Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman: GEOLOCATION: TRIBUTES TO THE DATA STREAM
One of my favorite projects about technology is Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s exploration of GPS and Twitter in Geolocation: Tributes to the Data Stream. By following the GPS location of various tweets, Nate and Marni photograph the site from where the tweet originated. The humorous juxtaposition of place and tweet shines a light on the absurdity of our 140 character communications.
Geolocation: Tributes to the Data Stream book is being published by Flash Powder Projects. The books are due out in mid-January 2016, but Nate and Mindi have a special pre-sale, which will end on December 26. Books sold during this time help them with the production costs. They have printed a very limited edition of 500 for this first run and are anticipating quickly selling out this first edition. They are also offering several prints during the pre-sale.
Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s collaborative practice investigates the data tracks we amass through networked communication. Their work ties the invisible to actual sites, anchoring the ephemeral in photographs and immersive video installations. Solo exhibitions include the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida, Blue Sky in Portland, Light House in the UK, United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, and the Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas. Selections have been shown at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the Light Factory in Charlotte, the FotoFestiwal in Poland, the Athens Photo Festival in Greece, the Houston Center for Photography, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Moscow International Biennale in Russia, RAIQ in Montreal, Peloton in Australia, and Conflux Festival in NYC.
They recently created site-specific public artworks for the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Public Art Commission, the Indianapolis International Airport, and the DUMBO Business Improvement District. They have recently been artists-in-residence at Light Work and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Their projects have been featured in Wired, The Picture Show from NPR, Gizmodo, the New York Times, Hotshoe Magazine, the Washington Post, Utne Reader, the British Journal of Photography, the BBC News, and Marketplace Tech Report. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum. Flash Powder Projects will release their first monograph in December 2015.
Nate Larson is faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art. He received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2002. Marni Shindelman is faculty at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2002.
Geolocation: Tributes to the Data Stream
We use publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.
Twitter estimates there are over 550 million tweets daily, creating a new level of digital noise. Clive Thompson uses the term ambient awareness to describe this incessant online contact in the New York Times Magazine article, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy. According to Thompson, “It is. . . very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does– body language, sighs, stray comments–out of the corner of your eye”. Our collaborative work is a means for situating this virtual communication in the physical realm. We imagine ourselves as virtual flâneurs, ethnographers of the Internet, exploring cities 140 characters at a time through the lives of others.
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