Final Design

Issue the Margins v2

Concept

Issue the Margins v2 is a participatory video installation that explores the ways contested space can produce alternate temporary communities that surround its use. Taking the monthly and contestational bike ride, Critical Mass, as its inspiration and primary source of content, the installation engages the public in and with space by recognizing the physical and material conditions of viewing in the completion of the work. The work, in turn, exists as a structured dialogue: the viewer is asked to manage the material constraints of the space and the fluctuating social landscape to create the conditions of it’s viewing. Like the Critical Mass bike ride itself, the installation requires a two-way negotiation: one that is internal and goal-oriented; another that is external and maintenance-oriented.

Installation Description

The installation of Issue the Margins v2 will consist of two (2) video projectors pointed towards an open space consisting of two poles (possibly telephone poles), with a cable run between them about 10 to 20 feet above the ground. Participants will be asked to help construct a projection screen by throwing rolls of paper (see material selection) over the cable. Over time, as the cable reaches its own critical mass, the video projections will become visible on the participant-created screen. The keystoning of the projectors will cause the video to appear at different projection angles as the projector attempts to find its bearings on the makeshift screen.

Video and Audio Collection

Over the course of several months, videos will be collected from Critical Mass rides in Atlanta, GA. The video is obtained by mounting small digital video cameras on the front, back, or either side of several bikes within a monthly ride. Along with video, synced audio is also recorded. As a record of the ride, each video and audio track shows the individual and internal experience of being part of a contest of urban space. In this footage, one gains insight into the characteristic spontaneity and conflict of the event. The collection of videos–multiple perspectives over multiple months–illustrates the changing shape, attitude, and tenor of these characteristic elements.

After the collection process is complete, the videos will be compiled into two (2) video projections, each of which will feature two (2) selected views of various rides. Each video of the compiled projections will play as real-time loop (approx. two (2) hours). Along with the video projections will be a synchronized master audio track.

Location Requirements

The installation is adaptable to different locations. Ideally, the location would have either two supporting structure such as two building or two telephone poles for a cable to be run between. Alternatively, the installation could be adapted to work over a tall fence or other existing structure. The only other requirement of the location is that it is near pedestrian traffic as the piece aims to disrupt the flow of people through space as the screen is created.

Electrical Requirements

The installation will require power for two portable low energy NEC projectors with a power requirement of 100 – 240VAX, 50/60Hz.

Material Selection

The primary material for the piece are rolls of paper similar to toilet paper. The rolls of paper will be created from gluing together strips of old newspapers and discarded office paper in an effort to reduce waste and keep the project sustainable. The rolls will be created prior to the event through the accumulated effort of many individuals. A hidden portion of Issue the Margins v2 is the creation of a network of people who will aid in the material construction of these rolls. Just as the actual rides can only be accomplished through collective action, here the viewing of the rides require the same collected effort behind the scenes. These networks will be constructed through gatherings around the construction of these rolls (food and drink will be provided; see miscellaneous in line-item budget). Following the event, the paper will be recycled


Inspiration


“Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface”, Chris Harrison

Devices with significant computational power and capabilities can now be easily carried on our bodies. However, their small size typically leads to limited interaction space (e.g., diminutive screens, buttons, and jog wheels) and consequently diminishes their usability and functionality. Since we cannot simply make buttons and screens larger without losing the primary benefit of small size, we consider alternative approaches that enhance interactions with small mobile systems.

One option is to opportunistically appropriate surface area from the environment for interactive purposes. For example, Scratch Input is technique that allows a small mobile device to turn tables on which it rests into a gestural finger input canvas. However, tables are not always present, and in a mobile context, users are unlikely to want to carry appropriated surfaces with them (at this point, one might as well just have a larger device). However, there is one surface that has been previous overlooked as an input canvas, and one that happens to always travel with us: our skin.

Appropriating the human body as an input device is appealing not only because we have roughly two square meters of external surface area, but also because much of it is easily accessible by our hands (e.g., arms, upper legs, torso). Furthermore, proprioception (our sense of how our body is configured in three-dimensional space) allows us to accurately interact with our bodies in an eyes-free manner. For example, we can readily flick each of our fingers, touch the tip of our nose, and clap our hands together without visual assistance. Few external input devices can claim this accurate, eyes-free input characteristic and provide such a large interaction area.

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“Frequency and Volume”, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Frequency and Volume enables participants to tune into and listen to different radio frequencies by using their own bodies. A computerised tracking system detects participants’ shadows, which are projected on a wall of the exhibition space. The shadows scan the radio waves with their presence and position, while their size controls the volume of the signal. The piece can tune into any frequency between 150 kHz and 1.5 GHz, including air traffic control, FM, AM, short wave, cellular, CB, satellite, wireless telecommunication systems and radio navigation. Up to 48 frequencies can be tuned simultaneously and the resulting sound environment forms a composition controlled by people’s movements. This piece visualizes the radioelectric spectrum and turns the human body into an antenna. All the receiver equipment used and antennae are exhibited in an adjacent room.

The project was developed at a time when the Mexican Government was very active in shutting down informal or “pirate” radio stations in indigenous communities in the states of Chiapas and Guerrero. The question “who has access to the public space that is the radioelectric spectrum” is one that deserves attention and visualization tools not just in Mexico but also here in the developed world, where there is a remarkable assymmetry in the assignation of frequencies only to government or corporate interests to the detriment of community-building, experimental or artistic uses of the spectrum. This project was inspired by the “Manifesto for Antenna-Man” and the radio poetry experiments by the Mexican estridentista artists in the 1920s.

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“Good Girl”, Effie Wu

Good Girl is an interactive live performance with 3 video-projections in real live size.
The performer (me) is dressed in white cloth and wears white make-up on the whole body, which creates another constructed projection surface. She is performing in front of the projection surface and is projection surface herself. Additionally she is walking from one video projection into the next, changing between the roles of the 3 videos: 1. a neat girl who smiles in a garden of roses; 2. a brave schoolchild doing gymnastic exercises with discipline; 3. a long-haired elegant woman bowing polite to all passing people. These 3 stereotypes show the expectations, which society holds, like images which are projected on us. It is our aim to become such a human for our whole life. Using this projection metaphor the performer uses her body expression to match these stereotypes, one by one, like we play the different roles in our everyday life. The point of view of this work is trying to match(cannot match). There are just very short moments when real body and projection fit together exactly, which show the huge difficulty. And even when it fits, it looks weird and seems like a deathlike face. This work is a bit self-mockery, playing with the Asian stereotype of western people. It is about how the western people think of the Asian people. And consciously and properly I use these stereotypes to strengthen the idea of adaption.

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“Phantasmagoria: Specters of Absence”, The Contemporary Museum, Makiki Heights (Honolulu)

Phantasmagoria: Specters of Absence, brings together 13 international artists including Christian Boltanski, Jim Campbell, Michel Delacroix, Laurent Grasso, upcoming 02art4 artist Jeppe Hein, TCM collection artist William Kentridge, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Teresa Margolles, Oscar Muñoz, Julie Nord, Rosângela Rennó, and Regina Silveira who use ephemeral means in their work such as fog, reflection, shadows, and vapors. The exhibition title refers to 18th-and 19th-century entertainments created by “magic lanterns” and rear-screen shadow projections. These precursors of the modern film projector were used to stage dancing specters and other frightening theatrical effects for their audiences. The exhibition draws on this rich theatrical tradition to reframe questions of absence and loss, death and the afterlife around contemporary issues.

The shadow—literally, the absence of light—represents something that is beyond the object yet inseparable from it. In many of the works included in Phantasmagoria, shadows are used to allude to death, the obscure, and the unnamable, and to construct allegories of loss and disappearance. In several of these pieces, the artists evoke performances of shadow theater, as in the work by South African artist William Kentridge, and in French artist Christian Boltanski’s shadows from cut-tin puppets, recalling imagery from the carnival as well as figurines used to celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Mist, breath, and fog are often associated with mystery; in their double status as perceptible yet almost nonexistent phenomena, they suggest evanescence or absence. In Brazilian artist Rosângela Rennó’s arresting installation Experiencing Cinema, fog is employed as a curtain onto which family photos are projected, addressing the fleeting nature of memories and the images that attempt to record them. Throughout the installations presented in the exhibition, artists’ use of shadows and/or actual fog and mist evokes the alluring enigma and magic of Phantasmagoria.

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“Line Describing A Cone”, Anthony McCall


T1 Issues Sketches

For our reiterated installation sketches, I chose to focus of how to create an event that is both activated and deactivated based on the number of people participating within the event. This would be an event that comes and goes within a space, and is ephemeral in nature based on the interactions it receives.  I based my sketches on the idea that the installation would be dormant until it is actively being interacted with.

I played with this idea within a couple different scenarios, my favorite being the last sketch. It consists of  a robotic bike sculpture, or sculptures, places around a semi-enclose space. The floor is marked with glow in the dark footprints which indicate where the activation points of the installation are located. There would be about 4 of these. When no one is standing on the points, nothing is projected, and the scene is dimly lit. As participants stand on the points, the sculpture is activated. Each point represents a single riders video and data within critical mass. The projections are shown in focus of the participant standing in the correct location, and the bike beings to move and make noise based on the activation of that position/rider within the mass. As more people stand on the pressure points, more projections are shown, and the data received by the sculpture becomes an average of all the data of the participating ‘riders’ of the mass. An alternate approach would be to have a single bike representation of each of the riders within the mass foro which we have data.


Exploring Castleberry Hills for possible installation locations


proposal taking form

Things to define

  • Budget
    • The initial idea is to have the viewable result of the project cost nothing. The actual materials, including the videos, on the evening of Flux will be essentially freely created. The budget should, however, include some amount of money that can be used for recruiting purposes. That is, while the viewable project will cost nothing, the process of building a network will. We should aim at keeping the cost minimal (between $100 and $500 dollars).
  • Exact location and permission
    • The call asks that each project identifies a location and begins the process of obtaining permission for that location. After we scout out the area tomorrow, we should have a better idea of what we think are interesting spaces. As it will be location specific, we are not going to be able to specify without the knowing the basic space.

Proposal outline

  • Issue the Margins v2 is a participatory video installation that explores the ways contests of space can produce alternate temporary communities that surround use. Taking Critical Mass as its inspiration and content, the installation engages the public in and with space by recognizing the physical and material conditions of viewing in the completion of the work. The work, in turn, exists as a structured dialogue: the viewer is forced manage the material constraints of the space and the fluctuating social landscape to create the condition of viewing. Like Critical Mass itself, the installation requires a two-way negotiation: one that is internal and goal-oriented; another that is external and maintenance-oriented. Issue the Margins v2 consists of two parts: four (4) video projectors pointed outward and a clothing rack with sixteen (16) screen-shirts.
  • Video and audio collection
    Over the course of several months, videos will be collected from Critical Mass rides in Atlanta, GA. The video is obtained by mounting small digital video cameras on the front, back, or either side of several bikes within a monthly ride. Along with video, synced audio is also recorded. As a record of the ride, each video and audio track shows the individual and internal experience of being part of a contest of urban space. In this footage, one gains insight into the characteristic spontaneity and conflict of the event. The collection of videos–multiple perspectives over multiple months–illustrates the changing shape, attitude, and tenor of these characteristic elements.

    After the collection process is complete, the videos will be compiled into a four (4) video projections, each of which will feature two to three (2-3) selected views of various rides. Each video of the compiled projections will play as real-time loop (approx. two (2) hours). Along with the video projections will be a synchronized master audio track.

  • Staging details
    The projectors will be positioned so that each projector occupied a 90 degree arc of a full circle (4 projectors completing 360 degrees). The projectors will have a focal length of twenty-five (25) feet. There will be no surface set up for the projected videos to be displayed on. On the ground will be thick (4 inch wide by 25 feet) strips of tape that demarcate the four regions of projection, as well as a straight line of four (4) sets of two (2) footprints (16 sets in total; individually numbered) to indicate where people should stand. Off to the side there will be a clothing rack with sixteen (16) large white shirts.
  • Use details
    While no one is standing on any of the footprints, the projections will flood out onto the ground. As people pass by, the vague images will paint the ground. Those that come close to the footprints will begin to make out the images themselves. At this point, the artists, who will be tending a clothing checkout booth, will invite participants to become a portion of a screen. Each participant can leave any personal items with the artists and receive a numbered shirt. The shirt corresponds to a set of footprints. When all the spots are filled, the participants and the general audience can finally view the projections.

    Interesting here is not the filling of the piece with participants, but the continued process of balance between people wanting to passively view and people having to engage in the piece for it to be viewed. As participants grow tired of being a screen, they are asked to find a suitable replacement. This act of negotiation is forces the public to challenge the typical act of passive viewing–in order to watch, one is impelled to contribute. Additionally, due to the focal length, the participants engage in a physical act of negotiating space through diverting pedestrian traffic. Here is the second negotiation and public engagement–participants are confronted by their physical presence in space as affecting space.


Ideas for screens

This weekend’s meeting took place in Castleberry Hill to scout locations and get a better idea of how our piece might be implemented. After presenting our ideas since our last meeting, we generated an amalgam idea. It can be viewed in sketch form in the meeting notes post. The basic idea is having the projectors projecting into space rather than onto a surface. The result is that the ride will then appear on people; the audience becomes the screen (or, at least, certain members do). From our brainstorming we realized that we needed to stress how participation completes the pieces in a very core way, rather than in other more surface manners (such as voting on it or people being there to view a spectacle). We wanted to cultivate the spectacle of watching with the spectacle of watching others.

For my secondary sketches, I focused on the nature of the person-screen.


Sketches of Flux installation


Brainstorming session

Bake Shop, Jan 30 2011

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The call

Flux Projects
FLUX 2011 Call for Proposals

Deadline for Submission: February 28, 2011
Notification: April 30, 2011

Artists, creative teams, and curators are invited to meet with Flux Projects January 17 – 28, either in person or by phone, to discuss their proposals, possible sites, and assistance with technology.

Overview:

Flux Projects supports artists in creating innovative temporary public art throughout Atlanta. The highlight of our year is FLUX, a one-night event modeled on other international celebrations such as Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. On October 1, 2010, the first FLUX filled the streets and empty spaces of the Castleberry Hill Art District with large and small-scale projections, performance, dance, music, light installations, and other forms of multi-media projects and public interactions. The event will return to Castleberry on September 30, 2011.

Flux Projects is now accepting proposals for FLUX 2011. In general, we are interested in works that are artistically compelling both aesthetically and conceptually, creative in their approach to public space and human interaction, and that address a broad audience. We are also interested in projects that involve community participation or address social concerns. These projects can be performances or visual art, broadly conceived. We are looking for pivotal works with high impact as well as smaller works that activate the street atmosphere.

Eligibility:

Any artist, artist team, creative collaborative, or curator (referred to collectively as Applicants from here forward) may submit projects. Individual applicants or at least one team member must be 18 years of age.

Proposed projects:

Proposed projects can focus on any form of visual art or performance, broadly conceived, including sound installations. Projects should be appropriate to a one-night event. However, if permission is granted by property owners, the projects can extend beyond FLUX.

Sites:

Applicants who have secured permission for their site, or are in the process of doing so, should note this in their submissions. Flux Projects is able to assist in securing permission, but Applicants seeking this help should contact Flux Projects in advance of submitting to discuss their proposed location(s).

Budget:

Flux Projects will award commissions from $100 to $30,000 with no fixed number of projects designated. Applicants requesting $10,000 or more should have experience working in the public realm. Decisions will be based upon the quality and viability of submitted projects. Applicants should be mindful that many more projects will be funded in the $100 to $3,000 range than in the $15,000 to $30,000 range.

The budget is all-inclusive per project, covering design, construction and/or fabrication, transportation, delivery, site preparation, lighting (if applicable), insurance, consultant fees, installation and de-installation, travel (if applicable) and other costs associated with the project (including Artist and/or Curator fees). If the proposed budget exceeds the amount requested from Flux Projects, Applicants must detail how the overage will be funded.

Before submitting:

Applicants are invited to schedule a meeting with Anne Dennington, executive director of Flux Projects, to discuss the project, proposed site(s), and possible assistance with technology. Applicants wishing to schedule a meeting January 17 – 28 should send an e-mail toinfo@fluxprojects.org.

To Submit:

E-mail proposals to info@fluxprojects.org.
Materials must be received by midnight, Monday, February 28.
Submissions must include the following as separate documents:

1. Concept statement for the proposed project (not to exceed three pages), which should include technical details (including electrical needs), material selection, and any additional pertinent information. Be sure to include how the project will be experienced by the public.
2. Comprehensive budget outlining all expenses, including materials. The budget should note if additional support (whether cash or in-kind) is coming from other sources and whether these contributions are confirmed.
3. Current bio or resume that includes contact information—address, telephone number, e-mail, and website. Include individual resumes for all team members. (Word or pdf format)
4. Samples of Applicant’s work or the proposed project: up to ten digital images (jpg, 640 x 480 – 72 dpi) and/or three audio or video samples (mov, mpeg, or avi, no longer than 3 minutes each)
5. Image sheet that provides a short description of each image, audio, or video sample, including, as appropriate, title of the work, medium, date, dimensions, and location of installation

· Supporting documents as pdfs are welcome.

Place your documents, photos, and videos in a folder, and create a zip archive file.
Please name the file like this:

lastname_firstname.zip

To transfer your zip file to Flux Projects, please use http://www.yousendit.com and send your file to info@fluxprojects.org. You Send It is a free service, and can handle files under 100 megabytes.

Selection Criteria:

- Artistic merit
- Accessibility to a public audience
- Appropriateness for the event
- Feasibility of construction
- Public safety/welfare

Notification:

Selected Applicants will be notified by April 30.

In addition, Applicants agree:

- That identifying the project’s needs, as well as planning and implementing it, is the responsibility of the Applicant
- To present concepts and designs to community groups or other relevant parties, if needed
- To refine artistic concepts and designs in conversation with Flux Projects and its consultants, if needed
- To deliver and install the artwork
- To assume responsibility to insure the work
- To provide documentation of the project, including site plans and images of fabrication and installation
- To provide ongoing updates to Flux Projects staff
- To assign to Flux Projects the right to photograph or videotape work completed as part of this project for publicity, grant writing, and promotional purposes
- That entry constitutes understanding and agreement with the conditions outlined in this Call for Proposal

About Flux Projects:

Flux Projects supports artists in creating innovative temporary public art throughout Atlanta. The organization produces new platforms for artistic experimentation that engage a broad audience in their daily lives, beyond the walls of traditional arts venues. We challenge artists to make exceptional, surprising work that inspires Atlanta and fosters an awareness of the richness and diversity of the city’s creative culture.

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Initial ideas for Flux:

/revamping of original (v1)

//robotic bikes, drums, projections all synced

//take over a space with the installation

/just projections/moving images

//static, looped

//wall of tvs: assembled and assimilated from volunteers and footage

/info viz

//dashboard-like projection

//physical dashboard (maybe touchscreen)

//ticker tape, analog readouts of data

//visualized sound, sonified data

/make it mobile (from bikes or from some moving projection stand)

//Make Mag portable drive-in

//from one bike a projection onto the other

/space intervention

//screws up the flow of traffic

//space is taken over by people

/just robotics

//bike-in-a-box

/map

//physical map

//war room of contestational activity

Questions to be answered:

/how does the installation explore light or lighting?

/how does it engage the public? how does it reconstitute the publics interaction with the space?

/how does it garner conversations?

/how do issues of vision get played out?

/what is the relationship between the installation, people, and space as compared to originary event of critical mass as taking over space?

Tasks for this week:

/research related projects that deal with issues of space (including reclamation, protests, squatters’ rights, urbanity), public engagement, contestational engagements, design of interventions for awareness (i.e. Thomas Hirschhorn, Santiago Sierra)