July 30, 2006
Parasitic networks and opportunism in urban space


A friend of mine told me about a work entitled Parasite (shown above) almost a year ago and I remember looking at the site at the time but since had completely forgotten about it. Being awarded an honoury mention for Ars Electronica this year reminded me of the piece by Frédéric Eyl, Gunnar Green and Richard The and its connections with a previous Ars Electronics Honorary Mention in 2001,


Prototype Schmarotzer (Parasite) (shown above) by Frank Fietzek (which I previously wrote a short write up on netartreview in 2003).


Both works share similarities with a performance by Stelarc again entitled Parasite, Event for Invaded and Involuntary Body (shown above) first performed in 1997 and discussed at length in the Ars Electronica of that year which fell under the heading Flesh Factor.

While Prototype Schmarotzer and Parasite Event for Invaded and Involuntary Body (and indeed much of Stelarc’s other works) both focus on man machine relationships, Parasite focuses on relationships between existing systems and technologies, that is, underground networks and the opportunity they provide of a captive audience in a darken space with little or nothing to look at and the ease of creating mobile projection systems. This is opportunism at its best to avlow new media art to move beyond gallery spaces and integrate itself in public urban spaces.


One other work which should be noted here which has a similar means of projection (although thematically no connection) as Parasite is Daniel Sauter’s Light Attack (above left) from 2004. These opportunist projection works seem to be the logical progression from the work of Imi Knoebel in the early seventies entitled Projection X (above right) which was recently shown as part of the 40 Years of Video Art exhibition at the ZKM in Karlschruhe.

Posted by: Garrett @ 3:14 pm
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July 27, 2006
The fuss about RFID


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a means of tagging items so their movements in physical space can be tracked and the data produced used digitally. Currently their seems to be a lot of excitement about the use of RFID in new media art so much so that Mediamatic organised a series of workshops, events and online resources last year explaining their uses and implications to artists (information from wemakemoneynotart and Bryan Chung’s weblog.).

RFID certainly seems like a useful technology and hopefully has the potential to inspire artists to produce creative works that go beyond the simple and largely only visual uses (symbolising identification) of barcodes. Currently I don’t see this potential realised anywhere yet and it seems to me that much of the fuss about RFID will dwindle as did the excitment about GPS from 3/4 years ago. While GPS was immediately picked up by groups of artists who were involved in mapping (largely online spaces until then such as documented at Cybergeography) and also psychogeography to an extent which has allowed it to endure longer as a usefull tool, where is the immediate community of artists who can use RFID beyond that initial fascination of a new technology?

Some other resources concerning the use of RFID in new media art:

Wired article on artists employing RFID.
Marcus Kirsch’s project Urban Eyes tagging pigeons in Rotterdam.
I Can Read You, posters employing RFID patterns.
Meghan Trainor who has created various RFID works.
Moo-Pong, bizare, gimmicky or fun project employing video and RFID.
Bruce Sterling influence on the potential of RFID which is emphasised in his publication from last year Shaping things.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:54 pm
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July 26, 2006
Applied network theory article

Not a new article by any means, but the following on Applied Network Theory offers an insightful explanation about the far reaching effects of networks on society in general and lists some of the must read introductory texts such as Albert-László Barabási, Linked: The New Science of Networks (which was my popular science starting point).

Posted by: Garrett @ 5:18 pm
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July 24, 2006


OKNO a Belgian organisation which is:

an artistic exploration of networks

seems to be a platform for facilitating the creation and diffusion of new media art. A gallery, performance area, funding body, workshop venue all in one. The site is a little text heavy and not the easiest to spend five minutes on and understand but have a look at the okno public01 page (and the pdf there) as it provides some more insight on their aims:

What if we treat everything that exists within the web of networked and non-networked creative artefacts, physical and non-physical people, actions and activities, as the material that makes up the creative artefact?

The project archives should also be explored to see some interesting and beautiful works. The installation Inside the oscillator and performances Thoughts go by air and
seem particularily interesting.

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:07 pm
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July 9, 2006
Intimate Transactions

Intimate Transactions

Intimate Transactions (site seemed to be offline when I looked so try here for info or here) is a networked installation allowing two individuals in different locations to connect and interact with each other through gesture. From what I can tell it seems like an interesting work (the few images I have seen look impressive) however very remenisant of works by Paul Sermon from the 90′s. Ten years after Sermon’s work these look like seen before idealistic fare from internet artists, just a little more polished.

Telematic Vision

Telematic Encounter

Above Telematic Vision and Telematic Encounter by Paul Sermon.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:47 am
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