All posts filed under: articles and essays

Audible Walls, Breathing Vaults, and the Fantastic Sites of Re-Imagination

Based on a presentation at the Media Art Histories conference in Riga, Latvia a couple of years ago, the final paper of my longstanding Polish media art project has been published in Acoustic Space #15: Open Fields. Art and Science Research Practices in the Network Society. It looks at the fantastic as a productive mode of re-imagination and re-making, inspired by that famous Shklovsy notion of ostraniene, or defamiliarization. The article turns to Polish media artworks that—through images, experiences, and encounters —are not only strange but also disruptive, challenging the architectures, broadly defined, of the contemporary condition. Dominik Lejman’s Breathing Cathedral (2005) provides a case of a media art practice that harnesses the interplay between materiality and immateriality to re-imagine urban history, civic politics and architectural heritage; in Making the Walls Quake… (2012) Katarzyna Krakowiak creates a space where architecture becomes audible; and in She-Ona: Media Story (2008) Izabella Gustowska produces a fantastical experience of our mediated environment in a way that reflects back on the structures of the digital condition and transforms the technologies …

Technologies of Wonder

I chaired a special session panel called “Technologies of Wonder ” for the New Media Caucus at the 2015 College Art Association meeting. The papers were then published in Media-N. The entire issue is available online, including my intro, and my paper on “Seeing Nano: Vision, Optics, and the Sight of Impossible Things.”

Designing Nano-Media Across Disciplines

As part of my Postdoc with SFU, I worked with a lab specializing in nano-optics. One of my interests was to bring artists to the lab to see how we could engage and present this emerging technology in innovative and creative ways. The result was an insert featured in the journal PUBLIC. The story of the project, including technical background, connections with art- and media- making processes, as well as production/manufacturing challenges, are discussed in a paper I presented at ISEA 2015 called “Designing Nano-Media Across Disciplines: Circular Genealogies and Collaborative Methodologies at the Optical Frontier,” which can be found here.

Real and Virtual Histories of Past and Future in the Heritage Village

This paper considers the immaterial aspects of the history of land as way to reimagine heritage. Through the heritage village – that imagined, artificial, and curated representation of history with very particular kinds of material iterations and legacies of the past – we consider the immaterial memories and histories that have becomes absent from the staging and design of heritage as collective history. We examine the way that these omissions function in the imagination of the present and future by turning to the site-specific contemporary art exhibition Land/Slide Possible Futures (2013). Located on the site of Markham Museum heritage village in Ontario, Canada, this expansive project reveals the imbricated histories of the rise of the heritage village and that of the suburb. Turning to Duke & Battesby’s Always Popular, Never Cool and Terrance Houle’s There’s Things That Even a Drunk Will Never Forget, among others, we argue for the heritage village as a lieu de mémoire, where memories are continuously unearthed, revealed, and imagined, and where artists transform archival collections and historical architectures into surreal …