Hyper Geography is a Tumblr created by Joe Hamilton. He describes the blog on the site in a quote: “What in the history of thought may be seen as a confusion or an overlapping is often the precise moment of the dramatic impulse.” — Raymond Williams, "Ideas of Nature," in Problems in Materialism and Culture. (London: Verso, 1980). I caught up with Joe over email to find out more about Hyper Geography and the ideas behind its collagist layout.
Jason Huff: When did you start the project and how did you develop the basic criteria for what you post?
Joe Hamilton: I started in April of this year and, in a way, finished in August. There are 100 looping posts that link together horizontally and vertically. I am working on a script that will once a day take the last post in the loop and reblog it. Then I will leave it. Or not. I'm not sure.
In selecting the images I was looking at our notion of environment and the changing and overlapping definitions of natural, built and networked environments. I gathered images that speak of these definitions and blended them together in to new compositions. An attempt to create a feeling of some type of hybrid environment, a hyper geography.
In addition to the idea of overlapping, the quote on the info page from Raymond Williams's Ideas of Nature mentions the "dramatic impulse" - How does that relate to the project?
Well it is funny but until I read your question I had not made the connection to the word 'overlapping' in the quote and the fact that I was overlapping images in my project. I was referring to overlapping ideas of nature...
cropped image of the book's cover
Graham Harman is Associate Provost for Research Administration and a member of the Department of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is the author of nine books, most recently The Quadruple Object by zer0 books [English Edition, July 2011].
“Instead of beginning with radical doubt, we start from naiveté. What philosophy shares with the lives of scientists, bankers, and animals is that all are concerned with objects. The exact meaning of “object” will be developed in what follows, and must include those entities that are neither physical nor even real. Along with diamonds, rope, and neutrons, objects may include armies, monsters, square circles, and leagues of real and fictitious nations. All such objects must be accounted for by ontology, not merely denounced or reduced to despicable nullities. Yet despite repeated claims by both friends and critics of my work, I have never held that all objects are “equally real.” For it is false that dragons have autonomous reality in the same manner as a telephone pole. My point is not that all objects are equally real, but that they are equally objects...”
(The Quadruple Object, Introduction, page 5)
The Quadruple Object by Graham Harman is a succinct and ambitious new theory of objects that reexamines Heidegger’s fourfold theory (a vague and, until Harman, unexplored and poetic idea of the world in four parts: earth, sky, gods, and mortals) through the lens of Object-Oriented Ontography (a slightly different take on Object-Oriented Philosophy). Harman, constrained by complications with the publisher, grant access, and his own lecture schedule decided to take a unique approach and “live-blog” his writing process.
“Live-blogging” might seem like an unorthodox approach for a philosophical treatise, but also a wildly brilliant one. Harman devised the blog as a ...
An image from David Horvitz' Wikipedia intervention
David Horvitz's first solo exhibition in San Francisco opened August 6th at the Adobe Books Backroom Gallery. For the duration of the exhibition Horvitz is guest blogging on the Adobe Books site. He sends frequent updates of images from his daily life and documentation of other projects he's working on - he's also included some posts about the recent hurricane that passed through New York. Since Horvitz has a history of working with ideas of remote connections, temporality, and site-specificity his guest blogging isn't surprising but is a nice compliment to his work in the physical gallery space which also takes on a transience of its own.
Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is pleased to present David Horvitz' first solo exhibition in the Bay Area. Exhibited will be photographs and text that expand on the main ideas of several projects from the last two years. One of these, a project Horvitz first created for a gallery in Den Haag, Holland, has been restaged for the Backroom Gallery. For the original project, Untitled (Flowers), Horvitz spent the day travelling the subway system in Holland gathering flowers from the different flower vendors he encountered. Says the artist, "There was something about a distributed element across the country that was then slowly recollected. Reconcentrated." For the Backroom Gallery, Horvitz purchased red roses from vendors while travelling by car from Oakland to the Mission District of San Francisco, where the gallery is located. The resulting bouquet will be exhibited in the gallery space as a souvenir of his journey across the Bay.
Brooklyn-based David Horvitz's diverse projects utilize the internet (blogs, Twitter, email) and the postal system as tools of connection and expansion. For Public Access, a multi-level project that began in January of ...
Image from Dwarf Fortress's intro animation.
As we enter the last weeks of summer, take some time off and check out Tarn and Zach Adams’ Dwarf Fortress, an indie game that has earned a cult following and recently garnered some mainstream profiling including an appearance in MoMA’s Talk to Me exhibition.
Developed over the past decade, Dwarf Fortress promotes depth and complexity of game-mechanics over graphics. As an example of this, amidst its ASCII aesthetics, the game includes its own world generator, economics system, three-dimensional world exploration, fluid dynamics, complex names and languages, and character profiles that allow emotional responses to the world you build around them (i.e. the dwarves can appreciate art, but can also hold a grudge.) The game's complexity generates an equal proportion of difficulty that has subsequently produced a community of dedicated followers who share their stories online, donate to Bay 12 Games (Tarn and Zach’s company), and even suggest improvements on the game’s forums. Foremost, playing Dwarf Fortress requires patience - followed by an appreciation for intricate details hidden in primitive graphics. At one glance it's a scrambled mess; at another, it holds a profound resemblance to our own lives.
In-game image of Dwarf Fortress's ASCII aesthetics
Excerpt from the New York Times' profile on the game and its makers:
This bare-bones aesthetic allows Tarn to focus resources not on graphics but on mechanics, which he values much more. Many simulation games offer players a bag of building blocks, but few dangle a bag as deep, or blocks as small and intricately interlocking, as Dwarf Fortress. Beneath the game’s rudimentary facade is a dizzying array of moving parts, algorithms that model everything from dwarves’ personalities (some are depressive; many appreciate art) to the climate and economic patterns ...
Face and Body Parts - Ed Parke (1974)
In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, innovations in computer graphics were pioneered by the University of Utah. Their program generated some of the first algorithms for antialiasing, shading, z-buffering, and texture mapping among many others. They also produced the seminal Utah Teapot and breakthrough demos of rendering and animation such as Halftone Animation by Ed Catmull and Fred Parke. Essentially, the innovations came from a community of developers who shared the same passion in visualizing the world around them in virtual space. This early work, shared by developers at MIT, Harvard, and Bell Labs, established techniques that would be inlcuded in work by the demoscene of the 80s, that we covered last summer
stills from Space++, Judson Rosebush (1974)
Hi Tom, and all
First off, the purpose of Required Reading is to point to compelling articles relevant to new media. We're not always endorsing them 100%, but also often sharing them with Rhiz readers for the purpose of discussion. (Its a column Rhizome has been running for 2 years.) I thought Davis' article was worth inclusion because its an attempt at defining the field, and its a proposition: The first five sections draw lines between what Davis describes as social media art and other forms of new media. But in his final section, he closes his analysis with some self-criticism: "It’s not a frame to think within. It’s a box that needs to be escaped."
With that in mind, Salas makes a good point about it including traditional definitions of art, and the absence of participatory art, including contemporary practitioners like Miranda July and Harold Fletcher. In my opinion, I appreciate a non media art critic calling for a deeper and broader research of social media artwork - but I agree, to some extent, that an attempt to form definitions at a point of emergence can prove to be problematic, and boxes art in inappropriate ways.
Thanks for writing.
Again, a great initial resource is the Rhizome list of New Media Programs. We have programs listed and linked in the States and Abroad. I think there is a good school in the south of France. If I find the link I'll post here.
Definitely check the New Media program list with Rhizome first. I'm in the MFA program at RISD right now and can say that it offers a lot of flexibility and resources to students. As a note, we're in the middle of an international search for a new department head which should end at the end of this academic year. Feel free to email me if you have any extra questions. The programs website is here: http://dm.risd.edu
You can also cruise this mega list of national new media programs:
It's not exclusively MFA but it's a good starting point for broader research on schools.
I know SVA just started an Interdisciplinary MFA program that might be worth checking out:
I've had a few friends who have gone to ITP too that had a good experience. The RISD program is geared more toward Fine Art and you can take courses at Brown - ITP is more technically focused. At least that's my understanding.