patrick lichty
pl@voyd.com
Works in Oak Park, Illinois United States of America

PORTFOLIO (1)
BIO
Patrick Lichty (b.1962) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer, independent curator, animator for the activist group, The Yes Men, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine. He began showing technological media art in 1989, and deals with works and writing that explore the social relations between us and media. Venues in which Lichty has been involved with solo and collaborative works include the Whitney & Turin Biennials, Maribor Triennial, Performa Performance Biennial, Ars Electronica, and the International Symposium on the Electronic Arts (ISEA).

He also works extensively with virtual worlds, including Second Life, and his work, both solo and with his performance art group, Second Front, has been featured in Flash Art, Eikon Milan, and ArtNews.

Discussions (18) Opportunities (1) Events (4) Jobs (0)
EVENT

2013 - Fourth Annual - UNCG Sustainability Shorts Film Competition


Dates:
Mon Mar 18, 2013 06:30 - Mon Mar 18, 2013

Location:
Greensboro, North Carolina
United States of America

For the fourth year, the UNCG Sustainability Committee presents its annual Sustainability Shorts Festival. Time-based work of up to roughly 10 minutes is eligible dealing with sustainability. Deadline is extended to April 5.
For more info, write:
sustain@uncg.edu


DISCUSSION

New Aesthetics: Cyber-Aesthetics and Degrees of Autonomy.


From realityaugmentedblog.com, Feb. 22, 2013

In perusing Honor Harger’s recent missive on drone aesthetics and James Bridle’s ongoing posts of drone images at Dronestagram, taken in context with the Glitch un-conference in Chicago, some new questions have come to mind. These questions have to do with conceptions of New Aesthetics in its various forms in terms of interaction with the program/device and its level of autonomy from the user. In my mind, there seems to be a NA continuum from generative programs that operate under the strict criteria of the programmer to the often-autonomous actions of drones and planetary rovers. As you can see, I am still chewing on the idea that The New Aesthetic as it seems to be defined, as encompassing all semi-autonomous aspects of ‘computer vision’. This includes Glitch, Algorism, Drone imagery, satellite photography and face recognition, and it’s sometimes a tough nugget to swallow that resonates with me on a number of levels. First, image-creating technological agents are far from new, as Darko Fritz recently stated in a talk that algorithms have been creating images, in my opinion, within criteria of NA since the 60’s, and pioneers like Frieder Nake, A. Michael Noll, and Roman Verostko have been exploring algorithmic agency for decades. If we take these computer art pioneers into account, one can argue that NA has existed since the 60’s if one lumps in genres like Verostko’s ‘style’ of Algorism or the use of algorithms as aesthetic choice. A notch along the continuum toward the ‘fire and forget’ imaging (e.g. drones) is the Glitch contingent, which is less deterministic about their methodologies of data corruption aesthetics by either running a program that corrupts the media or they perform digital vivisection and watch what little monster they’ve created. Glitchers exhibit less control over their processes, and are much more akin to John Cage, Dada or Fluxus artists in their allowance of whimsical or chance elements in their media.

However, as we slide along the spectrum of control/autonomy from the lockstep control of code to the less deterministic aesthetics of face recognition, drone imaging, robotic cameras, Google Street View cams, Mars Rovers and satellite imaging, things get murkier. Autonomic aesthetics remind me of the ruby-hued Terminator T500 vision generated by intelligent agents running the ‘housekeeping’ on the machine platform. I consider this continuum from Algorism to Glitch to autonomous robotic agents under an NA continuum of aesthetics is important insofar as it defines a balance of agency between the operator and the ‘tool’. For me this is the difference between the high degree of control of the Algorist, the ‘twiddle and tweak’ sensibility of the Glitcher, and the gleaning from the database of pseudo-autonomous images created by Big Imaging created by drones and automatic imaging. Notice I use the term ‘pseudo’ in that there are operators flying the platforms or driving the car, while the on-board agents take care of issues like pattern/face recognition and target acquisition. We also see this in Facebook, as recent technological changes as of 2012 have introduced face recognition in the tagging of images. From this, a key issue for me in this discussion of what began as a nebulous set of terms (the criteria of NA as defined by the global conversation) is that of agency and autonomy, and how much control the New Aestheticist gets in the execution of their process. Another important point is that I am not calling the ‘New Aestheticist’ an artist or curator, but something in between, but I’ll get to that later as this is also an issue of control of intent.

Back to this idea of autonomy between the subject, the ‘curator’ and the viewer, what interests me is the degree of control or not that the person creating, tweaking, or gleaning the image has over the creation or contextualization of that image. In the case of the Algorist, this is the Control end of the spectrum, where the artist takes nearly full control of the process of creation of the image, unless there is a randomization function involved in the process, and that it itself is a form of control – very Cybernetic in nature. Agency is at a maximum here, as the artist and machine are in partnership. Roman Verostko is a prime example of this, as he explores intricate recursive images created by ink pen plotters using paints in the pens. What he, and the AI-driven AARON, by Harold Cohen, for that matter, are machine painting.

The next step down the autonomy spectrum would involve the use of ‘glitch’ tools and processes that distort, disturb, and warp digital media. The process involves executing a given intervention upon the medium, such as saving it improperly, hex editing its code to corrupt it, or as Caleb Kelly writes, ‘crack’ the media. There are differing degrees of disturbance of the media to inject chance processes into it, from a more ‘algoristic’/programmatic application of programs upon the media to directly changing the internal data structure through manipulating the information through hex code and text editors. The resultant process is an iterative ‘tweak and test’ methodology that still involves the user in the process to varying degrees. Of course, the direct manipulation of the data with a hex editor is the most intimate of the processes, but there is still one factor to account for. The factor in question is that there is the set of causes and effects that are set in motion when the artist/operator opens the media and the codec (Compressor/DECompressor) mis/interprets the media, as is intended by the artist.

If we are to look at the glitch process, we can say that there is a point of intervention/disturbance upon the media, which is entirely a function of control on the part of the user. Afterwards, it is set loose into the system to allow the corruptions within the media to trigger chance/autonomous operations in its interpretation in the browser, etc. This is where the glitcher straddles the line between control and autonomy, as they manually insert noise into their media (control), then the codecs struggle with the ‘cracked’ media (autonomy). The glitcher, then, has the option to try a new iteration, thereby making the process cybernetic in nature. In Glitch, there is a conversation between the operator, the media and the codec. With the aesthetics created by drones, algorithmic recognition software, and satellite reconstructions, the process is far more autonomous/disjoint, and the New Aestheticist has to deal with this in the construction of their practice.

In the genre that I will call ‘mobEYEle’ imaging, the robot, satellite, or parabolic street eye abstracts from the ‘artist’, aptly turning them into an ‘aestheticist’, as their level of control is defined as that of a gleaner/pattern recognizer from the image bank of Big Data. Rhetorically speaking, we could say that a connection between the aestheticist and the generator of the image would be less abstract if, say, a New Aestheticist were to be in the room with a drone pilot, conversing about points of interest. It is likely that a military remote pilot and a graphic designer would have sharply differing views as to what constitutes a ‘target of interest’. Like that’s going to happen…

Therefore, let us just say that the collaboration of a New Aestheticist and a drone pilot is nightly unlikely, and that the New Aestheticist is therefore abstracted from the decisions of command and control involved in acquiring the image that eventually gets in their hands. This, however, presents us with two levels of autonomous agency, one human and one algotrithmic. But before I expand on this, I would like to discuss my decision to call the practitioner an ‘aestheticist’ as opposed to an artist or curator.

This decision rests on what I feel is the function of the aestheticist, that is, to glean value from an image and ‘ascribe’ an aesthetic to it. This position puts them in a murky locus between artist and curator, as they have elements of neither and both. For example, does the drone-image NA practitioner create the image; are they the artist per se, of the image? No. Although they are more closely aligned to curatorial practice as they collect, filter (to paraphrase Anne-Marie Schleiner), and post on tumblrs and Pinterests? From my perspective, the role of a curator is the suggestion of taste through and informed subjectivity through ecologies of trust and legitimacy, but the social image aggregator, although they might want to perform the same function, has no guarantee of accomplishing this unless they develop a following. Therefore, under my definition, they are neither creators nor taste-makers in the traditional sense, so what makes sense is to call them ‘aggregators’ of aesthetic material and thus my term ‘Aestheticist’.

Returning to our conversation, the drone aestheticist, then, is subject to one of two degrees of completely abstracted autonomy of the creation of the image; that of the operator or that of the algorithms operating the drone. The abstraction surrounding the human operator is easiest to resolve, as the images of interest are either the preference of the drone operator or those created by the operator under the parameters of the mission, and not the results of a New Aestheticist’s joyride on a Global Hawk. It is merely someone else’s volition selecting the image, and a confluence of personal interest deciding as to whether the image deserves to be on the New Aestheticist’s social imaging organ. However, it is the drone’s algorithmic image acquisition system that creates a more alien perspective in regards to aesthetics and autonomy of the image.

Compared to the Algorist or the Glitcher, all loosely placed under the banner of New Aesthetics, the Drone/Big Data Aestheticist is most problematic, as they are a fetishizer of sheer command and control operations that are potentially utterly abstracted from the pilot/driver’s volition. This creates a double abstraction through first the pilot, and then the algorithmic recognition system. There is no cybernetic loop here at all, as the gleaning of the item of interest from the beach of Big Data is twice removed from any feedback potential. Secondly, as I have written before, the Drone Aestheticist is exactly that, a gleaner of interesting images for use on their social image site, which in itself is a bit of an abject exercise.

Or is it? For example, if one is to say that the Aestheticist gleaning the images does so without intent or politics, and is merely operating on fetish/interest value, then this is perhaps one of the least interesting practices in New Aesthetic practice. But on the other hand, if one looks at the work of practitioners like Jordan Crandall, Trevor Paglen, or Ricardo Dominguez, who examine the acquired image as instrument of aggression, control, and oppression, this puts a new lease on the life of the Drone Aesthetic. In a way, though inquiry, there is an indirect feedback loop established in questioning the gaze of the device, its presence, and its function in its theater of operations. The politics of the New Aesthetic emerges here, in asking what mechanisms of command and control guide the machine eye and determine its targets of interest. This is of utmost importance, as the abstracted eye is guided without subjectivity or ethics and is determined solely by the parameters of its algorithms and the stated goals of its functions.

Is the aesthetic of the machine image merely a function of examining its processes, fetishizing its errors, or something else? The criteria of the New Aesthetic attempts to talk about a spectrum of digital imaging that stretches back into time far longer than 2010, and has a problematically broad sense of definition. Once these problems are set aside as a given, one of the key criteria for the evaluation of NA practice and the function of its images depends upon the degree of control and autonomy inherent in the process within the creation of the image. This is formed in a continuum of control and abstraction from Algorism and Generative Art to autonomous eyes like drones and satellites. Algorism is one of the oldest NA practices, and exhibits the closest relationship between artist, machine and determinacy of digital process. A greater degree of indeterminacy is evident in the Glitch, but the iterative process of tweaking the media and then setting it forth into the process of interpretation by the codec, foregrounds the issue of digital autonomy.

The eye of the unmanned platform abstracts creation from the human organism at least once if a human does not operate it remotely, and twice if it is. There is the Terminator-like fear of the autonomous robot, but at this time, perhaps the more salient questions regarding what I have qualified as drone/autonomous aestheticism under NA of what the function of the image is, and is it really that interesting? Are the practices of NA blurring artistic and curatorial practice into a conceptual aestheticism, creating a cool detachment from the image despite its source or method of creation? Is the bottom line to the genres of NA the degree of control that the artist or aestheticist has over the image’s creation or its modality/intent? It seems that NA is an ongoing reflection upon the continuum of control over the generation of the image, our beliefs regarding its aesthetics, and what the intentions or politics are behind the creation of the New Aesthetic image. Or, as I have written before, are we just pinning images from Big Data and saying, “Isn’t that kinda cool?”

Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle of intention and cool.

DISCUSSION

NA - Further Thoughts


It’s been months since Bruce Sterling delivered his endnote talk at SXSW, and there have been furious conversations about The New Aesthetic. If we take the replies by Watz et al on the Thecreatorsproject blog as an indication, there is a bit of dismissal of the idea from my interpretation. However, I am still drunk on the kool-aid, but why? I still believe that a cultural chord was struck that is a result of extant developments in contemporary digital art of the 2000’s that lead right to The New Aesthetic blog, or something like it. Where I and others argue that The New Aesthetic might be a non-movement, I would like to re-imagine that it is actually indicative of other cultural phenomena and New Media proto-movements. These have to do with issues of curation, precedents in New Media “movements”, and the shape of culture in New Media society. Where I think Bridle et al might have done a disservice to the idea of NA is through a partial superficiality in the case of a subject, while ephemeral, is not superficial at all.

Why? It is for the reason that in the current day and age, ephemerality is often mistaken for superficiality. Net.culture by default is mercuric, and technoculture is typified by the fact that things like the iPad and tablets have become nearly ubiquitous within two years of the technology’s emergence. This is reflected in online culture, through the torrent (pun intended) of images spilling through social media like blogs, Facebook, image boards, and tumblrs like The New Aesthetic. Love or hate it, what Bridle describes with some inarticulation is a phenomenology of this torrent of images as an aesthetic and their generation by technology.

“I’ll just leave this here” Machine Vision, New Forms of Curation, and The New Aesthetic

What do I mean by this? There are two aspects of NA that are germane to describing it – the machine eye and a particular form of human curation. The first is well documented by Bridle and the comments on thecreatorsproject – there are several flavors of machine creation or acquisition of images. As mentioned elsewhere, this includes surveillance, drone images, intentional corruption of digital media (“glitch”), and generative images, to name a few. I would also like to add the phenomena encountered through the use of search engines to correlate images, which can be considered as a form of meta-vision. All of these have been aptly described as sets of practices that are more akin to driving a nail as culture continues to fly in a ballistic arc than taking a definitive all-encompassing stance. The second has to do with mass curation in social media, a subject that has been the subject of recent books. But there is an intersection of two key elements, which I will pin together next.

Models of these forms of social curation include Facebook, “surfing clubs”, and even imageboards like 4chan.org. While considering 4chan and its reputation as being the home of the memetic dregs of the Internet, it also represents one of the purest forms of net.curation, and that is the curation of anonymity. “I’ll just leave this here” is a common comment posted by 4chan denizens who post images, but two things are manifest when this occurs. First, something is being left, and that thing was chosen as being intrinsically of some interest or provocation, thus implying intent of interest or value and therefore creates a curatorial gesture, even if it is banal. Human selection is not random, despite claims to randomness. This is evident in New Media art projects called “Internet Surfing Clubs”, which are predecessors to the NA tumblr, and so on.

The Curatorial model that the NA tumblr seems to be based on, albeit singularly rather than group, lies in collectives like Nastynets and Double Happiness. These are/were “Internet Surfing Clubs”, which drew from New Media art phenomena like Dirtstyle, early Glitch, and Digital Minimalism. These take memes, 8-bit graphics, “blingy” graphics (a hallmark of Dirtstyle) and document them in an endless blogroll, typifying the stated torrent of various images. The curatorial practice of the found varies from Nastynets archiving of memetic and glitchy graphics to Cory Arcangel’s exhibition of a “found” Photoshop preset in the “Younger than Jesus” exhibition at the New Museum. In addition, Nastynets’ blogroll was also featured in the Sundance Festival’s New Horizons exhibition in 2009. This sets up a recent precedent for Bridle, and also shows the rapid, fluid nature of social curation as a model for the first decade of the 2000’s. Another key point to consider is that when considering 4chan, Youtube, Nastynets, and so on, curation is not dead. Curation has furcated and multiplied, varying from the more traditional sorts to purely anonymous, “like” and thread-based curation, which is of a radically different form from extant models. Perhaps the “Let me just…” model of curation is divergent enough from the conventional that is sets up a cultural dissonance.

Nastynets, Double Happiness, Dirtstyle and others have purported to locate themselves as movements (the first two as “surfing clubs”, and the latter as a movement in itself), and are precedents for The New Aesthetic as a movement, although a movement that documents an ephemerality. This is in line with Marius Watz’ issue with “The Problem With Perpetual Newness” that echoes concerns with the use of “new” in a movement, including New Media and the Neue Sachlichtheit (New Objectivity), the latter of which is over 80 years old of as of this writing. New as a quality and new as a designator are often in dissonance with one another, and n this writer’s opinion are a result of a conflation rather than a misnomer. It’s a problem to call something “New” with the understanding that what one is describing is eventually going to be “New” for perpetuity.

Lastly, there seems to be a problem with the idea of NA as a movement that curatorially follows the model of “Let me just leave this here…” Historically, movements like Futurism or Surrealism are thought of as weighty, manifesto-laden projects that engage in radical social agendas. Surfing Clubs, Dirtstyle, and The New Aesthetic look comparatively frivolous. I think that the comparison between the First and what I have called the Third-Wave Avant Garde of New Media (the Second Wave being Pop, AbEx, et al) do not reveal inconsequentiality but the shape of culture.

The differences between the fin de siècle and fin de millennium are fundamental, as are those between the 50’s and 60’s and the 2000’s. What is being compared is the monolithic aesthetics of High Modernism, shifting to the shattering of those protocols by people like Hamilton and Warhol. This progresses to where there is almost a cultural plethora of brief movements and groups that pop up and evaporate. Vast concurrences and pluralities in net.culture and the hit-and-run aspect of its nature, begging us to refer once again to the difference from the monolithic nature of the museum to the rhizomatic nature of the Web, mainly reflects the shape of culture in the age of The New Aesthetic. It is ephemeral, or provides assaults/streams of images in the hundreds or thousands at a time. But there is something worth considering.

The New Aesthetic did not come out of the blue, as Watz put so well. It is the result of a series of cultural shifts and artistic projects that have been codified in Bridle, et al’s project. As I have said before, net/techno culture is developing so quickly at the turn of the millennium it has an inherently ephemeral nature, and “movements” as such represent that, as movements reflect the cultural contexts of their time. Therefore, while much of the commentary regarding The New Aesthetic hits the mark, I feel that there is also much more to it than, “Let me just put this here…” However, the nature of movements are far less monumental, as even things like Relationalism (Borriaud) and Superflat (Murakami) seem like projects. Movements like Surfing Clubs and Dirtstyle merely exhibit an ephemerality that are indicative of the cultural context of the technological acceleration of the time.

I think that is why I am still interested in The New Aesthetic. Perhaps I should remain curious for the conceptual year after the Sterling address to reflect the year that Bridle managed his blog. It seems oddly appropriate.

EVENT

Patrick Lichty - EX NIHILO: A Digital Journal Made Manifest


Dates:
Thu Mar 29, 2012 18:00 - Thu Apr 26, 2012

Location:
Chicago, Illinois
United States of America

Patrick Lichty
EX NIHILO:
A Digital Journal Made Manifest

Project Area: Improbable Objects
Selected 3-d printed artworks and other items.
Participants include: Samuel Bernier, Josh Billions, Jordan Bunker, Scott Carter, Theodore Darst, Mike Dorries, Micah Ganske, Bilal Ghalib, Claudia Hart, Taylor Hokanson, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Sophie Kahn, Patrick Lichty, Mike Moceri, Harvey Moon, Christian Oiticica, Dan Price, Rob Ray, Emily Schulert, Marius Watz, Jihoon Yoo

Opening reception: Thursday March 29th, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Exhibition dates: March 29th – April 28th, 2012
Gallery hours:
Weds: noon – 3.30pm
Thurs – Sat: noon – 5pm

What It Is
23 E. Madison,
Chicago, IL, 60602
ph. 773-837-9809
http://wot-it-is.com/
info@wot-it-is.com

Patrick Lichty
EX NIHILO:
A Digital Journal Made Manifest

What It Is, is pleased to announce “EX NIHILO: A Digital Journal Made Manifest” a solo exhibition of works by Chicago-based new media artist Patrick Lichty. Ex Nihilo, “out of nothing” in Latin, is an outgrowth from Patrick Lichty’s obsession of the porous boundaries between the physical and the virtual. This fascination stems from Lichty working almost entirely with digital media since 1989, and after working in the online virtual world, Second Life, for nearly 30-40 hours a week for the last three years. From this prolonged immersion Lichty felt an intense need for being in-person, and translating media works into physical manifestations such laser fabrication, commissioned Chinese oil paintings, 3D printing, and now Jacquard loom tapestry fabrication. The latter of these being derived from the first programmed machine looms of the 1750’s. Although Lichty wants to express his virtual/mediated experience in the physical, it is still entirely framed within technological culture, of which he has been accustomed to since an early age.

The images in this exhibition are considered as a journal or travelogue of significant moments and projects from the past ten years. These include images taken with a low resolution Casio Wristcam for his series 8 Bits or Less. Others used for the Jacquard tapestries were selected from various projects including My Day/Your Night, One, and Wikipedia Art and chosen as experiments in the translation from the virtual to the physical.

Patrick Lichty (b.1962) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer, independent curator, animator for the activist group, The Yes Men, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine. He began showing technological media art in 1989, and deals with works and writing that explore the social relations between people and media. Venues in which Lichty has been involved with solo and collaborative works include the Whitney & Turin Biennials, Maribor Triennial, Performa Performance Biennial, Ars Electronica, and the International Symposium on the Electronic Arts (ISEA).

He also works extensively with virtual worlds, including Second Life, and his work, both solo and with his performance art group, Second Front, has been featured in Flash Art, Eikon Milan, and ArtNews.

He is also an Assistant Professor of Interactive Arts & Media at Columbia College Chicago

Improbable Objects
In our project area we will be exhibiting selected artworks and objects produced by artists and makers utilizing 3-d printing as their medium. Rapid Prototyping or 3d printing is a process whereby a three dimensional object is created from a digital file using a materials based printer and laid down similar to printing images on paper. 3d printing is about thirty years old but was restricted to heavy industry and prototyping communities. In the last six or seven years as the patents for the technologies expired a whole new class of open source printers such as the RepRap and Makerbot have opened this category of manufacturing up to artists, makers, designers and the public. The result of this democratization has been a massive explosion of creative activity and problem solving as the open source community seeks to perfect better printers, easier to use applications, affordable 3d scanners and ways to share 3d models such as websites like Thingiverse. “Improbable Objects” features a number of artists and makers who are currently working with 3d printing as their medium including objects from: Samuel Bernier, Josh Billions, Jordan Bunker, Scott Carter, Theodore Darst, Mike Dorries, Micah Ganske, Bilal Ghalib, Claudia Hart, Taylor Hokanson, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Sophie Kahn, Patrick Lichty, Mike Moceri, Harvey Moon, Christian Oiticica, Dan Price, Rob Ray, Emily Schulert, Marius Watz, Jihoon


EVENT

Your Day/My Night: Round 3: Pressure Valve/Virtual Confinement


Dates:
Thu Mar 08, 2012 05:48 - Fri Mar 09, 2012

March 7, 2012, 3:48 PM – March 8, 2012, 3:50 PM (SLT/PST)
Second Life URL:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/I%20AM%20Columbia/53/68/26

For the past six months, two teams of artists, Iranian (Negin Ete, Sasan Abri, Vana Nabipour) and American (Andrew Blanton, Patrick Lichty, and Allie Pohl), and one Turkish translator (Zeren Goktan), under the facilitation of Morehshin Allahyahri and Eden Unluata have been creating an artistic conversation by creating texts for one another from which the other team responds through the creation of bodies of work.

This is the third round of our conversation, where the rules were to abandon the mediation of the translator and try to directly interact for the creation of a work. In this case the Iranian team wanted the Americans to somehow experience the pressures they feel on a daily basis. This is the text they sent us (in Farsi, translated through an online site):

“We chose the theme, the constant psychological pressure - sometimes there are tangible physical consequences - that the Iranian middle class people as a natural part of everyday life and being, and perhaps other Adyshdn Frt not sense, but there is continuing pressure is. This pressure can cause a variety of self-censorship, constantly watch their behavior and divided into two parts and is underground. It's more pressure on women and the banned area is larger, perhaps more typically violate her.”

“We recommend that your group, this pressure as a tangible experience. You secretly a completely normal life and do not feel guilty, so I put on it and discovered that the act is a crime punishable by law and will be fined. For example, drinking, or kissing, or even a dress is too tight or open Partnrtan. And knowing that this move is illegal, and you can go to prison or flogging Bhkhatrsh eat. Or you can get a dress and with different sizes and all day Bhtn yourself with your shield. Or the belt tighter than usual to close the two numbers, or wear tighter shoes all day with your life.”

“We want you to experience this one day, that might seem a minor issue, but continue to be imposed, it can be as seemingly insignificant issues can become a serious problem.”

The American team was baffled at first. How do we restrict ourselves while reaching out to the Iranians directly? We decided to confine ourselves to a single room (studio, bathroom, etc.) for 24 hours (Sundown/Sundown) while extending our presence in the online virtual world of Second Life. It is our hope to meet with our Iranian counterparts and dialogue while we are also likewise confined to a tent in Second Life. This is the pressure we impose upon ourselves, in an attempt to understand, however slightly, in solidarity with our Iranian counterparts.

About Your Night/My Day,Your Day/My Night
Your Night/My Day,Your Day/My Night is a collaborative project curated by Morehshin Allahyari and Eden Ünlüata which excavates the process of the cultural exchange - or lack thereof - between Iran and the United States. The works generated through this project will highlight the dysfunctional nature of cultural exchange between these two cultures.

Presently, there are no direct diplomatic, trade, official artistic or intellectual contacts between the US and Iran. All such communication and exchanges take place through third parties which further complicates the relationship and feeds the distrust while making both sides vulnerable to the agendas of third parties.
For this project, the process of art making is based on a series of invitations from the curators Morehshin Allahyari and Eden Ünlüata, called Inspiration Notes featuring 11 topics broadly interpreted in multiple cultures. These topics include: tea and coffee, games, shoes, hands, fruits, stickers, fortune telling/future telling, private and public shared lives, time, modern media - TV/Internet and visiting.
Through the Inspiration Notes, teams in each country will be asked to write instructions in their native language for the opposite team to perform and document on a given topic. However, before the opposite team receives them, the instructions will travel through an artist/ editor from Turkey who will put them through the Google Translator (Farsi>Turkish>English / English>Turkish>Farsi) and edit them as he/she sees fit - For further information and details please see ‘process’ document.
Using this 11-part series, we are not only seeking to decipher and depict the nature of the dysfunctional dialogue between Iranian and American cultures, but also seeking to reveal paths through art that may lead to a better understanding between the two cultures.

For more about the project, go to:
http://yournightmyday.blogspot.com/