Drew Hemment: “From the Spatial to the Social - Urban Arts and Activism”
An interest in social technologies and art in urban space was developed through a 3 year study on the shifting boundaries between art practice, the event and data systems. Participation in a series of workshops and online discussions in 2003 which helped to elaborate the field of locative media, was followed by the Mobile Connections exhibition within Futuresonic 2004 that sought to explore forms of expression that are intrinsic or unique to mobile and wireless media.
Locative media created an opportunity to look anew at public art and other spatial practices, and also has energised an interdisciplinary thinking of the city. Two outcomes of this were Loca: Set To Discoverable, an arts-based group project on grass-roots, pervasive surveillance which combined art installation, software engineering, activism, pervasive design, hardware hacking, SMS poetry, sticker art and ambient performance, and the Urban Play strand of the Futuresonic festival which seeks to reimagine, free and make strange the city through collaborative art and technology practice.
Dr. Drew Hemment is Associate Director of Lancaster University’s Imagination@Lancaster research lab. Director and founder of the Futuresonic festival, established 1995, and Director of Future Everything, a non-profit creative studio. Founder member of the Loca art group, developed during an AHRC Research Fellowship at Salford University, and of PLAN, The Pervasive and Locative Arts Network (EPSRC). Other projects include Urban Play and the Social Technologies Summit. Curator of numerous exhibitions on media art, mobile culture and locative media, and was involved in early UK electronic dance culture as DJ and event organiser. Completed a PhD at University of Lancaster in 1999, and an MA (Distinction) at the University of Warwick, when he was a participant in the Virtual Futures events.
Martin Rieser: “Rediscovering spatial narrative for locative media”
This paper explores the debates around present locative practice and sets them against such models drawn from a broad range of cultural artefacts. It also questions whether, by rooting artistic practice in an understanding of profound cultural and psychological spatial structures, locative work can gain greater artistic resonance. The paper includes a survey of early cultural artefacts and their potential lessons for contemporary locative media art and interactive public art practice. Specifically examined are issues of ritual
space and the spatialisation of narrative, including Aboriginal Australian, Amerindian, Celtic, Hindu and Christian sacred architectures and land art. The narrative potentials of ancient architectural alignments, spatial architectural organisation and acoustic resonance will be contrasted with a range of contemporary projects exploiting contemporary architectural and public spaces and examples from the artist’s own work.
Martin Rieser is a digital artist. educator and writer. He has worked with Digital media since the early 1980s. pioneering work in digital print, installation, web art and interactive narrative. Professor of Digital Arts and Senior Teaching Fellow at Bath Spa University, running an experimental lab examining the relationship between new technologies of mobility and the learning of design. Co-editor of “New Screen Media” (BFI/ZKM 2002), he has also exhibited and presented his own work internationally at ISEA, Siggraph and many other festivals. He is currently authoring a book on mobile technologies and art, entitled “The Mobile Audience”.
Lev Manovich will discuss the changing aesthetics of information interfaces over last 10 years - from personal information devices such as mobile phones to public displays. This discussion will be placed in a larger context of cultural and social developments which are re-shaping all objects and spaces in a global economy: the rise of “experience economy,” democratization of design, spatial branding, supermodernist aesthetics, and “mayaism.”
Lev Manovich is the author of Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which is hailed as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a Professor in Visual Arts Department, University of California, San Diego and a Director of the Software Studies Initiative at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2).
Jan Inge Reilstad: “When art wants to talk – what and where is the interface to whom?”
Jan Inge Reilstad will present the art project Neighbourhood Secrets, taking place in Stavanger as a part of Stavanger as european capital of culture in 2008. In an early phase the project invited the inhabitants of the cities of Stavanger and Sandnes to reflect on which site in the city was the most important to them personally. In a collaboration with the main newspaper and the local television in spring 2006 they got 30.000 votes with a lot of arguments to it. The eight sites with the most votes then were selected as arenas for future art projects in 2008. The eight sites selected is the ones which the inhabitants themselves regard as giving them most of their urban identity, for different kinds of reason. Jan Inge Reilstad will use the project as a background to talk about strategies and impacts when art invites society and individual to a meeting point, with art it self as the chairman.
Jan Inge Reilstad has been working as a critic and essayist in different Norwegian magazines and newspapers since the middle of the 1990s, as well as working as an advisor and planner for different institutions in the field of culture in Norway. He has been occupied with the different art forms and popular culture regarding to their public role, function, use and effects. The last years he has published books on different subjects such as popular song lyrics and public art. In 1999 he made an artist book together with the artists Susanne Christensen and Helene Selvg. In the period from 2000-2005 he was the editor of Localmotives, a Scandinavian netmagazine on contemporary art and culture. Localmotives practises as a group of artists and curators as well, with performance, happenings and exhibitions in the Stavanger region. In the period from 2005-2008 he is working with the Swedish artist and professor Jrgen Svensson as a curator and project manager on the art project Neighbourhood Secrets.
Jørn Mortensen: “Vacant lots and the market”
The lecture will discuss to what extent artistic interventions in vacant lots, in urban voids and in process areas - rather than offering alternative reading of the city - actually work as a catalyst for gentrification processes in the interests of real estate developers. By referring to the most significant urban development project in Norway in modern times, that is the Bjørvika region of Oslo, the lecture will try to show how art has been used as tool for increasing real estate value for private and semi-public interests.
Jørn Mortensen works as Associate Director at Office for Contemporary Art (OCA). He has recently served as Information advisor at KORO (Public Art Norway) in Oslo; as Director of Momentum, the International Biennial for Contemporary Art (2001 - 2006); and as Director of UKS in Oslo (1994-2001). Mortensen is educated at the University of Oslo in Media and Communications, History of Ideas and Music.
Einar Sneve Martinussen
Interaction designer with a background from architecture and urbanism. He is currently working with a Master thesis on Urban Computing at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design; focusing on computing and digital networks in urban landscapes, and on the cultural and social impact this has on the city.
Martinussen works specifically with / towards designing mobile technology devices with the purpose of provoking and gathering opinions about everyday life in cities and towns. The conceptual backdrop of the project consists of oldschool psychogeography, the exploration of the Arctic, the dull and Indiana Jones. The project´s vision is to design and equip an exploration into the non-spectacular and mundane side of city life.
His previous work include sound, electronics, tangible interfaces and gaming. At Urban Interfaces in Oslo he will be presenting urban gaming and work-in-progress.