Ebe Odonkor

For the initial thesis project, I have decided to collect personal stories from Ghanaian WWII veterans because I had been told snippets of my great-uncle’s WWII experience when I was a child, and thought they were heroic and interesting.

Moreover, WWII vets played a major role in the struggle that lead to Ghana’s independence from the British Empire. Not many Ghanaians know this fact. I thought their accounts of socio-political life during and after colonialism would be of great interest.

Armed with this bit of information and conviction, I traveled to Accra, the capital of Ghana, and started my search for WWII veterans. I have to confess that I was a little skeptical of finding any veterans to interview, considering the life expectancy of the region is 56.

I hit a bit of luck when I was informed that the previous government, under President Jerry John Rawlings, had housed most WWII vets at Amasaman, a suburb of Accra. After an hour’s drive through heavy traffic and on the newly constructed highway to Kumasi, my assistant and I arrived at the Legion Village, armed with sound recording devices and two camcorders.

We came unannounced, so we had to knock on a few doors and make our intentions known before settling down for an interview with the five remaining WWII veterans living in the village; most of them were living with their grandchildren. The first day (it took us three days to get every veteran on tape) of interviews seemed more rehearsed than the freestyle, ignore-the-recording-devices environment I had envisioned. But, by the second and third day we were comfortable enough with each other to let go and just converse.

UNFAMILIAR VOICES Social Collaboration as Collective Performance

Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey

Not only has our understanding of reality and concept of what is truly valuable changed dramatically over the past decade, so too has our appreciation for a definition of the private and public spheres.

Digital technologies, the Internet, and (more recently) social media have blurred the lines between the private and the public to such a degree that they have arguably become one. With a few notable exceptions, the compliance with which the vast majority of people in the industrialized world have accepted and assimilated such a complete redefinition of these two spaces is astonishing.

Out of Service

Benjamin Kennedy

If the age of film transmuted objects out of the material realm and into that of the magical, the contemporary networked model of digital exchange infuses yet more ‘magic’ into the object by means of a hyper-circulation of image-objects. Ever the subjects of their time, objects have once again spiritedly asserted themselves as actors amidst a profusion of communication technologies, digital algorithms, and networks of circulation.

Immobile Mobility

Hye Yeon Nam

Many new media artists choose to include interaction within their work for a number of reasons.

For one, the world itself is interactive and by incorporating these qualities into a work, it both mimics and considers how the everyday operates. New media work tends to question high art, such as painting and figurative sculpture. This questioning comes in many forms.

For example, new media often uses new technologies, and therefore asks: Are there limitations to what medium art can exist as? Does art have to be tangible? Why is art so prevalently commodified as objects?

Traditional artwork exists as independent of the viewer; new media claims instead that the viewer’s involvement completes the work. In fact, the viewer is actually no longer a “viewer” anymore, just looking at artwork; with new media, the viewer becomes a “participant,” actively engaging with the artwork and adding meaning to it. Viewers act upon interactive installations and immerse themselves in the work relatively intensely.

Self Portrait

Christopher Robbins

Creative destruction does not always operate literally; rather than change the object or phenomenon at hand, it can alter the focus, illuminating (or at least shedding new light on) unexpected elements. By changing perceptions about accepted ideas of an object, phenomenon, or culture, unseen constructs become visible.

the dutch boy with his finger in the dyke who has to pee

José Fernández Liermann

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I am fascinated by the realization that no matter how serious or antiquated, anything can be reconsidered.

 

The sense of indeterminancy this demonstrates in respect to our existence makes me wonder how we can be convinced of anything at all.

Cult of Cute

Evelyn Eastmond

In my different roles as software engineer, painter and Internet enthusiast, I am drawn towards platforms that enable creative expression and personal connections.

As both a maker and user of digital software and websites for creativity, I am a firm believer in the democratizing power that universal access to these tools brings.

By sharing art, emotions and ideas through open platforms like the Internet, people foster deep relationships with others they might have otherwise never met, much less engaged. In my own artwork, I also aim to make emotional connections to others.

The medium of painting, with its directness and limitless visual possibilities, allows me to communicate emotions that are not easily expressed through depictions of the representational. I find it essential to use the language of abstraction, through purity in form and color, to search for very personal, yet universal, imagery.

In my dual roles as software engineer and painter, I am investigating the generosity of frameworks and abstractions: fields that enable participants to encounter me as well as each other on their own terms.

println/paintln

Lili Maya

I began mixing traditional/physical art forms with digital media because I needed the contact with the physical act of drawing and making. It is how I think and orient myself. What I once thought was a desire to mix these worlds was really a necessity if I was to continue working with digital media.

Over time, I stopped making a distinction and I think of my work as art that incorporates different materials and processes. Expanding on that notion, my practice is now an interdisciplinary collaboration involving sound, performance, site-specific installation and music.

Claudia O’Steen

Arc of Visibility

This work points to a never-ending process, a series of attempts to measure an infinite line, to chart the color of the sky, to capture the single point where a shift occurs in a limitless expanse. Using altered surveying equipment I document the sea and the process of being in between two places.

Departing from the familiar, I begin a process of navigating the unknown. Through this transit, I extend my own boundaries into un-encountered territory and embrace the unforeseen. Using devices that refer to both the past and the future without positioning themselves in either, I displace fragments of landscape, allowing you to experience places and events in many ways at once. These constructed tools take in light and reflect my surroundings, allowing me to measure and record my position in relation to the infinite horizon line, or the apex of a wave.

Seeing, counting, and measuring are ways of understanding; creating tools to record and quantify these measurements allows me to understand them in relation to myself. Using these devices, I attempt to orient myself by examining place via the lens of personal experience and primary observation, often selecting points that are ultimately impossible to calibrate against.

 

 

Elizabeth Skadden

Robert Mueller Airport was a parcel of land that was up for sale to developers.

As the Cattelus Company began bulldozing and constructing real streets, our own runway paths disappeared. Experimental filmmaker and urban geographer Bill Brown has recorded the effect of such vanishings on his website, heybillbrown.com, a catalogue of eccentricities in the American landscape. “It’s strange to see the infrastructure disappear: A demolished gas station. A vanished ATM. Unpaved parking lots and ripped-up railroad tracks. Like somebody threw a switch, and now the city is running in reverse, shedding the stuff it’s made out of. Coming undone.”

As Cattelus construction persisted, the fence was taken down and a children’s hospital rose in the distance. Today, Robert Mueller Airport is a “community” called Mueller Development. “The sustainable, transit oriented design of this new community includes a broad range of homes plus places to shop, dine, jog, bike and play,” says their website.

There are only two reminders of the original landscape: the wooden hangar, which has been partially deconstructed and whitewashed to be a part of the children’s park, and the air traffic control tower. These are my lighthouses in a sea of unfamiliar landscape. Looking at them reminds me of specific instances, such as the time we biked to the airport and shot Super 8 of us riding over the airport runways. I can find the exact spot where this once happened but the view of Best Buy is alien. This landscape is irrevocably changed; it is no longer mine.

What happens to our memories when our topographic map changes? What happens to an emotional map based on space when that space is gone?

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