[-empyre-] scalable relations-- how doesthis matter?(orde-materialize?)
christina at christinamcphee.net
Wed Feb 11 02:50:29 EST 2009
Thanks Micha for writing, super interesting .
> Micha wrote:
> When I read discussion large scale data analysis as aesthetic
> practice, I have some concern about the loss of the richness of
> singular experiences and events with which I associate most
> performance art, which often involves a situated political and
> ethical context."
Christiane Paul observes:
> I often sense a longing for embodiment in audiences' reactions to
> this processing. I would argue that data is always embodied and has
> a very real effect on our lives (along the lines of Foucault's bio
> politics). I think new media art has addressed or struggled with
> this tension between the virtual, connected, collective and the
> embodied, singular, personal for quite some time. I don't think
> there is a simple formula for creating art that resolves this
> tension, I see it more as an important phenomenon that needs to be
> explored on the level f the artwork and the audience.
At the moment my small but merry band of undergrad students (film and/
or game majors) are making flash and html based games exploring
narrativity ... the other day this process led to an intense
discussion on how kids born in the nineties don't have an experience
of the old story based , high content video games (like Broderbund's
Gabriel Knight, Lara Croft, etc) .. where the CGI was relatively
primitive and the writing had to be really, really strong -- as they
said the content was the best part of it-- and this was immersive for
them .. all born in the late eighties, now around 20/21 years old.
The old story based games are dead.
They reported that they feel a disconnect with current games despite
intense verisimilitude (at least on the level of 3 d rendering)--
because the personal adventure isn't playing out on such a minimal
topologic space which unfolds mainly as story line (take this
talisman, open door, ask question, etc etc).
Two of the students are teaming up to resuscitate and visually/
sonically animate a version of Zork ( from 1981 or so...reaching back
to pre-graphics days_).
> - the question is how self-reflexive an artist needs to be about the
> process; meaning, do the assumptions or the subjectivity of the
> point of view need to become a subject of the analysis itself? (I'm
> not suggesting w should get into a discussion of relativity theory ;)
Another quite interesting view of mutual subjectivity and social
dynamic in new media design comes from Josh McVeigh-Schulz. Josh is
in the MFA program here at UC Santa Cruz and works with Warren Sack
and Sharon Daniel, two of the artists featured in Christiane's
exhibition, as Christiane notes extensively in her most recent posts.
Josh has been developing a project called "Synaptic Crowd." I
really like how Josh is troubled by this very problem of subjectivity
and propelled by it to look for 'synaptic ' principles in his design
research. Josh writes,
"My research seeks to understand how performers’ impression management
strategies adapt to the contextual uncertainty of distributed
audiences. I address this
question by designing interactive systems that mediate distributed
audiences in novel
ways. For my MFA thesis in UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media
am working with Warren Sack and Sharon Daniel to build a mobile
crowd-sources the traditional vox pop (“on the street”) video
interview. Titled Synaptic
Crowd: Vox Pop Experiments, the project enables groups to conduct
collaboratively through the phone of a remote camera operator. Using
SMS and a
VoiceXML driven mobile interface, participants are able to nominate
and vote on
potential questions and then listen to the answer over their phone
while they formulate
follow up questions. I’m interested in how delegating the
responsibility of question
formation to a collective body will transform the social dynamics of
interactions. I’m also interested in thinking about how this system
enables new ways for
distributed groups to intervene in public space."
And he goes on a bit later:
"I’m interested in thinking about how distributed audiences
could participate in interview encounters beyond simple question
formation and voting.
For example, how might a distributed audience convey aggregated non-
cues? Experimenting with various data visualization models (either
through visual or
audio modalities) might enable distributed audiences to have a more
with remote interview subjects. Examples of this kind of augmentation
various means of representing nonverbal communication (laughter,
distraction, etc.) as abstracted visual or audio signals."
Something here about how communication moves from an 'abstraction' of
'signal' to 'embodiment' and back again seems to be a core clue in the
mystery of how contemporary art in general , including new media,
provokes and includes even as it is a constantly moving target
(relativity pace Christiane)--. Maybe these communicative moves are
scalable only through augmented
visuality, as Josh suggests here... ? or is the medium of q and a
distributed call and response in itself scalable even without visuals?
OrThe visuals could be part of a spectacle (carried by news mass
media)- as in the Facebook organized flash mob 'silent dj' events now
happing in London at the major tube stops, such as LIverpool Street.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Thousands of dancers jammed a major London
train station in a Facebook-driven "flashmob" mimicking an
advertisement for a phone company.
Thousands of people attended Friday's silent disco.
And the event last Friday evening was so successful that another is
planned for next Friday in Trafalgar Square in central London. Plus, a
group has been set up to organize another one at Liverpool Street
Station a week later.
Videos posted on the social-networking site showed Liverpool Street
Station completely filled with people, counting down the seconds until
the clock showed 7 p.m., then dancing to music on their mp3 players as
the hour struck.
The sheer scale of the event came as a complete surprise to the
organizer, a 22-year-old Facebook user who identified himself only as
"I was watching TV and the T-Mobile advertisement came up and I
thought, hm, let's get my friends down to Liverpool Street and do a
little dance," he told CNN by phone. He posted the event on Facebook
and invited his friends, who invited their friends, he said, and so on
until thousands of people had been told of the plan.
"At a quarter to seven people just flocked into the station like
someone opened a plughole and the water went out," he said. "They just
kept coming in like sheep. As it grew and grew, I just thought, 'This
is going to be huge.'" iReport.com: Were you there? Send your photos
His main memory of the event is "the volume of people -- you couldn't
see the floor," he said.
He left after 15 minutes -- the scheduled ending time -- for fear of
the police, he said, adding that he had deleted his name from the
event Web site and refused to identify himself to CNN for the same
"The entire main concourse was packed full of people dancing, cheering
and screaming," ...
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