Participants' Projects & Bios

Please use this space to describe your area of research or a key project or projects relevant to the Paralelo agenda. Please provide a short description of the work and any links which others may wish to explore to find out more. Please mention any key areas that you'd like to discuss with others…..bearing in mind our focus on discussing how in practical ways people are working across disciplines to tackle global and local environmental and ecological challenges. You can use the tools above to integrate images, video etc.

**Desmemórias/ Un-memories** (2005)
Giselle Beiguelman

desmemórias is an web-documentary on the non-traces of our recent past. A story made of gaps and old machinery of vision and communication that have shaped the present and disappeared.

Amiga computers, Mac Classics, Ataris, 5 ¼ floppy disks, 486s, 386s, XTs, 500g cellulars, phosphorus monitors, VHS Tapes among others, are the characters of this quasi-documentary of broken memories.

The images are at a fast rate and are purposely worked within the limits of their erasure, crossing themselves and superpondo itself with algorithmic scripts that confuse the boundaries between text and images. (Best viewed on IE, shame on me…, sound + pop ups)

Giselle Beiguelman is Artistic Director of Sergio Motta Art and Technology Award and multimedia artist. Professor of postgraduate studies in Communication and Semiotics of PUC-SP and editor of the New World section of the electronic magazine Trópico.

Wapke Feenstra (myvillages)

“There you stand with your mobile in your hand, in connection with the whole world, but on former farmland.”

Wapke Feenstra will focus on Former Farmland a collection of stories and images about the ground beneath your feet. The collected knowledge can pop up in your mobile phone while walking in an suburban area.
`When farmland is used as a site for new building projects or urban leisure areas, the farmer gets a good price for the land. The farmer then moves on. He may buy new land or decide to quit farming altogether because there is no-one to take over from him or he sees no financial future in farming. But what the farmer takes away is not just the memory of a piece of land that is about to be re-developed – he takes a wealth of knowledge about the soil he has worked on for generations. This knowledge has no value anymore. The land is designated for other purposes and the personal stories about the influence of the water and soil on the harvest are no longer relevant. As farmland is a part of everyone’s cultural heritage, I decided to unearth some stories about Former Farmland.`
Former Farmland was launched in 2008 within the Overtures 3 programme of artcircolo DE and realised for Expo08 in Saragossa ES and the Ars Electronica Festival 08 in Linz AT. In 2009 a third version will be made for the Edith-Russ-Haus in Oldenburg DE.
Wapke Feenstra finished in 1991 a post-graduate at the Jan van Eyckacademy, Maastricht NL. She lives and works in Rotterdam NL. Her work explores the direct physical and mental environment by tapping into local knowledge. During Manifesta 1 she was one of the initiators of the platform NEsTWORK. In 1998 she started up the first digital story collection called Verhalen van Dordrecht, which is run by citizens and still active. With Antje Schiffers and Kathrin Böhm she founded (2002). In 2007 did a residency at Grizedale Arts UK and since 2008 they cooperate in International Village Shop, a rural trade network. Wapke Feenstra’s work can pop up as e.g. a travelbook (The Best Place 2007), a digital tree collection ( or in a museum collection (SPOT 2001-2002, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam NL). In 2008 she developed Former Farmland; a new track in the intermingling of different cultural platforms.

Koert van Mensvoort
The Nature caused by Human Culture

Do we still have genuine experiences of nature or are we living in a picture of it? Real nature is wild, unpredictable, inaccessible, overwhelming, terrifying, infinite and primitive. The average Western person is more concerned about the mortgage interest deduction than about hurricanes or floods.

The average child knows more logos and brands than bird or tree species. Is this our next nature? Do we control the world economy? Do you control the viruses and spyware on your computer? Hypoallergenic design cats are already on the market. Prehistoric woods are being laid out at locations designated by politicians; our image of Nature is being carefully constructed as a recreational simulation. It’s set-building for Sunday afternoon, Disneyland for grown-ups. In order to avoid spoiling of the landscape, mobile telephone antenna masts are disguised as a pine trees. This isn’t nature. At best, it is a picture of nature. It is an illustration, like a landscape painting hanging above the sofa. Greener grass: you get used to it.

A new image of Nature is arising. What does it look like, and how can we see it? Is it a picture of old-fashioned nature, or a practically functioning new form? Now that motorways, airports, websites and supermarkets have become natural environments for us, they are being more and more systematically produced and copied. Recognizability ensures an image that is true to nature. Bureaucratic structures, surveillance models, and strategies to promote a thriving economy are becoming visible.

More and more, trees, plants, animals, atoms and the climate are determined by human beings. At the same time, our systems are outgrowing us: we’re seeing genetic surprises, wild systems, autonomous machines and beautiful black flowers.

Ambient intelligence, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, augmented reality, and biotechnology are a few of the new disciplines with which we are entering our future. All these disciplines are radically encroaching on our concept of ‘what is natural’. They come together in the category of ‘Next Nature’. Next nature is the nature caused by human culture. Next nature is real nature. It is not a picture or a simulation of a long-lost phenomenon: nature changes along with us.

We are entering a mysterious magic garden which surprises us, amazes us, sometimes crushes us and is sometimes favorably disposed toward us. We must give things new meanings in order to define our place: we must resymbolize. We are wading around like newborn children in what we have created. We will have to fight our battle with ‘Nature’ anew. Natural disasters become cultural disasters. We will get the nature we deserve.

The Dark Forest / BR163 Expedition
NewTV, Mobilefest and Active Ingredient
The Dark Forest and BR163 Expedition is an interactive documentary developed in two parts. The aim is to “sense” and document changes along the BR163 road that is being built through the heart of the Amazon, Brazil and to contrast and connect Brazilian’s tropical forests to Sherwood Forest, UK - through an artistic exchange.

The project brings together a team of film makers, artists and technologists utilising mobile, location and sensing technologies - to create a documentary film, website, and a new artwork. The interactive documentary explores the impact of man’s intervention both positive and negative on the Amazon Rainforest. Using the soon to be developed road through the forest - The BR163 - as a metaphor for Brazil’s emergence as a superpower and the effect of urbanisation on the natural world, as well as a physical location for the development of the project. The Dark Forest looks at myths and legends we associate with deep forests, both real and of our imaginations.

Forests are seen as the heart of the world, and they are slowly diminishing and changing. Learning the myths connected to forests can increase and create a new form of environmental consciousness. Bringing together “Saci Perere” and “Robin Hood” to join forces in helping protecting nature is now more urgent than ever.

The Mobilefest Expedition BR 163 project is an original screenplay developed by Marcelo Godoy from newTV Production Company. After two years of research the project has joined with Mobilefest – International Festival of Mobile Art and Creativity, with the intent of creating an online documentary using the latest mobile technologies available.

In December 2007, the Active Ingredient group was invited to participate in the Project, in order to add resources for mapping, location, and augmented reality, as well as to support the artistic elements of the project and develop the cultural exchange, in partnership with the Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham.

Taco Stolk
Taconis Stolk (Netherlands, 1967) is a conceptualist. He gained his BA and MA degrees in media art and conceptual composition at the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Netherlands. Since 1993, most of his artistic research is presented through WLFR, a media identity characterised by minimalist form and a wide range of —sometimes unusual— media. The emphasis in this research is on the crossroads of philosophical and aesthetical implications of media, and the phenomenology of the artistic process. WLFR projects were exhibited, performed and published in a large number of countries.
Examples of projects are PIA (interactive musical performance for magnetic cards, 1993), fZone (online composition programme for music based on weather conditions, 1994), 3dTt (animation series for teletext system, 2000), PARR (research on nano-aesthetics and the relation between form and number, in books and animations, 2001), BuBL Space (pocket device to block mobile phone signals, with Arthur Elsenaar, 2002), Gradually Zero (performance theatre on the beauty in numbers, 2003), Genetic Design (media campaign on virtual education in artistic DNA manipulation, 2004) and PWf-D (localised audio composition based on Planck-time and Planck-length, 2008).
Taconis Stolk is also co-founder of formalism, studio for concept & design in Amsterdam. His other activities include writing, lecturing and curating, as well as teaching at the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, and at Leiden University. He lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

WLFR research project, 2007—present

According to contemporary physics, our universe has a smallest unit of space (Planck-length) and a smallest unit of time (Planck-time). These units are, so to speak, the pixels of this universe. The PWf project is a long-term rescaling programme of our scientific and cultural measuring units on the basis of Planck-length and Planck-time. By calculating the harmonics of these incredibly small units within areas we are able to experience as human beings, it becomes possible to conceptually grasp something of the harmonic unity between our daily world and the extreme scales of physics. Parts of this research are presented in different projects, concentrating on conceptual rescaling (like presenting alternatives for the meter or the second) or sensory rescaling (like presenting harmonic scales in sound, light, tactile vibration and smell).

Mike Stubbs
Director and CEO of FACT since May 2007, jointly appointed by Liverpool John Moores University as Professor of Art, Media and Curating. Encompassing a broad range of arts and media practice his arts management, curating and artwork have been internationally acknowledged.
As founding Director at Hull Time Based Arts (HTBA) his work won recognition as a primary promoter of new media and performance art in an international context, setting up the venue Time Base, EMARE (European Media Arts Residency Exchange) and the international ROOT Festival.
Mike moved to Melbourne in 2003 to the world-leading Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) as Curatorial Manager, becoming Head of Exhibitions the following year.

An award-winning and respected moving image artist, Mike Stubbs' work encompasses film, video, mixed media installations, performance and curation. He has won more than a dozen international awards including first prizes at the Oberhausen and Locarno Film Festivals, and in 1999 was invited to present a video retrospective of his work at Tate Gallery, London. A selection of his work featured at the 2003 Adelaide International Film Festival.
During his career, Mike has commissioned over 250 interactive, site specific,
performative, sonic and moving-image based artworks. Originally educated at the Royal College of Art and Cardiff College of Art, Mike’s own internationally commissioned artwork encompasses broadcast films, video art, large-scale public projections and new media installation, much made through a process of interdisciplinary research and residency.
Mike arrived at FACT in the final lead up to Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008, with the opportunity to work with other cultural leaders in further developing Liverpool as a major international cultural centre and destination.

FACT itself is an engine for the production and presentation of cutting edge moving image and new media art, whose work Mike is intent on refocusing through experience, consciousness, articulation and building-wide programming via interdisciplinary partnerships.

Annette Wolfsberger
Annette Wolfsberger (NL/AT) studied political science and works as producer, project manager and researcher. Areas of interest include media arts, contemporary and popular culture. Annette has a track record of organizing and directing events and festivals across several European countries.

From 2005-07 she directed Enter_ Unknown Territories, an international conference and festival at the intersection of new technology art, business and research in Cambridge (UK). Before that she was production manager at Melkweg, a renown independent multidisciplinary arts venue in Amsterdam (NL).

Currently, she is programme manager at Virtueel Platform, the Dutch sector institute for e-culture, and freelances next to that.
She is producer of Sonic Acts, a bi-annual media arts festival in Amsterdam;
project manages international staff exchanges for cultural operators for Trans Europe Halles, the European network of independent cultural centres; and is doing research into cultural blogging in Europe for LabforCulture.


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