RealPlay in [R][R][F] 2004

Posted by Gita Hashemi | Tue Mar 16th 2004 6:14 p.m.

RealPlay
Part of [R][R][F] 2004

Including:

Farah: In Search for Joy
<http://farah.dyne.org/>
by Jaromil

The Olive Project
<http://www.charlesstreetvideo.com/project.php?id=1>
by Hard Pressed Collective

Migrant
<http://www.crixa.com/mireille/Migrant/Tampa.htm>
by Mireille Astore

Project Threadbare
<http://www.threadbare.tyo.ca/>
by Project Threadbare Coalition

Survey of Common Sense
<http://surveyofcommonsense.net/>
by Haleh Niazmand

Curated by Gita Hashemi for [R][R][F] 2004

-----------------
-----------------
[R][R][F] 2004 --->XP
[Remembering-Repressing-Forgetting]
<http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
global networking project
created and developed by Agricola de Cologne

5-29 March 2004
National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucaresti/Romania
<http://www.mnac.ro/next>
&
Bergen Center of Electronic Arts Bergen/Norway
<http://www.bek.no>

20-28 March 2004
New Media Art Festival Bangkok/Thailand
<http://thailand.culturebase.org>

For other programmes, times and places visit [R][R][F] 2004
<http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
-----------------
-----------------

RealPlay
Curatorial essay by Gita Hashemi

RealPlay has little to do with play, really. It is about playing for
real. Topically positioned in specific times and/or places, the works
in RealPlay contest, counter and/or subvert dominant geopolitical
and/or cultural notions with reference to the colonial constructs of
the "Middle East" and the "West." This selection works as a broad
political commentary as well as responses to certain trends in "new
media" discourse that explicitly or implicitly (sometimes
inadvertently) postulate and promote fundamental distinctions and
discontinuities between the "virtual" and the "real." Such
distinctions inevitably idealize the illusionary (utopic or distopic)
space where code is entirely capable of masterminding experience, or
where code becomes experience. The projects in RealPlay reject such
Western-oriented techno-centric and techno-determinist tendencies by
privileging urgent socio-political issues over media formalism and by
insisting on the priority of social interaction over, as well as
through, cyberspace interactivity. Using diverse practices of
documenting and archiving, these projects capitalize on the function
of the internet as a repository of retrievable data and, more
importantly, as a communication channel that can be advantageously
put to use towards inciting counter-hegemonic thought and action.

Subverting stereotypical representations of Palestinians as fanatic
terrorists or people solely occupied and pre-occupied by war,
inFarah: In Search for Joy <http://farah.dyne.org/>, an account from
a trip to Palestine following the brutal Israeli re-occupation
campaign of the West Bank in 2002, software pioneer and artist
Jaromil (Italy) gives an account of the everlasting human search and
capacity for joy in towns and refugee camps under siege (again).
Farah: In Search for Joy is a brief and unpretentious traveler's
search for and documentation of those aspects of the Palestinian
popular culture that continue to create, offer and celebrate joy in
spite of the prolonged conditions of colonial occupation and war. As
an archive (in progress), the website is incubated in and reflective
of the artist's interactions with his environment as it is a virtual
space for our encounter with a dimension of Palestinian reality
categorically forgotten or ignored in dominant representations in the
West.

An initiative of Hard Pressed Collective (Canada), a group of media
artists with a penchant for politically-engaged art-making,The Olive
Project <http://www.charlesstreetvideo.com/project.php?id=1> is, on
the surface, a programmed compilation of short videos by diverse
international artists. Thematically grounded in the historically rich
and culturally diverse symbolism of the olive, the videos exhibit a
range of artist responses to the ruthless practice of uprooting olive
trees in Palestine by Israeli forces- a favourite occupation strategy
aiming to force Palestinians off their land by effectively
undermining the economic survival of the growers and their local
production. Collectively, the videos construct a time-based memorial
to "peace and justice" made of 2-minute blocks. Before, through and
beyond the remediated compilation and its dissemination in
cyberspace, however, this project functions as a tool for
consciousness-raising, mobilizing and networking around an issue of
real world significance.

Migrant <http://www.crixa.com/mireille/Migrant/Tampa.htm> is the web
component of Mireille Astore's (Australia) larger sculpture and
performance project that takes as its starting point the infamous
Tampa ship incident in August 2001. The incident brought local and
international public attention to the plight of the "boat people"-
refugees primarily from the "Middle East"-who, upon arrival in
Australian waters, were first refused landing and then recast as
prisoners by a xenophobic "Western" state. Astore's obsessive
photographic documentation (from the inside looking out) of her
18-day self-inflicted virtual imprisonment-in a scaled recreation of
Tampa on a public beach in Sydney-functions as a looking glass in
which to observe the uneasy and disturbing reactions to the arrival
of new migrants by a society that has repressed its own memory and
burried its own racist and colonial settler history under the grounds
on which Woomera and Nauru detention centres currently stand for real.

Project Threadbare <http://www.threadbare.tyo.ca/> is animated by a
coalition of activists in response to the detention in August 2003 of
21 South Asian (primarily Pakistani) students in Toronto, Canada
under the guise of anti-terrorist and national security operations.
Since its inception, Project Threadbare has been an immensely
successful local expository and legal campaign against racial
targeting, detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees by
Canadian police, intelligence and immigration forces, who are hotly
in the race for the third place prize of dishonour, after USA and
Australia, for breaking their own nation's civil liberties codes as
well as international human rights conventions. This website, an
ongoing forum, newsboard and archive for Toronto activists, is one
wiki that doesn't pretend to be the virtual world's
better-than-original replica of "democracy." Although some of the
active members of the coalition are artists and their website is
pretty slick, Project Threadbare was not conceived as and does not
make a claim to being new media art; rather, it is a real world
experiment in social and creative participation and collaboration,
with tangible impact in the lives of the original 21 detainees and
now in the lives of many others in similar predicaments.

Survey of Common Sense <http://surveyofcommonsense.net/> is a
recreation of an earlier participatory painting installation project
by the same title by Haleh Niazmand (USA). A parody of the polling
industry that for the past 5 or 6 decades has been the engine of
"democracy" in the United States, Niazmand's image-text intervention,
in the form of survey questions with forced yes/no "choices," is not
only an authorial comment on the practices of polling as determinant
of "democratic outcome," but a strong challenge to notions of
"pragmatism" and "common sense" preached from political pulpits in
the present-day United States. Beyond this, Survey of Common Sense is
an invitation, courtesy of an artist from the "Middle East" and a
citizen of the "West," to the participants/viewers to recongnize,
acknowledge and reflect upon the ways in which each and every one of
us are intricately and deeply implicated, really and virtually, in
the bloody absurdity of this political moment. As such and in the
very impossibility of responding with any degree of ease and
resolution to Niazmand's questions, this work is an incessant
challenge issued so we will not slip into forgetting.

The projects in this selection have taken shape independently of this
curatorial effort. My thanks to all the participants for allowing me
to include their work in RealPlay.

-----------------
-----------------
[R][R][F] 2004 includes selection by:
Gita Hashemi (Iran/Canada)
Raul Ferrera-Balanquet (Cuba/USA)
Calin Man and Stefan Tiron (Romania)
Eva Sjuve (Norway)
Bjoern Norberg (Sweden)
Raquel Partnoy (USA/Argentina)
Agricola de Cologne (Germany)
Melody Parker-Carter (Germany)

For more on other curator's programmes, visit [R][R][F] 2004
<http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
-----------------
-----------------
  • Gita Hashemi | Tue Mar 16th 2004 6:19 p.m.
    RealPlay
    Part of [R][R][F] 2004

    Including:

    Farah: In Search for Joy
    <http://farah.dyne.org/>
    by Jaromil

    The Olive Project
    <http://www.charlesstreetvideo.com/project.php?id=1>
    by Hard Pressed Collective

    Migrant
    <http://www.crixa.com/mireille/Migrant/Tampa.htm>
    by Mireille Astore

    Project Threadbare
    <http://www.threadbare.tyo.ca/>
    by Project Threadbare Coalition

    Survey of Common Sense
    <http://surveyofcommonsense.net/>
    by Haleh Niazmand

    Curated by Gita Hashemi for [R][R][F] 2004

    -----------------
    -----------------
    [R][R][F] 2004 --->XP
    [Remembering-Repressing-Forgetting]
    <http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
    global networking project
    created and developed by Agricola de Cologne

    5-29 March 2004
    National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucaresti/Romania
    <http://www.mnac.ro/next>
    &
    Bergen Center of Electronic Arts Bergen/Norway
    <http://www.bek.no>

    20-28 March 2004
    New Media Art Festival Bangkok/Thailand
    <http://thailand.culturebase.org>

    For other programmes, times and places visit [R][R][F] 2004
    <http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
    -----------------
    -----------------

    RealPlay
    Curatorial essay by Gita Hashemi

    RealPlay has little to do with play, really. It is about playing for
    real. Topically positioned in specific times and/or places, the works
    in RealPlay contest, counter and/or subvert dominant geopolitical
    and/or cultural notions with reference to the colonial constructs of
    the "Middle East" and the "West." This selection works as a broad
    political commentary as well as responses to certain trends in "new
    media" discourse that explicitly or implicitly (sometimes
    inadvertently) postulate and promote fundamental distinctions and
    discontinuities between the "virtual" and the "real." Such
    distinctions inevitably idealize the illusionary (utopic or distopic)
    space where code is entirely capable of masterminding experience, or
    where code becomes experience. The projects in RealPlay reject such
    Western-oriented techno-centric and techno-determinist tendencies by
    privileging urgent socio-political issues over media formalism and by
    insisting on the priority of social interaction over, as well as
    through, cyberspace interactivity. Using diverse practices of
    documenting and archiving, these projects capitalize on the function
    of the internet as a repository of retrievable data and, more
    importantly, as a communication channel that can be advantageously
    put to use towards inciting counter-hegemonic thought and action.

    Subverting stereotypical representations of Palestinians as fanatic
    terrorists or people solely occupied and pre-occupied by war,
    inFarah: In Search for Joy <http://farah.dyne.org/>, an account from
    a trip to Palestine following the brutal Israeli re-occupation
    campaign of the West Bank in 2002, software pioneer and artist
    Jaromil (Italy) gives an account of the everlasting human search and
    capacity for joy in towns and refugee camps under siege (again).
    Farah: In Search for Joy is a brief and unpretentious traveler's
    search for and documentation of those aspects of the Palestinian
    popular culture that continue to create, offer and celebrate joy in
    spite of the prolonged conditions of colonial occupation and war. As
    an archive (in progress), the website is incubated in and reflective
    of the artist's interactions with his environment as it is a virtual
    space for our encounter with a dimension of Palestinian reality
    categorically forgotten or ignored in dominant representations in the
    West.

    An initiative of Hard Pressed Collective (Canada), a group of media
    artists with a penchant for politically-engaged art-making,The Olive
    Project <http://www.charlesstreetvideo.com/project.php?id=1> is, on
    the surface, a programmed compilation of short videos by diverse
    international artists. Thematically grounded in the historically rich
    and culturally diverse symbolism of the olive, the videos exhibit a
    range of artist responses to the ruthless practice of uprooting olive
    trees in Palestine by Israeli forces- a favourite occupation strategy
    aiming to force Palestinians off their land by effectively
    undermining the economic survival of the growers and their local
    production. Collectively, the videos construct a time-based memorial
    to "peace and justice" made of 2-minute blocks. Before, through and
    beyond the remediated compilation and its dissemination in
    cyberspace, however, this project functions as a tool for
    consciousness-raising, mobilizing and networking around an issue of
    real world significance.

    Migrant <http://www.crixa.com/mireille/Migrant/Tampa.htm> is the web
    component of Mireille Astore's (Australia) larger sculpture and
    performance project that takes as its starting point the infamous
    Tampa ship incident in August 2001. The incident brought local and
    international public attention to the plight of the "boat people"-
    refugees primarily from the "Middle East"-who, upon arrival in
    Australian waters, were first refused landing and then recast as
    prisoners by a xenophobic "Western" state. Astore's obsessive
    photographic documentation (from the inside looking out) of her
    18-day self-inflicted virtual imprisonment-in a scaled recreation of
    Tampa on a public beach in Sydney-functions as a looking glass in
    which to observe the uneasy and disturbing reactions to the arrival
    of new migrants by a society that has repressed its own memory and
    burried its own racist and colonial settler history under the grounds
    on which Woomera and Nauru detention centres currently stand for real.

    Project Threadbare <http://www.threadbare.tyo.ca/> is animated by a
    coalition of activists in response to the detention in August 2003 of
    21 South Asian (primarily Pakistani) students in Toronto, Canada
    under the guise of anti-terrorist and national security operations.
    Since its inception, Project Threadbare has been an immensely
    successful local expository and legal campaign against racial
    targeting, detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees by
    Canadian police, intelligence and immigration forces, who are hotly
    in the race for the third place prize of dishonour, after USA and
    Australia, for breaking their own nation's civil liberties codes as
    well as international human rights conventions. This website, an
    ongoing forum, newsboard and archive for Toronto activists, is one
    wiki that doesn't pretend to be the virtual world's
    better-than-original replica of "democracy." Although some of the
    active members of the coalition are artists and their website is
    pretty slick, Project Threadbare was not conceived as and does not
    make a claim to being new media art; rather, it is a real world
    experiment in social and creative participation and collaboration,
    with tangible impact in the lives of the original 21 detainees and
    now in the lives of many others in similar predicaments.

    Survey of Common Sense <http://surveyofcommonsense.net/> is a
    recreation of an earlier participatory painting installation project
    by the same title by Haleh Niazmand (USA). A parody of the polling
    industry that for the past 5 or 6 decades has been the engine of
    "democracy" in the United States, Niazmand's image-text intervention,
    in the form of survey questions with forced yes/no "choices," is not
    only an authorial comment on the practices of polling as determinant
    of "democratic outcome," but a strong challenge to notions of
    "pragmatism" and "common sense" preached from political pulpits in
    the present-day United States. Beyond this, Survey of Common Sense is
    an invitation, courtesy of an artist from the "Middle East" and a
    citizen of the "West," to the participants/viewers to recongnize,
    acknowledge and reflect upon the ways in which each and every one of
    us are intricately and deeply implicated, really and virtually, in
    the bloody absurdity of this political moment. As such and in the
    very impossibility of responding with any degree of ease and
    resolution to Niazmand's questions, this work is an incessant
    challenge issued so we will not slip into forgetting.

    The projects in this selection have taken shape independently of this
    curatorial effort. My thanks to all the participants for allowing me
    to include their work in RealPlay.

    -----------------
    -----------------
    [R][R][F] 2004 includes selection by:
    Gita Hashemi (Iran/Canada)
    Raul Ferrera-Balanquet (Cuba/USA)
    Calin Man and Stefan Tiron (Romania)
    Eva Sjuve (Norway)
    Bjoern Norberg (Sweden)
    Raquel Partnoy (USA/Argentina)
    Agricola de Cologne (Germany)
    Melody Parker-Carter (Germany)

    For more on other curator's programmes, visit [R][R][F] 2004
    <http://www.newmediafest.org/rrf2004>
    -----------------
    -----------------
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