MEDIACITIES will feature commissioned urban works, results of an international call for proposals. The conference program features an opening reception for the works Saturday, May 4 from 7-9pm at a pop-up gallery at 743 Main Street downtown Buffalo. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, May 11.
It is by now commonplace that urban life has become entangled with a range of mobile, embedded, networked and distributed media, communications and information technologies. From local interactions between online worlds and those of the street, sidewalk and storefront; to large-scale participatory media events distributed across the space of the city; to regional infrastructural conditions that contest and conflict with national boundaries; to global flows from the developed to the developing world carrying potential for significant local impact: our interactions with and through these technologies increasingly shape how we experience the city and the choices we make there. This exhibition presents four artworks that address these entanglements across local, regional, national and global scales – spaces of appearance, of exchange, and of identity.
Border Bumping is a work of “dis-locative” media that situates cellular telecommunications infrastructure as a disruptive force, challenging the integrity of national borders. As we traverse borders our cellular devices hop from network to network across neighboring territories, often before or after we ourselves have arrived. These moments, of our device operating in one territory whilst our body continues in another, can be seen to produce a new and contradictory terrain for action. Running a freely available, custom-built smartphone application, Border Bumping agents collect cell tower and location data as they traverse national borders in trains, cars, buses, boats or on foot. Moments of discrepancy at the edges are logged and uploaded to the central Border Bumping server that generates maps of these fluctuating border conditions.
Julian Oliver is a New Zealander, Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His projects and the occasional paper have been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Julian’s work has received several awards, most notably a Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek.
Julian has given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, creative hacking, data forensics, computer networking, object-oriented programming for artists, augmented reality, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualisation, UNIX/Linux and open source development practices worldwide. Julian is an advocate of Free and Open Source Software in education.
Street Ghosts examines what happens when fragments of life online is transposed to the space of the city street. Life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View are printed and posted at the same spot where they were taken. The posters are printed in color on thin paper, cut along the outline, and then affixed with wheatpaste on the walls of public buildings at the precise spot on the wall where they appear in Google’s Street View image. Street Ghosts reveals multiple aesthetic, biopolitical, tactical and legal issues that emerge when the real and the virtual take place in the city.
Paolo Cirio works as a media artist in various fields: net-art, street-art, video-art, software-art and transmedia fictions. His primary inspiration is in corporate and state interventions through the tactical use of information power, which is depicted and interpreted in his radical and controversial art works. Paolo carves information flows through the re-contextualisation, manipulation and dissemination of data via various media. His artistic work explores the social, political and economic influence of information, through the media and techniques necessary for spreading it. He received the Ars Electronica Award of Distinction, Interactive Art in 2011 and a Transmediale 2008 award. His controversial projects have been covered by CNN, La Fox, The Age, Der Spiegel, Libération, and Apple Daily HK.
The Garden of Virtual Kinship
A garden existing in both the physical and virtual worlds is situated on a walkable platform with a digital irrigation system underneath. The amount of water and light the plants receive is dependent on investment information received from popular microfinance websites such as Kiva.org. Successful entrepreneurial ventures trigger appropriate nourishment, while failed ventures may lead to dying plants, making visible the circulation of finance as it is exchanged from the developed to developing world. QR codes beside each plant allow visitors to access internet information feeding the irrigation system. Through the poetic gesture of a garden, the complex relationships between human life and economic growth within these new alternative economic models are brought to the forefront.
Stephanie Rothenberg is an interdisciplinary artist engaging participatory performance, installation and networked media. Through provocative interactions her work explores new models of outsourced labor and the power dynamics and structural relationships between contemporary visions of utopian urbanization and real world economic, political and environmental factors. Her work has been exhibited at venues including Whitney Museum Artport, Sundance Film Festival and Transmediale.
City Lights Orchestra
City Lights Orchestra is an open visual symphony for the windows of the city. At night, each computer connected to the Internet illuminates the window of its office or of the home, and blinks, pulsates, beats, fades in and out, each according to its own score, but all in rhythm with all the others. The smartphones in the street do the same. Anyone can participate at anytime : the symphony is composed to accept an unlimited number of participants. The whole city becomes the orchestra : both spectator and interpreter of the visual symphony that is playing. It is a global city experience.
Visual artist Antoine Schmitt creates installations to address the processes of movement and question their intrinsic problematics of plastic, philosophical or social nature. Programming is his main material. His work has received several awards and has been widely exhibited in international art festivals. He is represented by Galerie Charlot (Paris).