[ISEA2011] Panel: Bran­don La­Belle – Pub­lic In­ti­macy

Panel Statement

Panel: Unsitely Aesthetics: the Reconfiguring of Public Space in Electronic Art

In­creas­ingly our ex­pe­ri­ences of pub­lic space in­clude pri­vate ex­pres­sions, per­sonal emo­tions and in­ti­mate se­crets: the strict di­vide be­tween in­te­rior life and the out­side world has dra­mat­i­cally shifted, lead­ing to a new no­tion of pub­lic in­ti­macy. To be in­volved in each other’s lives has taken on new di­men­sions as net­worked cul­ture de­liv­ers home life to dis­tant ge­o­gra­phies and per­sonal mes­sages to nu­mer­ous points of open con­tact. Ex­plor­ing the theme of pub­lic in­ti­macy my pre­sen­ta­tion maps out this new un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­nity and pub­lic­ness by con­sid­er­ing dig­i­tal ex­change as a gift-econ­omy. While the in­ter­net and net­worked economies have cer­tainly spawned an array of new forms of con­sumerism based en­tirely on money and credit, it has also in­tro­duced forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, shar­ing, ex­change and col­lab­o­ra­tion that might be viewed as sup­ple­men­tal, that is, as an ad­di­tional for­ma­tion of econ­omy in which to be on-line is to give and re­ceive. Such a per­spec­tive may be found through a num­ber of artis­tic works. For in­stance in Christin Lahr’s Macht Geschenke work, a daily pro­ject of trans­fer­ring one cent through on-line bank­ing to the coun­try of Ger­many along with a quote from Das Kap­i­tal, or Seppuko.com, a site that sup­ports in­di­vid­u­als to com­mit face­book sui­cide, the econ­omy of being on-line can be traced through as­pects of ex­cess, ex­pen­di­ture, sac­ri­fice, and gen­eros­ity. Fol­low­ing such works, the in­ter­net will be un­der­scored as a per­for­ma­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with oth­ers that cre­ates un­steady forms of in­ti­macy equally in­spir­ing for imag­in­ing new forms of al­liance, friend­ship, and shar­ing as well as artis­tic in­ter­ven­tion.

  • Bran­don La­Belle is an artist and writer. His work ad­dresses the re­la­tion of the pub­lic and the pri­vate, for­mal and in­for­mal cul­tures, so­cial­ity and the nar­ra­tives of every­day life, using per­for­mance and sited con­struc­tions as cre­ative sup­ple­ments to ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. His work has been fea­tured at Sonic Acts, Am­s­ter­dam (2010), A/V Fes­ti­val, New­cas­tle (2008, 2010), Mu­se­um­sQuartier/ Ton­spur, Vi­enna (2009), 7th Bi­enal do Mer­co­sul, Porto Al­le­gro (2009), Cen­ter for Cul­tural De­con­t­a­m­i­na­tion, Bel­grade (2009), Casa Vecina, Mex­ico City (2008), Fear of the Known, Cape Town (2008), Nether­lands Media Art In­sti­tute, Am­s­ter­dam (2003, 2007), Ybakatu Gallery, Cu­ritiba, Brazil (2003, 2006, 2009), Sin­guhr Gallery, Berlin (2004), and ICC, Tokyo (2000). He is the au­thor of Back­ground Noise: Per­spec­tives on Sound Art (Con­tin­uum, 2006) and Acoustic Ter­ri­to­ries: Sound Cul­ture and Every­day Life (Con­tin­uum, 2010). He is cur­rently Pro­fes­sor in New Media at the Na­tional Acad­emy of the Arts in Bergen, Nor­way.  brandonlabelle.net/