Recent Projects

Thumbnail

Baltimore is a three-channel, DVD video installation that presents blaxploitation cinema as the provocative, controversial, culturally complex, and often humorous phenomena that it was, while critically commenting on it as a genre that continues to influence music and film.

The project originated while Julien was researching and teaching a film course in the African American studies department at Harvard. He subsequently produced a one-hour documentary about the 70's blaxploitation film phenomenon for the Independent Film Channel. However, he still wanted to create an installation that would take a more fictional and impressionistic approach to blaxploitation themes, and uses two characters: one to represent a 1970's analog world (Melvin Van Peebles, Director of Sweet Sweet Back's Baadasssss Song) and the other, the future of digital technology (Vanessa Myrie).

The installation consists of two environments. The first places the viewer in a documentary context: blaxploitation as cultural phenomena. The voices of director Quentin Tarantino, actresses Gloria Hendry and Pam Grier, and actor Fred Williamson stream from speakers in each of the room's four corners, bearing witness to the movement through stories of their own personal experiences. The second environment presents blaxploitation as critical commentary. A video tryptich portrays Vanessa Myrie, the character representing the future, entering the contrasting cultural/historical environments of Baltimore's Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Walters Arts Museum, shadowed by the Van Peebles character, who represents the past. In the Wax Museum, Myrie passes the political and cultural icons of African American history, feeling the weight of what they represent. She then enters the Walters, haunted by the power of the paintings depicting the slave trade, feeling she is being pursued by an unknown assailant, or perhaps only a shadow of history, as she struggles to move into an independent future.

Baltimore marks Julien's first venture into creating digital effects for his work. After shooting on film and transferring his images to digital video, he worked closely with MID staff to create animated and composited special effects for his technologically mediated characters and backgrounds.

Baltimore was exhibited at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), in Liverpool, England in March 2003; it will also be presented in Eyebeam's 9,000 square-foot chelsea gallery space. The project was co-commissioned by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; Eyebeam; the Foundation for Art and Technology, Liverpool; and the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; in association with The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore.

Thumbnail

As digital technologies become more embedded in everyday life, the line between the virtual and real is increasingly blurred. Delicate Boundaries imagines a space in which the worlds inside our digital devices can move into the physical world. Small bugs made of light, crawl out of the computer screen onto the human bodies that make contact with them. The system explores the subtle boundaries that exist between foreign systems and what it might mean to cross them.

This work was created with the support of Medialab Prado, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, and Hangar.

Thumbnail

Trevor Paglen's “The Other Night Sky” is a project to track and photograph classified American satellites in Earth orbit, a total of 189 covert spacecraft. To develop the body of work, Paglen was assisted by observational data produced by an international network of amateur “satellite observers.”

To translate the observational data into a useable form, Paglen worked with Fellows in the Eyebeam Production Lab, to develop a software model to describe the orbital motion of classified spacecraft.

With these tools, he is able to calculate the position and timing of overhead reconnaissance satellite transits and photograph them with telescopes and large-format cameras using a computer-guided mechanical mount. The resultant skyscapes are marked by trails of sunlight reflected from the hulls of obscure spacecraft hurtling through the night.

Thumbnail

Bill Dolson's Reentry Series uses multiple synthetic meteors to produce luminous, ephemeral drawings in the upper atmosphere. These drawings will persist for only seconds, at most minutes. The behavior of individual synthetic meteors will be similar to naturally occurring meteors. However, their composition and configuration will be controlled and intentional, exhibiting various elementary geometric relationships which will be obviously premeditated and systematic to any observer. The fact that these are deliberate drawings will be inescapable. The Reentry Series is one of several proposed series of dynamic environmental works which involve the synthesis and plastic use of otherwise naturally occurring, very large scale, time dependent visual phenomena.

The Reentry Series includes components of new media, conceptual and land art. Dolson's residency will be used to create a series of studies and visualizations for large scale works creating highly charged dynamic geophysical events including synthetic meteor showers, artificial cloud formations and large-scale fires. With some of the works meant to be viewed from above responding to the urban landscape, Dolson explores environmental processes or structures already modified by humans and manipulates those processes or structures in a fashion which makes recognition of our impact on the environment unmistakable.

Thumbnail

EarthSpeaker was the result of Jeff Feddersen's residency during which time he researched and prototyped solar-powered, distributed, autonomous, sculptural acoustic and radio wave transmitters, as well as developed content for them. The transmitters will be used in a permanent outdoor installation at free103point9’s Wave Farm in Acra, NY, tentatively scheduled for next summer. His residency will also result in a toolkit for artists, activists and technologist seeking to incorporate solar technologies in their work.

Thumbnail

Aphrodite Project: Platforms is an interactive artwork that combines the rich mythology of Aphrodite, the priestesses/prostitutes of ancient
Greece, with the advertising and safety concerns of contemporary sex workers in the streets, providing technological access to people for whom it would not normally be available. Video and installation artist Norene Leddy, ( http://www.nobetty.net) is working with new media artist and physical computing expert Andrew Milmoe (http://www.milmoe.com) to prototype sandals for sex workers that utilize the latest wireless and GPS technology in order to enhance their job performance and ensure their safety while working. The sandal prototype will be embedded with an LCD screen, GPS receiver, radio beacon and speakers. Leddy will also create a web site that allows the sex worker to customize the sandals and offers a secure community network with email, chat room and “problem client” blog. For more information visit http://www.nobetty.net/platforms

Thumbnail

Modern Orthodox is a working demonstration of my next-generation laser eruv system. An eruv (pronounced ey-roov) is a symbolic boundary erected around religious Jewish communities throughout the world. While an eruv is typically constructed with poles and wires, Modern Orthodox employs a combination of low-power lasers, wifi surveillance cameras and graffiti, as a way of designating sacred volumes of space in urban areas.

Thumbnail

Schengen with ease 'Extra-comunitarios', or citizens of non-European countries, have the 'extra' bureaucratic task of changing their status, to one that will allow them to move and work 'freely' within the European Union. The length and complexity of this process can vary depending on the type of 'extra-comunitario' in question. Almost everyone agrees that bureaucracy is the most boring thing on the world. Time spent in waiting rooms and lines is not considered as a part of living, but an interference, daily life put on hold, with the hope that, when it's all over, it will be possible to take up 'real' life again as though nothing had ever happened. It is wasted, meaningless time that has to be erased as soon as the new status is achieved - in the case that process was successful. A card with a number becomes the key to freedom and the desire for it grows stronger as the bureaucratic process, transition, irresolution, legislative limbo or whatever becomes longer and more convoluted. If it's true that we learn from life by living it, what teaches us this most boring experience? Queue better? Be more severe, obedient, or lie to the authorities better? And how did we come to this that a piece of paper can provide us freedom? Schengen with ease is a compilation of material from a variety of official and non-official sources, brought together to explain how daily practices are affected by the application of the EU Foreign Legislation and the Schengen Agreement in the territory of the European Union. Adopting the Assimil method (Alphonse Cherel, Paris, 1929) this book gives a systematic study of all the bureaucratic steps a non-EU citizen might face while trying to obtain EU status. All the required steps are taught through lessons like those found in foreign language skill books, comparing the administrative language of European immigration legislation to an unknown language that has to be mastered first in order to assimilate in to a new environment, receiving deter...

Thumbnail

Casa Segura is a sustainable and Internet-enabled shelter to be deployed in the Sonoran desert. This prototype is intended to explore the possibility of creating life-saving beacons in an otherwise hostile landscape, enabling private property owners to help foster a humane border and creating a platform for understanding the motivations and stories of the thousands of migrants who make this dangerous trek through the desert. For this project Robert will collaborate with architects Paola Sanguinetti and Blake Goble, as well as emerging artist Ryan Moran