[-empyre-] SenseLab - new forms of collaboration

carol-ann braun carol-ann.braun at wanadoo.fr
Wed May 8 05:12:00 EST 2013


I looked up Issue no 3 of INFLeXions - and your description of the Society
of Molecules.  

I like the "three-way network" between emissaries  in order to keep
affective connections among different micropolitical groups scattered across
the globe (I feel like doing the same thing with our "happiness project"!)

You have articulated the issue of scale and activism:

"...I mean this in the sense that Society of Molecules as a concept and as a
distributed micropolitical event can never contain the “meaning” of its
political activity. It is a call, a proposition. Its potential will only be
known in its continued becoming. In this sense, there is no “full
visibility” of its politics, no “making sense of it” across or beyond
existing political constituencies. Society of Molecules is a call for the
making apparent of an already­ existent commotion at the micropolitical
level. Harnessing this commotion may be another way of embracing the urgency
in life you speak about. Urgency in life is a call to create again, from the
middle. It is a call to invent techniques for the making perceptible of
transversal operations, and to tweak these techniques as they are captured
and reified..."

Would you mind taking that idea up again, specifically in relation to the
notion of scale in collaboration ? :-)


le  07/05/13 17:14  Erin Manning  erintango at gmail.com wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Carol-Ann,
> thanks for another very interesting take on your process. We also, at the
> SenseLab, had a situation where a member suffered a psychotic break and ended
> up in the hospital at the end of one of our events ("Housing the Body;
> Dressing the Environment"). It was a very difficult moment and put a lot of
> things into perspective for us, especially as we realized how unequiped we
> were to deal with the therapeutic (here in the Guattarian sense) as the
> violence the break had generated became more and more personalized. I've come
> to think, as you do here, that the force of the event includes the event-based
> hospitality it proposes. How can an event generate the kind of care that would
> allow such a potential event not to degenerate into a personal crisis? How do
> you generate and sustain what Guattari calls a "group subject," a subject (in
> the event) that is capable of composing with the act (is this activism?). In
> our case, when this happened, the only thing I could ultimately think of doing
> (after 2 months of experimenting with all the techniques we could summon) was
> to end the SenseLab, which I did, offering up the suggesting that anyone else
> could begin it again with new techniques. Within 24 hours Bianca Scliar
> relaunched the SenseLab and it has been going ever since. One thing I realized
> during this period was that I couldn't underestimate the vulnerability this
> kind of work creates. This happened in 2007 and has strengthened our resolve
> not to be afraid of meeting our own end - we prefer the end of the SenseLab to
> its institutionalization of staid practices. How do we remain necessary (to
> ourselves, to others) is one of our most current questions. I mean this in the
> Nietzschean sense, where necessity fashions the way, the path, and not in the
> capitalist sense.
> The technical questions of collaboration are mobile within the SenseLab. We
> have tendencies, and skills, of course, and these affect the decisions and
> directions we take. But we try to keep the experiment as open as possible each
> time in order to generate new techniques. For our 2013 Enter Bioscleave event,
> for instance, Brian and I spent a day last week with Madeline Gins to discuss
> how to connect our idea of enabling constraints to her procedures. This was
> very generative (we ended up creating 3 new hybrid procedures which Madeline
> will include in her next book!). When we descend on Bioscleave in October (in
> the form of an infestation both into Bioscleave and out into the Hamptons) the
> idea will be to have generated a set of techniques to co-compose across the
> necessities of Arakawa and Gins' procedural approach and to have expanded on
> our process. We will also be working with a local farm, which will necessitate
> other kinds of collaborative tools (we hope to work with them to make the food
> for the event), with local nurseries (there is a planting/seeding component to
> the event), with local performers (there is a mobile bike proposition that
> includes a performative aspect) etc. Each of these collaborations will
> generate new techniques and new constraints. Our hope is to become flexible
> enough, and precise enough, to be able to co-compose across very different
> cultures in order to best generate local emergent collectivities (this could
> be a real challenge in Long Island!!). But again, our main goal is humble - to
> generate sustainable hubs of action in various sites that continue to
> collaborate beyond the time of the event. And of course, there will always be
> a digital component, as I mentioned before. In this case, the techniques still
> have to be invented as internet streaming is out of the question (no internet
> connection). So we are thinking of operating in unreal-time. I have no doubt
> Patrick Lichty will be an innovator in this regard!
> Erin
> On 2013-05-07, at 8:13 AM, carol-ann braun <carol-ann.braun at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Carol, Many thanks
>>> for writing about your projects with
>> Concert-Urbain.  This is a quick post but
>>> could you give us a bit more
>> information about how the association works?
>>> What is your role?  Who
>> innovates the ideas that are supported?  Thanks!
>>> Renate
>> Renate, I understand that you are specifically interested in the
>> inner-workings of "collaboration" and the place of artistic identity in a
>> collective enterprise.
>> "Who innovates the ideas"?  For Concert-Urbain, it depends on which idea.
>> There are "artistic/design ideas", "social ideas", "technical ideas",
>> "research ideas". I do the "drawing". I diagram the conceptual paths between
>> screen representations, the shared imaginary space, the media-objects, the
>> social dynamic and the technology. I also create the interface designs,
>> though I am happy to open the "visuals" to students and young professionals.
>> For me, the core that I carry and identify with is a stubborn  "intent", in
>> the fluxian sense. (And I write the grants to keep the ball rolling).
>> When the innovation is technological it is carried by our programmers: Denis
>> Chiron (tralalere.net/), Mathieu Desve (dagobert.com), Andre Berlemont
>> (oneliferemains.com). They experiment technology with Concert-Urbain's
>> projects and transfer the expertise to their jobs; the reverse also occurs
>> and we benefit from programming done elsewhere. (I often ask them what they
>> want to develop and find funding for that too).
>> I'm interested in a term Erin used: "the force of an event". The term
>> "event" is also fluxian and adapted to intermedial work carried by a network
>> that gives life to the event, promotes it, archives it, etc.... It
>> highlights the links between collaboration + interactive art + the Internet
>> + activism.
>> Biographical note: my first collaborative piece was with the poet Blake
>> Leland and the photographer David Bett, at Cornell in the early 1980s. The
>> poem "Gravity Waves" was encased in a grid of photographs on the wall of the
>> Olive Tjaden Gallery and recited in canon (thank you Jim Leblanc, Richard
>> Estelle and Megan.. And the CCPA). This work inspired the "interactive
>> mise-en-scene" of other poems by Blake Leland, done with programmers whom I
>> consider to be co-authors. (There are snippets of all this on
>> inner-media.org and a funky "video teaser" done later but still online at:
>> http://videochannel.newmediafest.org/select15.html)
>> These collaborative efforts were, for me, innovative...but participatory in
>> a very limited sense.  And they had nothing to do with "activism".
>> For me, "activism" became an issue subsequent to a three-year artist
>> residency at Telecom-ParisTech, with Dr Annie Gentes. No time to go into the
>> details, which included interdisciplinary classes of engineers, continuing
>> education students and musicians (see "City Paradigms" at ISEA 2000; the
>> MILIA 2001 in Cannes).
>> What emerged was a design problem that has fueled much of my work since
>> then: how to cross representation and conversation. Alone, I would never
>> have been capable of "remediating" Fluxus in this way (blasphemy?).  With
>> Annie Gentes, we explored using conversation as a search engine; wrote the
>> blogs of fictional characters with links to real web-sites; experimented
>> with musical avatars. We co-authored articles. We shared a common “intent”.
>> These shared intents, open to participation and specifically the
>> participation of "strangers", are not without risk. One in particular left
>> me feeling very guilty. It involved a summer residency in the city of
>> Troyes, France. With writer Hubert Haddad, we marshaled the creative input
>> of city employees, kids in youth centers, adults in rehab centers…and
>> created an augmented chat space meant to live on once we'd left. Before I
>> knew it, the residency was “over”. We delegated the dynamic we’d launched.
>> Two psychologically fragile participants felt betrayed and wound up in the
>> hospital. This had not been our intent!
>> I decided to confront the “force of an event” differently. Today, drawing
>> includes a transmedial methodology for structuring exchange and prolonging
>> it over time. It also imposes “responsibility” and "sense" across a
>> spectrum: a doodle on the corner of a page, the first “hello” to a stranger,
>> the design of a mobile screen, the accountability of the elected officials
>> who appropriate the work of artists to reinforce their policies…
>> Erin, your experiments with “a society of molecules”, interweaving
>> encounters at the "local level" and exchanges mediated by digital
>> technologies, are central to this larger drawing process. It is clear that
>> your artistic practice could inform that of the Boston Design Studio for
>> Social Intervention too. How architecture (an art!) and urbanism can include
>> such  experimental work is an interesting subject...for a subsequent
>> exchange?
>> Carol-Ann
>> le  06/05/13 23:57  Erin Manning  erintango at gmail.com wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Carol-Ann, Tim,
>>> great to be taking up such interesting issues! I like the focus Carol-Ann
>>> places on "tailoring technologies." I love your description about how the
>>> work
>>> is still-born on some occasions, and then suddenly finds an enthusiastic
>>> wave
>>> and then changes, opens to something different, generates a different
>>> outlook.
>>> That's been my experience as well. Tim, you ask about the role of digital
>>> technologies in our process. My suspicion is that there is no collective
>>> work
>>> today that doesn't to some degree engage with technology, which have become
>>> very instrumental to all our processes. Some activists' work is directly
>>> tied
>>> into technology and others use technology simply as a means. The SenseLab
>>> falls somewhere in between. We have over 200 active members on several
>>> continents, so we rely on different communications technologies: an
>>> internet-based password-protected hub where we use writeboards and post to
>>> several simultaneous projects, connect about reading groups and local
>>> events,
>>> discuss workshops etc. This is pretty straight-forward and has proved very
>>> useful in the lead-up to events, where we tend to use the writeboards quite
>>> intensively to plan activities. We also have group skypes regularly and use
>>> them for reading groups (all our Montreal-based events can be skyped into
>>> except the movement experimentation - haven't figured that out yet!). And we
>>> work with the limits of the web quite intensively in our online journal
>>> Inflexions: A Journal for Research-Creation, where we attempt to explore
>>> what
>>> a practice of "web-reading" might be that diverges from a print-based
>>> experience, as well as in events such as Into the Midst where we were
>>> engaged
>>> with designing visual and sound platforms.
>>> But there are also real limitations to the digital tools we use. We find,
>>> for
>>> instance, that they are unable to prolong, affectively, the force of an
>>> event.
>>> In and of themselves (without punctual events staged face to face) blogs and
>>> writeboards tend to lose their urgency and people post less and less.
>>> Websites
>>> work the same way (and I am terrible at updating). So what we do is come up
>>> with techniques for each event that we hope are best able to connect in both
>>> at the digital level and with the intensities that come of the localized
>>> encounter. We find we have to meet face to face at least every 2 years as a
>>> large (and always changing) group and that the local meetings must be at
>>> least
>>> once a month (and it is best that these local meetings happen all over the
>>> world). 
>>> The best example of the fashioning of techniques of this kind are the ones
>>> we
>>> invented for the 2009 distributed event, Society of Molecules, which took
>>> place in 17 cities across 15 countries for one week in May. The event was
>>> based on molecules (3-10 people) creating an event in their local
>>> constituencies that touched on institutional questions in an artful way. The
>>> local interventions were all different (you can see an account of them in
>>> issue 3 of Inflexions). Our concern was not necessarily to connect in at the
>>> level of the content of the interventions. Our concern was to explore how to
>>> make felt the affective resonances between local interventions toward a
>>> distributed notion of an aesthetico-politics. We also wanted to see how it
>>> might be possible for a distributed event to maintain the intensity that a
>>> face to face event can have. We knew that if we relied on the internet
>>> alone,
>>> we would only get "reportage," and that the reporting wouldn't be able to
>>> communicate the importance, or the intensity, or the urgency, or the unease
>>> of
>>> the endeavours. We also knew that, not being in the diverse locales, we
>>> wouldn't necessarily have a strong sense, across the wider network, of why
>>> this or that local intervention was necessary (for instance, we had a "lack
>>> of
>>> information booth" in Montreal that came out of a frustrated attempt to find
>>> our more about a site that was facing gentrification, a very local issue
>>> that
>>> might not have resonated with people in another locality). So we worked to
>>> develop techniques that would to some degree affect each molecules across
>>> the
>>> distributed network without reducing the effect to the actual content of the
>>> interventions. Of course, in the end, we did want to know what the other
>>> people had done, but we wanted to know it in a different way, a way that
>>> could
>>> affect how we proceeded.
>>> Three techniques were invented:
>>> 1. Each molecule sent us a movement profile that traced the habitual daily
>>> movements of their host. Over a 5 month period previous to the event, an
>>> emissary was sent from another molecule to locate the host. They could
>>> appear
>>> anytime, so if the host was away, they would have to make sure someone else
>>> moved in their movements. Once the emissary found the host,
>>> 2. the whole molecule had to be gathered, and a relational soup had to be
>>> made. The soup could take any form. A recipe had to be provided, after the
>>> fact, to the emissary for him/her to bring back to their own molecule.
>>> 3. The emissary left a seed, brought from his or her home molecule, to the
>>> host molecule, who had to care for it after the May event.
>>> The visits could be virtual, though this option was only taken up in 1 case
>>> (we tried to make sure the hosts and emissaries weren't too far apart so
>>> that
>>> actual visits would be possible). What we found was that these techniques
>>> stimulated the events on all sides - they brought excitement and made
>>> palpable, across the wider network, the urgency of local interventions. They
>>> also activated online discussions.
>>> For us, techniques have to be invented anew for each event, and it is the
>>> techniques that create the conditions that make the event do its work. For
>>> our
>>> 2013 event, while we of course continue to use online tools, we are working
>>> to
>>> seed local groupings in ways that get our preparations going in more than
>>> one
>>> environment. One key question is how you seed collectivities at a distance.
>>> That way when we meet on skype or online, we are gathering from the work of
>>> the project underway. We find that brings a precision to our work and allows
>>> us to develop collectively.
>>> Erin
>>> On 2013-05-05, at 9:41 AM, Carol-Ann *Braun <carolannbraun at free.fr> wrote:
>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>> Erin,
>>>> Several aspects of your last post elicit a « hurrah » on my part :
>>>>   •    things go slow;
>>>>   •    valuing need not be tied to value-added or prestige value;
>>>>   •    the pragmatics of the useless…;
>>>>   •    the dangers of « making the product the goal ».
>>>> These ideas are linked.  "Slow" is the price of working through and with an
>>>> existing social framework. The "valuing criteria" change along the way (and
>>>> reframe the notion of usefulness).
>>>> It’s not just a question of “therapeutic value” replacing  “economic
>>>> value”.
>>>> It’s a question of the scale of the desired impact, over time: working with
>>>> a small, local group of citizens; extending participation; sharing and
>>>> recognizing what has been “given” by participants; including decision
>>>> makers
>>>> in the loop; tailoring technologies to the attention spans of those
>>>> involved; integrating the notion of “accountability” for actions taken…I
>>>> fully agree, it is an iterative process and the associated technology may
>>>> vary at each step.
>>>> This much said, it is important that the associated digital tools be sturdy
>>>> enough to withstand the slow tempo of real change.
>>>> Question : Does this turn experimental tools into "products"?
>>>> I cannot share the numerous steps involved in creating debating and polling
>>>> platforms…so here are some collaborative highlights, minus the solitary
>>>> moments of discouragement and rejection:
>>>>   1.    One of our debating platforms, dring13.org, was imagined in 2006-7
>>>> by a group of art-student-apprentices at the CFA-Com of Bagnolet, a poor
>>>> Paris suburb. Their first prototype was shown at Bagnolet’s “Spring Fest”
>>>> and students scouted about with mobile phones to garner testimonials and
>>>> send them to an interactive “mosaic” projected in the local library.
>>>>   2.    A sturdier version was programmed a year later by an apprentice,
>>>> hired by us with grant money from La Region Ile de France. A student
>>>> start-up (unflux.com) designed the interface and accompanying posters and
>>>> flyers. I scavenged about for content. The site was shown at a rally during
>>>> “La Semaine de l’Egalite 2008.” Then..zero…a big “so what”…
>>>>   3.    Several months later, Dring13 was “picked up” by an “Espace Public
>>>> Numerique” in the city of Ivry, another poor Paris suburb. Workshops were
>>>> organized by the social workers for kids, then for senior citizens, who
>>>> used
>>>> mobile phones to film each other. They uploaded their stories, discussed
>>>> them and then cast their “votes” on each others' videos.
>>>>   4.    Dring13.org then got used by an Antenne Jeunesse in the 13th
>>>> arrondissement of Paris, accompanied by professional actors who used the
>>>> web
>>>> site on-stage. A year later, another association, called Les Jardins
>>>> Numeriques, helped a Junior High School History teacher in the 14th
>>>> arrondissement to organize one of her classes around the website, with kids
>>>> who talked about their social origins…and never used the website.
>>>>   5.    In the meantime, one of our developers, Mathieu Desve, decided
>>>> that he’d like to do a mobile version of our back office and media center.
>>>> No budget, just enthusiasm. He took the equivalent of a month full time to
>>>> come up with the application. A gift.
>>>>   6.    At the same time, the FING (http://fing.org, thank you Fabienne
>>>> Guibe!) invited us to “Les Midi de la Democratie Participative”, power
>>>> lunches for functionaries in the Val de Marne (to the south-east of Paris).
>>>>   7.    We were asked to set up a web-site for citizens with mental
>>>> disabilities, encouraged to talk about how to improve their daily life.
>>>>   8.    The disabled public and staff co-designed the site (“Menu not
>>>> clear!” “We don’t understand anything!”  “Redo it!”) They tested the
>>>> prototypes. The administration validated the site. We are now in the
>>>> process
>>>> of planning official ateliers and the site will soon be open to the public
>>>> at large. The elected officials associated with the project plan on using
>>>> the platform to respond.
>>>> To get back to your points:
>>>> •  our technology evolved from a process including the participation of
>>>> teachers, students, artists, businesses, functionaries, social workers,
>>>> academics, associations...and ordinary citizens.
>>>> •  no one at Concert-Urbain earns a living from this;
>>>> •  the prestige factor has been…nothing any self respecting media-artist
>>>> would settle for;
>>>> •  the usefulness of these endeavors has yet to be proven…
>>>> This collaborative “art stop-and-start-up” has yielded theoretical riches
>>>> however: an understanding of the pragmatic dynamic between people,
>>>> organizations and technology…in France.
>>>> One sure thing : the “value” of this understanding can be maintained and
>>>> increased only to the extent that it is shared.
>>>> More on “enabling constraints”…soon.  And on the artistic rewards, which
>>>> are
>>>> surprising. 
>>>> Carol-Ann BRAUN
>>>> Association Concert-Urbain
>>>> http://concerturbain.wordpress.com/
>>>> PS Thank you for the Boston Design Studio for Social Intervention link,
>>>> which I have forwarded to my Paris network.
>>>> le  04/05/13 18:34  Erin Manning  erintango at gmail.com wrote:
>>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>> Thank you
>>>>> Carol-Ann, for your descripton of Concert-Urbain - sounds really
>>>>> wonderful.
>>>>> Before we start speaking across projects, let me say a few words about the
>>>>> SenseLab. For those of you who were part of the discussion last month,
>>>>> consider this a continuation of the discussion!
>>>> I started the SenseLab in
>>>>> 2003 with the idea that we might collectively find ways to stage
>>>>> encounters
>>>>> that provoked new forms of collaboration. With Brian Massumi, who joined
>>>>> very
>>>>> early on, and a lively set of collaborators, our first gesture was to ask
>>>>> ourselves whether there would be interest in meeting in settings that
>>>>> privileged neither the conference paper nor the art exhibition. What, we
>>>>> wondered, would it mean to meet across our "techniques" rather than our
>>>>> finished projects?
>>>> This spawned the first series of events, Technologies of
>>>>> Lived Abstraction, which lasted until 2012. During this period, we worked
>>>>> to
>>>>> collectively develop what we call "enabling" constraints to better be able
>>>>> to
>>>>> come together and create lasting collaborations. We discussed some of
>>>>> these
>>>>> in
>>>>> last month's empyre list.
>>>> While the events, as I mentioned last month, are
>>>>> very important to what we do, what we are most interested in is creating
>>>>> modalities of engagement that exceed them. We count on the myriad
>>>>> collectives
>>>>> who work across art, activism, philosophy and social change to connect in
>>>>> with
>>>>> us, and to assist us in coming up with ways of extending the work we do in
>>>>> our
>>>>> events beyond them. One example of such a group is Boston's Design Studio
>>>>> for
>>>>> Social Intervention, which continues to be a real inspiration to us, and
>>>>> with
>>>>> whom we work to develop new techniques.
>>>> We are just beginning a second stage,
>>>>> which we are calling Immediations. This will likely take us through the
>>>>> next
>>>>> decade, as the work we do takes time (and we are slow!). For Immediations,
>>>>> the
>>>>> emphasis is on opening out the idea of "emergent collectivities" to sites
>>>>> that
>>>>> are not our own. How, in relation to other collectives, can we work to
>>>>> seed
>>>>> collaborations offsite? What kinds of collaborative effects can a group
>>>>> like
>>>>> the SenseLab seed? People often tell me that they wish they were in a city
>>>>> like Montreal that is so full of activism and lively in its
>>>>> collaborations.
>>>>> Our hope for this next phase is to connect in with other groups to see how
>>>>> to
>>>>> network existing collectives to create more of these enclaves of
>>>>> collaboration.
>>>> The first event of the new series will take place at Arakawa
>>>>> + Gins' Bioscleave House (NY) and will take the form of an infestation. As
>>>>> the
>>>>> discussion progresses, I'll be happy to discuss it further. Until then, a
>>>>> few
>>>>> thoughts:
>>>> 1. A technique is something that is created in the process itself,
>>>>> and cannot necessarily be subsumed to the next process.
>>>> 2. An enabling
>>>>> constraint is a constraint that opens the process to its potential without
>>>>> leaving it to pure chaos, a kind of structured improvisation.
>>>> 3. Collaboration
>>>>> as we understand it is not about creating "the newest new" in the
>>>>> capitalist
>>>>> sense. We are interested in forms of valuing that are not directly tied in
>>>>> to
>>>>> value-added or prestige-value - the forms of value most prized within
>>>>> capitalism. For this reason, we speak of a "pragmatics of the useless,"
>>>>> foregrounding a speculative pragmatism that opens the way for new kinds of
>>>>> approaches to valueing the "useless." We place art and philosophy squarely
>>>>> within the realm of the "useless" and value them highly.
>>>> 4. Our process for
>>>>> each event dictates what forms of technology we will use - we are
>>>>> extremely
>>>>> open in this regard. Our tools of course involve a lot of online
>>>>> communication
>>>>> (a Basecamp group hub) as we have members from all over the world.
>>>> 5. While we
>>>>> have received government funding for this second phase of the SenseLab, we
>>>>> are
>>>>> extremely aware of the dangers of institutionalization and the ways it
>>>>> makes
>>>>> products its goal. The third phase of the SenseLab will be to take it out
>>>>> of
>>>>> the institution and ask what kind of site would best co-compose (in
>>>>> Montreal)
>>>>> with the current culture of artist-run centres and community activism
>>>>> organizations. We would like to envision the SenseLab's future as an
>>>>> unaccredited teaching/learning site that feeds into and composes with
>>>>> alter-economies across art, philosophy and activism.
>>>> Looking forward to the
>>>>> conversation!
>>>> Erin
>>>> Erin Manning
>>>> Research Chair, Philosophy and Relational
>>>>> Art
>>>> Concordia 
>>>>> University
>>>> http://www.erinmovement.com
>>>> http://www.senselab.ca
>>>> http://www.infl
>>>>> exions.com
>>>> On 2013-05-04, at 3:55 AM, Carol-Ann *Braun
>>>>> <carolannbraun at free.fr> wrote:
>>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned
>>>>> space----------------------
>>>>> Hello to all - nice to participate this first
>>>>> week of May in a discussion on
>>>>> the balancing act between artistic activism
>>>>> and "real time alliances"Šor, as
>>>>> I understand it: the ³wicked problem of
>>>>> designing for social change" ?
>>>>> (Ritter, early 70¹s!)
>>>>> The projects of
>>>>> our association, Concert-Urbain, based in Paris, are at the
>>>>> frontier between
>>>>> design and social work. Our software development,
>>>>> prototypes, ateliers,
>>>>> shows, conferences, have been enabled by the French
>>>>> government.
>>>>> Exceptionally motivated functionaries have helped us with
>>>>> budgets, ateliers,
>>>>> reports from the field. They have been our business
>>>>> angels in the launching
>>>>> of an ³art-start-up².
>>>>> In France, government policies contribute
>>>>> extensively to innovation in the
>>>>> arts. The policies reflect the programs of
>>>>> thousands of citizen's
>>>>> associations, some run by activists in what is called
>>>>> here ³l¹education
>>>>> populaire², ie, schooling for the people by the people
>>>>> (the movement is
>>>>> vast, at the heart of France¹s social fabric).
>>>>> Our
>>>>> design challenge includes interlocutors at every level of society. This
>>>>> entails a special kind of salesmanship: choosing modest words to describe>
>>>>> what you want to do as an artist;  adapting technology to existing
>>>>> educational methodologies; answering questions others have asked; getting>
>>>>> elected officials to define and then accept the risks digital technologies
>>>>> might represent for them; saving face when no one answers the call to
>>>>> participate... The negotiation process is long-term, with changing
>>>>> interlocutors as time goes by. It is painstakingŠand sometimes just a
>>>>> royal
>>>>> pain. It also brings esthetic breakthroughs of particular significance to
>>>>> an
>>>>> artist working with digital technologies.
>>>>> I have several examples of
>>>>> collaborations and collective initiatives that I
>>>>> can share with you. Each
>>>>> raises different issues:
>>>>> 1. A collective fiction, with a chat space at
>>>>> its core: carried by officials
>>>>> in the city of Troyes who wanted to bring
>>>>> city employees and citizens
>>>>> together around a shared ³multimedia² project.
>>>>> 2. Measuring utopia: an art project on the subject of happiness, with
>>>>> a
>>>>> methodology that involves an alternative approach to data-base design.
>>>>> Our
>>>>> main partner: the CIRASTI, a federation of associations to engage kids
>>>>> in
>>>>> scientific projects.
>>>>> 3. An urban renewal initiative by the
>>>>> Conseil general du Val de Marne, that
>>>>> includes an on-line debating platform
>>>>> designed to include those who suffer
>>>>> from intellectual disabilities. It is
>>>>> linked to the "participatory design"
>>>>> of neighborhoods by including
>>>>> inhabitants
>>>>> (see http://www.maitrisedusage.eu/).
>>>>> More on its way
>>>>> throughout the coming week,
>>>>> Carol-Ann BRAUN
>>>>> Association
>>>>> Concert-Urbain
>>>>> http://concerturbain.wordpress.com/
>>>>> le  04/05/13 06:37
>>>>> Renate Ferro  rtf9 at cornell.edu wrote:
>>>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned
>>>>> space----------------------
>>>>>> We are most grateful to Ana Valdes for agreeing
>>>>> to guest moderate the
>>>>>> May discussion with Tim Murray and myself and welcome
>>>>> her back to
>>>>>> -empyre- as a guest moderator.  We also wish to thank Erin
>>>>> Manning who
>>>>>> has agreed to make the transition from last month's discussion
>>>>> to this
>>>>>> month highlighting The Sense Lab.  Erin will be making a few
>>>>> posts
>>>>>> specifically about her own experiences with collaboration.  She
>>>>> will
>>>>>> be joined by Carol-Ann Braun.  Biographies for Week One guests are
>>>>> below.  We look forward to the month with you.
>>>>>> Tim Murray and
>>>>> Renate Ferro
>>>>>> Week 1:
>>>>>> Erin Manning (CA) is a philosopher,
>>>>> visual artist and dancer, and is
>>>>>> currently a University Research Chair at
>>>>> the Faculty of Fine Arts,
>>>>>> Concordia University, Montreal. She is also a
>>>>> founder and director of
>>>>>> The Sense Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory on
>>>>> research, creation
>>>>>> and an international network focusing on intersections
>>>>> between
>>>>>> philosophy and art through the sensing body in motion. Erin
>>>>> Manning
>>>>>> received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of
>>>>> Hawaii
>>>>>> (2001) and has been teaching philosophy, political theory, visual
>>>>> studies, cultural studies, and film theory. She is a member of the
>>>>> editorial board for the online journal Inflexions and the author of
>>>>>> works
>>>>> on movement and ephemerality, for which she frequently
>>>>>> collaborates with
>>>>> Brian Massumi.
>>>>>> Carol-Ann BRAUN (US/FR) is a Paris-based American artist
>>>>> who has been
>>>>>> working with digital technologies since 1985. Her work ranges
>>>>> from
>>>>>> still images to animations to interactive immersive text-based
>>>>> environments (inner-media.org). Closely affiliated with the Atelier du
>>>>>> CUBE
>>>>> (lecube.com ), she has extended her artistic practice beyond
>>>>>> esthetics to
>>>>> include ³social media². The first prototypes involved
>>>>>> chat spaces as a
>>>>> search engine.  This led to the design of polling
>>>>>> technology
>>>>> (http://cie.acm.org/articles/braun-phones-kids/). Last
>>>>>> month Concert-Urbain
>>>>> launched a poetic polling platform on the subject
>>>>>> of happiness:
>>>>> lebonheurbrutcollectif.org. The project¹s intention is
>>>>>> to find contribute
>>>>> to defining new criteria for measuring the
>>>>>> ineffable nature of
>>>>> happiness...It will be gathering momentum over the
>>>>>> next three years. The
>>>>> Ministry of Culture and the Region Ile de France
>>>>>> have taken a particular
>>>>> interest in ³Le Bonheur Brut Collectif, ²
>>>>>> which is also being followed by a
>>>>> research team at the CNAM
>>>>>> (Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers),
>>>>> Paris.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Renate Ferro
>>>>>> Visiting Assistant Professor of
>>>>> Art
>>>>>> Cornell University
>>>>>> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office #420
>>>>> Ithaca, NY  14853
>>>>>> Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
>>>>>> URL:
>>>>> http://www.renateferro.net
>>>>>>    http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
>>>>> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net
>>>>>> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre-
>>>>> soft skinned space
>>>>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
>>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empyre
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> empyre forum
>>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> empyre forum
>>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> e
>>>>> mpyre forum
>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> empyre forum
>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>>> Erin Manning 
>>> Concordia Research Chair
>>> Faculty of Fine Arts
>>> Concordia University
>>> 1455 de Maisonneuve W.
>>> Montreal QC H3G1M8
>>> http://www.senselab.ca
>>> http://www.erinmovement.com
>>> http://www.inflexions.org
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Erin Manning 
> Concordia Research Chair 
> Faculty of Fine Arts
> Concordia University
> 1455 de Maisonneuve W.
> Montreal QC H3G1M8
> http://www.senselab.ca
> http://www.erinmovement.com
> http://www.inflexions.org
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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