September 28, 2010
Talking Tree

Talking Tree is a 100 year old tree, situated on the edge of Brussels. The tree has been equipped with:

a fine dust meter, ozone meter, light meter, weatherstation, webcam and microphone. This equipment constantly measures the tree’s living circumstances. And translates this information into human language. Then, the tree lets the world know how he feels. Follow the life of the talking tree via YouTube, Flickr and Soundcloud. And friend him on Facebook.

Below is a image of the skyline as ‘seen’ by the tree.

Originally seen on Networked_Performance.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:27 pm
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September 21, 2010
Tele-Present Wind

Tele-Present Wind by David Bowen is a networked installation which employs the wind as it’s driving force.

This installation consists of a series of 21 x/y tilting devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in the gallery and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. When the wind blows it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects this movement transmitting it in real-time to the grouping of devices in the gallery. Therefore the stalks in the gallery space move in real-time in unison based on the movement of the wind outside.

For related works employing the wind/breath see The Incredible Internet Flying Machine, WINDscale, InfoBreath, Twilight, Breath and Blow Up & Breeze Reflection.

Tele-Present Wind originally seen on Data is Nature.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:11 pm
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September 11, 2010

EKKAH by Acting Without Reality (Raphaël Isdant, Thomas Cheneseau and Samuel Huron) is a generative work which creates a textual avatar within a three dimensional space as a result of it’s “Facebook contacts’ activities and publications”. The work:

is an omniscient and curious collective avatar, which exists through the social networks of the Internet by feeding itself with our daily lives. Born from the feeds it represents, EKKAH shape is only visible through its Facebook contacts’ activities and publications. Its network is its blood and enables the avatar to exist and remain in our memories. If the social network come [sic] to die, the project would disappear at the same time. EKKAH is made of a profie [sic] and a Facebook software prolongated with an interactive installation. Those two spaces are connected in a dynamic way and work by the means of feedback. By getting to be EKKAH’s friend through its Facebook profile, the members accept to be part of a visible artistic project in the frame of an exhibition area : EKKAH is an interface between Art and Reality.

I’ve been particularly interested in ideas of identity (and place) lately. Much of my output for this is occurring in Second Life, attempts to question the means of representation within a proprietary virtual world or what a friend recently called the “fake realism” simulated in these worlds i.e. the use of a Cartesian coordinate system etc. My thinking however stems from what was a very large thematic strand of the of ten or more years ago.

EKKAH addresses some of these very traditional artistic ideas in very interesting, up to date ways and these are articulated well in a short article about the work (in French only) in the latest issue of CIAC’s (Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal) Electronic Magazine, titled I is Another. The article outlines the artists thinking of the work as a work of net art (note, not, a work which relies completely on the state of a network, both technical and social in this instance, a work which I have started calling networked art or networks (net works). Starting with the premise:

to live, we must be seen…digital identity gives us tools to increase the traces of our presence

the article elaborates on how identity within a ‘web 2.0′ social network is not based solely on what we choose to present but also how others choose to interpret and interact with our representations.

Posted by: Garrett @ 9:34 pm
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September 6, 2010
Wandern im Wissen (Wandering in Knowledge)

Staying with works of a largely textual nature for the moment Wandern im Wissen (Wandering in Knowledge) is an installation currently installed in the stairwell of the State and University library Bremen in Germany created by the University of the Arts Bremen.

The work is similar in several ways to LPDT2 (the last post), the most important being that it sources literary information for its content, in this instance not the online Gutenberg Project but the catalog of the library it is installed in. In a sense it is an interface, a screen, to the libraries content making it more visible and immediate to its users/visitors.

Searching and retrieving information are the main requests of the library’s visitors. An almost endless flow of information inquiries are obtained and fulfilled on daily basis. In this respect, the students of the University of the Arts Bremen granted an aesthetic and poetic expression to this invisible procedure…a sculpture of folded paper demonstrates the connection between the traditional storage medium and the digital information world. The permanent flow of information inquiries at the SuUB runs through on a vertical axis between four floors of the building. The random results of the inquiries release corresponding visuals of text and pictures which cause curiosity for the various activites in the library. The media sculpture highlights the abundance of the mental processes, which take place simultaneously in the library. The retrieval inquiries result in new collages of visuals of text and pictures, which form an aesthetic translation of the search procedure. The searched words, then, fill the pool of data at the ground of the stairway. Altogether the media installation poses questions about the function of the information in the age of the increasing communicational isolation. In regard to the title, the visitor literally passes through the world of knowledge.

Made with VVVV and Ruby, the work is a collaboration between Niruba Balsingam, Manuel Dreesmann, Freja Enholm, Linda Freybott, David Grünwald, Andreas Haller, Stefan Ihmig, Claudius Kirsch, Shushi Li, Henrik Lippke, Maha Mahmood, Isabel Micheel, Josef Rissling, Dawei Wu, Marek Mateusz Majewski, Silke Bussen, Prof. Roland Lambrette, Peter Gombac and Eno Henze.

There are numerous sites online documenting this work. A wordpress weblog, a Tumblr weblog and a Flickr set.

Work originally seen via Henrik Lippkes website.

Posted by: Garrett @ 5:13 pm
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September 1, 2010

LPDT2 (all images and video in this post) is more than a reincarnation of Roy Ascott’s 1983 work La Plissure du Texte (The Pleating of the Text), it is a reworking, a version 2, of said works ideas within the space of Second Life.

The full original title of the work La Plissure du Texte: A Planetary Fairy Tale:

alludes to Roland Barthes’s book Le Plaisir du Texte, a famous discourse on authorship, semantic layering, and the creative role of the reader as the writer of the text. As was also the case in its first incarnation ‘distributed authorship’, a term coined by Ascott has been the primary subject of investigation of LPDT2. Whereas in 1983 the text was pleated by a number of human storytellers positioned around the globe; in the three dimensionally embodied metaverse the storytellers show novel and unexpected attributes: An emergent textual architecture/geography, as well as a number of autonomous ‘bot’ avatars which dwell inside this bizarre, literary landscape are pleating the text by acting as communication nodes between the narrators of this new version of the tale: The persistent distributed authorship is now accomplished by many writers throughout the ages: A text generator telling a non-linear, multi-faceted, often times poetic, story harvested from the famous online Gutenberg Project is now distributing its output amongst architecture and its inhabitants, generating dialogues and iterations taking their trajectories from masterworks of classical literature. The pleating resembles musical sampling, the connection between the sentences fades, text becomes noise, from which the audience generates meaning. The structure on the simulator adds yet another layer of pleating by visually mixing the different sources of text, while yet another layer of textual input will be provided through a contribution by from the University of Plymouth, UK, by means of which Real Life visitors will be able to contact the LPDT2 by sending SMS messages. Thus all pleated text – the generated, the contributed, and the stored – is simultaneously visible as a massive, ever evolving literary conglomeration.

In La Plissure du Texte, version 1, the network allowed performers from distant locations to share a networked ‘space’ where they could collaborate. Authorship was live and originated from distributed locations. Within this new version, distributed authorship has undergone dramatic changes. The network itself becomes the principle performer. Authorship is distributed across both distant spaces/places and times as text for the space is retrieved from digitised copies of classic works from the whole of documented English language.

The work is open to the public from today, September 1st. It has been co-authored in Second Life by Selavy Oh (programming and architecture), MosMax Hax, aka. Max Moswitzer (architecture and terrain) and Alpha Auer, aka. Elif Ayiter (avatar design). Further associates are Frigg Ragu, aka. Heidi Dahlsveen (avatar animations) and i-DAT from the University of Plymouth, UK (Real Life SMS input).

More images of the installation can be seen here.

Posted by: Garrett @ 5:08 pm
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