Technological assistance by Timur Si-Qin
Text by Bertrand Russell, "Philosophical Consequences" from The ABC of Relativity
Work produced as part of Jstchillin's exhibition series
In 1993 Howard Rheingold wrote a remarkable book called The Virtual Community. In this book he gives what might best be called a personal account of the expanding culture of people communicating via computer networks. I asked him some questions about the relationship between virtual and traditional communities, most appropriately, via e-mail.
Howard Rheingold has been publishing books and articles on computer culture for many years. He is the multimedia columnist for Publish magazine and editor of Whole Earth Review. He has also been a consultant to the US office of Technology Assessment, and recently he took charge of Planet Wired a network project that will document the digital revolution with local examples, made accessible via the Net to a world-wide audience.
More than merely informative, his book The Virtual Community is above all a highly personal account of the way in which people are using computer networks as communication devices, or rather how they are engaging in Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), the term Rheingold prefers. Rheingold maintains that Computer Mediated Communication creates a new sense of community; people from around the world are linked together in public discussions, people who exchange ideas and messages, share interests and work together, outside of the constraints of geographical space and across social barriers.
In his book he provides us with a somewhat formal definition of virtual communities, which he describes as “social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace”. Rheingold has himself been actively involved in one of the early network communities in the US, The Well, based in San Francisco.
Using networking technologies within the context of traditional geographic communities produces Community Networks. I began by asking Rheingold to explain ...
Captured PlayStation3 video from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, edited to reflect the seamless passing of game time and “real” time. One minute of “real” time equals approximately 30 minutes of game time. The resulting 48 minute video records the passing of one game day.
References to playable characters, AI characters, and accompanying sound effects have been edited from the video in an effort to focus on the notion of a virtual space with the possibility of non-virtual habitation, defined in part by the passing of game time during the observers "real" time. The health meter, magic meter, stamina meter, weapon and magic selections and the game compass have been unedited as a digital referent in the hyperreal environment of the game engine.
Painting the entire gallery a uniform bright green, Guidetti employs an unfixed/in-flux context created by the production environment of chroma-key (green-screen) video compositing technology. Rather than providing a blank neutral space it serves only as a temporary stand-in, demanding to be replaced. The viewer is confronted with this provisional setting in a state of waiting, without a final composite image. Markers for motion tracking and spatial reference placed around the space further enforce the absence of context.
Within the environment an array of equipment actively measures the physical, visual, and acoustic properties of the space. Reminiscent of tools used for ghost hunting, the instruments attempt to describe something non- visible/physical and provide some concreteness to something abstract. A video monitor among the equipment displaying computer generated 3D renderings of the exhibition shown in various perspectives and states, further complicates the ability to reach a complete, relative conception of the space.
GreenScreen (extrActor) (2005) is a greenscreen made of hydroponically grown grass which allows the viewers to insert themselves into virtual video backgrounds, which they can choose via remote control.
In this clip, Wolf Lieser, Director of the Digital Art Museum [DAM] and initiator of the d.velop Digital Art Award, interviews artist Lynn Hershman Leeson about her life and work. This year, Leeson won the 4th develop digital art award [ddaa] for lifetime achievement in the field of new media art.
Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) 2007 is based on a single archival photograph of a storm from the 1930s American Dust Bowl, a man-made environmental catastrophe caused by a surge in petroleum based power, and a major contributor to what became the Great Depression. No moving images of the event are known to exist. The production of this work involved the virtual reconstruction - based on hundreds of the artists own photographs and films - of a ten-mile square section of Texan landscape close to the town of Dalhart, a landscape dotted with windmills, farms and fences. This documentation was subsequently enhanced by publicly accessible satellite and topographical data. Once activated, a virtual storm unfolds in a sculptural and constantly random manner within the reconstructed landscape.
Note: John Gerrard will give an artist's talk at MOMA on October 25th, at 7pm, for their Modern Mondays series. More information here.