September 30, 2006
Teleferique, Cluster

Cluster, Teleferique

The French collective Teleferique official stopped in 2005 after only six years of activities. They have however left documentation of their work online so that it can be viewed. Cluster is one particular work archived on their site from 2003 which uses a small area network of ten computers (and I’m loosely translating here):

Each computer is a node in the network. Together they can be considered as simply one machine similar in effect to a supercomputer. This architecture permits them to circumnavigate the limits of centralised systems by sharing work accross the computers at the same time.

The main manifestation of Cluster as an art work was at the multimedia space Gantner where Teleferique created a game to be played accross the ten computer cluster. The game on screen displays the same topology as the actual cluster of computers, essentially the software mimics the hardware. Each computer confronts the others on their small network as adversaries. Every three seconds each player (a computer) moves its colour (red or white) on the cluster. The first to move into position creating a link with the other wins and each round last until the player arrives at nine. The game is inspired by the game paper, scissors, rock.

Posted by: Garrett @ 7:58 pm
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Tagged – RFID exhibition at

Space media arts

This announcement about a RFID exhibition came through the nettime announce mailing list. Shame there is not more information about the actual works on the site and that you have to search elsewhere for documentation. None of the works really jumped out at me however I stumbled onto Paula Roush’s site / blog which has a mass of interesting research and work.

//Five new works by artists working with RFID technology as part an ongoing project produced by [ ]//

Opening Reception: 6 October, 6 – 9pm; continuing until 21 October
With a performance by Paula Roush

Electronic tagging technologies are increasingly impacting society and are set to shape the future. Standing for Radio Frequency Identification, RFID tags use radio waves and can potentially function without your knowledge, with widespread adoption across many commercial and public industries.

In this exhibition, the artist collaborative **Louis-Philippe Demers and Philippe Jean** are working with local shop Hollywood Convenience electronically tagging their grocery items to produce the artwork iTag. Using a portable music device, available to pick up from the exhibition, shoppers can listen to music generated from the grocery aisles.

RealSnailMail is a project in development by **boredomresearch**, using RFID technology to enable real snails to carry and deliver electronic messages on their own time, despite growing expectations of instant communication.

**Mute-Dialogue (Yasser Rashid and Yara El-Sherbini)** have created the interactive installation, Origins and Lemons. Arranged as an East End market stall the installation invites you to pick up RFID-tagged items and scan them to receive clues as to their history and origin.

In SWAPOId, **evoLhypergrapHyCx (C6)** implement RFID technology in the Antisystemic Distributed Library Project, an alternative library of shared books, videos, and music with venues in community centres and bedrooms worldwide, and through this acting as but one site of resistance against a de-humanising, de-dimensional agenda.

Arphield Recordings by **Paula Roush** records the sound of citizens scanning their Oyster cards in London Underground stations, and outputs them in live performance, installation and public intervention.

A new essay by **Armin Medosch**, The Spychip Under Your Skin, accompanies this exhibition and will be published on a new [ ] website:

Posted by: Garrett @ 11:55 am
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September 20, 2006
Jim Campbell

Jim Campbells work Library

I stumbled across some of Jim Campbells work a few months ago (above) at Masterpieces of Media Art at the ZKM (still running until January 2007 and well worth a trip to Karlsruhe), took a photo not knowing who’s work it was as there didn’t seem to be any clear info and thought no more of it as it was primarily cinematic and not my area (although very beautiful).

Early this morning Rhizome News posted an article on an exhibition by Campbell, with an image and I quickly made the connection and found his website. While the focus of the article is on Campbell’s LED based works and most of his latest work seems to revole around the use of LED based screens and the abstraction or minimalisation of a moving image to what is barely perceivable, three works spread over thirteen years appealed to me more than these:

  • Self Portrait of Paul DeMarinis (2003) (below left)
  • Untitled (For The Sun) (1999)
  • Memory/Recollection (1990) (below right)

Jim Campbells work

These three (particularily Self Portrait of Paul DeMarinis) capture and illustrate very simply but fundamental ideas of connecting technology with … so many things, other technology, the world around it, users, sound etc. This is all summed up very nicely in Campbells Formula for Computer Art, a artists statement on concept and research as illustrative animation (seen below).

This site requires the flash player <a href="">download the flash player now</a>.<br />
Posted by: Garrett @ 9:28 pm
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September 17, 2006
Heart Beats Dust by Jean Dupuy

Heart Beats Box

A colleague discussing research with me on friday told me of an early electronic / electrical work which clearly indicates the direction art would start to pursue over the next thirty years and fits nicely into my area of research. The work, mentioned in the publication Digital Currents by Margot Lovejoy, entitled Heart Beats Dust (above left and centre) by Jean Dupuy is a work I had never seen by an artist I had never heard of and strangely seems to be omitted from any other history of media art I am aware of (or the few conceptual art histories I have covered so far). It makes you wonder about who writes these histories and how they decide to include some works and not others.

Heart Beats Dust consists of:

a black rectangular box, a window at eye level opens onto a 24′ cube which houses the sculpture. The form is created by thrusting dust up into a cone of light. The dust is Lithol Rubine, a brilliant red pigment chosen for its ability to remain suspended in air for long periods. The thrust is achieved by amplified heart-beats from an attached stethoscope or a continuous loop tape recording of heartbeats played on a speaker mounted directly under a tightly stretched rubber membrane upon which the dust sits. (

There is work reminiscent of Hearts Beats Dust particularly conceptual work such as Hans Haacke’s Condensation Cube (1963-65, above right) in that it too uses a basic medium (water) to show processes in action (condensation cycles) however nothing which cleverly brings technology and art, electronics and visualisation of the invisible together as cleverly.

Heart Beats Dust was the winning entry in a competition for collaborations between artists and engineers entitled E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) which also anticipated major initiates by organisations such as Xerox with their PAIR program and HP Labs with their Creative Residencies.

Posted by: Garrett @ 1:34 pm
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September 11, 2006
Cell Phone Disco

Cell Phone Disco

LED’s have in the last few years become a phenomenon due to a decrease in their cost and thanks to the Graffiti Research Lab and their use of throwies. Throwies which seem to have caught peoples imagination (including one of my ex-students) while interesting seem to be really only a start to how LED’s could be used in environments and forms of responsive or active architecture. That said I remember coming accross comments on a few months back which discussed the environmental effects, essentially throwing batteries and magnets away which really seemed to be the first time anyone really even raised this issue.

The use of LED’s will continue of course however hopefully we will see more clever, interesting and reusable uses for them such as Cell Phone Disco or Mobile Disco (image and video above) (Via Rhizome News):

Cell Phone Disco is a playful experimental installation made out of flashing cells. By multiplication of a mobile phone gadget, only slightly altered consumer product, we created a space to experience the invisible body of the mobile phone.

and the LED Architecture discussed a while back in Wired. If your interested in using LED’s or making throwies see these articles, just remember to use responsibly!

Posted by: Garrett @ 1:25 pm
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