Tag Archives | psychogeography

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Rob Ray

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?

Right now I’m working on an off-the-grid (solar-powered) performance space near the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s an old movie-prop tower about forty feet tall, so the working title I use is simply “The Tower.” The work will span a quarter mile or more of space. The booklet I’m sharing at Conflux (“GET LOST!”) is very tiny, but both projects ask you to become a performer, even if you’re just doing something like lying on the ground in a place where most people wouldn’t normally do that. I’m not a “performative person” but I like to think the world could use a little more weird.

What interests you in working in public space? What are some of the challenges you face making public work?

What people do in public space is quite regimented, but everybody knows just about anything can happen. A good example is the “In case I get hit by a bus” trope. Nobody says “In case I have a heart attack clicking the ‘Like’ button on Facebook,” even though those odds are probably better. Your computer feels safe. The outside and other people feel dangerous. This fear of anything and everything happening to us while out in the world creates a lot of informal social agreements about how we’re to behave in that world—like walking on the proper side of the sidewalk. These agreements are ripe material for artists interested in engaging people in this terrain. The challenge then is how to crack open those informal agreements in—I’ll use a Dungeons and Dragons alignment term here—a “Chaotic Good” way, a way that disrupts the flow of the day in unexpected but ultimately pleasurable and insightful ways.

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?

I made a visit to the Black Hole in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the other day, right before the liquidation sale. I spent the day digging through some of the most amazing and threatening electronic and machine surplus in the world. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a day. I must have asked “What is that?” to myself about a thousand times. It’s a question I should ask more often.

See more here: http://robray.net, @robdeadtech

Leading Up to the Festival…

We are rushing around excitedly preparing for the Conflux Festival 2012 in just two weeks! Leading up until the Festival itself we’ll be posting sneak peeks into the projects, participants, and behind-the-scene views of the Festival preparations! So keep checking in as we ramp up to bring you an amazing presentation of artists, activists, interaction designers, and pranksters. Looking forward to seeing you at NYU’s Barney Building Gallery (34 Stuyvesant Street, NYC) on October 20th and 21st!

And connect with us online! We’re on Twitter and Facebook, and if you’re interested in volunteering at the Festival, drop us an email!

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!

CONFLUX FESTIVAL 2012
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:

Directors
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

OFF-SITE PROJECT: Nathaniel Sullivan

We are excited to announce that Nathaniel Sullivan will be conducting a seminar in the back of a limousine on October 20th! This public space project is happening at the same time as the Conflux Festival.  Nathaniel has also been invited to talk about the project at the Barney Building the following afternoon. Stay tuned for more details. See below for the official seminar poster.

All That You Desire: Get It All In An Era Of Low Density Hope “ is a seminar that will be conducted from the back of a limousine for approximately one hour on October 20th, 2012. Participants will be selected from the pool of visitors to the Conflux Festival.  The limo will travel through lower Manhattan, the center of global capitalism. We will stop along the route- to tell stories, to play games and to immerse ourselves in the locations of unabashed desire. One of the things this environment teaches us (if we listen to it) is that the abstractions of the financial industry can also have a social function. Unmoored from our old moral codes by these abstractions, we are free to want, to get, and in turn, to want more.

From the artist:

ALL THAT YOU DESIRE: GET IT ALL IN AN ERA OF LOW DENSITY HOPE

What would happen if you got everything you wanted? What would you look like? What would you feel like?

Most people alive on the planet have done something only to say right after, “wow, that was stupid”.  One way or another, we act in service of our desires, which often produce contradictory results.  We are not always in control of what we want.  So if we are not in control of our desires, then what can we control?  If you guessed ‘how you feel about what you want’, then you guessed right.

All That You Desire: Get It All In An Era Of Low Density Hope “ is a seminar that will be conducted from the back of a limousine for approximately one hour on October 20th, 2012. Participants will be selected at the Conflux Festival.  The limo will travel through lower Manhattan, the center of global capitalism. We will stop along the route, to tell stories, to play games and to immerse ourselves in the locations of unabashed desire. One of the things this environment teaches us (if we listen to it) is that the abstractions of the financial industry can also have a social function. Unmoored from our old moral codes by these abstractions, we are free to want, to get, and in turn, to want more.

I know what you might be thinking at this point.  “How do you resolve a limited amount of resources with an unlimited amount of desire”?  Well, my first answer is anything worth having is in limited supply.  But a more in depth answer is this: go into debt.  It may sound crazy, but I believe that debt is an act of citizenship. It is time to reframe debt, to not see it as a burden, as we have in the past, but as the most important social bond that we can have with others.

But ultimately, this seminar is about you and what you want. You have been conditioned not to want too much.  The well-worn narrative dictates that ruin awaits those who have everything they want.  It is this belief that we must sever from your desires.

Think about this for a moment, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) works on the conditioning of the mind, much like an athlete conditions her body.  But an athlete can only jump so high or run so fast as her potential allows. On the other hand, the mind can create a whole universe, instantly. So what would happen if you used that power to imagine a world where you didn’t feel guilty for getting what you want?

So why am I doing this?  I am doing it because I want your attention. Why am I doing this for free? Because I want your attention more than I want your money. And what I really want is for you to take this ride with me.  I want you to get what you want, when you want it.

Space is limited, I would love to take you all, but I can only take a few.  The first thing that you must do is attend the Conflux festival.  The second thing is to be ready for change. I will be in a suit, accompanied by a photographer. I will be asking festival attendees important questions that will determine their suitability for the seminar.  It will be an opportunity that will last an hour. And after that my friends, the opportunity will be gone.

-Nathaniel Sullivan 2012

FEATURED PARTICIPANTS: Anders Bojen and Kristoffer Orum

Newcomers to the Conflux Festival, Copenhagen-based collaborative duo Anders Bojen and Kristoffer Orum create and edit new narratives for whole cities (and even their own autobiographies).  The two of them have been working together for ten years and I had the pleasure of meeting them during our concurrent residencies at Flux Factory!

I am especially moved by Bojen and Orum’s instinct to infuse tried-and-true topographical maps with unlikely data – histories of seemingly insignificant objects (a discarded earring, coins, band aids, etc),  extensive and frequently interactive stories about potentially fictitious citizens,  invented landmarks, and new urban mythologies.  When one navigates the duo’s web-based interactive map Topographies of the Insignificant, one encounters a very broad overview map of the earth with only a couple of red “Google Maps” style pin points on it.  However, upon zooming in one is prompted to navigate cities by way of discarded objects.  Kristoffer and Anders have injected into these objects an odd combination of blatantly boring objective descriptions, touching personal narratives, and traces of their geographical footprints.

Anders Bojen and Kristoffer Orum’s piece Radiant Copenhagen will also be exhibited during Conflux 2012. Radiant Copenhagen is also an interactive web-based map in which users navigate Copenhagen through histories, moments, and locations (mythological? factual? blantantly make-believe?) explained by its residents.