Live Stage: Site Specifics: Mobile Media Art and the Contexts of Place [tr Istanbul]

ISEA Istanbul presents Site Specifics: Mobile Media Art and the Contexts of Place — Chair Per­son: Chris­tiane Paul; Pre­sen­ters: Tanya Toft, Jack Toolin, Teri Rueb :: Sep­tem­ber 19, 2011; 9:00 – 10:30 am :: Sa­banci Cen­ter Room 4, Sa­banci Cen­ter, Lev­ent.

The panel dis­cusses cat­e­gories of loca­tive, site-spe­cific media art and their im­pact on un­der­stand­ing the con­text of place. Mo­bile com­put­ing po­ten­tially en­ables var­i­ous forms of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and has to be con­sid­ered in re­la­tion to con­cepts of em­bod­i­ment, the cre­ation of mean­ing, as well as in­di­vid­ual au­ton­omy and agency.

The pro­posed panel will iden­tify dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of loca­tive, site-spe­cific media art and ex­plore their im­pact on un­der­stand­ing the con­text of place and on our aware­ness of the en­vi­ron­ment. Mo­bile com­put­ing po­ten­tially en­ables var­i­ous forms of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and has to be con­sid­ered in re­la­tion to con­cepts of em­bod­i­ment, the cre­ation of mean­ing, as well as in­di­vid­ual au­ton­omy and agency. The lat­ter as­pects of mo­bile com­put­ing and loca­tive media con­sid­er­ably af­fect our per­cep­tion and aware­ness of en­vi­ron­ments. Mo­bile de­vices can func­tion as tech­no­log­i­cal ex­ten­sions of em­bod­i­ment, con­nect­ing us to lo­ca­tion-based in­for­ma­tion and en­hanc­ing aware­ness of our en­vi­ron­ment or ‘so­cial body.’

Loca­tive new media art, which uses lo­ca­tions in pub­lic space as a ‘can­vas’ for im­ple­ment­ing art pro­jects, has be­come one of the most ac­tive and fast-grow­ing areas within the larger field of dig­i­tal arts. Cam­era and video phones, smart phones, and mo­bile de­vices with em­bed­ded GPS have be­come new plat­forms for cul­tural pro­duc­tion, pro­vid­ing an in­ter­face through which users can par­tic­i­pate in net­worked pub­lic pro­jects, as well as en­abling the for­ma­tion of ad-hoc com­mu­ni­ties.

The panel will dis­cuss var­i­ous cat­e­gories of loca­tive media art, for ex­am­ple pro­jects that en­hance con­text by al­low­ing par­tic­i­pants to ‘leave a mark’ on their sur­round­ings, sub­mit or re­trieve site-spe­cific in­for­ma­tion, or re­con­fig­ure the map; pro­jects that cre­ate a sys­temic aware­ness of peo­ple’s moods or be­hav­iors by re­flect­ing the pres­ence, move­ments, or ac­tions and re­ac­tions, pro­file, tasks and goals, emo­tions and be­hav­ior of peo­ple in their en­vi­ron­ment. Also dis­cussed will be mo­bile pro­jects that ad­dress sur­veil­lance or en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and place em­pha­sis on in­creas­ing peo­ple’s aware­ness of the larger so­cio-po­lit­i­cal con­text of site, often en­cour­ag­ing or en­abling their users to be­come proac­tive and en­gage in local pol­i­tics. The pan­elists will rep­re­sent these dif­fer­ent artis­tic prac­tices within the field of mo­bile media. A major goal of the panel is to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween forms of con­text aware­ness and site-speci­ficity that mo­bile media can pro­duce.

Paper Ab­stracts

To­wards Geospa­tial Cul­tural Plan­ning: Strate­gies for Local Cul­tural In­no­va­tion through Loca­tive New Media Art
by Tanya Toft

Glob­al­iza­tion and de­vel­op­ments in tech­nolo­gies and new mo­bile media have brought about a ‘spa­tial turn’ that has changed spa­tial con­cep­tions and ge­o­graph­i­cal imag­i­na­tions. The cur­rent ‘spa­tial turn’ echoes the crit­i­cal con­cepts of space de­vel­oped by Lefeb­vre, de Certeau and Fou­cault in the 1970s with an em­pha­sis on the pro­duc­tion, prac­tices, and pol­i­tics of lived spa­tial­ity. These con­cepts be­came ‘guides’ to a crit­i­cal analy­sis of the de­vel­op­ments and po­ten­tial of loca­tive new media art in the age of mo­bile media.

Today’s de­vel­op­ments in map­ping and GIS tech­nolo­gies allow for a new ‘spa­tial think­ing’ about a so­cio-spa­tial di­alec­tic: the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ways in which so­cial processes and so­cial ac­tion shape and ex­plain ge­o­gra­phies and vice versa. Loca­tive media and per­va­sive com­put­ing have re­con­fig­ured our un­der­stand­ings and ex­pe­ri­ences of space and cul­ture—from the mi­cro­cosm of the every­day to the macro­cosm of spa­tial flows. The new ge­o­graph­i­cal pur­suits of loca­tive new media art are site-spe­cific ex­plo­rations of a human ge­og­ra­phy.

This paper ex­plores the po­ten­tial of loca­tive new media art as a strate­gic cat­a­lyst for urban re­vi­tal­iza­tion and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment. Loca­tive media allow for ac­tive com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­pres­sion; for urban and cul­tural nar­ra­tives to be dis­cov­ered and ar­tic­u­lated in urban lay­ers; and for aug­men­ta­tion of past or fu­ture re­al­i­ties and vir­tu­al­i­ties. Loca­tive media can en­hance civic en­gage­ment and in­ter­cul­tural cit­i­zen­ship, fos­ter a sense of lo­cal­ity, and thus cre­ate a sus­tain­able com­po­nent for the local com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety at large. These ideas are un­fold­ing in a field that merges or os­cil­lates be­tween loca­tive media and me­di­ated lo­cal­i­ties. They en­cour­age local cul­tural in­no­va­tion by fos­ter­ing site-spe­cific cul­tural un­der­stand­ing. This paper ad­dresses ques­tions such as, what kinds of so­cial/spa­tial re­la­tions are made pos­si­ble through loca­tive new media art pro­jects? And how can these pro­jects be adopted in a cul­tural plan­ning frame­work as cat­a­lysts for local urban and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment?

Land­scape, Cul­ture, and the Phe­nom­e­nol­ogy of Tech­no­log­i­cal Me­di­a­tion
by Prof. Jack Toolin

Nei­ther re­flec­tion upon our re­la­tion­ship to the space sur­round­ing us nor tech­no­log­i­cal me­di­a­tion of this re­la­tion­ship are new. How­ever, GPS-en­abled tech­nolo­gies and their grow­ing avail­abil­ity in the past decade have de­cid­edly changed the ways we nav­i­gate, vi­su­al­ize, quan­tify, and ul­ti­mately com­pre­hend the world we move through. This paper will re­flect upon these changes through con­sid­er­a­tion of var­i­ous philo­soph­i­cal per­spec­tives, tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, and ex­am­ples of artis­tic prac­tice that uti­lize loca­tive media, in­clud­ing my pro­jects The C5 Land­scape Ini­tia­tive and Per­cep­tions of the Com­mut­ing Ethno­g­ra­pher.

The grad­ual or sud­den ac­cu­mu­la­tion of all things tech­no­log­i­cal, from hard­ware to soft­ware, has gone hand in hand with a shift in think­ing about the human con­di­tion from a phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal aware­ness to an in­ter­sub­jec­tive con­scious­ness. (That shift has also co­in­cided with the grow­ing ur­ban­iza­tion of the world’s pop­u­la­tion: as of 2008, over half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in towns and cities.) This in­ter­sub­jec­tiv­ity is in­creas­ingly me­di­ated by the ever shrink­ing, trans­portable, and in­stan­ta­neous media with which we have be­come en­twined. Loca­tive media have be­come in­creas­ingly lo­ca­tion-aware and com­merce-ready, po­si­tion­ing us in the ge­o­graph­i­cal and cul­tural land­scape. In other words, they are more and more aware of our phys­i­cal and psy­cho­graphic re­la­tion­ship to the world around us. The paper will ex­plore the na­ture of our phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal re­la­tion­ship to this tech­nol­ogy and the world that it me­di­ates.

Kines­thetic At­tune­ment: Walk­ing, Talk­ing, Lis­ten­ing, Know­ing
by Prof. Teri Rueb

Each of my works re­quire ex­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tion with sites through the sim­ple act of walk­ing. Both in pro­duc­tion and re­cep­tion, my work emerges through a process that I have come to think of as a form of “kines­thetic at­tune­ment.” Walk­ing is the ground from which my work evolves as a form of ex­pe­ri­en­tial knowl­edge. It is also the basis upon which I seek to chal­lenge and cri­tique ab­stract mod­els of spa­tial rep­re­sen­ta­tion and the the­o­ret­i­cal foun­da­tions of tech­nolo­gies as­so­ci­ated with loca­tive media. Draw­ing upon the phi­los­o­phy of em­bod­i­ment as well as an­thro­po­log­i­cal meth­ods and ethno­graphic prac­tices em­ployed in cur­rent pro­jects, I will dis­cuss in­sights from my over fif­teen years ex­pe­ri­ence mak­ing site-spe­cific sound and media in­stal­la­tions using GPS and other lo­ca­tion-sens­ing tech­nolo­gies.

Bios of the Par­tic­i­pants

Chris­tiane Paul is the Di­rec­tor of the Media Stud­ies Grad­u­ate Pro­grams and As­so­ci­ate Prof. of Media Stud­ies at The New School, NY, and Ad­junct Cu­ra­tor of New Media Arts at the Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art. She has writ­ten ex­ten­sively on new media arts and lec­tured in­ter­na­tion­ally on art and tech­nol­ogy. Her re­cent books are Con­text Providers – Con­di­tions of Mean­ing in Media Arts (In­tel­lect, 2011), co-edited with Mar­got Love­joy and Vic­to­ria Vesna; New Media in the White Cube and Be­yond (UC Press, 2008); and Dig­i­tal Art (Thames and Hud­son 2003; ex­panded new edi­tion 2008). At the Whit­ney Mu­seum, she cu­rated the shows “Cory Ar­can­gel: Pro Tools” (May 2011), “Pro­fil­ing” (2007), and “Data Dy­nam­ics” (2001); the net art se­lec­tion for the 2002 Whit­ney Bi­en­nial; the on­line ex­hi­bi­tion “CODe­DOC” (2002) for art­port, the Whit­ney Mu­seum’s on­line por­tal to In­ter­net art for which she is re­spon­si­ble; as well as “Fol­low Through” by Scott Pa­ter­son and Jen­nifer Crowe (2005). Other re­cent cu­ra­to­r­ial work in­cludes “Ed­uardo Kac: Biotopes, La­go­glyphs and Trans­genic Works” (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2010); Bi­en­nale Quadri­lat­erale (Ri­jeka, Croa­tia, 2009-10); “Feed­for­ward – The Angel of His­tory” (co-cu­rated with Steve Dietz; Lab­o­ral Cen­ter for Art and In­dus­trial Cre­ation, Gijon, As­turias, Spain, 2009-2010) and INDAF Dig­i­tal Art Fes­ti­val (In­cheon, Korea, Aug. 2009).

Tanya Toft re­cently re­ceived her dou­ble MA in Media Stud­ies from The New School, NY, and in Mod­ern Cul­ture and Cul­tural Dis­sem­i­na­tion with pro­file in Ur­ban­ity and Aes­thet­ics from Copen­hagen Uni­ver­sity. Her re­search is fo­cused on the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween new media art and the trans­for­ma­tion of urban spaces and so­cio-spa­tial struc­tures, which she ex­plores in a com­bined frame­work of artis­tic and strate­gic de­vel­op­ment. In her mas­ter’s the­sis she de­vel­ops a re­think­ing of urban cul­tural plan­ning in the ’tem­po­rary’ cul­tural log­ics of the dig­i­tal city and pro­poses the me­dia-ar­chi­tec­tural event as a tem­po­ral, me­di­ated cat­a­lyst for urban de­vel­op­ment and re­vi­tal­iza­tion. She has pre­sented her re­search at The Trans­for­ma­tion of the 21st Cen­tury City 2010; Me­diaC­ity 2010; Crit­i­cal Themes Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Con­fer­ence 2011; The City: Cul­ture, So­ci­ety, Tech­nol­ogy 2011; and EURA Con­fer­ence: The City With­out Lim­its 2011.

Teri Rueb works at the in­ter­sec­tion of in­ter­ac­tive media, sound, land, and en­vi­ron­men­tal art. She pi­o­neered the form of GPS-based in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion with her pro­ject “Trace,” which was de­vel­oped at the Banff Cen­tre for the arts from 1996-1999. She is the re­cip­i­ent of nu­mer­ous awards in­clud­ing a Prix Ars Elec­tron­ica Award of Dis­tinc­tion in 2008 for her pro­ject “Core Sam­ple” set on a land­fill in the Boston Har­bor. Her site-spe­cific works have been pre­sented in con­texts as var­ied as the Wad­den Sea, the Heath­land and the Old­en­burg Botan­i­cal Gar­den in North­ern Ger­many, the Boston Com­mon and Pub­lic Gar­dens, the Viru Keskus shop­ping mall in post-So­viet Tallinn, Es­to­nia, the Berlin Tier­garten, and high­way sys­tems across the United States. She re­cently com­pleted her doc­tor­ate at the Har­vard Uni­ver­sity Grad­u­ate School of De­sign where her re­search fo­cused on con­struc­tions of wilder­ness and sub­jec­tiv­ity in mo­bile net­work so­ci­ety. Her work has been funded by the Banff Cen­ter for the Arts, Edith Russ Site, Klang­pol, LEF Foun­da­tion, Turbulence.​org, and Art­slink and many state arts coun­cils. From 2004-2009 she served as found­ing fac­ulty and was later ap­pointed De­part­ment Head of the grad­u­ate Dig­i­tal + Media De­part­ment at the Rhode Is­land School of De­sign. Rueb is cur­rently Pro­fes­sor in the Media Study De­part­ment at the Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo (SUNY) where she is Founder and Di­rec­tor of Open Air In­sti­tute, a plat­form for con­nect­ing field-based learn­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships at the in­ter­sec­tion of land­scape, tech­nol­ogy, media art and de­sign.

Jack Toolin is an artist work­ing in new media, dig­i­tal imag­ing, and per­for­mance. His work con­sid­ers con­tem­po­rary life in light of the chang­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, and tech­no­log­i­cal land­scape, and has been pre­sented na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. High­lights in­clude: the Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art (2002 Bi­en­nial); the Walker Art Cen­ter, Min­neapo­lis, Min­nesota; Ars Elec­tron­ica, Linz, Aus­tria; the San José Mu­seum of Art, San José, Cal­i­for­nia; Foxy Pro­duc­tion, New York City. His work Per­fect View was ex­hib­ited at the Chelsea Art Mu­seum Pro­ject Room in 2010. He was a mem­ber of the new media col­lab­o­ra­tive C5 (1997 – 2007) which in­ves­ti­gated cul­ture’s re­la­tion­ship to tech­nol­ogy through data vi­su­al­iza­tion, in­stal­la­tion, and per­for­mance ex­pe­di­tion. He is cur­rently a vis­it­ing as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Pratt In­sti­tute in Brook­lyn, New York, and an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at the Poly­tech­nic In­sti­tute at NYU. He has lec­tured widely, at in­sti­tu­tions such as the Rhode Is­land School of De­sign; Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley; the San Fran­cisco Art In­sti­tute; Emer­son Col­lege, Boston; Kibla Mul­ti­me­dia Cen­ter, Mari­bor, Slove­nia; the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Ri­jeka, Croa­tia; and the Uni­ver­sity of Split, Croa­tia. He holds a B.F.A. in pho­tog­ra­phy from Ohio Uni­ver­sity, and an M.F.A. in in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice from San Jose State Uni­ver­sity.

Aug 31, 15:33
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