[ISEA2015] Workshop: Rueben George & Irwin Oostindie – BIT-human: Tracking Tidal and Human-powered Interventions

Workshop Statement

[Remark: This workshop was XXLD]

Media artists, academics, and hacktivists join the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, host Indigenous Nation, whose unceded lands the conference takes place on. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s reknown in-house GPS Department, is joined in this proposal by the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, the lead Indigenous media arts organization at ISEA. This workshop proposal is supported by technologists and academics: Oliver Kuehn, Kate Milberry (PhD), Rueben George, Will Stacey, Andrea Reimer (Vancouver City Councillor), Cease Wyss, and Irwin Oostindie.

A two-day hands-on and theoretical workshop takes place 14-15 August to design a site-specific intervention using a mix of human and tidal-powered GPS-enabled floating devices. The workshop will present innovative ideas through active sharing amongst technologists and theorists as to appropriate tech solutions for impacted Indigenous and coastal communities, emphasizing use of open source hardware and software. With disruptions from rising sea-levels, increasingly adapted environmental strategies and GPS technologies are being applied and used for monitoring, however impacted communities rarely benefit from these advances.

The knowledge and strategies generated during the ISEA workshop will be implemented at a site-specific area of the Vancouver harbour, near the conference site, on 18 August. In real-time conference delegates will follow online and on a Woodward’s screen, a series of layers of data generated through tidal and human power.

Generative data will provide a layer of residue with water movement throughout Vancouver’s harbour created through several tactics: 1) floating GPS devices interacting with tidal movement; 2) animated tidal patterns for normal events; 3) human-powered Indigenous ocean-going canoes charting deliberate courses performed in these waters since time immemorial; 4) hacked anti-theft GPS devices on various watercraft traversing the Salish Sea. A fifth layer of visual data will be generated from crowdsourced geotagged documentation which has been published in real-time to open-source social media, and aggregated on a custom platform for conference delegates to track progress through the day.

Delegates will have a unique opportunity to join host-city and Indigenous participants to consider the democratizing function of applying field research, alongside user-generated or publicly-access data to generate low-cost technology solutions for social and media interventions into public policy discourse.

  • Rueben George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, CA
  • Irwin Oostindie, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, CA, Production Coordinator, Vancouver, British Columbia. Irwin Oostindie is a Dutch settler artist, curator, and parent living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For three decades he has led local and international media, arts and social justice projects, and founded community radio, TV, print, web, and cultural space projects. Irwin has been a prolific independent curator as well as held senior staff positions with W2 Community Media Arts, Gallery Gachet, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, and consultant to three levels of government on the intersection of economic development and cultural industries. Irwin received an Honour’s Post-Graduate Certificate in Media Arts from Capilano University. In his curatorial and space-building work, Irwin brings an interest in crosscultural dialogue and redress, with a particular place-based approach working on longterm curating and cultural development initiatives in the unceded Coast Salish Territory in which he lives.  twnsacredtrust.ca