#A.I.L - artists in laboratories, episode 4

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2012-06-11 08:46:22

The fourth episode of the art and science show i've been recording for ResonanceFM is about to go live. It broadcasts today Monday 11 June at 16.30 (GMT.) There will be a repeat on Thursday at 22.30. You can catch it online if you don't live in London. And of course we will have podcasts (still waiting for them.)

Scrapyard Challenge Junior Noisemaker Kits, 2012

My guest on the show is Dr. Jonah Brucker-Cohen whom i'm sure you all know. Jonah is a researcher, artist, and writer. He is based in New York and received his Ph.D. in the Disruptive Design Team of the Networking and Telecommunications Research Group at Trinity College Dublin. Apart from his work as an artist, Jonah has been teaching in several universities in New York, lecturing internationally, writing essays for magazines focusing on technology and since he is teaching a course called Designing Critical Networks at Parsons in New york, i thought he'd be the perfect guest for a program which covers issues such as social media, subverting network experience, hacking, and internet censorship. We also took the time to focus on some of his own works, from the now legendary Wifi Liberator to Scrapyard Challenge Jr. 555 Noisemaker Kit and America's Got No Talent (two works he developed together with Katherine Moriwaki.)

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Book review: Alternative and Activist New Media

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Published on : 2012-06-09 12:09:05

Alternative and Activist New Media, by Leah Lievrouw.

Available on Amazon USAand UK.


Publisher Politi writes: Alternative and Activist New Media provides a rich and accessible overview of the ways in which activists, artists, and citizen groups around the world use new media and information technologies to gain visibility and voice, present alternative or marginal views, share their own DIY information systems and content, and otherwise resist, talk back to, or confront dominant media culture. Today, a lively and contentious cycle of capture, cooptation, and subversion of information, content, and system design marks the relationship between the mainstream 'center' and the interactive, participatory 'edges' of media culture.

Five principal forms of alternative and activist new media projects are introduced, including the characteristics that make them different from more conventional media forms and content. The book traces the historical roots of these projects in alternative media, social movements, and activist art, including analyses of key case studies and links to relevant electronic resources. Alternative and Activist New Media will be a useful addition to any course on new media and society, and essential for readers interested in new media activism.

®TMark, The Barbie Liberation Organization, 1993

I might have covered many books and exhibitions that demonstrate how artists use technology to protest, campaign, challenge institutions, or express social and political concerns but i still had to review a book that studied alternative and activist new media from an 'Information Studies' or purely social point of view. This one was written by a professor in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and it has the (rare) merit of including contemporary art practices in its field of investigation.

Leah Lievrouw looks at what she calls the five basic genres of contemporary alternative and activist new media: Culture Jamming (think of the Billboard Liberation Front or ®TMark), Alternative Computing (hacking), Participatory Journalism (e.g. Indymedia, blogs), Mediated Mobilization (the Arab Spring) and Commons Knowledge (Wikipedia). She goes from defining elementary concepts (such as "what makes new media 'new'") to detailing recent theories and observations in a seamless and impeccable way.

She describes Alternative and Activist New Media, traces back their antecedents, weights their strengths and weaknesses in, pits them against their mainstream/institutionalized equivalent, analyzes their rise from fringe to (almost) mainstream, sums up the debates surrounding this 'new media ecology', and illustrates each 'genre' with a case study.

Alternative and Activist New Media is a book for students. Of media, new media, communication, sociology, media art. This is also a book for people like you and me. People who've been using wikipedia for years, who blog, who know about The Yes Men's "identity correction" performances. People who are familiar with the language and concepts of Alternative and Activist New Media. But does that mean that our insight doesn't need more structure and a solid historical background?

Elvis, my young Staffie, was a equally enthusiastic about the book (or maybe equally unimpressed by the design of its cover) ....


Image on the homepage: The Yes Men's golden skeleton.

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Francisco-Fernando Granados, Igor Grubic and Emily Roysdon: Social Choreography

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2012-06-08 01:00:00


Social Choreography

Francisco-Fernando Granados, Igor Grubic and Emily Roysdon

Curated by Julia Paoli

June 8 – July 21, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, June 8, 7-9 pm

Gallery TPW is pleased to present Social Choreography, a group exhibition curated by Julia Paoli. Works by Francisco-Fernando Granados (Canada), Igor Grubi
c (Croatia) and Emily Roysdon (USA) point to the intersection of choreography and politicized spaces in contemporary art. The exhibition aims to call attention to the dual meaning embedded in the term movement: at once referencing movement as a political ideology and movement of the body through time and space. Taken from cultural critic Andrew Hewitt, the show's title suggests that choreography is linked to organization and can intricately demonstrate and interrupt the ways people relate and interact with one another.

Granados presents a series of choreographed instructions that consider the political and performative possibilities of movement in public and private spaces. Grubi
c's two-channel video juxtaposes graphic documentation of the first Gay Pride parades in Belgrade and Zagreb with dancers later responding to the events in the same locations. Roysdon's photographic and video installations pursue an ongoing interest in representations of movement and the potential for corporeal gestures to convey shifting concepts of community and site. Together, the works address both the potential and the problems of representation developing out of a specific place and community, and moving into the space of the gallery. Reflecting on the relationship between action and documentation, lived bodies and drawn lines, Social Choreography at once participates in and updates the interest in how choreography and politics intersect.

Francisco-Fernando Granados will perform at the opening reception on Friday, June 8 from 7 – 9 pm and the closing day of the exhibition on July 21 at 12 pm.

Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Guatemalan-born, Toronto-based artist and writer working in performance, drawing, video, cultural criticism, and curatorial practice. His work has been exhibited and performed at venues including, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico City), the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Images Festival (Toronto). Recent projects include a performance at the RAPID PULSE International Performance Festival (Chicago) and a performative lecture at the Hessel Museum, Bard College (NY).

Emily Roysdon is an interdisciplinary artist and writer based in New York and Stockholm. Her work has been shown at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Greater NY at PS1; Manifesta 8 (Murcia), Bucharest Bienniale 4, Participant, Inc. (NY); Generali Foundation (Vienna); New Museum (NY); and the Power Plant (Toronto). Recent solo shows include new commissions from Art in General (NY), Konsthall C (Stockholm) and a Matrix commission from the Berkeley Art Museum. Her videos have been screened widely, most recently at the Berlinale and the Images Festival (Toronto).

Igor Grubi
c has been active as a multimedia artist since 1996. His work includes site-specific interventions in public spaces, performances, photography and video works. His work has been exhibited at Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt), Tirana Biennale 2, 50th October Art Salon (Belgrade), 11th Istanbul Biennale and Manifesta 9 (Genk).

Julia Paoli is an independent curator and writer based in Toronto. In 2011 she was awarded Vtape's Curatorial Incubator residency where she mounted an exhibition of work by Aleesa Cohene. Paoli received her M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College in 2011. Her thesis project included commissions from New York-based artists A.K. Burns and MPA. Paoli was a former curatorial intern at The Power Plant and Toronto's FAG (Feminist Art Gallery). She is currently a member of the Pleasure Dome Programming Collective.

Parallel Programs

In conversation:
Francisco-Fernando Granados and Margaret Dragu
Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 7 pm

Following Social Choreography's opening night performance, Granados will discuss ideas of movement with dancer/choreographer and performance artist, Margaret Dragu. The conversation with centre on how choreography is deployed in public spaces, and invite a rethinking of movement in relation to politics, speech and poetic language.

Margaret Dragu began her art practice as a dancer/choreographer in 1971. Dragu has presented her work in galleries, museums, theatres, nightclubs, libraries, universities and site-specific venues including parks, botanical gardens, and public parade routes across Canada, the United States and Western Europe. She was the first artist featured in Canadian Performance Art Legends (a performance and publication project initiated by the Toronto-based organization FADO) to highlight the work of senior Canadian performance artists. Dragu was the 2012 recipient of Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Lecture: Entanglement of Action
Kelly Kivland, Curatorial Associate at Dia Art Foundation
Saturday, July 7, 2012, 5 pm

The recent writing of contemporary choreographer William Forsythe considers how choreographic thinking, or the use of movement to mobilize bodies, can also materialize in objecthood. Forsythe, in his essay Choreographic Objects, asks: "One could easily assume that the substance of choreographic thought resided exclusively in the body. But is it possible for choreography to generate autonomous expressions of its principles, a choreographic object, without the body?"

The most prominent way of generating choreographic thinking is through the realization of scripted movement in live performance. However, in her talk Entanglement of Action, Kivland will consider how choreographic thinking might extent beyond the boundaries of temporal events into other mediums, and perhaps even the objecthood of an exhibition.

Kelly Kivland joined the curatorial department of Dia Art Foundation in June 2011, where she has recently been involved with exhibitions and performance programs including Jean-Luc Moulène, Opus + One (2011–12); Yvonne Rainer (2011–12); Ian Wilson, The Pure Awareness of the Absolute/Discussions (2011–present); and Franz Erhard Walther, Work as Action (2010–12). Prior to joining Dia, Kivland served in the Commissioner's Office of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as held a four-year tenure as programming associate at Pomegranate Arts.

Image Credit:
Emily Roysdon with MPA, "Untitled" from Sense and Sense, detail, 2010.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12-5 pm

Media Contact:
Kim Simon

Gallery TPW
56 Ossington Avenue
Toronto, ON. M6J 2Y7
p: 416.645.1066
f: 416.645.1681
w: www.gallerytpw.ca

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Dark Places and experimental geography - Interview with Neal White

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Published on : 2012-06-06 12:38:32

Corsham Computer Centre

Neal White is an artist, an Associate Professor in Art and Media Practice but he also holds the enigmatic title of 'Director of Experiments' at the international collaborative research practice The Office of Experiments.

I discovered the activities of the OoE in 2008, when i read about Truth Serum, a performance that involved self-experimentation, psychological games and a comment on the rise of 'security state.'

One of the current interests of the Office involves an 'overt research' that attempts to build up an alternative and experimental knowledge source about the UK's "Dark Places", the labs and facilities of advanced technological development which are often (purposefully or not) concealed, secret or inaccessible to the public.

The techno-scientific and industrial-military sites under study are approached through publicly available information but conspiracy theories and rumours surrounding these sites form also part of the narrative. The Dark Places place is headed by Neal White and Steve Rowell, but the overt researchers also invite artists, amateur scientists, urban explorers and local communities to contribute to the investigation by participating to bus tours and by contributing to the online geo-mapped database Dark Places.

Secrecy and Technology Bus Tour

Greenham Common

QinietiQ - Portland Bill. Compass Test Centre

The next critical excursion that will take people on an Overt Research tour will be in London in October. In the meantime, here's what Neal White had to say about my many questions regarding the Dark Places and his work at the Office of Experiments.

Hi Neal! My only contact with the world of sites of advanced technological development in the UK took place a few months ago when watching an episode of the tv series Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville.

Your experience and knowledge of these sites, while not being complete, is obviously much wider and more grounded in research than mine. Does getting to get closer to these sites makes you more worried about what goes on inside than before? Should we be concerned about what is devised and created in these places?

In our research we are interested in where the limits of an experiment end; literally, spatially and structurally, but also in terms of the 'public imaginaries' that closed spaces of all kinds generate - myth, rumour, conspiracy. So we are interesting in interrogating our own relationship to the military-industrial or techno-scientific complex as cultural and critical practitioners. Sharing practices and approaches with other culturally positioned research organisations, such as the Center for Land Use Interpretation in the USA, our aim is to utilize some of the technologies and techniques used by this contemporary complex and developed by them in terms of technologies of surveillance, mapping, intelligence and to invert them. So with Overt Research for example, our aim is to re-frame documentation of a site or sites.

Within this research we also explore alternative archives and knowledge extracted through new open governance policies as well as posthumous release of information from the official accounts of such sites. We make links with autonomous and independent researchers, activists and amateur enthusiasts, whose work in this area is often informed by a person having worked at a site, having a personal issue or a political motivation.

We feel that the bodies of knowledge produced by this unofficial research are overlooked and should play a stronger role in our cultural life. In using, interpreting and sometimes exhibiting such knowledge, our aim is to create new and open resources that anyone can use or interpret. It is this opening up of what is not visible that makes the world less full of fear.

Office of Experiments - Dark Places Database - installation. From Dark Places - An exhibition curated with Arts Catalyst, SCAN and the John Hansard Gallery 2010

Tales from the ARC - The Mike Kenner Archive (Declassified archive of Secrets of Porton Down) - OOE/ Mike Kenner. From Dark Places - An exhibition curated with Arts Catalyst, SCAN and the John Hansard Gallery 2010

Steve Rowell - Ultimate High Ground UK. From Dark Places - An exhibition curated with Arts Catalyst, SCAN and the John Hansard Gallery 2010

The Overt Research Project relies on personal research and field trips. How much can you actually discover through these field trips? I guess most of the structures you investigate must be off limits.

You will appreciate yourself that much of the way in which we experience the world is shaped and informed by media, including online sharing of photographic imagery of remote, interesting, derelict or even secret places - or artwork in exhibitions. The staff at the sites we focus on are of course also aware of this and so use the media to project the official story of a site, or not. We visit the sites as this information about them often frequently does not add up or we have information about them unofficially which we want to explore.

For example, you may go to a site, standing in plain sight with a high viz jacket (the Overt part that inverts the logic of the secret site and the technology) of a site that might be a decommissioned Nuclear Power Station, and find that this is only part of the story. Part of the site is decommissioned but a new business park or some new activity is going on there, more discretely communicated shall we say. We can document that in the images. The interpretations on our site of these images then alludes if not explicitly points to the other activity. Part informed by our dark sensibilities and by a critical eye, we point to the construction of scientific research as one which shares intimate links with some of the more sinister aspects of government, security organisations etc. And if you want to add to our database, or undertake Overt Research, we insist that you must first participate physically by joining us on one of our research fieldtrips to learn more about what we do and how we do it. We like to make a link between the worlds we inhabit - informational and experiential. Testing limits and boundaries from the spatial to the virtual I suppose.

Neal White: Fieldworks from the Museum of the Void, Experiments in the Event of an Archive (Entropic Popsicle fridge, Spiral Jetty Petition, and Information Point) Photography Giulia Imbriaco

You're working with Steve Rowell from CLUI and Lisa Haskell on the Overt Research Project. How do you complement each other?

I met Steve Rowell through the Center for Land Use Interpretation as I received a grant from the Henry Moore Foundation in 2008 to make some work with them and consequently spent too much time at their research residency in Utah, on and off over three years (See 'Museum of the Void - Experiments in the Event of an Archive'- Chelsea Space 2010). During this period I was also undertaking initial research for the exhibition Dark Places at John Hansard Gallery in 2009-10. It seemed like a good idea to see if Steve and I could work together as he was based in Europe for a while. So we performed an informal and strategic knowledge exchange about how to approach, document and uncover information about the sites in which we were interested. I had realized OOE could learn more directly about the methods developed by CLUI and then start to build on these. This formed the basis of the site Dark Places around which the exhibition was then curated. The inclusion of Steve and then Beatriz da Costa, who worked closely with Critical Art Ensemble, made total sense for that exhibition then.

I had known Lisa Haskell for some time (we worked together at Ravensbourne College with Prof Karel Dudesek and Armin Medosch). Wanting her great experience as well as some gender balance in our organization, I approached her to come on board as Technical Director. In this capacity she not only builds our technical back end, but her experience with smaller activist organisations, such as Irational etc, have meant that we could also exchange ideas and knowledge in approach to physical and virtual sites, what to disclose and reveal, intelligence and its counter forms.

Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Abbotts Cliff Sound Mirror

I had a look at a few of the sites mapped on the Dark Places website. These sites don't seem to hide themselves, their architecture is often even massive. So what makes them dark?

As I have mentioned, we know that the sites we list may or may not fully disclose all of their activities. Some of the work that goes on is official, but in others it is unofficial. In the USA, the approach is different, and as Trevor Paglen (Experimental Geographer - Blank Spots on the Map, etc) or Lize Mogel (Radical Cartography) would tell you, there is a different official attitude and foundation in law in terms of what constitutes official secrecy and a security threat. Also, in the USA, the vast scale of the landscape is used to conceal.

Here in the UK with such a dense population, and a different legal structure (Officials Secret Act), the aim is to sometimes create public secrets in plain sight, about which we do not speak. As I have mentioned, there are numerous ways in which the truth is presented, leaving room for other truths to remain untold or hidden beneath.

DSTL Porton Down

Porton Down. Image: Neville Marriner/Daily Mail/Rex Features, via New Scientist

Hanslope Park

Can you tell us something about the ones that are secret? The ones that don't have such a visible presence in the landscape? How do you find about them? Are there national or international networks of amateurs investigating them?

Take for example GCHQ, nearly everyone knows it is there, Google it! But disclosing more information about how they organize themselves, who works there, etc. would leave you open to direct legal problems. So when we documented it, we photographed the housing estate that surrounds it, with only small glimpses of its structure. Obviously, no people, cars, no number plates. We avoid disclosing any information of this sort. However, the documentation creates a different landscape, something we explored at Apexart in New York in our publication - The Redactor. Redaction is the ultimate aesthetic of a security driven world. Inadvertently the act of redaction drives speculation and conspiracy in terms of the security networks, which is something advantageous to those with power, so to short circuit or speak truth to power in some ways is good. Back to GCHQ, you can go there and drive around.

However, sites like Hanslope Park or Porton Down are less visible, even by car. They make use of geomorphology to reshape the landscape, traffic controls to create circuits of access and entry at high speeds, a range of measures and counter measures. Since we documented Hanslope Park, they have updated their websites and attempted to communicate a little more - openness can be a strategy too.

Office of Experiments with Tina O'Connell - Intervention - Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness Office, Washington DC

There is the word 'research' in the Overt Research Project but may we take it at face value? Where do you intervene as an artist?  And how important is it that artists and citizens engage with these sites?

Art has always sought to question the way in which we know and understand the world. It cannot simply take the world for granted, but how can it take into account the globalized scale life? Academic research does much to enable greater understanding of the world, but it is slow, bound in a set of ethical dilemmas and almost moribund when it comes to unofficial or non-institutional accounts of the world.

The Office of Experiments itself is based on what Maria Lind has called the 'fourth wave of Institutional Critique', the pseudo institution. However, our aim is to go beyond a critique of the artworld institution per se, and alongside others create new and alternative resources, knowledge and interpretations of the world that surrounds us. Research is a word used to describe this, but it is experimental, non-standard and undisciplined in our minds and in its practice. Our research is collaborative, discursive and opens up dialogue to discussions that many wish to keep concealed. It is a dialogue outside of the mass media, beyond the art of the aesthetics of protest, but is networked and precisely focused on its subject. I wonder if it is an emergent form - structural aesthetics. That would chime with the drive of artists like Ashok Sukumaran or writers such as Owen Hatherly and Stephen Graham.

0Harwell-Curie Site-1.jpg
Research for Experimental Ruins. Harwell Campus, Oxford

Another chapter of the research, 'Experimental Ruins', focused on sub-urban London. What did you discover during that phase of the project?

Experimental Ruins refers to the shifts and changes in the specifics of scientific research. As we virtualize through models on computers, less laboratory space is required. Digitisation has meant that models can replace organisms, the infrastructure of labs is shrinking onto networked, distributed and smaller scale sites. There are empty labs in the heart of London. So we wanted to explore the recent geology of science, to excavate its ruins and see what else there was and make a relationship between sites. We started with a workshop with academic colleague Dr. Gail Davies at UCL, a while back and have taken it from there.

Of course when you think about it, Sub-urban London is the perfect place to conceal in public as you have the cooption of local workers, the banality of infrastructure with the efficiency of logistics. It remains a key space in which to place a site of interest to us.

JG Ballard lived in Shepperton all his life. I was born very near there and was always fascinated by the barbed wire fences and private spaces of anonymous private organisations - firing my imagination perhaps. However, JG Ballard also knew that suburbia is a space of fear, a thinly veiled reality that behind its net curtains is morally dark. By way of example, you can go to a site on a small business park in the heart of suburban west London just off of Ballard's beloved M4 corridor and as you come around the corner, you will find it guarded by armed Military Police. This is the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC), which includes the MOD Geospatial Library and Map Depot.

We are currently organising a critical excursion - another of our fully mediated bus tours following on from hugely successful versions around Southampton, Falmouth, Newcastle and Portland, that will train people to undertake Overt Research based on this specific project. This tour will explore the London Orbital to the West of London. As is often the case with our work, it is supported by Arts Catalyst. The tour will launch from The Showroom in West London in October.


THE LAARC. Museum of London Archaeology Archive Centre 2011 OOE (cc)

On your website there is an announcement for the Office of Experiments Department of Catastrophe - with Museum of London, a new project examining 'Post-Event Archaeology'. Can you already tell us something about the project?

We are working with Museum of London on 'Experimental Ruins'. This has led to the possibility of exploring their vast archives, but also into looking more deeply into contemporary archaeology, a development that enables the forensic exploration of sites at a micro level.

As we are interested in event-structures (a term coined by John Latham with whom I worked a little) - that is the temporal dimension of space and its use, and the context of a social engagement, then this works with the history of site, also revealed in archives. Thinking further about this in an International context, we started to explore ideas of time and events through sites. Catastrophic is probably a category at one end of the register - a very sudden event. At the other end is a slow social decline, in places such as Detroit. Both ends of this register are difficult to document, either due to the rawness of trauma of conflict or massive environmental disaster, or as illustrated in the photography of Detroit, with Ruin Porn. In February, both Steve Rowell and I discussed these challenges at the Association of American Geographers in New York with the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency. The panel was called Ruinations: violence, snafu and porn. We also started to explore the Catastrophic area in a major public artwork that Steve Rowell curated in Washington DC - the 5x5. With the Irish artist Tina O'Connell and Transformer Gallery, we tried to draw on links between communities in the USA and Japan following the Tsunmai and Fukushima Diaichi disaster last year.

Overall as a project it is exciting, but fraught with danger of all kinds. Ultimately it might spell disaster for us, or for those with who are exploring how we might turn their Museum into a ruin itself. This is what we mean by the Department of Catastrophe.

Thanks Neal!

Previously: Truth Serum by The Office of Experiments, at the Sk-interfaces exhibition.

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Goethe-Institut Toronto presents The Future of Mobility: Pedestrians & the Livable City

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2012-06-05 01:00:00


The Future of Mobility:

Pedestrians & the Livable City

May–July 2012: exhibition "Berlin on the Go", walks, talks & more on the idea of shared streets

Presented by the Goethe-Institut

in collaboration with Urbanspace Gallery

© Julien Brachhammer

Taking steps towards a pedestrian-friendly city

This spring and summer, we are happy to present our new series The Future of Mobility, featuring an exhibition as well as participatory walking projects and a design charrette. In dialogue with our environmentally themed series The Future of Cities 2011-12 and following our artist project Transit Kitchen 2011, we now take a closer look at our streets and how pedestrians, bikes, public transport and cars can best share them.

"It is not so much new development that is the key to the future, but more a restructuring of what is already there in the cities." This is how Heribert Guggenthaler, Head of Planning and Design of Roads and Public Places in Berlin, describes his strategic plan. We took a meeting with him in 2010 as a starting point for an exploration of urban renewal in Berlin and Toronto. Our exhibition "Berlin on the Go" features innovate initiatives of the City of Berlin to encourage more people to walk. For this Toronto edition, we have solicited feedback from Berliners on their everyday walking experiences as discussion points for the Canadian audience.

The timing could not be better: As the City of Toronto's brand-new report The Walkable City shows, "walkable neighbourhoods tend to encourage better habits even among people who don't particularly value them." (The Toronto Star).

The Program:

June 5– July 31, 2012

Berlin on the Go – Towards a Pedestrian-Friendly City
Opening June 4, 5.30-7pm, with a talk by Toronto's star flaneur Shawn Micallef (Spacing Magazine)

Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON
free; open Monday-Saturday, 9am-7pm
The exhibition was developed and organized by the Goethe-Institut with FUSS.e.V, a Berlin pedestrians' rights organization, and the Senate Department of Urban Development in Berlin.

May 18, 2-6pm

The Future of a Walk
A future charrette & walk run by German-Canadian designer Ruth Spitzer with props such as walking sticks, coloured glasses, absurd objects. Followed by a workshop to initiate an envisioning process, to be documented and used as a platform for an Augmented Reality digital walk coming soon!
Centre for Social Innovation [Annex]
Meeting room #1, 2nd floor
720 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON
Limited space! Please register with your name & phone number to ruth@dorkenwald-spitzer.com!

May 19, 10am-c. 5pm

Ambassadors of Coincidence
A participatory City Walk Game
Berlin super 8 filmmaker Dagie Brundert will conduct a creative exploration in downtown Toronto.
Brundert: "We choose a starting point by chance (dice or telephone book). We go there, find something, any stranded goods, doodle, debris, sign, scene that gives away its secret and inspires us to find the next station. There can be beauty in banality and we'll find it. We film and record -- the magic points are what we see, what we think ... it can lead us to surprises or boredom. That depends on us. And a little on the weather. Super 8 helps make a jewel out of it!"
Dagie Brundert is the inaugural Goethe-LIFT Filmmaker-in-Residence 2012.
Across Toronto; Limited space! Please register with your name & phone number to registration@lift.on.ca!

June 5 + 25, 6-7pm each

Spine Walk
An Embodied Audio Walk
Toronto performance artist Cara Spooner creates a participatory tour along soon-to-be pedestrianized John Street. Participants will listen on headphones as they walk from John's sacrum (Front St) to its head (Grange). Other cues, movement instructions, narrations and sound scores will accompany the tour. Themes will be critiques of leisure, entertainment, amusement and distraction. The project personifies the street in an attempt to create empathy between the walkers and the physical infrastructure, social codes, movement, others using the street as well as urban nature elements.
Long after the scheduled walks are complete, the audio tour will continue to be available for download and self-guided free tours at www.goethe.de/toronto.
Limited space! Please register with your name & phone number to caraspooner@gmail.com!

More information, updates and calls on our website www.goethe.de/toronto.

Program & Media Contact:

Jutta Brendemühl
Program Coordinator
Goethe-Institut Toronto
100 University Ave, North Tower,
2nd floor, mailbox 136
Toronto, ON M5J 1V6
Tel. +1 416 5935257-205


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FutureEverybody, the art of participatory technologies

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2012-06-04 14:25:52

FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

This year's edition of the FutureEverything festival in Manchester brought a much discussed phenomenon to the fore: participatory culture. From Wikileaks to Iceland's crowd-sourced constitution, to the Arab Spring, participatory technologies have demonstrated their powerful political potential. The world of culture is harnessing the same connected energies with projects that involve citizen scientists cataloging celestial bodies in the Milky Way galaxy, crowd-curated photo exhibitions and of course the many projects created by artists and designers who either directly use collective action or bring it under a new light.


FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

The festival is over but the exhibition, titled FutureEverybody, remains open till June 10. It is hosted in the spectacular 1830 warehouse, the world's first railway warehouse, part of the Museum of Science and Industry.

The show obviously focuses on the artistic dimension of new participatory technologies, giving a tangible and very approachable dimension to a phenomenon we tend to associate mostly with online practice. FutureEverybody opens with the work of an artist known for putting them spectacularly into practice: Aaron Koblin who, a few years ago, teamed up with Takashi Kawashima and thousands of online workers to create a $100 bill. But you all know Aaron's work so let me call your attention to some of the projects i discovered in the show:



Daniel Jones and James Bulley, Maelstrom. View from the exhibition of the FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Over 48 hours of user-created audio is uploaded to the internet every minute, a figure that is increasing exponentially. Maelstrom by Daniel Jones and James Bulley draws on these audio-fragments in real-time and broadcasts them through suspended speakers. By organising these fragments based on their tonal attributes, they collectively form a vast instrument, whose properties are affected by global internet activity.

Moritz Stefaner + Dario Taraborelli + Luca Ciampaglia, Notabilia, 2011

Wikipedia articles, especially new ones, are reviewed by the community to determine whether or not they meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines. Articles nominated for deletion are discussed collectively by the editors before they decided in favor or against keeping them. An administrator then reviews the debate and makes the final decision.

Moritz Stefaner, Dario Taraborelli and Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia analyzed Article for Deletion (AfD) discussions in the English Wikipedia. The result of their research is Notabilia, a visualization of the 100 longest discussions that stemmed from the proposal to delete an article.

I was less interested in the data visualization (which is obviously clear and competently designed) than in learning about the articles questioned and the reason put for forward for their remotion from the online encyclopedia. The entries deleted ranged from the surprising (Islamophobiaphobia) to the downright absurd (List of songs about masturbation, List of Playboy Playmate with D-cups or larger breasts). I've also noticed the high number of articles exposing dubious political or religious agendas.

Jamie Allen, Refractive Index. FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Jamie Allen's Refractive Index is an ongoing art-research project that uses the large scale public media displays as a kind of camera obscura; inverting typical uses of the screen, and showing us what our screens "see" when they peer into the night sky. I'm not sure i understand what makes it a project that deals with collective action but i loved the rigorous research behind it as well as the way it was documented.




Lawrence Epps, Human Resources. FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Lawrence Epps, Human Resources, 2012 (in Switzerland)

Right in the middle of the exhibition space was a heap of miniature ceramic figures hand-made by 
Lawrence Epps. A few days before i visited the show, the Sykey Collective distributed 8,000 of these tiny workers in the streets of Manchester. Passersby were then invited to bring them to work, home, on business trips, holidays and document the figurines journey online, either on www.sykey.org and via twitter #littleclaymen.

I wanted to steal a figurine from the exhibition pile and take it with me on the train to London but being a stupidly well-behaved girl, i just looked sadly at them and walked away empty-handed.


Jeremy Hutchison, Extra! Extra!. FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Jeremy Hutchison's Extra! Extra! is a collection of newspaper advertising boards with headlines written by Facebook users on the project's Facebook wall. The messages are printed by the Manchester Evening News, and plastered on newspaper billboards around the Museum of Science and Industry site.



Blast Theory, I'd Hide You. FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Blast Theory was premiering their new game I'd Hide You. As is often the case with the UK collective, I'd Hide You is an online/offline game. Only performers play in the streets while the public can log online, follow them and play. Rules are detailed in the trailer:

Who wouldn't want to be one of the three performers with the cool outfits and gadgets running in the streets of Manchester?


Helen Pritchard + Winnie Soon, Jsut Code. FutureEverything Festival 2012 - Image by TAPE

Previously: An Ant Ballet at FutureEverything.

Entrance to the FutureEverybody Art Exhibition is free. The show remains open at 1830 Warehouse, Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester until 10th June 2012.

More images by TAPE. I take photos too!

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#A.I.L - artists in laboratories, episode 3

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2012-06-04 07:35:39

As announced previously, i've started a programme about art and science for ResonanceFM. The third episode is broadcast today Monday 4 June at 16.30 (GMT.) There will be a repeat on Thursday at 22.30. You can catch it online if you don't live in London. And of course we will have podcasts (still waiting for them.)

Howard Boland, Banana Bacteria, 2011

Howard Boland is in the studio today. The artist and mathematician co-founded C-LAB, an interdisciplinary art platform that explores the meaning and idiosyncrasies of the organic and the synthetic life.

7 years ago, I interviewed them about cacti that grow human hair and interstellar plant species. The radio programme catches up with their current interests, mostly magnetic nanoparticles and bacteria that might or might not smell like bananas.

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Travel Grants to attend CIMAM'S 2012 Annual Conference

Feed : Universes in Universe - Magazine
Published on : 2012-06-04 05:19:31
For participants from developing countries to attend 2012 Annual Conference in Istanbul. Deadline: 1 July 2012

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2012 IILA Photography Prize - V Edition

Feed : Universes in Universe - Magazine
Published on : 2012-06-04 04:23:43
For photographers from Latin America up to 40 years of age. Theme: Work. Deadline: 30 June 2012.

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Julie Oakes: Awestruck

Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2012-06-02 01:00:00


Julie Oakes
June 2 - July 15, 2012
opening reception: Saturday, June 2 from 2-5pm

The new collection of works, Awestruck, by Julie Oakes was inspired by her relocation to the interior of British Columbia from her former cosmopolitan surroundings (Toronto and New York). This immersion has allowed the artist to commune with nature and reconnect with primal themes of the land, animals and the elements. Added to her new natural surroundings, the themes underlying Awestruck stem from the fact that Oakes will soon be a grandmother, the pending birth of her grandchild causing her to reflect of cycles of life and regeneration. Awestruck is couched in formats and techniques informed by Rocco, classicism and art nouveau such as overblown and detailed representations of flora and fauna.

In Awestruck, Julie Oakes continues to explore themes of the spirituality found in nature through the anthropomorphizing of her animal subjects. The subjects seem awestruck by the attention paid to them, which engenders a self-consciousness in their demeanour. In each portrait, the animal subjects are supported by carefully staged scenes, the foliage and environment of the settings adding to metaphors of mortality. Borrowing from vanitas traditions of historical painting, the animals are given the reverence of saints- their fur perfect and eyes bejewelled- they seem to reflect an ideal of nature rather than the real, messy and unpredictable "otherness" of the animal kingdom.

Julie Oakes: Hooks
Book Signing
Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 2-5pm

In conjunction with the opening reception of Awestruck, Julie Oakes will be signing copies of her newly released novel Hooks, a Dundurn publication. Copies of the book will be available for sale at Lonsdale Gallery during the event on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

For more information about Hooks, or to order an advanced copy online, visit the Dundurn website at: www.dundurn.com/books/hooks

Lonsdale Gallery
410 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario
M5P 2W2
Gallery Hours: Thursday- Sunday 11-5pm and by appointment

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