The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces. The Travel Office has operated in a variety of locations, including Missouri, Chicago, Southern California and Norway.
"The Exchange project is an artistic inquiry that uses cultural resistance to unsettle questionable relationships between international politics, technological surveillance, and identity construction. Specifically this project addresses:
1. The politics of trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
2. Myths of increased national security through technological surveillance of people and commodities
3. Identity construction based on collections of economic and surveillance data.
One outstanding feature of the Exchange project is a cross-border performance that combines Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) surveillance technology, a full-size transport truck, and all of Nisbet’s personal belongings. In this sustained performance, Nisbet’s things will be inventoried, radio frequency tagged and freely traded with individuals encountered during the six month trip that circumnavigates Canada, the United States and Mexico. This project exchanges the studio for the roads, truck stops, border crossings and cities of North America. 'Exchange' creates through the untidy weaving of politics, surveillance technology and identity construction. From the spaces between these coarse threads will emerge resistance, solidarity, vulnerability and moments of human connection."
The exchange project starts in Vancouver on May 1st and proceeds across Canada, stopping in Ottawa on June 6th and in Montreal on June 9th, and with stops all along the periphery of the U.S. beginning in July. More details are available in EXCHANGE 2006: A Performance of Resistance (pdf).
Joseph Nechvatal Interview
Many thanks for the opportunity to interview you for Biota.org. For those not familiar with your background, can you please introduce your academic background?
Sure. I took a BFA at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale first, taking design classes with Buckminster Fuller and making art in a permissive post-minimalist environment. I then went to Cornell University with the idea of getting an MFA, but found the art department there years behind Southern Illinois University, so I left and went to New York and Columbia University where I worked towards an MPhil, studying with Arthur Danto most notably.
In the late 90s I earned a Ph.D. in the philosophy of art and new technology at Roy Ascott's Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) at The University of Wales College. That was a fantastic intellectual experience. My research was focused on the immersive ideals behind virtual reality. Your readers can examine the introduction and download the full thesis as a pdf file if they wish.
an initiative created to make the public more aware about the amount of money going into military & the Pentagon in the US. the campaign used highly simplified & large-format bar, column & pie graphs as well as physical representations like the inflatable structure in order to communicate a small but important amount of information on a very large scale. [quantumlight.com, sagmeister.com & sagmeister.com]
The Tactical Sound Garden rewrites the idea of locative media. This project intrigues me since it adds an aural, not visual, layer to the city. Most projects that propose a geospatial web or other virtual superimposition over an urban condition run aground due to the problem of attention. As Walter Benjamin points out, we apprehend architecture—and cities—through a state of distraction. Adding some kind of PDA-style visual interface to the city is a fruitful strategy, but fails to engage with this dominant, distracted way by which we experience cities. On the other hand, thanks to the Walkman and the iPod, millions of individuals are thoroughly accustomed to détourning their urban environment with sound on a daily basis. Mark Shepard's proposal for the Tactical Sound Garden suggests that this is something that urbanists will be able to directly engage.