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Suspended Disbelief

When “Majestic” was released by Electronic Arts in 2001, much intrigue was raised by its scope – this was a game that raised the level of interaction several notches by engaging players through unconventional methods such as voicemail, fax, and instant messaging.

Along comes the recent “I Love Bees” phenomenon, a detailed game that was essentially a lead-up to the release of Halo 2 for the Xbox platform. Released online as serial “episodes”, the innovation of “I Love Bees” was the component in real space, where gamers used GPS coordinates to arrive at a telephone booth at an appointed time, and, if they were lucky, converse with a voice actor about the developing “I Love Bees” storyline.

Taking things one step further, “Regenesis” is a television show, but one that also allows participants to become more deeply involved. Registering on the show’s website will enable you to access online video diaries and a password-protected website. The game’s creators also use email dispatches and voice mail to deliver clues.

In film, the state of immersion where you are completely absorbed and temporarily ignore one’s internal critical voice is called “suspension of disbelief”. Console and online games are also absorbing and can transport players completely into new worlds. When games nibble at the edge of reality, invading traditional spaces of social interaction such as instant messaging and voice mail, the standards for creating a state of suspension of disbelief are raised to incredible proportions. (Posted by Michelle Kasprzak)

Nov 25, 01:16
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Mulholland Drive


cinema sans image

In Mulholland Drive by D. Scott Hessels, three artists drove Los Angeles’ famous Mulholland Drive with five types of sensors?measuring tilt, altitude, direction, speed, and engine sound. The captured data was used computationally to control two robotic lights in a dark room filled with fog. Two beams of light and the processed sound of the engine recreated the topology of the road as a new form of visual experience and sculpture?cinema without image.

Mulholland Drive is a light installation that translates the movement across a topology as two beams of light. Instead of direct human interaction, the work takes the sensed data (tilt, sound, and GPS) of traversing an environment and recreates the drive through angles, light, and sound. A passive interactive experience, the artwork emphasizes the spatial quality of light?it is cinema without image. Like cinema, direct data is captured, then edited, and shaped. However, here the environment directly defines the experience, using the geography computationally. In a sense, ?Mulholland Drive? is a new media Earthwork and demonstrates how suddenly the rhythms, patterns, and random chance of the environment can be sensed through new media technologies and used to create new forms of visual experience.
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Nov 24, 13:00
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multi-disciplinary research in location aware media


Location-Aware Research

Your participation is desired in an online forum geared toward focusing the theme for an interdisciplinary research residency proposal. The discussion will take place from November 26 through December 5. In the last few years, advances in wireless telecommunication, sensor technology, and Geographic Information System tools have inspired a tide of experimental creative projects. Artists are using these tools and location-aware media to renegotiate how communication, navigation, and big data are played out in space. As the landscape and urban streets become the canvas for computer augmented social and physical interaction, what possibilities emerge for practices outside the arts? How can we mutually inspire and inform diverse practices?
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Nov 23, 10:48
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Amsterdam RealTime


Drawing Routes of Mental Maps

For the exhibition Maps of Amsterdam 1866-2000 at the Amsterdam City Archive, Waag Society and Esther Polak set up the Amsterdam RealTime project. Every inhabitant of Amsterdam has an invisble map of the city in his head. The way he moves about the city and the choices made in this process are determined by this mental map. Amsterdam RealTime attempted to visualize these mental maps through examining the mobile behaviour of the city’s users.

During two months (3 Oct to 1 Dec 2002) all of Amsterdam’s residents were invited to be equipped with a tracer-unit. This is a portable device developed by Waag Society which is equipped with GPS: Global Positioning System. Using satellite data the tracer calculates its geographical position. The tracers’ data are sent in realtime to a central point. By visualizing this data against a black background traces, lines, appear. From these lines a (partial) map of Amsterdam constructs itself. This map does not register streets or blocks of houses, but consists of the sheer movements of real people.
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Nov 23, 09:58
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The Gambit


The Narrative Abilities of Flowers

The Gambit is a portable interactive animation sited in the lobby of the Westin-Bonaventure Hotel (John Portman, 1977). The medium of the project is a digital compass attached to a PDA (“personal digital assistant”) with a two and a quarter inch by three and a quarter inch color screen and headphones. This apparatus worn by the viewer displays images of spaces normally inaccessible to the viewer’s vision from within the Westin’s lobby, in other words, as if you’re seeing through walls with a kind of periscope.

The “seeing through the walls” has a shape, like Gordon Matta Clark’s cuts through buildings. The shape is configured by animated still images and sound. The still images and sound tell a story. The story is of a hotel flower arranger, and of a parallel world where flower arrangements have archival and narrative abilities. The Gambit is a project of Kati Rubinyi.

Nov 23, 09:45
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global compatibility/mobile conectivity

The possibility of global compatibility and portable, mobile connectivity may not be right around the corner, but it’s on its way.

In the Monday, November 15 issue of TheFeature, David James writes that the South Koreans, long leaders in adopting and developing mobile communications, will soon be testing their mobile broadband access system, WiBro (wireless broadband) and that WiBro will be the first country-wide network to serve as a testing ground for what may become the leading international technology for mobile broadband: mobile WiMAX.

“WiMAX is the name now given to that set of technologies sponsored by the WiMAX Forum and based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers? 802.16 family of technology standards for broadband wireless access. IEEE 802.16 is for fixed access, and 802.16e is for mobile access. Both use a form of OFDM transmission, rather than CDMA. The objective of WiMAX and its supporters is to promote global compatibility and inter-operability of broadband wireless access equipment for fixed, portable and mobile connectivity.”

There’s a lot of testing ahead but Korea plans to begin a commercial service in 2006. For more, see “The Road to Mobile Broadband Runs Through Korea”“.

Nov 23, 09:14
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Affective Turbulence


Tactical Urban Maphack

Mirjam Struppek has posted photographs of DEAF04: Affective Turbulence. The Tactical Urban Maphack: Open_Brunch Sensing Location (presentation) included an introduced by Marc Tuters, and the following projects:

FRIDA V [Free Ride Data Aquisition Vehicle]: A W-Lan mapping bicycle by Luka Frelih (SI). Frida V. is a rugged and comfortable bicycle equipped for efficient exploration and mapping of public urban spaces. It carries a small computer, GPS positioning device, 802.11 wireless network transciever and a basic audiovisual recording unit. The consolidated software and hardware assembly enables automated mapping of stumbled wireless networks, easy creation of location-tagged media and opportunistic synchronization with a server resource on the internet.

Cartographic Command Center: Display for locative media by Marc Tuters, Jaanis Garancs. The Mobile Cartographic Command Center (MC3) is the forward command post to engage free and open GIS, educational and commercial geographic institutions, and the tactical media art community in active discourse related to locative media, military conversion, collaborative cartography, and tactical public visualization. The purpose of the project is to actively create and display locative media and free GIS applications (such as, for example, gps3d, GPS satellite monitor/world view, gpsdrive, path tracking, vterrain, earth and SaVi- satellite Visualization).

Biomapping: Mapping the stressfactor in public space by Christian Nold. Bio Mapping is a research project which explores new ways that we as individuals can make use of the information we can gather about our own bodies. Instead of security technologies that are designed to control our behaviour, this project envisages new tools that allows people to selectively share and interpret their own bio data.

Nov 22, 17:51
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Truly Mobile Joint Music Listening

Mattias ?stergren and his colleagues at the Interactive Institute in Stockholm are designing wireless software for mobile music “socials.” But the dance parties they envision take place at 55 miles per hour. SoundPryer is a wireless peer-to-peer system for joint music listening in automobiles. Each driver becomes a mobile radio station, transmitting their digital music stream to other cars within Wi-Fi range.

SoundPryer has similarities to tUNA, a handheld ad-hoc networking radio device demonstrated last year by Media Lab Europe that enables users to tune in to other nearby digital music players, on a school bus for example. And while the PDA-based SoundPryer system can also be used in more stationary face-to-face situations, ?stergren purposely kept his eyes on the road when designing the system. First of all, he writes in a scientific paper (PDF), it’s a tougher challenge than more stationary systems. The potential duration of interactions between drivers may be extremely short as the cars zip down the highway or, in the event of gridlock, painfully long. The freeway is also a decidedly anonymous zone, perfect for studying how people might react to a new social technology.

From “Wireless Music’s New Social Sound,” by David Pescovitz, theFeature

Nov 22, 17:30
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Evidence Locker


Retrieval Room

For the Liverpool Art Biennal, American Jill Magid worked with the operators of the city’s CCTV surveillance cameras to teach them the techniques of professional filmmakers.

During one month, Magid wore a red trench coat and boots, ensuring she could easily be spotted throughout the city. She called the police on duty with details of where she was and asked them to film her in particular poses and even guide her through the city with her eyes closed – all using the public surveillance cameras. All around Magid, the most innocent passers-by were transformed into potential bag-snatchers, rapists and serial killers by the camera’s behaviour.

The final work was made into two installations: Evidence Locker at Tate evokes the space of the CCTV monitoring station, with a soundtrack of the police log being read aloud, and CCTV footage featuring the artist. Evidence Locker at FACT reveals Magid’s evolving relationship with the CCTV staff through a daily diary and video projections [until November 28th at the FACT gallery in Liverpool.] From near near future.

Nov 20, 10:22
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With Wings and Feathered Helmuts

Cockfight Arena (Eddo Stern with Mark Allen, Jessica Hutchins, Karen Lofgren): a one night parade of sweat and adrenaline hopes to reclaim performance art in the age of video games, pitting viewer against viewer in brutal virtual cockfighting theater. Audience volunteers suited up in custom-made wireless game controllers with full sized wings and feathered helmets. Combatants stepped into an arena to control their life size game avatars through vigorous flapping and pecking, competing for blood and birdfeed while rapaciously inflicting onscreen bodily harm in a custom made “joustlike” fighting game. [via]
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Nov 20, 09:53
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calls + opps performance livestage exhibition installation networked mobile writings participatory locative media augmented/mixed reality event new media video interactive public net art conference virtual intervention distributed second life sound political technology narrative festival tactical lecture art + science conversation social networks social games history surveillance dance music workshop urban mapping collaboration live upgrade! reblog activist wearable immersive public/private data architecture platform body collective aesthetics environment systems city identity film visualization culture telematic wireless web 2.0 site-specific ecology place webcast open source tool software text research intermedia space community audio radio nature hybrid 3-D avatar e-literature audio/visual responsive presence pyschogeography interdisciplinary media object interview physical global/ization ubiquitous theory theater biotechnology relational play code archive bioart generative news DIY robotic light place-specific hacktivism synthetic p2p cinema remix education agency interface language im/material live cinema algorithmic labor copyright simulation mashup animation perception image free/libre software multimedia artificial motion tracking voice convergence streaming reenactment gift economy machinima emergence webcam cyberreality glitch DJ/VJ tv censorship ARG nonlinear tag transdisciplinary touch recycle asynchronous fabbing semantic web hypermedia chance synesthesia biopolitics tangible app social choreography gesture unconference forking 1
1 3-D activist aesthetics agency algorithmic animation app architecture archive ARG art + science artificial asynchronous audio audio/visual augmented/mixed reality avatar bioart biopolitics biotechnology body calls + opps censorship chance cinema city code collaboration collective community conference convergence conversation copyright culture cyberreality dance data distributed DIY DJ/VJ e-literature ecology education emergence environment event exhibition fabbing festival film forking free/libre software games generative gesture gift economy glitch global/ization hacktivism history hybrid hypermedia identity im/material image immersive installation interactive interdisciplinary interface intermedia intervention interview labor language lecture light live live cinema livestage locative media machinima mapping mashup media mobile motion tracking multimedia music narrative nature net art networked new media news nonlinear object open source p2p participatory perception performance physical place place-specific platform play political presence public public/private pyschogeography radio reblog recycle reenactment relational remix research responsive robotic second life semantic web simulation site-specific social social choreography social networks software sound space streaming surveillance synesthesia synthetic systems tactical tag tangible technology telematic text theater theory tool touch transdisciplinary tv ubiquitous unconference upgrade! urban video virtual visualization voice wearable web 2.0 webcam webcast wireless workshop writings



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Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by's net art commission program.
[ openspace ] wilderness [] A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products A Travel Guide A.B.S.M.L. Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC besides, Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging Channel TWo: NY Condition:Used Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount GreylockVideo Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story Flight Lines From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places Global Direct Google Variations Gothamberg Grafik Dynamo Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments html_butoh I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies Killbox L-Carrier Les Belles Infidles look art Lumens My Beating Blog MYPOCKET No Time Machine Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard Panemoticon Peripheral n2: KEYBOARD Playing Duchamp Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Commissions Program Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day text_ocean The Xanadu Hijack This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market You Don't Know Me
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