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Posts tagged ‘跟踪 tracing’

I recently ran into this mini project from students of FEI Jun‘s media lab at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (courtesy of NO+CH). They call them “micro-observations”, and according to the students, serve “not merely as a magnification of the thing itself, but as an enlargement of the act of noticing. ‘Micro-observations’ bring about not only a paying attention to the unnecessary, but in revisiting these objects the transformation of their semantic meaning.” Nice public intervention~

点击图片查看箭头指向的物体 Click on the images to see enlarged object

“微观”公共艺术项目

材料:水、粉笔、现成品

人们似乎只习惯关注宏观风景,而忽略身边的细微之物,尤其是在公共环境中。指向性的标识符号往往对人产生直觉性的吸引力,我们在公共空间中使用粉笔、水等创建了临时性的导视符号,用于指向日常环境中的一些微小的物件,墙角的昆虫躯体、地上干枯的残花、马路上散落的烟蒂…叠加的标识使得这些平常无奇的细节被人为的放大,其实被放大的不是物件本身,而是人们的关注,“微观”导致的不只是一次可有可无的关注,被关注的那些物这样的再访中被转化了语义。作为对于特定公共空间的一次微小和瞬间的干预,“微观”企图引发“再访-再现-再定义”的感知体验。

参与艺术家 Participating artists:费俊 FEI Jun、尚钰 SHANG Yu、宋思琪 SONG Siqi、张宝珠 ZHANG Baozhu

that’s the artist who gave the workshop in Geneva last month:

http://www.softhook.com/

His name is Christian Nold and he has been working mainly on public space and particularily how “masses” use and move into space. As he says, nowadays, there are so many events happening already in the public space (for example, protests, etc.) that there is no need to organize events or performances. there is enough to observe already. what he has been mainly doing in recent years, is to produce subjective cartographies of areas, cities, etc. He made kind of emotional maps, for example, renaming all the subway stations, or he asked people to draw their neighborhood…in another project, he asked people to walk around with a kind of machine that measures stress (like a lie detector) and a gps, and afterward they discussed together to understand what were that main reasons for stress. actually his maps look like the one I posted last summer on our blog…

I think the whole point of his work is to give community a voice to express its own space, and to personalize maps instead of having objective, pseudo-neutral maps. somehow, I felt that his work is trying to put together the two dimensions of mapping and tracing…I gave him Petrescu’s paper, he was interested! His work goes sometimes a step further, in the sense that it is used by urban planners or local politics, who need to have a better understanding of the environment.

The work we did in Geneva was quite different though, and although i found it interesting, it was somehow too similar to what I’m used to do in social sciences. we chose an area we wanted to explore, describe and map, and we ended up working on the UN/international organizations area, which is a very special area in Geneva as it is very cold, unfriendly and unlively area. almost like the bad chinese new constructions you see everywhere.

http://www.geneva.publicbiopsy.net/?page_id=105

well, so as we could feel it in the built environment, we tried to explore the connections/disconnections between this area, the people working in those IO and Geneva. Basically a lot of those people are expats, so they have a particular relation with the city, as expats have everywhere else in the world. but what at least for me is interesting, is that all those IO, NGOs, etc. are kind of acting for the world, that is, in a scale we all belong to. But as I showed on the pictures (the world upside down that I posted a few weeks ago) there is something very weird about the world they represent: something that is far, stranger, cold, that nobody seems to be able to appropriate, and this is strongly felt in the built environment. So during the workshop we got kind of stuck with this very huge topic of international organizations…and tried to map them, or at least tried to map their presence into the city, but we didn’t really have enough time to finish…so the result wasn’t that interesting. it was funny though to interrogate people about those IOs; we asked them to draw the people working there and get a bit into their imaginary of what those guys are (doing). I think it could have been funny to try to imagine the city actually without its international part and see what would be left…but I think these drawing and mapping techniques are definitely very interesting and could be something to explore in Beijing projects as well…

and here is my question, the post about electric palm tree is very interesting, how do you imagine we could get further on the co-existence discourse? do you already have some ideas in mind?

HomeShop invites Beijing’s Critical Reading Group to discuss two readings: Doina Petrescu’s “The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common” [download PDF here] and a selection from The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere by Jürgen Habermas. The Habermas chapter, entitled “The Polarization of the Social Sphere and the Intimate Sphere” [download PDF here], didn’t make it to the discussion for reasons of dryness and tardiness, but in about three hours, the group manages to make it through the difficulties of defining a trace, Shaanxi Mo King buns, mapping China, a bit of beer & sake and a curious visit from the local police.

the notes below are simple tags to help you find your way —- the meeting in full is recorded below; skim through and hopefully find something interesting for you, or try playing them all at once and listen to the signal-to-noise ratio…



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ON “THE INDETERMINATE MAPPING OF THE COMMON” | 3′ 23
contradicting, controversy of social mapping, a solipsistic position, Deligny, “the marker of a hidden ontological data”, do they share that relationship with the people imbuing meaning into their normative behaviours?, common to him, loss when you bring in language, discursive things…

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MAPPING and TRACING | 7′ 11
GPS versus tracing, locative mapping versus tracing as invocation of essence, tracing has no purpose as such, tracing as the “way of doing it”, intention, Situationist, surprising within everyday life, not about finding something extraordinary, mental maps, how people live space, a minefield of gestures, a social mapping entanglement, ontological presence that you can’t really touch, anthropomorphism, common ground, tracing as creative process, anthropological process, fraught with danger, Sichuan, daily subjectivities within a larger urban plan, practical application, their locomotion, more aesthetic than logical, magnetic waves…

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A LATECOMER, INTRODUCTIONS | 4′ 27
as little disturbance as possible, bad theory joke, angie – california, berkley, arts, bea – swiss, phd, geography, anthropology, urban planning, sean – toronto, phd, critical sports theory, olympics, collin – colorado, caijing, not where my interests are exactly, julia – contemporary art history, southern california, chinese, three shadows, elainetexas, artist, freelancing, hence this, chris – artist, brooklyn, shanghai, theory, hanora – consulting, also not my main area of interest, matthew – long walks on the beach, capricorn, photographer, film, documentary, we’ve been on and off for awhile…

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BALL, ANOTHER ARRIVAL | 4′ 06
Deligny, aqueducts, Berkley cognitive science professor, Himalayan graphic image of ball rolling forward, Buddhist monks, physical difference in brains, gravitational differences, dirty your floor, katie – come with duck and things, awkward being in the middle, other vegetables, open the sake, have at it, that’s all i’ve got, i like your haircut, rain, panic, panic, anyway…

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THE OTHER | 10′ 12
theories of gravity, Tibetan monks, post-structuralist utilization of the Other, all this other without a kind of an object, autistic kids and Tibetan guys, rationalist flaw, let’s find an Other, ben stiller, line of crisis of modernity, our cities are poorest, flexible spaces, borders keep moving, the softness of cities has come to the fore, meditating, Edward Said’s “Orientalism“, hegemonic white male, Benedict Anderson‘s flaw, concrete Marxist ideals, is it a flaw or a mechanism to understand, language inherently leads to Otherness, polarizing nouns, Deligny breaking down polarization, everyday dispositions, a bridge, tracing that evokes a common space of understanding, describing, the limitations of the cartographic model, alternative models, trace as action, intense attention to something else without explaining, “a seeing that is not related to thinking, a gaze which does not reflect”, shooting for something passive, describe something in its own terms, ton of criticism, not completely there…

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DEFINING MAPPING AND TRACING | 9′ 58
weakness of this article, juxtaposition, boundaries not clear, GPS locative mapping versus non-intentive walking, leaving realm for possibility in the act of doing, subjective process, walking as beginning of architecture, gesture as beginning of utterance, speech, writing, tracing as embodied communication, trace to map is shift of sensory focus to intense bias of visual, corporeality, knowing oneself in the world, trace as remnant, left behind, pinpointing, everyone in this room is constantly tracing, tracing as production of space, GPS is inherent map, imposing trails upon places already there, walking through this room, remainders, plotted footprints, embodied act becomes a leftover, mapping as judgmental or critical, tracing ontological, mapping and language, deterministic, mapping as reflexive practice, mapping: scopophilic, hegemonic, totalizing, problematic, tracing: nice, soft, centering closer to the abstract, foucault, approaching the liminal?, the approximation of a definition, never access through language, Deleuze & Guattari, affect before thought, codify affect to thought and thought to language, tracing as affective, embodied experience, codified in language, another way of saying mapping…

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THIS PROJECT, THIS SPACE, COMMON SPACE, ETC. | 9′ 27
different activities or events, subversions or interventions, my own meanings of the city at this time, documentation without intent, no ideal visualization, what’s going on in this city, Deligny inserting himself, what’s the trace for you here?, opening ceremonies, clique-ing inside, screen as boundary that is crossed, separation of the social networks made possible by this event, blurring of public and private space in Chinese society, attempt to trace or document, Olympics as grid, imposition upon city and people affecting everyday life level, Petrescu’s common space, lack of ability to describe the ontological, an active process, resting on vagueness, syntax, argument on links, tracing or mapping out of ethnographies, about the author themselves over their subject of ethnography, what body position is supposed to be, starting with a conclusion, motive or desire to embark upon a project, “another history of architecture —- one which is not that of settlements, cities and buildings made of stones but of movements, displacements and flows….

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TRACING BEIJING OLYMPICS, 警察来了, 就是朋友 | 8′ 16
Does tracing have anything to do with how Beijing was radically altered in advance of the Olympics?, Yuan, Ming, Qing, buildings wiped out, how modern Beijing has been built, tracing like breathing, because the development’s there I go to it, pathways through hedges, desire paths, Beijing is meant to control that, you can never control that, space for improvisation, mapping consciousness versus social consciousness, opposite the hutong vibe, tracing in hutongs, structure businesses, houses, lives, dream of the architects, 没有,就是一些朋友过来吃饭,在北京工作,这个我帮一个朋友, did someone call?, the station’s just down the street, maybe we just carry on like everything’s cool, an example of control, exercise machines, follow that grid exactly, social control built, who you guys were, state-prescribed exercise equipment, 20th century history of hutongs not existing prior to 1949, talking about fashion or something, multiplying things over…

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AFFECT , COMMUNITY, INDETERMINACY | 7′ 49
map can affect the tracing, bear with me here, subway lines, cigarette butts, can tracing affect the map, perspective and approach, subway lines along desire paths, number 5 lines didn’t lead to anywhere, developers knew beforehand, not helpful to binarize mapping and tracing, observation and phenomenology, a give and take, growth in a strange way, human experience, learn anew, “The question addressed to architects, urban planners and placemakers is how to operate with a space which is traced at the same time as it is lived and how to use this tracing to understand and eventually create more relationships between those who inhabit it. How to allow them to have access to and decide about their common tracing which is also the condition of their indeterminate community?“, productivity of a tracing, relationships, economic development, where people should go, where can most money be made, indeterminate community as opposed to creating a built environment, foster indeterminancy while meeting needs, the agenda of positive goal, the “inoperable community“, “the unavowable community”, Nancy and Agamben, how do we create community that embraces otherness, that eliminates problems of language, a model for how we can create this idea of community, moving against Empire, not so simple as embracing hybridity, the postmodern question…

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COMMUNITY, CHINA, URBAN ENVIRONMENT | 14′ 42
what’s impossible about community in Beijing, generational differences: Long March survivors, Cultural Revolution generation, first benefits of kaifang, one-child only generation, communications technology generation, how do you resolve disjointing ideas of what community is, what recreation is, fundamental approach to living, what is comfort, what is entertainment, nationalism at its highest, what happens after the Olympics, falls out over the next year, huge economic fallout, currency fluctuations, Chinese community formed on basis of socio-economics versus family, growing middle class, growing upper class, more than any top-down policies, do away with the hukou system entirely in the next few years, 1,000,000 empty apartments, 15 new Shanghais across the interior, 90 new airports, huge headwall in terms of natural resources, employment, pollution, energy use…, the world can’t handle it, 1.2 billion in China living like we do in the U.S., the horror of seeing another United States, consumer model carrot of the Communist Party, house with 3 cars, all the way from Sichuan to work, migrant workers in Africa, promise of increased material wealth, social unrest in countryside, Henan, Hubei, their vision of what it means to be modern and successful, xiaokang shehui, top-down vision, Three Moderns: sewing machine, refrigerator, tv second wave, cell phone third wave, directly equated with happiness, what material wealth means, three C’s in Japan, equal rise in urban and rural dwellers over last 20 years, but skyrocket of urban in last five years, decline just outside of major metropolitan areas, living on site right off Wangfujing, things just don’t seem to be improving, not reported widely at all, trying to negotiate with 15 new Shanghais, exacerbate all the existing problems, Neville Mars’ new book, every book is “this is China’s downfall” or “this is China’s great rise”, high levels of politburo, how is policy implemented in such a fractured manner, rethinking how people live in urban areas, disaster waiting to happen, that book is big…

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EVEN-ING, DEVELOPMENT, CHINA AND AMERICA | 11′ 07
world is becoming more even, places look like Nairobi, shoddy worksmanship, infrastructure, Lagos as THE model megacity, general call for alarm, what’s new, every emerging developing nation, an egalitarian peak, a lie, less mobility now than before, 1968 was last year in U.S. where blue-collar worker could sustain a family of five in comfortable middle class lifestyle, accumulation of capital among top 2%, Guilded era in the states, shifting ways in which we assess, we’re making new maps by talking about it new ways, money being available for everyone, renting, property ownership will evaporate, easy for Chinese to get a loan and by a house, China’s American dream, ethnic differences with socio-economic differences, going to hell, we are setting a horrible precedent for the developing world and the developed world, clean-up, rate of growth, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Pearl River Delta, runaway rapacious development, manufacturing sector dying, biggest open pit in China, Tianjin waterfront like Chicago, river-cruise in Chongqing, a complete mess…

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CHANGE, PRECEDENT, ADVERTISING, CONSUMPTIVE PATTERNS | 12′ 29
post-War, west Virgina, where my people are from, the ‘Burg, today very difficult for people to buy a home, terrible precedent, cusp of massive wealth transfer, dying babyboomers, money you didn’t work for, young people of floating network, media perpetuation, service and information economy, how does the precedent change?, a missing piece, production and consumption habits, avoiding talking about China as a monolith, splintered, how an individual will accept, opportunity to change things or for further decadence?, is China really looking to America as as an example, consumption, Hong Kong developers, healthcare system based on U.S. system, countryside, basic medical care yes, emergency response is bad, advertising, consumptive patterns are what will be really detrimental, extremely misleading, setting into motion fast consumer cycles, apple juice, technology, two-month cell phones, clothing, 50’s American, education, willingness to be swayed, propaganda, global production of advertising, new millenium techniques with 1950’s propaganda, a technique that works gets disseminated in a month, black & white televisions, separation from reality, no conclusion…




This activity of the HomeShop Games 2008 project was organised by HomeShop and Angie Baecker. Thank you to all who showed up despite the summer rains…

Beijing, CN weather for 12 august 2008: sunny with blue skies, afternoon chance of scattered clouds, high 30° C – low 22° C.

above: Are Fuwa dolls allowed to speak on the job? Only if you look them in eyes. “你那里面热不热?“ “还好!“

“In the field of telecommunications, a communications protocol is the set of standard rules for data representation, signaling, authentication and error detection required to send information over a communications channel.” (wikipedia)

above: the “Official Spectators’ Guide”

Thinking of protocol in terms of means, ways of doing… de Certeau’s perruque [1] implies a way of using time within the standards of protocol. What loopholes do we find as individuals, within the “Official Spectators’ Guide”?

above: Volunteers make arrangements for people who need to change their seats at Olympic events.

Where do we abide by a protocol, but where do we always end up finding our own ways of getting there, of doing this or that? As we said before, this is by no means a way to pursue subversion—-we laugh in ignorance at the same time as we act. Living in beijing as 老百姓 laobaixing, as everyday citizens, what modes of protocol do we embody, and where do we meander without noticing?

above: Portable cutlery and chopsticks are not allowed on the Olympic green. You can check them in, however, with a simple sticker purchased from any local stationery store and an identifying signing of whatever you want.

above: Lip gloss is allowed, so long as you put it on before you enter the stadium.

The trace has a very distinct path, a protocol of following someone else’s footsteps or keeping to the line that has been set before… But it is only a slip of the hand, a slight nudging off the solid foundation of following, that sets us into a realm of possibility. Deligny does not neglect his own presence as tracer within the mapping of the traced. Nor can we deny responsibility as creators or thinkers upon those that we engage with, no matter what exchange may be made, or not. Is it a nothing to take notice? Is possibility too open a format? No. Because the protocol is always there; there are hundreds of routine paths and familiar faces that pass here everyday.

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[1] “…la perruque is the worker’s own work disguised as work for his employer…” (Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life)

11 August 2008, 16.31 | Queuing to enter the Worker’s Stadium, Olympic featherweight and lightweight boxing preliminaries.

Beijing, CN weather for 11 august 2008: grey and overcast, high 28° C – low 23° C.

Dis-oriented ?

Here are some questions that we could relate to the tracing issues we talked about yesterday

How do we communicate? 1/part

This question involves communication with other humans, but also with our surrounding environment. Which means also to consider how we orient ourselves in our environment. We talked yesterday about how autistic children seem to feel natural phenomenon such as magnetism and water, which could mean that they somehow communicate with their environment through the perception of signs or feeling that we don’t necessarily perceive. Yet, and this is very much obvious while we visit foreign countries, and especially, for western people, countries like china or Japan, where you can’t understand most of the urban signs and sometimes the urban structures, which capacities are involved, which signs are being read, recognized, interpreted, how is urban environment read? And how are people getting the resources to orient themselves? How do they communicate with surrounding environment, with signs, with humans, with maps? And also, how do the learn to cope with the feelings that disorientation creates?

I certainly feel that the capacity of observing, guessing, reading the urban environment has been strongly developed during my trips in china. It’s a very simple example, but when I was in Istanbul and Italy with my friends, I could feel the difference between us by the way I could easily find what I was looking for, by constantly reading the signs, etc. This capacity of keeping my eyes open comes essentially from chinese experiences.

Are we allowed to get lost? 迷路了吗 ?

Yet, the question is what is going to happen with GPS becoming popular? Are we paradoxically going to lose completely our capacity to orient ourselves? Because we’ll become lazy, will we lose this capacity to read our environment? And will we lose also these unexpected encounters, the serendipity that is somehow allowed by disorientation and that constitutes the core of urban life? Disorientation isn’t a way to keep out of routine, a way of looking at things in a pretty different way? Getting a fresh look on things and allow us to be surprised. Maybe the possibility // the ability to get lost is the difference between traces and maps.