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My reflections and analysis

Something interesting has happened during my work. Somehow all my pieces are based on hashtags but I am using them in several different ways. This is rather ironic because I used to loathe hashtags and the way many people use them.

Here are some of my reflections on hashtags:

  1. They are crowd sourced meta data.
  2. They can be constructed (iseefaces and venusreborn) or simply a relevant word (confession).
  3. They can be part of a bigger trend or meme (iseefaces again).
  4. Or unique to a user or small group (venusreborn).
  5. Popular hashtags ( like confession and iseefaces) let me hijack usergenerated content and put it into new context.
  6. Constructing my own hashtag (venusreborn) has given me a platform within the platform of Instagram to order and showcase the work.
  7. They are also fragile as people often use them in other contexts (like tagging any photo iseefaces).
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Luckily we have a large scale printer at my work so I decided to print both versions of the Venus in two different sizes. I like the larger size the best (30×30 cm) but it is quite pixelated. Since I can’t decide weather or not this a good or bad look for the work I printed a smaller version also. She looks great in print though. I’ve printed both of the latest versions though I might actually mix and match them together for the show.

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I’ve been discussing a score piece with my tutor Ed Kelly the last few tutorials. The scores were a very important part of Fluxus and I am interested in making a piece that builds on this tradition.

The idea is to make a simple website that prompts people with actions (scores) to do – and to make it truly social the scores should be added by users.

One way of doing it could be posting them through Twitter with a custom tag (like #SomeoneSays)

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A classic Fluxus score by George Brecht ‘Three Lamp Events’

and curating them on a custom mobile friendly website. Scores could show up in random order or as soon as they are posted and users might get an alert – push or sms if possible.

I wrote some test scores to examplify what I mean.

“Lay your head on the keyboard and roll it back and fourth. Post it as your next status message.”

 ”Read the tweets in your feed aloud. As if were a script for a play.”

 ”Slowly close the screen of your laptop down just so much that it is still on. Kneel on the floor and use the computer like you normally would.”

 ”USE CAPSLOCKS FOR AN INTIRE DAY.”

 ”Post ‘Charlie bit my finger ‘ to your Facebook status. Three times in a row.”

 ”Only post photographs of food that look dull and icky”

 ”Like everything in your newsfeed”

someone

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I might be old news that privacy is dead – especially in these Snowdon times. I did a quick search on Vine for videos tagged #secret and off course there were tons. I’m thinking about making a simple frame around a monitor with headphones connected and letting it run the most resent videos tagged #secret – it’s quite fun (and weird) to watch them. The website would work a bit like this one called Vpeaker that shows the most resent Vines.

Here are some public videos tagged #secret (Note: the Instagram imbedder doesn’t play sound automatically so you have to turn it up:

One “problem” could be that not many of the posters a using this as a serious outlet it’s most fun and games – which is natural since it’s now anonymous…

Tags like “smile” and “song” also turn up some great results.

A last thought is that I could use the tags to control the order the videos are played. I could take a sentence and post the the most resent videos that uses the words from the sentence and post them in the right order …

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I’m still not sure if I’ll be showing the #VENUSREBORN work at the final show – I still need to do a couple of second runs and it seems the midwife edition fell through. If I do show it, I will do it a a series of prints hanging together framed.

I gouess the best thing would be to start a new edition the following days and see where it takes me.

 

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I’m trying to lock down how I should do the #ISEEFACES#ISEELEGS piece for our Final Show. As I want to exhibit several smaller pieces I’ve decided to go with a more simple installation design. This is both taking in count of the work load and the lighting of the space I end up getting.

The installation will consist of two monitors hanging or standing on top of each other, a wifi enabled computer and a plywood frame with 2-4 control buttons. The buttons will allow the viewer to navigate between the faces and legs on the website.

There are several different ways of connecting external buttons to a device:

  1. I can use Arduino to create a control center for four buttons I connect (this way I can use any button I like).
  2. I could use four simple USB buttons.
  3. I could two use Griffin PowerMate buttons which can be controlled both by pressing or turning back and fourth (nice because: fewer buttons, simple hardware and it gives me an opportunity to build in a refresh function).

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I’ve collected some relevant links for the different button solutions:

USB button

Griffin PowerMate button

Arduino Push button

Arduino button tutorial

Raster Web Arduino and homemade USB button tutorial

 

 

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I loved the Symposium 2 day – though it was hectic it was suddenly very obvious too me how different our course is to most other creative courses. Because the only thing that binds us is ‘digital’ we have ended up making more than 20 very different projects – I am very exited for the exhibition and seeing everything in one room!

I was quite happy that I managed to use so many of my findings from my research paper in the symposium video and I was overwhelmed by how positive the comments were. So, all in all  I think the symposium went very well – though being last is might also have had some influence ;)

Kiers, Jonathan and Harry recommended the Richard Dawkins Meme video - ironically enough I was in Cannes when it was shown at he New Directors Showcase but I had to attend a meeting and missed it live … I now wish I hadn’t… Here’s the link (if anyone is reading and doesn’t know it). Sadly, it might not be viral material but it is rather educational – and psychedelic.

Then I had some nice rations the pictures of lolcats I threw in the video to illustrate a point – which made me want to finish my personal project for the show but I’m afraid it’s to much work within the time I have left…

Luckily people also like the #ISEEFACESs#ISEELEGS project. This is important because I guess it will be a main piece of a sort.

The idea of getting people involved was also appreciated. Edward Kelly rightly pointed out that my main focus now should be on how I can engage people at the show – I will create a post in near future dedicated to this question!

Lionel thought I should exhibit some of the  #ISEEFACESs#ISEELEGS  work in selected prints. I think Jonathan has suggested this before and I’ve wanted to but I was afraid since I don’t own the work. We discussed that I might put the original participants name on the m instead an I really like that idea!

Lionel also had a good comment to the fact that I might end up editing the work on my website. He thought it wouldn’t be democratic and really I agree – but sadly it still might be necessary. Anyway, I think I will program it so I have the option and then  I might not use it in the end.

Thank you all on the course for your time and comments – AND thank you for showing your amazing projects!

 

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As mentioned before I would like to create at least one more project for the show. The projects I’ve been working on so far are solely focused on the act of participation and missing a deeper message. It was therefore great for me to see the Yoko Ono exhibition – a lot of her works were meant for active participation but had a lot of meaning even though they were only passively viewed. Refreshed by Ono’s Fluxus thinking I have these new ideas for a projects.

#1. Smile Collection Box. 

A website that lets users donate their smile to a site on the internet. All the smiles could be projected onto a wall or to separate screens. I could also hijack Vine for this project because it’s nice if they are ‘alive’.

#2. Tell.

A website version of a confession box where users can tell a secret anonymously. The idea feels a bit old right now but there’s something in it.

#3. Artist Roulette

Like chat roulette but it’s performance artists performing for users. I would probably only be able to make it live for the show – and even that would be a lot of work.

#4. The Never Ending Canon

Using a sort of karaoke system users should record a verse of a well known canon song. The verse is looped and layered on top of the previous version and in the end you should have a massive canon.

#5. Pass It Down (or pass anything down)

Creating a custom tag for Vine and participants make a Vine where they receive an object from the top of the picture and pass it down to the bottom. When you scroll through a feed it should look like the pictures are connected.

Right now I’m opting for #1 for it’s simplicity or #4. because of its playfulness.

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It was my 4th trip to Cannes Lions this year and it was even bigger than ever – a lot more new categories, more speakers, more submissions, more winners. And on top of all that it was the 60th year anniversary of the festival also.

I like the mix og viewing work and going to seminars and this year I tried to focus on anything about social media. So, naturally one of the people I knew I had to see was Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist Deb Roy (also an associate professor at MIT). His talk was called ‘Social Soundtrack’ and was a in depth look at how social media (and especially live social media like Twitter) effects the way we experience the world. Using examples from TV – it’s a well known fact that TV is now a two-screen experience – he talked about how expression of an experience is both an amplifier and a memory trigger. He made two points.

1. When we share and experience we remember it better.

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2. Because we are social beings, we are automatic drawn to do what others are doing. 
E.G. I f we walk on the street and someone looks up we naturally will do the same.

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His conclusion was lent from physics force = mass x acceleration.

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As I wrote in my last post, I hurried up to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art to see Yoko Ono’s retrospective exhibition last Tuesday. Sadly I was not there at opening night a week before and I felt even worse when I learned that Yoko Ono had been there.

The exhibition is a rather large retrospective, showing her most important work from the early sixties until now. Throughout my MA I’ve been looking at the Fluxus artists as a group (rather than digging into any one of them in particular) so it was interesting seeing an exhibition focused on one artist as a single individual.

As I was entering the exhibition a curious sign caught my eye. It said: ‘The works are not to be touched, unless otherwise indicated’. I was relieved – this meant that at least some of the work would be participative or interactive – as it should be with Fluxus art. I couldn’t film the exhibition because it’s not allowed at the museum but I’ve taken a few photos in secret at I bought the exhibition catalogue which I’ll show some pictures from.

vaerkerne

The first  work that met my eye was ‘Eye Blink / Fluxfilm 09′ (1966)  a slow-motion short film showing a single blink of Ono’s eye.

The for room also contained the work ‘Ceiling Painting’ which is also from 1966.The work is a ladder where you climb up to the ceiling and view the word ‘yes’ in tiny letters on a painting through a looking glass. Sadley, since it was the original ’66 ladder, on was not allowed to try the work out. This was the only artwork that I managed to take a photo of before the guard saw me.

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yoko-old

This room also contained a the (formerly) interactive art piece ‘Painting To Hammer A Nail’ (1966) http://imaginepeace.com/archives/7296. The ‘painting’ is a wooden board with a hammer tied to it. The description tells people to hammer in nails, when the work is covered it is finished. As the piece is covered it was now behind a plexiglass screen – this DIY work is an early example of participatory art.

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Moving further into the exhibition the following works caught my eyes:

Cut Piece (1964). The piece was presented as photos of Ono’s performance from ’64. The work is a participatory  art performance where Ono sits on a stage and has her clothes cut from her body by the audience. The performance is widely recognized for it’s powerful feministic message.

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Air Capsules (1971/2013). 4 or 5 sweets dispensers were placed in the middle of a large room, for 2 DKKR one could get a small transparent plastic container, empty as it contained only air. I was stunned by the simplicity of the work though it also had several layers of meaning. It’s a joke on our for your convenience society and it tells us that there is no such thing as an empty space.

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Danger Box (1971). I loved the simplicity of this work. A plexiglass pedestal with a hole in its top and the following warning engraved on a silver plaque: ‘WARNING. The management will not guarantee that a hand put in this hole will come out in the same condition as prior to the entry.’ On one level it’s just a mind game, what could possible happen to my hand in this seemingly safe environment?

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On the other hand its almost Magritte ‘Ceci nest pas une pipe’ logic. My hand will not be in the same condition it will be seconds older when I retrieve it.

Telephone In Maze (1971/2013). Telephone maze had the same kind of underplayed humor as Danger Box. You enter a small plexiglass maze with a small white pedestal with a white phone in the middle. A silver plaque in the entrance tells you that if the phone rings you must pick it up. Though I had not heard the phone ring before I entered I had a ticklish feeling in my stomach of anticipation the whole time I was in the maze. Of course the phone did not ring, I wasn’t even plugged in – but the thought of what I would do or say if it had was amazing.

White Chess Set (1966/2013). Two chess tables with only white chess pieces and an invitation to try to play the game. I can only imagine how confusing and distorted a game of chess at this table would be. Two women were sitting at one of the tables and laughing as they attempted to play.

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Wish Tree (1996/2013). In the beautiful museum garden an old tree had been selected for this last participatory work. One could write a wish on a note and hang it on a tree branch. This work is probably the one that has most to do with my own MA practice. The work is nothing without a large base of participants. It also has another dimension in Denmark where there is a tradition of letting toddlers hang their pacifiers on dedicated trees when they stop using them – the pacifiers are often accompanied by notes where the children thank them for comforting them for the first years or their lives.

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I ended up buying three books relevant to my MA in the museum shop. The exhibition catalogue. A book DIY art featuring many of Ono’s participatory pieces. And a short book on concept art.

The DIY artwork book has interesting thoughts on the difference between a interactive artwork (viewer must interact but does not alter the artwork) a participatory artwork (viewer must participate in creating the artwork but the artist directs the participants and keeps control of the artwork). An collaborative art (participants have bigger influence on the outcome and might even help direct it).

books

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