Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 1: Introduction

This international symposium brings together some of the world’s leading media artists, theorists and researchers to explore real-time interaction in electronic media

Over the last few years network theories have started to shape our thinking about social and cultural issues. This event seeks out artistic strategies and art forms that engage with these ideas.

Contributors include: Mark Amerika, Alexander R Galloway, Andrea Zapp, Kelli Dipple, Kate Rich, Paul Sermon and Kate Southworth.

In collaboration with iRes (Research in Interactive Art & Design) at University College Falmouth.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 2: Session 1: Counter-narratives

Session 1: Counter-narratives: Mark Amerika: Remixology, Hybridized Processes, and Postproduction Art: A Counternarrative

In this keynote address, artist and theorist Mark Amerika remixes personal narrative, philosophical inquiry, spontaneous theories, and cyberpunk fictions that investigate the emergence of digitally constructed identities, fictional personas, experiential metadata, narrative mythologies, and collaborative networks. Locating what he describes as the ‘postproduction artist’ who engages with DIY networking and alternative distribution schemes to build new models of audience development, Amerika will role-play the contemporary remixologist who is part VJ, part novelist, and part net artist, a made-up character in a book not yet written, someone who uses the forms of new media not so much to counter spectacle in the media culture, but to create a counternarrative drift that moves away from the art object per se while investigating the depth of possibilities waiting to be discovered in the creative unconscious.

Mark Amerika has been named a ‘Time Magazine 100 Innovator’ and has had four retrospectives of his digital art work. In spring 2000, GRAMMATRON was selected as one of the first works of Internet Art to be exhibited in the prestigious Whitney Biennial of American Art. His most recent book, META/DATA: A Digital Poetics, was just published by The MIT Press. A Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado, Amerika’s practice-based research methods have been translated into novels, feature-length films, museum installations, and live multimedia performances that integrate experimental music, live writing, and video sampling into the narrative mix.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 3: Session 1: Counter-narratives

Session 1: Counter-narratives

Andrea Zapp

For We are Where We are not: Mixed-Reality Narratives and Installations

Andrea Zapp’s practice focuses on room installations in the gallery that are linked to a digital network, mostly through components of surveillance technology. At present she also concentrates on model and miniature aesthetics as a format of expression and narrative architecture; small or shifting scales become another motif to discuss virtual and personal spaces of memory and identity. Life-sized installations like a hut or a hotel room as well as participants are linked to their remote model replicas or online versions - to create surreal stages of viewer involvement that discuss the change of existence in a wired world.

Andrea Zapp was born in Germany and has a background in film and TV studies and creates disorientating digital platforms mixing real, virtual and online spaces, combined with surveillance interfaces and technology. She has edited two books, Networked Narrative Environments as imaginary spaces of being, MMU/FACT Liverpool, 2004; and New Screen Media, Cinema/Art/Narrative, BFI, London/ ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2002, (with Martin Rieser). She curated StoryRooms, an international Exhibition on Networking and Media Art that took place at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, from October 05 to January 06. She has lectured widely internationally; her art works have been shown at Siggraph 06 Boston, Ars Electronica Linz; ISEA Liverpool and Paris; PittsburghCenter for the Arts; Festival of Visions Hong Kong - Berlin, Media Forum Moscow, Austrian Photo Triennial Graz, Museum of Image and Sound Sao Paulo; Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts Tokyo; Kunstverein Stuttgart, Intern. Art Fair Madrid, Film Festival Rotterdam; and at conferences including the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth, Australia; Siggraph Los Angeles, ISEA 02 Nagoya; Muestra Euroamericana de Video y Arte Digital, Buenos Aires. In 2005 she was appointed Senior Lecturer and Route Leader for the MA Media Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 4: Session 1: Counter-narratives

Session 1: Counter-narratives

Kelli Dipple

… duration, distribution and participation _ the performative-emergent narrative

This presentation explores performativity in the context of cross-platform artistic and curatorial practice and provides examples of emergent counter-narrative. Technology is increasingly common and permeates interpretation, education, exhibition, performance, communication and distribution. In order to redraw our expectations of what is possible, how are we able to imagine the virtual museum, the distributed museum or the online gallery - are they feasible platforms? How satisfied are we with broadcast and redistribution as primary modes? How do we present New Media Art and make better use of platform-specific versioning in conjunction with social networks, to facilitate more detailed dialogues and provide more satisfyingly responsive cultural architectures?

Kelli Dipple is the Webcasting Curator for Tate, working across Tate Media, Performance and Adult Education programmes. She also continues her own performative research, which has taken the form of site-specific and interactive performance, software development, personal data exchange and multi-screen or single-channel broadcast. For the past twelve years she has worked in the area of live cinematic and networked events undertaking artist residencies and projects in conjunction with Virtual Platform (NL), PVA (UK), Montevideo (NL), Steim (NL), Interaktions Labor (Germany), The University of Manchester (UK) and The University of Florida (USA). She has also worked and collaborated extensively with artist-lead groups in the UK including NODE.London, Active Ingredient, Future Physical, Resonance FM and Furtherfield; as well as with Australian artists Company in Space, Keith Armstrong and The Transmute Collective.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 5: Session 2: Counter-protocols

Session 2 Counter-protocols

Alexander Galloway

Counter-Protocol

Imagine an art exhibit of computer viruses. How would one curate such a show? Would the exhibition consist of documentation of known viruses, or of viruses roaming live? Would it be more like an archive or more like a zoo? Perhaps the exhibit would require the coordination of several museums, each with ‘honey pot’ computers, sacrificial lambs offered up as attractor hosts for the contagion. A network would be required, the sole purpose of which would be to reiterate sequences of infection and replication. Now imagine an exhibit of a different sort: a museum exhibit dedicated to epidemics. Again, how would one curate an exhibit of disease? Would it include the actual virulent microbes themselves (in a sort of ‘microbial menagerie’), in addition to the documentation of epidemics in history? Would the epidemics have to be ‘historical’ in order for them to qualify for exhibition? Or would two entirely different types of institutions be required: a museum of the present versus a museum of the past? In this talk Alexander Galloway explores a “counter-protocol” aesthetic and how it relates to the contemporary landscape of artmaking.

Alexander R. Galloway is an author and programmer. He is a founding member of the software collective RSG and creator of the data surveillance engine Carnivore. The New York Times recently described his work as ‘conceptually sharp, visually compelling and completely attuned to the political moment.’ Galloway is the author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (MIT, 2004), Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (Minnesota, 2006), and a new book coauthored with Eugene Thacker called The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (forthcoming). He teaches at New York University.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 6: Session 2: Counter-protocols

Session 2 Counter-protocols

Paul Sermon

My work in the field of telematic arts explores the emergence of a user-determined narrative by bringing remote participants together in a shared telepresent environment. Through the use of live chroma-keying and videoconferencing technology, two public rooms or installations and their audiences are joined in a virtual duplicate that turns into a mutual, visual space of activity. Linked via an H.323 Internet videoconference connection, this form of immersive interactive exchange can be established between almost any two locations in the world. As an artist I am both designer of the environment and therefore ‘director’ of the narrative, which I determine through the social and political milieu that I choose to play out in these telepresent encounters.

Paul Sermon is Professor of Creative Technology and leader of the Creative Technology Research Group in the Adelphi Research Institute for Creative Arts and Sciences, University of Salford. Born in 1966, he received a BA Hons. Fine Art at the GwentCollege of Higher Education in 1988 and an MFA at the University of Reading in 1991. He was awarded the Golden Nica for Interactive Arts at the Prix Ars Electronica 1991 in Linz, and the Interactive Media Festival Sparkey Award in Los Angeles in 1994. Paul Sermon was artist-in-residence at the ZKMCenter for Art and Media Karlsruhe in 1993; dozent for telematic arts at the HGB Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany from 1993 to 1999; and guest professor for performance and environment at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz from 1998 to 2000. Since June 2000 he has been based at the University of Salford, where he is researching immersive and expanded telematic environments.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 7: Session 2: Counter-protocols

Session 2 Counter-protocols

Kate Rich

Feral Trade (Import-Export) is an artist-run grocery business established in Bristol, 2003. The process is called Feral Trade to distinguish it from other methods such as Fair or Free. Feral Trade forges new, wild trade routes across hybrid territories of business, art and social interaction.Goods are run along social routes, avoiding official channels of grocery distribution in preference for a hand-carried cargo system, often using other artists or curators as mules. This distribution infrastructure is modelled on the ‘store and forward’ protocol of email, and proposes the surplus freight potential of networked social and cultural movements as a viable alternative to regular freight services (white van, supermarket lorry, Parcelforce, DHL).

Kate Rich is an Australian-born artist & trader. In the 1990s she moved to California to work as radio engineer with the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT), an international agency producing an array of critical information products including economic and ecologic indices, event-triggered webcam networks, and animal operated emergency broadcast devices. The Bureau’s work has been exhibited broadly in academic, scientific and museum contexts. Restless at the turn of the century, she headed further east to take up the post of Bar Manager at the Cube Microplex, Bristol UK; where she launched Feral Trade, a public experiment trading goods over social networks. She is currently moving deeper into the infrastructure of cultural economy, developing protocols to define and manage amenities of hospitality, mobility, catering, sports and survival in the cultural realm.

Disrupting Narratives symposium – Part 8: Panel discussion