Last week, something happened to me. That thing all digital artists fear. My harddrive went belly-up.
It was Sunday, and I was sitting around: meaning to, ironically enough, start my back-ups. I’d popped the first dvd in and moved files onto it, and started the burning
Mary Flanagan Presents.
After a short coffee break on the fourth day of the ICT and the Humanities Summer School at Sodertorn’s University College we returned to hear Professor Mary Flanagan (artist; inventor-designer-activist, NYC; professor + director, Tiltfactor research group, Hunter College) speak on “Reskinning the Everyday”. But first an introduction.
Mary Flanagan was the producer for the educational game The Adventures of Josie True. She is the designer and founder of Tech Arts Buffalo (“a community action project to encourage girls from the City of Buffalo to learn about and use computers”). Mary is an author and editor whose work includes Reload: Rethinking Woman and Cyberculture (2002) and The Sims. Similarities, Symbols & Simulacra (In Italian) with Matteo Bittanti (2003) and soon to be published reskin Cambridge: MIT Press, forthcoming 2005. Details of these and other writings are available HERE.
Mary began the presentation by introducing us to some of her works and some of the motivations behind them.
Flanagan began her artistic practice as a film maker working particularly in video. In reply to some earlier discussion regarding the nature of the cyborg in relation to identity, Flanagan stated the “cyborg is about the Self rather than techno fetishism”.
In 1991 she made a video called innards . This was one in a series of works which looked at the feminine body as both object and image.
From this entry point into cyber cultures the dialogues and pathways have been MANY!!.
Flanagan is a virtual world developer and works with game hacks as a medium. In virtual world development she sees the possibilities to “encounter non-linear narratives”. Asking the question “What is a virtual space?” she answered herself with “It is a space of imagination.” This is turn poses the questions; “How am I here?” and “What is this hard drive?” We are thereby propelled into considering the nature of the works, how they arrange subjectivity and what their contexts both as art and material metaphors are.
Phage(2000) re-contextualises digital material into new hierarchies by searching the hard drive of the engaging computer and re-presenting material in a 3D visual field. The artwork is just the computer application and the pre-existing content of the drive is what we see, but in a new form.
Other works Flanagan showed were Collection, which continues a primarily visual interpretation of the medium. Rootings a more game like environment and remotion, which re-presents imaged nature through a wireless web cam application. Ineffabel, a 2005 work is a welcome examination of sound in digital contexts, in this case in relation to individual voice in daily online text exchanges.
The final work previewed was domestic from 2003. I found this piece highly impressive, the little I saw of it. A large 3D game environment has been created around the theme of a house fire which Flanagan experienced as a child. Text, sound and space are integrated to stunning effect, although it was video fly-thru we saw (which may influence the pace and tempo of engaging with the work) it made a strong impression on myself of the possibilities of using 3D game environments to present emotional configured work.
We now move on to “Reskinning the Everyday”
Continue reading “Report from ICT and the Humanities Summer School Continued”
For quite some now we have been involved in a project where people from the archeology department and HUMlab have digitalized, analyzed in represented rock carvings in their context. Environmental archeology data have been collected and used (together with other sources) to build a 3D representation of past times. We have worked closely with the Environmental Archeology Laboratory here.
One of the main interests has been to explore how the rock carvings interrelate with the surrounding environment and how this affects language of the carvings.
Personally I have learnt a great deal from spending a bit of time with the archeologists doing field work (me merely watching). In general I think the collaborative aspects of a project of this kind are very important.
The project has involved a great deal of methodology work. Among other things careful digitalization, using complex GIS models, vectorizing data, and creating high-performance interactive 3D environments based on GIS data with enough speed.
One result of the project has been an exhibition based on the work done. Today some of the material for anew version of the exhibition was prepared.
Ancient rock carvings digitalized and printed 1:1…
Some of the HUMlabbers in action after a hard day of work (others are having a beer, using the wireless network and fighting mosquitos).
Tomorrow HUMlab will go to Kronlund about an hour North of Ume
For some reason I cannot comment your most recent blog entry, Jim. Anyway – I just wanted to tell you this is very readable and interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next installment.
This is very readable and interesting stuff, Jim. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the next installment… (And sorry about having to comment in this way – we will look into it).
Day three of the ICT and the Humanities Summer School saw a new theme “Digital Artefacts and/as Cyborg” and it provoked a mixed reaction among many. The popular image of the cyborg is very strong in our culture and perhaps this had something to do with several of the course participants not attending this day. That was a mistake as far as I was concerned because two very interesting and knowledgeable figures in this field spoke. Kenneth Knoespel Professor and Chair at the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Institute of Technology and the truly inspiring Mary Flanagan, Professor in Film and Media Studies , Department of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College, New York City.
It was perhaps synchronised or perhaps it was based on the deep knowledge both of these presenters have in their subject areas but myself and several other of the participants in the summer school were stuck by the renaissance character of both Ken and Mary. The abilities and experience of both of them were really…like…wow!
Continue reading “Report from ICT and the Humanities Summer School III”
I met this guy (Raymond M. Kristiansen) at Bloggforum 2.0 and was quite impressed with comments he made both during the panel and on the train ride back to central station. He is a videoblogger working with a blogging company called Blogsoft as well as a moderator at Ourmedia.
The other day he posted a screencast about how he uses bloglines. Screencasts like these are interesting in that one gets the chance to learn new tips and tricks to make his or her own information hunting and gathering more efficient. I heard/read (I hate when I can’t remember where) the other day that the Internet is not about nodes and information, but about the people sharing that information. I like that idea. It is quite agreeable and this screencast fits right in with that theme. I would like to see more of these in relation to how people weave their tools together in order to create their personal information ‘cloud’.
Well, here I am. Patrik came by today and suggested that I introduce myself to the blog and, perhaps, write a little entry now and then. Anyway, hi, I