Art and Communication conference 2007: Espionage Technologies and Art

June 1- 2, Liepaja Karosta.

“Origins of professional intelligence and information management reach back to ancient times and stem from the desire to control the mind and the imagination. Today security intelligence has become a central economic, societal and political issue that reaches deep into the sphere of art and contemporary culture.” (Konrad Becker)

The international scientific conference “Espionage Technologies and Art” will take place on June 1 and 2, 2007 in the historical and military setting of Liepaja Karosta (warport), brining togather artists, scientists and researchers from Latvia, France, The Netherlands, Austria, USA and other countries. The conference is taking place within the framework of the 9th international festival for new media culture “Art+Communication”. This year festival is focused on “spectral ecology” issues in order to draw attention to the invisible properties of electronic technologies – the density of electro-magnetic spectrum (EMS) in the environment and its effects on human and living nature today and for years to come.

On the one hand, conference discusses issues in relation to “spectral ecology” from different aspects, introducing with spectral investigation on a theoretical and artistic interpretation level, as well as with scientific research on electromagnetic pollution effects.

On the other, the conference reaches into the specific military-historical context of Karosta, leaning towards the espionage phenomenon, whose origins can be traced back to its military history in ancient culture. The conference will introduce the military past of communication technologies, their contemporary conversion and culturalisation process.

In particular, the conference aims to consider collaborations between artists and scientists, their creative experiments in electromagnetic spectrum and beyond – in ionosphere and vacuum. It also intends to look at the ubiquity of electromagnetic fields, that have become the ghosts of today – invisible and surrounding us they are there to open up our imagination boundaries and to create contemporary myths of technology…

Main themes for conference include:
– Intelligence and Defense : Culture and Ideology of Spying and Security
– Military Technology Conversion : from Warfare to Art and Militarization of Entertainment Industry
– Electromagnetic Cosmology, Spectral Ecology and EMF Research
– Technology Myth, Artistic Interpretations and Contemporary Ghost Stories

Location: K@2, Katedrāles iela 2, Karosta, Liepaja


June 1, 2007. Day 1: [spying and security] [electromagnetic cosmology]

13.30 – 14.00 Registration and coffee.

Welcome and introduction:

14.00 – 14.05 (5 min.)
Prof. Dr. paed. Oskars ZÄ«ds, rector of Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy

14.05 – 14.15 (10 min.)
Dr. art Aija Urdze-Druvaskalne, founder and director of Art Research Lab at Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy

14.15 – 15.00 Keynote (40 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))

[Panel 1] Intelligence and Defense : Culture and Ideology of Spying and Security. Moderator: Mara Traumane

15.00 – 15.25 (20 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Andrey Smirnov /Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music at Moscow State Conservatory/RU. GOOD VIBRATIONS: THE ART AND SOUND OF ESPIONAGE

15.25 – 15.50 (20 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Eric Kluitenberg, media theorist/De Balie/NL. THE RIGHT TO DISCONNECT

15.50 – 16.10 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Ansis Zunde, philosopher /Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at Latvian Science Academy/LV. CONSTRUCTION OF SPYER AND ART OF LIFE. TWO CASES: OIDIP AND SOCRAT
(in Latvian)

16.10 – 16.25 coffee break

[Panel 2] Electromagnetic Cosmology, Spectral Ecology and EMF Research. Moderator: Rasa Smite

16.25 – 16.50 (20 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions)

Dr. biol. Antons Kolodinskis /Biology Institut of Latvian University/LV. ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND HUMAN HEALTH: MYTHS AND REALITY

16.50 – 17.15 (20 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))

17.15 – 17.40 (20 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Maxence Layet, researcher /CIIREM, Centre de Recherche et díInformation Indťpendantes/FR THE BEE, THE BIRD AND THE COW: ELECTROSMOG AND BIODIVERSITY, A STATE OF THE ART

17.40 – 18.00 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Adam Hyde, media artist /r a d i o q u a l i a/NZ-NL. EM WAVES GOODBYE

June 2, 2007. Day 2: [war technologies] [electromagnetic myth] [Panel 3] Military Technology Conversion : from Warfare to Art and Militarization of Entertainmet Industry. Moderator: Eric Kluitenberg

11.00 – 11.20 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Dr. philol. Ilva Skulte /Riga Stradina University/LV. THE LANGUAGE OF WAR

11.20 – 11.50 (25 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))

11.50 – 12.10 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))

12.10 – 12.20 coffee break

12.20 – 12.55 (30 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand /Portable Palace/US. SONOLEVITATION

20 min. + 5-10 min. (for questions)

12.55 – 13.30 (30 min. (talk)+ 5 min. (for questions))

13.30 – 14.30 lunch break

[Panel 4] Technology Myth, Aristic Interpretations and Contemporary Ghost Stories. Moderator: Adam Hyde

14.30 – 14.50 (15 min. (talk) + 5-10 min. (for questions)
Normunds Kozlovs /Riga Stradina University/LV. MYTH AND WAR IN A RIGHT WING COUNTER-CULTURE

14.50 – 15.10 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Martin John Callanan, artist /UK. ETHNOLOGY OF SOLITUDE

15.10 – 15.30 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))
Sara Kolster, artist /umatic/NL. THE LITTLE STAR

15.30 – 15.40 coffee break

15.40 – 16.00 (15 min. (talk) + 5 min. (for questions))

16.00 – 16.35 (30 min. (talk)+ 5 min. (for questions))
Derek Holzer, sound artist /umatic/NL

16.35 – 17. 00 final discussion


Konrad Becker (Austria) is president of Global Security Alliance – a cultural peacekeeping agency. He is a hypermedia and interdisciplinary communication researcher, director of the Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0, and World-Information.Org, a cultural intelligence provider. Co-founder and chairman of Public Netbase from 1994 to 2006, he has been active in electronic media as an author, artist, composer as well as curator, producer and organizer.

Bureau d’études (Léonore Bonaccini un Xavier Fourt) is a group of artists from Paris. By collaborating with researchers, critics and artists they create an autonomus university. “Bureau d’études” have published articles in magazines, as well as their own publications (“Refuse the biopolice”, “Autonomie artistique” – in colaboration with Brian Holmes, “L’Etat machine”, “Ondes”, “Electromagnetic propaganda – The statement of industrial dogma”, etc.).

Karlis Berzins (Latvia) has born in 1973 in Riga. He is married and rising two sons. Being fascinated by starry night view, already from age of 10 he knew he wants to become an astronomer.
Educational background: BSc in physics at University of Latvia, MSc in theoretical physics at University of Latvia, MSc in astromomy at University of Copenhagen. Currently he is working on his PhD thesis in astrophysics.
Scientific work: from the very beginning of its foundation he was working at Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center. Currently he is researcher at University of Latvia.
He is vice-chairman of Latvian Astronomical Society (LAB) and member of editorial board of magazine “Zvaigžņotā Debess” (The Starry Sky).
Research interests: Very Long Baseline Interferometry topics and cosmology, particular structure of objects in the Universe incl. its large scale structure.

Martin John Callanan (UK) current research focuses on systems–both technological and bureaucratic kinds–exploring ways to make them more transparent. Often this involves evoking the system in ways that uses it’s own characteristics to examine itself–or to reveal more about itself. Another key area of concern is data.
Martin has recently worked with: The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, The Mayor of London, Transport for London, Network Rail, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Currently Honorary Research Assistant at The Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art, University College London and Artist in Residence at RIXC, Latvia.

Ewen Chardonnet (France) is a media artist and journalist who works and lives in Tours. In the past 5 years he has been collaborating in different initiatives such as Makrolab, MIR, Acoustic Space Lab, Spectral Investigations Collective and World-Information.Org. He has published many texts and articles in the press and various catalogs.

Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand (USA) create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly regarding wave phenomena, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuality. Such investigations are salient because the scientific picture of the world, which serves as the basis for contemporary thought, still cannot encompass the unrecordable workings of consciousness.
Having dismissed all forms of fixative and recording media, Domnitch and Gelfand’s installations exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. Because these rarely seen manifestations take place directly in front of the observer without being distorted and flattened onto a screen, they often serve to vastly extend the spectator’s sensory envelope. The immediacy of this experience allows the observer to transcend the illusory distinction between scientific discovery and perceptual expansion.
In order to engage such ephemeral processes, the artists have collaborated with a variety of scientific institutions and laboratories: Goettingen University Physics Institute (Germany), Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (Japan), Institute of Advanced Industrial Sciences (Japan) Suslick Research Group, University of Illinois (USA) UT Dots Nanoparticle Lab (USA) Institute Meurice (Belgium), Miltsen Research Lab (Russia), Belomo Lab (Belarus).

Janis Garancs (Latvia) was born 1973 in Latvia and works in areas of interactive multimedia installations, Virtual Reality, and audiovisual performance. His current artistic interest focuses on immersive environments in various genres, including artworks for museum galleries as well as stage and live concerts. Currently, J. Garančs is a researcher at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (Germany), part of a research team of the consortium “LIVE” (funded by European Union) developing interactive TV formats and production tools to stage Live Media Events in near the future.

Derek Holzer (USA) is a sound artist with a background in radio, webstreaming and environmental recording. His work focuses on capturing and transforming small, unnoticed sounds from various natural and urban locations, networked collaboration strategies, experiments in improvisational sound and the use of free software such as Pure-Data. He has released tracks under the Nexsound, Sirr, and/OAR, Frozen Elephants Music and Gruenrekorder labels, has played live, improvised experimental music across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zeland, and has co-initiated several internet projects for field recording and collaborative soundscapes including

Adam Hyde (Netherlands) is an artist with an international practice who works with software, wireless mediums, online audio and video, sound art, new technologies and more traditional forms of broadcast.
Adam then co-founded radioqualia in 1998 with New Zealander Honor Harger. radioqualia works in the fields of art, science and technology. The principal interest of radioqualia is in the ways that broadcasting technologies such as radio and online streaming media can be used to create new artistic forms, and in ways that sound art can be used to illuminate abstract ideas and processes.

Eric Kluitenberg (The Netherlands) is a theorist, writer, and organiser on culture, media and technology. He is head of the media program at De Balie – Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, and teaches a.o. at the Institute for Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. He lectures and publishes extensively on culture, new media, and cultural politics throughout Europe and beyond.
His publications include, The Book of Imaginary Media (NaI Publishers, 2006); Hybrid Space – theme issue of Open – Cahier for Art and the Public Domain #11, Amsterdam, November 2006; Debates & Credits, Media / Art / Public Domain, De Balie, 2003; Delusive Spaces – with the Institute of Network Cultures (forthcoming Fall 2007), as well as many essays.

Dr. biol. Antons Kolodinskis (Latvia) born in Braslava, Belarus. He is a doctor of biology, director of psychophysiology laboratory, researcher of University of Latvia Institute of Biology. Speciality: psychophysiology, normal physiology, magnetobiology, physiology of work. Author of more than 100 scientific publications, 50 scientific, technical exhibitions. Participant of several international conferences. Currently directs scientific project “Potential influence of mobile communication systems on development of children`s psychophysiological functions” in Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Sara Kolster (The Netherlands) is a visual artist and designer with a background in web/graphical design and web-based projects. The focus of her work shifted more towards video and film; capturing details from urban locations, visualizing fragments of stories of these environments. She uses different strategies, from time-based media (video, film) to appropriated research methods belonging to different observational disciplines (journalism, documentary and archeology). Recently, her work concentrates on the integration of sound and image, using different techniques – from medium format slides, 16 and 35 millimeter film and video to database-systems, live processing programs such as Pure-Data and web-interfaces.

Normunds Kozlovs (Latvia) studied philosophy and sociology at Latvia University, now lecturer at Riga Stradins University Communication department. Field of interests: communication theories and social transition processes.

Maxence Layet (France) is a French freelance science journalist. His articles about cyberculture, cognitive sciences, energy technology, innovation & sustainable development are published in le Monde de l’Intelligence, Psychologies Magazine, Effervesciences. He works also with the (riirem, a NGO focusing on the effects of the electro-pollutions on the living beings. “L’Energie secrete de l’univers” – his popular science book published in 2006 – journeys between the Chinese traditions (qi, acupuncture, feng shui…) and bioelectromagnetic sciences. Maxence Layet lives in Amboise, the French home of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Horia Cosmin Samoïla (Rumania) is artist, founder of the Ghostlab and member of SIC. He utilizes the electromagnetic medium like raw material with the realization of immaterial sculptures, experimental installations and extra-cognitive operations.

Dr. philol. Ilva Skulte (Latvia) is born in Ogre (Latvia) 25.11.1968 and studied philology at the University of Latvia. After gaining PhD in philology in 1999 she was working as a translator, journalist and language teacher until 2001 when she started both research and teaching of language and communication, including visual communication at the Department of Communication Studies of Riga Stradins University.

Andrey Smirnov (Russia) is an interdisciplinary artist, composer, performer, instrument builder, programmer, author, curator, educator. He is a founder and director of the Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music at Moscow State Conservatory, director and founder of Altermedium Festival for Electroacoustic Music, founder and artistic director of Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra. He has conducted various workshops and master classes in the U.S., Europe and Russia, attended numerous festivals and conferences. He is the author of interactive performances and installations. Among his most recent works are Sonochronotop and Brain Jazz interactive performances, Laser Bugging, Vetro-Touchless and Windowpane Theremin installations.

Rasa Smite (Latvia), media artist and researcher, co-founder and programme director of E-LAB (1996) and RIXC (2000). Founder and organizer of the annual International Festival for New Media Culture “Art+Communication”, editor of “Acoustic Space” publication series (since 1998) Co-founders of several international networks (Xchange, NICE etc.). Since 2007- researcher at the Art Research Lab, Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy. Currently studying at the Riga Stradina University doctoral programme in social sciences.

Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (Germany) born in 1965 in Lübeck, lives and works in Berlin. From 1986 he studied fine arts, art history / new media, music history, composition, sociology and philosophy. He is founder of “Unerhört” – Verein für Neue Music, Bremerhave and “Oh Ton” in Oldenburg; co-founder of “hARTware-projekte”, Dortmund. Since 1994 he has participated in various festivals and exhibitions in Germany, The Netherlands, USA and other countries. The most recent is his solo-exhibition “sonArc-project” in Würtenbergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart. He has recieved several awards, stipends, nominations, residencies (recent: in 2006 – Honorable Mention of Transmediale06 and award “coppa cannibale”, Stuttgarter Filmwinters, in both for 612.43WEISS; in 2005 – residency artist in TESLA, Berlin with sonArc::ion-project).

Spectral Investigations Collective (France) artists: Léonore Bonaccini and Xavier Fourt / Bureau d’études, Ewen Chardronnet / Ellipse, Horia Cosmin Samoïla / Ghostlab.

Mara Traumane (Latvia) art researcher

Linda Vebere (Latvia), studying Philosophy at University of Latvia, working as a project coordinator in RIXC. Taking part in the collaborative project “Spectral ecology” of RIXC and Spectral Investigations Collective (France).

Ansis Zunde (Latvia) philosopher /Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at Latvian Science Academy.