Archive for November, 2007

tactical media

November 12, 2007

tactical media begins with the work of french philosopher michel de certeau and his book the practice of everyday life. de certeau’s discussion of tactics has greatly influenced creative practices in recent years. another origin point of tactical media is the next five minutes festival which, as appropriate to tactical media theory, is no longer running. n5m was organized by geert lovink (remember geert from and others. lovink has an excellent essay on tactical media here—- abc-of-tactical-media.pdf. a recent successful american exhibition was held at massmoca in 2004. titled “the interventionists,” this great collection of work also featured an outstanding catalogue edited by sholette and thompson. another important influence in tactical media practices is that of the situationists and their work on spectacle and detournement. tactical media presents us with some of contemporary art’s most important collectives that every student should know about-like the carbon defense league, the surveillance camera players or rtmark. but some of my faves are the yes men, the institute for applied autonomy, lucy orta, yomango, william pope l., and michael rakowitz. if you don’t yet know about eyebeam or p.s.1, then you should now.




November 7, 2007

today’s node is techno-performance, that shifting terrain of art and the body in/under techno cultures. considering performance art quickly-according to amelia jones it is most often about intersubjectivity (the subject of the work of art and the object of the work of art are the same). so, in the “traditional” performance art canon, embodiment is everything. but what happens when bodies become telematic, networked, or virtual? what about databodies? some pioneers in thinking critically in this area are donna haraway with her seminal essay “the cyborg manifesto” and n. katherine hayles’ work on the post-human. i’ve already mentioned that second front has been invited to participate with one of their second life performances in performa this year, some more recent works of techno-performance have been done by los cybrids, coco fusco, la pocha nostra, stelarc, christina mcphee, survival research labs, laurie anderson, and subrosa-to name just a few of my own influences. franklin furnace funds the future of the present, which is a great way to start tracking down recent efforts in the intersection of performance art and technology. one of my recent faves is the black factory by william pope l. some great books on the topic have recently been published-=digital performance and data made flesh are very good. an outstanding blog on networked performance is maintained by turbulence. what software might techno-performance artists employ? max msp, pure data, and isadora are obvious choices-but this type of work runs by any media necessary.



video games and virtual cultures

November 5, 2007

this week we are combining two nodes of new media practice in the arts into one. the integrating factor here might be the construction or manipulation of a virtual world. if we consider a fragile definition of videogame art, we can begin by understanding the various ways that contemporary artists have become involved in videogames. consider sweat, opensourcery, natalie bookchin, feng mengbo, and some of cory arcangel’s projects like super mario clouds for starters. the idea of virtual cultures and worlds might best be expressed by second life, which has also been taken on by artists such as patrick lichty and the performance collective second front-a participant in performa 07. a pioneer in this area is char davies. an excellent example of an artist collective whose work integrates games and real/virtual structures is the uk based blast theory. games themselves have quite a history in the arts, marcel duchamp-who was often lost in the “world” of chess-is a good example. of course we have an excellent example of videogame art in the gallery right now with with scmrpg. and in case you didn’t already know, controversy comes with video games! it’s always come with art…. what happens when the two get together? if you’re interested in exploring videogames as art, take a look at stagecast. but there are tons of ways to get into making your first game (sourceforge anyone?)