ryan griffis
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Ryan Griffis currently teaches new media art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He often works under the name Temporary Travel Office and collaborates with many other writers, artists, activists and interesting people in the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor.
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.

Is MySpace a Place?

Networked Performance pointed me toward an interview (download in PDF)with Networked Publics speaker Henry Jenkins and Networked Publics friend danah boyd about Myspace. The site, popular with teenagers, has become increasingly controversial as parents and the press raise concerns about the openness of information on the site and the vulnerability this supposedly poses to predators (Henry points out that only .1% of abductions are by strangers) and the behavior of teens towards each other (certainly nothing new, only now in persistent form). In another essay on Identity Production in Networked Culture, danah suggests that Myspace is popular not only because the technology makes new forms of interaction possible, but because older hang-outs such as the mall and the convenience store are prohibiting teens from congregating and roller rinks and burger joints are disappearing.

This begs the question, is Myspace media or is it space? Architecture theorists have long had this thorn in their side. "This will kill that," wrote Victor Hugo with respect to the book and the building. In the early 1990s, concern about a dwindling public culture and the character of late twentieth century urban space led us to investigate Jürgen Habermas's idea of the public sphere. But the public sphere, for Habermas is a forum, something that, for the most part, emerges in media and in the institutions of the state:

The bourgeois public sphere may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor. The medium of this political confrontation was peculiar and without historical precedent: people's ...


SWITCH: Issue 22

Carlos Castellanos:

HI everyone. Just wanted to announce the new issue of SWITCH:

SWITCH : The online New Media Art Journal of the CADRE Laboratory for
New Media at San Jose State University

http://switch.sjsu.edu switch@cadre.sjsu.edu

SWITCH Journal is proud to announce the launch of Issue 22: A Special
Preview Edition to ISEA 2006/ ZeroOne San Jose.

As San Jose State University and the CADRE Laboratory are serving as
the academic host for the ZeroOne San Jose /ISEA 2006 Symposium,
SWITCH has dedicated itself to serving as an official media
correspondent of the Festival and Symposium. SWITCH has focused the
past three issues of publication prior to ZeroOne San Jose/ISEA2006
on publishing content reflecting on the themes of the symposium. Our
editorial staff has interviewed and reported on artists, theorists,
and practitioners interested in the intersections of Art & Technology
as related to the themes of ZeroOne San Jose/ ISEA 2006. While some
of those featured in SWITCH are part of the festival and symposium,
others provide a complimentary perspective.

Issue 22 focuses on the intersections of CADRE and ZeroOne San Jose/
ISEA 2006. Over the past year, students at the CADRE Laboratory for
New Media have been working intensely with artists on two different
residency projects for the festival – “Social Networking” with Antoni
Muntadas and the City as Interface Residency, “Karaoke Ice” with
Nancy Nowacek, Marina Zurkow & Katie Salen. Carlos Castellanos,
James Morgan, Aaron Siegel, all give us a sneak preview of their
projects which will be featured at the ISEA 2006 exhibition. Alumni
Sheila Malone introduces ex_XX:: post position, an exhibition
celebrating the 20th anniversary of the CADRE Institute that will run
as a parallel exhibition to ZeroOne San Jose/ ISEA 2006. LeE
Montgomery provides a preview of NPR (Neighborhood Public Radio)
presence at ...


Art & Mapping

The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) has released a special issue of their journal, Cartographic Perspectives:
Art and Mapping Issue 53, Winter 2006 Edited by Denis Wood and and John Krygier Price: $25
The issue includes articles by kanarinka, Denis Wood, Dalia Varanka and John Krygier, and an extensive catalogue of map artists compiled by Denis Wood.


[-empyre-] Liquid Narrative for June 2006

Christina McPhee:

hi all, I am not sure we got this message out to Rhizome!

Please join our guests this month, Dene Grigar (US), Jim Barrett
(AU/SE), Lucio Santaella (BR), and Sergio Basbaum (BR) , with
moderator Marcus Bastos (BR), for a spirited discussion of "Liquid
Narratives" ----- digital media story telling with a dash, perhaps,
of 'aura' .

Here's the intro from Marcus:

The topic of June at the - empyre - mailing list will be Liquid Narratives. The concept of 'liquid narrative' is interesting in that it allows to think about the unfoldings of contemporary languages beyond tech achievements, by relating user controlled applications with formats such as the essay (as described by Adorno in "Der Essay als Form", The essay as a form) and procedures related to the figure of the narrator (as described by Benjamin in his writings about Nikolai Leskov). Both authors are accute critics of modern culture, but a lot of his ideas can be expanded towards contemporary culture. As a matter of fact, one of the main concerns in Benjamin's essay is a description of how the rise of modernism happens on account of an increasing nprivilege of information over knowledge, which is even more intense nowadays. To understand this proposal, it is important to remember how Benjamin distinguishes between an oral oriented knowledge, that results from 'an experience that goes from person to person' and is sometimes anonymous, from the information and authoritative oriented print culture. One of the aspects of this discussion is how contemporary networked culture rescues this 'person to person' dimension, given the distributed and non-authoritative procedures that technologies such as the GPS, mobile phones and others stimulate.


state of the planet infographics

a small collection of beautiful information graphics documenting the current state of the planet.
see also gapminder & 3d data globe.


Discussions (909) Opportunities (8) Events (16) Jobs (0)

Re: New media art shouldn't suck

It's interesting to hear someone in the art world say that "peer-to-
peer" is jargon, while shows can be titled things like, say,
Maybe if it was B2B, rather than P2P, it would generate more
interest :) Geez, it's not as if the art world is still using the
telegraph. Is it really possible that people buying thousands of
dollars + of art really don't know what "peer-to-peer" means? Seems
unlikely. Do they care or like it? i guess that's another issue.
But i honestly can't imagine it being any more difficult to explain
what "peer-to-peer" means than something like "cultural hybridity" or
many of the vaguely theoretical signifiers widely used in art.
i think if the significance of Dada (not to mention the non-concept
of "dereconstruction") can be explained to a general audience, "file
sharing" shouldn't be too difficult. Obviously, it's not a matter of
simple semantics and vocabulary at issue here, and museums have a
somewhat different mandate than galleries. i agree with the need to
make clear the significance/interest of work without relying on the
capital of catch phrases, but i'm also skeptical that the ideas MTAA
is talking could be read as exclusionary in the context of the art
world. Then again, if it's just a pragmatic issue of gaining
acceptance in their terrain, i guess all of this is really irrelevant
-- it's just easier to do what is expected.
Aside from the obvious problem of value appreciation/depreciation
(art object vs. software), could it also be an issue of High Art's
historic problem with the kitsch factor of popular media and language
(i.e. commercially vulgar rather than transcendent)? just a thought,
maybe not on target.


Parking Public Beta Database

The Temporary Travel Office is updating it's database of parking lots
and utopias in order to create more flexible visualizations and
We welcome new additions to our ongoing research archive from web-
based visitors, as well as mobile participants. Data can be submitted
in the form of voice recordings (via phone) and/or text and image

As our research is specifically focused on the development of parking
within the United States, we can only support US-based participation.
To participate or just to see currently available data, point your
browser to:


Mobile participants should go to http://temporarytraveloffice.net/

More about Parking Public:
Parking Public is a research initiative documenting specific
histories of parking lot development as it relates to the more
general ideology of utopian capitalism. The initiative involves a
three part process: 1) in situ research of parking lots including
participatory walking tours 2) general public surveys of
idiosyncratic notions of utopia in contrast to the structured mundane
reality of auto parking 3) a proposal for a monument/memorial
(nonument) to the 20th century parking lot in the United States.
The Travel Office is conducting research in various cities and towns
across the United States, as well as utilizing telecommunications
technologies to document the interactions between local and networked
spaces -- immediate and distant desires.

Visit the Temporary Travel Office online


Re: Re: Mark Tribe's - New Media Art, book.

On Aug 11, 2006, at 7:29 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:
> Why, my own, of course. The joke was about myself. Even in this e-
> mail you
> have trashed my views because I am not accepting the academic
> paradigm of
> picking a safe position (compendiums make choices and critiquing
> them is
> useful). How many other e-mails to this list have bashed me
> because I need to
> go read a book, or because I am not a high powered system
> administrator, or
> because I write a pugnacious response to a post and refuse to drop
> names like
> John Berger's or Beatriz blah blah blah's?

is this, then an instance of "raising hackles"? Or is this "criticism"?
i haven't "trashed your views" because i don't really know what they
are. i've questioned your comments here, not much more.
> Although I am sure you do not intend me to do so, I am going to
> personally read
> this as "I'm all about embracing new ideas, just tell me what they
> are so that I
> don't have to think of them by myself."

This is exactly my point about ossification and posturing. i've read
the thread, and generally agree with your vague ideas about academia
and "doing good," but am still waiting for something other than
iconoclastic snarkiness. Maybe you have "new ideas," maybe not. i'd
be interested to hear them if you do, since, as i said before, i
generally find some resonance with your concerns.
just to be clear about my earlier comments, i'm not interested in
ontological knowledge, and don't think that's necessarily the way to
"make the world a better place" given that that's been the motive for
much of philosophy's history. i think pointing out the specifics
within historical narratives matter precisely because they are
specific, not because they help further some encyclopedic knowledge
of mankind. this is just my personal experience and belief systems...
that battles for a "better world" happen as much in the specifics and
contingencies of life as they do in the "big questions."


Re: Mark Tribe's - New Media Art, book.

On Aug 11, 2006, at 5:05 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:
> I wasn't referring to criticism, I was referring to annoyance/anger/
> upset, and I
> still stand by fear and insult/offense as the causes of those
> reactions.
> Likewise, I use the word progress in its most simplistic way -
> getting
> somewhere on an idea.

So, criticism can't be generated from "personal" stakes? Isn't this
killing the messenger?
> Well what is the sound of one hand clapping? The point being
> contested/critiqued/what have you is currently the very nature of
> the academy.
> There is a heirarchy. Some things get left out. The story is not
> complete. We
> pick and choose. Some would pick and choose one thing, some would
> pick and
> choose another. We're discussing the very NATURE of the thing,
> something that
> ISN'T in question right now, insofar as everyone has agreed on the
> point that
> an anthology says as much by what it leaves out as what it
> doesn't. It's a
> pretty old critique. I guess I'm just a
> little unclear on where repeating an existing critique gets us. I
> can -quote-
> Foucault till I run out of breath, but I don't add or take away
> from the body of
> knowldge. Likewise, I can make the factual statement that a book
> has pages or
> a compendium makes choices.

No, YOU'RE discussing the "NATURE of the thing." Some of us aren't
interested in ontological problems about the "nature" of anything. In
fact, trying to argue for the "Nature" of anything is exactly what i
would argue is a neutralizing force that masks politics. No one is
disputing that an author of a compendium makes choices. The point is
to look at what those choices are. If i'm not mistaken, that's what
is being discussed here. This may seem an ancient point to you, and
one preventing the "progress" you're looking to make, but it's not an
end game problem. Have those "existing critiques" lost their value?
If so, why? You seem to suggest that a "body of knowledge" consists
solely of generalizations without any contribution made by looking at
specifics. Using an existing critique to look at a new circumstance
may not add to the body of canonized continental philosophy, but that
hardly makes such activity useless.
Maybe people are more interested in abstract theorizing and end games
than i am, however.
> Just my little form of a joke. New media doesn't separate them,
> nor does
> academia. Which is probably why so many bad arguments that look
> pretty continue
> to exist in its walls, and why good arguments that don't follow the
> rules get
> ignored as crazy or stupid. Form. Function. Content. We take
> their relation
> as a given, to our detriment, only because people smarter than us
> made some
> statements once upon a time.

i figured it to be a joke. And the point about "bad arguments that
look pretty" is a well worn (and well founded) crit of a lot of art,
not to mention NM art. But what "good arguments that don't follow the
rules" are being ignored? Academia and art are hardly monolithic
industries, and i can find prominent people in both that stand on
opposing sides of your point. And that's not being an apologist. No
one here has equated form and content - they can be distinct in
intention but inseparable in reception, for example.
What is your proposition for how to better understand the relation
between form/content than what someone like John Berger or Beatriz
Colomina gives us? Or even the examples Rob listed earlier.
i realize such discussions as this tend towards the ossification of
positions, and i think there are a lot of parallel points going by
each other. i'm just honestly disinterested in/suspicious of an
attempt to "get at" the "NATURE of the thing." For what purpose? To
decide once and for all the REALITY of publishing on New Media? To
continue the tradition of iconoclastic posturing just because it's
fun, available and convenient? Or is there something more substantive
and enlightening than what you've shared so far that gives us a
position from which to consider the topic at hand other than
established critiques? i'm all about embracing positivism lately,
just give me a way to do it that isn't politically regressive.


Re: Mark Tribe's - New Media Art, book.

On Aug 11, 2006, at 2:01 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:

> I have/had no intent to close the ranks on this one, merely to
> suggest we
> analyze the things we take for granted. Perhaps I got someone's
> hackles up.
> Good. Maybe that person will ask themself why. Hackles only get
> raised when
> something sacred or scary is stepped on, and both fear and idols
> prevent progress.

Alexis, you usually raise pretty good and irreverent questions, but i
think your statement here is a bit presumptuous and iconoclastic.
Criticism is not ALWAYS grounded in fear of "progress." And, more
often than not, "progress" is a simple way of naturalizing and
neutralizing politics (of whatever form you like).
> We've pointed out the trouble with people interpreting such
> books as definitive, but nt whether or not they are actually
> CAPABLE of being
> definitive. It's very easy to stamp feet and say something is not
> definitive.

i don't want to speak for anyone here, but i don't think the issue is
really one of the ability of a book to be comprehensive or complete.
Or whether anthologies and compilations should exist or not. It's an
entirely different concern to point out that any collection of ideas/
people/places/etc. inherently contains a perspective and that
perspectives can and should be critiqued for the narratives they
create (i think Rob made this point rather well). It's (not-so-)
simply a matter of contesting history and not letting dominant voices
write it so smoothly and cleanly at the expense of others' stories.
One value of such texts is in their ability to generate reaction and
revisions to the histories they attempt to solidify.
> -Alexis
> (As an aside, the message is the important thing, is it not? Why
> do we
> care so much how it is delivered? It's a fascinating question to
> turn over.)

not sure if this is a rhetorical and ironic gesture... on a "new
media" list to separate the "message" from the "media"...