In 2009 he created Give Me My Data a Facebook application that helps users reclaim their information in various reusable data formats. While clearly utilitarian, this project intervenes into online user experiences, provoking users to take a critical look at their interactions within social networking websites. It suggests data is tangible and challenges users to think about ways in which their information is used for purposes outside of their control by government or corporate entities.
As a former photographer in the U.S. Navy, the effect and representations of militarism on cultures, sites, and bodies have been an important influence on his work. His thesis research at the University of California investigated not only his personal relationship to the military but the impact of privatized defense on the economic and cultural landscape of greater San Diego. He published a synopsis of this work in 2010 in the Parsons Journal for Information Mapping titled, Camp La Jolla Military Park: Creative Disturbance Through Adaption of National Park Iconography.
In 2002 he co-founded the nonprofit arts organization, Your Art Here, in Bloomington, IN. He served as a co-director until 2005, working with artists and local schools, engaging the larger community by putting art in public spaces usually reserved for commercial messages. He has served on their Board of Directors since 2007. In 2004 he founded yourarthere.net, a web hosting co-op for artists. He continues to be actively involved in both projects.
His work has been shown at Transitio_MX in Mexico City, the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA, Compactspace in Los Angeles, Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, the Sarai Media Lab in New Dehli, Bauer&Ewald Gallery in Berlin, and APEXART, Flux Factory, and Art Currents Gallery, in New York. He is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Indiana, a Planning Grant from Florida State University, a Center for Humanities Fellowship and San Diego Fellowship from University of California, San Diego, and a DAAD Arts Study Fellowship.
As part of this year’s Transmediale festival in Berlin, media artist Johannes P. Osterhoff organized an online collaborative performance of search engine queries, simply titled, “Google.” For one week, Osterhof convinced myself and 36 other participants to add a unique search method to our default web browsers so that everything we “googled”—from the personal to the mundane—became instantly visible online at google-performance.org.
The performers, who are mostly artists or technologists or both, recorded 1,322 searches over seven days. Search queries were displayed chronologically with their sequence number, date and time, participant name, and search tool used. The text of the search and participant name were also hyperlinked, so searches can be explored by keyword or participant.
Many queries reflect content from the Transmediale conference. Others reveal users engaging in play, submitting insider messages or odd one-liners. Most searches are about business as usual, as evidenced by the high number of phrases referencing programming or technology. Reading through them, by time or participant or keyword, gives the impression of a conscious stream of thought. They are a random series of words and phrases that make irrational leaps from noun to verb to sentence, only occasionally creating a complete thought when a participant repeats parts of phrases in their quest for the intended outcome.
The queries are often poetic, like these from my own stream:
release serial ports
release serial ports arduino
pull down resistor
Others are strangely suggestive, like this snippit from Osterhof’s searches:
chrome french download
extrem wohlgeformet google suchanfragen mit poetischer kraft
Sometimes they are coincidental, like these which share the common keyword, “python:”
python copy file os
Monty Python New Movie
python random coin flip
python do while
The project (see also its manifesto) made ...