Day 1, Stream 1
Andrea Polli: Art and Ecology, The University of New Mexico, US
Alison Gazzard: University of Hertfordshire, UK
Michaela French: University of Hertfordshire, UK
Dan Collins: Arizona State University, United States
David Tafler: Muhlenberg College, United States
Andreia Oliveira: Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil
Conor McGarrigle: Emergent Digital Practices, University of Denver, United States
Paula Dawson: Hologram, Australia
Alison Gazzard & Michaela French Maps of time: exploring the rhythms of a mediated world
“Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, time and an expenditure of energy, there is a rhythm” (Lefebvre 2004:15)
Rhythm is a fundamental part of the human experience of place; planetary rhythm, circadian rhythm and cellular rhythm underpin our interpretations of the world and ourselves. Traditional mapping, in its translation to the page, prioritises space over time, frequently removing the cyclical rhythms inherent in the experience of landscape in favour of a more linear approach. In a world of GPS, user-generated mapping and mobile data, we are constantly translating energies, marking places, and attempting to create interactions between body, space and time. The real-time interaction with the machine creates a rhythm of materiality and consumption of online connected places, reflecting only one facet of our existence.
However, the temporality of the sun and the moon, as systems of cyclical rhythm depict a relationship between night and day, body and landscape; expending the energy of the spaces we exist in. To map these rhythms allows for a different type of inscription, one that grows with the luminance of the place.
This paper explores the mapping of rhythms through luminance, focusing on two artworks, Two Places I Call Home by Michaela French and Streetlight Storm by Katie Paterson. By slowing down the inscription through real time events of environmental change, the experience of the viewer shifts, relating to the mapped space through a new lens. Exploring the layers of ‘real-time’ inherent within our daily lives, as so often not exposed through the fixed nature of the map, we are able to re-frame the rhythms of the digital experience. Similar mapping technologies become repurposed in order to adapt our experiences of place so often lost by the ephemeral quality of location-based experiences constantly infiltrating our everyday lives.
Dan Collins Community Mapping
The act of mapping can either preserve the status quo or catalyse change.
A subset of mapping, community mapping, can be defined as a place-based approach that supports participatory action at the community level. It inverts the traditional ‘top-down’ approach to mapping by:
1. incorporating local knowledge
2. integrating and contextualising spatial information
3. allowing participants to dynamically interact with input and analyse alternatives
4. empowering individuals and groups
This paper reports on community mapping and discusses localised mapping efforts around the world. Groups already taking advantage of these mapping strategies include small scale farmers in Tanzania; urban neighborhoods in India, China, and the US; and indigenous communities in the Australian outback, the American Southwest, and the Congo. My work linking schools and communities along the length of the Colorado River will be discussed.
I review mapmaking tactics from the hand-made to the high-tech, with emphasis on projects utilising ‘bottom up’ data-harvesting such as ‘participatory GIS,’ crowd-sourcing, and ‘user-centric’ locative technologies.
Increasingly, community mapping is being used for coordinating watershed audits, environmental protection and restoration, tracking human health trends, and poverty alleviation projects seeking to comply with international law for human rights. It can aid neighborhood groups in formulating action agendas and making their case to elected officials and policymakers. It can reveal the stories of place that remain invisible to the casual observer.
Why should this be of interest to the ISEA community?
Putting mapping tools in the hands of artists helps to capture the complexity of a given place—including nuanced descriptions of physical settings, evidence of lived experience, and creative interactions with communities. Technologically empowered artists, partnered with specialists from a variety of fields, can build on the platform of a ‘site-specific aesthetic’ towards ethically-based action.
David Tafler & Peter D’Agostino Techno / Natural Interfacing: walking and mapping in the age of climate change
This paper forms a theoretical model of a techno / natural interface by focusing on a series of World-Wide-Walks projects from the 1970s to the present. The inquiry extends our work on The Techno / Cultural Interface: tracking the boundaries of high-tech and traditional cultures presented at TISEA, Sydney, 1992, and published in Media Information Australia, August, 1993. Originally based on ‘dialogues’ and ‘metalogues’ inspired by Gregory Bateson’s concepts of mind and nature as “sacred and necessary unities,” the techno / cultural ideas evolved over the next two decades from theories of interfacing, identities, and consciousness to techno / natural concepts sorting through primal layers of sensuous kinesthetic experience: walking.
The World-Wide-Walks documentation / performances explore ‘natural / cultural / virtual identities’ mediated by video / web / GPS tools, contextually framed between earth & sky and between earth & water. The conflation of technology within the ‘natural’ order provides a necessary challenge in this age of global warming and man-made climate change. To begin meeting this challenge we produced World-Wide-Walks / between earth & sky / Donegal, a Leonardo / Art & Climate Change project in Ireland.
By navigating an art/science interchange of ecological concerns, the current projects examine water related issues. Peter d’Agostino’s work-in-progress W-W-W / between earth & water / ICE was performed at glaciers in Iceland and Terra del Fuego, Argentina. These comparative sites at the top and bottom of the globe provide our current research with compelling evidence of escalating climatic changes for addressing a sustainable future related to ‘glocal’ issues of global and local communities.
Andreia Oliveira, Felix Rebolledo, Hermes Renato Hildebrand & Efrain Foglia Narratives of Locative Technologies as Memory Assemblages
This article considers the virtual (re)construction of the Vila Belga neighborhood in Santa Maria, Brazil in terms of memory and the role of place as integrative of experience, and the creation of narratives resulting from locative technologies as memory assemblages. In the early 1900s, Vila Belga became a vibrant settlement of Belgian immigrants which clustered around the railway station and embraced the local rail industry as the basis for the experiential machinic assemblies underlying this socio-economic associative milieu. With the demise of rail and its replacement by truck transport, the neighborhood lost its sense of meaning and collective memory. In May 2012, various buildings of the now defunct Vila Belga railroad station were occupied by artists, academics and multi-disciplinary researchers taking part in the arte#ocupaSM event for 5 days of intense artistic coexistence to understand this memorial disintegration. Our paper poses the question “What constitutes the memory of community as a collective process of (re)collection?” and seeks answers in the locative technologies used by the participants to (re)activate and (re)purpose the space and duration of experience towards a novel (re)alignment of actualisation as event. We will focus on aircity:arte#ocupaSM — an artwork using locative technologies to render visible the invisible space of territorialisation as mappings of expanses of intensification: through the integration of data from sensing and geolocation devices, the artwork produces mappings of relation which constitute the ‘groundwork’ of memory and serve to peg the continuity of experience as part of an ecology of being. Our paper will examine these mappings as landing sites which, on the one hand, create memories as planes of consistency yielding actualisation, and on the other, as territorialisations of the narrative (re)activation of collective memory in the integration of experience within the unfolding of actuality.
Conor McGarrigle Forget the Flâneur
Everyone loves the flâneur, Baudelaire’s symbol of modernity, the anonymous man on the streets of nineteen century Paris – drifting through the urban crowd, strolling through the arcades as a detached observer, part of the crowd but also aloof from it.
The flâneur has also found his way into the digital world from the nostalgic notion of the cyberflâneur surfing the (Geocities) arcades of the world wide web with no particular place to go. A recent op-ed in the New York Times even blamed Baron Haussmann in the guise of Facebook for destroying these cyber-arcades, and along with them the cyberflâneur.
Discussions of the intersection of digital media and physical space, from early Locative Media practitioners on, also invoke the notion of the flâneur in his new incarnation as the digital flâneur, traversing the streets equipped with location aware devices observing and studying the augmented hybrid spaces of the city “existing in a haze of code”. Certainly location-aware mobile devices lend themselves to these analogies, it’s an easy connection to make, but is it the correct one?
This paper argues that it is time to forget the flâneur; this nineteenth century model of male privilege is no longer fit for the purpose. As Benjamin notes, the flâneur arose from a change in architecture in Paris, and it was the subsequent Haussmannisation that were to prove his undoing. Whatever the merits of the connection between the cyberflaneur and the WWW, the architecture has changed and a new model is needed to consider the peripatetic nature of location aware networked devices in the digitally augmented city. The detached passivity of the flâneur needs to be replaced with an alternative model that is of necessity engaged, a disruptive activist who does not merely observe but actively seeks to create alternative narratives and shape outcomes.
Paula Dawson Hyperobject: Homeland
This paper describes the conceptual underpinning and workflow of a haptic drawing hologram project, Hyperobject: Homeland, which proposes that one’s homeland is emergent … that it comes into existence as it is needed.
The primary context of this project is the extensive use of holographic maps in tactical battle visualisation for Homeland Security. So far about 12,000 synthetic holographic images combining army- classified and unclassified- along with open-source data, photographs, and light detection and ranging LIDAR imagery, have been made for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Small groups of soldiers cluster around these monochrome green holograms on a horizontal rotating turntable with a specially designed, ruggedised grasshopper lighting stand for situational awareness. The existence of these holograms foreshadows the destruction of the places they depict and also the people that they do not.
The Hyperobject: Homeland project generates a homeland of The Common through holograms of drawings of multitudes of human lifelines, each one the subjective index of the existence of one human life. These holograms are made by using Holoshop software, currently underdevelopment by the author, in conjunction with the Phantom Premium 1.5 haptic interface, to haptically feel and trace in 3D, a sensitively modulated line along the lifeline terrain of each palm. This metaphorical touching of the life through the deferred tactile gesture inflects the mark with a sense of care. The hue, saturation and width of marks are modulated by the velocity and directional parameters of the gesture. By making different tracing along the same lifeline, one for every year of life, spatial structures, some enclosed like shells and other opening as nests are created. These structures are positioned in relation to each other in the virtual 3D space according to their Hapticity – fastening, contact and combination.