Re: [-empyre-] the drone of metaphor and representation
> I'm curious to
> hear about the opening and attendant discussions - how were the online
> pieces integrated in the whole?
In an early posting I mentioned the lack of attention of the online
commissions by inSite and the feeling that it was merely a side project
- that if they were going to execute an exhibition in the public space -
the Internet should be acknowledged. The physical intervention artists
were given four residencies over a two year period and seemingly immense
budgets. The online artists were invited to do projects with less than
a year before the opening and invited to San Diego/Tijuana for one three
day introduction and given a $5k budget and sent on their way. However,
when I did seek help from inSite to develop a project, I did receive
plenty of support.
The format that inSite is taking is to spread the openings/receptions
and discussions of the various projects into weekend long events over
the length of the exhibition - end of August to mid-November. The
online artists will be hosted by inSite the third week of October to
present and discuss projects in both San Diego (UCSD) and Tijuana
(CECUT). So there hasn't been an integration of the online projects
other than a link from the inSite front page to a page linking the
Diana, you make a number of juicy points in your comments, thank you!
I agree that the actualized gesture requires a different type of
commitment, but not necessarily budget as the artists already have a
drone and will be in the location in October - easily allowing for that
well located, bigger impact gesture. As to who is getting humanized to
whom - only the moment of the spectacle would tell. I imagine that it
would be a cross-border humanization with both parties taking part in
the remote controlled maneuvering of the drone.
Returning to the question of translation, I'd like to bring another
inSite project into focus - "Turista Fronterizo" by Ricardo Dominguez
and Coco Fusco -
Turista Fronterizso adopts the familiar Monopoly game to present
elements and issues of the border from the perspective of one of four
generalized border crossing types. You choose which character you want
to play, you are given an appropriate budget and proceed to make your
way around the game board. The various spots along the board represent
some primary institutions on either side of the border that will treat
you accordingly. The game is fairly static and for the most the
situations presented on the board are stereotypical. It seems to me
that the game utilizes familiarity and stereotypes to effectively
present some of the primary issues of the San Diego/Tijuana border culture.
I do wish that the artists had dug much further as the game fails to
present any revealing insights as it presents cursory and superficial
knowledge. And in doing so it also fails to use the most effective
properties of the Internet. At the very least, I would have appreciated
an index (with links when possible) of the various places presented in
The game successfully presents an initial point of translation - these
are some of the main places and activities on the border and this is how
you are likely to be treated depending on who you are and how much money
you have. But this initial translation isn't opened up to further
analysis, links, information...
> Greetings Empyre!
> And thanks to Angel, Ricardo and Ryan for opening up a challenging
> discussion about their work in relation to the insite show. I'm curious to
> hear about the opening and attendant discussions - how were the online
> pieces integrated in the whole?
> In terms of translation, what I like about two projects in particular,
> dentimundo and lowdrone, are the multiple points of access that they
> offer. Call me old school, but I find both of them readable on different
> "culturally specific" levels. On the one hand, they translate border
> issues into art for a more or less white new media crowd, and on the other
> they translate new media into something like "potential art experience"
> for a totally different crowd, down with the brown. Maybe I'd add another
> level, which is just the usual public surfing around. both take aesthetic
> clues from existing popular culture, rendering them both familiar and
> exotic (depending on which side of the psychic border you stand on).
> In this case, I am really curious about what Christina meant with
> artlessness in reference to dentimundo?
> I haven't been following the discussion closely enough, but I think it was
> Angel who pointed out just how far north the border has extended - which
> is an appropriate smudging of the boundaries in terms of slippery things
> like culture and maybe even geography. Guess I'd point out that
> geographically, Mexico is part of North America, while economically,
> global south. And since Hidalgo Guadalupe, a huge portion of what was
> Mexico is now 'El Norte'.
> And, somehow all this reminds me of how just a slight shift of location,
> translated David Avalos's Donkey cart sculputure from a fairly innocuous
> piece of folkish art safely contained in chicano park to provacative
> political gesture in front the INS - Let's just say la migra dont
> appreciate art. This somehow brings me back to the points about
> realization in lowdrone - how important is it for that gesture to be
> actualized? That kind of work takes a totally different type of
> committment (not to mention budget). Seems to me like a well located
> gesture can have a bigger impact. Getting lost in the gadgetry can really
> divert attention from what is being said to how.
> Like would that marine become more "human" with icee in one hand, and
> controls in the other? I mean, given the make-up of the US military,
> chances are that guard knows all about lowriders and drones - so who is
> getting humanized to who? (Reminds me to send the link to my brother in
> law - he all his high tech militar vato buddies will get a kick out of
> So,getting back into the what: what is being translated exactly? And to
> who? Like the discussion here expands on the technology familiar in this
> specific sphere - so, like the whole fetish function of hyrdraulics
> doesn't even come into play. Not to mention all the other high tech
> gadgetry needed to deck out a ride. Surely, that is the most important
> tech feature of any self-respecting lowrider! This point already locates
> this discussion in a very different space from that other net space where
> people are leaving comments about lowdrone, asking if its real, or
> pointing out the contradictions in high flying lowriders - the work is
> reaching way outside of the cultural landscape of border interventions.
> That imaginary space of appropriation is interesting to me because so many
> threads collide. here, some aspect of technology is being claimed for
> subversive purposes, through the act of naming, but it flies both ways.
> paz from berlin,
> >>i wonder about the need for "realization" of the technology in all
> > I'm entirely in agreement with this and I recall as well the first time
> > I saw cybraceros and thinking just that - "no way, what am I seeing!?"
> > And I agree that actual realization isn't necessary to have an effect.
> > Perhaps due to my familiarity with LowDrone I failed to reach that
> > moment of suspension of disbelief.
> > That said, I still think that a public staging of LowDrone would not
> > only be a good deal of fun, but would also lead to some interesting
> > dialogue.
> > While I attended the opening events of inSite and and stood near the
> > border fence in Playas, Tijuana, (where LowDrone was flown), a marine on
> > the other side of the border approached our group to see if there was a
> > paletero(icee cart) near by that we could call over for him. One person
> > in our group went on to have a friendly discussion with the marine as
> > she asked him if such an exchange would be appropriate ... This was a
> > moment when Gatekeeper (the military name for the San Diego/Tijuana
> > section of the border) was humanized.
> > At that moment it was apparent that the marines posted at the border
> > were bored and hot, not only wanting an icee but also to chat. I wonder
> > what sort of exchange would go on, if the guards were to play along with
> > LowDrone for a little while and what sort of exchange would occur
> > between the young marines and any LowDrone participants?
> > ricardo
> > p.s. a quick reminder that next weekend is the DC March and Rally:
> > http://www.unitedforpeace.org/
> >> > As it stands the project exists in the realm of metaphor and
> >> > representation. I think it would be great to extend it beyond that
> >> > space either through tele-performance which is suggested by the
> >> > interaction presented on the website, or to enact a series of
> >> > performances in which a spontaneous audience might be allowed to
> >> > control
> >> > the LowDrone. This might be something similar to the Institute for
> >> > Applied Autonomy's graffiti writer in which pedestrians could write
> >> > their own messages using the remotely controlled graffiti vehicle and
> >> > therefore enacting a form of civil disobedience.
> >> > ricardo
> >> i also found the Low Drone extremely funny and a challenging idea. i
> >> wonder about the desire to enact a functional tactical media in this
> >> case however... not because i don't find the IAA's work (and other
> >> similar efforts) critically effective and interesting, but i wonder
> >> about the need for "realization" of the technology in all cases. i
> >> think of Alex Rivera's other well known project (were you part of this
> >> too Angel?), the Cybracero http://www.cybracero.com/ . and also some of
> >> the actions of other tactical media practitioners like the Yes Men. The
> >> impact of cybracero for me was that it didn't require any technological
> >> spectacle to create the suspension of disbelief. the theatrical (and
> >> tactical) moment came out in the form of a believing disbelief...
> >> "What? are you kidding me?!" predicated on an acceptance of it as
> >> somehow real in the face of apparent unlikelihood. maybe this goes back
> >> to our discussions about the network and locality.
> >> the audience is one predicated on a certain distance - a mediated
> >> distance - from the site of supposed contact. we can fall for the
> >> cybracero hoax because we're already so disconnected from the realities
> >> of food production (and by direct connection, the physical sites of
> >> production). but it reveals that distance (between audience and
> >> site/prodcution) once it's revealed as a hoax - which depends on the
> >> practice of a media bound by principles of fact checking and 'truth.'
> >> i'm not saying that technological manifestations of tactical media
> >> aren't great and useful, but that it can also include mechanisms that
> >> play on our desires/beliefs about 'functionality' from a critical
> >> perspective.
> >> just a thought...
> >> best - ryan
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> > ricardo miranda zuñiga
> > www.ambriente.com
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ricardo miranda zuñiga
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