Tag Archives | Mapping

Conflux 2012 Official Press Release

Conflux Festival 2012 . Oct. 20-21 . NYU’s Barney Building

The annual NYC festival for the investigation of urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practices is back! During the Conflux Festival 2012,  over 30 artists, activists, interaction designers, and pranksters will present documentation, give talks, and provide workshops for festival goers on October 20-21, 2012 in the East Village. This year, participating cultural producers are exploring the ways we experience transportation and creating interventions to improve, shake up, or evaluate the things that we have implicitly accepted into our daily commutes.

Curated this year by Angela Washko, the festival will take the form of an exhibition with artist talks and workshops at NYU along with concurrent phenomena elsewhere. Work in the exhibition will range in temperament and intention – from practical and functional to poetic and absurd. Think: documentation of handmade boats navigating the waters surrounding New York City, interactive mythological topographies, ephemera from a “magical” bus tour of suburban New Jersey (which included a visit to the basement couch where the facilitator lost his virginity), subway improvement gestures, and much more.

On Saturday October 20th 12-8pm and Sunday October 21st 12-6pm: Indoor events, headquartered at NYU’s Barney Building (34 Stuyvesant St.), include an exhibition showcasing documentation from a variety of both past and new Conflux participants/projects, as well as talks and workshops. Highlights include discussions led by Daniel Bejar, Emily Bunker, Jason Eppink, Mary Flanagan, Moses Gates, Chris Gethard, Matt Green, Steve Lambert, Robert Lawrence, Marie Lorenz,  Jeff Maki, Mare Liberum, Naomi Miller, Rob Ray, Mark Shepard, Jeff Stark, Nathaniel Sullivan, Caroline Woolard, and The World of Warcraft Psychogeographical Association.

We are also excited to announce that the following artists will be working on projects in public space presented concurrently with Conflux! Yoni Brook, Mare Liberum, Matt Green, LD Lawrence and Ro Lawrence, Mark Shepard, Nathaniel Sullivan, and Alex Young.

All events included in the Conflux Festival 2012 are free and open to the public!
RSVP to Conflux via Facebook!

Saturday October 20 12-8pm
Sunday October 21 12-6pm

Barney Building Gallery
NYU Steinhardt School
34 Stuyvesant Street . NYC

Closest Subway Stations:
Astor Place 6
8th Street-NYU N, R
3rd Ave L

Conflux is brought to you by:

Christina Ray and David Mandl

Curatorial Director
David Darts

Head Curator
Angela Washko

Communications Coordinator
Aliya Bonar

Web: confluxfestival.org
Facebook: Conflux Festival Page
Twitter: @confluxfestival
For Twitter talk: #confluxfestival

Conflux is produced by Glowlab Productions LLC and is hosted in 2012 with the generous support of New York University, Art Connects New York and Gowanus Studio Space.

Interested in volunteering with us? Contact conflux.curatorial@gmail.com


Analogous mappings of movement and scale are taken to incredibly unusual and personal realms in works by Emily Bunker.  Conflux is excited to be including documentation of a mapping project Bunker completed in 2009 in this year’s festival.  During a residency in Troy, NY – Emily Bunker left her studio to conduct experiments in abandoned baseball fields nearby.  She followed the travel patterns of insects by employing bright yarn to signify their movements.

During the same time period she mapped her own movements in her studio using the same strategies – ultimately making her workspace practically unusable.

In a field that is often dominated by slick, impeccably engineered, high-tech data visualization projects, Bunker focuses on human perception of movement in space and the physicality of the seemingly futile gesture of attempting to document it ephemerally. Also in line with her desire to create analogous, personal ways of mapping data – Emily Bunker previously covered herself in red clay slip  while sleeping on a bed of white clay overnight creating what she calls “a tactile cartography of sleep.”


Conflux is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to invite Matt Green to participate in this year’s festival.  Most of us can’t say that we’ve walked farther than a few miles from home. Over the course of 157 days, Matt Green walked 3100 miles across the United States – from Rockaway Beach, New York to Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

His story is heartfelt, revealing and astounding.  You can view the blog archive of his trip here: http://imjustwalkin.com/usa/.  He writes in a post upon arriving at his West Coast destination: “We may all have different political opinions and different religious beliefs and different cultural norms (I’m a liberal atheist Jew. Did you know that? Does it matter?), and many of us probably couldn’t stand to be around each other on a regular basis, but most of us would, as it turns out, extend a helping hand (or sandwich, or beer, or couch, or shower) to a stranger in need. I walked 3100 miles across this country and didn’t encounter a single person who tried to hurt me, or steal from me, or damage my possessions. This isn’t a place that needs to be feared. It’s a place that needs to be explored, and appreciated, and celebrated.”

At the Conflux Festival 2012, we will be exhibiting his interactive photo map to allow visitors to dive into moments from his trip across the USA on-foot.  He will also be giving a talk on his most recent project – I’m walking every street in New York City, in which he is walking every block of every street in all five boroughs- when completed it will total about 8000 miles on foot! It’s exciting to think that even though he will walk every single intersection in NYC more than once, Matt Green is sure that the city will still be full of surprises.

“Why would you ever want to know a place completely? The excitement of New York, and the whole world for that matter, is that there’s always something else to see, no matter how long you’ve been around. To me it is profoundly encouraging to think of how many secrets will still lie undiscovered after I’ve walked every last one of these goddamned streets. At its core, my walk is an oxymoron: an exhaustive journey through an inexhaustible city.” -From Green’s “Ramblings” on his new walk- found online here.


During the 2007 Conflux Festival, participants were invited to take part in the “Top Secret Steve Lambert Project.”

This top secret project ended up being titled “Ronald’s Crisis” and brought Conflux visitors and other co-conspirators together to shut down all 85 McDonald’s stores across Manhattan.  Steve Lambert’s collaborators posted “CLOSED FOR EVALUATION” signs on the doors and windows of every McDonald’s in Manhattan.  A public statement was made by a very apologetic Ronald McDonald during a press conference in Union Square which followed.

Check out the video footage courtesy of Steve Lambert.

FEATURED PARTICIPANT: Institute for Applied Autonomy

The participant list is up and nearly complete! For the next few weeks I will be writing blog posts about participants’ past projects as well as Conflux Festivals of yesteryear!  Today I wanted to share a bit about the Institute for Applied Autonomy!

Founded in 1998, the Institute for Applied Autonomy produced projects that provided the public with access to cryptic information, provided activists with technologies to be more effective, and as their mission states: they conducted “technological research and development dedicated to the cause of individual and collective self-determination.”

Responding to the need for more covert modes of resistance and social insurgency, the IAA created three “Contestational Robots.” These robots invert the frequent use of robots in authoritarian power structures by solely serving activists and resistant communities. Graffiti Writer is a remote-operated robot that writes messages on the ground with spray cans (like a dot matrix printer).  The images below illustrate the project’s strength – providing activists with a voice to infiltrate spaces remotely, anonymously, and in loud, bold text.

For Conflux 2012, I’ve included Institute for Applied Autonomy’s iSee project in the exhibition at NYU. iSee provided commuters in select cities with web applications charting the locations of surveillance cameras in public space. Doubtful of the effectiveness of these cameras in lowering crime rates, and responding to the abuse of these technologies by public and private authorities, IAA created opportunities for users of the iSee web app to walk confidently, mapping out routes that avoid CCTV cameras (IAA calls them “paths of least surveillance).  This project and all of the Institute for Applied Autonomy’s projects and texts are found here.