Archive Page 2

Mashed Bagdad Potatoes

There’s just so many ways to play with maps… Three projects I found today work with mashing maps of different cities together, and through that emphazise differences between the places.

youarenothere.jpgBagdad can be toured in Brooklyn in the piece You Are Not Here. By putting the two cities maps on top of eachother, the artists could decide where to put site specific information from the streets of Bagdad on the correlating places in Brooklyn, in form of stickers with access codes and telephone numbers to “the Tourist Hotline”. The information recieved could for instance contain ‘the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein and how this might have been a stage event as most of the spectators of it were American soldiers and journalists’. The time it takes to walk all over town, in addition to the information with a different perspective then we get from TV news, can give room for discussion and contemplation.

baghdadsf.jpg

Next project is called
Bagdad><San Fransisco. Here it’s more about what San Fransisco would look like if they got the same bombs that Bagdad recieved. Would your home be bombed?










cherry.jpgThe last project I found working with entangled city maps is called Cherry Blossoms, and was actually inspired by Bagdad<>San Fransisco. Creator Alyssa Wright brings the bombs of Bagdad back home to the US in her own way; She let’s you put on a backpack filled with confetti and sends you on walk through the streets of Boston. Your backpack can, and will, blow up at any moment. It works like this:

‘Cherry Blossoms is a backpack that uses a small microcontroller and a GPS unit. Recent news of bombings in Iraq are downloaded to the unit every night, and their relative location to the center of the city are superimposed on a map of Boston. If the wearer walks in a space in Boston that’s correlated to a site of violence in Baghdad, the backpack detonates, releasing a compressed air cloud of confetti, looking for all the world like smoke and shrapnel. Each piece of confetti has the name of a civilian who died in a war based on lies.’

I would just love to have a backpack like that…. Here’s another link explaining the project.

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Brainstorm 1, Five Purposes

Research

  • Creating discussions: use abstraction to get reactions.
  • Mcluhan’s Coolness: Create intriguing but uncompleted information, and the visitors will try to fill in the blank spots.
  • Create a notice-board without telling what it is.
  • Connecting research: Old material with new technology, old metaphors with new research etc.
  • Reconciliation

  • With your own past: You need to mourn and understand. Try to forgive. Realize that you are not alone by talking to people that experienced the same.
  • My Space – pages for the dead members can be seen as good places to mourn and comforts by.
  • Personalize (“pimp my experiences”) to evolve the feeling.
  • Let the “evil” side tell their stories.
  • Commemoration

  • Tell the story of life instead of death: personalize – make it possible for visitors to tell the life story of the lost.
  • My Space
  • Make a living tombstone, create something dignified, silent but beautiful.
  • Contemplation

  • Audio creates contemplative environment, good and calm audio.
  • Controlling visitors without boring them. Try to get visitors to spend time during the visit, no stress. To start a contemplation process.
  • Abstract – play on visitors fantasies.
  • Combination of beautiful but tragic.
  • “Coolness” – make something understandable but incomplete.
  • Education

  • Create an engaging experience – by real stories and possibilities to walk in the shoes of the war victim. Learning by doing on the web.
  • Create an entertaining experience – use not as much text. Combine different mediums and control visitors without boring them.
  • Let the visitor create.
  • /a & s

    Web Characteristics

    – A fast and effective tool which makes you work faster.

    – The anonymity of the web can make you feel safer than in real life.

    – Internet have the power to make you become more daring and curious.

    – The web is quick to involve the user, make her immersed and make her into a participant.

    – A meeting place for many different media. A place for different media to collaborate.

    – An experimental place. A place where people want to test the boundaries and push them further, were people actually go to be experimental. Where they search for new kinds of experiences.

    – A messy place where you easily get lost. A jungle.

    – A place of enormous storage possibilities.

    Continue reading ‘Web Characteristics’

    Dagens citat

    Alltså som “Pimp my experience”?

    British War Memorial Project

    An online war memorial, or an Internet project holding over 500000 photos of the graves and memorials to British and Commonwealth service personnel who have died between the start of World War I in 1914, and the present day.


    About the project from webpage:
    ”I started the British War Memorial Project in 2001 with two aims in mind; the first to create a photo archive of the graves and memorials to service personnel, so that friends and loved ones could make a ‘virtual’ visit to their resting place, at any time of the day and from anywhere in the world – without having to travel hundreds or thousands of miles at great expense.
    The second objective was to allow people from any walk of life, the opportunity to become involved in what I call ‘active Remembrance’. I felt this was as important an aim as the creation of the image archive itself. Apart from the annual Remembrance events held in November, there is not a great deal of opportunity for people to show their respect and offer something back. The Memorial Project gives a sense of ownership back to those who are involved and has had a profound and meaningful impact on the lives of the Volunteers who visit the memorials and cemeteries. Not to mention those who find details of their loved ones and relatives within the Online Memorial.”



    The website gets its material, photos, from volunteers and British Armed Forces operating overseas. The visitor can search the sites archive and make a virtual visit to a grave. This is the web site main purpose; that a relative can visit the virtual grave and not have to travel and or get themselves into danger.


    The search function is easy to use and fast. It returns a list. I searched for “steven” and received 45 records, see picture. From the list a user can directly see if there is a grave photo. I think the creators purposes are well achieved. And it’s an example of how visitors can contribute to the site content or the online war memorial itself.


    listbwm.gif


    Links
    http://www.britishwargraves.org.uk/default.asp


    /a

    A Beautiful Idea

    BULLET LIGHTS

    bullet_lights.jpg

    This is an idea that artist Edwin Gardner has about filling all of Beirut’s bullet holes with lights. He explains:

    ‘All across Beirut you can find walls covered with bullets holes. Reminders of past violence, conflict and war. Moving through the city they are an all too familiar backdrop for any urban scene. This proposal that I called ‘bullet lights’ is reversing the meaning and experience of the ‘bullet hole wallpaper’ at diverse locations in the city. Introducing unexpected poetic moments of beauty. Beauty, ambivalently mixed with the physical testimonies of violence. The project doesn’t want to make a point it just invites people to look at things differently. Seeing things from more than one perspective is the starting point for empathy.’

    I think it’s beautiful because it’s tragic and hopeful at the same time. And also that I can read my own meanings into it; like that that the light seems stronger than the bullet holes, which makes me think that the human spirit is strong enough to survive through any war time horror, and shine through the bullet holes long after the war has ended. It tells me: Bullets kill humans, but won’t kill humanity.

    I also think it is great because it generates discussions. Not everyone is fond of remembering wartime in this beautiful way… Take a look at its post and comments on the blog UNBUILT. Here’s a part of a comment I fell for, because it talks about how you never feel closer to the human spirit then when you are in a place used to war (which I’ve felt myself in Israel):

    ‘[…]let me describe the picture i saw and felt: bombed houses, half of the wall missing, somebody fixed it with some concrete, but there is something strange in the picture, there are some flowers, in the window, you can see small children running, and laughing around the building, some lovely music coming from the radio set, an older man spots a couple of us staring in front of his house, comes up to us with a big smile, and let us in his home, four of us, total strangers, i have never felt something so human…’

    /S

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    From “At Memory’s Edge”

    “At Memory’s Edge” by James E. Young.
    The main question asked in the book is, “How is a Post – Holocaust generation of artists supposed to “remember” events they never experienced directly?” I will take examples of three artists in the book, the way they worked and in one way answered this question.

    Shimon Attie
    – The Writing on the Wall
    “To peel back the wallpaper of today and reveal the history buried underneath.”
    Working with hidden memories of Europe’s now-lost Jewish population Attie made photographical installations during 1991-1993 in Berlin. He projected photographs of Jews taken before World War II directly onto houses and locations where they original had been taken. Attie wanted to give the hidden past a voice. With his art he created a reminder of what was lost, not what was. He also documented every installation photographical. These photos have been travelling the world and hanged in many galleries.
    Attie’s exhibitions show how important the exhibition location is. By projection pictures of the past onto its original location he reveals the history. He reminds the citizens now living and working around those locations about its history.

    jewishcafe.jpg

    David Levinthal
    – Mein Kampf
    “These toys are my reality.”
    Levinthal photographed Hitler figurine from the 30s that he found in an Austrian toy store. His photographs are meant to evoke, not mime, and to stimulate the imagination but not stimulate historical realities, these photographs are shot in a “narrative style”. The more ambiguous, underdetermined, and oblique the image, the more it seems to invite the viewer’s own narrative. The sharper the image, the more repellent it is of multiple readings, for it crowed out the reader’s projected story with the clutter of its own detail. He turns the traditional believes of photographic presentation against itself, extending the range of the camera inward to include the mind’s eye and imagination. Our eyes never rests on objects when looking at his photographs, they stay somewhere in the space between them and us, between us and our imagination. The piece of art has come to exist more in us, the viewers, and less on the wall.

    meinkampf.jpg

    Jochen Gerz (and Esther Shalev–Gerz)
    -The Hamburg’s disappearing monument
    “In the end, it is only we ourselves who can rise up against injustice.”
    In Hamburg 1986 a forty-foot-high, three-foot-square pillar was made of hollow aluminium plated with a thin layer of soft, dark lead. Designed by Jochen Gerz, this was the winning proposal for a “Monument Against Fashism, War and Violence – and for Peace and Human Rights.” Visitors were invited to cover each section with their names when one section was filled the monument was lower into the ground, a chamber as deep as the column was high. This process was going on for seven years and finally 1993 the monument vanished with its last sinking. Nothing is left but the top surface of the monument, now covered with a burial stone inscribed to “Harburg’s Monument Against Fascism.” (The pillar is visible in a glass chamber below.)
    During this seven years this monument worked as a social mirror, it became doubly troubling in that it reminded the community of what happened then and, even worse, how they responded now to the memory of this past.

    dissepering.jpg

    Conclusions
    None of this work are online exhibitions but they all contain interesting techniques and key points that we can think of when developing our project.
    Attie’s projections show us how important the exhibition locations are for evoking the right effect. But also how a mixture of new techniques and old material can create great effects. Levinthal photographic art tells us a trick of how we involve the viewer if working with pictures. Gerz show us that a monument doesn’t have to be visible forever but it should involve the visitor in order to make it memorable. But also to reflect how today’s society respond to the monument.

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