november 30-december 3: Upgrade! International: DIY Oklahoma City

International Upgrade! organizations and their artists will converge in Oklahoma City to present art and ideas to each other and the community in the second annual international symposium. Included in the event will be workshops on art and technology, audio/video performances and presentations, and exhibitions of works by international and regional artists representing this year’s theme: DIY (Do-It-Yourself). Upgrade! Boston will contribute the following:

DIY or Die: An Upgrade! New York, Turbulence, and Rhizome Net Art Exhibition

In celebration of their respective ten-year anniversaries, Turbulence and Rhizome collaborated with Upgrade! New York to present an exhibition of works that they commissioned or presented over the course of their histories. The term D.I.Y. (or do-it-yourself) expresses an independent ethos, one that encourages cultural producers to create and distribute work outside mainstream or commercial systems and often in direct confrontation with them. In this case, D.I.Y refers not only to works in the show, many of which create alternate models for collaborative artmaking, community building, and media distribution, but to the organizations themselves whose missions--to commission and present digital art work--had no tradition or cultural niche to call upon. Historically, net artists have included audiences in their work; many created calls to action that compel their audiences to intervene and contribute their own ideas, stories and histories. From re-purposed commercial software to homegrown digital knitting applications and works that offer alternative constructions of identity and nationality, D.I.Y. OR DIE presents a cross-section of Internet-based art that, much like punk and grassroots activism has the urgency and invention required to change existing standards of art practice.

Imaging Oklahoma City by John (Craig) Freeman

Participants will go out into the streets to produce the material for "Imaging Oklahoma City." "Imaging Place," is a place-based, virtual reality art project that takes the form of a user navigated, interactive computer program combining panoramic photography, digital video, and three-dimensional technologies to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities.

Artist and educator John (Craig) Freeman's work has been exhibited internationally including at the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts, Russia; and Ciberart Bilbao, Spain. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Lucy Lippard cites Freeman's work in "The Lure of the Local".

networked_performance: participatory art by Helen Thorington

The networked_performance blog ( chronicles network-enabled practice, discloses a wide range of perspectives, and uncovers commonalities. Artists are utilizing technologies that are inexpensive, mobile and wirelessly networked. Thorington will review works - from telematic and locative events to wearables, and responsive objects and environments - and show how they use objects and events from everyday life to create work that is characteristically hybrid, performative and relational.

Helen Thorington is a writer, sound composer, and radio producer whose radio documentary, dramatic work, and sound/music compositions have been aired nationally and internationally. Thorington has created compositions for film, installation and dance. She performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at The Kitchen, New York City in 2003. Her articles on networked musical performances are published in the December 2005 and February/April 2006 issues of Contemporary Music Review.

Participation, Technology, and Musical Performance by Jason Freeman

Jason Freeman breaks down conventional barriers between composers, performers, and listeners, using new technology and unconventional notation to turn audiences and musicians into compositional collaborators. He will discuss "Glimmer", "N.A.G.", and "Graph Theory" which connects composition, listening, and concert performance by coupling an acoustic work for solo violin/cello to an interactive web site. There will be a ten minute performance of "Graph Theory."

Jason Freeman received his D.M.A. in composition from Columbia University. His music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, the So Percussion Group, the Nieuw Ensemble, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and Evan Ziporyn; and his interactive installations and software art have been exhibited at the Lincoln Center Festival, and the Transmediale Festival.

A Day in the Life with Burak Arikan

Boston, Istanbul, Munich and Oklahoma City will be connected via internet with simultaneous live streaming video performances from each location.

Upgrade! International: DIY Oklahoma City
John (Craig) Freeman
A Day in the Life
Helen Thorington
Jason Freeman
DIY Recipe [PDF] [catalogue entry for Upgrade! Boston]