The Week Ahead: Our Data, Ourselves Edition


Promotional video for Lovid, U R QR (2013).

This weekend, artist duo Lovid will premiere a new project titled U R QR. If you participate, various things will happen to you, including your face being painted in black and white blocks and then photographed; when combined, the resulting images will combine to form a functioning QR code. QR codes have been waiting for a really good art project to come along for a long time, and this could be their big moment.



LoVid's iParade


Locative media art responds to two of the most definitive social issues of our times: the reorganization of everyday life by mobile computing technologies and the seeming assurance of ecological disaster in the foreseeable future. These two developments are often described as conflicting with one another: our digital interfaces dismantle spatial obstacles, bringing once-remote locales into proximity with hyperlinks, projecting us into “non-places.” And yet, according to many environmental thinkers, any hope for sustainability requires that humanity reverse the psychic effects of this trend: we must divert our attention away from our screens and back to the physical world around us, creating local community and a sense of place. Locative media art works squarely within this tension inhabiting our post-nature, new media culture, using digital networks to augment engagement of geographic space, to facilitate what Christiane Paul calls “context awareness.”

On June 7 and 9, Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus of LoVid will début their new mobile phone app, iParade#2: Unchanged When Exhumed, a 2011 Rhizome commission and the first major piece in their new locative-media art series. iParade#2 uses GPS data to access video, sound, and stories available only in specific spots within the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem. Tali and Kyle described the work to me as "experimental locative cinema" or "locative video,” as cinema and video that “offers a new option using GPS and mobile media technology.” Their press release suggests that the app be thought of as an adventure and a sort of game: participants will “explore” not only historic landmarks but also “urban mysteries”—though the mysteries remain unsolved. Ultimately, as is true to all locative media works, iParade#2 seeks to “renew viewers’ appreciation of their physical environment.” Since I will be abroad during the premiere, LoVid offered to give me a ...


Artist Profile: LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus)


LoVid is a 2011 Rhizome Commissions winner for their proposal, iParade: Unchanged when Exhumed.

VideoWear, (2003), Mixed Media Sculpture and Performance

Given your interest in revealing electronic circuitry and conduits as a symbol of the body, do you feel that your wearable pieces like Coat of Embrace are extensions of your own body's natural electric currents? Also, reflecting on early sci-fi and cyborg culture, what is your future vision of human interactions with electronics?

All of our instruments, wearable or not, act as extensions of our bodies. Our tactile relationship with the technologies that we use includes building our instruments by hand and designing them around our bodies. Despite or as a result of their origins, these instruments modify how we move while we play them, in ways we cannot predict in advance. They change not just our use of technology, but also the communication between us and our audience during the performance. In some of our work, we amplify natural electrical signals from the human body when we invite our visitors and audience to touch exposed electronic components that are connected to our instruments. This allows the live signals from their bodies to affect the final audio/video. We like creating this circuit between natural and man-made signals as it fits with our vision of a conglomeration of media/technology/electricity with natural and organic systems. In terms of past/future visions, we tend to think in terms of alternate possibilities for both present and future.  We envision co-evolution of natural and man-made systems where interactions are innate and automatic.

Many of your pieces include live performance and video that feed into each other. When creating these types of pieces with feedback loops, do you start by searching for a particular visual you are trying to achieve or ...