[ISEA2011] Panel: Jack Toolin – Land­scape, Cul­ture, and the Phe­nom­e­nol­ogy of Tech­no­log­i­cal Me­di­a­tion

Panel Statement

Panel: Site Specifics: Mobile Media Art and the Contexts of Place

Nei­ther re­flec­tion upon our re­la­tion­ship to the space sur­round­ing us nor tech­no­log­i­cal me­di­a­tion of this re­la­tion­ship are new. How­ever, GPS-en­abled tech­nolo­gies and their grow­ing avail­abil­ity in the past decade have de­cid­edly changed the ways we nav­i­gate, vi­su­al­ize, quan­tify, and ul­ti­mately com­pre­hend the world we move through. This paper will re­flect upon these changes through con­sid­er­a­tion of var­i­ous philo­soph­i­cal per­spec­tives, tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, and ex­am­ples of artis­tic prac­tice that uti­lize loca­tive media, in­clud­ing my pro­jects The C5 Land­scape Ini­tia­tive and Per­cep­tions of the Com­mut­ing Ethno­g­ra­pher. The grad­ual or sud­den ac­cu­mu­la­tion of all things tech­no­log­i­cal, from hard­ware to soft­ware, has gone hand in hand with a shift in think­ing about the human con­di­tion from a phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal aware­ness to an in­ter­sub­jec­tive con­scious­ness. (That shift has also co­in­cided with the grow­ing ur­ban­iza­tion of the world’s pop­u­la­tion: as of 2008, over half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in towns and cities.) This in­ter­sub­jec­tiv­ity is in­creas­ingly me­di­ated by the ever shrink­ing, trans­portable, and in­stan­ta­neous media with which we have be­come en­twined. Loca­tive media have be­come in­creas­ingly lo­ca­tion-aware and com­merce-ready, po­si­tion­ing us in the ge­o­graph­i­cal and cul­tural land­scape. In other words, they are more and more aware of our phys­i­cal and psy­cho­graphic re­la­tion­ship to the world around us. The paper will ex­plore the na­ture of our phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal re­la­tion­ship to this tech­nol­ogy and the world that it me­di­ates.

  • Jack Toolin is an artist work­ing in new media, dig­i­tal imag­ing, and per­for­mance. His work con­sid­ers con­tem­po­rary life in light of the chang­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, and tech­no­log­i­cal land­scape, and has been pre­sented na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. High­lights in­clude: the Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art (2002 Bi­en­nial); the Walker Art Cen­ter, Min­neapo­lis, Min­nesota; Ars Elec­tron­ica, Linz, Aus­tria; the San José Mu­seum of Art, San José, Cal­i­for­nia; Foxy Pro­duc­tion, New York City. His work Per­fect View was ex­hib­ited at the Chelsea Art Mu­seum Pro­ject Room in 2010. He was a mem­ber of the new media col­lab­o­ra­tive C5 (1997-2007) which in­ves­ti­gated cul­ture’s re­la­tion­ship to tech­nol­ogy through data vi­su­al­iza­tion, in­stal­la­tion, and per­for­mance ex­pe­di­tion. He is cur­rently a vis­it­ing as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Pratt In­sti­tute in Brook­lyn, New York, and an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at the Poly­tech­nic In­sti­tute at NYU. He has lec­tured widely, at in­sti­tu­tions such as the Rhode Is­land School of De­sign; Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley; the San Fran­cisco Art In­sti­tute; Emer­son Col­lege, Boston; Kibla Mul­ti­me­dia Cen­ter, Mari­bor, Slove­nia; the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Ri­jeka, Croa­tia; and the Uni­ver­sity of Split, Croa­tia. He holds a B.F.A. in pho­tog­ra­phy from Ohio Uni­ver­sity, and an M.F.A. in in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice from San Jose State Uni­ver­sity, US. jacktoolin.net                c5corp.com