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May 08, 2007

ISEA 2008 Artist In Residence


Call for Proposals

ISEA 2008 Call for Proposals - Artist In Residence @ National University of Singapore.

The organizing committee of the International Symposium of Electronic Arts 2008 (ISEA2008) with generous support from the National University of Singapore (NUS), is soliciting proposals from New Media artists to work collaboratively with NUS centers of research and arts in preparation of work to be submitted for exhibition during the July 2008 ISEA in Singapore. Unlike previous symposia where there was a separate call for artists in residence and one of art works for exhibition, ISEA2008 will only have one call for artists' submission. The submissions selected for the AIR will also be subsequently produced and shown in the main ISEA exhibition. Submissions from countries and cultures underrepresented at other New Media venues are particularly encouraged.

Residencies of up to 3 months in duration can be supported, and must be completed before July 2008. Financial support from NUS is available for:

- Economy airfare to and from the artist/designers country of residence,
- University housing while the artist is in Singapore,
- A monthly allowance of S$2000,
- Materials cost of up to S$1000.

In addition, NUS Host Centers will provide equipment, facilities, and expertise as agreed to on a per-project basis.

Artists will have the opportunity and be expected to participate in public and academic community activities such as lectures and demonstrations during the course of their residency.

More details and the guidelines about AIR call submissions can be found at:

Symposium Themes

The global and unequally distributed proliferation of information, communication and experiential technologies has led to the development of a highly differentiated and structurally complicated media arts field. Even as the advent of some technologies is actively celebrated and their potential exploited by some, some others have barely come to grips with the possibilities of 'long-obsolescent' technologies.

Even as some struggle with the newness of certain technologies, others somewhat jaded with the determinative influence on their lives and creativity are consciously opting for "old" and "low" technologies. In such a globally differentiated situation, the very notions of "new" and "old" technologies though pandered as an issue of relative sophistication is revealed as an issue of relative access largely determined by historical, political, economic and cultural contexts. That such technologies have become important engines of economic development has made a critical evaluation of their complicities in and complex relationships to particular socio-cultural, economic and political ways of being especially difficult. That one can simultaneously critique technologies and yet enjoy the benefits and pleasures of some particular technologies might seem like a compromise and sell-out for some, but is a necessary aspect of one's being in a world infused with such technologies to a point where opting out is both pragmatically impossible and ethically irresponsible.

In the art world, the problems of how one critically evaluates creative uses of technology are often confused with the questions of how one creatively enables the critical uses of technology. The themes for ISEA2008 Symposium have been selected to respond thus to the challenges of new and old technologies in creatively engaging the critical problems and possibilities of our age.

Locating Media

The oft-heard rhetoric of recent media technologies is that it complicates traditional notions of spatial and geographical location insofar as these technologies are said to attend to one's technological needs without regard to where one is; for example, one common myth goes like this: 'one can access information about anything and communicate with people on the net without regard to which country one is in'.

Such postulations of location-neutrality, however, are based on a fallacious assumption that one's location is merely a secondary aspect of one's experiential environment and thus can be phenomenologically simulated or even negligibly circumvented by the mediation of communication, information and experiential technologies.

Location, however, is a complex experience constituted by one's cultural, economic, political and technological environment that is differentially distributed and conceived in different parts of the world. Thus, new technologies, even while purporting to surmount location, seem to be merely following the contours of the location-specific 27 variables that operate in any particular space. While many recent technologies also present themselves as 'location-aware' that enable one's ability to address these location-specific variables in some ways, it is noteworthy that such experiences very often rely on simulating only an indexical notion of location through a series of sensory cues related to a particular space.

In the light of the centrality of location as a critical problematic and possibility, this theme seeks to examine how the specificities of location mediate and are mediated by both old and new technologies of information, communication and experience. We invite academic research, design and artistic explorations that explore the possibilities and problems of addressing location through media technologies. We are especially keen on works that address the complex historical, cultural, socio-political and economic contexts that affect location-specific interactions with such technologies.

Wiki Wiki

It is interesting that the Hawaiian word, 'wiki wiki', meaning "quick" has become co-opted to label the revolutionary systems and practices that support the easy and speedy tele-collaborative authoring of knowledge online
- i.e., wiki.

Wiki is an extremely easy-to-use authoring system for online content that cannibalizes on the HTML protocols with additional facilities to monitor all the changes being made, revert to content prior to editing as well as a space to discuss the evolving content. The fact that users are able to access the pages and change content without any restrictions, defies the development of a notion of single authorship and thus also the possibility of authorial responsibility for such content.

The relative ease in developing online content with a community of 'at a distance' presents wiki as a model tool for tele-collaborative production. Wiki is yet another example of how technologies are changing the ways in which creative knowledge production is being transformed by enabling collaboration between diverse individuals. In this theme, we seek to initiate discussion, deliberation and development in collaborative creation using new technologies. How have new and old technologies contributed to the development of collaborative making? What are some of the issues raised by collaborative creation; for example, authorship, artistic responsibility, claims to intellectual property, conflicts and confluences of disciplinary knowledge and practices, etc. What are the spaces of such collaborative work - what are the transitional spaces between the artists' studios and scientific labs?

We invite artistic and academic work that addresses and/or exemplifies the problems and possibilities of collaborative creative work that are enabled by technologies. Works that are created by collaborations between diverse and geographically diverse communities are especially encouraged.

Ludic Interfaces

The infantilization of play, that is, the historical association of playing with children and non-serious activities, has led to the systematic exclusion of play and fun from 'serious' creative, scientific and technological investigations. While the ludic (i.e., play-related) dimensions of artistic creativity have been variously explored recently in both art works and in scholarly research, the interactions between technological developments and the pleasures described as 'fun', are few and far between.

In fact, the history of technological development has more instances of people enjoying technologies than of those willing to acknowledge or systematically deliberate on such pleasures. It has been argued recently that the phenomenal development of the game and entertainment industries, primarily driven by various technologies that engender the expanded exploration of embodied pleasures, has highlighted the potential of technologically-driven experiences of fun.

However, there are those who assert that there is still much more need to investigate the complicities between technology and pleasure in these experiences and to develop alternative modalities of exploring the technological possibilities of pleasure and vice versa. In this theme, we seek to address the ways in which fun and enjoyment interact with and complicate new media technologies both in its design, creative development, everyday uses and discursive articulations. We especially encourage works that critically explore the entertainment industries and their use of recent technologies.

Reality Jam

While the reality effects of photography had forced a re-evaluation of the conventions and concerns of painting as well as of perception in the mid 19th century, the realistic aspirations of recent visualization and experiential technologies (e.g., in animation, gaming, immersive environments, mixed / augmented reality) are forcing us to reconsider our registers of the 'real' in our media and our everyday lives.

The confusing of the real and the virtual through seamless transitions and the perpetual obfuscation of the edges that demarcate them are increasingly the focus of scientific research as well as of creative works. The improvisational nature and interference potential of such 'reality jamming' - i.e., this pressing together of the real and virtual in a context where their distinctions are deliberately obscured - open further possibilities for research, scholarship and creative production.

In this theme, we also seek to encourage artists and researchers to explore the ways in which the 'virtual' presences and experiences of folklore, religious beliefs, magical rituals and science and media-fiction interact with and counteract the lived experiences of the 'real'. Scholarly presentations, art works and research in the areas of virtual, mixed and augmented reality, not restricted to the technological platforms and equipment that enable such experiences, are especially encouraged.

Border Transmissions

The 'borderless world' and the 'global village' are different imaginaries of a world seemingly transformed by the speed and efficiency of information, communication and experiential technologies - of a world where the political borders of nation states were considered to be either irrelevant or difficult to sustain.

The age that announced the 'borderless world' is, however, ironically also the one that has displayed the greatest anxiety about this breakdown and invested the largest amount of resources and time in the increasing surveillance and control of these borders. While these borders historically have been permeable to certain kinds of economic, socio-cultural, political and military transactions (i.e., trade, cultural objects and experiences, religious missions, etc.), the development of technologies that facilitated greater communication and transportation across them has only increased the anxiety to control these transactions. The contestation over these borders and of the transmissions across them continues to be a struggle as much determined by technological developments as it is by the politics, cultures and socio-economic systems that mediate within and between these borders. The question of how one negotiates technological developments that simultaneously contribute to the increasing opening and ossification of borders is of utmost significance and in this theme, we invite artistic and scholarly work that engages this question.

We seek to showcase research and creative interventions that deal with the strategic and tactical possibilities of networking, communication and experiential technologies in ways that enable the emergence of different conceptions of borders, nation-states and of the infectious transmissions that problematize these demarcations.

Posted by jo at May 8, 2007 11:48 AM