issue theme

5 February 2010 | by | In process

issues

We are changing the website from a strictly linear log, which offers little other than a set of non-contextual facts, into a magazine-style layout. Each layout will be an ‘issue’, with a central idea and various related concepts, themes, drawings, theories around it. A kind of ‘gestalt’ that situates the project.

dorkbot

2 February 2010 | by | In process

Rory and Marek are giving a talk at Dorkbot in New York at location One.
More…

Panoramic Montalvo

20 January 2010 | by | In process

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Composite images of a typical installation – each image showing left, center, right and back projection screens. In an installation with four projectors, the scene moves depending on how people are positioned in the space.

plan
Plan showing installation with four projectors – as we had at Indaf in Korea. This arrangement however is not essential, there are many other possible layouts.

more Montalvo

18 January 2010 | by | In process

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A few days later we have added forms to the project.. compare to the first screens below.

Montalvo Screens

15 January 2010 | by | In process

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First screenshots of [here][now] based on the Montalvo residency.

Montalvo workshop

8 January 2010 | by | In process

Last night we held a workshop at our residency at the Montalvo Art Center with the resident artists, staff and culinary experts. We started by asking people to create a diagram of the space they navigate when in their neighborhood at home. We then split everyone up into groups of 4 and asked each group to identify common ways to understand these personal diagrams. Finally, we met together, 12 of us, and tried to limit these common understandings, or ‘elements’, into 7 groupings.

The text for the workshop: MontalvoWorkshop1

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Here are the individual diagrams:

The center box is the location space, between Houston & 14th Street, NYC. The boxes contained are the apartment, communal (bars?) and a view from outside. Across the river is Brooklyn, made up of a number of locii, each merely strung to each other, with no real reference points to connect them. Top left are two people connected by a phone. A plan/elevation of the bedroom. On the bed is a laptop, some pillows, around the room are various boxes, all with equal value, each containing the resident's effects.At the bottom is a bowl that represents warmth, from which originates a tree that connects to the world. The home is inline with the bowl, and the tree appears to have waves coming out of it above the home.Life revolves around walking, talking and typing, with a triangle set up between the blowing tree and the spot with tea and coffee...An apartment in NYC bound by 6th Avenue above it. On the other side of the avenue are a library, supermarket and landmark. In the apartment the artist's studio is shown empty.4 quadrants divide the page from local to other, from subjective to objective. Top left pane shows the desk and the bed (feet), the window separates the right pane with a view of Manhattan. Bottom left is a view of the East Village, with numerous local spots, on the bottom right is the 'yearly' journey to Sweden, and the unknown space in-betweenA person newly arrived in Brooklyn. There is their house, perhaps a place for coffee, but all the main arteries are as yet disconnected.Here the day is divided between home and the tree-lined journey to work. One of the few images showing the person, in this case drawn twice with her dog.The home is placed in the center, with a clock of locations to go to. The house is crying, with tears draining into the ocean, as there is no studio to go to.This is an energy/mood map, full of electrical discharge and resistence.The home, shown cocooned in the lower left, with a more established representation on the right. The workspace has a center, but is more abstract, with some landscape elements around it.

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We then split into groups of four and asked each group to come up with 7 ‘elements’ that their drawings shared. Then all 12 people met, we put up all the elements, and tried to find a way to distill them. Here are the seven final ‘elements’ condensed from the individual maps:

ELEMENT 1: obstacles, distance, roads, framing and boundariesELEMENT 1: creativity, production, distractions & dream researchELEMENT 3: natureELEMENT 4: historyELEMENT 5: base & home treeELEMENT 6: communication, person there/not there and communityELEMENT 7: zoom, scale, vista, birds-eye & perspective view

We will use the seven elements created at the workshop to generate the forms for the studio installation at Montalvo on January 12th.

visiting the Center for Land Use Interpretation

6 January 2010 | by | In process

While visiting family for the holidays, I stopped by the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Culver City, CA.

What a wonderful visit! The current exhibit being shown is Urban Crude: The Oil Fields Of The Los Angeles Basin all about the oil field underfoot throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Having grown up in Culver City, sporadic oil pumps were just an occasional part of the landscape, but as a child of course I had never stopped to think in-depth about what their presence meant, and definitely never realized the complex and unique network underpinning the entire endeavor.

I was also lucky enough to meet Matt and Sarah, and I told them a bit about our project and they shared some ideas about potential connections to stuff they are working on. When Marek arrives this evening I’m looking forward to relating all this to him and I think we should consider applying for CLUI’s residency program in Wendover, Utah.

After hearing about our project, Sarah recommended You Are Here: Personal geographies and other maps of the imagination by Katharine A. Harmon, which I purchased and have just begun reading. It is a collection of many people’s uniquely personal maps and relates quite nicely to some things we are trying to do with [here][now]: mainly, aggregating subjectivities into something that hopefully creates a whole greater than the sum of parts.

looking ahead

5 January 2010 | by | In process

Marek and I have been reading about the upcoming 01SJ Biennial put on by ZER01 and others, and taking place in San Jose, CA in September.

We’re super excited about the show, and especially about the possibility of participating in it, as it seems exactly in line with many of the ideas we are interested in with [here][now]. Mainly that people can not just affect, but literally shape their world, just by participating in it. The path to meaningful change consists of thoughtful observation, conceptualization, and confidence in the belief that we all possess the capacity to re-program our environment.

Some literature about the show proposes that contributing artists are “invited to either interpret the UN Millennium Development Goals or to propose goals of their own.” The goals are listed as:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

The thing that initially strikes me about all these items (except for perhaps the last) is just that they are such massive problems despite many possible solutions existing, and despite the fact that most people clearly agree they are problems.

One reason for this disconnect — between the world we all want and the world we have — is our inability to recognize our ability/responsibility to change things. In this “information age” now more than ever before, as life becomes data and data becomes digital, we all possess the capacity to reprogram the pathways and architectures that define society. Technology can be a democratizing force or it can simply reiterate past structures. The key is to recognize and harness it’s distributed capacity, to realize that we can come together to talk to each other, and collaborate to visualize and make the future.

back at Montalvo

4 January 2010 | by | In process

Yesterday I arrived at Montalvo Arts Center for another residency. I’ll be here until January 16th and Marek arrives on the 6th to stay until the 20th. It’s been great to see lots of familiar faces and some new ones and we’re looking forward to another productive time here.

On the evening of January 12th we’ll be doing another showing of our work in progress. If you are in the area stop by! And we’ll posting more reports and documentation of progress here over the next couple weeks.

simulation and urban space, an abstract

15 November 2009 | by | In process

I recently submitted an abstract for a paper to the “Taking Up Space” conference at Duke University.

The abstract describes one potential theoretical framework for understanding some of the ideas addressed by the project. It focusses on urban space as understood through simulation, and touches on our use of psychogeographical methods in constructing virtual urban worlds.

The abstract is here: Neither Here nor There: Simulation and Urban Space (pdf).

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© Walczak & Solomon


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