Pat Badani
Since the beginning
Works in Chicago, Illinois United States of America

Pat Badani's intermedia works explore social space and connectivity across several media platforms. She creates communicational spaces to investigate personal and collective territorial boundaries and aspects of globalization such as migration, nomadism, translocal identities and language convergence. She is interested in the migration of people, but also of images-in-motion brought about by electronic mediation and art practices that intersect with Live situations where images migrate from every-day public spaces to video-screening rooms, to exhibition-spaces, and to Web-spaces. 

Her projects have been discussed and shown in numerous international New Media Festivals and Symposia, as well as in Museums, Contemporary Art Centers and galleries in Canada, the USA, Europe and Latin America. Some of these venues include ISEA (Belfast & Paris); FILE (Brazil); NEW FORMS FESTIVAL (Canada); MECAD Media Center (Spain); ESPACIO FUNDACION TELEFONICA (Argentina); MEDI@TERRA (Greece); MUSEO DE ARTE MODERNO (Mexico); MUSEO DE MONTERREY (Mexico); CANADIAN CULTURAL CENTER (Paris, France); MUSEE DE BAS ST. LAURENT (Canada); and FRAC (Corsica, France); to name a few.

She has received 19 awards and commissions, and her works have been subject of monographs and cited in numerous publications in several countries: "Tower-Tour", Esplanade Publications, France; “Extranjerías”; Espacio Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires, Argentina; “Extranjeros en la Tecnologia y en la Cultura”, Espacio Fundación Telefónica & Ariel Publishers, Argentina/Spain; "Ser y ver mujeres en las artes visuales", Plaza & Janez, Spain; "Latin American women artists", Greenhood Press, USA; “Géographiques: territoires vécus, territoires voulus, territories figures”, FRAC CORSE, Ministère de la Culture, France; L'Oeil, France; Art Papers Magazine, USA; Afterimage: The journal of media arts and cultural criticism, USA; Art Nexus, International; Vanguard, Canada; HZ-Journal of New Media, Sweden; JIP - JavaMuseum, Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art, Germany; to name a few. 

Badani is a Canadian artist who has lived in 7 countries in the Americas and Europe, and relocated to Chicago in the USA in 1999 after a decade-long residence in Paris, France. She earned a BFA from the University of Alberta in Canada, and an MFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She is a full-time researcher, writer and educator having created and taught a digital media curriculum in the School of Art at Illinois State University, USA. In 2007-08 she was full time Lecturer and acting director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Media program at Columbia College, Chicago (USA).

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Foreignness and Translation in New Media

Sat Feb 14, 2009 00:00

United States of America

Media-N: The Journal of the New Media Caucus - USA

CALL FOR PAPERS: Media-N spring edition, 2009


THEME: Foreignness and Translation in New Media.

Guest Editor for this special issue is Pat Badani
(Integrated Media, Illinois State University, U.S.A.)

This issue will deal with the relationship between foreignness and translation
in new media. We look forward to a discussion on the idea of foreignness seen
as an investigation surrounding notions of travel, displacement and migration
beyond those tied to the geographical movement of populations.

We are interested in the broad practice of translation in new media, in the use
of an electronic system that mediates and enables the movement from one state
to another. We also welcome submissions exploring the specific notion of
cultural translation and migration in new media. That is to say, we are
interested in a discussion on cultural markers that are displaced into foreign
and extraneous locations, languages, supports and genres.

The spring issue will expand the debate initiated during Badani's participation
in the Colloquium "Foreigners in Culture and Technology" held at Espacio
Fundación Telefónica in Buenos Aires, Argentina (August 12 & 13, 2008).

The scope of this issue is double: theoretical and practical. We welcome
submissions on critical thinking and studio practices. Artists and theorists
are invited to discuss their artwork and/or critical thinking in this area.

Please submit via email by February 14, 2009 to Pat Badani at:;"> style="color: #0000ff;">


Review of: "Cultures in Webs"

Ethnography in Old and New Media

Review of:
"Cultures in Webs" (CD-ROM)
Roderick Coover (Eastgate Systems, Massachusetts, 2003)

By Pat Badani

The representation of cultures and the study of ethnographic documentary images, finds interactive approaches in the recently published CD-ROM: "Cultures in Webs", in which author Roderick Coover discusses theory and practice in "old" and "new" media. More significantly, Coover reflects on the various ways in which the word "web" can be used as a metaphor, not only to provoke thought about the co-habitation of documentary photography, the moving image, and text in a hypermedia format, but also to argue in favour of this format in order to reveal a network of concealed narratives in co-existing, cross-cultural worlds. Composed of three essays that illustrate the use of digital media as a mode of cultural analysis, the work uses a host of media formats: HTML and Javascript, digitized video images shot in DVCAM and Hi8 Pal, digitized slides shot on 35 mm film using Nikon FG and Nikon N90, and written material. Published by Eastgate Systems in 2003 with an introduction by Lucien Taylor, the work demonstrates how interactive hypermedia can present and disseminate ethnographic information that would be difficult to convey in traditional form, thereby contributing an alternative model for the documentary arts.

Theory: World-making / Sense-making
The use of film in psychiatry became common practice during WW2 and was adapted to sociological research in the 1960's. Ethnographic filming was initiated by Margaret Mead in the 1940's and classical examples can be found from Robert Flaherty (1922) to Jean Rouch (1957). The works of Trinh T. Minh-ha and other filmmakers serve as examples of the renewed efforts to use the documentary camera by prompting the viewer to look and build a network of association. Coover references these in order to discuss cross-cultural representation in film. He notes that these filmmakers have used editing techniques to support multiple, and even contradictory, associative and narrative fields, and that their experiments in breaking linear form would seem to anticipate the multi-linear worldmaking available to digital media documentary authors today.

One of the three essays presented, "Metaphors, Montage and Worldmaking", discusses precisely these topics with theoretical texts, film samples and stills from three filmmakers: Robert Gardner's " Forest of Bliss ", Vincent Monnikendam " Mother Dao The Turtlelike ", specifically in reference to strategies of montage; and Trinh T. Minh-ha's : " Naked Spaces : Living is Round ", describing a physical as well as an intellectual process of sense-making that the viewer undergoes in order to build pictured worlds. By drawing parallels between the three filmmakers, who deny linearity and the authority of a single voice-over narration, a case is made in favour of documentary producers who abstain from reproducing the us/them power differential. To illustrate this, "Metaphors, Montage and Worldmaking" contrasts the three films mentioned earlier to Robert Flaherty's film : " Nanook of the North " in which the narrative is placed within a prefigured Western and romanticised archetype of a man battling nature. Coover supports the view that 'worldmaking is what one does in the act of looking' and further describes a 'way of looking at the world by defining relationships'. This way of looking guides decisions made while gathering images as well as choices made while editing, a theory of production geared to structuring the viewer's experience in the process of constructing reality. The essay shows how "new" media practices amplify "old" media with design elements that include the use of embedded digitized video clips, links and pop-ups. Multi-sensory ethnographic material is thus organised and displayed as interlaced fragments that can convey 'the culturally specific qualities of places' for the viewer to experience and make sense of.

Practice : Interconnected Patterns
The idea of visual documentation supplementing a written ethnography is certainly well supported in "The Harvest." In this second essay, Coover presents his own practice as ethnographic documentarist and tackles questions about the structuring of interconnected, layered information in view of audience reception. The work explores photographic stills in digital media through a fifty-image black & white photo essay about wine harvest in Burgundy, France, supplemented by three layers of text. The texts unfold horizontally as one scrolls laterally through the photographic diary. The occasional hyperlinked word will launch additional image pop-ups, or videotaped interviews and sample analyses that offer insight into the subject. Further, these hyperlinks inform the viewer on the author's conceptual decisions and the use of techniques. The texts address three different threads and narrative points of view. The first thread tells us about the harvest as event and includes a luscious description of a work-day at the vineyard; the tools, the methods, and the people who partake in the complicated task of growing three different varieties of grapes. The second thread offers the author's subjective "felt" experience of this event and about recovered memories that determine editing choices. The third thread conveys the historical and contextual background of the harvest. A story is told about winemaker Aubert de Villaine as someone who reflects cultural ideals by practising a profession with a long history and tradition. Interconnected patterns and relationships of meaning unfold as one moves back and forth and into the hyperlinked environment. In "The Harvest," Coover convincingly shows how grapes become 'substance for stories, histories, and images,' discovered by the viewer in the construction of meaning. (

Performance: Concealing/Revealing
The relationship of culture, communication, and audiovisual perception in a hypermedia context is once again explored in the third essay of the series: "Concealed Narratives." By intertwining written information with photo and video, organised in an interactive environment rich with hyperlinks and frames within frames, Coover hopes to mirror the complex structure of the content presented. Composed of field notes, video recordings, and photos taken in Ghana's Upper West and Central Regions, "Concealed Narratives" is a study of how the history of politics at the birth of the Fourth Republic emerged indirectly both through traditional performances (festivals, funerals, enstoolments, and religious ceremonies) and through painted words and images that decorate buses, boats, walls, and statues. Specifically, Coover narrates his own learnt lessons about the collision of politics and performance traditions, used actively to both conceal and reveal conflicting positions. These scenarios often expose latent struggles between several local, national and international bodies, and are used to reclaim a space in sites scripted by colonial history, or to claim a place within a new post-colonial order. The underlying stories that amplify Coover's written narration reach us through a number of video-taped interviews. These testimonies show multiple, and even contradictory viewpoints. By juxtaposing contrasting ideas and images as they move through different experiences and environments, the author encourages the viewer to compile the fragments into a whole, becoming aware of concealed narratives through the process.

A new model
"Cultures in Webs" intertwines theory and practice, the 'imagistic qualities of language and the paralinguistic aspects of visual media.' By suggesting a new relationship between the visual documentarist, the subject, and the audience, Coover combines the poetic, the didactic, and the interactive in what could well be a new model for documentary representation in cross-cultural media. Concerned with plurality, dialogism and reflexivity, the author fittingly withholds his authority as narrator in his own practice and explores the social processes of cultural self-representation as well as of spectatorship. Paralleling his intentions to that of three ethnographic filmmakers, the author seeks to go beyond conventional narration and exploits techniques of montage and metaphor in a new hypermedia context. Most importantly, he invites the viewer to navigate through and interact with a rich textual, visual, and aural landscape. In doing so, Coover probes processes of documentary production, circulation, and reception in a digital environment and aptly demonstrates how knowledge of the world may be acquired through techniques that can in some measure enable spectators to discover webs of signification for themselves.


Multimedia Installation

Mon Sep 08, 2003 00:00 - Mon Sep 08, 2003

Pat Badani - "Where life is better".
I space,
The Chicago Gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

230 W. Superior, 2nd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Tues to Sat, 11-5 pm

September 5 to October 6, 2003

In her present multimedia exhibition, Badani offers us the opportunity to experience globally shifting notions of