Residency at the Salzamt, Linz

In preparation for the exhibition walks and traces … Off the Map, I accepted the very wonderful Sibylle Ettengruber’s invitation to come and work at the Atelierhaus Salzamt here in Linz.

I have built a second drawing machine (first one documented here) because the idea of the relationship between the GPS as a drawing machine and these sort of aleatoric, body-bound, Victorian-inspired eccentric movement sensors continues to fascinate me.

Drawing Machine 2I keep on thinking of the term ‘expanded drawing’ – a sort of tribute to expanded cinema. I’ll have to see how that weathers – I suspect that there are other terms for different sorts of drawing, as I’m sure that drawing is something that people have thought about a lot. There is the whole debate about the spectrum of drawing from representation to mark-making record of a gesture. However, what distinguishes these machine-made drawings (I am including GPS in this) is that like cinema, they result of some mechanical mediation and I’m interested to find out if there is any writing about this aspect.

I had to steel myself to make the drawings as I felt very conspicuous. Unlike the first drawing machine, this one straps to the front of the body. In fact the first ones I made in the evening after a beer, but I had some nice exchanges with curious people, one man who was really engaged and another, drunken one who observed that “Es ist immer Schamhaar” (It’s always pubic hair). He’s got a point. Won’t be putting that in the exhibition notes though.

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Goodbye Jitsi, hello again Pidgin

So the world of jabber communication has been a bit unreliable. After successfully trying a jitsi video conversation at home between my distro and Soph’s ubuntu, I tried to have a meeting with someone I’m mentoring and it totally failed. On agreeing to the call, it would hang up. After that I had a successful video meeting with someone and then it failed again for Soph and I.

Because I’m committed to open source, I persisted and discovered something surprising about an old friend. I’ve had pidgin knocking around for a while and occasionally use it to (text only) chat with the rare geeky friends I have. I even put it in my autostart config so it starts automatically (by the way, I found getting a programme to start automatically at startup much easier on my Crunchbang distro using Openbox than in Ubuntu). Then I discovered that pidgin has audio and a video calling! You just right click on your contact and select ‘Audio call’ or ‘Audio/Video call’. Can’t think why I missed this before.

Now I’m happily using good old pidgin, which I think is a bit more mature than Jitsi (I hated their taskbar icon anyway).

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Goodbye Skype, hello Jitsi

In the spirit of Tino Sehgal, who not only refuses to travel by plane himself, but also insists that the performers of his work don’t travel by plane, I am responding to people who want to Skpe(tm) me by asking them to talk over Jitsi.

This is achieved in the following steps:

  1. Download Jitsi
  2. Get an XMPP account – there’s a list here: or just plump for which is good for English speakers ;) (lots are German). You can even use GoogleTalk, but let’s not eh?
  3. Add this newly created account to Jitsi. File > Add new account, Select network > XMPP, full jabber id which should look like an id address e.g.
  4. Make Jitsi more secure following instructions here
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CryptoParty Neukölln

When Joseph and Maria from the Slow Tech group came to see Soph and my GPShow at the end our residency at Ausland (see the news page), they invited us to join them at CryptoParty Berlin‘s next event which was last night.

Only I was able to go but I had a wonderful night, from which I’m still buzzing. I can’t praise this initiative enough: there was a warm, friendly atmosphere of sharing and helping one another, with fantastic, open-hearted moderation by Malte who later taught me everything I now know about gpg. Not only that, but we were sitting for part of the evening next to the very witty Isis, one of the Tor developers, who very generously shared her public key with all of us.

I can’t remember when I last stayed up until the small hours and felt totally wired. The night was so good, I think I’ll go to the next one they have. Check out your local cryptoparty here. It’s so much more than teaching people cryptography.

Oh, and why would you want to send encrypted messages and want to browse anonymously? Ask yourself if you want to carbon copy GCHQ and the NSA on all your emails and send them the details of exactly what you’re watching online. Nothing to hide? Tell that to someone who’s seen a regime change in the country they live in. There’s a few million of them here in former East Germany.

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Memorialisation of Tempelhofer Feld Outcomes II

I finally got to upload the animation of the Tempelhofer Feld memorialisation choreography to vimeo today.

Thanks again to the 11 students of the HZT BA Choreography course who made this work with me on that blustery 29 October 2013.

I wonder if we shouldn’t be working to make Tempehlof a Commons.

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