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humanistic front

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live from South Africa

A few weeks ago, I blogged a piece called front, by, among other artists, Ralph Borland – a South African sculptor. Some of his response to me, over email:

in the spirit of blogging, i’ll tell you what i’ve got into lately that relates to front. i picked up a book called “the anatomy of human destructiveness” in a second-hand book store in observatory on the weekend. the photographer pieter hugo was with me and he recommended it as one of the best books he’s read. it was written in the early 70s, and is an investigation by psychologist eric fromm into the question of humanity’s instincts or tendencies: are they towards aggression and violence – is that the underlying cause of war and cruelty?
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Aug 28, 05:25
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dialogue between the street, the web and people’s mobile phones

From “Interactive Street Interface” by Jaap De Jonge: Speakers Corner is a 15 metre long interactive LED text display fixed to the outside of The Media Centre in Huddersfield. Running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Speakers Corner will display a wide range of content, information and news, providing entertainment and services to people using The Media Centre and the local area.

Users can interact with content on the screen in three ways by sending a text message, by using the phone booth outside The Media Centre which converts speech into text, or by adding comments from the web at Users’ comments are then archived in the database and sent to the display, building a dialogue between the street, the web and people’s mobile phones.

Read more at Patrick Lichty’s [re]distributions.

Aug 27, 10:20
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more for de feet


The Sensor Shoe

by John Paradiso

Ordinarily dancers dance to music. With the Sensor Shoe the dancer makes the music.

Electronic sensors are built into this ordinary shoe to pick up foot movement and changes in pressure. The short antenna at the back of the shoe transmits data from each sensor to a nearby computer. The computer is programmed with a set of rules that map the data to particular sounds. A digital music synthesizer produces the sounds, which are then heard through speakers.

See NY dancer Mark Haim dance in the sensor shoes (2001)

Aug 27, 09:59
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magical footwear


Seven Mile Boots

Seven Mile Boots,
“…the magical footwear known from folk tales that enables its owner to travel seven miles with one step. With little effort one can cross the countries, to be present wherever it seems suitable and to become a cosmopolitan flaneur with the world as the street.”

The project Seven Mile Boots is a pair of interactive shoes with audio. One can wear the boots, walk around as a flaneur simultaneousy in the physical world and in the literal world of the internet. By walking in the physical world one may suddenly encounter a group of people chatting in real time in the virtual world. The chats are heard as a spoken text coming from the boots. Wherever you are with the boots, the physical and the virtual worlds merge…The site contains a short bibliography on the “fl?neur.”

Aug 27, 09:58
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Presence and Absence

PING, by Kate Armstrong, uses a telephone menu system to distribute active commands to participants who call in using cellular telephones. The choices made by the caller when navigating the telephone system produce directions for physical movement through the city.

PING comes out of psychogeographical inquiry, which focuses on the study of the effects of the environment on the perception, behaviour and mood of individuals. PING is intended to explore the interface between disparate fields such as situationist thought that focuses on subjective mood, generative psychogeography which introduces algorithms as a way to inspire movement through urban space, existentialism, and the interpolation of digital metaphors onto physical, analog space. Read “A Psychogeographical Account of PING and the PsyGeoConflux 2003” by Kate Armstrong.

Aug 26, 11:08
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Poetrica is an investigation about reading and reception in cybrid and entropy situations. The project involves a series of visual poems conceived by Giselle Beiguelman with non-phonetic fonts (dings and system fonts), a DVD, digital prints, movie trailers and a teleintervention which allowed to anyone compose visual messages and submit them, by the Web or SMS, to three commercial electronic billboards located in downtown S?o Paulo, using the same typographic background she used in her nomadic poems.

Aug 25, 19:51
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iki-iki phone


IKI-IKI Hoikuen

IKI-IKI Phone is a multi-user, networked Artificial Life (=Alife) art game for the I-mode mobile phones. In this system, subscribed users can create Artificial Life creatures (=IKI-IKI pets), interact with these pets, feed them, take care of them, and evolve them. Networked users can also share their pets with other mobile phones users, trade them, watch them compete against each other, become friends with each other, create offspring and develop an IKI-IKI pet society. Users can also start communicating with each other through their shared pets.”

A collaboration between Alan Dorin, Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau and the students of the Institute for Advanced Media Art & Sciences (IAMAS), Ogaki, Gifu, Japan. Read “IKI-IKI Phone: a Multi-user Alife Art Game for Mobile Phones.”

Aug 25, 18:30
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The Relational Aesthetic

From an essay written for Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts by Matt Locke:

[A story about Uncle Roy All Around You by Blast Theory; A story about Surrender Control by Tim Etchells; and A story about Audit by Lucy Kimbell]

“Those stories describe three interactions. Or performances. Or moments in the production, or consumption, of an artwork. Or perhaps they are descriptions of how the production and consumption of an artwork can be reduced to the same act, the same moment. They operate within, to use Nicholas Bourriaud’s term, a ‘relational aesthetic’ – these artworks don’t rely on an encounter with a traditional art object, nor do they substitute that with some transcendent concept of a dematerialised art object. In Bourriaud’s definition, these works exist within “the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space”. They are moments to be experienced, not viewed, reaching out and enmeshing themselves in the messy network of conversations and relationships that make up your life.” Continue reading.

Aug 25, 17:45
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Jill of Jill/txt has observed a new kind of narrative emerging from the net, what she calls “distributed narrative” or “viral narrative” or sometimes, “contagious narrative.” It’s narrative that doesn’t try to be a total or complete artwork but sends “fragments and shards across media, through the network and sometimes into the physical spaces that we live in.” It’s a “book without end.” She likens it to distributed computing, which spreads processing across many computers, attaining as much or more power than is possible in a single supercomputer.

Jill references Tim Etchell’s (see also Forced Entertainment) work, Surrender Control, where the reader receives SMSs asking her to do things that carry the narrative into her physical world.

So with “viral narrative.” It asks the reader to take it up and pass it on to places it has never been. To become a performer on its behalf.

Jill will be writing more about this viral narrative in the upcoming months.

Aug 25, 11:47
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texting glances


interludes from the cityscape

A collaboration between the networks and telecommunications research group at Trinity College, and the Media Lab Europe – both based in Dublin – this project uses the city as a place to perform narratives with your mobile phone. Viewers can MMS to upload images from around them into a live database, or, by SMSing keywords, download snaps from the archive at any time. more info

(Posted by Nathaniel Stern)

Aug 25, 10:44
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calls + opps performance livestage exhibition installation networked mobile writings participatory locative media augmented/mixed reality event new media video interactive public net art conference virtual intervention distributed second life sound political technology narrative festival tactical lecture art + science conversation social networks social games history surveillance dance music workshop urban mapping collaboration live upgrade! reblog activist wearable immersive public/private data architecture platform body collective aesthetics environment systems city identity film visualization culture telematic wireless web 2.0 site-specific ecology place webcast open source tool software text research intermedia space community audio radio nature hybrid 3-D avatar e-literature audio/visual responsive presence pyschogeography interdisciplinary media object interview physical global/ization ubiquitous theory theater biotechnology relational play code archive bioart generative news DIY robotic light place-specific hacktivism synthetic p2p cinema remix education agency interface language im/material live cinema algorithmic labor copyright simulation mashup animation perception image free/libre software multimedia artificial motion tracking voice convergence streaming reenactment gift economy machinima emergence webcam cyberreality glitch DJ/VJ tv censorship ARG nonlinear tag transdisciplinary touch recycle asynchronous fabbing semantic web hypermedia chance synesthesia biopolitics tangible app social choreography gesture unconference forking 1
1 3-D activist aesthetics agency algorithmic animation app architecture archive ARG art + science artificial asynchronous audio audio/visual augmented/mixed reality avatar bioart biopolitics biotechnology body calls + opps censorship chance cinema city code collaboration collective community conference convergence conversation copyright culture cyberreality dance data distributed DIY DJ/VJ e-literature ecology education emergence environment event exhibition fabbing festival film forking free/libre software games generative gesture gift economy glitch global/ization hacktivism history hybrid hypermedia identity im/material image immersive installation interactive interdisciplinary interface intermedia intervention interview labor language lecture light live live cinema livestage locative media machinima mapping mashup media mobile motion tracking multimedia music narrative nature net art networked new media news nonlinear object open source p2p participatory perception performance physical place place-specific platform play political presence public public/private pyschogeography radio reblog recycle reenactment relational remix research responsive robotic second life semantic web simulation site-specific social social choreography social networks software sound space streaming surveillance synesthesia synthetic systems tactical tag tangible technology telematic text theater theory tool touch transdisciplinary tv ubiquitous unconference upgrade! urban video virtual visualization voice wearable web 2.0 webcam webcast wireless workshop writings



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Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by's net art commission program.
[ openspace ] wilderness [] A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products A Travel Guide A.B.S.M.L. Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC besides, Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging Channel TWo: NY Condition:Used Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount GreylockVideo Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story Flight Lines From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places Global Direct Google Variations Gothamberg Grafik Dynamo Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments html_butoh I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies Killbox L-Carrier Les Belles Infidles look art Lumens My Beating Blog MYPOCKET No Time Machine Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard Panemoticon Peripheral n2: KEYBOARD Playing Duchamp Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Commissions Program Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day text_ocean The Xanadu Hijack This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market You Don't Know Me
More commissions