Re: [-empyre-] media architecture and cross-cultural influence

Stimulating questions and observations, Johannes.

What happened in the instances of PED where the external conditions for participation became unanticipated didn't affect the capacity for public broadcast. In Chongqing, because we utilized battery-operated megaphones (the kind used by the bus operators to solicit riders in Chongqing, and the same kind used by Hong Kong pro-democracy rally organizers during protest marches) that were connected to players that were powered by the pedaling action, we were able to broadcast loudly over a generous geography. Despite the fact that we were hemmed into a 'safe' zone (i.e. the campus), we were able to bend the ears of numerous people on the street by pausing the machines at strategic points facing the streets and pointing our megaphones their way.

This situation foregrounded the impetus behind PED's use of low-tech public broadcasting devices: at the core is a do-it-yourself spirit of not only generating one's own motion but also empowering the rider to intrude upon passersby and smear the landscape with the probing soundtracks.

My experimentations are not always geared specifically toward social interaction - as I stated early on, social interaction is just one of the mechanisms I explore and not applied wholesale to every work I generate. The potential to become disrupted or at least challenged in one's perceptual habits or cultural assumptions is equally strong in situations of private, individual experiencing as they are in the larger public gestures.

Although I agree that there is a lot of "a-political (i.e. useless) ... interactive audio-visual digital media" work being generated that have more bells and whistles than socially-conscious substance, I believe it's misleading to define relevance based on media.

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