Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

“The Earth Observation Guide” – Post Media Lab notes

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I’m back from Lüneberg, Germany and already missing the simplicity of traveling by train as well as the pleasure of fine wurst. However I had an engaging few days at the Post Media Lab’s Taking Care of Things!. The event began with a keynote by Kelly Dobson from RISD, followed by a tour of Stadtarchive the next morning. Then we broke off into groups to address various topics around archives, art, media, and politics.

I worked in the Measure Drones group with colleagues, Kristian Lukic, Moritz Queisner, Boaz Levin, Daniel Herleth, Adam Kaplan, Frédéric Eyl, and Oliver Lerone Schultz (one of the coordinators of Taking Care of Things along with Christina Kral). Together, over the course of two days, we worked together to conceive, research, write, illustrate, and design a booklet called “The Earth Observation Guide.” This is not a history of art about drones, nor does it try to tackle the whole subject. Rather it is more akin to a time capsule that preserves a moment in time before drones are widespread. It acts as a guidebook, recording what is known about their past and present, illustrating shifts and concerns, and addressing how humans might understand their future. Here are some images of the presented work on the third day:

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I also somehow managed to get my mug in the newspaper in Lüneberg. I think it says “American professor launching spy drones in Germany” or some such thing.

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The group examining 16th century drawings of salt mines from the archive.

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Taking Care of Things! Archives, Life-Cycles, Care, Lüneberg, Germany

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Excited to be heading to Lüneberg, Germany, tomorrow for this conference organized jointly by Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.

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January 15-18
Taking Care of Things!
Archives – Life-Cycles – Care
organized by Post-Media Lab/CDC and Habits of Living in cooperation with the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg

Venue: Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, Germany

From the perspective of current theoretical approaches the figure of the archive seems to have lost its central status and its fever. Meanwhile, in our medial and cultural set-up new (kinds of) archives seem to crop up everywhere, accelerated by new means of production and distribution. Cultural repertoires are being remixed alongside technological repositories – often giving new life to almost forgotten relics. Ever more things, valuables, processes, projects, constituencies, even movements, need to be taken care of. It is not only cultural and critical theory that is being challenged, but also law, the natural sciences and design, alongside other applied sciences. But what are the complex dynamics and contexts of these new (non-)archives? Do they really make sense? And if so, by and for whom?

To address these questions, ‘Taking Care of Things!’ focuses on the transformation of things – analog and digital – into life-cycles and specific practices of care. This will be done in different thematic groups dealing with topics, like Mesh Media!, Civil Archaeology, Measure Drones, Unearthing the Archive, Translating Ontologies and Extinction in Context.

This workshop will address such fundamental changes in archiving and objects by generating practices and chances to take care of things. That is, we will seek to extend (or sometimes end) the life-cycle of objects not by simply preserving them (this usually guarantees they will be forgotten), but rather through acts that respond, react, and/or reuse.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will be based at and operating from the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, the city’s rich and still to-be-further-explored archive, headed by Danny Kolbe.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will start Wednesday evening (Jan 15) with a public talk by Kelly Dobson (Brown University) and followed by short introductions by Oliver Lerone Schultz, Nishant Shah and Wendy Chun to set the scene for the following days. Clemens Apprich together with Marcell Mars will then turn the evening into a Public Library, offering the first charge of Post-Media Lab publications as free downloads.

Thursday and Friday (Jan 16-17) will be reserved for intensive exchanges and workshops among the invited participants, all of whom deal very differently and critically with post-medial (non-)archives. There will be the opportunity to interface with the Lüneburg public, assembling archival objects of different kinds. On Saturday (Jan 18) all these activities will culminate in a public presentation and fair under the umbrella of ‘Parliament of Things’ held at the Stadtarchiv.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will create multiple interweavings not only with the rich repository of the Stadtarchiv, but also with the multiple potentials of existing and new collaborations around the Center for Digital Cultures – possibly starting some repositories that will carry on into a future, where the Post-Media Lab will have been supplanted by other, new life-cycles.​

‘Taking Care of Things!’ is a collaborative event between Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.
This event will mark the conclusion of the first life-cycle of the Post-Media Lab by bringing together former fellows and new participants.

Among the participants are: Adnan Hadzi and James Steven (DeckspaceTV), Femke Snelting and Michael Murtaugh (Constant/Active Archives), Eric Kuitenberg and David Garcia (Tactical Media Files), Boaz Levin and Daniel Herleth and Adam Kaplan (The Rise of Data), Fabian Giraud and Inigo Wilkins (Glass Bead), Jonathan Kemp and Martin Howse („Stack, Frame, Heap –SFH)”, as well as Memory of the World (Marcell Mars), Mathias Fuchs (Gamification Lab), Cornelia Sollfrank (Giving What You Don´t Have), Hauke Winkler (Freifunk Lüneburg), Robert Ochshorn (InterLace), Tapio Makela (M.A.R.I.N.) [had to cancel bec of illness], Fabrizio Augusto Poltronieri (MaisZero), Rodrigo Novaes (Flusser Archiv/UdK), Owen Mundy, Kristian Lukic (NAPON), Vahida Ramujkic (irational), Volker Grasmuck (CDC/Grundversorgung 2.0), Kilian Froitzhuber (netzpolitik.org), Vincent Normand, Jeremy Lecomte, Ida Soulard, Erich Berger, Connie Mendoza, and more.

Coordination & Care
Christina Kral: christina.kral@inkubator.leuphana.de
Oliver Lerone Schultz: oschultz@leuphana.de

Team
Wendy Chun, Nishant Shah, Clemens Apprich, Josie Berry Slater, Anthony Iles; and Nora Hannemann, Sina Hurnik, Nina Kersten, Ann-Kathrin Wagner, Nicolas Schrape

Packet Switching project: ColladaFragmenter software, Kassel, Germany and University of Florida Public Commission

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Joelle Dietrick and I embarked on a new body of work this summer called “Packet Switching.” Inspired by her Sherwin Series images and wall paintings, and my work deconstructing and re-visualizing source code and other data, we’ve created two new software projects, as well as a series of limited edition prints, large photo installations, wall-sized paintings, and animations.

The full statement explains our process and intent clearly:

Packet Switching is an ongoing body of work by Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy that visualizes architecture as fragments affected by economic and communications systems.

The title of the series references how contemporary communications systems break digital files into smaller manageable blocks of data called packets. Each packet is then sent through a network, taking the quickest route possible, and reassembled once they reach their destination. One JPG image, for example, might be broken into several packets, each of which may travel a different path through the net, even through different cities, before being recompiled into a copy of the original file.

To reference this common process used in networked systems, we wrote custom software that deconstructs a 3D model’s source code and produces unique fragments. We further remixed these fragments using an original application created in Processing. The resulting images become limited edition prints, large photo installations, wall-sized paintings, and animations.

Our process underscores how incidental fragmentation and automation can streamline markets, but also make them vulnerable to systems failure. The use of architecture specifically points to recent real estate market volatility and considers how communication technology-enabled pursuits of profit margins alters our most basic needs.

The first software, that “deconstructs a 3D model’s source code and produces unique fragments,” is open source and available on Github. Essentially, the PHP software, parses a 3D COLLADA file and exports a set number of geometries, that can then be further broken down and used in an artwork or design.

The second software, which we will release soon, remixes these fragments using Processing. The video below shows an example of the whole process.

Wall painting at “Temporary Home” in Kassel, Germany

While artists-in-residence at Temporary Home, in Kassel, Germany, which coincided with Documenta13, Joelle Dietrick and I completed a wall-sized temporary painting based on the architecture from the Bauhaus School at Dessau and 2012 American color forecasts.

Commission at Weimer Hall at the University of Florida

Joelle and I have also received a commission to complete Packet Switching (Weimer Hall) at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications this fall. This will be inkjet on adhesive polyester on a large wall (approx. 177.5 ft. x 20.2 ft.). More details soon.

Give Me My Data: A Facebook Application Inspired by the Stasi Files Controversy, talk at DAAD Meeting in Dresden, Germany

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Giving a talk today in Dresden, Germany titled, “Give Me My Data: A Facebook Application Inspired by the Stasi Files Controversy.” Here is the abstract.

During the final days of the German Democratic Republic (or GDR) it became evident that the Ministry for State Security (more popularly known as the “Stasi”) was destroying incriminating evidence from its 40-year history of domestic and international surveillance. These documents, which the Stasi was attempting to destroy using shredding machines, as well as by hand when the machines failed, included information gathered through various clandestine methods about lives of citizens of the GDR without their knowledge or consent.

On January 15, 1990, protestors stormed the Stasi headquarters in Berlin in attempt to prevent the destruction of personal records which they felt they should be able to access. The phrase, “Freiheit für meine Akte!” (in English: Freedom for my file!) spray painted on the Stasi guardhouse during this protest embodies a desire by citizens to open this closed world of state surveillance in order to understand the methods of control employed the Stasi

This moment in history inspires my ongoing project, Give Me My Data, a Facebook application that helps users export their data out of Facebook. While clearly utilitarian, this project intervenes into online user experiences, provoking users to take a critical look at their interactions within social networking websites. It suggests data is tangible and challenges users to think about ways in which their information is used for purposes outside of their control by government or corporate entities.

At the height of its operations, the Stasi is believed to have hired, between spies and full- and part-time informants, one in every 6.5 East German citizens to report suspicious activities, almost 2.5 million people.1 At this moment, the ratio of people entering data on Facebook to non-members is one in fourteen for the entire world,2 introducing possibly the most effective surveillance machine in history.

Germany and Google Street View

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

This week I have been enjoying the blurred images of German buildings whose owners have chosen to opt-out of Google Street View. Infamous moments in the country’s history have led Germans to take privacy very seriously; especially when it comes to information about their residences. Unlike the United States, where data privacy is an opt-out option, Germany law states that, “citizens must opt-in to have their data collected in any way.” (1). In fact, there is a document detailing the rights of the “data subject” in the German Federal Data Protection Act which serves “to protect the individual against his right to privacy being impaired through the handling of his personal data.”

An even more powerful gesture are the very public images that have resulted from this protection. While they serve a specific function—to obscure identifying aspects of buildings, faces, etc.—they also communicate very effectively the message that individuals should have the right to decide how their data is used. This gets to the heart of the Give Me My Data app—to prompt this sort of discussion. It is then ironic that Google, a company whose revenue is based almost completely on advertising opportunities made possible by aggregating and re-representing data, has inadvertently brought us this message.

I was excited to find my own apartment building in Berlin has been removed.

Another building down the street

Helge Denker, a reporter with the German daily, Das Bild, has found a clever way to opt-out.

Die peinlichsten Einträge bei Facebook, StudiVZ und Twitter

Monday, May 24th, 2010

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Give Me My Data mentioned in a Bild article:

Die peinlichsten Einträge bei Facebook, StudiVZ und Twitter The most embarrassing messages on Facebook, StudiVZ, and Twitter (English), May 22, 2010

Read the full translation

(translated from German) “Many users are unaware that their comments will be permanently stored in networks. For example Facebook can retrieve all stored Stautusmeldungen. The U.S. Professor Owen Mundy has a developed application, Facebook members ever entered all the data and displays the posts. Under “Select Data”, you select which data you want to see (for example, personal data, status messages). Here also dive old, long deleted on posts, which are provided with a time code. Facebook apparently never forgets.”

VideoChannel Cologne – Found Footage!

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

FFF – Found Footage Film collection
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

“Found footage is a filmmaking term which describes a method of compiling films partly or entirely of footage which has not been created
by the filmmaker, and changing its meaning by placing it in a new context. The term refers to the “found object” (objet trouvé) of art history.”

VAD – Video Art Database
VideoChannel Cologne – Found Footage!
http://and.nmartproject.net/?p=2770

Listed artists/directors:

Agricola de Cologne (Germany)
Borja Alexandre (Spain)
Michael Brynntrup (Germany)
Jon Keith Brunelle (USA)
Maria Canas (Spain)
Larry Caveney (USA)
Sebastian Clej (Romania)
John Criscitello (USA)
Dr. Boston (USA)
Bill Domokos (USA)
Angie Eng (USA)
Clint Enns (Canada)
Enrique Freaza (Spain)
Rajorshi Ghosh (USA)
Doron Golan (Israel)
Juan David Gonzalez Monroy (Colombia)
Grace Graupe-Pillard (USA)
Constantin Hartenstein (Germany)
Denise Hood (USA)
Leslie Huppert (Germany)
Andrea Huyoff (Germany)
Katrina Inagaki (USA)
Jeremiah Jones (USA)
Ellen Lake (USA)
Irad Lee (Israel)
Fumiko Matsuyama (Japan)
Alistair McClymont (UK)
Davor Sanvicenti (Croatia)
Alexander Mouton (USA)
Owen Mundy (USA)
Toban Nicols (USA)
Jonas Nilsson (SWE)
Jun Ho Oh (South Korea)
Renata Padovan (Brazil)
Lobo Pasolini (Brazil)
Johanna Reich (Germany)
Joao Ricardo (Portugal)
Jasper Rigole (Belgium)
Joshua Rosenstock (USA)
Benjamin Rosenthal (USA)
Anthony Rousseau (France)
Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa (USA)
Jennifer Schwed (USA)
Ran Slavin (Israel)
Dennis Summers (USA)
Sonja Vuk (Croatia)
Philip Widmann (Germany)
James Woodward (USA)
Andreas Zingerle (Austria)