[-empyre-] interpreting datasets ..data viz decode real time..stanza

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Fri Feb 26 03:14:27 EST 2010

Hi Stanza

Yes, I remember your work in the show and discussing it with a friend who
was with me (a poet who also works with media). She wasn¹t aware of your
work so I told her about the piece you had in the show we did together a few
years ago, Net:Reality. I really liked that work. You talk of the critical
visualisation of the socio-cultural fabric of the city. The work from
Net:Reality did this really well, using CCTV camera imagery and various
algorithms to reveal patterns of surveillance and behaviour in the urban
environment. The piece in the V&A didn¹t do this as clearly for me, but
perhaps I didn¹t give it the time it deserved.

As for your comments about the V&A ­ it remains the case that most curators
and institutions are at a bit of a loss when it comes to maintaining new
media art works. But let¹s not get into that one ­ that¹s another can of



Simon Biggs

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk  simon at littlepig.org.uk  Skype: simonbiggsuk
Research Professor  edinburgh college of art  http://www.eca.ac.uk/
Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice

From: stanza <Stanza at sublime.net>
Reply-To: <Stanza at sublime.net>, soft_skinned_space
<empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 16:52:20 +0000
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] interpreting datasets ..data viz decode real

actually the real shame here is the way the work (Golan Levins piece) is
/ isn't treated  ...........there is  now a sign where the work should
be, "this piece has been removed as it isn't working"....

also ref Simon's "review" of Decode below........the show while
decorative  was co-curated (I believe this hasn't helped) and probably
led to the feeling Simon is reaching for below.....(I also have
misgivings about a lot of the work). I am in this Decode show,  and its
been very  difficult keeping the sensors running,  replacing batteries,
and generally keeping the work maintained.....I send emails daily.....as
I can monitor my  work remotey....but I  cannot change batteries.

Simon....in light of recent posts on data viz and animation, especially
real time; my  Sensity piece might have sparked some reference ----> I
dont see my work as "environmental design". The work is real time,
online, open sourced data,  its crosses through data viz and
animation......and although its  located on environmental monitoring
.......its pushing at the boundaries of soundscapes, sonifications and
questioning real time space. ³Sensity V & A² uses environmental sensors
scattered all over the museum and the city to make visualisation and
sonifications. Literally painting with data these works open up a
discourse about networks and surveillance technologies. The ownership
and interrogation of public domain space is opened out where anyone can
view all the data in these networks. I  use this data to make artworks
but it is of equal interest to urban designers, city planners, and
architects. The main point is to question the social political fabric of
the landscape around us. This work aims to reclaim the city which is
remade as a real time virtualised space belonging to all. The work is
interactive, real time and responsive; it is also available online.

I have has an ongoing battle for V and A to  leverage this work  more,
and indeed even in terms of display  they wanted  the globe
but weren't prepared to pay....

Anyway.....these artworks aren't fixed interrogations of assets
(databases) or re-arrangements of modernists collections, they are
reflections on the wider real time world using my own hardware. So ...if
any of you have any comments on the real time city, or what  real time
means in relation to your recent posting that would be insightful.


stanza at sublime.net

> I'm hoping we can get  "Golan's piece" working shortly. I'll let you
> know.  --  Helen
> On Feb 23, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
>> I saw the Decode show. I think it is a good case in point here.
>> There were a small number of works that were conceptually and
>> contextually intriguing enough to demand more than a few seconds
>> contemplation. Sadly Golan Levin¹s piece was broken so I don¹t know
>> if that was one of them. I liked a mirror piece where you gradually
>> appeared the longer you were stationery ­ except I saw the same thing
>> done far better, with real visceral and disturbing impact, by Romy
>> Achituv in a show in Macau a decade ago. Lozzano-Hemmer¹s kissing
>> wallpaper piece was of some interest but far from his best. Casey
>> Reas piece was a Reas piece - a well known one at that.
>> I know the show was at the V&A and its remit extends to design and
>> the decorative arts as well as visual and other arts and crafts.
>> However, much of the work in the show did not rise above the
>> simplistically decorative. In the case of Lozzano-Hemmer he was happy
>> to present his work as wallpaper, which was at least honest. What was
>> disturbing was how many of the people presenting their work in the
>> show sought to inflate it to the status of art when most of it was
>> closer to ambient noodling, environmental design or, well, wallpaper.
>> It might look appealing in a club or foyer where people will not
>> pause to consider what the work might signify but to present it as
>> art was hubris. In those cases where the work was clearly a design
>> prototype, such as a text/data zoetrope piece, things worked far
>> better and evoked interest within the intended framework.
>> I have only seen Ikeda¹s work in documentation and heard his music.
>> He would have fitted into the Decode show very well.
>> Best
>> Simon
>> Simon Biggs
>> s.biggs at eca.ac.uk  simon at littlepig.org.uk  Skype: simonbiggsuk
>>  http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ <http://www.littlepig.org.uk/>
>> Research Professor  edinburgh college of art  http://www.eca.ac.uk/
>> *C*reative *I*nterdisciplinary *R*esearch into *C*o*L*laborative
>> *E*nvironments  http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
>> *E*lectronic *L*iterature as a *M*odel of *C*reativity and
>> *I*nnovation in *P*ractice  http://www.elmcip.net/
>> *From: *Corrado Morgana <corradomorgana at blueyonder.co.uk>
>> *Reply-To: *soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>> *Date: *Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:27:32 -0000
>> *To: *'soft_skinned_space' <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>> *Subject: *Re: [-empyre-] interpreting datasets from science and
>> natureinanimation (Richard)
>> Ikeda's work at the recent Decode exhibition..loved it (again), felt
>> like I
>> was a the starship captain I've wanted to be since boyhood ;-)
>> I think the data was actually starcharts but visualised in 3 separate
>> forms.
>> Not sure what the animation was actually for though (sequentially
>> selecting
>> star proximity from a fixed point?)
>> Surely though most visualisation is tweaked towards some form of
>> aesthetic
>> quality either for clarity of purpose/readability or 'wowing' an audience
>> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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