The Internet is disappearing – from our screens into our stuff.
To try to think about it I have created 9 triptychs. A small start.
The central image is always a drawing made from observation of a thing I own, (including 2 drawings of screen shots of video calls (which are now a feature of my daily life)).
The left and right hand images are the results of two searches made using Google on 17th March 2015.
And I am thinking harder now about what it will mean for art that we can now make so many different kinds of “things” act as the collection point for different kinds of sense data- heat, pressure, acceleration, radiation, tilt, sound, light, electric charge etc- and then use those same devices to redistribute the data in newly wrangled (as yet unknown) forms.
This emerging “Internet of Things” underpins torrents of rhetoric (from politicians, big-business and entrepreneurland) about all manner of things which are getting “smarter” as a result of these developments: homes, cities, shopping.
I’m interested in how they might also help people, communities, organisations, institutions to get smarter. And whether smarter is the right priority. Perhaps we need our homes, cities and shopping to be more equitable, loving, critical, philosophical, cooperative and wise.
I wrote this blog post to mark the end of my fellowship with the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy. You can find out more about the project here.
It has been hard to talk about this fellowship to my friends and peers in digital arts (also called media arts, new media arts, networked arts) because of a long-standing, but under-explored, antagonism between digital arts and marketing.
What do we prioritize when we talk about Digital Arts Marketing?:
1) Enabling more diverse people to access, co-create and appreciate artforms that take digital culture as their tools, subject and medium?
2) Deploying existing digital and social media to grow audiences and so increase the income for all existing artforms?
First to digital arts.
For over 30 years artists have been inventing and experimenting with new networked artforms that critique and extend the expressive and social effects of digital technologies. Artistic and technological developments influence each other. Since our computers shrunk many of us now carry with us devices that comprise an array of tools for communication, data sensing and capture. They are also portable entertainment systems with streaming media or games. They also enable us to participate in a hundred conversations at once. These devices are in our hands or our pockets, or our glasses; or we lie them on our pillows at night. Soon they will be inside of us, (or buzzing over our heads) and inside of every object in our houses and our streets, and these data points will be talking to each other. Our devices already have the capacity to draw data from our every movement, and every interaction, and algorithms wrangle this data and push it out again to shape our media, our culture and the physical world.
Last week Edward Picot asked “What are your first/most formative memories of reading and encountering books? Was it in a library, a bookshop, or exploring the bookshelves at home? http://edwardpicot.com/blog/first-experiences-of-reading/.
He was first inspired by Code Poet Mez’s autobiographical account of early reading- which is quoted on the website.
I wrote: In the effort to remember my early reading experiences, I instead remember smells of places: the damp of my grandparents house in Clitheroe, the classroom in my primary school, the camper van in Devon. I can’t remember learning to read or write. I was read to a lot as a child, I love my parents for that. Such a variety – Spike Milligan, Lewis Carol poems and songs. Astrid Lindgren, Joan Aitken, Alan Garner. I also recall my younger brother (who had a strong sense of pathos) reciting from the book of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, with a forlorn look on his face. Later we went on long camping holidays and we would be read to in the evenings: Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy. Tolkein.These are some of the books I remember. What I know, is that I learned to read with books designed for the purpose: Janet and John; Topsy and Tim; the ladybird books of fairy stories.
I’m not very good at reading words off the page/screen and I’m a horrible speller. I am a pretty good listener though. Recently I signed up to an audio book club – and find I can “read” all sorts of things I had previously struggled to attend to. Last year I “read” Marx’s The Communist Manifesto for the first time, on the treadmill at the gym, and Emma Goldman’s On Anarchy, while driving 3 times a week to a particularly un-free workplace. Moving my body and eyes as I “read” audio books liberates me to make more connections, to comprehend the layers of meaning and tone.
A busy couple of weeks ahead. Here are details of three (imminent) media arts events and a video about Furtherfield…
More than 150 people made drawings to generate a collective vision for a better networked society View images of people…
Reblogged from an original post for the Southbank Centre, in advance of the November 2014 Web We Want Festival about…
Written before the 21st century had really demonstrated its commitment to war and the interests of the 1%. It’s surprising how little the questions have changed.
An American lady travelling to Paris in 1913 – the kind of American lady who will still be travelling to Paris in 2013 – asked Ezra Pound what he thought art was for. Pound replied: “Ask me what a rose bush is for.”
Europe was on the edge of war. Do rose bushes matter in a war? What can art do for us now, in the likelihood of another war?
I know there is a sneaking feeling, even among art lovers, that art is a luxury. While pictures, books, music and theatre are not quite handmade luggage or perfume, most people would not admit that art is essential. The endless rows over funding centre on an insecurity about the role of art in society. Nobody doubts that hospitals and schools must be paid for by all of us. Mention art, and the answer seems to be that it should rely on the marketplace; let those who want it pay for it.
Read on http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2002/nov/25/art.artsfeatures1
Train to London – through Westcliff
A golden bright morning
I remember I can make a decision
…decisions and the way we make them…
I remember because I have made this decision before
I can’t remember how well it stuck before
it is a choice
it requires me to let go a little of stories, reasons, anxieties, rightness, justification
in order to travel the beam of light, the golden current
life invites me
my 16 bits of consciousness are too narrow to carry counter conversations
the still waters
the coordinated flights of flocks of birds across the sands
the man in the seat in front from a victorian gothic novel
it’s not only to attend to the gold, to the feelings of elation but also to just what is
I have to write my public statement for the Web We Want
I am terrified
by the responsibility
that I will speak from the wrong part of myself with strangulated voice
rather than in polyphonic mode
there are oddnesses
to invite people to join me is to invite people to invest their energy and time in something for me
What is the story of the making of the web
is it the making of Babylon (for which we will all be punished)
where in mythology are there stories of collective endeavour that turn out well?