social media art part 1

Artists are often the ones who are able to express and experiment with the Zeitgeist as it unfolds – at least compared to the rather rigid world of academic publishing. I therefore turn to the arts for inspirations and explorations within my own field of research. There are many cool art projects out there that try to experiment with the implications and meaning of social media. Some projects experiment with the very essence of web 2.0 discourse – with user-generated content and participatory culture – such as @platea. Platea, i s a global collective of individuals interested in the power of public art carried out in the digital megacity of social media. Founded by the New York based artists An Xiao, Platea experiments with collective performances using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Photo via mcescobar1 on Flickr
photo via mcescobar1 on Flickr

One of their projects that I find particularly intriguing was the Dive in which they experimentet with the fact  that status updates tend to move downstream on people’s newsfeeds and eventually disappearing all  together. “If it’s a busy day and you have a lot of friends, these updates slide down quickly. If it’s a slow day,  they get there eventually. Imagine a picture of yourself diving through this space, gradually making your way  down your friends’ news feeds.”

status grabber
photo via Turbulence

Speaking about creative explorations with social media and status updates, another interesting project that I came across is the recently  Turbulence commissioned net art work Status Grabber by Liz Filardi. A representative of the social networking service status grabber calls strangers to request very short “status updates”. This analogue service mimics the social activity of users on Facebook andTwitter, where users stay connected without directly interacting. Status Grabber is part of a project called I’m Not Stalking You; I’m Socializing, an exploration of how social networking changes the ways in which we relate to one another and enrich our lives.

Programmed aesthetics

Electroplastique 1

by Marius Watz

Excerpts from software artist Marius Watz work ElectroPlatique #1. I am currently attending a course that he is teaching at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts on ‘Programmed aesthetics’ where we are working with Processing – an open source programming language used by designers and artists to program images and interactions. I am beginning to understand Kittler’s assertion that every media student should know at least two programming languages. I am slowly getting there. Although difficult for a humanist to try and get a grips on, I am definitely fascinated by the strange world of ‘pushMatrix’ and ‘xdelta’ syntax. Maybe it was never meant to be French nor Spanish after all…