ISEA2011 WORKSHOP: Mapping and Reshaping Cultural Identity

How the Digital and Electronic Media are Mapping and Reshaping Cultural Identity

Workshop Leader: Nela Milic
2nd Leader: Carol MacGillivray
3rd Leader: Jee Hyun Oh
4th Leader: Thaer Zuabi

The Internet changes cultural aspects of contemporary societies as well as our perception of ourselves, ‘being’. This workshop explores how can the nature of our existence in the Digital Age be understood and represented. We will use it as a platform of techniques from various disciplines to come up with possible answers.

We will look at the media ecology available to us in constructing and disseminating a sense of a mediated self in the city of Istanbul. We will use available codes, from programming to natural languages, images and body languages. We will analyse what we mean by a cultural identity. We will provide detailed yet flexible maps or algorithms for conducting this research and will publish an e-book with the results contributed by participants. These may be drawings, stories, codes, photographs, collage, sounds etc or new mediums that we create.

Through walking in the city of Istanbul with the participants and ‘videoing’ their sensory embodied experiences of the place and later on by applying sound spatialising techniques and computer vision open-source coding we will re-narrate the spatio-temporal experience of the walks and generate a more involved approach to the question of how place and identities are constituted.

We will riff on the word Istanbul as letters, fragments, spaces and concepts. We will conduct a series of interactive exercises using pyramid group work. The aim is to understand the spectrum of participation that exists from artist as auteur with a passive audience, to exploring key concepts of multiple authorship and transdisciplinarity by creating content within a predetermined framework. Not only will the audience have the ability to navigate and adjust the order in which information will be presented, they will also actively contribute to it. The audience as participant will create alongside the artist as author/collaborator. We will ask together how can processes such as ‘interactive’, ‘animated’ or ‘sound’ within the field of typography be applied through a global creative design communication process.

As in the last years when we have witnessed a number of projects attempting to build representations of events and historical contexts in three-dimensional spaces on the internet, we will create realistic representations of the past, assisting the participants in documenting and constructing a sense of self in the collective memory of Istanbul.

We will focus on on representation and “hybridity”, the multiplicity of possibilities digital technology offers as a vehicle to enhance documentation, visualization, and individual participation. The workshop will focus on more immersive audiovisual and editing practices than traditional media, namely non-fiction, genres can offer.
Bios of the Presenters
Eleanor Dare is a fine artist and lecturer in Arts Computing, at Goldsmiths College. Her practice centers upon the meaningful capabilities computation has to offer new book forms. Her doctoral research is primarily concerned with embodied and situated digital narratives.

Carol MacGillivray, after 20 years as a successful film editor and animator working across documentary, drama, music videos, and commercials, won an AHRC award to study MA Digital Moving Image at London Guildhall. She then when on to publish her first book ‘3D for the Web – Interactive 3D Animation using 3DS Max, Flash and Director’ (Elsevier) in 2005, and became a senior lecturer at Thames Valley University, where her innovative style of action learning led to her being awarded a Teaching Fellowship and Enterprise Fellowship. She became Associate Dean of Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of the Arts at that university in 2009. An increased interest in combining theoretical research with practice has led Carol to undertake a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology at Goldsmiths University that explores the psychology of kinetic perception.

Selected Papers:

– 2010 Paper ‘The Darwinian rise of Urban Kinetics’ presented at the Society of Animation Studies Conference, July 2010 in Edinburgh

– 2010 (Feb) ‘Bolt’ – Perspex, metal and wood. Shown at Kinetica Art Fair Exhibition, London. A kinetic sculpture that plays with the interchangeability between the human and the mechanical and explores our perception of four-dimensionality allied to the theory of non-linear dynamics.

– 2009 Paper ‘Slices of Time: Appraising the use of dynamics in design’ paper presented at IV09:DAViz – Design and Aesthetics in Visualisation conference in Barcelona in July 09. Published in IEEE journal. ISBN: 978-0-7695-3733-7. iv, pp.598-604, 2009 13th International
Conference Information Visualisation, 2009

– 2009 Co-authored Workshop: ‘Architectures of Participation: Exploring Authorship Within New Media and Artistic Practice’ delivered as a virtual conference workshop for the 4th International Conference of Arts in Society, July 2009 at Venice Biennale

– 2008 Paper, ‘Capturing Chaos – Investigating Methodologies for Simulating Butterfly Flight’ Accepted for publication and presentation at 5th International Conference of Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization ’08 Penang, Malaysia (August 2008)

– 2007 Paper, ‘How Psychophysical Perception of Motion and Image relates to Animation Practice’ Accepted for publication and presentation at 4th International Conference of Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization ’07 Bangkok, Thailand (August 2007) (Published by IEEE Computer Society ISBN 0-7695-2928-3).

Nela Milic is a producer who works across theatre and visual arts. She had a diverse career, from arts and political journalism to feature, art and documentary film production, thriving in the production and programming of culture industry for fifteen years now. She developed projects for the Barbican, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Lyric Theatre, BBC, and others. She regularly produces performances for multi-disciplinary festivals and often works in site specific (community or corporate) environments. As a coordinator of Refugees and the Arts Initiative, a British national organization for ‘refugee arts’, she dealt with over a 1000 practitioners. As a freelance practitioner, she delivered projects with different outcomes – a collage, an installation, a feasibility study for diverse contexts including John Lewis, Light Gallery, FTS, Miramax, Film Four, new Asian cinema and others.

Jee Oh is a UI designer, new media practitioner and researcher. She lives and works in London. Having an educational background in industrial design, networked media and music, her principal research interests are visualizations of ‘being connected’ and cultural identity. One of her art installation ‘GORI.Node Garden’ which portrays cyber space tangible in the form of a mechanical flower bed was introduced in various international art exhibitions and conferences including Ars Electronica 2005, Siggraph2006, ACM Multimedia Interactive Arts Program 2006 and ISEA2008. She was awarded art-fund from the Art Council Korea as part of the ‘Young Media Artist Sponsorship’ program in 2007. She is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Rui Filipe Antunes is a Phd candidate in Arts and Computational Technologies at Goldsmiths College. His research on Art and Artificial Intelligence: Ecosystems in Virtual Worlds is sponsored by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia from Portugal. With a previous background in Computing and Fine Arts Rui exhibits regularly, since 1998, in different galleries, festivals and curatorial projects, including, in 2010, Post-Human in the Arcade Gallery, in Chicago and FILE RIO 2009, in Rio de Janeiro. He was two times awarded with the prize VIDA Incentives for Production, from the Telefonica Company (editions 12th and 13th). He has taught multimedia and computing in Portugal for ten years. Currently he is a visiting lecturer in the courses of Flash and Actionscript in the Centre for Adult Education at City University in London. He is also part of Piki productions.

Thaer Zuabi received his B.F.A in Cinema and TV from Tel-Aviv University, then worked in the film industry for 4 years in various roles; Production assistant, 1st Assistant Director, and a director of two shorts, ‘You for a mother’ and ‘Satisfaction’, which were premiered in The Jerusalem International Film Festival and Festivals around the world. He was awarded a Chevening scholarship to study MA in Feature Film in 2005 in Goldsmiths, University of London, Media and Communication Department, where he worked on a full feature film script titled ‘Gifted’. He is now a PhD candidate in Goldsmiths, working on his practice based PhD titled ‘aesthetics of remediating the self through interactive walking’. He presented ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ a video work in Site^Insight exhibition in May 2006, Venice, Italy and collaborated on ‘Leaving Room’ an Installation in Istanbul 2007. In 2008-2009 he produced and wrote two documentaries: ‘WE7’ and ‘Anonymous Soldiers’. Last year Thaer directed ‘Rebellious Chant’ a documentary, which was screened on Aljazeera Documentary Channel.