Brucker-Cohen, Jonah and Katherine Moriwaki

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Digital access to this material is pending artist?s approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen: My aim as an artist and researcher is to create work that actively challenges people's assumptions of what they perceive or take for granted. Whether that's in their use of computers and networks, or the way they go about their everyday lives, my goal is to shift the relationships we experience everyday into new forms of meaning and interaction. As technology gains ubiquity, networks will exist everywhere, but what will differentiate them will be their specific context, use, and not only the information they contain but also their physical incarnation. Also how we relate to them, how they integrate into existing architecture and social patterns or situations outside of traditional computer interfaces. Despite visions of a utopic future with technology at the heart, the true test of adopting these technologies relies on the human side. Do People really need all of this?, and if so, how can it be more human? I think the future for digital artists is subverting existing technology. Technological advances happen everyday, but how we use them and change the expected user patterns from their creator's initial vision is the true innovation. The strength of computer networks is their ability to bring people together that might not have connected in physical space. My aim is to maintain this connection while allowing it to simultaneously exist in physical space or bring real-world interaction into virtual spaces through networked devices and eXPeriences. My work is never a closed system. Its nature allows people to experience it collectively and add their own perspective and interaction to create a unique relationship for each participant.

Katherine Moriwaki: My art and research interests lie in the social construction of individual and group identity within heterogeneous contexts. To achieve this, I examine the permeable boundary between the self and other through technological and computationally altered objects and environments. Through the insertion of technological modifiers at the level of everyday experience I aim to disrupt and alter established set of relations between observer/participant and creator/user. In particular I am interested in existing and emerging networks and the intersection of social infrastructure with technological development. The works I have created take the everyday modes of habituation within the built environment as a protocol or routine, which when altered create changes in the subjective experience of the individual, and by extension, others and the environment. Primarily I have worked with multiple instantiations of garments as a more nuanced scenario for how computationally enhanced clothing might function in society. Among these, Inside/Outside, and have used the larger trend towards distributed communications systems to create decentralized clothing networks that propagate their infrastructure through piggybacking along existing social choreographies and extend the reach and awareness of the wearer. Additionally I am also interested in process-based workshops, which demystify and invite playful exploration of technology through situated improvisation. One example, such as the Scrapyard Challenge spectrum of workshops requires participants to use found materials and basic electronics to create a working prototyPe in less than five hours. Taking the popular vernacular of television shows such as Junkyard Wars and MacGyver, the participant is asked to develop creative responses to the constraints provided by the materials and time limit. The workshops reveal a great deal about how existing objects might be appropriated and re-envisioned, establishing difference and meaning in a previously unexamined context. Both of these trajectories inform my work and I see my practice as holistically inclusive of varied forms of output and activity.


Recent Submissions

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    2006 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Proposal
    Brucker-Cohen, Jonah; Moriwaki, Katherine (2009-05-04T16:39:06Z)
    Looking specifically at closed, or pay-per use wireless nodes (found most commonly in airports, Starbucks coffee shops, or other publicly sanctioned "waiting" areas), the Wi-Fi Liberator project is a response to the privatization of public space. Through freeing wireless nodes of monetary control through a series of public interventions the Wi-Fi Liberator project encourages dialogue about appropriate use of emerging wireless "real estate" and the disputed ideal of the "wireless commons." As mobile technology brings private conversations and interactions into the public sphere, an interesting rift has formed between the use of communications technology and the context under which such networks propagate. Since emerging network infrastructures have yet to be solidly defined as private, public, or corporate monitored services, confusion about rights, ownership, and management of network resources has reached an impasse. Wifi-Liberator is a tool that enables public access to commercialized networked spaces, functioning as a critique of the ever-encroaching corporate claim to public space. In a sense, Wifi Liberator exists as a tactical media tool for controlling and subverting claims of ownership and regulation over free spectrum, by allowing a free network to come from a 'parasitic' third-party.