Mass(ive) Observations


Most of us are familiar with the now cliche phrase 'Think Global, Act Local,' but with international networks--both of the P2P and B2B (business-to-business) varieties--becoming increasingly complex, the interactions between the 'global' and the 'local' are significantly altered. As 'anti-globalization' movements try to match transnational corporate mobility, new spaces are created--from counterconferences to temporary media centers--that often bring the concerns of locally situated struggles in contact with international ones. And the net has become one of the primary points of contact. _Uses of Space_, a new project by Brazil-based artist Andrei R. Thomaz seeks to create a networked database of the ways that physical space is used. Conceived in the context of the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, _Uses of Space_ asks for contributions from globally dispersed participants documenting their observations of a particular space. Not a bad idea, given that the feet of us globally networked citizens still meet the concrete at some point, whether it's in a protest or just getting the groceries. - Ryan Griffis