Maps do not only represented borders of one's country with neighboring ones, but also invisible borders, geopolitical, cultural and society borders that exist inside the country, between countries or in any given community. Maps in strict sense make symbolic relationships between elements of a space, but have also been tools for localizing and displaying links and hypothesis, and not only those relating to spatial topography. Defining and mapping open spaces would need participation in recreating existing maps, in overlaying different maps over each other in order to show not so obvious relationships. “Mapping, the process of making a map or superimposing two different areas, and navigation, exploring a space (a stretch of road) are two complementary «art of action» modes.” (Michel de Certeau).
'CultureRobot' is interactive installation that rises awareness about maps, open spaces and borders. It invites visitors/users/participators to rearrange, open or close borders and thus interact with the map inhabitants – CultureRobot (simple robots moveing arbitraryly on the map) allowing them to consume more or less of different cultural aspects. CR is interactive installation made to raise awareness of social and political sphere that is affecting this aspects of cultural sphere. Installation allows visitors to notice and realize dependencies, connections of the map and its creation as well as obstacles and possible outcomes by changing borders on the map. Remapping (workshops) are always done with local community that is interested in the project, and can be developed for different projects: researching in mapping autonomy in culture, economy, personal narratives, social mapping and other aspects.
"Lay down a map of the land; over that, set a map of political change; over that, a map of the Net, especially the counter-Net with its emphasis on clandestine information-flow and logistics--and finally, over all, the 1:1 map of the creative imagination, aesthetics, values. The resultant grid comes to life, animated by unexpected eddies and surges of energy, coagulations of light, secret tunnels, surprises." (Hakim Bey)
CultureRobot is an artwork that has as much focus on the process of creation as it has on the final representation with interactive and participative action/installation. CR process starts with workshops that are open to everyone who wants to participate in collaborative mapping, examining, wondering, experiencing, researching and trying to understand cities, parks, beck- alleys, countries, borders, cultures, people… CR is open to any way of tracing and tracking that might be involved, from most simple drawing to complicated graph representing social interconnections. CR is social act of establishing an understanding.
Workshops and participative map making with visual and sound material gathering that will be used as information in given map is truly collaborative experience, where wide range of techniques (drawing, photography, video, language, topography, etc) can be explored in participative effort. During workshops teacher to student relation is substituted to multitude principle of collaborative sharing and learning about insights and personal narratives that are discussed and researched. To leave simple naming of the places on a flat, two dimensional map and engage examining relation in the maps is what CR is all about.
Dwellers and wanderers are represented in final installation by simple robots that move arbitrarily. Visitors can direct their movements by making obstacles in front of them in the same way someone creates obstacles (or makes paths) to our own movement, giving us a chance, or blocking us to see and experience more. At the same time, producing robots has the same purpose as map production: everyone can learn simplicity of mapping circuits and recycling material to produce a map traveler – everyone can learn simple usage of electronics by opening parts and looking inside closed “borders” of packaged electronic goods.
The whole process, from mapping, robot creation, video, pictures and drawing gathering is documented. Process also has an open end: installation is never finished and can always be modified/customized to event or space where it takes part. An open end (opportunity to build upon) and open source (opportunity to modify) are making CR a public good that any given community can use to produce their own way of seeing, tracing or tracking, establishing an understanding.
Each of the steps taken while developing CR installation is developed with local community. Installations is customized according to event taking place where CR was installed. CultureRobot is prepared and exhibited in public spaces in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil and Manchester, UK.
Culture Robot website
Contacting and visiting partners, online collaboration and research with project collaborators and project mentor, map making research with project partners, research in FOSS interactive applications with project collaborators and technical stuff. (July '08 to November '08)
Creating CR 1.0 installation and testing interactivity (November '08). HAIP '08 festival, Ljubljana , Slovenia.
blog showing stages of preparations
blog on CR installation @ HAIP
slide show showing CR preparation and installation
Customizing software and redesigning CR installation - using video and sound. (December '08 – February '09).
Creation of CR 2.0 at SESC, São José dos Campos, Brazil at the end of January '09.
blog - preparation for CR in SESC SJC - workshops
blog - CR 2.0 at SESC SJC - installation
Creation of CR at Futuresonic festival, Manchester, UK. (May '09) - working on incorporating wide range of audience in the process of participative mapping and material aggregating, collaborative creation of the material inputed (video and photo animations).
blog on CR at Arcspace in Hulm area of Manchester
CR is developed between July 2008 and November 01th (conceptual phase for participating artists, mentors and project partners), starts November 15th and is let out as open source in public domain in June 2009.
_Team and partners:_
IDEAS to connect to: