Aug 9, 2009

Christopher Baker Revisited: Resident Artist at Kitchen Budapest

I first learned about Christopher Baker when I was taking an information visualization class. I was impressed by his work, My Map: A Self Portrait, which was created from his archive of 60,000 e-mails:

My Map from Christopher Baker on Vimeo.

Here is more of Baker's work:

Baker's Murmur Study is a live visualization/archive of Twitter:

"One might describe these messages as a kind of digital small talk. But unlike water-cooler conversations, these fleeting thoughts are accumulated, archived and digitally-indexed by corporations. While the future of these archives remains to be seen, the sheer volume of publicly accessible personal — often emotional — expression should give us pause." -Baker

Murmur Study from Christopher Baker on Vimeo. (The paper is recycled.)

HPVS (Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome)

HPVS (Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome) from Christopher Baker on Vimeo.

"HPVS (Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome) is a kinetic sculpture that considers the subtle, often-subconscious ways that mobile communication technologies shape our senses. The title references the recently discovered Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome -- a syndrome wherein mobile phone users become hyper-attentive to their mobile devices, often experiencing phantom ringing sensations even in the absence of incoming calls or messages. This work carefully orchestrates the vibrations of a collection of mobile phones to produce a familiar yet quietly-disturbing cacophony."

Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise "An immersive video installation featuring over 5000 video diaries found on the internet."

Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise from Christopher Baker on Vimeo.

"Hello World! is a large-scale audio visual installation comprised of thousands of unique video diaries gathered from the internet. The project is a meditation on the contemporary plight of democratic, participative media and the fundamental human desire to be heard." -Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker's blog

Christopher Baker's Projects

About Christopher Baker:

"Christopher Baker is an artist whose work engages the rich collection of social, technological and ideological networks present in the urban landscape. He creates artifacts and situations that reveal and generate relationships within and between these networks. Baker recently completed his Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Media Arts at the University of Minnesota. He is now the senior artist-in-residence at the Kitchen Budapest, an experimental media arts lab in Hungary. In his previous life as a scientist, Christopher worked to develop brain-computer interfaces at the University of Minnesota and UCLA." (taken from Christopher Baker's website)

Christopher Baker's Artist's Statement:

"My work is fundamentally concerned with the complex relationship between society and its technologies. Trained first as a scientist and only recently as an artist, my practice represents an uneasy balance of eager technological optimism, analytical processes, deep-rooted skepticism and intuitive engagement. Much of this practice is inspired by the interconnectivities – visible and invisible – present in the modern urban landscape. I am energized by the diversity of human expression that continuously activates our vast communication networks. I am awed by the scale and varied histories of the built environment and urban infrastructure. As technologists make daily promises to improve our lives by uniting these physical and digital worlds, I attempt to make work that examines the practical implications of our increasingly networked lifestyles. Primary to this task is an exploration of the ways we imagine and represent ourselves before (potentially massive) audiences and the ways we navigate and abide in public space. Thus, architecture and place figure heavily into my often site-specific practice. With these interests at heart, large-scale video projections allow me to create works that fuse existing physical spaces with more ephemeral digital elements, resulting in revelatory and sometimes disorienting forms."

Christopher Baker is currently a resident artist at Kitchen Budapest.

What is Kitchen Budapest?

"The spicy innovation lab Kitchen Budapest, opened in June 2007, is a new media lab for young researchers who are interested in the convergence of mobile communication, online communities and urban space and are passionate about creating experimental projects in cross-disciplinary teams"

"Research fields What happens to the net once it meets the urban space? How does private space relate to the saturating wireless networks? Where does user created content gain authority? How does our use of cities alter as we get more and more real time feedback of its dynamics? What makes a home smart? Street-smart?"

"We would like to rethink and remix the possibilities of new media in our everyday lives and to argument connections between new technologies and our society."

I am happy to live in a world where experimental artists can find places and spaces to grow and thrive!

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