I am currently working on a new work in collaboration with Winnie Soon(Siusoon) 'If I wrote a love letter would you write back? (and thousands of other questions) (2012) 一封不回的情書？千言萬語無人回？(2012)'. for MircoWave International Media Art Festival 2012
In this work the network asks us ‘If I wrote you a love letter would you write back? (and thousands of other questions). Computational code draws thousands of questions from online matter into the gallery space. The questions are gathered in real-time from the social media site Twitter and converted encoded to speech. The computerized voice the audience hears is a collective one, one of both the human, non-human and distributed.
The installation is composed of 20 wireless headsets. 19 of them are playing offline tweets (which has been converted from text to computer voice) and the twentieth of them is playing live tweets.
These tweets are extracted from Twitter with the keyword search of ‘?’ symbol. Questions keep manipulating, loading, encoding and decoding. The live channel with the headset will use bluetooth technology to connect with computer live running programme, which constantly extracts tweets from Twitter server on-the-fly.
The audio stream frames (if only for a moment) the chaos of matter in the network as the activity of ‘query’ is performed across a collective of humans and non-humans.The sequence of questions is open to change by audience’s actions. As headphones are picked up and replaced, a new sequence of texts is created - blurring the space between the live and archived text, the linear and the chaotic.Like the love letters which appeared mysteriously on the noticeboards of Manchester University’s Computer Department in the 1950’s. These questions continuously evolve as the machine performs the questions (perhaps an expanded Turing test) on its listeners.
I was recently commissioned by public-funded contemporary art space Spacex to initiate a project as part of their off-site program, funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Spacex is recognised by Arts Council England as one of the UK’s leading international contemporary art spaces. The resulting project was 'The Recipe Exchange' a collaborative code sharing know-how project which took place with Farringdon Village Residents during 2010/2011. The project features in the upcoming publication 'Gallery as Community'(Whitechapel Gallery) in association with Community Art: The Politics of Trespassing (Valiz).
During the project I collaborated with a number of local experts and hobbiests and we produced a series of 'recipes' for a range of activities from plant cloning to making you own solar panels. The recipes were collected by a postbox system in the village and also online. Events took place January - May 2011 & was followed by an exhibition and events in the gallery at Spacex during May 2011. We are currently working on some new writing about the project and some documentation - which I hope to share with you soon!!
Our collaborative installation Jsut Code (Helen Pritchard & Winnie Soon) has been nominated for the Hong Kong Independent Film & Video awards and will be shown in March as part ofThe 17th ifva festival Opening Gala: Live Performance & Media Art Exhibition — Cinema 2.0: will also feature work from Jennifer & Kevin McCoy & Diane Landry alongside the other finalists, Ani Pui-hing, Diego Suárez Bárcena,Tam Kar-wing, Mak Yuen-shan,Henry Chu, Lam Miu-ling,Wong Yu-hin, Lam Chi-fai,Wong Fuk-kuen, and Choi Chi-hau.
Precarious Research Panel at Finale Symposium for British Art Show 7
Paper: Ingredients of Social Exchange, Culture lab
Talk: "Whose data?" Exploring the possibilities and issues of using live data, Knowle West Media Centre
Co-research workshop exploring the relationship between listening, recording and drawing the city as a creative tool for artists and designers with students at SCAD, HK. January 2011
Design for Location based learning project using RFID & Archeological GIS data. In partnership with Oxford Archeology & Inspire-us, LRGs. Highwire R & D January -March2011
Design for community based local agriculture scheme. Highwire R & D October - Dec 2011