Posts for January 2010

Porte-Parole Mouthpiece (1996) - Krzysztof Wodiczko and Sung Ho Kim

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The Porte-Parole Mouthpiece is an instrument for strangers, its function is to empower those who are deprived of power.

This object encircles the jaw with a small video monitor and loud speakers placed directly over the wearer’s mouth, showing the lips moving in sync to the prerecorded narrative. It is designed to replace the hesitations and fearful silent of an immigrant’s personal voice with a fully formed version of the immmigrant’s story. It function both as a conduit of ones' voice and image as well as a gag that blocks the mouth and prevents from speaking.

Porte-Parole transforms its user into a virtual subject, literally, a cyborg communicating through a high-tech device rather than your own bodily apparatus for speech. The small size screen drives viewers to come closer to the user face in order to see the image of the moving lips and hear the voice.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Suited for Subversion (2002) - Ralph Borland

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Suited for Subversion is a project to create a suit that protects the wearer at large-scale street protests. The suit also monitors the wearer's pulse and projects an amplified heartbeat out of a speaker in the chest of the suit.

I designed and fabricated the first prototype of the suit as part of my Masters Degree in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. The project draws on my work as an activist involved in street demonstrations in New York, and is influenced by the work of other activists and demonstrators who wear protective clothing and make creative use of tools and technologies for protest.

Of particular influence are the 'white' or ‘white overall’ tactics of the Ya Basta, WOMBLES, or the Tutti bianche, who wear white protective-wear to protests. Like the Pret a revolter clothing line produced by my friends Las Agencias, and pictured below, centre, my suit fuses white tactics with more playful, carnivalesque, or 'pink' tactics. As much as my suit is armour, it is also disarming; as much provocation as protection.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Archisuits (2005-2006) - Sarah Ross

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Archisuit consists of an edition of four leisure jogging suits made for specific architectural structures in Los Angeles. The suits include the negative space of the structures and allow a wearer to fit into, or onto, structures designed to deny them.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Social Vibration (2009) - Dana Gordon

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A garment that bridges between our life in the real physical world and our web 2.0 increasing social activity. The hoodie can recognise other hoodies from same or related “social network”. In case a member of the same online community is present in the same physical space (around 10 meters), the hoodie activates a subtle vibration, announcing this presence to the wearer in a discreet manner.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Real Street View (2008) - Tara Kelton

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"Life-size posters of Google Street View images removed from the internet and pasted in same location in the physical world. Monuments to spaces and moments that no longer exist."

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Imperfect Sound Forever

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Many scholars within the field of media archaeology opt to focus on the backstory behind an influential medium or technology and map out how its inception and organizational logic (re)shaped the world. An alternative approach is the excavation and arrangement of fringe/forgotten prototypes into an array to problematize dominant historical narratives regarding technological progress. Caleb Kelly's recent text Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction uses two consumer technologies, the phonograph and the compact disc, to survey 20th century musical and artistic production. The book catalogs a broad range of experimentation with these playback technologies to create detailed timelines of misuse and critical engagement. In bracketing this realm of sound-producing practice, Kelly proposes "cracked media," a subversion of technological devices whereby "...tools of media playback are expanded beyond their original function as a simple playback device for prerecorded sound or image." Given the prominence of the glitch and lo-fi malformed digital artifacts everywhere from media art to pop music to web video, it is easy to take the aesthetics of failure for granted. The investigation executed within Cracked Media prefigures many of the discussions that underpin generative and glitch aesthetics by focusing on work that foregrounds and interrogates the materiality of two specific mediums. Kelly methodically tracks projects that subvert the CD and phonograph over the entire 20th century and in doing so he builds a fascinating discourse about musical performance and reproduction that is equally comfortable referencing Friedrich Kittler as DJ Qbert.

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String Theories (2008) - Sinem Erkas

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Play (And Record) The Piano (2010) - Kokokaka

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Raindrop Melody Maker (2009) - Lullatone and Secondary School

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ToneWheels (2009) - Andre Michelle

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The particles have their own note value, while the wheels affect their octave. Drag them all to alter the melody.

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