Monday, August 29, 2005

Colour After Klein

INCITE and friends of INCITE: I'd like to draw your attention to the Barbican Gallery's Colour After Klein show, and especially to the pieces by Sophie Calle and (most especially) Anri Sala, both of which usefully and thoughtfully employ interviews in the creation and presentation of the work.

I'll say more...tomorrow...or sometime.

Anri Sala: I'd never heard of her, but, wow. Her piece Lakkat is as sublimely non-representational (anti- and un-familiar) as a Luc Ferrari composition, while every bit as richly expository as a Susan Sontag essay.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Low-fi: new works by international artists using networked media

We over at low-fi, in collaboration with Stills (Edinburgh) and the 6 commissioned artists, have launched our show: Low-fi: new works by international artists using networked media. Not one for entirely gratuitous self-aggrandisement, I'd (Kris would) think the works in the show would be interesting, relevant or useful to INCITE simpaticos. Dealing as they do with networks and addressing questions like: how to materialise them and to what ends, what are they, how are they tendentiously revealed and/or dissembled, what are our options for interacting with them, in what ways do we value them and what ways do we lack for doing so (anew). Have a wee look:

6 August – 02 October 2005
Open daily 11am – 6pm

Stills, 23 Cockburn St, Edinburgh, EH1 1BP

Mauricio Arango (Colombia/US)
Cavan Convery (UK)
James Coupe (UK)
Radarboy (South Africa/Japan)
Kate Rich (UK)
UK Museum of Ordure (UK)

Low-fi commissions exist to support the production of new artworks that use networked technologies. Although these artworks thrive on the internet, in this exhibition the artists use sound, projection and other methods to inhabit the physical space of the gallery. They work in tangible, engaging and sensory ways to convey ideas about our relationships with the media, technology and digital and commercial networks.

Among the works, Kate Rich forges new routes of import while Mauricio Arango's map of the world reveals how international news media is creating new cartography. James Coupe's sound installation dispenses wisdom gathered from metaphysical travels on the net, while the UK Museum of Ordure invite you to add to their gradually degrading sound files.
Throughout the exhibition, the works react and grow in response to visitors' input - unroll familiar contemporary technologies as one would ancient scrolls in Cavan Convery's Vertical Scroll and take responsibility for the maintenance of radarboy's Big Five Digital Zoo.

Low-fi is an artist collective focused on net art, mediation and distribution systems.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

IVSA conference, dublin

park-bench, originally uploaded by INCITE.

I have just spent two days at the IVSA - International Visual Sociology Association - conference held at Trinity College in Dublin. The theme this year - Re-viewing Bodies: Embodiment, Process and Change. It was a smallish conference, contained in three rooms in the Arts building in the College, which meant there was a good chance to meet, talk to and regularly run into people whose projects, writings and images provide much inspiration for my current wrangling with concepts of visual representation in the context of sociological methods, analysis and presentation. Highlights for me included;

- meeting, talking and eating with David Gauntlett- known for his many web projects via - Theory Action figures, Trading Cards, A drawing a day, Lego theorists. Unfortunately his paper (about work that encourages people to make their own visuals) and my flight coincided on Thursday afternoon. But we found other time to talk about, amongst other things, the making of sociological objects and I discovered that even though I often slip a little origami into my bus work, he somehow gets to play ‘seriously’ with lego. very cool.

-Elizabeth Chaplin’s paper posed a challenge to the ways in which images are embedded in sociological theory. She introduced, through the books of W.G Sebald, the idea of the caption-less image, and argued that the released image derives new meaning from surrounding text, engaging in different forms of dialogue when it is unrestrained. Discussion about this idea emerged in other panels during the conference, some people openly challenged by it, others interested in pushing it further still. I interpreted it in the context of electronic rather than traditional publishing. In calling for the embedding of the image in text, the layout and design become much more important – something I became acutely aware of when working on my site and blog.

- Dona Schwarz presented her In the Kitchen photo project, now in its third year, which documents the mundane, everyday and wonderfully ordinary activities that occur in her kitchen.

Caroline Knowles and Doug Harper presented in tandem, words and images, voices and interpretations, delicately interwoven in the presentation and in the research about how we 'do' race and ethnicity in post colonial landscapes.

- Beckie Coleman and Monica Moreno of Goldsmiths (who were part of the recent INCITE design/sociology collaboration experiment) also gave papers. Beckie presented images assembled by girls in her studies about bodies and media images. And Monica powerfully argued against showing images of bodies of Mexican women in her analysis of practices of racism.

I presented a paper -Visible bodies, Invisible technology: the making and shaping wifi in the city - which explored how the body, physical place and digital space are configured in visual representations of wifi zones. It is the first paper I have given that relates to my new studies - the first to move away from more familiar bus territory - so it involved a reasonably anxious build up (thank you to both Kris and Nina for listening to me drivel on about it up till the day before) and an adrenalin/relief high to finally give it and receive supportive feedback from the audience.