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Creating a surrounding world

Hacklandscape

by Álvaro de los Ángeles, 2006

Arcades first appeared in Paris in the first third of the nineteenth century and became increasingly commonplace, as Walter Benjamin points out, with the growth of the textile trade, which marked the beginning of a hitherto unknown relationship between the inhabitant as a customer/buyer (user) and the city. Glass, iron, overhead light and artificial lighting -“The arcades were the setting for the first gas lighting,”‘ wrote Benjamin- covered entire blocks of buildings. This new architectural concept was in keeping with the period of change and the industrial revolution it formed part of. However, it also represented the ubiquity of a city inside a larger city, a clear attempt to create a “new” world inside a known one, while evoking the ideals of progress and well-being, albeit founded on a virtual idea, unreal or unattainable, that the physical and tangible world no longer seemed capable of generating or achieving.

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Short Cuts ? Anschlüsse an den Körper

 

 

Frieze Issue 37 November-December 1997

DASA, Dortmund, Germany

DASA, or the Deutsche Arbeitsschutzausstellung (The German Health and Safety at Work Exhibition) to give it its full title, is a museum in which you can put on a pair of hygienically padded headphones and take a guided tour of the history of work. Behind this is the serious point that working people – whether typing at computers or tapping blast furnaces – are exposed to danger. Ear muffs, goggles and back exercises were all invented to protect the body during the production process. If the mind responsible for that body is to understand how vulnerable it is and how it works, clear images are needed. ‘Short Cuts – Anschlüsse an den Körper. Ein Cross-Over durch Kunst, Wissenschaft und Körperbilder’ (Short Cuts: connections to the body. A criss-cross tour of art, science and images of the body) is the wordy title of an exhibition that provides just that. The 17 artists involved use photography, video, installation and interactive computers. Curators Iris Dressler (art historian) and Hans D. Christ (artist) state that in organising the show they were interested in ‘surfaces’ and not in ‘physical feelings’.

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The Body Research Machine

Daniel García Andújar: The Body Research Machine, 1997 (Screenshot)

Daniel García Andújar: The Body Research Machine, 1997,
Multimedia-Projekt (Screenshot)

Installation

Coproduction: Hartware MedienKunstVerein
Courtesy: Technologies To The People
Since 2000, a modified version has been part of the permanent collection of the Deutschen Arbeitsschutzausstellung, Dortmund
Shortcuts. Anschlüsse an den Körper, 1997

“‘THE BODY RESEARCH MACHINE©’ uses innovative technologies based on advanced biometrics in order to record complex data related to the human body. The machine transmits through the body ultrasound waves which are then split up into phase data. While doing so, the machine scans every section of the body for interesting information, transferring all input signals to a special computer database.
Specially developed by TECHNOLOGIES TO THE PEOPLE©, the database system imitates the structure of various atom models and is able to reconstruct, atom for atom, individual amino-acid structures. These data and other information are stored in our central database. The collected data can ultimately be compared with the DNA strings saved in a GenBank.

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The Body Research Machine

Installation, 1997
Koproduktion: Hartware MedienKunstVerein
Courtesy: Technologies To The People
Seit 2000 in modifizierter Form in der ständigen Sammlung der Deutschen Arbeitsschutzausstellung, Dortmund
Shortcuts. Anschlüsse an den Körper, 1997

“THE BODY RESEARCH MACHINE© nutzt neuartige Technologien, die auf hochentwickelten biometrischen Technologien basieren, um komplexe Daten über den menschlichen Körper zu erfassen. Die Maschine sendet Ultraschall-Wellen durch den Körper, die in Phasen-Daten aufgespaltet werden. Sie sucht dabei jede Sektion des Körpers nach interessanten Informationen ab und überträgt sämtliche Eingangssignale in eine spezielle Computerdatenbank.

Das Datenbanksystem, das von TECHNOLOGIES TO THE PEOPLE© eigens entwickelt wurde, beruht auf dem Aufbau verschiedener Atommodelle und kann individuelle Aminosäurestrukturen Atom für Atom nachbauen. Diese und andere Daten werden in unserer Zentraldatenbank gespeichert. Die gewonnenen Daten können schließlich mit den DNA-Ketten einer GenBank verglichen werden.

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Street Access Machine®

isam press

Presented with original posters » Products offered by Technologies To The People (TTTP), the company founded by Daniel G. Andújar, range from the Street Access Machine® over the Recovery Card® and Internet Street Access Machine® to the Personal Folkcomputer®. All of these (fictitious) products and technologies aim to allow the socially underprivileged to participate in the emergent information society. While the Internet Street Access Machine® promises »access for all«, the Street Access Machine® and Recovery Card® enables beggars to accept payment by credit card. The project unmasks the belief, propagated by those who manufacture the associated products (and by »Californian ideology«*), that a democratizing potential is inherent to technology. The world shown by TTTP on its posters and leaflets is neither more just thanks to the deployment of these new technologies, nor is it accessible to all — despite the claims made by providers of telecommunications applications. Even if they use the latest info-society tools, beggars remain beggars, the socially marginalized remain socially marginalized. Technologies tend to reinforce, rather than alter, social structures. When the project was presented in Hamburg in 1996, a (bona fide) mail was received from Apple, announcing the company’s interest in the (fictitious) product range of TTTP.** (Inke Arns)

  • See Richard Barbrook & Andy Cameron: Die kalifornische Ideologie, in: Telepolis, 5 February 1997, www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel1/1007/1.html
    • un-frieden. sabotage von wirklichkeiten — discord.sabotage of realities, Kunstverein and Kunsthaus Hamburg, 1996, curated by Inke Arns and Ute Vorkoeper, see www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Archiv/Discord/. In regard to the participation of Technologies To The People, see also Inke Arns: Technologies to the People® — Our Sponsor, or: How we got the attention of both AppleTM and the left German art critique. In: Technologies to the People®. Annual Report 2000 [i. e. Daniel G. Andujar], Alicante 2001, www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Texts/tp.html
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