Walker Art Center announces 3 new net art commissions

alpha 3.8

Scott Paterson and Marina Zurkow

Translation Map
Warren Sack and Sawad Brooks

The Walker has awarded a third series of net-art commissions to emerging artists, which will appear in Gallery 9. In the spirit of project-driven exploration, Emerging Artists Emerging Medium 3 encouraged proposals that broadly explore and interpret the translocal, particularly in relation to issues of situatedness, embodiment, and agency in a connective, global context. http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/jerome/

Emerging Artist/Emergent Medium 1

Emerging Artist/Emergent Medium 2

Gallery 9

Jerome Foundation

Walker Art Center

Original call for Submissions

alpha 3.8
Tien Woon and Charles Lim Yi Yong

The alpha series of projects by Singapore-based tsunamii.net (Charles Lim Yi Yong and Tien Woon) have all explored the relationship between physical space and cyberspace. In alpha 3.0, "web walkabout" (2001), Lim and Woon used a G.P.S device to track their movement in physical space. As they approached specific areas of the local Tampines housing estate, their location triggered specific web pages related to that place, showing "the complex levels at which net communities overlap with real communities as well as of how real space interacts with web space" (Gunalan Nadarajan).

For alpha 3.4 at Documenta 11, according to the New York Times, the "two artists walk[ed] from Kassel to Kiel, Germany, as their movements are tracked by a Global Positioning System device. The G.P.S. data is sent by mobile phone to a base station that initiates a sequence of Web browsing in Kassel, creating a bridge between the real and the virtual."

For alpha 3.8, tsunamii.net propose, over the course of one year, to electronically migrate their site from webserver to webserver in countries around the world. During the entire 'electronical migration' of the 'tsunamii.net' website, the content of the remains the same. As such, the changes or the differences will not be visible, the differences are visible through 'ping'/'traceroute' commands. (There will be a dedicated ping/traceroute on the webpage) The visitor's experience of the work will be subjected to location of the visitor and the geographical location of the current webserver.

After each migration, they will change the DNS address to reflect the new geographic location from which the site is served. They will attempt to host in 44 countries so that alpha 3.8 will effectively make it's way around the world in 365 days. The site will be migrate from each country after 8 - 10 days each. The list of countries in order (beginning and ending in Singapore): Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Myanmar - Bangladesh - Nepal - India - Paikistan- Afghanistan -Turkmenistan - Iran - Iraq - Palestein - Syria - Turkey - Armenia - Georgia - Moldova - Romania - Slovakia - Poland - Lithuania - Latvia - Estonia - Finland - Norway - Iceland - Greenland - Canada - United states - Cuba - Haiti - Venezuela - Brazil - Paraguay - Argentina - French Polynesia - Tonga - Fiji - New Zealand - Australia - Papua New Guinea - Indonesia *Singapore

tsunamii.net will negotiate contractual arrangements for this cyber-migration, documenting and challenging the extent to which a frictionless, borderless economy "really" exists independent of national boundaries, international regulations, and local customs--i.e. translocally.

Scott Paterson and Marina Zurkow, in collaboration with technologist Julian Bleecker

"When we were little, we really wanted a little companion who would ride sidesaddle on the crests of our ears. A mischievous and constant pal, who was our charge and also our commentator, who gave context and breadth to the world and shook up our autonomic ways."

The goal of Scott Paterson and Marina Zurkow's PDPal is to use mobile and networked platforms as a mediating and recording device that reactivates our everyday actions, transforming them into a dynamic portrait of our urban experience. At the core of the PDPal application is an "Urban Park Ranger"(UPR) - an individual software persona who, once downloaded into a PDA, encourages the owner to log her momentary experiences (actions, proximities, and perceptual phenomena) in iconic broad strokes as she moves about her environment. The UPR helps to create personal and idiosyncratic maps, of our "Temporary Personal Urbanisms."

Not reliant upon the dominant space/time signatures (date + time, x/y plotting, landmarks), PDPal instead provides the tools to create maps as place-based memory shells or to stand in as a narrative shorthand--marking personal intervals of place and experience, which can be later uploaded to a central website and shared as a kind of "communicity" blog--a made-up city of individuals who share a subjective and poetic language with which to express their local(es) in ways that can render visible the invisible.

We write our own cities.

PDPal is supported in part by Creative Time

translation map
Warren Sack and Sawad Brooks

"While there is great hope that the Internet will one day truly be worldwide, mutual understanding and worldwide communication cannot be accomplished simply by running fiber optic cable across international borders. Right now on the net, discussion is dominated by the English language. If we hope to include most of the Earth's population in a global conversation the means will need to be found to connect people across languages and cultures."

Translation Map by Warren Sack and Sawad Brooks will facilitate multi-lingual communication between online environments.

For over 50 years, computer-assisted translation has been conceived as a question of decoding. We all understand, however, that language is far more nuanced and culturally inflected simple replacement of similar or even same meaning words. Any parsing of a text by one of the popular translation bots will quickly show the foibles of this approach.

Sack and Brooks propose to create a piece of software that piggybacks on existing messaging networks, such as AOL Messenger, to enable people on the network to collaboratively translate a message piece by piece, forwarding along its pieces to others for further translation. Like a FedEx package, the message would be trackable as it is parsed along, only instead of a history of timed signatures, Sack and Brooks will create a visualization of its linguistic transformations in relation to its geographic travel across the network.

In addition, in order to create a conduit for the message to travel outside digital networks, Sack and Brooks will develop a printing protocol which would translate the "transformative collage" of the message’s journey into a three-dimensional collage of interlocking shapes. The 3-D collage would be representational of the overall structure of the translation, while its component parts would be physical instantiations of its linguistic fragments, each its own enfolded message/envelop.

Today’s computer networks are built on software protocols that are fundamentally textual. Paradoxically, this linguistic medium of software is not only nearly undecipherable to the layperson, but it has created radical, material transformations through these linguistic means--computers and networks as forces of globalization. Translation Map develops an approach to inhabit and visualize computer-based or computer-mediated language as a space or material form.

The jury for EAEM3 was:

Steve Dietz, Curator New Media, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Douglas Fogle, Assistant Curator Visual Arts, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Gunalan Nadarajan, Dean, Faculty of Visual Arts, Lasalle - SIA College of Arts, Singapore
Yukiko Shikata, independent curator, Tokyo

Funding for EAEM3 is generously supported by the Jerome Foundation.