”Future Guides: From Information to Home” er et kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid omkring tema følgere: Hvordan praktisere og teoretisere omkring dette fenomenet på sosiale medier.

I sitt forskningsarbeid har stipendiat Michelle Teran utviklet en kunstnerisk forskningsmetode der hun har kombinert datainnsamling, kartlegging av data, historiefortelling, oversettelse – og koblet det til media art, mikrohistorie og aktivisme.

Det kunstneriske resultatet av forskningsarbeidet ble presentert på utstillingen ”Your revolution begins at home” og ble vist på flere arenaer i Bergen i 2014, blant annet på Bergen offentlige Bibliotek, Cinemateket og Galleri USF. Prosjektet besto av bøker, tekst, film, installasjon og en performance. Disse arbeidene representerte det kunstneriske resultatet av samtaler, tolkninger og refleksjoner omkring problemstillinger som: Hvordan kan sporing, ”guiding”, følging og forfølgelse på nettet brukes som kunstneriske forskningsmetoder? Hva betyr historiefortelling i dag? Hvorfor er det viktig å skifte posisjoner og ståsted i møte med de nye plattformene? Og på hvilken måte påvirker disse endringene skillet mellom det private og det offentlige?

I sin kritiske refleksjon ”Confessions of an online stalker” reflekterer Michelle Teran omkring disse problemstillingene. Denne ligger tilgjengelig på nettet og gir en grundig innsikt i hvordan sosiale medier har endret vår oppfatning av virkeligheten og hvordan personlige – og ofte intime – informasjoner delt på nettet blir en del av den offentlige stemmen.

Terans kritiske refleksjon kan leses i sin helhet her

Mer om prosjektet (engelsk)

"Future Guides: From Information to Home" is an artistic research project on the theme of following: how to practice and theorize following. The study outlines the emergence of an artistic research method – combining data mining, systems for mapping, storytelling, and translation – and its application in the fields of media art, microhistory, and activism. The artistic works (several books, text, film, installation and public performance) are developed as the aesthetic outcomes of conversations, negotiations and reflections around questions such as: How are tracking, guiding, following and stalking used as artistic research methods? What does it mean to tell a story today? Why is it important to shift positions and subjectivities? How do these changes also involve processes of translation, between context and scale? How does the work deal with the threshold between public and private? How do the materials serve as guides through the research?

 The primary method for the study uses geotagged video to investigate how personal information – sometimes intimate in nature – becomes part of the public domain (viewable by anyone and anywhere) while at the same time being bound to a physical location. The research focuses on the “micro” or case studies in which the studying and following of trails of data produced by different individuals becomes a method of arriving at something larger, a generalization. Following a digital trace of somebody and seeing where it leads is a process of trying to establish where one "is" from other people's data. It is a method of online tracking which leads to spatial tracking.  However, the effort of pinning down a location is not merely to focus – in a machinic system of (geo)precision – on the place where one might be standing but to recognize the people who occupy (or have occupied) that place in the city. Moreover, the process of trying to locate something, through someone, involves a process of shifting positions and subjectivities, but also changes in context and scale. Approaching something from different perspectives to extrapolate meaning is a method of translation – or, according to Flusser, an “infinite swarm of perspectives” – by bringing different details to the foreground, changing positions, stories, and storytellers. It is a disorienting process that generates multiple readings of being “present” somewhere.

This artistic research reflects on a contemporary condition in which personal and social archives constitute a new type of city guide that challenges the official representations of cities online. It evokes a phenomenon of documenting and sharing one’s urban life to the world online, an act reflective of a culture of making oneself and one’s life visible – thus, present – in online social networks. Implicitly addressed is the question of the extent to which urban media art can help us to “locate ourselves” in the mediated city by offering to trace and reveal the connections between places, people, and digital culture. But what if the connections reveal a city in crisis? The research leads to a flight to Madrid and ends up in the homes of evicted families, where anti-eviction activists use digital information to “locate” and make public the everyday effects of crisis. In the foreground of the crisis is the crisis of the home. It is there that we encounter sites of political struggle, and see the act of making oneself and one’s life visible becoming a strategy for collective empowerment.