<<back to first page

Four-Wheel Drift (remix) examines urban culture through the use of a car as an interactive, experimental VJ/DJ platform. During the remix installation/performance, audio-visions of the city are repositioned into the public sphere of the gallery; that which is private--the space of the car--becomes public and a tool for commentary about the city. In preparation for the installation, a car equipped with audio/video recording technologies, sensors and interactive software cruises the city, analyzing data and recording samples. Sounds from different areas in the car are recorded for use in generating the remix and manipulated video of views from the car is created and archived to provide visual storytelling of the city’s street culture.
In FWD (remix), the car is a self-contained creative recording and playback device. During the performance, the video is projected from the car installed in the space onto projection walls and the new audio remix is played back via the car’s speakers. The car can be seen to be ‘recalling’ and ‘narrating’ the experience of driving in the city. The remix is set-up to play live, continuously generating new combinations for the duration of the exhibition.
Four-Wheel Drift quotes a racing strategy that causes a controlled, sideways slide while accelerating forward. Drifting is now a popular sub-culture; its roots in the illegal auto-sport originating in Japan where drivers would drift along curved mountain roads. Drifting competitions or ‘battle drifts’ are judged events that examine the performer’s speed, angle and style.
FWD (remix) is site-specific in that it relies on the unique urban qualities of the host city. Influenced by the Situationists International, (1957 - 1972), the project employs the tactic of the ‘derive’ (literally ‘drift’) to cruise the city seeking out urban performance.

Marseille/Baltimore is a multi-media, bi-lingual installation consisting of video portraits of people of these two post-industrial port cities. Between 2003-04, approximately fifty residents of these cities were asked to speak about the most significant technological device in their lives at that moment. The objects chosen are often predictable (cell phone, laptop), sometimes surprising (metro pass, highlighter pen), but invariably provide insight into the ways in which everyday technological items become entangled in our lives. Each interview represents a portrait of that person via the complex connection to their chosen object. The color of the installation is designed to evoke both sky and water, referencing the fact that both Marseille and Baltimore are port cities. The overall audio experience as one first enters the space is a murmuring of voices, as if one is entering a crowded party. However, once the viewer decides to commit and sit down at one of the viewing stations scattered within the gallery, they can experience what is more like a one-on-one conversation.

IN Network is an extended cell phone life-art performance about distance, communication, intimacy, telepresence, and living together while apart. In August 2004 artist Michael Mandiberg moved to New York; Julia Steinmetz remained in Los Angeles, postponing her move for a year because of commitments to her job and her collaborative art practice. Faced with a year apart, and the prospect of a long-distance relationship, the two artists got their frequent flyer numbers handy, and switched both of their cell phones to a provider with free “IN Network” service.
Michael and Julia started out having normal conversations, giving each other updates about their days, and sending cameraphone pictures back and forth, etc. As they switched to using hands-free microphones, they began using the phone differently. They started doing things together at the same time, 3000 miles away, via cellular connection: driving to/from work, eating dinner, giving lectures to students, going for a walk, having a cocktail, reading books in silence, falling asleep and waking up.
What began as a pragmatic attempt to make their relationship last the year of separation through good communication, turned into something less about communication and more about intimacy through (misuse of) technology, and sharing (sonic-virtual) space.

Life Sucks: 17 Personal Ads From the Yamaguchi Region
Our collaboration began gradually and casually. Takuji routinely collaborates with other artists. He also organizes shows and web projects as well. In 1998, he invited me to show digital projections of game show sets at his project space in Yokohama, Candy Factory. For these, I used a video grabber to take scenes from The Price is Right off TV. Then, I removed all the figures from the set with Photoshop. Takuji responded to this work with a series he called Non-Broadcasting Time. Here, he photographed sets for Japanese game shows from oblique angles, emphasizing the façade-like nature of the set. Then, using Macromedia’s Flash, he would squeeze the images horizontally or vertically to produce the allusion of a camera tilt or pan. This created a tension between the flatness of the image and the space it suggested.
Takuji and I have never discussed long-range goals for our collaborations. Rather, we work on the basis of a tacit understanding. I suppose we are both interested in the way people and institutions misrepresent themselves to themselves. We both know, however, that no representation is transparent. Rather, it is the façade-like nature of representation that interests us.

Ivy League, a hypertext project from 2002, is a collaboration between Jillian Mcdonald, a Canadian visual artist based in Brooklyn, and Kelty McKinnon, a landscape designer based in Vancouver, BC. Hedera helix (English Ivy) has simultaneously been glorified for its abilities to rapidly anchor erosive soils and filter polluted air, and vilified as an invasive plant, which can rapidly dominate native ecosystems, out-competing other plants for nutrients, sunlight and air. The project documents ivy research and encourages visitors to wander the city streets, scattering seed as they walk. Ivy League, the public art performance, by Jillian Mcdonald and Beckley Roberts in 2005, involved two performers who took opposing roles of anti-ivy activist and gardener / ivy lover. They invited passersby in a public mini-park to enter their garden and engage in dialogue.
On collaboration: “As a landscape architect, my approach to the creative process is first and foremost site and research based. Much of my work explores the possibilities of art and design as a catalyst for interaction and memory by emphasizing the physical interface with social, ecological, cultural and geomorphological history. My field tends to be spatial, focusing not on objects, but on the relationships between things. Perhaps because of this, collaboration has been an intrinsic part of site-based work. The dialogue formed with governmental agencies, community members, engineers, and architects necessitates a simultaneous letting-go and a corresponding active engagement that, with all parties focused on the project, often results in something much greater than the original intention. Ivy League was developed through a similar double take of ‘letting go’ and ‘grasping-on’ that pushed us into new territory. For me, pushing the process outside the boundaries of professional or academic practice allowed the work to become playful and humorous, while maintaining a seriousness of intention.” ~Kelty McKinnon

The Listen Now project is an ongoing series of environmental recordings. They invite a displacement in the act of listening, from one person to another, one time and place to another. Listening always takes place in the present but sounds are also tied to the moment of their making. By now we take the displacements of sound recordings for granted, but there is still something uncanny about them. A sound environment is an unrepeatable composition, continuously unfolding whether we give it our attention or not.
For the “Adjacent” series, I’m focusing on streets outside of where my friends live and work. Beginning at my own front door, and spiraling outward, I’ll be gathering recordings of street sounds throughout May and June. Each site will be marked by a Listen Now sticker, with a number that links to the recording from that site.
New recordings will be added weekly to the site throughout May and June 2005. Listeners are invited to carry the sounds back into public space and listen to them either adjacent to where they were made (a displacement in time) or outside the living and working spaces of their own friends (a displacement of space and social network).
GLOWLAB is a Brooklyn-based community exploring psychogeography as it relates to con-temporary art. They publish a bi-monthly web-based magazine and produce events, lectures, projects and exhibitions.
Psychogeography includes just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape. In 2004 Joseph Hart wrote that “psychogeography” was “a slightly stuffy term that’s been applied to a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities.

<<back to first page