mez breeze
Since the beginning
Works in Sydney Australia

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BIO
Mez Breeze is the Creative Director of Mez Breeze Design, an agency which provides boutique digital product and design services (including illustration, transmedia, text, games, interface design, and responsive media). Recent and past Clients include the British Branch of Appreciative Inquiry, CloudGraf, Brandaide, Brecely Studios, GeekGirl, and The University of Technology Sydney. Mez Breeze Design has recently partnered with Dreaming Methods to produce a set of mobile-oriented projects that have been showcased at "Chercher le texte: manifestation internationale de littérature numérique” 2013: one of their joint projects was also nominated for the 2013 Digital Humanities Awards in the "Best DH visualization or infographic" Category. Mez is an Advisor to The Mixed Augmented Reality Art Research Organisation and is currently Senior Research Affiliate with The Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab.
Mez has exhibited her ground-breaking creative works widely, including at The Brooklyn Academy of Music 2001, “Playengines” Melbourne Australia 2003, “Arte Nuevo InteractivA” Mexico 2005, the “Radical Software” Show at Turin Italy 2006, DIWO at the HTTP Gallery London 2007, New Media Scotland 2008, the Laguna Art Museum California and Alternator Gallery Canada 2009, Federation Square Melbourne and Arnolfini Gallery Bristol 2010, Netherlands Media Arts Institute 2011, “Remediating the Social” Exhibition in Scotland 2012, “Network Art Forms: Tactical Magik” in Tasmania 2013 and Jeu de Paume 2014. Her awards include the 2001 VIF Prize (Germany), the JavaMuseum Artist Of The Year 2001 (Germany), 2002 Newcastle New Media Poetry Prize (Australia), co-winner of the 2006 Site Specific Index Page Competition (Italy) and the Burton Wonderland Gallery Winner 2010 (judged by Hollywood Director Tim Burton). Her works reside in Collections as diverse as The World Bank and the PANDORA Electronic Collection at the National Library of Australia. Duke University have recently extended to Mez an invitation to develop a comprehensive career archive of her works, associated documents, correspondence and papers to be housed there at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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DISCUSSION

_“The Old Spice Guy”: Presencing & Synthapticism In Action_


_“The Old Spice Guy”: Presencing & Synthapticism In Action_
http://bit.ly/96Lakc
- @netwurker

In 2008, several articles at augmentology.com examined the concepts of Synthetic Presencing and Synthapticism. Both concepts are part of a theoretical framework that attempts to explain developing cultural > augmentological patterns. Presencing embodies a rethink of conventional entertainment modes:

"...Fiction and non-fiction classifications are designed to map to boundaries of known forms [think: cinema, literature, television and music]. They are so designed to provoke audience responses introspectively and externally. Current synthetic practices are refashioning this entertainment base via the perpetuation of types of unintentional and deliberately augmented recreation. These recreation types are reliant on immediacy of response, play, and Pranksterism. They employ Sandboxing, Gonzoism and spontaneous engagement. This type of entertainment is termed _Presencing_. Presencing involves loose clusters of pursuits that evolve in, or are associated with, synthetic environments. Examples include the Streisand Effect, Supercutting, Flashmobbing, the Slashdot Effect…Geohashing, Image macro generation and Internet meme threading…Presencing showcases accidental or reflexive entertainment elements where the fictional/non-fictional divide is erased; associated validity qualifiers are also removed and reconceptualised. Amateur production is equated with valued expression. Presencing also offers adaptive potential for augmented attempts at mediating geophysical constraints."

The complementary concept of Synthapticism involves:

"…Crowdsourcers [who] produce clusters of user-mediated data through surges of concentrated attention… Synthetics display attentional surges appropriate to synthaptic shiftings. Synthetic environments operate in accordance with this surge potentiality, with users adopting platforms that offer a contemporary catering for the relevant surge…Synthapticism produces unprecedented connections between synthetic participants. Adjunctive relationships are constructed via Identity interfacing and cushioned by support networks with a comparable emotional weighting to those found in traditional sociocentric structures [acquaintance>friendship>family>community]. Synthaptic communication may appear as fractured or trivial to those not connected synthaptically…”

One contemporary example of a Presencing/Synthaptic Campaign centres on a PR-created character called “The Old Spice Guy” or @OldSpice. This campaign, which makes extended use of social media > network dynamics, initialized with a Synthaptic threading system directly developed from conventional advertising:

" Anything is possible when you smell like an Old Spice man and our hero, Isaiah Mustafa, is back to illustrate just a few of the amazing things that an Old Spice man can do. The latest effort is a fully integrated campaign with TV, print and digital executions, targeted at both men and women...." [ http://www.wk.com/campaign/questions ]

On July 13th 2010 [USA Portland time] the Old Spice brand extended this “personalised” social presence/character via synthetically dependent platforms including Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook. “The Old Spice Guy” character urged cross-platform users to AMA [a popular internet thread on several boards which means "Ask Me Anything"]. The humorous > quirky responses included almost instantaneous @OldSpice micro-video answers to selected users, including meta-referencing by Isaiah Mustafa himself [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-qpEUOtLk8 ].

One response that encapsulates the Synthaptic aspects of this campaign began with the user @Jsbeals asking @OldSpice to make a marriage proposal on his behalf [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fLV28SkZ8 ]. @Jsbeals later tweeted that his girlfriend had accepted the proposal:

"@Jsbeals: @OldSpice SHE SAID YES!!!!"

….and who then changed his Twitter Biography to:

"The Old Spice proposal was real. Thank you Old Spice for helping me with this."

A second response set resulted in the sending of actual/geophysical roses [referenced in a micro-video response] to Alyssa Milano. Each episodic response illustrates the flattening of traditional entertainment factors [think: @OldSpice responding to "everyday" users as well as more established Hollywood/Internet celebrities]. The campaign realigns passive entertainment construction and distanced absorption via real-time Immediation and Regenerative Comprehension [ http://bit.ly/JvGs3 ]. The Old Spice Guy Synthaptic threading is currently ongoing with replies continually being posted via Youtube. [Updated via Owen Lokan: the campaign has now finished].

EVENT

_:terror(aw)ed patches:_


Dates:
Mon Nov 30, 2009 00:00 - Mon Nov 30, 2009

_:terror(aw)ed patches:_
A Google Wave(let) Transformation by Shane Hinton + Netwurker Mez, 2009

Shane Hinton + Netwurker Mez create a new method of collaborative “fiction” through _live concurrent editing_ in Google Wave. This process results in expressive output[s] termed “Transformations”:

“Google Wave uses an algorithmic variation of “operational transformations” [live concurrent editing] which occur through a process called transformation:

* The server transforms the client’s request, resulting in the client manifesting the same transformed output.
* The notion of concurrency is invariably important as it mimics geophysical conversational states.
* Utilizing the server as a point of relay [when more than one client's output is involved] assists in providing scalability and reliability.
* The playback feature allows the server to present the document as a stream of operations that have occurred thus far in a particular wave/state.

Transformation relies on continual modification…This accent on process acts to rewire the notion of documents as statically defined “objects” and [by proxy] any information contained within. This has enormous implications in regards to such institutionally-governed categories such as literacy, media, the professional/amateur divide, narrative, and information construction.”
[ From: http://arsvirtuafoundation.org/research/2009/06/01/_social-tesseracting_-part-2/ ]

Feedback appreciated.


DISCUSSION

_Social Tesseracting_: Part 3


-------------------------------------------
_Social Tesseracting_: Part 3
Posted July 24th, 2009 by mez
* for the link-rich/complete/referenced version, please go to:
http://arsvirtuafoundation.org/research/2009/07/24/_social-tesseracting_-part-3/
*
-------------------------------------------

< continued from http://u.nu/24xg >

e) _Information Deformation_: akin to process centering, this Social
Tesseraction involves a shift in the very definition of information:
"...Information may be defined as the characteristics of the output of
a process, these being informative about the process and the input.
This discipline independent definition may be applied to all domains,
from physics to epistemology.”

These deformed systems of data are constantly in flux and available
for perpetual revision. Examples include:

* cloud-based applications
* constantly transliterated google waves.

Users are able to simultaneously modify, update and adapt their input
in real time.This type of liminal practice results in a deformation of
current information architectures. Although traditional information
construction may be flexible over time, it still demands unitary data
snapshots for knowledge formation. Deforming such data in real time
acts to fundamentally alter meaning production. Socially structured
input is the keystone of such a dynamic, perpetually fluctuating
system. Here the notion of Social Froth takes on a new level of
importance: information becomes a constantly shifting construct with
variable endpoints. Rewiring information in such a way radically
changes its cohesive nature. This in turn effects:

* authorship
* politics
* communication and media
* education
* book publishing and academia [think: the perpetuation of
potentially obsolete content systems]
* the scientific method
* disciplines dependent on referential instruction [think: History
or Commerce].

In this deformation system, facts can be _reality-edited_* in real
time. Information becomes pliable in ways that challenge the perceived
authority of institutions. The concept of narrative deforms as:

* lifestreaming transmogrifies entertainment
* game platforms employ transmedia, simulation and agency.

Narrative progression repositions the representational towards the
freeform [think: paidia as opposed to ludic]. An instance of this
information deformation in action is troll play [or uncontrolled
play]. A social example of troll play is found in the wiki
_Encyclopedia Dramatica_ which: "…satirizes both encyclopedic topics
and current events, especially those related to or relevant to
internet culture. The wiki has been the subject of media attention
given its focus on trolling and use of shock value, as well as its
criticism of other Internet communities. It is also associated with
the Internet subculture Anonymous.”

_Encyclopedia Dramatica_ - and the affiliated imageboard/meme
propagation site _4chan_ - showcase the challenge faced by narrative
frameworks. Platforms like _Encyclopedia Dramatica_ encourage
troll-based comedic intent. Users remix absurd, and sometimes taboo,
content. In particular, invasion boards like _4chan_ utilize shock
networking*: where social content attempts to subvert social codas
through deliberate agitation. In comparison with established narrative
conventions, platforms like _Encyclopedia Dramatica_ offer an
experimental system which bypasses strict censorship and ethical
constraints. These platforms cater for unfiltered interactions that
operate via immediacy-of-response. They are highly idiosyncratic in
execution and linguistic formation: censorship and moderation may be
limited or non-existent. The output is propagative, with contributors
encouraged to riff and rip-off, replace, and even delete content.
Narrative is deformed beyond a sequential structure whereby the climax
or pay-off event becomes the spectacle.

An example of such modification is _Copypasta_, which consists of
repeatedly copying and pasting blocks of text designed to evoke a
heightened emotional response:"...A time-tested classic. This ending
usually comes into play at the climax of a very troubling or exciting
situation. Rather than resolve the story, one of the characters will
abruptly say something to the effect of "I had Reese’s for breakfast.”
At this point, the other character will completely forget about
his/her worries and jump into the corresponding commercial dialogue,
enamored by the peanut butter and chocolaty goodness that is Reese’s
Puffs cereal. “It’s Reese’s… for breakfast!”"

_Copypasta_ derails notions of story or plot progression, resolution
or dénouement. It embodies context-counteraction* and meme
perpetuation. Dramatic intent shifts to reiterative moments containing
affectivity spiking which ignores the rigors of institutionalized
framing [think: morality, hierarchy or ownership].

f) _Attribution Modding_ involves an extension of Stewart Brand’s
iconic phrase “Information wants to be free” to “Identity wants to be
freeform”. This category describes users focused on mobilization
rather than individual recognition. The group Anonymous* projects
attribution modding via collusive identity constructions. The
collective’s title is based on the method _4chan_ uses to brand all
contributors “Anonymous” by default:"...As making a post without
filling in the “Name” field causes posts to be attributed to
“Anonymous”, general understanding on 4chan holds that Anonymous is
not a single person but a collective (hive) of users." Anonymous is a
social-tesseractivist group who perform raid actions [think: the
immediate action to halt the abuse of Dusty The Cat and Project
Chanology's DDoS attacks]. The collective broadcasts non-attribution
ideologies where members are viewed as units of a social mechanism
with a deemphasis on individual identification. _Attribution modding_
illustrates the rise of collective identity cognizance and the
accompanying shift from expert-centric disciplines.

g) _Decline of Silo Ghettos_: as information deformation impacts
knowledge formation, there’s an increasing need to provide social
tesseractors with comprehensive dimensional engagement. This type of
borderless interaction deforms monostreams into cross-channelled
productions. Social tesseracts assist in addressing the somewhat
restrictive walled garden approach to software and platform production
[think: the frustration levels encountered whilst experiencing the
locked door syndrome]. Google Wave is one system that removes such
constraints and allows users to input directly into previously
isolated arenas. Other instances of interoperable systems that require
the reorientation of Information Silos:

* augmented applications that encourage a pairing of geolocative
and geophysical needs
* bridging software that links previously disparate platforms
together [think: IRC-to-Second Life Chat Bridge].

_Information Deformation_, _Attribution Modding_, and the _Decline of
Silo Ghettos_ are paradigm-shifting markers that highlight socially
directed trends. One significant user-centric challenge involves
ensuring a smooth migration into a Social Tesseracted future. Such
transitions should lessen future shock and encourage a type of
overlaid meta-comprehension which promotes the seamless recognition of
synthetic conditions.

——

* Shock networking, reality editing, context-counteraction and
Anonymous will be discussed in upcoming augmentology entries.


DISCUSSION

_Social Tesseracting_: Part 2


_Social Tesseracting: Part 2_
Posted June 1st, 2009 by mez
*for the link-rich/complete version, please go to:
http://arsvirtuafoundation.org/research/2009/06/01/_social-tesseracting_-part-2/*

In _Social Tesseracting_: Part 1, we learnt that:

1. Dimensionality defines working concepts of reality.
2. Theoretically, dimensionality can also expand to define a spectrum
of nascent social actions.
3. These particular social actions encompass communication trends
defined by synthetic interactions.
4. Synthetic interactions create social froth that can be produced
geophysically or geolocatively. Both connection types depend on
relevant electronic gesturing:
5. This mix of synthetic interactions and electronic gesturing
provokes a descriptive framework of this aggregated sodality. This
framework is termed Social Tesseracting.
6. In order to adequately formulate Social Tesseracting, contemporary
theorists need to extend “valid” reality definitions based currently
on the endpoint of the geophysical.

In assessing the growing ethological importance of Social
Tesseracting, the following markers demand examination:

a) _Social White-Space_: Just as with the convention of white space in
graphic design, social tesseracts manifest in habituated actions
performed routinely over a substantiated period [think: responding to
smartphone emails during geophysical-based discourse]. Social white
space exists in synthetically mediated consciousness via overlaying
reality clusters. These clusters may exist outside of the geoloaded
end of the Reality-Virtuality Continuum [ie the locatable "real
person"]. Conjunctive or intermediary areas of connectivity mediate
this “primary” reality state [think: Information Shadowing, the
Network Effect and Warnock's Dilemma]. Social white-space is currently
effecting educative goals and is altering engagement within the
workplace.

b) _Immediation_: the instantaneous modification of remote events via
the removal of geo-specific time lag. Immediation highlights the
impact potential of synthetic connectors. Examples of Immediation in
action:

* The overwhelming social network usage during the 2009 Iranian
Election and corresponding protests.
* A charity-oriented social network that encourages altruism.
Users synthetically don a digital wristband and donate online to the
corresponding colour coded organisation.

c) _Regenerative Comprehension_: indicated by rapid shifts in the
nature of content creation and absorption. A primary example is
Twitter’s chronologically-reversed tweet reading order acting to
modify awareness. Other examples include:

* Institutionalised settings validating abbreviated textspeak.
* Gradual modification of standardised literacy conventions
[think: seamless acceptance of typographical errors and upper and
lower case montaging].
* Real-time lifestreaming effecting established cognition patterns
[think: Active Narrative Gathering in Social Games]. Aggregated
lifesharing also influences user-generated functionality shifts
[think: communication workarounds].
* Haptic mobile devices requiring screencentric adaptations.

d) _Process Centering_: Social Tesseractions are marked by fluid,
process-oriented engagement rather than rigid procedural structuring.
Process centering prompts a re-evaluation of data formation and alters
the entrenched importance of institutionalised categorisations. An
emergent example of process centering is Google Wave. Google Wave uses
an algorithmic variation of “operational transformations” [live
concurrent editing] which occur through a process called
transformation:

* The server transforms the client’s request, resulting in the
client manifesting the same transformed output.
* The notion of concurrency is invariably important as it mimics
geophysical conversational states.
* Utilizing the server as a point of relay [when more than one
client's output is involved] assists in providing scalability and
reliability.
* The playback feature allows the server to present the document
as a stream of operations that have occurred thus far in a particular
wave/state.

Transformation relies on continual modification via process centering.
This accent on process acts to rewire the notion of documents as
statically defined “objects” and [by proxy] any information contained
within. This has enormous implications in regards to such
institutionally-governed categories such as literacy, media, the
professional/amateur divide, narrative, and information construction.

_Social Tesseracting_: Part 3 will expand on these indicators through
examining: _Information Deformation_, _Attribution Modding_, and the
_Decline of Silo Ghettos_.


EVENT

WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon


Dates:
Sun Jun 14, 2009 00:00 - Sun Jun 14, 2009

Location:
United States of America

WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon

June 14 - October 4, 2009

"Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -Albert Einstein

"WoW is the most sophisticated happiness engine that exists now." -Dr. Jane McGonigal

"Games may provide new ways for museums to have a profound impact on society if they are designed, as alternate-reality games are, to change people's real-world behavior." -Dr. Jane McGonigal

WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon explores various forms of cultural production based on World of Warcraft in particular and on gaming in general. While surveying Warcraft's Fifteen-year history, the exhibition looks at artistic practices that have been influenced by game culture. The actual works by the producer of World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment (headquartered in Irvine, California), provide a starting point and reference.

Fourteen international artists were selected to consider this movement with the following themes in mind: elements of desire, the collapse of fantasy, medievalism, creative critiques, and public intervention. Artists in this exhibition take on the visual marker of World of Warcraft to consider, implications of gaming, and their greater impact on our culture. In addition to the works of these artists, fan art and the growing culture of machinima (computer animation that uses the graphic engines from video games) will be explored in this exhibition.

Gaming is a movement that encompasses a large population and holds the potential to greatly impact society. Jane McGonigal, a game designer and researcher, states, "This is a new generation of hard-core gamers, and what they're doing is generating unprecedented participation bandwidth. They are donating more cognitive cycles, more heart share to game worlds and virtual worlds than we've seen dedicated to any project before." The artists in this exhibition have extended these concerns.

The exhibition is curated by Grace Kook-Anderson and is accompanied by a booklet published by Laguna Art Museum. As part of the exhibition, you'll receive a booklet featuring essays by the curator; participating artist, Eddo Stern; and the curator at Blizzard Entertainment, Tim Campbell. This booklet is published by Laguna Art Museum.

Participating artists: selected artists from Blizzard Entertainment, including Chris Metzen, Sam Didier (a.k.a., Samwise), Chris Robinson, Justin Thavirat, and Roman Kenney (all from Irvine); Aram Bartholl (Berlin); Jorg Dubin (Laguna Beach); Alexander Galloway (New York); Jacqueline Goss (New York); Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn, Tale of Tales (Ghent, Belgium); John Klima (Lisbon, Portugal); Cyril Kuhn (Los Angeles); Antoinette LaFarge (Irvine); Mashallah Design and Linda Kostowski (Berlin); Robert Nideffer and Alex Szeto (Irvine); Airyka Rockefeller (San Francisco); Eddo Stern (Los Angeles); The Third Faction (Azeroth); and Zeng Han (Guangzhou)

PROGRAMMING TO DATE

Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 PM
Zeng Han is a photographer based in Guangzhou, China who has just completed a semester at School of Visual Arts in New York. Zeng will be discussing the concept of "soulstealers" in his work.

Saturday, July 11 at 1:00 PM
Aram Bartholl's WoW workshop will be held the day before his lecture. Bartholl will extend the project shown in the exhibition out onto the streets of Laguna Beach. Everyone is welcome to participate and enjoy an afternoon of art making and have the opportunity to be involved in a collaborative performance. The workshop and performance will be documented on video, and the edited version will be shown in the exhibition.

Sunday, July 12 at 1:00 PM
Aram Bartholl, based in Berlin, is interested in the way network data manifests into the everyday world. Bartholl investigates this in the physical space through performance, installation, and video. With World of Warcraft, Bartholl investigates this manifestation through the one of the most popular online role-playing games.

Sunday, July 26 at 1:00 PM
Jacqueline Goss, based in New York, creates film and video in order to explore the ways we think about ourselves through systemic machines, like politics, culture, and science. Goss will talk about her work in game space, animation, and the documentary form.

Sunday, August 16 at 1:00 PM
Robert Nideffer, "Playing with Bosch"
Robert Nideffer, based in Irvine, will compare the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch that illustrate fantasy with religious narratives with the images in World of Warcraft.

Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 PM
Antoinette LaFarge, based in Long Beach, questions the mode of fiction through performance, digital media, games, and writing. In this way, LaFarge looks at World of Warcraft and other role-playing games as one way of constructing a fictional narrative.

Thursday, October 1, UC Irvine, TBA
This forum will include artists Antoinette LaFarge, Robert Nideffer, Eddo Stern, and Jeff Chamberlain, the cinematics project lead at Blizzard Entertainment. The forum will be moderated by the associate director at UCI's Beall Center for Art and Technology, David Familian.

This exhibition is generously supported by Blizzard Entertainment, the Samia Family and Tierzero.

--

/hug is a project of The Third Faction Collective:
Third Faction is an affiliation of geographically dispersed entities with a collective interest in exposing binary systems in synthetic environments. via in-world performances, the collective operates simultaneously across various platforms including World of Warcraft and Second Life. the collective includes: Thomas Asmuth (MyriamMoore), Mez Breeze (BowwToxx), John Pierre Bruneau (Cretivcowman), Jenene Castle (Mohana), Steve Durie (Tookis), Kyung Lee (Sootso), James Morgan (Deaxter), Ali Sajjadi (Layli), and Liz Solo (Sliz). Third Faction members question the politics, allegiances, and narrative conventions of Synthetic Worlds. the cross-factional collective officially formed in World of Warcraft on valentine's day 2008 in a self-declared temporary autonomous zone.