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.
Browning and Barbier have collaborated, on and off, since the mid 1970's.
Although they don't always work together, they have many skills and concerns in
common, and living together magnifies and intensifies their shared ideas.
They both grew out of an art context which was closing the door on structuralism
and minimalism. Working in video at the time made them automatically
iconoclasts: crusaders for a populist, political, anti-establishment stance in art,
using a medium which most artists and art professionals saw only as "cheap film"
if they saw it at all. They were dedicated to the proposition that cutting edge art
was not content poured into the container of a medium, but rather an
investigation of the new possibilities that a new medium offered. They have
continued to probe the potential that new technologies make available, believing
that original content arises from a dialogue between an artist and a medium. In
addition, this dialogue need not need not be solely between the "Artist" and the
medium; authorship can be extended to the viewer, making her a participant,
through instruments like microphones and video cameras, and more recently
computers, biofeedback devices, dna scans, etc.
Stream(ing) is an installation in which data from two rivers, the Chicago and the Illinois, are
brought to life through visualization, sonification, and haptic techniques. It heightens the
participant's awareness of our intimate connection with nature through immersive interaction
with both real time and stored information about the rivers. It also points out the relationship
between the flow of information and the flow of water. The participant navigates datasets in an
intuitive way, through choosing the role of a central"character" which can be a biological agent
(Asian carp, a non-native species; algae, etc. ) or a chemical one (nitrogen, PCBs, etc.). The
participant will thus be able to introduce changes in river conditions and experience a simulated,
hypothetical result. The experience will elicit not only an intellectual appreciation of the multiple
factors that affect the health of a river, but also an emotional connection to the relationship
between the health of the environment and that of human beings. The work is unique in that it
offers multiple experiential means and uses real time as well as stored information. While
Stream(ing) deals with serious environmental issues, it will also be sensually and aesthetically
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