it lives up to its promise, which one must accept with the understanding that the authors selected projects that are, in their view, representative of larger movements.

Continue reading »

Convocatoria para proyectos Interactivos?10 Brasil: Baja Tecnología

Cierre de la convocatoria: 30 septiembre 2010
Convocatoria para colaboradores: 20 octubre – 20 noviembre 2010
Fechas del taller: 21 noviembre – 8 diciembre 2010
Muestra de proyectos: 8 – 15 diciembre 2010

Para esta nueva edición en Belo Horizonte (Brasil) se seleccionará un máximo de 8 propuestas –locales, nacionales e internacionales– que desarrollen y apliquen creativamente recursos tecnológicos simples y accesibles en proyectos artísticos y educativos. Todos aquellos interesados pueden inscribir sus propuestas online en interactivos.marginalialab.com.

Las actividades contarán con la orientación de los instructores Fernando Rabelo (Brasil), Kiko Mayorga (Perú) y Arturo Castro (España), artistas y educadores con una actividad internacionalmente reconocida y vinculada a importantes proyectos de desarrollo en este campo.

Interactivos?’10 BH: Baja Tecnología de Punta se completará con un seminario, que contará con la participación de los instructores y colaboradores invitados, con el objetivo de presentar y debatir distintas lecturas del tema propuesto. Al final del taller, los resultados alcanzados por los proyectos seleccionados serán mostrados al público durante una semana. [+info]

Organiza: Marginalia+Lab y Ocupar Espaços, integrando en el programa cultural Vivo Arte.Mov. Patrocina: Vivo a través de la Ley Estadual de Incentivo a la Cultura de Minas Gerais. Colaboran: Medialab-Prado y el Centro Cultural de España en São Paulo. Interactivos? es una plataforma desarrollada por Medialab-Prado.

Más información en http://medialab-prado.es/article/interactivos10_bh

Finaliza inscripción al Máster de Comunicación Digital Interactiva UVic

El próximo 30 de septiembre finaliza el plazo para inscripciones a la tercera edición del Máster de Comunicación Digital Interactiva de la Universitat de Vic que comenzará en Octubre de 2010. Aún quedan plazas disponibles. Se puede solicitar más información en la UVic: (0034) 938 861 222, escribir a mastersuniversitaris (at) uvic.cat o a hugo.pardo (at) uvic.cat. Datos sobre el máster:

• Formato semi-presencial apto para estudiantes extranjeros (estancia en Barcelona: 3 meses).
• El Máster se cursa en la escuela de diseño BAU (en el Distrito @22).
• Entre los partners de este máster se encuentra la Corporació Catalana de Ràdio i TV Interactiva (CCRTV Interactiva), la Agència Catalana de Notícies (ACN), Ars Media, EumogràficCampusMovil.net, Ubiqua y Marcel-lí Antúnez.
• Véase en el Portal del Máster una lista actualizada de los profesores).  Aquí la presentación de Cristóbal Cobo (Oxford Internet Institute), Alejandro Piscitelli o la visita de Martha Ladly, Gonzalo Frasca, Javier Díaz Noci, Ramón Salaverría, Marcel.lí Antúnez, Santiago Miralles, todos en la edición 2009/2010, o Bob Logan, Juan Pablo Puerta (Craigslist) y Pierre Levy en otras ediciones.
• El Máster dura 90 créditos, esto es, un año y medio. El primer año se cursan los módulos con contenidos (60 créditos); los 30 créditos restantes corresponden al proyecto (recorrido Profesional) o a la tesina de investigación (recorrido de Investigación). Esta segunda parte es no-presencial, o sea que los alumnos extranjeros pueden regresar a su país y volver a Barcelona para la defensa final de la tesina/proyecto.
• Los alumnos que opten por el recorrido de Investigación podrán continuar su formación en el Doctorado de Comunicación Digital Interactiva.

Demilit, September 16th

 

 

#DEMILIT in San José, Ca. Sept. 16
Among many symptoms, San José is home to 10 government and 67 company locations on the Washington Post’s map of Top Secret America. We’ll study this creeping militarization through entry points such as drones, defense corporations, uses of force, gang profiling, and military bases. We’ll also take visitors on an outdoor exploration of downtown SJ with a focus on the security landscape. 

Guests:
• Charlotte Casey, San Jose Peace & Justice Center and San José Code Pink
• Katherine Chandler, UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department
• Raj Jayadev, Silicon Valley Debug
 
Presented by the Demilit team in conjunction with 01SJ Biennial and (OP)Space, CCA Architecture URBANlab.

WORKS GALLERY
451 South First Street
San José, Ca.
95113-2816
THURS SEPT 16

See http://bit.ly/demilit for more info. More Details below….

Full Abstract
The crisis of the contemporary spatial condition is produced in part by the hyper-expansion of militarization into all areas of life. Demilit, short for Decoding Military Landscapes, is an open pedagogical project aiming to know how the military and militarization affects society and space. We at Demilit (DM) take stock of the military presence in both routine and unexpected ways by using research, sound recordings, images and more. Among other symptoms, San José is home to 10 government and 67 company locations on the Washington Post’s map of Top Secret America. We’ll unpack this military presence through topics such as drones, defense corporations, uses of force, gang profiling, military bases, and much more. We will also take visitors on an outdoor exploration in downtown SJ focusing on the security landscape.

To find out more visit http://bit.ly/demilit or follow @demilit on Twitter.

With:
Charlotte Casey, San Jose Peace & Justice Center and San Jose Code Pink
“The CIA’s Travel Agent in Downtown San Jose: Jeppesen’s Involvement in the Torture Flights”
http://www.sanjosepeace.org/

Katherine Chandler, UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department
Visual artist. On drones, methods of recording, and creative non-violence
http://laclau.templeofmessages.com/?p=62

Raj Jayadev, Silicon Valley De-bug
…On “gang enhancement” criminal charges, uses of force, and SJPD arresting practices
http://www.siliconvalleydebug.org/

And the Demilit team (Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers, Javier Arbona)
Schedule (subject to modifications):
10:30am Bagels & chat

11am  An intro by Javier Arbona and Bryan Finoki: Landscapes, Archives, and Crypto-geography

12:00pm  Raj Jayadev  |  Charlotte Casey
(visitors: feel free to bring a lunch!)

1:30pm  “Base edges: practices of listening, seeing and action” with Katherine Chandler & Nick Sowers

3-5pm   A guided walk and recording expedition in the vicinity of downtown.
___

Share: http://bit.ly/demilit or follow @demilit on Twitter for news and updates

Interview with National Arts Advocates

Recent video and audio interviews with Ian David Moss, Research Director at Fractured Atlas, integrated national arts and culture pundit, and collaborating designer/project manager on the Bay Area Cultural Assets Map, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, can be found here on the National Art Strategies website.

Interview material from AllNonProfitsConsidered can also be found at Createquity.com.

The Delfina Foundation and Beyond Borders present

The Spacemakers at Edinburgh Art Festival

www.delfinafoundation.com/exhibitions_and_talks.php

Contact
claudia@delfinafoundation.com
Claudia Wolf
Phone: 0044 207 233 5344 Address
Tent Gallery, Edinburgh College of Art
78 Westport
Edinburgh EH1 2LE
Edinburgh

Info

30 July – 24 August
Mon – Fri, 10:00 – 17:00, Saturday: 11:00 – 17:00
Free
Private view: 29 July 18:00-20:30

The Delfina Foundation presents The Spacemakers, a group exhibition that explores artistic perspectives on the immediate challenges of creating a home, in some of today’s most diverse and harried urban landscapes.

With Taysir Batniji, decolonizing.ps (Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, Eyal Weizman), and Jawad al Malhi. Films and videos by Nikolaj Bendix, Hala Elkoussy, mounir fatmi, Bouchra Khalili, Judy Price, Basma Sharif and Solmaz Shahbazi.

The planning and construction of a home articulates personal needs as well as the necessity to improve on one’s general living circumstances. Ideals of a secure home of bodily comfort, and the creation of borders to protect them, significantly inform our social and spatial existences. Notions of home as personal space and as political territory are undeniably intertwined, and in urban areas throughout the world, the relationship between one and the “other” is also informed by spatial organisation strategies, led by economic and political decisions.

How do architecture and urbanism inform social infrastructures and cohesion? How do personal desires for the materiality of a home intersect with wider socio-political agendas and ideologies in the formation of urban landscapes?

Taking Palestine as its starting point and spanning examples from Cairo, Istanbul, Tehran, Paris and the U.A.E., The Spacemakers offers a global measure of the immediate challenges of producing habitats in epicenters of social, economical or political tension.

The Spacemakers is taking place across two venues (Edinburgh College of Art – Tent Gallery and Sleeper). It is part of a biennial series of events produced by Beyond Borders Productions Ltd.

For related events visit The Delfina Foundation website or www.beyondborders2010.com

ONLINE RESOURCES: Cities, architecture, air


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Informal Cities, Design E-zines, DIY Mapping
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Selected works:
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Delirious LA
http://www.deliriousla.net/

Head Full of Air
http://www.headfullofair.com/2010/06/20/grassroots-mapping-gallery-homeland-626/

Hybridia
http://www.hybridia.com/

The Los Angeles River: Past, Present and Possibilities
http://www.deliriousla.net/lariver/index.htm

Urban Think Tank
http://www.u-tt.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Towards a Just Metropolis

Mark Your Calendars for June 16–20!
UC Berkeley and San Francisco

http://justmetropolis.org/

A conference for planners, designers, activists, policymakers and citizens dedicated to a just future for all human settlements.