info I contact
editorial schedule
join the realtime email list
become a friend of realtime on facebook
follow realtime on twitter

magazine  archive  features  rt profiler  realtimedance  mediaartarchive


7-16 June 2013

 Da Contents H2

July 24 2013
Past-present tensions
Keith Gallasch, Naala-Ba (Look Future), Carriageworks and ISEA2013

July 3 2013
Data noise & the limits of dance
Keith Gallasch, Myriam Gourfink & Kaspar Toeplitz, Breathing Monster

June 26 2013
Nailing the virtual
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, The Portals

Night work
Keith Gallasch, Embodied Media, Night Rage

Palpable virtualities
Keith Gallasch, Paula Dawson, Holoshop: Drawing and Perceiving in Depth

The big connect
Somaya Langley, The Portals

Transformational walking
Anne Phillips, Long Time, No See?

June 18 2013
Musical multiverses
Gail Priest, Polysonics

Rainbow over ISEA
Keith Gallasch, Electric Nights

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Zydnei, Troy Innocent

June 17 2013
If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?
Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

June 16 2013
In the digital age, love your stationery obsession
Urszula Dawkins, Durational Book

Painting by algorithms
Keith Gallasch, Ernest Edmonds: Light Logic

June 15 2013
Home, sweet home
Urszula Dawkins, disSentience, Sleeth, SelgasCano, Tin Sheds

Pop up pleasure zones
Gail Priest, Electronic Art Pop-Ups, The Rocks

June 14 2013
Aural ecologies, mechanical and musical
Urszula Dawkins, EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

June 14 2013
Heck, baby, I shoulda seen it comin…
Urszula Dawkins, The Very Near Future, Alex Davies

More than meets the eye
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, Point of View

New tools and old skool grammars
Gail Priest, Macrophonics II

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: The very near future, Alex Davies

Start by leaping off a small stool
Urszula Dawkins, ISEA Closing Keynote Address: Julian Assange

June 13 2013
A curative dose of spontaneity
Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

M e d i a a r t t h e n a n d n o w
Darren Tofts, Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

Olfaction, decay & speculation
Gail Priest, Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, Ian Haig, Nandita Kumar, Verge Gallery

Riding the theta waves
Urszula Dawkins, Theta Lab, George Poonkhin Khut and James Brown

Run for your lives [2]
Keith Gallasch, Running the City, COFA, UNSW

To re-map and reclaim
Lisa Gye, Mapping Culture [panel]

Turning the media back on itself
Lisa Gye, Mark Hosler, Adventures in Illegal Art

June 12 2013
Outside the labyrinth…looking in at someone waving
Urszula Dawkins, SoundLabyrinth, Mark Pedersen and Roger Alsop

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

Run for your lives [1]
Keith Gallasch, Marnix de Nijs, Run Motherfucker Run

June 12 2013
The uncanny in the gallery
Keith Gallasch, Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Artspace

June 11 2013
realtime tv @ ISEA2013: EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

The science and art of tangible things
Urszula Dawkins, Synapse: A Selection, Powerhouse

Touch me there
Gail Priest, ISEA Artist talks: Siu, Baumann, Velonaki

June 10 2013
Being Stelarc
Gail Priest, Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: Engineering affect and aliveness

Life and death, and the membranes inbetween
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

June 9 2013
'Pure' experience, in the round
Urszula Dawkins, Pure Land, iCinema

Data lives
Gail Priest, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Velonaki, Ingram, Gemeinboeck & Saunders, Artspace

June 8 2013
Knowing your place in Cartesian space
Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Stars and starlings, pixels and picknickers
Urszula Dawkins, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] & test pattern


Genevieve Bell Genevieve Bell

In the early 1990s, cyberfeminist collective VNS Matrix imagined living with Big Daddy Mainframe. In her ISEA/Vivid keynote address anthropologist Genevieve Bell suggested we are now living with Big Daddy Data. The machine has become secondary—it’s the information that lives. This data is generated by our lives, but once created it has a life of its own. Bell suggests it even has desires.

Bell grew up travelling around the Northern Territory with her parents and subsequently became an anthropologist. Somehow she ended up working at Intel in the US (she confesses it involved a late night bar conversation) where she was brought in to help the company with insights into what her boss described as “women (all of them) and ROW—Rest of World (everywhere that wasn’t America).” So now Bell whispers in Big Daddy Mainframe’s ear illuminating Intel on what all females and all non-Americans might want from their machines and their handling of Big Data.

However Bell has taken this one step further and is interested in exploring what perhaps Big Data itself wants. She suggest 10 things:

1. Not all data wants to be digital (some information only has value in the physical world).
2. Data wants relationships (it seeks networks and needs other data for context).
3. Not all data has the same network (Australian’s know all about that!).
4. Data has country (context).
5. Data is feral (perhaps it doesn’t want to be contained—it will jump the fence when it sees the opportunity).
6. Data has responsibilities (our lives depend upon it).
7. Data is messy (that’s why it’s so hard to keep track of it).
8. Data likes to look good (particularly to algorithms).
9. Data doesn’t always want to last forever (for example Snap Chat where images only last a certain time and then are deleted from all online existence)
10. There will always be new data.

It’s not Big Data that Bell sees as a potential problem, but the fact that its interpretation is in the hands of “priests and alchemists” who tend to come from technological backgrounds rather than fields such as the social sciences and humanities. She talks of an alarming return to empiricism and “capital T Truth” in current technological culture. While the streams of data are multiple, it is as though postmodernism’s message of relativism never happened, hence a belief in a mantra that More data means more Truth. Bell leaves us with the suggestion that our responsibility as artists is to ensure we become part of the interpretation of Big Data.

This is certainly a responsibility that the speakers who followed have not shirked. Mark Holser from Negativland spoke to videoclips of the groups pioneering work in appropriation and media manipulation. A particular entertaining anecdote involved a hoax they pulled issuing a fake press release announcing the cancellation of a tour due to the linking of one of their songs, “Christianity is Stupid”, with an axe-murdering christian teenager. The group was amazed as to how the story played out across the mainstream media becoming a performance in itself.

The final keynote speakers, Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, have taken this idea of ‘media performance’ to its zenith. The duo discussed their Hacking Monopolism Trilogy in which they have variously infiltrated internet moguls Amazon, Google and, most recently, Facebook. The latter project, Face to Facebook (, involved the “scraping”—harvesting of data that is available without actually hacking through security—of one million Facebook profiles. Using basic facial recognition software they selected 250,000 profiles and categorised them according to terms like ‘easy-going,’ ‘smug’ and ‘sly’ to create a fake dating site called Lovely Faces.

The project, launched as part of Transmediale 2011, created a furore of public, media and legal attention way beyond what the artists had imagined. The project upshot of the project is multifaceted. At the most basic level it illustrated a weakness in the Facebook security infrastructure (now fixed) which allowed them to so easily harvest the information. It also alerts the general public to the possible pitfalls of willingly handing over their personal data to a corporation, who, after all, is using their data to generate advertising income. Most importantly it traces the flow of information (and misinformation) through global media channels. Within a few days, the duo collected 1100 media responses, many including fictitious side stories. Far from being cheap pranks, each of the projects of the Hacking Monopolism Trilogy are highly conceptual and fascinating artworks casting a critical yet playful eye over our increasing reliance on and blind faith in Big Daddy Data.

ISEA/Vivid Talks, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico, MCA, 8 June;

This article first appeared on the ISEA2013 in RealTime blog

© ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

Back to top