[ISEA2011] Panel: Marko Peljhan & Matthew Bi­der­man – Arc­tic Per­spec­tive Ini­tia­tive (API)

Panel Statement

Panel: New Environmental Art Practices on Landscapes of the Polar Regions; Politics, Emotion and Culture (FARFIELD 1)

The lec­ture will pre­sent cur­rent re­search and en­gage­ment in the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic in the frame­work of the Arc­tic Per­spec­tive Ini­tia­tive (API) with the spe­cific focus on the use of un­manned aer­ial sys­tems and other on-the land map­ping and sens­ing tech­nolo­gies by artists, hunters, sci­en­tists, tac­ti­cal media work­ers and car­tog­ra­phers. The Arc­tic Per­spec­tive Ini­tia­tive (API) is a non-profit, in­ter­na­tional group of in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions, founded by Marko Peljhan and Matthew Bi­der­man, whose goal is to pro­mote the cre­ation of open au­thor­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion in­fra­struc­tures for the cir­cum­po­lar re­gion. API’s aim is to em­power North­ern and Arc­tic peo­ples through open source tech­nolo­gies and ap­plied ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing. By cre­at­ing ac­cess to these tech­nolo­gies while pro­mot­ing an open, shared net­work of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and data, with­out a costly over­head, API en­ables sus­tain­able and con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of cul­ture, tra­di­tional knowl­edge, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, as well as pro­vides ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ples in the North and Arc­tic re­gions. Con­cep­tual de­ci­sions be­hind the cur­rent API pro­jects and their fu­ture paths will be traced.

  • Marko Peljhan is a na­tive of Slove­nia and a the­atre and radio di­rec­tor by pro­fes­sion. Peljhan founded the arts and tech­nol­ogy or­ga­ni­za­tion Pro­jekt Atol in the early 1990s and co­founded one of the first media labs in East­ern Eu­rope, LJUD­MILA in 1995. In the same year he founded the tech­nol­ogy branch of Pro­jekt Atol called PACT SYS­TEMS where he de­vel­oped one of the first Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tems based par­tic­i­pa­tory net­worked map­ping pro­jects, the Urban Coloni­sa­tion and Ori­en­ta­tion Gear 144. He has been work­ing on Makro­lab, a unique pro­ject that fo­cuses on telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, mi­gra­tions and weather sys­tems re­search in an in­ter­sec­tion of art and sci­ence from 1997-2007, the In­ter­po­lar Transna­tional Art Sci­ence Con­stel­la­tion dur­ing the In­ter­na­tional Polar Year (pro­ject 417) , and is cur­rently co­or­di­nat­ing the Arc­tic Per­spec­tive Ini­tia­tive art/sci­ence/tac­ti­cal media pro­ject fo­cused on the global sig­nif­i­cance of the Arc­tic geopo­lit­i­cal, nat­ural and cul­tural spheres.  Peljhan has also been the flight di­rec­tor of ten art/sci­ence par­a­bolic ex­per­i­men­tal flights in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Mi­cro­grav­ity In­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary Re­search ini­tia­tive and the Yuri Gagarin Cos­mo­naut Train­ing Cen­tre, cre­at­ing con­di­tions for artists to work in al­ter­nat­ing grav­ity con­di­tions. He is the re­cip­i­ent of many prizes for his work, in­clud­ing the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Elec­tron­ica to­gether with Carsten Nico­lai for their work, polar, and the UN­ESCO Dig­i­tal Media Prize for Makro­lab in 2004. Dur­ing 2008, Peljhan was ap­pointed as one of the Eu­ro­pean Union Am­bas­sadors of In­ter­cul­tural di­a­logue. His work has been ex­hib­ited in­ter­na­tion­ally at mul­ti­ple bi­en­nales and fes­ti­vals (Venice, Gwangju, Brus­sels, Man­i­festa, Jo­han­nes­burg), at the Doc­u­menta X in Kas­sel, sev­eral ISEA ex­hi­bi­tions, sev­eral Ars Elec­tron­ica pre­sen­ta­tions and at major mu­se­ums, such as P.S.1, MOMA, New Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art, ICC NTT Tokyo, YCAM Ya­m­aguchi and oth­ers. Since 2009 he is one of the se­ries ed­i­tors of the Arc­tic Per­spec­tive Cahiers se­ries (Hatje Cantz). He holds joint ap­point­ments with the De­part­ment of Art and the Media Arts & Tech­nol­ogy grad­u­ate pro­gram at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Santa Bar­bara and was ap­pointed as Co-Di­rec­tor of the UC In­sti­tute for Re­search in the Arts in 2009, where he is co­or­di­nat­ing the art/sci­ence In­te­gra­tive method­olo­gies ini­tia­tive.
  • Matthew Bie­der­man has been per­form­ing, in­stalling and ex­hibit­ing works, which ex­plore themes of per­cep­tion, media sat­u­ra­tion and data sys­tems since the mid nineties. Bie­der­man was the re­cip­i­ent of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Lang­ton Arts in 1999. He won First Place in the Vi­sual Arts cat­e­gory of Slove­nia’s Break21 fes­ti­val, and has served as artist-in-res­i­dence at the Cen­ter for Ex­per­i­men­tal Tele­vi­sion on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions. His in­stal­la­tions have been ex­hib­ited in the US, South Amer­ica, and Eu­rope in a va­ri­ety of fes­ti­vals and venues such as 7 Fes­ti­val In­ter­na­cional (Lima, Peru). As a film and video maker, his works have been in­cluded in the FILE fes­ti­val (Sao Paulo), New Forms Fes­ti­val (Van­cou­ver), the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val, Paris/Berlin In­ter­na­tional Meet­ings, the Chicago Un­der­ground Film Fes­ti­val and the SCAPE Bi­en­nial in New Zealand.