Living Earth, now printed on dead trees!

Living Earth (printed on dead trees)
Living Earth - Field Notes from the Dark Ecology Project 2014 - 2016 is available now, and includes my interview with Heather Davis about queer kinship and plastics.

In the interview, Davis calls for a recalibration of politics, to reconsider the relations of the Western human to time, space and plastics. Davis states that in essence, the narrative of the human has to become less a narrative of mastery, but instead move towards ethical engagement and responsibility. "Queer kinship makes us aware of the responsibility we have towards the beings we create, and those that live and die, including humans and nonhumans."
The whole interview covers 7 pages of Davis' thought provoking perspectives on our other, queer relations to plastics. Living Earth also has a cover photo by me : )

In less than two weeks we will undertake the final Dark Ecology journey into the Barents region. This time it will not be dark; above the polar circle the days of light are already breaking. During this final journey, we will also visit the Kola Superdeep Borehole, which is an absolute dream of mine..
Arie Altena did a wonderful podcast about the KSB last year, and also wrote this research series on the subject.


//2008-2015 portfolio

For the last years I have been trying to reposition my practice into the realms of Resolution Studies. With this move I am trying to uncover where the expectations that lie at the bedrocks of the perceived glitch come from. In my opinion, resolutions should not just be understood as an agreed upon setting or solution, that are set by the actors that have for instance economical or political motivations. In fact, resolutions also inhabit a space of compromise. 
I can illustrate this very simply with an example from the realm of video, which is still stuck within the quadrilateral interface. Because of the video standards, set through resolutions, the history and material of video forecloses anything beyond these four corners. And while resolution studies is closely connected to for instance protocological and material research, it creates space for these other, speculative implementations. 
This is why in 2015 I started the iRD, which consist of institutions that propagate the studies and disputes of resolutions. Through these resolution studies, I aim create an awareness of the compromises set by the resolutions inherent to our media and in doing so, I hope and intend to bring back some form of authorship to the layers of resolution setting. 


Re-writing the Hack

Re-Writing the Hack Award
Last year (21 and 22 November 2015) I took part in Re-writing the Hack, a Women only Hackathon exploring the theme "Industrial and Post Industrial North East England". The hackathon was curated and produced by digital artist Shelly Knotts and curator Suzy O'Hara with support from Victoria Bradbury. It was a very interesting event - I have never worked in an all female environment and this is also likely not to happen again very often, but I really enjoyed the experience.

During the last years I edited a lot of artists’ and professors’ biographies. While doing this, I was struck by the difference in choice of words between male and females. For instance: while a ♂-professors’ prestigious achievements often span from (decade to decade), a ♀-professor is more likely to ‘teach her research interests’. 

For this project, Aude Charillon and I worked together on exploring more of the dynamics of this gendered bio-writing and at the end of the 2 days,  we presented our speed project, A Professors’ Vocabulary quiz.

To create the quiz Aude and I scraped biographies from the Northumbria University (a local university), which, at the time, had 91 male professors and 30 female professors in staff. Aude and I collected all words of interests in tables, separated per gender. From some of the most striking cases we build the quiz, which was meant as playful way to create more awareness of the choice of words when writing a biography. 

Here are some of questions
(to understand who wins the usage number, triple the female outcome value) 

Over (as in: « over so many years experience » or « written over [number] articles ») (♂: 64 vs ♀: 8)
Research(…) (♂: 443 vs ♀: 140)
Interest(…) (♂: 122 vs ♀: 636)
Teach(…) (♂: 132 vs ♀: 180) 
Lead  (♂: 49 vs ♀: 10)
Member (♂: 53 vs ♀: 32)
Expert (♂: 39 vs ♀:  9)
Award (♂: 43 vs ♀: 5)
Book, article, citation (♂: 45 vs ♀: 6)

The winners of the Re-writing the Hack bio-vocabulary quiz, won an award, graced with a special, prestigious biography

*************************☺͒͒͒͒͒͒͒͛☺ͅ☺ͅͅ☺ͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅͅͅͅ☺͓͚ͅͅͅͅͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅͅ☺ͅͅͅ☺ͅͅ☺͉☺͒͒͒͒͒͒͒͛ ***********************

Where are the newer media?

In 2014 Ted Davis invited me to give a talk in Basel, at the FHNW, in a series called The New and the Newer Media. Although very happy with the invitation, I had a hard time wrapping my head around this topic, because I am not sure what 'new' means. I think it has everything to do with the scaling of time, which is an interesting problem, but also a difficult one. Besides that, after studying media for 15 years, I have read as many definitions of media as I have read books... How could I ever talk about the new(er) media? It feels a double monster challenge rapped up in one small sentence.

Opening up the 2001 staple, The Language of New Media by Lev Manovich, felt like one starting point. Manovich attributes a list of 5 formalistic qualifications, which characterise the new media (of 2001). According to him they are numeric, modular and automated. Besides that, new media work with variables and can use transcoding principles.

In The Interface Effect (2007), Galloway criticizes Manovich for only using formal qualifications, derived from the context of cinema, rather than positioning and analyzing new media in a social or historical context - beyond the cinematical -, which makes, according to Galloway, Manovich description of new media modernist and a-political (there are no issues of sha#ff33cc human concern at stake).

Galloway explains that new media can also be described in terms of social interaction, hardware and software, or networked information. Besides this, Galloway writes about the role of the interface and the interface effect (on our information) as a key issue in theorising new media. Interfaces mediate the thresholds and are not simply autonomous objects; they effect all information and engende#ff33cc by larger forces, transform the material state of information.

Galloway writes:
"the truth of social life as a whole is increasingly incompatible with its own expression. Culture emerges from this incompatibility. The same goes for the interface : it emerges from this incompatibility; it is this incompatibility."

Incompatibility resides at the momentum of progress. Incompatibilities are where the potentialities, power and future leaks into the crevices of the not - or never - implemented but also into the newer futures. If the new media are (partially) defined by the effects of the interface, the newer media should be sought out in the incompatibilities and not implemented resolutions. 

This is what I illustrated during my talk at FHNW, in a Powerpoint exported as a JPEG slideshow, loaded and animated in Modul8, controlled by Midi and Syphoned as textures into a 3D Unity environment. The video above is a render of me navigating the beginning slide of my powerpoint in 3D,  presented back then in Basel.