FIELD NOTES: adrift

FIELD NOTES: adrift

June 14-26, 2015: a durational performance by Megan L. Smith These FIELD NOTES form the beginning of a survey of zooplankton adrift 200 km of the Rideau Canal waterway. You can view live updates on the FIELD NOTES web-site http://adrift.megansmith.ca . This project is part of Channel Surf, a Paddling Caravan of Research-Creation along the Rideau Canal curated by the Department of Biological Flow, and supported by the SenseLab & Gallery 101. Thank you to Dr. Kerri Finlay, Lecturer, Dept. of Biology, & MAP at the University of Regina. 33 paddling 200 km from Kingston to...
Riding Through Walls – Travelling to the Frontier of Creative Practice using New Technologies

Riding Through Walls – Travelling to the Frontier of Creative Practice using New Technologies

Project website: http://ridingthroughwalls.megansmith.ca/ Currently in development, ‘Riding through Walls’ is a 18-month durational performance in the form of a cross-Canada cycle through Google Street-View on a networked vintage ‘Air Wing’ stationary bike that enables me to propel myself visually through the map at the same speed as my pedalling. The project engages with emerging wearable technologies; a pulse monitor incorporated into the design of the installation and the Google Glass, over a two-year period to track this physical endurance project and to test the capabilities of these tools to manipulate and record the contrived visual experiences. The performance will be broadcast in real-time using live streaming across YouTube in order to engage with community in new ways and to stage events that mimic the cultural tradition of joining a cyclist at various points along the route. A series of images will be made during the performance using the Google Glass to document the visual journey and to engage with the public through Twitter and Facebook. The new media performance will be archived in form of visual and sensory data, including monitored pulse and eye tracking. The project explores through practice-led research the impact of visual and data driven performance, the social and cultural implication of caching body statistics generated from wearable technologies and it tests new physical computing methods for extension into networked culture. The project aims to build inter-institutional engagement opportunity through the comprehensive arts, sciences, technology, and culture research strands of this project and to produce an innovative new art work that generates original knowledge in the field of creative technology and STEAM research. The networked ‘Air Wing’ stationary bike is re-purposed, designed...
Ur Beating

Ur Beating <3

A project by Michael Grant & Megan Smith. ‘ur beating <3’ is a work in progress. A first prototype will be released for Valentine’s Day, Feb 14 2014. This Arduino-based wearable work will detect the human pulse and relay the data through a visual indicator. It is approximately 6cm square (or...
hack ur baubles

hack ur baubles

  A project by Michael Grant & Megan Smith. hack ur baubles Customize your Christmas lights and add a personal narrative to your baubles with light and sound sensors. Build your Christmas experience to your taste and then control your project with a TV remote. Beam out morse message lights or become a human blinking and singing Christmas tree. Workshops were delivered at Artengine, in Ottawa in December, 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/meganleighsmith/sets/72157640184863625/ Tutorial:  There are two variations of the ‘Hack UR Baubles’ project: battery powered & adapter powered. This schematic shows both variations. The instructions below detail the specific builds. Click for larger image. INSTRUCTIONS When assembling a circuit board, start with the shortest components first. This way, when the board is turned over to solder, the parts rest on the table and don’t fall out. 1. RESISTORS Bend each resistor before inserting them.  The resistors are marked with colored bands to indicate value. The value and color code for each resistor is in the chart. On the bauble board – each resistor is labeled ‘R’ followed by a number.  The numbers increment in a clockwise pattern, starting at the top left of the circuit board.Place all the resistors according to the guide below. Then, carefully flip the board over. Value Resistor Name Color Code 10k R1, R2, R5, R6, R8, R10 Brown Black Orange 330k R3 Orange Orange Yellow 180 R R4, R7, R9, R11, R13, R17, R19 Brown Grey Brown 22 R R12, R18 Red Red Black 510 R R14 Green Brown Brown 100 R R15 Brown Black Brown 1k R16, R20, R21 Brown Black Red  Solder each resistor in...
Landline

Landline

‘Landline’ is a free app for audio archiving site-specific experiences. It was built with JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS using the ApplicationCraft cloud IDE and compiler. It runs on Android, iPhone and from the Chrome web browser, links at the bottom. Created by artists: Megan Smith, Michael Grant & Jean-Marc Le Blanc Commissioned by: Artengine – ‘We Make the City! We are the City!’ Festival, Ottawa, ON, 2013. With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. A city’s character permeates through the membranes of its communities, structures and systems. So what and where does Ottawa fall in the spectrum of the global community and does the city’s cosmopolitan nature define its identity? ‘Landline’ is a city-based project that promotes the democratisation of the local voice within the context of the built environment it is affected by. This living archive gains agency through participation and has the potential to become a geo-located audio map of places within the city recounted democratically, and anonymously if the participants wish. Use it to record up to 3 minutes of audio about a space that affects you emotionally or physically. Use is to share an anecdote that needs to be heard. Then listen to what other people think of the spaces they inhabit every day. This is a creative city intervention that discusses the regions culture and current social stance. For Chrome web browser: http://landline.artengine.ca/ Download for iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/landline/id699041796?ls=1&mt=8 Download for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.applicationcraft.appd97132c3a32545d7814fb99 65a04dbcf&hl=en...
this.message.will.self-destruct.

this.message.will.self-destruct.

‘this.message.will.self-destruct.’ is project by Megan Smith & Michael Grant, that relays secret messages using infrared light and handheld technologies. The project is narrative-based, leading and informing an audience through a physical journey within the built environment by engaging them in the interactive process of using their mobile phones to uncover a ‘hidden-to-the-naked-eye’ story. The project concepts are drawn from interest in geo-politics, interactive art works, and socially engaged practice. ‘This message will self-destruct’ extends directly from ‘Landline’, which was commissioned by Ottawa-based art and technology institute Artengine, for their 2013 festival ‘We Make the City, We Are the City’, and is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. ‘Landline’ is an app for Android and iPhone for audio archiving site-specific experiences. In it’s first instance it is a city-based project that promotes the democratization of the local voice within the context of the built environment it is affected by. This living archive gains agency through participation and has the potential to become a geo-located audio map of places within the city recounted democratically, and anonymously if the participants wish. Progressing on from ‘Landline’ we understand that we have made a geo-located platform to share voice, to increase understanding of space and to build a place for social democracy to happen within. We now want to push the context of the topic further and, in a way, flip our project on its head in order to focus on communicating across covert space. Within an oppressed society there can be the inability to share data and voice which force residents to adopt covert methods of information relay. ‘this.message.will.self-destruct’ aims to...
647 days 18 hours

647 days 18 hours

‘647 days 18 hours’ (2010) was an interactive map that referenced my GPS trail for the duration of the title. The recording of my movement in this piece became a performed journey that carved out a networked narrative from digital space. Collecting data on myself, and then subsequently mashing it across platforms, allowed me to hack my identity into online space. I began to introduce my creative practice into these spaces and to discuss online how these platforms were becoming my tools. This process simultaneously built narratives about my work and archived my creative thought process. 647 days 18 hours/ 2008-08-28 16:33:48 – 2010-06-07 11:16:54 Distance: 46015.0 km – Avg speed: 3 km/h – Max speed: 23592 km/h The platform on which this was built no longer exists online. A small archive of screen grabs...
My Portable Home

My Portable Home

My Portable Home is part of curator Lars Vilhelmsen’s The Travellers Box project. I used a tent, rogue internet signal, laptop, cell phone, and audio-visual equipment to make the piece. The tent formed a symbolic shelter within the city. It represented a way to strip back from the comforts of a home and focus on the activity of communication, an act that can make one feel ‘at home’ regardless of surroundings. The final outcome, in the form of a video, documents a conversation between my mother and I; me based in a city in England, my mother in the country in Canada, referencing two opposing spaces that are networked through the internet and satellite cellular activity. Furthermore, the work points to the current ability for cultural groups to sustain contact with loved ones, a ‘sense of home’ while apart; a situation aided by increased public access to low cost web-based visual and text-based communication systems. 2008 The Sandwich Box, ICA Overgaden, Copenhagen, June The Sandwich Box, WOOLOO New Life Berlin,...
The DoGoSee Project

The DoGoSee Project

‘The DoGoSee Project’, is a collaboration between Megan Smith & Benjamin Halsall. This project explores new methods of creatively mapping out space using mobile phones and their cameras, as well as GPS technologies. The outcome digital prints, blogs, audio recordings and photographs work to produce an audio/visual archive, or a new form of mapping narrative onto place. Events have taken place in Berlin, Leeds and London. 2010 Bring the Happy, Invisible Flock, The Light, Leeds, 15/10 – 22/11. 2008 Departure Lounge, East Street Arts, May 8-10 Online work documenting locations in Leeds and Berlin. Narrative audio files were available to download to mobile phones during the festival at a listening station. 2007 Leeds Artists Show, Leeds City Art Gallery, UK Situation Leeds, Leeds Met Gallery, UK – DoGoSee was promoted by the festival and commissioned by the gallery to develop an exhibition and to encourage visitors to be involved in photographically mapping Leeds with mobile phones. 2006 Live Project based at Hope Gallery, London, UK Live Project based throughout the city of...
Our City, Our Music

Our City, Our Music

‘Our City, Our Music’ investigates the use of binaural sound recording and geo-located video to map urban spaces. It is a collaborative project led by myself, Ben Dalton & Ben Halsall. ‘Our City, Our Music’ is accessible via mobile devices on the streets of Leeds. It hosts 15 tracks across the city. The content was shot by and features a team of 50 Leeds based emerging artists, filmmakers and musicians. The project actively engages communities such as the vibrant music and filmmaking scenes in Leeds. We worked closely with organisations such as Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Forward and Screen Yorkshire to realise the project. The participants, including students and recent graduates, were provided with professional development opportunities from industry experts and technical guidance on shooting for small screen devices with handheld technologies. This mentoring programme provided one-to-one technical support and hosted a series of workshops delivered by professionals from across the creative industries. The goal of the training was to provide new skills and hands-on industry experience to the up and coming filmmakers and musicians involved in the collaboration. The result is that it supported students and recent graduates by offering video production workshops, face-to-face introductions to industry experts and assistance with solving their technical objectives for each music video. They gained skills, built up their portfolios, extended their professional network and were promoted through the project. 2009 Finalist in Northern Design Competition in two categories/ Product Design & Digital Media...
The Ottawa River/La rivière des Outaouais/

The Ottawa River/La rivière des Outaouais/

This film was shot in 2004 in Canada, on the river that separates Quebec and Ontario. It is a natural border and can be a fragile environment for political debate. Quebec is famous for its francophone culture and for preserving the French language. Unfortunately, for some people the provincial campaign can be stifling and can erase social history. This is done through the re-charting of municipal lines, the renaming of communities, streets, roads and cities. At times language police have monitored advertising for the appropriate use of French as the predominant language, and stories of informants quietly alerting the police to suspect businesses are not unheard of within the Ottawa Valley. This film was meant to be a subversive message, a question or a contemplative thought on the slow growth of the Quebecois culture as the language flourishes while some communities are forcefully stripped of their right to maintain their own identity. I used American NTSC and edited in the UK through the European PAL system. The visual jarring is the result of pixel information lost in the translation between the two systems, and synonymous with the loss of information that occurs in communicating across cultures. In Britain this water expanse is often referred to as a lake, it’s breadth seemingly too grand to be a river. The act of skating on a natural water body is perceived as romantic, dangerous and a gamble on thin ice. As of yet, the film has not been shown in Canada. 2008 Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding, Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New York REBRANDING ACTS TINA B....
As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me

As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me

After exploring the virtual world Second Life as a tourist, in the form of avatar Edwige Pronovost, I decided to flip my position to confront my inability to embody both a digital character and a weather resistant ‘flesh and blood’ avatar. Within Second Life I had visited MoMA in NYC, the CN Tower in Toronto, Cocoa Beach in Florida and H-Building in Leeds and photographed them as a tourist. Between 2008 and 2009 I then travelled physically to the locations, became my avatar and then reconstructed the tourist scene in the physical. Attempting to further shift the defining role of my identity and experience I did a performance at Barkston House in Leeds for East Street Arts, 2009. For this event I altered my formula by visiting the physical place as my avatar and then I entered Second Life as my ‘virtual’ avatar and built the scene. The goal was to play with the definitions of ‘virtual’ and ‘physical’ in order to demonstrate the complexity of operating within hybrid spaces. A multi-screen video and live-stream installation was developed from this research for the ESA United exhibition in 2009. A digital video was produced in 2010. ‘As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me.’ (2010) digital video, 5:34. http://vimeo.com/15566901 Sanctioned Array – Specify Others – 100, White Gallery, New York, November, 2010. Leeds Digital Festival, Leeds Digital Festival The Mint, November,...
SocialMoment

SocialMoment

The ‘SocialMoment’ series draws iconic instances from the popular social media platform Twitter, during surges of topic-centred emotional activity online. I have isolated these public reflections in digital print to point to shifts in social perception and use of new media. One of the most significant tweets was sent by Janis Krums (@jkrums) on January 15 2009 when a plane crash-landed in the Hudson River in the U.S. His tweeted image circulated the world in seconds alerting of the crash and safety of the passengers before any main news broadcasters could report the story. This act in turn boosted the number of Twitter users and prompted a global conversation about the importance of citizen journalism and the changing news broadcast situation. The growing series draws attention to moments during the Iranian election, Michael Jackson’s funeral, Canada’s final gold medal in hockey during the 2010 Olympic games, and NASA’s use of Twitter during shuttle lift-off. 2010 Twitter/Art + Social Media, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, 01/04 –...
Pst! microCONTROL

Pst! microCONTROL

‘Pst!’ is the surreptitious beckoning of attention and the acronym for Physical Space Tweets. It is an installation of 5 small storytellers placed in a public space giving an audience a glimpse into geo-tagged community topic feeds that unravel in real-time. For the Leeds Pavilion at Mediamatic’s Amsterdam Biennale 2009 one storyteller, the initial Pst!, chronicled life in Leeds through its twitter feed, aligning itself with the exhibitions aims to showcase a city’s local cultural scene. The installation locates public social narrative by pulling data from Twitter’s geocode API using the open source Arduino electronic platform and the internet. The stories are printed on mini LCD screens that visually display 140 characters at a time. A ‘Pst!’ device provides a window directly into a geo-located public space. It relays a community by narrating its social activity and tells a global story by placing various cities side by side. For the Unleashed Devices exhibition curated by TINT at Watermans Art Centre the installation relayed geographically bound community feeds from Los Angeles, New York, London, Kabul and Beijing. Supported with a Grant for the Arts Award from the Arts Council of England. 2013 Conversations électriques, La Panacée, Montpellier, France. June – December. 2010 Invasion of Privacy, Notfamousyet, Oxford, 22/10 – 30/10 Unleashed Devices, Watermans Art Centre, London, 01/09 – 22/10 2009 Amsterdam Biennale 2009, Mediamatic, Leeds Pavillion,16/10/09-3/01/10 The original project pitch can be found here/...
Cultural Probe (book)

Cultural Probe (book)

This artist book references 1199 contributions to Twitter made during the last two years of my PhD research at Leeds Metropolitan University. The content takes place between 8 July 2008 & 8 July 2010. The primary recording tool used to do this was an iPhone, which additionally enabled me to instantly record my geo-location and upload images that referenced the individual situations. I called the project and phone Cultural Probe. It was a lifelogging experiment that provided an overview of the intermingled aspects of my practice, research and life. ‘Cultural Probe’ importantly became a referencing system for the methodology of my practice, which used social media to both make new work and to archive my research and art practice. The layout of the data refers to the current system of receiving information via the screen in a layered manner that is promoting a new form of reading and forcing onscreen multitasking. The cover references ‘647 days 18 hours’ of geotagging my location, another visualization of this data can be found on page 11. Copies can be ordered from: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/cultural-probe-8-july-2008-to-8-july-2010/16048151?productTr...
Field Research

Field Research

‘Field Research’ is a collaborative project between Locomoocow Arts Centre in Mangrove Mountain, NSW, Australia and The Farm, Clarendon, QC, Canada. Working with video and binaural microphones a diptych narrative is currently being produced tying these two geographically distanced rural spaces. The project contextually looks at these two regions as science-based labor systems for growing and producing and as locales of annual ritualized physical force. It simultaneously identifies new avenues of networked society as collaborative practice extends into the global agricultural landscape. Production/ April-May...
Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau 2013 SUPERNOVA!

Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau 2013 SUPERNOVA!

Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau is a 1 night per year, dusk-until-dawn celebration of Contemporary Art and local culture that takes place across multiple venues in the National Capital Region. The event showcases the creativity and cohesion of this dynamic community, the success of its industries, and it emphasises the region’s importance as a cultural leader and art destination. The origins of Nuit Blanche began in Nantes, France in 1989 under the direction of Jean Blaise, who then developed six more similar events before he took it to Paris in 2001, where it then became the iconic event that is now produced annually in hundreds of cities world wide. The all-night festival has spread to places such as New York, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Rome, Madrid, and Melbourne. Its goal is to momentarily enable the re-imagining and animation of public spaces within the urban environment. Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau promotes, supports and runs an inclusive, community driven event. It demonstrates innovation and delivers a rich and stimulating experience for all parties involved. This event fosters economic development for industry and culture within the National Capital Region. It importantly increases visibility of local, national and international contemporary culture within the region. With over 150 artists involved, more than 50 galleries, institutions and business and with 30 000 smiling people in attendance Nuit Blanche 2012 was a beaming beacon of the creativity and ingenuity of the National Capital Region. In March 2013 Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau became an independent Not-for-Profit Foundation under the Canadian Incorporation Act. The first board of directors meeting was held on April 10th at the Council for the Arts in Ottawa. While...
Child

Child

Child explores technology mediated experience and bond with technology. The making of this animation and subsequent website documenting the process allowed me to experience and reflect on the intimate situation of human engagement with computer-generated imagery. While struggling through the technical aspects of the software, creating the exact size of forearm, adjusting the eyebrow depth, manipulating the x, y, and z-scales in the abdomen to manifest breathing, I was also biologically engineering the same within my own womb. I felt as though there was no break in human creation; I was making, reflecting and programming, with all aspects of my body and mind. 2008 The Mirror Stage, NeMe & IMCA, Lanitis Foundation in Cyprus. 2007 Odoo/Current, Genghis Gallery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Web-based archive of the process. Please use Safari or Firefox web browsers/...

Installing Pst! microCONTROL for ‘Conversations Electriques’ at La Panacée, Montpellier, France

Tweets from Rio de Janeiro while I install ‘Listening Post’ by Ben Rubin & Mark Hansen was running a few minutes ago down the hall ‘Hole in Space’ by Kit Galloway & Sherrie Rabinowitz being set up ’24 lines’ in the café at @lapanace by 1024 Architecture. behind the ‘scene’ look at Pst! microCONTROL before it goes up on the walls tomorrow morning at @lapanace Franck Bauchard with the French ribbon...

‘New Media Practice is…’ #ART3116 visualization.

This is a screen shot of a visualization/infograph that my 60+ #uOttawa #ART3116 students are collectively working on to help them understand New Media practice. updated: Feb 19, 2013. updates: Feb 21, 2013 updated: Feb 27, 2013 Final Document: Accessible here: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1ZS17-m8ay13laY6bwXprzZh4lUUaj2RK3r94-HlUBoU/pub?w=9957&h=4797 Some course references are found here:...
Nuit Blanche press/

Nuit Blanche press/

Here is some recent press about Nuit Blanche Ottawa. It’s getting very close now and the excitement is building. Guerilla Magazine/ By/ Tony Martins Click the link to read / Nuit Blanche curators prepare for one-night stand of engaging art Tuesday, July 3, 2012 http://www.getguerilla.com/index.php/gallery-menu-item/413-nuit-blanche-curators-prepare-for-one-night-stand-of-engaging-art And/ Ottawa Citizen>Blogs >ArtsArts RSS Feed Ottawa Citizen / Click the link to read / Nuit Blanche Ottawa – street performers, art experiments, and Marie Antoinette in a cake By/ Peter Simpson...
Come get in bed with us. love, Lainie & Megan xox

Come get in bed with us. love, Lainie & Megan xox

  Climb in bed with Nuit Blanche Ottawa curators, Megan Smith and Lainie Towell. Enjoy an intimate conversation, a glass of wine and recline at the prelude soiree to Nuit Blanche Ottawa (NBO) 2012. On June 29th NBO and Gallery La Petite Mort invite partners, participating artists and media to the 2012 program “reveal”. Nuit Blanche Ottawa is a community multidisciplinary art event event to be held in the capital. Organized by local artists and creatives collaborating with scores of businesses and institutions NBO 2012 promises to attract a crowd of curious, energetic art-loving residents and tourists. Three months prior to Ottawa’s inaugural Nuit Blanche the count down is on, so let us tell you who is onboard!   Sautez au lit avec les deux commissaires de Nuit Blanche Ottawa, Megan Smith et Lainie Towell. Prenez un verre en leur compagnie. C’est le temps des préliminaires! Le 29 juin prochain, NBO et la Galerie La Petite Mort invitent les partenaires, les artistes participants et les médias au dévoilement de la programmation. Nuit Blanche sera une importante célébration des arts multidisciplinaires à Ottawa. Organisée par des artistes de la collectivité pour la collectivité, elle réunira de très nombreux établissements et entreprises, et attirera une foulle de résidents et de touristes curieux, créatifs et énergiques. Que trois mois avant la nuit de l’année. C’est le compte à rebours! Dévoilement de la programmation Nuit Blanche Ottawa 2012 Friday 29 June 7-10 pm le vendredi 29 juin de 19 h à 22 h. La Petite Mort, 306, rue Cumberland, Ottawa, Ontario http://www.lapetitemortgallery.com/ 95 days until Saturday September 22 2012 / 95 jours avant...
7th Berlin Biennale/ Art Wiki Project

7th Berlin Biennale/ Art Wiki Project

Launching with the beginning of the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art the Art Wiki is hosting 1800+ artist profiles. I am pleased to count myself among the first participants in this growing project. My profile is here: http://artwiki.org/Megan_Smith “ArtWiki.org started with the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art as an open platform for artists to share artist biographies as a free and open historiography for contemporary art.” …we invited all those who sent materials to become artists of the digital venue of the Berlin Biennale. Together with Berlin-based media activist and writer Pit Schultz we developed ArtWiki, a digital art library based on the model of Wikipedia, which is a sustainable project that will continue into the future. It aims to present artists as political and social entities, to lay open the artistic resources of our society and abandon the typical curatorial stance of a politics of selection and exclusivity. Furthermore, art representation on the Internet has been strongly dominated and positioned by market speculation and financial interests, and artists are often hesitant to upload their work for fear of it being misappropriated or even stolen. ArtWiki is the tool through which we want to extend the Biennale exhibition and create an open, not-for-profit platform for information exchange for artists, their activities, and their political standpoints, to show today’s spectrum of artistic attitudes. ArtWiki is also a form of social contract, which is about free exchange of information and trust—something very unusual in times when the art system is based on fully controlled access to art works, images, and even ideas. by Joanna Warsza ArtWiki.org, project introduction by...