In May 2007, the Institute for Infinitely Small Things toted hundreds
of unmarked packages (marked "UNMARKED PACKAGE") around Chicago sites
including the South Side, Daley
Plaza, Millennium Park, Little Village, Douglas Park and Hyde Park.
At each site, the Institute of Infinitely Small Things interviewed
members of the public about anxiety, insecurity and fear in public
spaces and produced a video research report with the results.
Watch it now on YouTube.
It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston
A networked running project by kanarinka.
How do you measure fear in a society obsessed with security and
This Spring, kanarinka is running the entire evacuation route system
in Boston, MA, and measuring its distance in breaths. While running,
she amplifies and broadcasts each breath into the public space around
The project is an attempt to measure our post-9/11 collective fear in
the individual breaths that it takes to traverse these new
geographies of insecurity.
The $827,500 Boston emergency evacuation system was installed in 2006
to demonstrate the city's preparedness for evacuating people in
snowstorms, hurricanes, infrastructure failures, fires and/or
It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston consists of a series of
running performances in public space (2007), a web podcast of breaths
(2007), and a gallery installation of the archive of breaths (2008).
The performances and website are presented by iKatun for the 2007
Boston Cyberarts Festival. The project will be on view:
What: Boston Cyberarts Festival Gala
When: Fri, May 4, 2007, 6:30pm
Where: Hotel @ MIT, 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge, MA
More info: email@example.com | 617-501-2441
Listen now: www.evacuateboston.com
Thanks to the generous support of: iKatun, The RISD Professional
Development Fund, The LEF Foundation, and the Boston Cyberarts Festival.
compiled by the Institute for Infinitely Small Things
with definitions sold on eBay to contributors from around the world
presented in conjunction with the Boston Cyberarts Festival, 2007
BOOK LAUNCH EVENT
Thursday, April 26th, 6:30 - 8:30pm
Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA
Food, drinks and booksigning with the Institute for Infinitely Small
Books on sale for 25\% off retail price.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
ABOUT THE BOOK
Are we more ready? Or are we just more scared?
Have you noticed how new words have entered American English since
September 11th? The USA now has a new vocabulary that includes:
And 60 more
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!
The New American Dictionary
Interactive Security/Fear Edition
A new book by The Institute for Infinitely Small Things
The New American Dictionary: Interactive Security/Fear Edition is the
most comprehensive collection of American terms for the 21st century.
Over 65 new and most redefined terms including "terror", "torture",
"axis of evil", "smart bomb", "friendly fire" and many more. Standard
pronunication and easy-to-use, interactive format make this your
essential guide to the new millenium.
Book launch party at Art Interactive!
Thursday, April 26th 6:30 - 8:30pm
Food, drinks and booksigning with the Institute.
25% off retail price.
130 Bishop Allen Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
WHERE TO BUY
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Proposal Deadline: March 15, 2007
The 21st Annual Conference of the SLSA (Society for Literature,
Science, and the Arts)
-Nov. 1-4, 2007
-Portland, Maine (USA)
-Deadline for paper and panel submissions: March 15, 2007
-Plenary Speakers: N. Katherine Hayles, UCLA; Brian Massumi,
Universite de Montreal
-Conference website: http://www.slsa07.com/
Biological and algorithmic, protector of secrets and porthole to
mysteries, universal and singular, code is an invitation to thought.
Code can be 'wet
“Erase the Border” is a project that will take place on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in southern Arizona.
The Institute for Infinitely Small Things is currently seeking funding to complete the project in Spring 2012 (see detailed request below).
The project would be to physically “erase” the U.S.-Mexico border fence on the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona. The fence divides the Tohono O’odham community, disrupts ceremonial paths, desecrates sacred burial grounds and prevents members from receiving critical health services.
Ofelia Rivas and youth from the Tohono O’odham Nation will work with the Institute for Infinitely Small Things to create a series of drawings from performances on the U.S.-Mexican border in southern Arizona.
What we will do
We will walk the border fence in a ceremonial way.
We will drag and press large 30″ x 40″ sheets of fine art paper along the fence as we go.
The walking and pressure will create drawings that pick up physical matter – dirt, debris, bugs, rust – and remove it from the border fence.
A small part of the border fence will be removed forever.
The created drawings are abstract landscapes.
About the Tohono O’odham
The Tohono O’odham are an indigenous tribe that live on the second largest indian reservation in the U.S. Their lands straddle 75 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern AZ. The O’odham lived on the land long before the US or Mexico or the Gadsden Purchase or Homeland Security.
The vehicle border fence, erected in 2008 by Homeland Security, stretches for 75 miles across the O’odham lands in the deserts of Arizona.
Please watch the below video for a full background on the Tohono O’odham’s situation on the border.
Originally slated to be performed in Fall 2011, this project continues to seek funding to be completed in Spring 2012. See below for more info.
Any contribution is welcome; our total need is $2,400, which would cover the following:
- Travel for 2 members of Institute for Infinitely Small Things from Boston to AZ
- Fine art paper
- Transportation for Ofelia Rives, O’odham youth and Institute members (distances on the reservation are great and gas is expensive)
- Honorarium for youth participants
- One day of meals for everyone involved
- Still photography, video documentation and post-production
The Border Crossed Us is a temporary public art installation by the Institute for Infinitely Small Things that transplants the US-Mexico border fence in southern Arizona to the UMass Amherst campus.
What happens when we divide a territory that the community imagines as contiguous? How does the international border in Arizona, seemingly remote from a college campus in northern New England, touch all of our lives?
From April 20 to May 1st, the UMass Amherst campus was divided along its North-South boundary by a to-scale photographic replica of the vehicle fence that runs along the international boundary in southern Arizona. The particular stretch of fence being represented was erected in 2007 by Homeland Security and now divides the Tohono O’odham Nation – the second largest Native American reservation in the country – into two parts.
The fence will ran between a parking garage and the campus center. Over the course of two weeks it served as a provocation, a touchstone for conversation, and a site for talks and performances. Along with the fence’s insertion into daily life on campus, the project invited a delegation of Tohono O’odham, including a tribal elder and several youth to speak about their experience. In addition, the Native American Studies Certificate Program in the Anthropology Department held a panel discussion on Borders & Indigenous Sovereignty as part of the campus’ annual Native American Powwow. Border issues affect several other tribes, including the Mohawk and Abenaki. The delegation of O’odham spoke along with others about these issues during the conference and participate in the powwow.
This project was commissioned by the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst.
The following time-lapse video of the installation was produced using a motion-detecting camera designed for hunting purposes. Sounds are from the accompanying sound installation, which was installed inside the large, circular parking garage vent in the foreground:
The Border Crossed Us Book
This 42-page, full-color book uses maps, essays, photographs, and a variety of other rich graphics to communicate the background and results of The Border Crossed Us.
More info, images and dialogue on the project website:
On Sunday, October 1 2011 the Institute joined with Occupy Boston in the 6th HONK! Parade to carry signs with two messages: “NO ONE HAS YET DETERMINED WHAT THE BODY CAN DO” and “#OCCUPYBOSTON”.
At 7AM Thursday, October 6 2011 the Institute strung banners over a Boston highway with the same messages. This was done as part of the multi-city Afghanistan War Tenth Anniversary Banners project.
Transgender Bathroom Dedication dedicates the men’s room at the MFA Boston to Dean Spade who was arrested in 2002 for using the men’s room in Grand Central Station and dedicates the women’s room at the MFA Boston to Chrissy Pollis who was the victim of a transgender hate crime in a Maryland bathroom in May 2011.
These two new works are gifts to the MFA Boston on behalf of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things. They were emplaced as part of “Boston’s Best 40-ennial”, a 19-minute historical and totally unauthorized exhibition in the bathroom of the MFA Boston organized by Greg Cook on June 20th, 2011.
More information about the exhibition:
Is there, actually, a recipe for failure? Are certain methodologies more prone to failure than others? How? What is at stake in acknowledging failure in one’s process, one’s community, or one’s career?
In April 2011, The Institute for Infinitely Small Things sent out an open invitation to discuss failed processes and failed projects. Consisting of 5-7 minute presentations by the Institute and invited participants, the event addressed the ways in which failures can and cannot be currently discussed in the world–and how we may be able to imagine to new ways to perceive, view and characterize what “failure” is.
This was the second part in a series started by Platform2.
The World’s Largest Potluck Ever would stage a mile-long potluck dinner on the Cambridge Street Corridor in Cambridge, MA, in an attempt to break the Guinness record, showcase the diversity of the businesses and residents, build community, publish a recipe book and display a dazzling array of home-cooked meals. For one Sunday afternoon, the whole street would be transformed into a giant neighborhood block party with food, performers and fun.
The World’s Largest Potluck Ever was inspired by Cambridge Street’s history as a commercial corridor of independently-run businesses and as a meeting place for people from diverse regions. Cambridge Street has seen significant waves of immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. While the street has numerous festivals and special events (such as the 84-year-old annual Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian or the Inman Square summer movie nights) there is no special event that celebrates the corridor specifically.
The World’s Largest Potluck Ever was part of a competition for the Cambridge Street Public Art Commission in Cambridge, MA, in 2010. It was on display in the city’s art gallery in Spring 2010 and three local residents were commissioned to create homemade dishes for gallery visitors to taste. Unfortunately the project was not selected for the commission but this idea is still worth doing! (Who does not want to attend the world’s largest potluck ever??) Contact me if you are interested in reviewing the full proposal.
An article for the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, published by Elsevier Press. Download article.
Art has taken a distinct “cartographic turn” in the last century. This period represents a veritable explosion of artwork that takes on cartography in order to critique, subvert, and reimagine territory. Artists have made maps, subverted maps, performed itineraries, imagined territories, contested borders, charted the invisible, and hacked physical, virtual, and hybrid spaces. There are three loose groupings of important mapping impulses that have characterized the artistic appropriation of cartographic strategies, both literally and metaphorically, from the early twentieth century to present times: 1) Symbol Saboteurs: artists who use the visual iconography of the map to reference personal, fictional, utopian, or metaphorical places; 2) Agents and Actors: artists who make maps or engage in situated, locational activities in order to challenge the status quo or change the world; and 3) Invisible Data-Mappers: artists who use cartographic metaphors to visualize informational territories such as the stock market, the Internet, or the human genome. This article outlines and contextualizes these three impulses with numerous examples.
kanarinka ran the entire evacuation route system in Boston and attempted to measure the distance in human breath. The project also involves a podcast and a sculptural installation of the archive of tens of thousands of breaths .
The project is an attempt to measure our post-9/11 collective fear in the individual breaths that it takes to traverse these new geographies of insecurity.
The $827,500 Boston emergency evacuation system was installed in 2006 to demonstrate the city’s preparedness for evacuating people in snowstorms, hurricanes, infrastructure failures, fires and/or terrorist attacks.
It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston consists of:
- a series of running performances in public space (2007)
- a web podcast of breaths (2007)
- a sculptural installation of the archive of breaths (2008)
Medium: custom-made table, 26 jars, 26 speaker components, wire, 13 CD players
I created a sculptural & audio archive of the collection of breaths. There are 26 jars on a custom-made table which correspond to the 26 runs it took to cover the evacuation routes. Each jar size corresponds to the number of breaths from that run. The speaker inside the jar plays the breaths collected from that run. (Better documentation coming soon)
This piece is on view in Experimental Geography, a traveling show curated by Nato Thompson and produced by ICI.