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Artist Focus 16: Justin Blinder

Justin Blinder is a Brooklyn-based media artist, programmer, and designer. His work examines how our claims of ownership, criteria for an object’s value, and ways of interacting with others have changed in the digital landscape. Justin’s projects aim to simultaneously provide usable tools and a critical analytical lens, sparking dialogues on how technology and digitization shape our social behaviors. His project Dumpster Drive, a file-sharing application that recycles digital files, helped to build a networked community of users around the ubiquitous, but understudied, digital process of deleting. 
Justin’s projects have received attention from media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the BBC, the Guardian, and Gizmodo. Justin holds a BFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School for Design. In the past, Justin has worked as a team developer on the open source project ShiftSpace, served as a Research Resident at Uncommon Projects, and was recently a Resident Technologist at EDesign Labs. Justin is currently the Creative Technologist at Sub Rosa, and an Honorary Fellow at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.
Wi-Fi spotting
Using NYC.gov wireless hotspot data, Wi-Fi Spotting topographically visualizes Wi-Fi saturation in the metropolis.
Taking inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the piece questions what is imagined, and what is real, when exploring the physical formation of digital networks. The meta-data of our wireless signals float off of us along specific routes like those on a map, but the structures and architecture of our communications and technologies—our virtual skyline—are not usually seen. By highlighting how our immediate environments are saturated by other’s signals, as part of an on-going revolution of white noise, Wi-Fi Spotting aims to prompt viewers to think about the underlying social contracts hidden in geographic datasets.
At first glance, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about digital files, but once we examine the history of media digitization, the liberatory potential of data to defy their original forms becomes apparent. Casting a critical lens on our digital files raises our awareness of how states govern and surveil data, and what the power dynamics between everyday citizens, corporations, and states should look like. His projects aim to ferment such potential revolutions by harnessing digital excess— the white noise that surrounds us. The binary code of our deleted files, the components rusting in discarded printers that litter the streets, and our ignored search histories contain the seeds of future, heretofore unrecognized changes.
 
Wi-Fi Spotting is part of the Where are we now? exhibition opening 14th September 2013 and running until 12th January 2014 at The Collection.
 Tune in to Justin’s news: www.justinblinder.com
Follow him: @justinblinder
More videos: vimeo.com/justinblinder

September 27, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 11: Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects was formed in Birmingham in 2001 by Philip Duckworth and Ben Sadler. Their work features painting, sculpture, installation, animation, sound, music and participatory elements. They are particularly interested in the rapidly increasing speed of technological development, and its associated obsolescence.
Chapel of the Infocalypse
Juneau Projects’ new installation imagines how society’s attitude towards technology might change following some form of global disaster. Once familiar objects become a focus for worship, the scientific explanations of their functions being replaced by ideas of mysticism and magic.
Juneau Projects have been fascinated for a number of years now by the phenomenon of Cargo Cults (indigenous societies forming religious beliefs, following contact with more technologically advanced colonizing societies, in the hope of gaining material wealth) and the way in which technology completely revolutionizes the societies involved.
This new work is an attempt to imagine how situations akin to Cargo Cults might arise following some form of information apocalypse.
Evolution and revolution
‘Revolution for us is about change. We are constantly considering what we do and, if it is not working (for us at least), we change it. Change maintains our interest in our work and our practice develops through a balance of evolution and revolution.’ Juneau Projects
Tune in to their news : www.juneauprojects.co.uk
Twitter: @juneauprojects
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/juneauprojects
 

September 21, 2013 on Blog, News updates