Week 4 – Adam King

For the past 48 hours my computer has been very glitchy, and as a result was having trouble loading Stephanie Rothenberg’s pages. Whenever I clicked on a project link it would only show me weird HTML writings with scattered images upon them. Funnily enough, I at first thought that the disruption was the whole idea. What a fantastic use of tactical media! The notion that there are all these wonderful thumbnails of interesting projects, but that when I try to dig deeper there is nothing there. You know, the immersive power of anticipation and disappointing acceptance. Is the sense of frustration I’m feeling the desired effect of her work? Am I supposed to hunger for non-digitzed media by having her purported links fail on me? Ironically, once the links actually started working I found her actual projects less thought provoking than my false perception. I found Brooke Singer’s work much more intriguing.

What I found most interesting with Singer’s work was that in many ways her projects seemed more based on novelty than actual political or artistic statements. I already ranted mightily in my comment on Katherine’s post about how I actually thought Swipe is making people more accustomed to the spread of their digital information than making them aware and potentially weary of it. The same goes for her work on (in)visible. She claims that “(in)visible pins encourage discussion about the pervasiveness of surveillance cameras and provide a playful platform for citizen-input about the design and use of our public space.” I thought that statement itself was a tad bit childish. If the pins are hardly noticeable to the naked eye, then what discussion are they really provoking? Seems to me the only discussion would be to the two security guards watching the screen and saying “Neato – check out that glowing light.” A much more bold approach would be to use it like these guys – actually using that same technology to combat the surveillance techniques. The same goes for some of her other projects, such as the Social Relay Mail app. Couldn’t this tool be used better as a project to identify how willing people are to connect with strangers on the web, other than just “ a cool, data viz of your network in action”? It’s like Singer is a digitally formatted, non-political Banksy. Her projects seem like footnotes to the digital revolution, rather than the momentous calls to action she thinks them to be.

The only real work of hers that made any deep resonance with me was the Sites Unseen project as it revealed the hidden dangers of normal looking places. Consequently, I’d like to see more of the hidden dangers in her seemingly normal projects. Perhaps that’s the whole idea though – she makes seemingly harmless projects so that it makes the subject more able to enter into them without any preconceptions and thus craft their own reactions more easily.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>