Quietly and in the background, the Third Factioneers, have been making arrangements to launch a research initiative. The current show PeaceCraft is the first project to be done under this new structure. Third Faction Institute is research collective organized as a corporate entity. The partners are artists, theorists, educators and technologists that I have worked with many times before. This corporation will provide platforms and opportunities in the future to raise money and visibility. The Third Faction Institutes’s primary goal is to directly support Third Faction’s and art or research by others of synthetic worlds and gaming by providing residencies, symposia and platforms for production.
I gave a talk last week for the Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series titled Art as an Exo-Discipline. It was an tremendous honor, thanks to Dr. Ford and everyone who contributed to the opportunity. I tried to unravel the methods of the interdisciplinary work I do. I attempted to discuss philosophy, the crises in working as a trans-disciplinarian, and then got to share several works.
A short interview I did with the radio station: http://wuwf.org/post/uwf-
I am a collaborator in the international public art project titled valley 2 valley, a sculptural project co-commissioned as an international biennial partnership with ZERO1 Biennial, San Jose, USA and the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art (Salda Verkhnaya, Russia). The work centers around the two tech centers-Silicon Valley in CA and the Titanium Valley in Russia. Launched in the virtual reality, this innovative project will stand as a platform for unique public art objects hosted by the Ural city of Verkhnyaya Salda and the capital of the Silicon Valley.
I will be attending the ZERO1 Biennial to install the USA portion of the project and to participate in the lectures, symposia, and openings.
v2v documentation http://www.flickr.com/photos/kidneutrino/sets/72157631049420666/
The 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art http://en.uralbiennale.ru/
ZERO1 Biennial http://www.zero1.org/
As part of the v2v co-commission, I have been asked by the members of the Russian team to design the booth for a preview of the project at the trade-show Innoprom. Here are my designs:
although I was not able to convince the Russian the construction crew to cut a ‘sun’ into the ceiling, I am very happy with the results. Zehnya and the team was able make a few finishing touches and the booth looked great.
We are The Third Faction, a collective of avatars with a shared interest in exposing biased power structures in virtual environments. Founded in 2008 in a temporary autonomous zone located in the land of Azeroth, we set forth to develop a democratized, non-hierarchical governance. The very act of labelling our group “The Third Faction” demonstrates our dissatisfaction with the existent political and corporate rule-sets. In order to achieve our goals, we continually subvert the deliberate factional conflict within game worlds through direct interaction with our supposed enemies, exploring peaceful modes of play, and bringing the ideas of political player resistance to the in-game public forum.
In 2011, The Third Faction launched Demand Player Sovereignty, a radical and participatory campaign designed to educate, raise social awareness, and instigate actions of protest and civil disobedience. DPS pushed for greater player autonomy within World of Warcraft, while drawing parallels to current global politics. Later that year, DPS gained notoriety through a series of workshops presented at ISEA 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. These workshops looked at virtual spaces as a medium for political engagement and led participants through strategies for interventions ranging from passive resistance to anarchical actions in game.
DPS participants conducted rallies, marches and sit-ins throughout the capital cities in World of Warcraft. We rallied for avatar rights, feminist causes, and an end to the war. We petitioned the scripted leaders of these fictional nation states who, much like our politicians, turn a deaf ear to pleas of citizenry. As a result, the citizens have grown disenfranchised on both sides of the digital spectrum.
Maelstorm Accord, 2010 is a new project by Third Faction to create a mixed realities aid events.
The proposed installation is a complex set of props and actors a la trade fair exposition stationed with players of the Maelstrom Accord. These agents will recruit new WoW players and distribute propaganda, quests, and achievement / trinkets as rewards for completing humanitarian deeds. Work stations in the installation will allow new and returning recruits to carry out mixed reality questing. Methodologies from passive resistance to anarchical actions in game will be coupled with real world forums about liberty and tied to charitable causes positioning the player as a multi-dimensional agent of change.
i have started another collaboration with James Stone, we have ‘formalized’ our relationship by registering mr-bricolage.us. we have proposed a new phys comp project workshop for ISEA2011 in Istanbul. it item is wearable tech that sonifies objects that are touched by the actor. we see this as a platform for performance and activism.
Mr. Bricolage, Asmuth and Stone, propose a DIY wearable technology workshop at ISEA 2011 for activists, performers, and community members. The workshop will consist of demonstrations, discussions about strategies for use, and most importantly a hands on workshop to build Touchstone devices. The culmination of the workshop will be a local performance and/or action.
Touchstone is a mobile and tactical media broadcast platform worn on the hands of performers and activists. Touchstone is an strategy for contesting the urban/performance landscape rather than a product.
The technology of Touchstone is built upon audio exciter circuits embedded in gloves which transform the hands of an agent into broadcast transmitters. Touchstone agents activate objects as a temporary/ad-hoc public address systems, by simply pressing their palms against it. Touchstone is a discrete technology platform: (1) it is virtually invisible on the garb of a performer/agent and (2) it is light and flexible; agents or performers can easily move (or escape). Moreover, it is a cinch to produce; the system does not require advanced electronics knowledge and is easily assembled from surplus, inexpensive, and/or widely available consumer technology.
Asmuth and Stone eagerly hope to collaborate with performance and activist groups from Istanbul or the adjacent regions. The team would appreciate any help from the ISEA community in locating organizations that would be interested in utilizing this platform.
Keywords: body; sound; broadcast; collaborative; hacktivism; low tech; wearable; DIY; tactical media; performance
Authors: James Stone, Thomas Asmuth
Go to mr-bricolage.us for more details