Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who is John Cage?

And why do I care?

Check out this link.

Who is John Cage?

And why do I care?

Check out this link.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Final Projects - Elements

Things that can be included in your projects. Using many elements and integrating them into an organic whole is the challenge.

Maps, charts, printed guides
More than one location
Mobility as (non)location
Physical activity
Virtual activity
Physical + Virtual activity at the same time
Hand-crafted elements - sewing, drawing, rubbings
Digital Material - video, web sites, radio, GPS
Cell phones
Elimination of one sense (blind-folds, head-phones)
The archeology and/or psycho-geography of the area

Final Projects - more about them

All of you have picked a place for your final projects. The creative part of the assignment is to design a project/event/happening/performance/encounter in that place that activates the space. To do that, you have to bring together three things: some aspect of the history or dynamic of the place that you have researched, some aspect of your own experience and some experience of the interrelationship of the buildings, events and interactions that make up that space.

Final Projects

What I would say is most important is the sense of web 2.0 politics - open source, ground up authorship, networked, distributed. So, the integration of the social softwares such as blogger, twitter, Facebook or Ning, de.li.ci.ous, Flickr, Hipcast (or moblogging, podcasting etc.), Google Maps are core to the concepts of the class. If your projects can integrate with any of these applications, you get extra points. If you are doing something outside, but can include a web element, a map, a feature of some kind, extra points. If you can work on the idea of a MIXED REALITY experience - either a mixture of physical and networked experience, or mixed through sensory scrambling, or spatial re-organization etc.

The most effective projects have created experiences that start in one condition and end in another condition. Walking somewhere, putting something(s) somewhere and leaving them there, and that combine several of these concepts into one overall experience.

The idea of permanence vs. mutability, the ephemeral quality of technology as public art.

The idea that art and creativity can collapse multiple meanings into one experience.

Having the public or the class create the content for the project. You create the structure for gathering that content, asking for it, soliciting it, provoking it, creating it.


The linguistic branch of semiotics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics

A partial description here:

Semantics is the study of meaning in communication. The word derives from Greek σημαντικός (semantikous), "significant",[1] from σημαίνω (semaino), "to signify, to indicate" and that from σήμα (sema), "sign, mark, token".[2] In linguistics it is the study of interpretation of signs as used by agents or communities within particular circumstances and contexts.[3] It has related meanings in several other fields.
Semanticists differ on what constitutes meaning in an expression. For example, in the sentence, "John loves a bagel", the word bagel may refer to the object itself, which is its literal meaning or denotation, but it may also refer to many other figurative associations, such as how it meets John's hunger, etc., which may be its connotation. Traditionally, the formal semantic view restricts semantics to its literal meaning, and relegates all figurative associations to pragmatics, but this distinction is difficult to defend.[4] The degree to which a theorist subscribes to the literal-figurative distinction decreases as one moves from the formal semantic, semiotic, pragmatic, to the cognitive semantic traditions.
The word semantic in its modern sense is considered to have first appeared in French as sémantique in Michel Bréal's 1897 book, Essai de sémantique'. In International Scientific Vocabulary semantics is also called semasiology. The discipline of Semantics is distinct from Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics, which is a system for looking at non-immediate, or abstract meanings.


The full description from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics

A partial description here:

Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood. One of the attempts to formalize the field was most notably led by the Vienna Circle and presented in their International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, in which the authors agreed on breaking out the field, which they called "semiotic", into three branches:

Semantics: Relation between signs and the things they refer to, their denotata.

Syntactics: Relation of signs to each other in formal structures.

Pragmatics: Relation of signs to their impacts on those who use them. (Also known as General Semantics)

These branches are clearly inspired by Charles W. Morris, especially his Writings on the general theory of signs (The Hague, The Netherlands, Mouton, 1971, orig. 1938).

Semiotics is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions, for example Umberto Eco proposes that every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication. However, some semioticians focus on the logical dimensions of the science. They examine areas belonging also to the natural sciences - such as how organisms make predictions about, and adapt to, their semiotic niche in the world (see semiosis). In general, semiotic theories take signs or sign systems as their object of study: the communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics or zoosemiosis.


Some examples, far out and not:

Joseph Beuys, German conceptual artist: http://www.artnotart.com/fluxus/jbeuys-manifesto.html

Fluxus manifesto: http://www.artnotart.com/fluxus/index.html

White Manifesto by Lucio Fontana, "We are continuing the evolution of art."

The Italian Futurists wrote many manifestos. They wrote manifestos on everything from art to clothing. http://www.italianfuturism.org/manifestos/

This show in Chelsea (Oct. 23 - Dec. 20) has some beautiful work which translates Zapatista manifestos into musical scores (each letter of the alphabet which is also a note, becomes that note, and everything else is a pause/silence.) Kent Gallery, 541 West 25th Street http://www.kentgallery.com/index.html

The Dogme95 film-making manifesto that I mentioned in class http://www.dogme95.dk/the_vow/index.htm

You'll love this one: The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, Thomas Marinetti 1905 http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/manifesto.html

The Situationist Manifesto http://www.infopool.org.uk/6003.html

And this is the manifesto that will help you with the entire assignment and final project The Manifesto of Possibilities http://wiki.bbk.ac.uk/Buildingcultures/index.php/Manifesto_of_Possibilities

Final Project Teams

Variation I - April 19

James + Allan
Steve + Truman
Tawn + Lauren
Briana + Mike
solo: Z

Variation II - April 26

James + Z
all the same
solo: Allan

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Henri Lefebvre on space

Space as a whole enters into the modernized mode of capitalist production: it is utilized to produce surplus value... The urban fabric, with its multiple networks of communication and exchange, is part of a means of production... Capitalism and neocapitalism have produced an abstract space that is a reflection of the world of business on both a national and international level as well as the power of money and the "politique" of the state.

Society of Extras

again by Bourriaud:

"The society of the spectacle has been defined by Guy Deborg as the historical moment when merchandise achieved "the total occupation of social life," capital having reached "such a degree of accumulation" that it was turned into imagery. Today, we are in the further stage of the spectacular development: the individual has shifted from a passive and purely repetitive status to the minimum activity dictated to him by market forces. So, television consumption is shrinking in favor of video games; thus the spectacular hierarchy encourages "empty monads", i.e programmeless models and politicians; thus everyone sees themselves summoned to be famous for 15 minutes, using TV, game, street poll or news item as a go-between. This is the reign of the "Infamous Man", whom Michel Foucault defined as the anymous and "ordinary" individual suddenly put in the glare of the media spotlights. Here we are summoned to turn into extras of the spectacle, having been regarded as its consumers. This switch can be historically explained; since the surrender of the Soviet bloc, there are no obstacles on capitalism's path to empire. It has a total hold of the social arena, so it can permit itself to stir individuals to frolic about in the free and open spaces that it has staked out. So, after the consumer society, we can see the dawning of the society of extras where the individual develops as a part-time stand-in for freedom, signer and sealer of the public place.

Definition of Art according to Nicholas Bourriaud


1. General term describing a set of objects presented as part of a narative known as art history. This narrative draws up the critical geneology and discusses the issues raised by these objects, by way of three sub-sets: painting, sculpture, architecture.

2. Nowadays, the word "art" seems ot be mo more than a semantic leftover of this narrative, whose more accurate definition would read as follows: Art is an activity consisting in producing relationships with the world with the help of signs, forms, actions and objects.

More from Relational Aesthetics

The work we are doing in this class "is not about paintings, sculptures or installations, all terms corresponding with cateogories of mastery and types of products, but simple surfaces, volumes and devices, which are dovetailed within strategies of existence." (Bourriaud, 1998, p.100)

The ecosophic fact consists in the ethical-cum-political articulation between the environmentm the social and subjectivity. It is a question of re-forming a lost political territory, lost by being riven by the de-territorializing violence of 'Integrated World Capitalism.'"(Bourriaud, 1998, p.101)

Ecosophy = ecological philosophy


I am expecting to see all the Following and Put Something Here projects. To those who are lagging behind, please catch up. Please have all your projects documented on your blog.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Schedule for the rest of the semester

March 22

Review Put Something Here
David Gordon presents John Cage
Assignment: John Cage reading

Assigned Reading: Locative Arts
Assignment: Following

March 24

Review Put Something Here for those who have not presented
Sophie Calle/Jean Baudrillard - Please Follow Me
Janet Cardiff - Walks
Review John Cage - live sound and reverse engineering
surveillance, voyeurism
GPS devices available for anyone who wants to use one...
Assignment: Following, Read Jean Baudrillard

March 29

Review Put Something Here: Variation II for those who are doing a second version
Review Following
Assignment: Read Locative Arts

March 31

Filming the class??
Liminal Spaces, Interstice, Creativity and the Public Commons, what have we been doing? Review/discussion/presentation of several Locative Media projects
Maybe outside, weather depending...

April 5

The final project, presentation of ideas; the manifesto

April 7

Maybe no class - Final Project meeting

April 12

Final Project - location confirmation, project development

April 14

Haven't decided yet

April 19

Final Projects: Variation I

April 21

All manifestos due
Assignment: read each other's manifestos and see how they relate to Variation I

April 26

Final Projects: Variation II

April 28

Final Critique and wrap up.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010


Next class on Monday March 22. Please be on time and be there!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

John Stewart takes on Chatroulette

John Stewart and Chatroulette

The New York Times Review

In the naked museum: talking, thinking, encountering.

Considering the void

Architects and designers were invited to consider the empty space of the Guggenheim as a void and submit variations on projects that could be realized in relationship to the space.

Don't take pictures; No phones

So, I headed down the ramp and ran into the friend who I texted as she was heading up the ramp. Not realizing what the piece was about, she had blown off the little girl and didn't follow her. So, we went back down and met the little girl and started again. I took more pictures and the guard saw me and was not pleased.

As you head up the ramp, please follow me

You are greated by a 12 year old girl who says "Please follow me." Following her into a side alcove, she asks, "What does progress mean to you?" Then she talks with you a bit about that while she walks with you and then introduces you to a teen ager, who picks up the conversation. He talks and walks with you as you continue up the ramp and then introduces you to a slightly older adult. Each time (so far) the "interpreter" gives a synopsis of what you have discussed to the next person so that the conversation has some continuity. This interpreter asks you questions and tries to draw you out. Suddenly they disappear behind a post in mid-conversation and you are immediately collected by an older adult, who will then relay a story about something that they are thinking about related to "progress." You are asked to listen and then they introduce you to a much older adult who engages you in a conversation about "progress" and questions your values. By the end of the conversation, you have reached the top of the museum. You can look down and see the couple kissing, and the perspective of the museum. Photography is not allowed. Nor are cell phones. I txted a friend not to miss this and shot some pictures.

The museum is empty of all art objects

For the first time in its history.

As you enter the museum...

The first thing you encounter is a couple in a slow motion choreography of kissing. The entire museum has been emptied of all art objects so that all the interaction is in conversation with the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. One or the other of the actors sometimes break their focus on each other and gaze off or to the audience and then are brought back into the continous engagement of their bodies.

Speaking of Relational Aesthetics

A fabulous exhibition at the Guggenheim in NY, Tino Sehgal (b. 1976, London) "constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than on material objects. Sehgal's works nevertheless fulfill all the parameters of a traditional artwork with the exception of inanimate materiality. They are presented continuously during the operating hours of the museum, they can be bought and sold, and by virtue of being repeatable, they can persist over time." (Guggenheim catalogue 2010)

Sehgal's practice has been shaped by his studies in dance and economics, while using the museum and related institutions - galleries, art fairs, private collections - as its arena. He considers visual art to be a microcosm of our social reality, as both center on identical economic conditions: the production of goods and their subsequent circulation. Sehgal seeks to reconfigure these conditions by producing meaning and value through a transformation of actions rather than solid materials.

...a visitor is no longer a passive spectator but one who bears a responsibilty in shaping and even contributing to the actual realization of the piece.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Audio Moblog

powered by Hipcast.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Monday Talk at 2:15 - 3:35 Women and Gender Studies

First floor conference room of the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett building.

Dr. Marina Grzinic is a philosopher, artist and theoretician. She lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia and works in Ljubljana and Vienna. Marina Grzinic is researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the ZRC SAZU (Scientific and Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art) in Ljubljana. She is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She also works as freelance media theorist, art critic and curator. Marina Grzinic has been involved with video art since 1982. In collaboration with Aina Smid, Grzinic produced more than 40 video art projects, short films, numerous video and media installations, several websites and an interactive CD-ROM (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany). Her publications include: Une fiction reconstruite. Europe de l'Est, post-socialisme et rÈtro-avant-garde [Fiction Reconstructed. Eastern Europe, Postsocialism and Retro avantgarde] (2004), Situated Contemporary Art Practices, Art, Theory and Activism from (the East of) Europe (2005) Aesthetics of Cyberspace and the Effects of De-realization (2005) as well as the co- edited volumes: New-Media Technology, Science, and Politics: The Video Art of Marina Grzinic and Aina Smid (2009), and New Feminism: Worlds of Feminism, Queer and Networking Conditions (2008).

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Group projects are due on Feb. 17. Hidden Histories. Please see post below...

Any questions, email me hanaiver@gmail.com


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some sample projects

Teri Rueb - Core Sample

Teri is a very interesting artist, working in the field of locative media. It is worth it to look at her entire site.

Janet Cardiff - Ghost Machine particularly excerpt #2. Janet Cardiff and her husband Georges Beurres Miller, are Canadian artists who work with sound, video, installation and the notion of creating audio landscapes... Look at all of her walks. This is just one example of how she uses sound to amplify and layer space.

Hidden Histories for Feb. 17

Each team has to pick a location from the Historic Walking Tour map. You are to research and develop a way to reveal the hidden history of the location (meaning past, present, maybe future) of the site and surrounding area... using Hipcase, podcasts, blogs, on-site tags, signs, installations - whatever. In addition, each team has to create a "map" or something to give to each student (or "user") to help them wayfind their way to/from/through the site.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Google MyMaps + Assignment

Due Monday, Feb. 8 and either linked or embedded in your blog:

The autobiography of your life in Google MyMaps.

For the complete MyMaps How To - it is a topic with all the information and pictures in the Oct. 2009 archive of this blog. Follow the link.

Audio Moblog

powered by Hipcast.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Audio Moblog

powered by Hipcast.com

Cool, free text service recommended by Steve

Textmarks http://www.textmarks.com/

I haven't looked at the full potential of this service yet, but it looks interesting.

Yet another blog address for the sidebar

James Morantus http://justgotintothis.blogsot.com

How to embed Twitter in your blog and other great stuff

Thank you, Allan for this great link!! It is also a very useful site for blogger tutorials...



Hipcast is an audio blogging service where you can easily make podcasts, add video, audio and mobile posts to the class blog. I have a membership (it costs a small amount of money) that I keep alive for this class. I will share the username and password and then you can make use of all the features.

How to record from your phone:

To record from your telephone, which is called Moblogging (Mobile Blogging),
you can call (512) 827-0431.
When prompted, enter your PIN: 181-197-551 #
Your options will be: Record and Publish, or Record and Not Publish. If you select Record and Publish, you will be prompted for your Blog Number or Podcast Number.

The blog number is 1072.

Try it to test it!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blogs to add to your sidebar

Go to layout/gadgets/link list

Add: Students

Sort alphabetically

Briana Gaydo brianagaydo.blogspot.com
Allan Schwade softcitycitizen.blogspot.com
Mike Kerslake mikekerslakesblog.blogspot.com
Truman Lahr trewmin.blogspot.com
Lauren Reed laurenreedsblog.blogspot.com
Tawn Bradley tawnbrad.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Schedule of Classes and Assignments

Jan 20

Introduction: What is Neighborhood Narratives?
The history of the class, case studies. Equipment check out. Overview.

Assigned Reading: PDF of The Neighborhood Narratives Project from http://hanaiverson.com/publications.html

Assignment: Leave a trail of your path and have partner find/follow it.

Jan 25

Overview review for students who are new.
Review of Projects
Review of reading
Integration of Blogs

What I carry with me. The bag exercise. The archeology of everyday life. Create your blog. Daniel Spoerri – An Anecdoted Topography of Chance. History of the Avante-garde.

Psychogeography: One Block Radius (GlowLab)

Reading: Links on the blog to avante-garde, Daniel Spoerri et all. Look for more links posted.
Assignment: Collect an archeological trail of Tuesday. Photograph.

Jan 27

Lab: Create a Flickr account and load the photos into Flickr. Link Flickr to your blog.

Assignment for Feb. 1 - catch up on all exercises and the reading so far.

Feb. 1

Guest speaker - Steve Bull. Cell phones and their creative possibilities.
Review of assignments. Presentation of Locative projects.
Assigned reading: Ambient Findability, chapter 2

Feb. 3

In class discussion about all readings
Walking in New Brunswick.
Creative Assignment - autobiography into google MyMaps

Feb. 8

Review of Assignment
Break up into teams
Large team assignment for Feb. 17
Reading assignment (handouts in class)
Relational Aesthetics, Nicholas Bourriaud
The Critique of the Everyday, Henri Lefebvre

Feb. 17

Presentation of projects on site.

Feb. 22

Critique of projects
Readings due, 3 discussion prompt questions posted to your blog.

Evaluation and Assessment


Research, attendance and participation 35%
In class assignments 30%
Final project 35%


Late assignments and exercises will not be tolerated. Failure to hand in an assignment by the due date and time will result in a zero grade for that assignment.

Research, Attendance and Participation

Group work, communicating and sharing knowledge through discussions, posting to the class blog, in-class presentations, and overall student participation are an essential part of the process of understanding course material.

Readings and blog postings are mandatory.

Prior to each class you will be required to complete a short reading and make notes of relevant points to bring up in class discussion.

Blog postings
Each week you will be required to a) make one post to your NEIGHBORHOOD NARRATIVES blog and b) to comment on at least one other student’s blog. Your post can be on: 1) a locative media project and your reaction to it or 2) a new media technology and how it relates to former ideas about photography (e.g. Spellbinder) or 3) if applicable, one of the required assignments.

Assignments and Final Project

The remit for the final project is to create an urban, on-site, locative (cell phone, GPS, mapping, sensory altering) media art project that engages visual as well as embodied (spatial + body) ideas, and document the final project on your blog.

The assignments will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to realize your final project.

Course Requirements and Class Business


The class is 3 hours long twice a week. For the most part, we will meet once a week and you will have a group project on the alternate day. The class will introduce methods of collecting data and artifacts, internet and field observation, mapping and scoring, "show and tell" and the examination of project presentations with rigorous discussion. Mobile city-wide exploration (public transportation, on foot) will include the presentation of the final project on location in the city. The class will also engage in peer dialogue and interdisciplinary teamwork, to extend the breadth of a project through collaboration. Students will keep semester long blogs including observations, photos, video and audio recordings (where equipment and resources allow) - a personal diary of the Neighborhood Narrative experience.

Internet Access

All students are expected to have frequent, dependable access to the internet. It is essential that you have an active email account that you ACCESS FREQUENTLY, for email with faculty and with each other. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU CREATE AND ACTIVELY MAINTAIN A BLOG. If you have any difficulties with either Internet access, your email account or your blog, please see the instructor after the first class.

Technology Requirements

You will need some form of memory stick to save and transport your work. Access to a mobile phone and digital camera is recommended.


Readings will be handed out in each class.

Course Costs

As expected with production courses, you may need to purchase supplies to produce your final project. Also, while it is not required, I would like to encourage you to use the communications features of your mobile phone: costs for voice calls and text messaging will depend on your phone plan.

Instructor Contact

The best way to reach me is by email. I am on campus once a week and am available to set up individual appointments, if requested.

Attendance and Lateness Policy

Attending the sessions outlined in the schedule is a requirement of this course. More than two unexcused absences will decrease the overall grade by one unit for each additional missed class. Five absences will result in a failing grade for the course. If you are going to be absent, please inform me by email at least 24 hours in advance. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up any work in a timely fashion. Three times arriving late will be considered as one unexcused absence. Being more than 10 minutes late will be counted as an absence.

Course Themes

The course is divided into three themes:

Theme one: Place and Space. The course begins with an examination of the concept of place. We explore questions such as: What is place? What is the difference between place and space? How are places mapped? What is the relationship of place to location?

Theme two: Embodied Practice. We investigate how a constantly changing environment affects the ways in which we physically stabilize our sense of orientation. We consider ways to ask strategic questions about encounter, gathering, and location; exploring our sensory alignment of the world, and how it is synthesized by the social mix of influences that affect both physical and virtual environments.

Theme three: Merger of Mixed reality and Mobility. Mobile media are tools that connect the physical to the virtual, by handheld connectivity to networks and webs. New public sites are emerging as a result of this mix - situated storysites, community mapping, environmental installations that incorporate technology, to name a few - that create a new form of experience and authorship.

Course Information

Spring 2010, Rutgers University
081: 213: 01
CSB – 326 Downtown
Monday and Wednesdays, 11:30 – 2:30
Instructor: Hana Iverson
Guest Instructor: David Gordon
Email: hiverson@rci.rtugers.edu; hanaiver@gmail.com
Office Hours: After class, by appointment.