[ISEA2011] Workshop: Esra Ozkan, Lara Kohl & Ercüment Görgül – Tales from the City: Mapping the Multicultural Landscape of Istanbul

Workshop Statement

The workshop will provide participants an overview of mapping technologies and give them the opportunity to use these technologies to explore, analyze and represent urban spaces. Using locative media, we will capture and collect spatial, visual and audio data on multiple aspects of multiculturalism such as how different cultures stratify at a specific location and contribute to the mosaic of urban architecture and lifestyle. Areas of focus will include the environs of Tophane, Cihangir and Galata.  We are interested in exploring how new technologies might help to create a more context-aware experience of multicultural urban space and culture. The data collected in this workshop will be visualized to explore how technology enables the collection of different data and new forms of representation.  The primary objective of the workshop is to see how new media and location-based technology can enhance our capacity to represent and understand multiculturalism in Istanbul’s urban spaces. However, we are also interested in using the workshop to collect information  on how to develop and refine innovative tools and their concomitant  protocols, so that they might be used for surveying and visualizing any urban area.

  • Dr. Esra Özkan is a cultural anthropologist whose research examines the interaction of science, technology, and society. Her doctoral dissertation examined the use of time management technologies to increase individual and organizational productivity.  Her new research project on data visualization explores how the configuration of training and technologies shapes what information is visualized, how it is visualized and what is left invisible. She is interested in developing visual platforms in collaboration with designers, scientists, and artists. She teaches courses in anthropology and social studies of technology, focusing on the impact of psychological,  social, cultural, and economic factors on technology design, production, and use. Özkan is currently a visiting scholar at the Art, Media, and Technology Program at Parsons the New School for Design in New York, NY. Esra Özkan holds a Ph.D. in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) from MIT (2008), M.A. in STS from European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology (2001), and B.A. in Political Science and International  Relations from Bogaziçi University, Istanbul (1998).
  • Lara Kohl is an interdisciplinary artist whose creative practice incorporates sound, video, film, photography, sculpture, installation and performance  in various combinations.  Her artwork has been exhibited at festivals ,in galleries, and in museums in the US and abroad including at MoMA/PS1, Artist Space, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, the DUMBO Film and Video Festival, Triple Candie and Exit Art in New York City; the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada; and ParaSite Gallery in Hong Kong. She is part of the WildLab team, winners of the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition  for the iPhone app the WildLab Bird and its affiliated educational program, which uses mobile technology to engage students in citizen science. Kohl currently teaches in the graduate Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Lara Kohl holds an M.A. in Performance  Studies from New York University (2003) and M.F.A. in Film, Video, and New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000), and  B.A. in Art History/Visual  Arts (1994) from Barnard College, Columbia University.
  • Ercüment Görgül, while pursuing studies at the MIT Media Lab, held positions as research associate and teaching assistant at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Ercü was the director of 2009 Summer Program in Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and held numerous teaching appointments at HKU’s Shanghai campus, and London-based  Architectural  Association’s (AA) Global Schools in China. He is a member of OCEAN consultancy network, besides having his own Shanghai- based practice. His collaborative and research-oriented work has been exhibited extensively including Hong Kong – Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial and more recently at the Venice Biennial.  Ercü is currently a faculty at Tongji University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) in Shanghai. He has been a guest critic at Harvard and Catholic Universities in US. Ercü instructs courses and studio focused on generative design methodology as well as around alternative means of representation.  His academic interests lie on teaching creativity by developing different methods and mechanisms of abstraction. Ercü is also interested in design and development  of experimental  curricula on parametric,  performative  and lenient design thinking in architecture, with a special focus on individual development  of next generation college and pre-college level students interested in the field, coming from any background. Ercü Görgül holds a High Honors Bachelor degree from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul (1997), a Masters from Istanbul Technical University (2000), and a Masters from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2002). Ercü is a registered architect in Turkey and is an Associate AIA and LEED AP in the US.