Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Creative Commons: Art, Activism and the Database"

:: J.R. Carpenter

J.R. gave a short presentation titled Pre-Cursor, which focussed on precursive forms of media that have influenced her work in fabricating fiction and recycling code: "I'm looking for something new. I'm looking for something familiar, to hold against so much newness."

Particularly impressive are her "lab reports" which manage to draw out the secret emotional lives of (those-oh-so-objective) scientists:

Forsaken Orbit
I edited texts from the NASA website, taking the "high" out of the "tech" talk of Galileo Obiter engineers, who were clearly distraught at having to end the life of their intrepid satellite.

Also very lovely in terms of space and culture:

The Guide Book: How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome
The cluttered interface of How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is inspired by the pedagogical style of the modern guide book and a 500 year history of travel writing.

The Neighbourhood: Entre Ville
Entre Ville is an amalgam of the graffiti tags, gardens, garbage and gossip of my back alleyway... You can't make this stuff up.

She spoke a bit about being compelled to link things up, to take advantage of all these databases we keep and to use technology to archive and disseminate everyday life. She also makes tiny paper zines or mini-books of these projects which provide a wonderfully complementary material component to her (re)collections, that you can also (re)collect.

:: Kate Armstrong

Kate presented some of her work on mobility, flow, things and distributed networks:

ArtCamp - associated with Upgrade Vancouver, this is an experimental "un-conference" where participants self-organise and programme their shared experience, challenging traditional hierarchical and invite-only conference structures. It takes place in Vancouver on September 21st, so stay tuned for more on that.

If you were recently at ISEA, you might also remember the In[ ]ex project: "an audio sculpture which creates a mesh network by releasing thousands of embedded wooden blocks into the world. The mesh network collects and processes data to form a sound environment in the space of a shipping container. This project takes place in the context of shipping and distribution of goods and the movement of people in the two port cities of Vancouver, British Columbia, and San Jose, California. In[ ]ex engages both the subject of things and the mechanisms by which things are distributed in the global economy."

Kate also spoke about how networks operate in physical space and possibilities for playful social and political intervention, like collaborations with Glowlab's Drift Relay project and the Tactical Magic Ice Cream Unit which distributes ice cream and propaganda, or "food for thought".

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