Creative Commons License

The Penryn Event (Host: Fi Henshall)

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Information: 

On Friday 15th of April, Electronic Village Galleries will be exhibiting four collections of network, sound and new media art in the Penryn Town Hall. The event will run from 6-30pm to 8-30pm and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the artwork, food, wine and discussion. Each collection has been selected especially for the Electronic Village Galleries by a diverse range of new media curators and artists. At the Penryn event there will be collections by Beryl Graham, Patrick Simons, Furtherfield.org and Kurator. These will include works by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists Rob Myers, Moddr, Karen Blissett, Susan Collins, Carry Peppermint and Leila Nadir(ecoarttech), Rachel Reupke, Thomson and Craighead, Les Liens Invisibles, Oliver Ressler and UBERMORGEN.COM

Venue
Name: 
Electronic Village Galleries Penryn
Date: 
Fri, 15/04/2011 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: 

Penryn Town Hall, Higher Market St, TR108LT

Featuring Collections: 
Curated by Kurator

“Today the enemy is not called Empire or Capital.  It’s called Democracy.” (Badiou)

As protests against authoritarian regimes unfold across the near east (in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere), the hypocrisy of Western style democracy also demands attention.  Indeed the spread of Western style democracy is considered by many to be simply the homogenizing forces of neoliberalism expanding to new markets.  In her book Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009), Jodi Dean unpacks the collective fantasies around the free market, and considers democracy to be an empty cipher invoked by both right and left political positions.  Whether expressed in the views of Colonel Gadaffi or US foreign secretary Hilary Clinton, those that invoke democracy define it in their own narrow terms.  They use it to justify various tyrannies and hence it becomes ever more discredited in the process.

If largely discredited, one deeply ironic response is [V]ote Auction by Ubermorgen.Com, in which consumers were able to directly participate in the U.S. electoral process by trading votes – thus demonstrating how consumer capitalism and democracy are interchangeable in representational democracies.  The convergence is materialised in the use of participatory technologies that encourage the feeling that our involvement in politics is meaningful.  This is further emphasised by use of social media and the various claims made for online services that offer effective participation in the political process (the so-called Facebook or Twitter revolutions).  So we also need to ask what kinds of agency are produced through these technologies?  Participation remains a fantasy in Dean’s terms, exemplified in clicking a button on an online petition for instance.  This is something that Repetitionr.com by Les Liens Invisibles takes to an extreme by auto-generating fake signatures in support of a chosen campaign.

The projects reflect the desire for new institutional forms that challenge existing systems of representation and political organisation.  The provocation is that we need to rethink these structures, and continue to ask, as Oliver Ressler’s project does What is Democracy?  Paraphrasing Dean once more, democracy is clearly not the answer to our political problems but a symptom of the times.

References:

Geoff Cox, “Democracy 2.0”, in Geoff Cox, Nav Haq & Tom Trevor, eds., Art, Activism and Recuperation: Concept Store #3, Bristol: Arnolfini 2010,

http://www.anti‐thesis.net/contents/texts/democracy.pdf

Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communinicative Capitalism and Left Politics, Durham: Duke University Press 2009

Artwork
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  • Repetitionr.com

     

    2010, Online petition platform

    http://www.repetitionr.com/

    In the post-idealist era the success of a campaign is increasingly reliant on instantaneous statistical surveys promoted to shift opinion towards defined positions.  Repetitionr.com is the ultimate social petition platform that grants the success of every campaign proposed, offering the most advanced internet technologies to make participatory democracy a truely user-centred experience.  Just a click and Repetitionr will fill you petitions with millions of self-generated fake signatures indistinguishable from the real ones.  Repetitionr needs just a few clicks to demonstrate its magic:  just create your petition by writing down the title and statement, choose the number of signatures your want and from which countries they come from, then simply sit down and enjoy the power of data hallucination working on your behalf.  Dont' be afraid to exaggerate: Repetitionr will produce up to 1,000,000 signatures!  You are no longer alone in your opinions.  Make a Re-Petition and announce to the world that thousands and thousands of people can't be wrong!

    Repetitionr was commissioned by Arnolfini.

    More information at http://www.repetitionr.com/about.php

    Les Liens Invisibles is an imaginary art-group from Italy, comprised of media artists Clemente Pestelli and Gionatan Quintini.

    http://www.lesliensinvisibles.org

  • What Is Democracy?  

     

    2009, single channel video (118 min), run off DVD, alson available online

    http://www.ressler.at/what_is_democracy_film/

    ARTIST STATEMENT:
    "What is democracy?" is in fact a double question.  On the one hand, the question relates to the current condition of the parliamentary representative democracies that are critically scrutinized by this project.  On the other hand, the question traces different approaches to what a more democratic system might look like and which organizational forms it may require. 
    
The project addressed numerous activists and political analysts in 18 cities around the world - Amsterdam, Berkeley, Berlin, Bern, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rostock, San Francisco, Sydney, Taipai, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki and Warsaw - one question: "What is democracy?"

    The video interviews have been recorded since January 2007.

    Even though all subjects were asked the same questions, the result was a multiplicity of different perspectives and viewpoints of people living in states that are usually labelled as “democracies”.  This pool of interviews builds the starting point for eight videos, which are presented in an 8-channel video installation.  The installation (re)presents a kind of global analysis of the deep political crises of the Western democratic model.

    Detailed description at http://www.ressler.at/what_is_democracy_film/    

    Oliver Ressler is an artist who lives and works in Vienna, and carries out projects on various socio-political themes.

    http://www.ressler.at/biography/

  • [V]ote-­auction

     

    2000-2006, Action and Website    

    http://www.vote-auction.net/

    ARTIST STATEMENT:
    [V]ote-auction was a website which offered US citizens the opportunity to sell their presidential vote to the highest bidder during the Presidential Elections 2000, Al Gore vs. G.W Bush.

    The website was conceived by the student James Baumgartner and then sold to the Austrian business-artists Hans Bernhard (founder of etoy) and Lizvlx from UBERMORGEN.COM in Austria and (V)ote-auction Inc. in Sofia/Bulgaria (a subsidiary of the UBERMORGEN.COM group) for an undisclosed sum.  Voteauction was UBERMORGEN.COM's feature Media Hacking performance in the year 2000.  Several US States (Missouri, Wisconsin, Chicago, Arizona, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, New York) issued temporary restraining orders or injunctions for alleged illegal vote trading.  This led to the shutdown of 2 domains (voteauction.com and vote-auction.com).  Federal Attorney Janet Reno, the FBI and the NSA were investigating the case to ensure the integrity of the voting process on November 7th 2000.

    Over 2500 global and national News features in online media, print, television and radio have been reported (including a 27 min. CNN exclusive "Burden of Proof").

    V)ote-Auction is one of the most risky and paradoxically successful projects by UBERMORGEN.COM: it is "the only platform in the world that provides the final consumer an effective role in the American election industry".  A true interchange system that finally "brings capitalism and democracy closer together".

    UBERMORGEN.COM received an Award of Distinction from Prix Ars Electronica 2005 for the project.

    Extensive documentation of the project can be found at http://www.vote-auction.net/

    UBERMORGEN.COM is an artist duo created in Vienna, Austria, by Lizvlx and Hans Bernhard.

    http://www.ubermorgen.com

Disscussion about collection - DEMOCRACY 2.0

#1 KURATOR collection: DEMOCRACY

KURATOR collection: DEMOCRACY 2.0

Les Liens Invisible, Oliver Ressler, UBERMORGEN.COM

The KURATOR collection proves a strategically interesting move. Three artists/organisations/projects are collected and presented framed by the contested and also in a way blank term “Democracy”. The 2.0 added after this possibly symptomatic term points to the particularity of this democracy: it supposedly relates to the dynamics, economies and politics of web 2.0, associated with social media, collaborative and participatory engagement on the web, file/information sharing and user-defined design. As a framing term and title or announcement of a curated collection Democracy 2.0 both provokes and challenges, and also repeats and exploits the subject at stake.

The three works in the collection are Repetitionr.com (2010) by Les Liens Invisibles, Oliver Ressler’s What Is Democracy? (2009), and UBERMORGEN.COM with [V]ote-auction (2000-2006).

Ressler’s work What Is Democracy? is a single channel video (118 min) and installation. My encounter with the project is via the web, where the film is split in 8 single video clips, the 8 separate chapters or parts of the film: ‘Rethinking representation’, ‘Politics of exclusion’, ‘Secrecy instead of democratic transparency’, ‘New democracies?’, ‘Is representative democracy a democracy?’, ‘Direct democracy’, ‘Reclaiming Indigenous politics’, ‘Should we consign the Western democracy model to the ash heap of history?’. Being attracted by the visual language -a drawn chimera on a banner- as a starting image, and the theme of ‘Politics of exclusion’ which possibly engages with issues my current work deals with, part 2 is my entrance to Ressler’s film work. The 1 minute animation takes you into a drawn world: the camera zooms in, on to a hybrid creature composed of multiple animals… this chimera is smiling and blinking with his three friendly pairs of eyes, while a voice-over talks about democracy, its non-existence. The male Spanish? voice (subtitles in English) compares democracy to a chimera: “I cannot define democracy in any other way rather than a chimera, which sounds nice to our ears, but in Greek mythology it was a monster, a dreadful monster.” Suddenly the animal turns around, his colour changes from a warm yellow to orange and on to a hot, angry red. His 3 faces are angry, spiting fire and roaring. Then the animal returns to its former colour and assumes a militant posture. Elements such as a helmet, gun, bundles of bank notes and monuments are added, and the chimera shoots. The ending frame presents the animal in its initial friendly state.

What is Democracy? essentially consists of a series of interviews with activists and political analysts from 15 cities around the world. Besides the animation with its capacity to express a reality in a most effective way, the other videos show the participants/interviewees in situations such as a tree-sit action at University of California, Berkeley; a safe place to observe a military base in a desert; or a spot near a camp for immigrants in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The responses to the question What Is Democracy? are various and reflect the different viewpoints from people living in so-called democratic states. This points to the difficulty, impossibility, and therefore urgency and necessity to re-visit and re-conceptualise “Democracy”, not only in terms of its shifting connotations, its precarity and contested meaning, but also in the ways our understanding of politics has hugely infiltrated our everyday and consequently the cultural space it claims to occupy. Maybe it can only always be analysed and acted out locally, it can only be practiced anew, which in a way forms the starting point of a critique of the global, and of a subsummating term that has become a void space, an empty signifier.

[UBERMORGEN.COM’s radicality, if there is any, lies in the ‘coolness’ of how the artists deal with power systems.]   

[Repetitionr.com by Les Liens Invisibles proposes a subversion of statistical surveys. By offering to create your desired signatures for a petition via this online platform (a few mouse clicks sort you out), a “common” interest is replaced by an individual’s desire.]  

With KURATOR’s project there are multiple collaborations, agencies and autonomies. What makes this collection and KURATOR’s process of curating interesting to me is precisely this layering and obscuring of people and communities involved, which in a way maps the plurality (of voices, identities, fake-identities, politics, obscure politics, a-politics) de- and re-presented on the web. How can an ethics be developed that deals with these decentralised and proliferated entities, what new concrete relations are formed in this process? What exactly does agency mean within this space of social relations? And what does curating mean as a group with sometimes contradictory interests, and how then to negotiate the multi-voice artist/organisation who are working with? There seems a flattening of relationships and an unstable and uncertain state, whereby a user or audience of the collection is left with drawing connections, signing up for access, undertaking elaborate research and contributing to a possibly illegal vote action, i.e. acting in a strange and unknown zone. By doing so, this collection and the works ask questions rather than trying to propose solutions, and they emphasise the ambiguous spaces created not only in the 2.0 environment (and its critique) but subsequently in our more concrete, always suspiciously -nevertheless necessarily- politicised spaces.    

Curated by Beryl Graham

New media is often assumed to be the antithesis of all that is rural or natural – a quick and shallow ‘virtual reality’ for city slickers, which doesn’t even approach feeling the sea spray on your face, or just ‘being there’. Yet, there many layers of artificiality and man-made intervention lurking in the landscape – is that coastline restricted by the military? Is that woodland ancient semi-natural, or carefully sculpted for clients owning a country estate? Are those seaside watercolours and those photographs of farmhouse Bed and Breakfasts carefully editing out any sign of modern functionality, such as the electricity pylons? When it comes to art, new media artists still have a strong interest in landscape, and are able to use the characteristics of new media to reveal different layers of reality. This includes those layers which are not visible to the naked eye, and might be expressed as data – for example layers of numbers concerning invisible pollution, appearing as the glitches in landscape images. The connected nature and global reach of the internet also enables the artists here to play with time and space: Pollution is monitored live in real time; from a village in Cornwall, you can see the temperatures in all corners of the globe, right at that moment. Being ‘live on the internet’ does not of course always mean huge speed: these Harewood landscapes are drawn more slowly than a watercolour, and the contemplation of Pico Mirador national park unfolds to the leisurely pace of webcam refresh rates. Take a seat at a screen, and contemplate the sublime mass of data that is the internet …

Artwork
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  • Harewood

     

    2008-2009, Website of archived images from webcam (additional archived images running from hard drive)
    http://www.susan-collins.net/harewood

    Landscape is often characterized as natural, ancient, and real-time, but Susan Collins’ recent webcam works question all of these things, and slowly, very slowly, produce odd and haunting images.

    For over a year, a camera overlooked Harewood House’s landscape, carefully crafted by ‘Capability’ Brown to appear ‘natural’. The webcam recorded and transmitted live images, at the rate of a pixel a second so that a whole image represents the previous 21.33 hours. Each image spans dark, dawn and dusk in horizontal bands, stretching the time horizon, and inviting meditation in a world where technology is most often associated with breakneck speed. This web site presents archived images from the 2008/9 project, but see the artists’ site for more live projects.

    http://www.susan-collins.net

  • Eclipse

     

    2009, Web site which gathers data from elsewhere on the internet

    http://turbulence.org/Works/eclipse/

    Sometimes, pictures are worth a thousand bits of data. Eclipse uses ideas of landscape together with the ability of the web to connect images to bits of data, concerning, in this case, ecological systems.

    If the user selects a national park in the USA, the software searches the photography site Flickr for images of that landscape, then uses live data on air pollution in that region to ‘corrupt’ the image. The higher the levels of pollution, the more visual glitches occur. The work of ecoarttech (Cary Peppermint and Leila Nadir) often deals with ecological or landscape issues, from urban hikes to odd videos of rural living.

    http://ecoarttech.net/

  • Pico Mirador

     

    2003, Web site responding to time of day (UK time)

    http://picomirador.org/

    Web-cams, with their clunky low-resolution and glacial ‘refresh-rate’ timing, might seem scant fodder for artists, but Rachel Reupke here revels in the beauty and narrative of the webcams provided by the fictional Pico Mirador National Park. Rachel Reupke’s work has dealt with the romantic conventions of film landscapes, including Hitchcock’s use of scenery as a story-telling device, loaded with psychological metaphor.

  • Weathergauge

     

    2005, Web site which gathers data from elsewhere on the internet

    http://www.weathergauge.net/

    All over the world, strangers talk only about the weather.  You can be in the middle of nowhere, but be online. Chatting on Skype with relatives in Australia, we compare the sunshine or rain at that very moment.

    In Weather Gauge, numerical weather data from dozens of places simultaneously forms an array of animated data which is strangely evocative. Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead make art using any technology necessary, from Google teatowels to connected pianos.

    http://www.thomson-craighead.net/

    Image: http://www.thomson-craighead.net/imgs/weather_03.jpg

Disscussion about artwork - Weathergauge

#2 Thomson & Craighead

Thomson & Craighead (2005)

Light movements, numbers, changing data, blinking signs, blinking text on screen... Weather Gauge begins by listing various cities, locations from all over the the world. Vienna, Capetown, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Luanda, Mexico City, Paris, Colombo, Gibraltar, Taipei, Kigali and many more are arranged in a grid, as white text on black screen (digital surface) forming knots of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. Flat world/text world. These cities loose their definition to a certain degree, their particularity, their precise location – a world map for example, as opposed to this abstraction through a list and regular grid, would reveal their geographical and/or territorial relations to each other. 

The texts forming the first image are however immediately replaced by numerical weather data from over 150 countries. Following a movement of a reading (left to right, next line, left to right, next line, and so on) there appear data in centigrade, Fahrenheit, local-time, and back to the city of origin, with the numerical codes blinking in a menacing neon green colour, interrupted by the ‘straight’ and minimal white texts (city names, references to locations). 

The rhythm as well as the systematic writing, reading and erasure of present (life) information, evokes the irreducibility of environmental data and at the same time this allows for grasping the momentary, fleeting and constantly transforming tectonic movements – there is nothing to hold on to, a measure can only be relative, in process. This is a process that goes hand in hand with the process of the weather data replacing the location, putting forward a sense of an increasing and infinite pulse that encompasses the globe. Through the blinking signs which map the data flow and the informational, and the circular mode of the screen work, the accuracy of the facts becomes almost redundant or to a certain degree insignificant. To me, the force of Weather Gauge made by Thomson & Craighead in 2005, lies in that it expresses a non-spectacle, and in giving a sense of removal of (accurate, significant) information as it is displaced by a play of various weather elements and signs, seemingly animated, perhaps random, definitely in flux. Maybe this flattening and diverting of data, weather, and also location (as well as its variability) is also an un-forming and re-forming of our subjectivities in-formed by being on the move - a migrational subjectivity.

http://www.weathergauge.net/

http://www.thomson-craighead.net/docs/webworkb.html

Curated by Furtherfield

Free Yourself?

Each work in this small collection connects with some aspect of freedom and identity in the Internet age: freedom to collaborate and to use, modify and redistribute popular consumer technologies, software and media. These artists are social hackers, taking the new tools and conditions of our digital culture to reflect on and remould our values and relations.

Rob Myers's Urinal is a downloadable 3D model of an artwork to print and remix, released under a free licence (which belongs to the family of licences that underpins the production of Free and Open Source Software around the world). Urinal forms part of a series of shareable DIY ‘readymades’ for an era of digital copying and sharing. Iconic objects from the history of appropriation and remixing art are recreated as 3D digital models. Users can then download and send the digital model to 3D printers via the Internet to receive their own physical artwork through the post, at a scale of their choosing. This is a playful extension of Marcel Duchamp's experiments with concepts of originality, ownership and value in the art world.

Compared with early utopian projections of a networked global world like Good Morning Mr Orwell by Nam June Paik (on New Years Day 1984 people around the world received a live, avant garde TV performance event, straight into their homes via satellite), these days artists often reflect in a darker mirror. Moddr's Web2.0 Suicide offers us a one click means to 'de-friend' and disconnect from our social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linkedin) and to get our real lives back. This dark-comic website keeps a running count of the millions who have already been de-friended and also provides documents of legal wranglings, that offer an insight into corporate understandings of what it means to be 'social' and what it means to be a 'friend'.

Newstweek by Danja Vasiliev and Julian Oliver proposes to free us from mass-media illusions on the principle that a reality created solely by large media groups makes us vulnerable. This inconspicuous device is able to hook into open wireless networks to intercept and replace the words of content provided by trusted news sources; tweeking the relationship between the message, medium and consumer.

Each of the artists works in the new social spaces of the World Wide Web as a way to bring us, the audience closer, to involve us in the making of the artwork. In July 2010, Karen Blissett a regular contributor to a number of artists' email discussion lists issued an invitation for people to 'join her', saying that she wanted 'to become more open and free, with a more distributed identity'. People were invited, via a number of email lists and social networking sites, to email her and in return, if she trusted you, she would share her googlemail email password with you. You could then 'express her' by writing and acting as her, in online social spaces. This has given rise to a multiple-voiced manifesto and multi-media stream of consciousness and actions, including video portraits of may people as Karen. For Electronic Village Hall she extends her invitation to the people of Cornwall.

Why not join her and Free Yourself?

Artwork
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  • Urinal

     

    2011,  3D model, Digital Image, A4 Print out of the Creative Commons licence

    http://robmyers.org/art/urinal/

    Urinal is a computer model of a urinal under a free-as-in-freedom licence.  Anyone can create their own physical instance of the virtual object using a 3D printer, and many people already have.  It can be used as a cup or to decorate model railway restrooms but it is often used as art. This piece references  the history and production of conceptual art and the economic model of the contemporary artworld.

    Commissioned by Rob Myers, model by Chris Webber, Creative Commons Attibution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported.

    http://robmyers.org/weblog/assets_c/2011/02/IMG_20110215_135403-88.html

     

    Credits: 3D Model by Chris Webber Copyright 2011 CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported,

    Commissioned by Rob Myers.

  • Web 2.0 Suicide Machine

     

    2009,  Website, Video: 3m 34sec

    http://suicidemachine.org/

    The Web2.0 Suicide Machine lets you effectively delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your web2.0 alterego. Services currently run with Facebook.com, Myspace.com and LinkedIn.com; simply enter your username and password for the required service, and our machine will systematically login to your account, change your profile picture, and then one by one delete all of your friends. Once you hand over your log-in details and click

    Commit, the program will methodically delete your info - much like users could do manually. What remains is a brittle cyberskeleton: a profile with no data. Testimonials range from joyous farewells - "Goodbye, cruel world!" - to good-riddance denouements ("Thank you, microblogging. You are, in fact, totally useless").

  • Newstweek

     

    2011, Website

    http://newstweek.com

    "The very idea of news, as a socio-political ideal of being 'aware', has always been a target of modification: government lobbies, corporate lobbies, and political dispositions. Once lifted off paper into the network domain - once digital - it is truly up for modification. A device like Newstweek could be used for activism in this case, a means for citizens to 'fix back' the facts, to improve and/or correct the news, as it comes off the digital press."

    "A strictly media-informed reality is a vulnerable reality."

     

    Quotes by Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev on the newstweek website

  • Being Multiple

     

    2010, 3 videos, 40sec, 24sec, 1m13sec, A1 poster, business cards

    karen.blissettATgooglemail.com

    BIO
    Karen Blissett was originally born on the 3rd of May 1991 at exactly the same time that the first successful double head-heart transplant was being carried out in a hospital in London. 

    Her parents are the neoist artists, Karen Eliot and Luther Blissett.  They are only interested in art and politics not in how Karen spends her days on the Internet.


    MISSIVE
    Dear Friends.

    Please join me.

    Literally.

    I want to become more open and free, with a more distributed identity.

    So if you would like to take a break from yourself and speak and act
    as me instead, please drop me a personal email.

    If I trust you I will send you my password and you can start expressing me.

    Can't wait!

    Karen Blissett

    --
    Open, Free, Public and Distributed at last.

    karen.blissett@googlemail.com


    REACTION
    "When Karen made her statement about opening up her email address, my first reaction was distress. My next reaction was sheer pleasure that something had shocked me so much. And then curiosity set in as to why."

     

    If emailing Karen, please replace AT with @