Tag Archives: network

DO TETO INVISÍVEL NO CCBB

INSTALAÇÃO

palavras-chave: rede . visibilidade . campos eletromagnéticos . meta-identidade . interação . espaço físico . ondas hertzianas . instabilidade . campos invisíveis

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O projeto busca formas de ver o uso de aparelhos celulares em atividades em espaços de circulação e as intensidades de fluxos invisíveis ao nosso olhar. A rede que se forma no espaço aéreo é uma forma de ver esses campos que nos rodeiam, e que de alguma forma influenciam nossos corpos.

 

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Mediated Life

MEDIATED LIFE

by lucas bambozzi

 

 

 

Veridiana Zurita with Pharmakon performance group in front of the squatted building at Prestes Maia Avenue, in São Paulo (2004). It was one of several attempts to bring attention to the condition of 468 families being evicted due to a process of gentrification conducted in the city centre.

Veridiana Zurita with Pharmakon performance group in front of the squatted building at Prestes Maia Avenue, in São Paulo (2004). It was one of several attempts to bring attention to the condition of 468 families being evicted due to a process of gentrification conducted in the city centre.

 

 

The recent proliferation of tiny cameras, now embedded in mobile phones have been

leading to massive collections of supposed ‘warm moments’ that one would be likely

to forget, feeding a sort of obsession on intimacy aesthetics. Like camera-enabled

mobile phones, wearable computers, tactile media, location-based devices, instant

messengers and voice over IP technologies (VoIP), they all attempt to offer an idea

of comfort, a sort of ‘everywhere-privacy’ that can also be interpreted as intimacy.

Rather than describing the technological instance (cellular), mobile phones

encapsulate a notion of mobility, described as portable ‘temporary intimate zones’

(TIZ) by Matt Locke.1 The term TIZ borrows references from TAZ (Temporary

Autonomous Zone), coined by Hakim Bey referring to poetic events and actions that

suggest subtle changes in the social reality aiming to a ‘more intense mode of

existence’. But can we still think about intimacy as a terrain of intensity, pleasure,

proximity, fruition or appreciation?

 

Not only privacy but intimacy spheres are going public. The emergence of the so

called ‘intimate technologies’ has blurred even more the concepts related to intimacy,

privacy and reality. Sara Diamond says: ‘The new technologies we use to enhance

intimacy are also the very same ones being used to open up the social arena of

discovery around once-private affairs’ (2002: 3). The current flood of seductive

gadgets, loaded with promises of eliminating the distances between real life and its

representational possibilities, they all bring in an ‘ideal’ notion of privacy, which would

be the open door for an easy and ‘secure intimacy’. Devices designed for

representation purposes, like cameras, also serve the purpose of attaching to our

memory all those small details and warm moments that we are likely to forget.

A recent announcement by Microsoft emphasizes the extent to which the observation

of the context of mediating technologies implies the focusing on technologies that

affect our notions of intimacy and privacy.

 

Cool stuff you don’t know you need yet
SenseCam, touted as a visual diary of sorts, is designed to be worn around
the neck. It can take images when there are abrupt movements, temperature
fluctuations, variations of light or even changes in the wearer’s heartbeat,
capturing moments of joy or tension of one’s life. Microsoft suggests that the
diary can also help people to reconstruct scenes, remembering where an
object was forgotten or special moments, such as a nice dinner. The diary is
capable to take about 2.000 pictures automatically and works 12 hours a day.
(USATODAY.com 04/03/2004) 2

Beyond its representation capabilities, the camera, which is still a prototype,

suggests that the boundaries between private and public life really tend to disappear.

The pervasive immersion of the camera in public environments would suggest the

individual as a sentient ‘cyborg’, replacing any active participation in public life with a

passive documentation about ordinary incidents. Is it good or bad?

Since personal information has become a valuable commodity, both privacy and

intimacy turn out to be the most essential and recognizable icons of such value. As

any commodity, intimacy features an aesthetically constructed significance, which

becomes clear when it is connected to the idea of proximity or is a result of

technological mediation processes (instant access to privacy).

Also, intimacy acquires new configurations and meanings according to the

technological systems it is attached to. Distinct levels and shades of intimacy can be

obtained differently by phone, by e-mail, through VoIP devices, by touching sensors

or through webcams.

Such technological communication devices bring together the common aspiration to

interface ‘realities’, not necessarily promoting any true participation or closer touch

regarding the ‘outside’ space, in the sense pointed by Zygmunt Bauman in City of

Fears, City of Hopes. They attempt to introduce the notion that reaching distant and

separated ‘realities’ – often in-between private spheres – is the same of sharing

experiences in public domains.

 

In North of Brazil some will believe that putting a bottle of water on the top of a electricity clock will drop
In North of Brazil some will believe that putting a bottle of water on the top of a electricity clock will drop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless, far from providing any legitimate experience of involvement in public

life, ‘the capability to connect’, or the feeling of participation suggested by

communication advertisements seem to be what best describes their ideologies

concerning the construction of realities.

As pointed by Maurizio Lazzarato, representation strategies play an important role in

contemporary alienating progression. Thus, intimacy aesthetics are related to how

separated domains are mediated, or as an effect of experiencing ‘reality’ as a mere

aesthetic understanding, an intangible occurrence. Moreover, the representation of

realities by means of its mediation, is already a fabrication, a form of replacement of

a given ‘reality’ with ‘media realities’. To accept fabricated worlds as a real

experience is to fall into the traps of representation, as the overwhelming abundance

of images produced by the media each day may compromise what we deem to be

‘real’. To participate in a fabricated world of signs described by Lazzarato as if

‘constructed through statement-arrangement’ is not as the same as engaging in

shared spaces of a city. Such technologies would not perforate the ‘bubble’ that

separates these different ‘realities’, preventing the private-to-private sphere from

reaching the city’s public spaces.

 

 

The project Cubo at Patriarca Square, in its first presentation weekend (2005)

The project Cubo at Patriarca Square, in its first presentation weekend (2005)

 

 

Bauman sees our current society as a dystopia that has emerged in lieu of a model

anchored somewhere between the totalitarian regimes of Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous

Huxley’s Brave New World. This new dystopia is configured in a world of flow, ‘where

social networks and collective action are irreversibly disintegrated as a side-effect to

the rise of an evasive and slippery kind of power’. Social disintegration is not only a

current condition but a result of such new power techniques.

As Brian Holmes affirms, new forms of power enforcements shape ‘societies that are

deeply sick and which cover their pathological conspiracies with deliberate lies’.3

Aspects once used to describe the end-of-the-century context still serve us to inquire

about our current state of affairs.

 

Perfomance by GAC - Grupo de Arte Callejero at Paulista Avenue in São Paulo (2004) throwing

Perfomance by GAC - Grupo de Arte Callejero at Paulista Avenue in São Paulo (2004) throwing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Networked lifestyle within a technological society, where time has been compressed

into a state of ‘eternal present’, have been pointed out by Trebor Scholz as

‘instruments of oppression and casualized labour that squeeze every last drop of

energy and creativity out of the worker’.4 A possible antidote against this scenario

would be a commitment for a better analysis of the world around us. We need to

think and feel’5, says Scholz.

 

A consciously produced work of art offers analysis of the world around, it may lead

us to ‘think and feel’. But how can new media-based art fulfil these tasks without

being compromised by its own increasingly dependent structures on corporate

technologies? Are artists bound to hermetically and endlessly discuss artistic

authority and cultural politics, even when trying to break out of the bubble and inflict

social change with their art?

 

To which extent the gaps between private-to-private affairs and the need of

participation in public life is a typically socio-cultural syndrome? (related to cities

such as São Paulo, Lima or Johanesburg, where one can not afford raw realities due

to its wildly unequal class relations?) How much is it a typically reactionary position

to consider that real life experiences must necessarily include ‘physical references’?

 

The project Motoboy, implemented in São Paulo in 2007 by Antoni Abad was actually the starting point for the series Canales (2005-2006) at www.zexe.net.

The project Motoboy, implemented in São Paulo in 2007 by Antoni Abad was actually the starting point for the series Canales (2005-2006) at www.zexe.net.

 

 

The shifting boundaries between the private and public spheres, seen as a result of

the spread of pervasive technologies, is not preventing the raise of dichotomies such

as representation and mediation, ‘forged reality’ and social reality. As a challenging

responsibility for artists committed to social reality, can we foresee new networks that

would function as social interfaces, that would encourage individuals to re-enact

participation in the construction of public-life? Can we find in these new systems the

proper tools for producing awareness with regards to intrusive or alienating

procedures? Will it work out to perforate the ‘bubble’ that prevents one to better

grasp the world ‘outside’ of pervasive technologies?

Merging some of these questions it is possible to anticipate a common space for art

and politics,. Rather than drawing them closer or apart, one should explore the

existing hybrid and convergent zone: a politics contaminated by its neighbouring art,

and an art contaminated by its neighbouring politics.

Acoustic Head (1995) a work by artist Marepe.

Acoustic Head (1995) a work by artist Marepe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It might be necessary to became aware of the art system’s contradictions and those

in our own artwork. We shall have let ourselves be transformed by convictions

constructed from experiencing the real spaces, mediation technologies and its traps.

Among contradictions and conflicts we must feel the urgency as individuals – in Brazil

or anywhere else – to put our ‘head and heart together’ (thanks Holmes!) in tune with

the other, with the outside space and its ‘raw-realities’ so as to create new

articulations, to generate empowerment, to stimulate actual collaborative and sharing

actions.

 

lucas bambozzi, 2006

 

Matt has referred to TIZ in his speech at Intimate Technologies Conference, held at the Banff
Centre in 2002.
Source: <http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2004-03-04-techfest_x.htm>
accessed: 06/12/2004 more info at Microsoft: <http://research.microsoft.com/hwsystems>

 

Source: Mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC). Thread: Activism now and
<http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/2005-December/000106.html>.
Downtime. Source <http://collectivate.net/journalisms/2005/11/19/downtime.html>

5 Ibidem

 

 

Bibliography/references

Diamond, Sara (2002) Quintessence: Mobolized or Immobolized In The Mobile Era

HorizonZero: Banff

<http://www.horizonzero.ca>

Bauman, Zygmunt (2001) Modernidade Líquida tr. Plinio Dentzien, Rio de Janeiro:

Zahar

Bauman, Zygmunt (2003) City of Fears, City of Hopes London: Goldsmiths

College/University of London

Lazzarato (2003) Struggle, Event, Media Republicart.net

<http://www.republicart.net/disc/representations/lazzarato01_en.htm (translation

modified).