Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Check-in: Archive Bomb

Archive Bomb met Tactical Media, whose manifesto shares some desired qualities with the concept:
  • involved parties manipulate media "in a continual process of questioning the premises of the channels they work with"
  • activism characterized by mobility and flexible response (hit-and-run). The ability to move through different entities of "vast media landscape without betraying their original motivations"
  • results are "temporary reversals in the flow of power"
  • "an aesthetic of poaching, tricking, reading, speaking... Clever tricks, the hunter's cunning, maneuvers, polymorphic situations, joyful discoveries, poetic as well as warlike."
This match revisits the concept of artists being new archivists. Beeld & Geluid (B&G) can be the supplier for material for such interventions, and can facilitate participation on three levels:
  1. insider
    B&G can allow the broadcast system to be hacked. In a context where A/V will already be setup, for example an event in a public square during museum night, B&G can ensure the "back door" through which underminers can participate.
  2. hacker
    A team of archivists, dedicated to showing multiple perspectives can use the system themselves, as they are most familiar with the state of the collection. They could assume an anonymous identity, with a hidden link to B&G (Kounter Beeld en Geluid?).
  3. mentor
    B&G can encourage or participate in interventionist workshops, with specialized knowledge of broadcasting and A/V archives. Cooperation with historians could also be possible. (Hooray multi-disciplinary collaboration!)

Amalgamated Concept #1: historic re-enactments tying into current events
B&G can set up a platform that works with activists for the purpose of exposing patterns in media or social commentary, such as with the methods listed above. Through a combination of performance and A/V bombs, the public can be confronted with past events:
  • Purely analog (ex: performance troupe that translates a hate crime into a staged conflict on the train)
  • Augmented flashmob (ex: streaming old broadcast on the speaker system in addition to participants with previous instructions)
  • Techie dream (a disposable projection grenade: looks like a soda can, but it releases smoke onto which a one-time projection is displayed). While the "grenade" is still a few steps away (compact portable projectors are available, but definitely not disposable), a "landmine" could also be implemented: the material and structure are there, but detonation is triggered by a coincidence.

Amalgamated Concept #2: puzzlehunt
B&G can expose its archive through a pervasive game, such as an urban puzzlehunt. Teams of gamers sign up to solve rounds of puzzles - in this case media riddles could be featured, but in a public space context. Drawing from of the texts in "Space Time Play," this could be an ideal set-up:
  • Pervasive games mix everyday tangible space with closed information spaces. The rules and information network (game space) intertwine with the city space (play space).
  • "Temporary autonomous zones" are created by roleplay. In these zones willing players create a new set of rules, when imposed onto innocent bystanders, question implicit social interactions.
  • Because the real environment is used, there are real consequences. This removes the safety bubble of traditional play (where one can safely explore "what if" and what one cannot do in real life), but it also offers elements of psychogeography to come into play. The city itself can be enhanced by the game by encouraging players to see it through new eyes or to uncover stories to drive us.
B&G would curate the material used for puzzles, and gather data as done currently through web-based games. Material costs (if mobile-projection gadgets are to be used) would be more safely covered. The element of surprise still strikes non-participating passerbys, and they can also be used as part of the game. An element that could be interesting from the MIT Mystery Hunt is that the winning team wins the right to organize the following year's competition (rules, hints, everything).

An interesting part about creating these puzzles is to make it such that a Google search does not solve it. A good team could solve all puzzles to the end in about 48 hours (or that is a target). This is an example in which one deliberately tries to make the information not available, for a reasonable purpose.

Points for moving on:
  • Does the theoretical framework need more work?
  • Could storyboards of potential puzzles be a starting point, then see what happens when this game context is removed?
  • Is B&G's role clear enough such that the concepts are appropriate for them in particular? (Does it make an "appropriate" use of the content of their archive?)

New Readings since last time:
  1. Gregory Sholette - Dark Matter
    Raises discussion on the creative realm unrecognized by the institutionalized art world (and its importance), why it may not be accepted, and its connection to political art.
    • "What stabilizes the borders of the elite art market is the routine production of relatively minor differences."
    • Importance of connecting "'unblocked' moments of working class fantasy with the history, or histories of actual resistance to capital, patriarchy racism and nationalism. Rather than a smooth, linear narrative," it assembles "a montage of 'historical fissures -- crises, war, capitulation, revolution, counterrevolution."
    • Describes interventionist art groups that design objects of intervention as well as workshops that encourage this behavior.
  2. David Garcia & Geert Lovink - The ABC of Tactical Media
  3. Rui Guerra(!) - It's Not That Kind, guerilla projections & other projects that empower individuals to intervene with public spaces

To Read (mostly from INTK):
  1. Gregory Sholette - The Interventionists: User's Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life
  2. Krzystof Wodiczko
    Nowadays public space is occupied with the displaced, members of a nomadic culture. These spaces should be reclaimed as agoras for statements and discussion.
  3. Claire Bishop
    Participation in socially engaged art
  4. Markus Miessen - The Violence of Participation
  5. Chantal Mouffe - Artistic Activism and Agnostic Spaces
    Urge "for radical democracy of agnostic pluralism where all antagonisms could be expressed. In their opinion, ‘...there is no possibility of society without antagonism’; indeed, without the forces that articulate a vision of society, it could not exist."
  6. Michael Naimark - Arts Lab
    Proposal for a hybrid arts center and research lab

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Round 03 : Collectibles

Research organized

I made a powerpoint presentation where the most important information is placed.There are still some stuff I need to fill in but that will come.

Most recent research is about emotions and personality traits. I did this research for inspiration to make some kind of game play system.

Game Play System

Theme is making a (godlike) avatar from fragmented behaviors which represent personality traits.
Before playing, the players "draw" their goal. The first to complete the goal has won.
Emotional Status has a starting point. This starting point is created out of the average from the collected fragments (deck).
Personality traits or/and actions "cards" have influances on the emotional status of the avatar.


Playing the game system with self made cards.

Plan for an experiment where I discover how people feel about a the fragment and how they would react to it. Going to implement it for next week.
1 .

Round 03: Chance Interruptions

The approach being taken to bring the archive closer to its audience:
Interrupt daily routine to bring a higher awareness of the current situation and the archive.
To varying degrees, concepts in this direction impose archive fragments on a random audience. There are those who look to the past to learn, or to reminisce, and there are those who do not. As the present is a result of the past, this approach gives more power to the archive: it does not wait to be initiated by an interested user.

background principles
  • An archive is a collection of fragments. Digitization of its content aids fluidity of presentation and makes interaction with the archive more dynamic, and allows for new connections and interpretations to be made.

  • The technology that we have developed seemingly independent of the Supernatural now makes qualities of it even closer. (E.g. invisible forces, quickness, mutability)

  • Changes in one's routine, whether or not by chance, create a higher awareness of the current/"normal" situation.

  • Over text, audiovisual material is already communicating closer to the people. Sound and moving images were what we perceived before written literacy. Outside its original context, AV material can trick us into thinking it is current.

Three initial concepts are defined to explore these principles. They all take place off-site, but differ on who is curating the information. Beeld & Geluid is used as an impartial provider of content.

archive bomb
  • Guerilla warfare model: quick, temporary, anonymous broadcasting in public spaces that may produce chaotic results.
  • Archive fragment bombs are detonated without explanation: less information forces the audience to lay their own interpretations.
  • This is a one-time event. The effects are imposed on the memories and interpretations of the surrounding people.
  • Can comment on current situation using historic locations and political/cultural/religious events. Can be used as a way to take back broadcasting.
  • Curation by the people? If it were Beeld & Geluid, does it have an obligation to remain neutral?

  • Visual podcasts are broadcast on public train sunshades.
  • Geyser model: known location, but when it is triggered is not explicitly expressed. Spurts are short, appropriate for commuters of varying periods.
  • Can provide more information on the places passed on the train, but it could expand to have a visual radio feel.
  • Competition over broadcasting space filters out different parties who are interested enough to make a coherent podcast.

connect the dots
  • Running chicken model: finding meaning amongst randomness. Letting chickens (or people) run freely, the results of which reveal a new meaning.
  • Input locational data to be interpreted by the tag system of B&G. The system functions as a Supernatural power, giving a different meaning and overview that people cannot see as clearly.
  • Results of this are displayed in public locations; while the location is static, the information fed to it is now dependent on the surrounding people.

Another question arises: what is the effect of these ways of (re)broadcasting?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1 .

Linkdump on data visualization

As I lost myself browsing for ways of visualizing the archive as a network, i got to some very interesting data visualization websites that i'd like to share. Since I don't have time to explain each one right now, i'll just dump the links so you can see for yourself!

Data visualization overview blogpost

Subsites especially concerning the archive:

Some nice examples

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


ICT Delta Event

PROJECT CLOSER | Round-table Discussion | March 18th, 14.00-15.00

Audiovisual cultural heritage collections nowadays are becoming accessible on a large scale through digital networks. Innovative ways of presentation and interaction can create an added value in disclosing these archives to the audience. CLOSER is a multidisciplinary research project, initiated by V2_ and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

There is a gap between the use and the potential in the archive. As more archives move towards digitalization, questions for archivists surround increased accessibility and the meaning of future archival practice. Simultaneously artists are using the archive to critique systems of power, history, memory, and identity. In CLOSER we are exploring the territory between these two perspectives in hopes of making archival use a more meaningful experience. In this round-table discussion we start a dialogue between artists, theoreticians, archivists, and ICT practitioners about:

Building a bridge between the concerns of institutional archives and artistic critique in a way that empowers the individual.

The discussion will take place on 18 March, 2010 at ICT Delta conference in Rotterdam, from 14.00 to 15.00. Registration is free on the website. http://www.ictdelta2010.nl/

Information on our discussion table can be found at: http://www.ictdelta2010.nl/ICTD/Discussietafel-V2_Beeld-en-Geluid-.html

The CLOS(AR) project blog: http://closar.blogspot.com/

Please respond to closar@v2.nl if you are able to join the discussion. Thanks and we look forward to talking with you!

All the best,
CLOS(AR) team


Project Update

We have gone trough the essence of our concepts. Then we shuffled and merged different ideas together. The results were reorganized in different directions or areas. We did this process to find new combination's, directions and overlaps within the concepts.

The next step we took was researching the old and new areas. For each area we made short presentation to give an impression on what we have found.

We have looked at:
Archives and Audiovisual Archives
Chance and Rituals
Traces / Trails