Molly Dilworth, 547 West 27th Street (2009). From the series "Paintings for Satellites."
In the early 2000s, as location-aware devices first became commonplace, there was a lot of hype surrounding their potential creative use by artists. However, over time, this initial enthusiasm for "locative media"--projects that respond to data or communications technologies that refer to particular sites--leveled off, even dissipated. Regardless of this drought, geospatial technologies are widely used, and play an important and often unnoticed role in conditioning many aspects of our existence. Responding to this condition of ubiquity, artists have continued to use locative technologies critically, opening up closed systems, making their effects visible, and reconfiguring our relationship with such systems.
Photo: Andreas Nicolas Fischer.
A kind of cold weather antipode of summer's "Love Parade," the Transmediale 2014 media arts festival was a beacon of light in the long dusk of a Berlin winter. As a twist on the usual curated exhibition, this year's festival opted for an ad-hoc "Art Hack Day" (AHD) approach, where submitting artists were expected to create new and original artworks in the span of two days (and nights). Opening the exhibition with a more down-to-earth feel, AHD ultimately resembled a DIY, garage-style party instead of a highbrow exhibition space.
PXL, Rainer Kohlberger, 2012
As the iPhone just celebrated its fifth year on the market, artists have already made a substantial dent in the commercially lucrative world of Apple’s AppStore. Despite this success, artists are still pushing forward to build apps that further integrate with the device’s sensors and location-based capabilities. Rather than working solely within the context of software art as I have covered in two previous articles on the subject for Rhizome, there is a focus now on artists who are interacting with the physical world by using the device’s internal sensors, location capabilities, constant Internet connectivity, and built-in cameras.
Using the camera as a sensor, “Konfetti” by German based designer Stephan Maximillian Huber visualizes the image of its subject into countless dots. In effect, the camera image is translated into virtual confetti that follows any movement and creates an ever changing images based on which camera is selected. The dot’s movement is correlated to the detected flow captured by the camera and by repelling other dots, which also move as you touch and drag them. Huber explains over email how the app works as a reflection based art tool. “The app started as an iPad-only app, and on an iPad the app acts like a mirror, showing an abstract reflection of yourself. You'll get a clear image of yourself only when you concentrate on the process of the app, and don't move too fast. It's like contemplating about yourself and the image of yourself. And as your thoughts and emotions aren't static the image the app generates is dynamic and adapts to minimal movements and new ...
In the summer of 2009, I wrote an article here at Rhizome about the burgeoning activities of media artists creating new works or updating versions of their older interactive screen-based projects for Apple's iPhone and iTouch mobile devices. As the article made its way throughout the blogosphere, comments surfaced ranging from criticism of the "closed world of Apple's App Store and iPhone devices" to a championing of the availability of inexpensive multi-touch technology now available to artists who had been waiting for a platform that could adequately display and allow for the type of interaction their projects demanded. A year after the article came out, the draw of these devices and their potentially expansive audience has become even more irresistible to artists enough so that several more "apps" have surfaced. The following article catalogs several new iPhone works which have emerged over the past year, works that are pioneering the next generation of portable media art.
Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a researcher, artist, professor and writer. His writing has appeared in numerous international publications including WIRED Magazine, Make Magazine, Neural, Rhizome, Art Asia Pacific, Gizmodo and more, and his work has been shown at events such as DEAF (03,04), Art Futura (04), SIGGRAPH (00,05), UBICOMP (02,03,04), CHI (04,06) Transmediale (02,04,08), NIME (07), ISEA (02,04,06,09), Institute of Contemporary Art in London (04), Whitney Museum of American Art's ArtPort (03), Ars Electronica (02,04,08), Chelsea Art Museum, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art (04-5),Museum of Modern Art (MOMA - NYC)(2008), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) (2008). He received his Ph.D. in the Disruptive Design Team of the Networking and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG), Trinity College Dublin. He is an adjunct assistant professor of communications at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and in the Media, Culture, Communication dept of NYU Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development.
2009 was an important year for the Internet as a whole. The advent of web 2.0 and "crowdsourcing" initiatives has enabled a much richer array of content from users who might never have ventured onto the Internet in previous years. My top 10 sites for this year cover a wide range of topics from art made for mobile devices with iPhoneArt.org to evidence of both information saturation with Information Aesthetics and physical and pseudo intellectual abundance with This is Why You're Fat and There I Fixed It, to strange observances of mistakes in the public realm with Fail Blog. In addition to these crowdsourced content sites, I also see some ongoing potential with artist-created sites such as Brett Domino's lowtech approach to music making ...
made up of some Ex-IVREA / RCA researchers and others. They are
looking for Masters students for their Pilot Year. Please forward
around to those who might be interested!
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
Call for Students - Pilot Year
Building on the positive response that CIID has received from our
feasibility study and initial activities, we are now establishing our
own educational programme. CIID is looking for 15-20 students from
Scandinavia, Europe and around the world to join us in Copenhagen for
our first educational year, starting in January 2008. These students
will receive sponsorship for a full-time, intensive, but experimental
version of our Masters course. Working in a studio environment, they
will design and prototype new ideas for services, products and
software. Visiting faculty will lead investigations into a range of
topics related to their specific expertise in design, technology and
innovation, after which students will engage in a self-directed
research project. We will use the experiences of the pilot year to
shape the programme of the subsequent two-year CIID masters courses,
and expect some students to continue in the educational and research
activities of the institute. The funding for this programme has yet
to be secured and the launch of the pilot programme will depend on
When will the pilot year occur?
The pilot year will span the whole of 2008. From January to June,
students will participate in the investigations and workshops that
form the foundation of the programme. No instruction takes place in
July and August, as CIID encourages and helps students to find
internships. In September, they will return to CIID to conduct a
self-directed thesis project with a CIID or external advisor.
Tentatively, we plan for the pilot year to conclude at the end of
2008. If there is enough interest and support, however, it could be
extended. In fact, we hope that some students will remain part of
CIID after the pilot year concludes: as researchers, instructors, or
in some other capacity.
Where will the pilot year take place?
The pilot year will take place in Copenhagen. We are currently
investigating possible locations, but believe that for a studio-based
programme like ours it is critical for each student to have dedicated
space for their work and materials.
What will I learn and do?
At CIID, students learn to apply design and technology to people's
lives and needs. We believe in a studio environment - students and
faculty working intensely on a project brief. We focus on hands-on
learning, meaning that students are given the skills to build working
prototypes of their ideas. A user-centred design process provides
inspiration and grounding. A multi-disciplinary approach prepares
students for careers in companies where innovation crosses product
The education is divided into three tiers. The first tier is an
initial set of short, skills-based workshops. The second tier
consists of longer design investigations. Finally, for the third tier
students pursue a self-directed research project. In addition,
students will participate in projects done in collaboration with
companies and take seminars in the practical and theoretical aspects
of interaction design.
For more information, see the CIID curriculum.
What is the language of study?
The official language of the institute is English. While many of the
faculty and staff at the institute are fluent in other languages, we
request that all communications and materials pertaining to
applications and admissions be in English. We expect all students and
faculty to have a high level of both written and spoken English.
Why is CIID conducting a pilot year?
We would like our programme to be shaped by its students and faculty.
The pilot year is a means of prototyping CIID's education with the
people who will be part of it. By running our first year in a
resource-light but content-intensive way, we hope to learn how to
refine our programme before investing heavily in a long-term
structure. Also, we hope that it will attract an eclectic mix of
students and faculty who are excited about creating a new institute.
What's in it for me?
We are offering students an intense one-year interaction design
education lead by experts in the field. It is an opportunity to meet
like-minded people, acquire skills, create a body of design work, and
help establish a new educational programme. Finally, we expect the
course to prepare students for real-world jobs at innovative
companies and institutions.
What type of certificate/degree will I receive?
Because this is a pilot year, we're focusing on the content and
people involved in the programme rather than formal accreditation.
Students who successfully complete the course will receive a
certificate acknowledging their accomplishments, but the pilot year
will likely not be formally accredited.
What does it cost?
Because this is a pilot year, we expect to offer full scholarships to
all students. You will need to cover all other expenses: flights,
accommodation, food, etc.
How do I apply?
This is an experiment - we're diving in head-first and hope you will
too. There's a chance it might not happen, but we're willing to take
the risk and we're looking for those daring enough to join us. If
you're up for it, check out the admissions page for information about
how to apply. If you have specific questions please contact us by