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Burning Man 2004 Art Theme, Vault Of Heaven

2004_BRC_MapI am attending Burning Man this year as a documentary representative for Glowlab, and I am excited. The 2004 Art Theme, Vault Of Heaven"will be a blend of scientific theory and artistic intuition. " (BM website) Not too many people (except for the 25,000 people last year) want to fry in the desert for a week to discover psychogeography in the deserts of Nevada, but thats why Christina keeps me on board.

dome_elevation_wBurning Man is not only creating a temporal city this year, but a temporal universe. Installations spiralling from a center point of Black Rock City conceptually address the transient nature of our existence and the things that surround us in this existence. Usually the playa transforms into a city of art for a week, which contains its own psychogeographic qualities. But this year, the focus is to the stars.

More as the time approaches.

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: the name says it all....

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We just received a fabulous birthday gift from artist and CONFLUX participant Lee Walton. It's too great not to share...

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National Dinner Tour

Conflux participant Marc Horowitz's National Dinner Tour gets press coverage in Chicago. Meet Marc in New York during the Conflux [May 13 - 16] -- share some free coffee and maybe dinner, too.

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Iain Sinclair profile

Iain Sinclair's new novel reviewed in the Guardian; thanks to Jim Colquhoun for sending the link.

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Superflex, at Redcat Gallery in Los Angeles, is studying the significance of place in relationship to people (psychogeography) in economic terms through the exhibition of GUARANÁ POWER. What sets this apart from a strictly political or economically driven exhibition is how Superflex is presenting "an installation that addresses the concept of self-organization, an ongoing theme in their work". (e-flux newsletter, April 12, 2004)

Superflex "challenges the role of artists in contemporary society" in having them think about not only art and design, but "economic structures of dependency" in relationship to their work. Although they are based out of Copenhagen, their work is global is scope. Most notably is Superchannel by Superflex, which "is a network of local studios used by people and communities as discussion forum, presentation medium and a physical gathering place." (Superflex description of Superchannel site) Currently they exhibit 31 channels and 1461 shows.

(Image from Superchannel)

The exhibition at RedCat gives American exposure to American critique of big business and it's global implications. Like Superflex's other works, this exhibition is subtle in it's initial approach to very large and loud issues. It allows the work to reach an audience who might be wary of political or economic critique, while retaining the audience that is more willing to directly engage the social assessment.

[Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from RedCat Gallery posting of Superflex]

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(area)code is an sms mapping system which reveals personal memories and the hidden histories behind 5 key sites in Manchester city centre.

"(area)code invites you to collect and reflect upon your immediate environment, and enables new forms of engagement and information exchange between person and place, Developed for Futuresonic, (area)code aims to inspire comments about the effect of urban regeneration in the city. Manchester has been an important trade centre since the Industrial Revolution through to today’s manifestation as a retail and leisure boomtown. How do such changes affect our lives? Do we feel involved in the decision making process or do you find your life has to alter to fit these new urban spaces?"

This project shares some similarities with other projects we like:
[murmur], Teletaxi and Urban Tapestries, all presenting at the Conflux in May, as well as PDPal and GeoURL .

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The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces.

The group is currently working on an audio tour of the Chicago Technology Park. You can download MP3s, PDF transcripts as well as a PDF guide.

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walking in place

Nick Brown has created extensive documentation of his Psychogeographic pursuits at Walkinginplace.com. As an artist based in Champaign, Illinois, Mr. Brown has focused upon the mapping of his place and the actions that occur (or once occurred) in this place. Performance, derives, extensive documentation and literary references along the way has created an extensive portfolio both Psychogeographic and performative in nature.

The extent to which Nick Brown interprets “place” is evident mid way through the opening page of his site: “… walkers >> words >> rationale >> bibliography >> calendar >> weblog >> radio >> symposium >> film series >> revolution seeds >> biodiesel >> permaculture >> natural building …”, and that’s just the beginning. Mr. Brown is actively seeking to understand and explore the simple act of walking as both a response to an environment and as an act of pursuance for finding new aspects of the place.

A specific example of Nick Brown’s actions is a derive entitled “Bison Traces”. The documentation shows himself and friends partaking in the fording of streams that bison once had to endure in this place. This documentation is supported with photographs, maps, philosophical texts and Quicktime movies of the performances. This level of display for consideration of context, concept, execution and reflection is consistent through out the portfolio of Mr. Brown. This shows a desire by the artist to not only communicate his interests to the uninformed audience stopping at his site, but to cause a catalyst of inspiration for others to pursue this interest in place.

Mr. Brown has a few projects by which he is already tutoring the inspiration of the place. “Grid Tours” is a guided derive by Mr. Brown to investigate one of the grid squares on a map of Champaign. What ever experience the participant takes from the derive can be interpreted by them, but he “can not be held liable for anything bad (or good) that occurs during the tour”. The inspiration goes two ways, however; as the participants walk, they generate questions that Mr. Brown will pose to other participants. The handing over of question Is a symbolic request by Mr. Brown to receive a token of thought for the access of the places he invites others to explore. Other projects that might inspire other persons to act are “Square Mile”, and “Walk to walk”. These projects force the viewer or participant to reconsider a place, which is the primary concern of Mr. Brown.

Walkinginplace offers the psychogeographer a multitude of projects from which to take inspiration. Using the countryside as a source of Psychogeographic creation questions the urban landscape from which many psychogeographers pull from. Contrasting this idea, the amount of interpretation for a single place can inspire reconsideration of places by any artist so as to inspire fresh perspectives upon stale or previously investigated sites.

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Opsound listening salon featuring Leif Inge

Opsound kicks off a new series of listening salons in New York with a presentation by Norwegian sound artist Leif Inge, to be held on Monday, April 12th at 8PM, at the free103point9 gallery at 97 S. 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Inge will be introducing his project, 9 Beet Stretch, a 24-hour version of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. He will play excerpts from the piece and host a short discussion. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Both Opsound and free103point9 are participants in this year's Conflux, and their events are not to be missed!

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