Contextual Media Experiments: Locative axis between Finland and Latvia
Venue:Stockholm School of Economics
This paper presents and recalls the interconnections and developments of locative and contextual media experiments in Latvia and Finland between 2003-2006. The author was closely involved in participating and organising within the pioneering Locative Media Workshops initiated by RIXC in Karosta-Liepaja (2003) and Helsinki (2004), participating in the international Locative Network, as well as developing two innovative projects which explored mobile and contextual media (Mapmyths & Aware platform). When the online mapping and mobile media developed around 2006 into an increasingly mainstream and commercially-driven practice, the Locative Network dissolved, along with its website presence online. Several of the aforementioned examples have been reported independently, but have not been presented together since. In the context of Media Art History, the locative axis is not just a spatial vector, between locations, but is represented here as a set of working relationships and friendships across networks and projects, that extends temporally, over several years and a series of events. An auto-ethnographical and auto-archaeological approach is applied to the activity of the period 2003-2006, reconstructing a contextual narrative that acknowledges not only the subjectivites involved, media fragments published and unpublished, but the production and archival process. The narrative of emerging practices of locative and contextual media is retrospectively joined again with the locative-temporal imagination and ambition of the first half of the 2000s, as a reminder of the still pressing need for grassroots control and open access of contextual meta-data, content, and publishing systems in the contemporary period.
Andrew Gryf Paterson (b. 1974) is a Scottish artist-organiser, educator, cultural producer, and independent researcher,
based in Helsinki, Finland. His practice over a 14 year period has involved variable roles of initiator, participant, author
and curator, according to different collaborative and cross-disciplinary processes. Andrew has worked across the fields
of media/ network/ environmental arts and activism, specialising in workshop design, participatory platforms for
engagement, and facilitation. His research interests are: socially-engaged art; auto -ethnographic and -archaeological
methodologies and theory; sustainability issues from the social, ecological and economic perspective.
Andrew has a multi-disciplinary education, with BA(Hons) Fine Arts from Glasgow School of Art, and a MSc degree in
Computer-Aided Graphical Technology Applications from University of Teesside. He is currently completing his doctoral
candidacy at Aalto University School of Art and Design, Media Department, with the working thesis title of “Artistic
Practice as Fieldwork”, and reflects upon the various practice-led processes which he has been involved in since
moving to the Eastern Baltic Sea region in 2003. Significant processes/projects refered to in the thesis include
‘Herbologies/Foraging Networks’ (2010); ‘Alternative Economy Cultures’ programme of Pixelache Helsinki Festival
(2009); ‘Clip Kino’ in Kirjasto10 Helsinki library and other locations (2008 onwards); ‘Hengitä.hankala hengittää’ at
Happihuone, Helsinki (2007), ‘Add+PF+?’ in the Pedagogical Factory programme at Hyde Park Art Centre, Chicago
(2007); ‘Tähtikuvitelma’ for Valon Voimat Festival, Helsinki (2005); ‘Locative Media Workshop: Rautatieasema’ for
Pixelache Helsinki Festival (2004/2006), ‘Mapmyths’ (2003-2004). Over this period, experience, reflections and
findings have been written as articles in various cultural publications, and his methodology was recently published in
the peer-reviewed Journal of Visual Art Studies (Intellect 2011).
Since the beginning of 2011 he has been the coordinator of the Pixelversity educational programme for Piknik
Frequency ry. (producers of Pixelache Festival, Helsinki). Andrew has taught courses at Aalto University’s School of Art
and Design; Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Science, and given numerous presentations in higher institutions
and festivals internationally. He has also specialised in coordinating and facilitating workshops for multi-disciplinary
professionals, students and young people.