Tag Archives: Allison Collins

Terminal 3.0

Following the lineage of Terminal 1.0 and 2.0, Cyberspace is explored in Terminal 3.0 from a social and cultural context. The web-based content is a collection of essays that relate to network-based art and an active chat room for the duration of the exhibition.

The chat room gives the online viewers an opportunity to interact with the Western Front New Media Curator, Alison Collins. Collins mentions at the end of her Terminal 3.0 introduction that she can be found lingering intermittently in the #westernfront chat room. I did take the time to choose a nickname for logging in and posted a short message. Since our time zones are on the opposite coasts of North America, Collins and I did not have a chance to have a live chat via the portal.

Screenshot of Terminal 3.0 Chat Room on Western Front website February 2017

This inclusion of the chat room was a perfect interactive media addition to the Terminal 3.0 webpage, since CyberPowWow (CPW) no longer has those active online features. CPW began in the mid 1990’s and was a platform for network-based art made by Indigenous artists. Mikhel Proulx essay, CyberPowWow: Digital Natives and the Early Internet, outlines the network conditions of the group of artist’s who launched CPW, along with the rhetoric surrounding the global communication network.

I have not experienced the original online version of CPW. My perspective is from Proulx’s essay, the accompanying images of the artist’s web-based projects, along with browsing the online writing and works index. I consider Terminal 3.0 as a web-based reading room with its digital library. To get a little more insight of the cultural impact of CPW, I kept coming back to the site and reviewing the essays.

CPW network based-art and related events were on a biennial schedule for 8 years. Instead of confining the artist work to the website, the project also had “gathering-sites.” These gathering-sites would be at physical locations such as artist run centers in North America. The gatherings included a gallery opening and on-site computer stations to encourage engagement with the online version of CPW. In addition, there were tech-savvy gallery assistants to aid with the visitors personal Cyberspace experience. From my perspective of the readings, the events from CPW are what created the solid foundations for its longevity and outreach.

From Collins’ introduction she highlights how the Internet has had an impact on the evolutionary process of the social sphere. This includes concepts with social practice that are related to the engagement of people through the communicational modes of machines. CPW embodied this evolution of the Internet and social practice, but by considering the current state of the digital divide the project reached a presence beyond Cyberspace. The CPW artist’s awareness of the global network system social and cultural standing within the specific time-period (mid-1990’s) is one of the main aspects to their progress with the engagement of their viewers with the networked-based art.

This is outline in Proulx’s essay, which notates the digital divide as having limited accessibility to the Internet. A few examples that are included in the digital gap are a lower social economic background and the placement of Indigenous land in remote geographical locations that can be very far from fibre-optic cable areas. Proulx continues by referencing other early Internet social aspects from the mid 1990’s time-period; Cyberspace was less populated and it was not the norm for the majority to own a personal computer. The active engagement from the CPW gathering sites that responded to computer literacy and hands on experience with navigating the Web-based platform was effective in the early Internet stages of this networked-based art, because the viewers had the opportunity to be exposed to a distinct culture in an experimental collective environment.

Intentionally, my post does not mention the artwork and Indigenous background related to the CyberPowWow. I suggest browsing the online writing index from each biennial and the online works index published via links on the Terminal 3.0 webpage. From my online experience, this is the best exposure to the various stages and voices related to CyberPowWow. As a starting point from my view of physical sites and Cyberspace, I recommend Jolene Rickard’s First Nation Territory in Cyber Space Declared: No Treaties Needed, which is in the CyberPowWow 2 section of the online writing index category.

References:

Collins, A. (2017) Introduction for Terminal 3.0 [Internet], Vancouver, Canada. Available from: http://terminal.front.bc.ca/ [Accessed January 22, 2017].

Proulx, M. (2017) CyberPowWow: Digital Natives and the Early Internet [Internet], Vancouver, Canada. Available from: http://terminal.front.bc.ca/ [Accessed January 22, 2017].

 

By: Carrie Ida Edinger

Carrie’s interest with new media is in interdisciplinary methods and the use of the Internet as a presentation site for evolving contemporary projects.

Terminal 1.0

My curiosity began with an animated, vintage flashing square cursor next to the title Terminal 1.0. Terminal is an installation project at Western Front in Vancouver, Canada. The installation project examines single-user interfaces, along with how technology influences the adaptation of new artistic forms. My mini blog series will follow the four-part installation project through 2017.

Media Curator, Allison Collins has curated the project so that it occupies two available spaces, one physical and one virtual. In our email exchange Collins described the physical location, “The on-site element of the project repurposes an under-used space in the Western Front building, to deliberately offer an alternative to installing a computer into a traditional exhibition space. It allows for a single user to access an intimate experience of a work created to take place on a machine.”

bp Nichol, First Screening, 1984 Photo credit : Ben Wilson

bp Nichol, First Screening, 1984 Photo credit : Ben Wilson

I asked Collins about her specific curation methods for Terminal. She stated, “The methodology was one of pairing and contrasting the possibilities for accurately conveying artworks within those two spaces.” With these methods she considered what the project addressed, which was the user-experience of the computer. What brought together these two different spaces were both the experience of artists who utilize computers to create and the viewers of the computer-based artist works. This is how her curation methodology necessitates thinking about the virtual and physical spaces as separate experiences.

Collins has navigated the different spaces to inquire with an audience for viewing a specific work on-site and other work online. Since she curated the project in Vancouver and I reside on the East Coast of the United States, my text will present the single-user experience from online viewing. The first installation is entitled Terminal 1.0 Programmed Poetry. It considers language within the broader investigations of the overall installation project. The artist and two poets presented on the webpage utilize text, while the written format was modified from a specific technological time-period. This not only demonstrates the experimental process from the 1960’s era to now, but also offers insight to how artists and poets from the Vancouver area had a role in influencing theses specific processes.

From my singular interface experience, I immediately noticed how the curation of the digital content runs parallel with the context of the selected work. The acts of composing text, distributing and reinterpreting language can be distinguished within the curation process. I have observed this by the multimedia choices of text, audio and video. These multimedia elements refer back to Collins’ curatorial selections, made specifically for the virtual space.

terminal1_screenshot

Screen Shot of Terminal 1.0 Programmed Poetry on Western Front website October 2016

Collins’ text, Media Poetics: The Cut, The Context and The Cute, offers the viewer an opportunity to have a detailed insight that reaches beyond the technical elements of a computer-based work. The inclusion of social and cultural aspects of the artist creative process offers a broader depiction to the progression with technology, along with the impact the medium had for contemporary experimentation. The text depicts this with the work of each poet and artist.

Programmed Poetry regards the human element from the creative process with technology. In 1966 Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) was formed and was based in New York City. The first large project that E.A.T. is known for is Nine Evenings. The electrical engineer at the forefront of the movement E.A.T., Billy Kluver acknowledges, from a 1995 interview with Garnet Hertz, that from his experience with E.A.T. he recognized that involvement of artists with technology has introduced a more humanizing element with the collaborative projects. Kluver’s assessment is derived from his matching of artist’s projects with knowledge from engineers. Part of his evaluation suggests that the artists brought situations to the standards of technology that were not in an engineer’s everyday routine concerning rational problems. Kluver believes the questions raised by artists concerning the use of technology brought the engineers and the technology from that time-period closer to humanity.

Programmed Poetry examines single-user interfaces from poets and artists and their own technological knowledge rather than a specific collaboration between artist and engineer. Poet, bpNichol transformed language and the viewer’s engagement with basic code. In the early 1980’s, a period of technological evolution where computers became affordable and portable, the Apple IIe was accessible on a consumer scale. bpNichol utilized the Apple BASIC programming language to animate, communicate and distribute his twelve kinetic poems, First Screening. He extends the context of code by embedding the virtual accessibility of two of the twelve poems on a 5.25 inch floppy disc that was in an edition of 100. The viewer would have needed to be code savvy to activate the text-based digital animation with the BASIC command (RUN 1748-). Reading Collins’ text reveals the human element of bpNichol’s creative process with code, which was by placing puns and language tricks to play on the commands of the program for the curious viewer. She does acknowledge bpNichol’s perspective of handling code as a space for the invitation of user interaction.

Crossing disciplinary boundaries in the 21st Century is artist and poet Tiziana La Melia. Viewing the Eyelash and the Monochrome images on the webpage, I relate back to the concept of “the cut” with the direct collage composition of each print. The two spaces La Melia is inquiring with are from the software of Word’s virtual page and the visual art space of the image plane. The Eyelash and the Monochrome image titles that begin with (Spread 1) (Spread 2) persuade my thinking of how many variations there could be of these prints. Collins’ text and the image titles inform me that La Melia’s working progress has direct links to the computer. It comes from the input of composing text and output of printed objects. In a broader context, La Melia’s project resonates with the current single-user interface by creating the unlimited ability to reinterpret content and the various transmission methods.

screenshotterminal_lemelia

Screen Shot from Terminal 1.0 Programmed Poetry of Tiziana La Melia, The Eyelash and the Monochrome on Western Front website October 2016

My intimate viewing via the Internet had the curation structure and multimedia elements aiding in my interpretation of the time-periods and specific works. The obvious limit is being absent from the physical object or moment of experiencing the physical site of Terminal 1.0. Even though I haven’t physically seen bpNichol’s First Screening run on an Apple IIe, or stood in front of Tiziana La Melia prints, I was able to mentally engage with the physical aspects of these works by invitation of Collins’ text. I do not see that I am completely missing out on the physical site, because Programmed Poetry occupies two available spaces and I experienced the work in the virtual space. The virtual space, similar to the context of the works and the curation of Programmed Poetry, has transformed the language of experiencing installation projects.

 

REFERENCES

Collins, A. (2016) Media Poetics: The Cut, The Context and The Cute [Internet], Vancouver, Canada. Available from: http://terminal.front.bc.ca/ [Accessed September 10, 2016].

Hertz, G. (1995) The Godfather of Technology and Art: An interview with Billy Kluver [Internet], Vancouver, Canada. Available from: http://www.conceptlab.com/interviews/kluver.html [Accessed July 10, 2013].

By: Carrie Ida Edinger

Carrie’s interest with new media is in interdisciplinary methods and the use of the Internet as a presentation site for evolving contemporary projects.