|from 'Art for IT's sake'
The Age, Tuesday 21 March 2006, p. 1 of 'Next' section
Photograph by Estelle Judah
I've extracted a paragraph about Sideshow below:
The Age, Tuesday 21 March 2006
Science and art join on a living stage
Business and the IT industry can learn a lot from the work of experimental media artists.
Cynthia Karena reports.
...Another exhibitor at Next Wave, Ralph Borland, says his Sideshow installation is a showcase of "provocative technology" - programs that "antagonise" and draw attention to technology issues that we may not otherwise consider.
Mr. Borland, who is researching with the Disruptive Design Team at Trinity College in Dublin next month [actually, from October - RB], says the Crank the Web project within Sideshow, designed by team member Jonah Brucker-Cohen, "is a fanciful product and not particularly helpful" but demonstrates a provocative nature. Crank the Web is a browser that allows people to physically create bandwidth in order to see a website. Entering a URL and cranking a handle will result in text and images appearing in the browser window. The faster the handle is turned, the greater the bandwidth and the faster the download.
The idea is that all bandwidth should be free and everyone should have access to the fastest speed connection, but which relies on your strength, not your wealth. It was inspired by the wind-up mobile phone charger from listed British company [though based in South Africa - RB] Freeplay Energy, which is used in places where there is no access to electricity.
"Provocative technology is empowering - you don't see technology as a sealed box that you are not to touch," Mr Borland says. "You can work it out. It helps to reduce technology's elitism, where people feel scared of technology and don't take part in it."
Sideshow is housed in a converted shipping container. It includes a bar, lounge, seats and cafe, with the idea of people coming together, connecting, exchanging ideas and finding inspiration. "Artists bring a fresh eye to science and technology", Mr Borland says. "They can direct users to more useful technology that isn't politically motivated..."
Unfortunately, The Age's website seems to want payment to view previous articles. Feel free... The Age.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) also did a special art show on
the cultural program of the Games. They gave Next Wave and the Container Village
in particular some good coverage. I got a few minutes to talk about my stuff,
though if you look closely at the video below you'll see they've given me the
title 'Ghetto Games' - actually my friend Mike/Matt Black's installation