Upgrade! New York 10th Anniversary

After a humble beginning in a New York bar in 1999, the Upgrade! has blossomed into an international network with over thirty nodes meeting regularly all across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. To celebrate ten years of dialog and debate on issues related to art and technology, Eyebeam and Not An Alternative will host an evening of presentations by Upgrade! and Eyebeam honorary residents Alexander Galloway, Mushon Zer-Aviv, and Savic Rašovic. The presentations will be followed by a reception and a screening of video work from members of the Upgrade! International network.

Alexander Galloway and Mushon Zer-Aviv will present their collaborative project, Kriegspiel, a computer game based on Guy Debord’s Game of War. Inspired by the military theory of Carl von Clausewitz and the European campaigns of Napoleon, Debord’s game is a chess-variant played by two opposing players on a game board of 500 squares arranged in rows of 20 by 25 squares. Galloway and Zer-Aviv will also discuss their plans to make the game open source.

Savic Rašovic (aka Pirun aka Sasha), a regular contributor to Upgrade! Boston, will present his work done in collaboration with Catherine D’Ignazio. Rašovic and D’Ignazio run iKatun, an organization that engages public participation in transforming the meaning and use of public space.

About the Presenters
Eyebeam alum Alexander R. Galloway is an author and programmer. He is a founding member of the software collective RSG and creator of the Carnivore and Kriegspiel projects. The New York Times recently described his work as “conceptually sharp, visually compelling and completely attuned to the political moment.” Galloway is the author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (MIT, 2004), Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (Minnesota, 2006), and a new book cowritten with Eugene Thacker called The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Minnesota, 2007). He teaches at New York University.

Eyebeam honorary resident Mushon Zer-Aviv is a designer, an educator and a media activist from Tel-Aviv, based in NY. His work explores media in public space and the public space in media. In his creative research he focuses on the perception of territory and borders and the way they are shaped through politics, culture, networks and the World Wide Web. He is the co-founder of ShiftSpace.org, an open source layer above any website; Shual.com, a foxy design studio; YouAreNotHere.org, a dislocative tourism agency; Kriegspiel; and the Tel Aviv node of the Upgrade! international network. He teaches new media research at NYU and open source design at Parsons the New School of Design.

Savic Rašovic (Sasha or Pirun) was born in Titograd, Yugoslavia (now Podgorica, Montenegro) and lives and works in Cambridge, MA. Rašovic is an entrepreneur, new media artist, curator, publisher, designer, programmer, political activist, and performer. He is the co-founder with Catherine D’Ignazio of iKatun, an artist-run organization whose mission is to foster public engagement in the politics of information and a member of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things—a troupe that uses research and performance to investigate social and political everyday “tiny things” in order to transform public spaces dominated by corporate and political agendas.

About Upgrade!
Upgrade! is an international network of autonomous nodes located throughout the world that are united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Upgrade! NY is a monthly programming series co-produced by Eyebeam and Not An Alternative. The 2009 curatorial theme explores open source activist and creative practices.

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