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Contextual Review, Case Studies

This section is mapping the terrain of my area of interest. It should give the reader a clear view of the phenomena this research project is trying to understand and provide some evidence that supports my claims that there are experiences of "global awareness", "global consciousness," interconnectedness and holistic overview of the world. And that there have been earlier attempts-conscious or unconsciously- to explore this area.
It also tries to create evidence that this change in Weltanschauung came into existence long before the 20ies (Futurism) of the last century and actually goes back 400 years as ships began to cross the globe. In the last years appearances of interactive art-works that make aware of global distances, natural-physical phenomena or the earth as such.
Some of these pieces are technology based some of them are not. Some connect people with people whereas others connect people with places. A few of them are artworks whereas others are political statements or complex games with multiple players or information displays. They all have in common that they reconnect us with the earth.

Area of interest:

Firstly there is the area of telematic art which includes connecting over an unnatural distance or controlling a remote devices. Secondly the phenomenon of transformation art where this research focusses on the transformation of data from one sensorial domain to another which can be employed to create entertaining as well as educating effects. Thirdly it is about the idea of a “global awareness,” an enhanced, dissociate state of awareness of the gestalt of the planet which may also include enhanced awareness of the immediate natural surrounding.1

1. Peter Weibel distinguishes between a global consciousness, the "small world" effect (McLuhan) and an orbital consciousness the view from above.

Why is there something an example as "abstract" and un-sensual as "Worldprocessor"? (Ingo Günther himself calls it "cold and rational.") Instead of Günther's "worldprocessor" there could by a project that is truely engaging with the physical world. Andy Goldsworthy goes into the right direction, but it is concerned about a location, a place. Suzie Gablik reported about a project that included spending a night outdoors and watching the sun rise. But this is about a collective experience, nature, perception and the body. Something too primordeal for my sense. Both examples don't engage with planet earth as such. There is no real "overview effect" coming into play. A possible project would be tracking the stars accross the sky during a clear night ... feeling the earth rotating beneath us. But i haven't heard of such a project yet. So "worldprocessor" has to suffice.

Examples will include:
Fuller - planning a multiplayer computer controlled world game using live data.
Ascott - collaborative storytelling across continents.
Brand - creating buttons to increase "global awareness"
AEC - making school children aware of interconnectedness and global overview with an interactive installation with live data.
Assocreation - connecting two cities/places with interactive, tactile installations.
deKerkove - visually connecting people from different public locations across the world, creating interconnectedness.
Fuijhata - live webcam images demonstrating global time differences in a single installation piece.
Goldberg - audible/visual installation connecting visitors with indiscernible live earthquakes.
Gore - planning a live image of the earth from outer space on a TV channel for everyone, global awareness, global consciousness.
Günther - vivid visualisation of global statistics with 300 globes
Jerram - audible installation connecting visitors with undiscernible planetary motions and cosmic currents.
Mann - visually, audibly and tangibly connecting otherwise busy people with a range of custom devices.
Breathing Earth (title a little confusing with Sensorium's "Breathing Earth" visualisation from 1997) by Stillwater
The sundial timezone camera installation:

Sensorium - different installations to experience the physical world and undiscernible events.
Sermon - visually connecting and involving people at remote locations (installation?).
Setoh - poetic audible installation connecting two remote places via the elements.
Smart - multisensorial connection of two apartments indicating tele presence.
Ueda - connecting two places on different continents, global awareness.
Wilson - ?
Anderson - geographically connecting live message posters via a live map, micro-macro context, global consciousness.

Nature, physcial world: Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Ned Kahn, Olafur Eliasson.

Currently there are quite a number of other global awareness initiatives going on besides the few mentioned. Of course there are Terravision and Google Earth both applications with a tool character of augmenting data - and less with a poetic task of global awareness.

There is a new film by Alexander Herzog that looks interesting. Many shots from space and under water ...

Filmmaker Cornelia Parker experiences that art has a responsibility, and writes, after interviewing Noam Chomsky "Artists can bear witness. We are free radicals in a way that scientists can never be. Humanity may be on the brink of disaster, but this could be an exciting, creative period, with everyone - philosophers, artists, politicians, bus drivers - doing everything they can to avert it.",,2255812,00.html

02008/09/10 - This box is off on global journey.

An exciting global awareness project by the BBC. They branded a standard size shipping container and equipped it with a GPS. On their website there is live tracking of the container on a map as it circumnavigates the globe via cargo vessels. It is being used as a general container and possibly even generating income when it is used for carrying goods across the oceans.
last update: 5/17/02012 16:34

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