15 hours of magic

CPoV Wikipedia Conference

Here is a blog posting on my talk (co-written by Nathaniel Stern) at the CPOV Conference in Amsterdam, which is a decent run-down and I chuckled when the blogger called me a “short man” (I am 5′ 8″). I can only hope she didn’t comment on everyone else’s physical appearances!

My talk was a more detailed look into the theoretical issues behind the Wikipedia Art project, initiated just over a year ago.

The most compelling presentation from Day 1 was that of Jeanette Hofmann, who discussed the interplay of experience and expectation, outlining a general trend on web-based ventures such as Wikipedia. With a move that discards past experience, people create a new systems which challenge the paradigm through experimental new means. However, these often lead to bloated administrative layers, regulatory systems and general ossification. The creators often feel a sense of disappointment as a result.

Wikipedia CPOV Conference

CPOV in Amsterdam + Interview

Round 2 of the CPOV Conference, this time in Amsterdam (March 26-27). I’m flying out on Friday, where I will be presenting a paper and presentation on Wikipedia Art in collaboration with Nathaniel Stern. On the CPOV blog is an interview by Juliana Brunello, featuring Patrick Lichty, Nathaniel and myself.

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This conference is a follow-up to the amazing WikiWars Conference in Banglaore. I’m looking forward to meeting the next group of critical thinkers with high hopes based on the January gathering. Thank you to the Institute of Networked Cultures for putting this together!

The Great Avatar Challenge

Live from New York this Saturday: The Great Avatar Challenge. This mixed-realities performance is a collaboration with Stephanie Rothenberg for Eyebeam’s Mixer: Olympiad in New York. Get your tickets now, as it will be certain to sell out.

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Our performance is one of many spectacular events going on in this two-night series. We will be conducting races where real-life contestants will compete against my Second Life avatar, Great Escape. The course winds through Eyebeam’s main space and is a hurdle-sprint, in a gesture of pure physicality against a simulated one.

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Projected against the real-life wall at Eyebeam, our Second Life track will be an extension of the real-life space.

Wafaa Bilal lecture at SFAI

My good friend and colleague, Wafaa Bilal, will be speaking this Wednesday at the San Francisco Art Institute. I’d highly recommend the talk.

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You might remember him from the “Shoot an Iraqi” project where he lived in a gallery for a month and had a paint ball gun setup to point at him. You could shoot him with the gun for $1 (I couldn’t resist spending a couple bucks).

He also created “Virtual Jihadi” were he re-engineered a US training video game so that you could be a suicide bomber instead (the piece got shut down by Rensselaer). Its unbelievable that a shut-down like this could happen well-after the censorship debates of the 60s and 70s.

He has an amazing history as a refugee from Desert Storm and US transplant. His brother and father (both civilians) were both killed in Iraq by American drone attacks in 2004.

100 Performances for the Hole (Take 2)

If you’re in San Francisco this Saturday night (March 6), you’re in for a performance-art treat: 100 Performances for the Hole (Take 2) at Somarts. 100 artists each do 2-minute performances inside a mechanics pit. I’m on at 8:54pm and will create a Cagean surprise. The first performance is at 5:58pm and the evening ends at 1am.

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This is a follow up to Justin Hoover’s event at The Garage of the same name. Here is where I presented a live-mediated performance called In the Hole, where crawled into the mechanics pit, placed a cover over myself and then called up Justin’s cell phone. He then handed this to a stranger (this part was pre-arranged) who came over and held my hand and guided me out of my self-created psychological space.

Hatch and Afterthought

New documentation! During my 6-month residency at Eyebeam, I worked on about 6 different projects. Two of them: Hatch and After Thought are now documented on my site.

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Hatch is the first of a series of acrylic plexiglass installations. This one depicts a mass of sperm (up to 200!) which swarm around a doorway. This was cut with the Eyebeam’s lasercutter, can be site-specific in its installation, and is cheap to ship.

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After Thought is the most experimental of my individual works. Here, I use a Neurosky Mindset to test people while they look at flashcards of charged imagery. I monitor their responses in a subjective application of science, noting their responses on an indicator sheet (below). After their test, I feed their results back into video generation software that I wrote which makes a custom video (5 minutes) that reflects their emotional state of mind.

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Another artist that I am close friends with, Luther Thie, uses the same headset for the Acclair project in compelling but conceptually different repurposing of the brain to computer interface (BCI).