Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Economic Flows' keyword pg.1 of 1
19 JUNE 2014

How do we create things together in a shared environment?

"When critical thinking is at its strongest, it often comes from exactly the sort of fluidity of practice that does run through Digital Revolution. The London–based architect and artist Usman Haque has been creating innovative software products alongside interactive artworks for more than 15 years. In 2007, he founded Pachube, a global data–sharing network that anticipated by years the current buzz around big data and the internet of things. In 2011, Pachube enabled hundreds of Japanese civilians to quickly and easily share weather and radiation data in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, boosting monitoring and relief efforts. Haque's Umbrellium team has produced a new artwork for Digital Revolution, which takes up the entirety of The Pit, the Barbican's subterranean theatre space. Called Assemblance, the piece allows about 25 people at a time to physically shape beams of light with their hands, pushing and pulling them around the space–while also bumping into and potentially messing up the shapes created by other people.

Haque calls it 'a virtual reality', but not in the sense of a purely digital realm: 'It's there, it's responding to you, you can see it, but as you try and approach it you can't actually feel it. For me, the idea is to question this distinction between the physical and the virtual.' The process is akin to building a sandcastle on the beach, where you are building a structure that anyone else, or the elements, can destroy in a moment.

Assemblance attempts to answer the question: 'How do we create things together in a shared environment, where we can't always trust each other, but we need to act together regardless?' This, indeed, is the situation we find ourselves in now. In the modern digital world, the question of participation is crucial as our various networks–social, media, national–require us to constantly mediate between acting as individuals and acting as a group. For Haque, the digital has given us 'the capacity to have an effect on the other side of the world almost instantaneously', from news events and economic flows to disaster response and warfare. 'We can do things to other people in distant lands, and so the question of our responsibility, and our culpability, is thrown up in ways that it hasn't been before. On the other hand, we now have the capacity to connect with each other, and develop new ways to work together, rather than against each other.'

Assemblance asks the audience to see itself as part of a networked whole, where actions have consequences. It also points towards the fact that 'the digital' is not a medium, but a context, in which new social, political and artistic forms arise. After 50 years, at least, of digital practice, institutions are still trying to work out its relevance, and how to display and communicate it–a marker, perhaps, that it is indeed a form of art."

(James Bridle, 18 June 2014, The Guardian)

Fig.1 Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field by Usman Haque and Dot Samsen from Umbrellium. Photograph: Umbrellium.

1

TAGS

2014 • act together • acting as a group • actions have consequencesartwork • Assemblance (artwork) • Barbican Centre • beam of light • big data • capacity to connect • collaborative action • collective culpability • collective responsibility • creating things together • data sharing • data-sharing network • digital artdigital art exhibitiondigital art form • digital context • digital practicedigital revolutionDigital Revolution (2014) • Dot Samsen • economic flowsflowsFukushimaGoogle DevArtimmersive experienceimmersive worksindividual and collective activities • innovative software • interactive artworks • interactive light fieldinternet of thingslightlight artlight installationlight sculpturemediated interactionmediated reality • modern digital world • new ways of working together • Pachube • part of a networked whole • participationphysical and digital interactionPongresponsive light installation • sandcastle • shared environment • trustUmbrellium • Usman Haque

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 FEBRUARY 2012

The materiality of financial flows and digital networks

"Ours is an existence characterized by cultural flux and political economic flows, by the virtualization of place and the acceleration of time, the disembodiment of labor, the fluidity of identity, the 'conceptualization' of art, the etherealization of communication. Yet even these financial flows and digital networks rely on physical supports, on material storage devices and infrastructures, and embodied interactions with human actors. This seminar examines media as material objects, as things, as symbolically charged artifacts, as physical supports for communication. In the first third of the semester we'll explore various theoretical frameworks and methodologies – from 'thing theory' to media archaeology – that can be useful in studying the material culture of media. The second third will be dedicated to custom–designed 'plug–ins' that pertain to students' individual research interests. And in the final third, we'll work collaboratively on the creation of (an) online exhibition(s) of material media – an endeavor we'll approach as a form of 'multimodal scholarship,' an alternative means of performing and publicizing academic work. The particular format of our project will also provide an opportunity for us to think through the central concepts of our class: what does it mean to mediate the materiality of media objects, and to create a virtual exhibition that addresses their physicality?"

(Shannon Mattern, 2010)

1

TAGS

2010 • acceleration of time • conceptualisation of art • cultural flux • digital networks • disembodiment of labour • economic flowsembodied interactionsethereal • etherealisation of communication • financial flowsflowsfluidity of identityglobal capital flowsmaterial culture • material culture of media • material media • materialitymedia archaeologymedia as material objects • mediate the materiality of media objects • multimodal scholarship • online exhibition • performativityphysicalphysicality • political economic flows • publicising academic work • Shannon Mattern • symbolically charged artefacts • thing theory • things • virtual exhibition • virtualisation of place

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 FEBRUARY 2005

Castells: The Network Society And The Business Project

"The unit of this production process is not the firm, but the business project. The firm continues to be the legal unit of capital accumulation. But since the value of the firm ultimately depends on its valuation in the stock market, the unit of capital accumulation (the firm) itself becomes a node in a global network of financial flows. In this economy, the dominant layer is the global financial market, where all earnings from all activities and countries end up being traded. This global financial market works only partly according to market rules. It is shaped and moved by information turbulences of various origins, processed and transmitted almost instantly by telecommunicated, information systems, in the absence of the institutional regulation of global capital flows."

(Manuel Castells, p.9)

[2]. Castells, M. (2000). Materials For An Exploratory Theory Of The Network Society. London, British Journal of Sociology www.tandf.co.uk/journals.

1

Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.