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: net art?

On Jul 28, 2006, at 5:07 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:
> On the contrary, I'm suggesting that culture is made up of many,
> many things and
> evolves for many, many reasons, not merely the trite and lame
> argument that we
> are capitalist whores.

it's equally lame and trite to equate capitalism with economic
determinism. i don't think Mark ever made such a lazy equation. i
also don't think anyone's talking about "culture" in some larger,
universalizing sense. Of course culture is made of many things. You
don't have to be Levi-Strauss to state that. But one can look for
dominant systems within different contexts, and not fall into some
relativistic paralysis.
You also don't have to buy classical economic theory (or simplified
marxism) to use the identifier "capitalism" and attempt a critique of
Good lord, the Frankfurt School established that more than 60 years
ago, if Marx didn't first. We can write that off as academic hoo-ha,
but then we can write off anything if it doesn't suit our needs/
reaffirm our ideas. i don't buy the totality of psychoanalysis, but i
also don't think it's all crap either.
Capitalism is a broad ideology, and arguably the one most directing
our way of life. If you don't think so, i'd like to hear another
suggestion. And not just another analysis of how economics is REALLY
just the expression of other psycho-social desires. duh. Maybe the
label is losing its usefulness here, but that's another discussion.
i don't know what this is about any more, but i've contributed my
worthless, non-art-related rant nonetheless :)


Fwd: There Has Been a Change of Plan

Sat Aug 05, 2006 00:00 - Fri Jul 28, 2006

Begin forwarded message:

> Raqs Media Collective : 'There Has Been a Change of Plan'
> (Selected Works 2002-2006)
> Nature Morte Gallery, A 1 Neeti Bagh, New Delhi
> August 5 - 26, 2006
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Sometimes, adjustments have to be made. Schedules need calibration.
> There are contingencies, questions, obstinate demands, weak excuses,
> strong desires. You return to the city you never left. You pause,
> take
> stock. Sit still and let a conversation begin. Maybe?
> Around you, aeroplanes sit on wooden platforms in a wilderness like
> widows on a funeral pyre. Clocks measure fatigue, anxiety and modest
> epiphanies across latitudes. A door to nowhere stands obstinately
> against the sky. All your cities are a blur.
> "Do you like looking at maps?"
> Meanwhile, measures are taken, shoes lost and found, ghost stories
> gather, the city whispers conspiracies to itself, the situation is
> tense but under control. Someone offers you a postcard.
> Now: Let's see what happens.
> -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Raqs Media Collective is pleased to announce its first solo
> exhibition
> in Delhi - 'There Has Been A Change of Plan' at Nature Morte Gallery.
> The exhibition features selected works (2002 - 2006) in the form of
> cross media installations with networked computers, objects,
> postcards,
> video, sound, prints and projections.
> Works exhibited include: 'Lost New Shoes', selections from 'A Measure
> of Anacoustic Reason', 'Location (n)', '28.28 N / 77.15 E :: 2001/02
> (Co-Ordinates of Everyday Life, Delhi 2001-2002)', 'Erosion by
> Whispers', 'Preface to a Ghost Story' and 'There Has Been a Change of
> Plan'. (See Details in PDF attatchment with this mail)
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> About Raqs Media Collective
> www.raqsmediacollective.net
> (Excerpt from the Wikipedia Entry on Raqs Media Collective -
> www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqs_Media_Collective)
> Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by independent media
> practitioners Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata
> Sengupta.
> Based in Delhi, their work engages with urban spaces and global
> circuits, persistently welding a sharp, edgily contemporary sense of
> what it means to lay claim to the world from the streets of Delhi. At
> the same time, Raqs articulates an intimately lived relationship with
> myths and histories of diverse provenances. Raqs sees its work as
> opening out a series of investigations with image, sound, software,
> objects, performance, print, text and lately, curation, that straddle
> different (and changing) affective and aesthetic registers,
> expressing
> an imaginative unpacking of questions of identity and location, a
> deep
> ambivalence towards modernity and a quiet but consistent critique of
> the operations of power and property.
> In 2001 Raqs co-founded Sarai (www.sarai.net) at the Centre for the
> Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi where they coordinate
> media productions, pursue and administer independent research and
> practice projects and also work as members of the editorial
> collective
> of the Sarai Reader series. For Raqs, Sarai is a space where they
> have
> the freedom to pursue interdisciplinary and hybrid contexts for
> creative work and to develop a sustained engagement with urban space
> and with different forms of media.


An Interview with Joel Slayton, by Ryan Griffis

+ Commissioned by Rhizome.org +

An Interview with Joel Slayton, by Ryan Griffis

An artist, writer, researcher, organizer, and educator, Joel Slayton
has contributed to a host of collaborative cultural ventures. As a
professor at San Jose State University, he directs the CADRE
Laboratory for New Media <http://cadre.sjsu.edu>, an
interdisciplinary program in the SJSU School of Art and Design
dedicated to the development of experimental applications involving
information technology and art, and is the Executive Editor of SWITCH
<http://switch.sjsu.edu>, CADRE's on-line journal of new media
discourse and practice. He currently serves on the Board of Directors
of Leonardo/ISAST (International Society for Art, Science and
Technology) and as Chair of the Leonardo-MIT Press Book Series
<http://lbs.mit.edu>, and most recently is Academic Chair for the
ISEA 2006 Symposia/ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the
Edge <http://isea2006.sjsu.edu>. Slayton's creative work includes the
exploration of theory, technology, corporate culture, and landscape
with his partners in the C5 Corporation, a hybrid form of authorship
intersecting research, corporate culture and artistic enterprise

RG: In your "Entailment Mesh" text, in which you discuss the art
project of the same name, you write, "The conceptual basis of this
work is centered within theoretical discourses of database and
knowledge engineering. Where as domains of cultural art production
centered as advocacy and critique are obsolete and in that the
exposition of theory has clearly situated art as code, a new
conceptual terrain for art is necessary. A terrain in which art as
information system is understood in its fullest capacity." I'm
wondering if you could elaborate and unpack some of these ideas,
particularly the shift you describe in which art can be best
understood as an "information system" while an understanding based on
notions of advocacy and critique have become obsolete. When you say
that a "new conceptual terrain for art is necessary," necessary for

JS: Advocacy and critique are two sides of the same coin, the yin and
yang of art contemporary art practice. I respect the intention but it
does not interest me that much. The complexities of modern politics
and their economies of attention have created a social dynamic that
demands more. More than art can give. It just doesn't have the gas.
When I implicated 'domains' of cultural art production, I was making
specific reference to those that take the easy way out. I was
suggesting, that there really is little difference of approach or
function for art that behaves this way. What I mean is it operates
like entertainment--which can be both good and evil. We all know how
the tools work to get that job done, and therefore any impact is
neutralized. Art that does this does not interest me.

This text was written in 2001 which makes it almost ancient if not
nostalgic. I hate being held to what I have said in the past. Oh
well, the necessity that I was attempting to draw attention to was
that of the nature of coding itself. I was trying to say something
about how important I felt it was we develop a theory of code.
Granted, I used the terminology very loosely and was guilty of
'advocating' myself. Caught in my own trap so to speak. That said,
the basic concept is sound. In the late 1970s, Gordon Pask and Paul
Pangaro described software for emerging knowledge through
conversational interaction in a process called DoWhatDo, a software
design that relied on relational procedures involving a network of
expert system based machines. The terminology of Entailment Mesh
referred to a mechanism of conversation for emerging a learning
procedure through an ever-refining conversational method. The point
being that this was the first process, to my knowledge, to adopt the
notion that code could be operational as a social form in and of
itself. Perhaps it was the first piece of software art, I don't know.
Anyway, I stole the terminology and used in my own work to produce a
system for mediating human conversation. All I was trying to say was
that understanding art of this type is a different thing than
experiencing the commentaries of individuals.

RG: I'm particularly interested in collaborative models employed and
occupied by artists, which has inspired a series of interviews with
various practitioners. While all of the individuals and groups I've
interviewed occupy various positions in professional, academic, and
peer networks, your range of activities is extremely broad within the
very focused "field" of technology and culture (what is generally
referred to as "new media"). This may be a sweeping question, but how
do you conceptualize your work with, to just name a few examples,
ISEA2006, San Jose State University's CADRE Lab, C5, and the Leonardo-
MIT Press book series? I'm curious if your understanding and
theorization of systems and social networking have an impact on your
"on the ground" work within these very different institutions.

JS: I assume so. On occasion I have gone so far as to describe myself
as an artist who designs collaboration models. Then I get nervous and
back off quickly as those sorts of qualifications get you into
trouble very quickly. From my point of view, every 'work' situation
is different. Art practice, critical and theoretical authorship,
publishing, teaching, business, research, family life, and my band.
Well, ex-band. We broke up, although that was part of the model, it
was still painful. Each situation is an opportunity to practice what
you preach by instantiating some manifestation of a chosen
theoretical model. In doing so I tend not to separate one instance of
collaboration from another, it is rather more like an engine with
different mechanisms referencing and informing one another. The one
thing I would say is that my interest in information mapping,
autopoieses, social networks, and emergent behavior is pretty central
to everything. C5 is probably the most obvious in that regard in
that it functions on so many levels. Oh yes, then there is the
practical issue of getting interesting things done.

RG: Could you give some more concrete form to the last point, about
"getting interesting things done"? Specifically, I think it would be
interesting to know how the central interests that you mentioned play
out differently in C5 and ISEA2006. What are the significant
differences here if one looks at both of these as designed
"collaboration models"?

JS: They are both designed as conversational systems through which
specific structures, mechanisms and outcomes emerge. I mean this in
the sense of Gordon Pask's elegant theory of learning systems. Pask
viewed intelligence as emerging from learning systems based in
conversational models of interaction and not as something resident in
the head or compiled in a box. I am no expert on Pask but this
approach made sense to me from the first time I encountered it, in
the early 1980s, and has influenced my approach to collaboration
design. The goal has never been to design for a pre-determined
outcome but rather to formulate social systems of interaction through
which determinate trajectories emerge. You don't exactly know what is
coming until it comes and a lot of it depends on having the right
players involved. On the other hand, it is not a mystery either. The
trick is centering your personal control outside of the interactions
themselves. C5 is a pretty decent example. As a model, what it does
that is interesting is situate its outcomes in the blurred territory
of business, research, and art. Exactly how it does that is directly
dependent upon contractual legal and fiscal agencies that determine
the forms of interactions between its partners. The business plan is
simultaneously a binding contract and the artwork--the creative
products: artworks, research, critical authorship--is only important
as a reflection of the interactions. I am pretty proud of that. When
C5 says it is not ironic, that is what we mean.

ISEA2006 is a different animal all together. For one, as the
organizers we inherited a system that has a tradition of open calls
for participation reviewed by an international program committee.
From the outset we decided that we wanted to find out how ISEA might
be 'organized' differently accepting these 2 factors. In December of
2005, an on-line forum was held to discuss appropriate strategies and
structures for ISEA2006 response to the symposium themes:
Transvergence, Interactive City, Community Domain and Pacific Rim.
You can probably see the first element of strategy which was to offer
up a set of thematics that require critical interpretation as to
their relational dynamics. The Forum made numerous recommendations
but perhaps the most significant in terms of your question is that
the symposium should enable conversation and discussion. Certain
decisions were forthcoming: no reading of papers, pre-publishing of
abstracts and manuscripts on-line, limiting the number of tracks,
offering of extended sessions to encourage audience interaction,
having moderators for each session, a parallel track of nothing but
artist presentations running continuously, a re:mote symposium to
telcon-in participants who could not be present, a poster session
staged in the main venue as an art exhibition, web and video
streaming, a rapporteur blogging the event, and many other features.
The International Program Committee was then able to evaluate
proposal submissions while seeing the symposium as a platform for
conversation that would take advantage of some of these mechanisms.
Once the evaluations were complete they were passed to a Host
Committee to review and structure into appropriate session
configurations and sequences. Over 1800 submissions were received for
symposium and exhibitions and over 400 artists, curators and
researchers contributed to the selection and shape of the event. The
point is that the goal was not only to produce the conversational
model in a symposium but to also use the mechanisms of inclusion and
transparency in doing so. Oh yeah, and then there is the entirety of
having ISEA2006 as the platform for establishing ZeroOne San Jose as
a new North American biennale. We'll see if this all works. Certainly
worth a try.

RG: With your recent work in C5, the autopoietic is an important
concept. (See C5 member texts such as Brett Stalbaum's "Toward
Autopoietic Database" <http://www.c5corp.com/research/
autopoieticdatabase.shtml> and Gerri Wittig's "Expansive Order"
<http://www.c5corp.com/research/situated\_distributed.shtml>, for
example.) This seems to be a way of getting to that "new conceptual
terrain" that we hit on earlier. Could you maybe discuss the
importance of the autopoietic in terms of C5's work and the work of
others that you think are significant here?

JS: Autopoieses is an important theoretical framework that has
informed much of C5's 'work.' It is a subject terrain that we are
rather passionate about. That said, C5 would never make the claim
that we produce autopoietic systems as an art form. Trying to make
something autopoietic is bit of an oxymoron. Autopoietic theory
simply provides an alternative model that addresses how self-
referential interactions emerge the world we perceive.

It is probably useful to be somewhat specific about the term because,
it is so overused. Developed by Maturana and Varela, autopoieses
refers to "the history of structural change in a unity without loss
of organization in that unity." A central component of the theory is
the notion of 'consensual domain.' Maturana refers to behavior in a
consensual domain as 'linguistic behavior.' This behavior scales
across the cellular level to the social. For example, a language
exists among a community of individuals, and is continually
regenerated through their linguistic activity and the structural
coupling generated by that activity. C5 believes that autopoiesis, as
related to data, code, software, and networks, could potentially be
realized in linguistic, consensual domains as well and that
procedural operations like searching and navigation which rely
heavily on self-referencing operate have autopioetic character. It is
all very poetic.
RG: Maybe as a closing question... Spatially-oriented practices have
seemed to gain a lot of currency in the international arts lately,
but looking through some of my own archives, it doesn't really seem
all that new of a development, with quite a few big exhibitions of
contemporary artists in the 1990s focusing on notions of site and
location, Mary Jane Jacob's 1991 "Places with a Past" at the Spoleto
Festival being a prime example. (For a review of the festival see


Letters from Lebanon

a couple from Walid Raad on the 16 Beaver blog and another from a
friend of a friend of Temporary Services.


Re: Re: Wanted: New media artist(s) to add life to Washington DC dance music event(s)...

> I've always thought that DC could use some more mirrored disco
> balls. The Lincoln memorial would look great with 7 or 8 of them in
> varying sizes. Just a thought.
> http://www.nps.gov/linc/
> Also, have you considered smoke machines?

smoke and mirrors... i though DC had plenty of that.