A whiskey-jonesing-bar-hopper for art

IN 2006, NORTHERN LIGHTS.MN founder, president, and artistic director, Steve Dietz, helped organize the first Zer01 SJ biennial, a seven day festival of art highlighting the theme of “the interactive city,” which took place in San Jose, California. The event was a huge success, featuring the work of more than 250 artists representing over 40 different countries and drawing in excess of $9 million dollars in revenue for the city. The problem?  The activities ended at 2 a.m. every night, and like a whiskey-jonesing bar-goer just diving into his second wind, Dietz wanted still more.

“Four years of idea-percolating and 18 months of practical planning later, Dietz has turned his a.m. arts bender dream into reality. On June 4 and 5, Northern Lights.mn, a “roving, collaborative, interactive media” nonprofit art agency, will host Northern Spark: A Nuit Blanche, the Twin Cities’ first ever all-night outdoor art festival.

Read the rest of Regan Smith’s preview of Northern Lights’ all-night arts festival, Northern Spark: Nuit Blanche, featuring dusk-to-dawn interactive art happenings throughout the Twin Cities, with work by more than 100 artists and organizations, on June 4 & 5.

via mnartists.org


Introducing Responsive City panel


The Responsive City – Fact or Fiction?

Archigram, Instant City. In the exhibition Edge Condition, 2008 01SJ Biennial

Archigram, Instant City. In the exhibition Edge Condition, 2008 01SJ Biennial

CAA 2011 Conference

Thursday, February 10, 2011, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

On site at the Hilton Conference Center, 3rd Floor, Trianon Ballroom
Free and open to the public
http://conference.collegeart.org/2011/sessions/sessions.php?period=2011-02-10
http://www.newmediacaucus.org/wp/caa-2011-conference-nmc-events-and-activities/
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=193076990718038

Chair

Steve Dietz, Northern Lights.mn

This panel will examine the experience of artists and presenters with large-scale, long-term interactive art in the public sphere and the pragmatic, conceptual and philosophical issues such projects engender.

There is a significant history of festival and exhibition-based public programming of interactive works but long-term and permanent installations are less common. The possibilities for large-scale, interactive art in the public sphere are increasing exponentially, however, and this panel will consist of at least two artists and a presenter, who will discuss their projects in relation to the pragmatics of production and the histories of public and new media art practices, as well as the intersection with civic and economic imperatives embodied in the notion of the creative city. A respondent will critique these projects in relation to issues of agency, free speech and spectacle.

Panelists

Barbara Goldstein
Public Art Program Director
City of San Jose

Barbara Goldstein will trace the evolution of interactive cities from early utopian concepts, comic books and Archigram’s “Plug In City” through the manifestation of interactivity in contemporary urban form and the unique role that technology-based art has played in the activation of space and place.

Barbara Goldstein is the Public Art Director for the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs and the editor of Public Art by the Book, a primer recently published by Americans for the Arts and the University of Washington Press.  Prior to her work in San José, Goldstein was Public Art Director for the City of Seattle.  Goldstein has worked as a cultural planner, architectural and art critic, editor and publisher.  From 1989 to 1993, she was Director of Design Review and Cultural Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.  From 1980-85 she edited and published Arts + Architecture magazine.  She has written for art and architectural magazines both nationally and internationally, and has lectured on public art throughout the United States, and in Canada, Japan, China, Taipei, Korea and Abu Dhabi.  She is currently Chair of the Public Art Network for Americans for the Arts.

Cameron McNall
Electroland

Cameron McNall will present 18 topics in 18 minutes, including: Tracking Basketballs; Everybody likes Chic; Hug a Sign; Mr. Zoggs Sex Wax; Restricted vs. Sterile; Fox Tossing; College Faces; Get Smart; Observers, Participants and Performers; RELAX; Urban Nomads; Don’t Try This in Boston; Avatars; Real-Time; Drive-By Disaster; Day and Night; DON’T FREAK OUT

Cameron McNall is an Architect and Principal of the group Electroland. Every Electroland project is site-specific and may employ a broad range of media, including light, sound, images, motion, architecture, interactivity, and information design. Electroland works at the forefront of new technologies to create interactive experiences where visitors can interact with buildings, spaces and each other in new and exciting ways. A pop sensibility, expressed through whimsy and play, helps Electroland to achieve projects that are accessible and that invite visitor participation.

Ben Rubin
Ear Studio / New York University

Beacons, Semaphores, and Panoptical Spires:  illuminating the urban skyline

Ben Rubin presents his public illumination projects and discusses the ways changing light technology has altered the fabric of urban life for more than two centuries.  With the explosion of LED and other dynamic (and potentially interactive) lighting technologies on city skylines, what is the future of night in the city?

Ben Rubin (b. 1964, Boston, Massachusetts) is a media artist based in New York City. Rubin’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Science Museum, London, and has been shown at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Rubin has created large-scale public artworks for the New York Times, the city of San José, and the Minneapolis Public Library.  He is currently developing a site-specific sculpture called Shakespeare Machine for the Public Theater in New York, and just completed Beacon (2010), a luminous rooftop sculpture commissioned for National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Respondent

Mark Shepard
University at Buffalo

Mark Shepard is an artist, architect and researcher whose post-disciplinary practice addresses new social spaces and signifying structures of contemporary network culture. His current research investigates the implications of mobile and pervasive media, communication and information technologies for architecture and urbanism. Recent works include the Sentient City Survival Kit, a collection of artifacts for survival in the near-future sentient city; and the Tactical Sound Garden [TSG], an open source software platform for cultivating virtual sound gardens in urban public space, both of which have been presented at museums, festivals and arts events internationally. In 2006 he organized Architecture and Situated Technologies (with Omar Khan and Trebor Scholz), a symposium bringing together researchers and practitioners from art, architecture, technology and sociology to explore the emerging role of “situated” technologies in the design and inhabitation of the contemporary city. In 2009, he curated Toward the Sentient City, an exhibition of commissioned projects that critically explored the evolving relationship between ubiquitous computing and the city. He is the editor of Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture and the future of urban space, published by the Architectural League of New York and MIT Press.

Links

Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture and the future of urban space.

Sentient City exhibition
An exhibition critically exploring the evolving relations between ubiquitous computing, architecture and urban space. Organized by the Architectural League of New York in 2009.

Situated Technologies Pamphlets Series
A series of pamphlet-length publications that examines the implications of contemporary mobile, embedded and responsive systems for architecture and urbanism.


Tokujin Yoshioka

via SEGD10

Tokujin Yoshioka has designed a window installation for Maison Hermès. Maison Hermès Window Display
duration: Nov 19, 2009 ~ Jan 19, 2010
location: Maison Hermès (ginza5-4-1, chuo-ku, tokyo)

‘air du temps 90x90 installation, silk scarves tirred by a light breeze maison hermès / forum in ginza, tokyo, 2004 photographer: nacasa & partners inc.

‘air du temps 90x90' installation, silk scarves tirred by a light breeze maison hermès / forum in ginza, tokyo, 2004 photographer: nacasa & partners inc.

via DesignBoom

Pane Chair Tokujin Yoshioka (Japanese, born 1967)  2003. Polyester fiber, 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 x 31 (74.9 x 74.9 x 78.7 cm). Gift of The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art. © 2009 Tokujin Yoshioka

Pane Chair Tokujin Yoshioka (Japanese, born 1967) 2003. Polyester fiber, 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 x 31" (74.9 x 74.9 x 78.7 cm). Gift of The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art. © 2009 Tokujin Yoshioka

via MOMA

Crystal Furniture Grown by Tokujin Yoshioka.

Crystal Furniture Grown by Tokujin Yoshioka.

“As part of his “Second Nature” exhibition visitors were able to watch the crystalline chairs grow in large aquariums filled with a mineral solution. Although the shape of the fiber initially guides the crystals into chair-like objects, Yoshioka adds another dimension by allowing the chairs to choose their own form.” – via Inhabitat


Dry run with funnoodles

Dry run installing Camille Utterbacks new project at West End. Photo: Alan H. Davidson.

Dry run installing Camille Utterback's new project at West End. Photo: Alan H. Davidson.

On Monday, Camille used some “funnoodles” to mock up final location of her interactive lighting installation in the theater at the new West End development.

Funnoodles to mock up hanging locations for interactive LED lights. Photo: Alan H. Davidson

Funnoodles to mock up hanging locations for interactive LED lights. Photo: Alan H. Davidson

More pictures here.

Today they install the real thing.


The Emotional City

Here are some images from Marina Zurkow of Will Pappenheimer’s and Chipp Jansen’s Tampa Public Mood Ring.


Living City :: environmental responsiveness

The Living is a practice by David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang, which emphasizes open-source research and design, seeking collaboration both within and outside the field of architecture.

I saw their prototype for a responsive “breathing” building skin as part of the Vapor exhibition at Southern Exposure. As curators Jordan Geiger and Alison Sant wrote:

“Living City is a full-scale prototype building skin designed to breathe in response to air quality. David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang have been developing one of the first architecture prototypes to link local responses in a building to a distributed network of sensors throughout the city. The prototype will be exhibited at SoEx, opening and closing its gills in response to information the sensors collect.”

David Benjamin + Soo-In Yang, The Living City, prototype
David Benjamin + Soo-In Yang, The Living City, prototype, installation view, Vapor, Souther Exposure. via Shotgun Review

The breathing facade is an R&D project, essentially, of a larger investigation about the “living city,” which they see as

  • A platform for the future when buildings talk to one another
  • An exploration of the vitality of the city through new forms of public space—air and facade

Or as they subtitle their explanatory video Buildings Talk, “From the old model of local input with local output … to the new model of local and global input with local and global output.”

River Glow

Another environmentally responsive project The Living has prototyped is River Glow, “a network of pods that float in public waterways, sense water quality, and send a signal visible from the water or on shore.”

The Living, River Glow

Nuage Vert

River Glow, in particular, reminds me of HeHe’s Nuage Vert, which won the Green Prix for Environmental Art at the 2008 01SJ Biennial and is a literally spectacular effort to use responsive visualization to motivate the local population to change their electricity consumption patterns, thereby affecting the amount of pollution produced by a nearby powerplant.

HeHe, Nuage Vert

Fade to Black

A more conceptual, less spectacular, but nonetheless important version of responsively visualizing environmental conditions was the Bureau of Inverse Technology’s BANGBANG network from 2000, in particular the Fade to Black [FTB] node or capability.

“Fade to Black is a network of webcams oriented skyward. Image on the webcam fades to black as pollutant film accumulates on the lens. Provides visual and empirical information on air quality; viewable in live stream or archived [concatanated] format. Test deployments: Houston TX, Hollywood CA, Bronx vs Broadway NYC. Additional sites/host computers being actively sought. This project is part of the BangBang camera network.”


“Top 5 High-tech public art masterpieces”

The surprising thing about this CNET compilation of Top 5 “Hi-tech public art masterpieces” is that it’s a pretty good list.

Watch video.

It’s a little hard to tell, but it looks like Jim Campbell’s “light bulb grid” was the version shown in New York, but we also commissioned a new version for the recent 01SJ Biennial, 1st and San Fernando.

More pix of the amazing Moveable Type by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin here.

More pix of The Fountain by David Small and Ben Tre here.

Also in the top 10 is Nuage Vert by HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen), which won the 01SJ Green Prix for Environmental Art.

via weplaytech


Quiet time in Times Square


The Interactive City in Detroit and Milwaukee

This week, two lectures/panels related to the “interactive city.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Future of Creative Expression for Cities

A panel at the Creative Cities Summit 2.0
http://creativecitiessummit.com/c/agenda/
http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Lights/41442276136#/event.php?eid=34584795828

Time: 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Location: Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Creative practitioners are drawn to places with ecologies that can sustain and invigorate what they do. Creative and cultural activity can revitalize neighborhoods, allow residents to re-imagine the place they live, and shape a new identity for a place in the face of competition for talent, investment, and recognition. The Future of Creative Expression for Cites will explore the value and impact that practitioners working across the fields of art, design, architecture, urban planning and new technology are making on cities now and will discuss the implications for the future. Join our group of panelists as they share examples, inspiration and insights from their work and participate in the debate.

Moderator:
Cezanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries, ArtServe Michigan

Featuring:
Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Steve Dietz, Artistic Director of ZER01 San Jose, CA
Lewis Biggs, Chief Executive of Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK

Thursday, October 16

The City As Interactive Installation

http://tylerstefanich.com/clients/northernlights2008/10/the-city-as-interactive-installation/
http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Lights/41442276136#/event.php?eid=28913384207

Time: 6:15pm – 8:00pm
Location: Milwaukee Art Museum

The exhibition Act/React at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Oct. 4 – Jan. 11, is one of the most significant exhibitions of the art of the interactive installation within the white cube of the museum. With the rise and convergence of mobile computing, ubiquitous Internet access, and locative services such as global positioning systems, many artists are working to make the urban environment itself a space of action and reaction.

Steve Dietz, artistic director of the 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California, and executive director of Northern Lights, will discuss the burgeoning practice of interactive art in the public sphere, from urban scale installations to ephemeral interventions. He will explore how such practices can change the relationship of a city’s citizenry to its built environment.


The city as interactive installation

The exhibition Act/React at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Oct. 4 – Jan. 11, is one of the most significant exhibitions of the art of the interactive installation within the white cube of the museum. With the rise and convergence of mobile computing, ubiquitous Internet access, and locative services such as global positioning systems, many artists are working to make the urban environment itself a space of action and reaction.

On Thursday, October 16, at 6:15 pm Steve Dietz, artistic director of the 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California, and executive director of Northern Lights, will discuss the burgeoning practice of interactive art in the public sphere, from urban scale installations to ephemeral interventions. He will explore how such practices can change the relationship of a city’s citizenry to its built environment.

Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N Art Museum Dr
Milwaukee, WI USA 53202