9PIN Artists' Statements

Armin Medosch


Ports project can be viewed at http://www.scansite.org/ports

Original Concept – January 2004

During his NinePin residency Armin Medosch will conduct a mobile writing and research project into the viability of the idea of mapping studies of real and virtual ports onto each other. Through theoretical and practical field work he will research the history and present condition of at least three harbour cities, Southampton, Portsmouth and Poole, and their role as a ‘communication interface’ for the travels of goods and people. Reconnecting with the practice of travelogue and diary writing, the research will be documented as a so-called mobile web-log, a echnologically enhanced online diary that explores the possibilities of recording and making felt experiences of space, place, time, movement and memory in a format adequate for the networked society of the 21st century.

At the same time the traffic of data flowing through virtual ports—the devices in computers that enable them to communicate through different communication protocols with other machines on local and global networks – will be logged, measured and analysed. The goal here is to see if the data gained from such analysis can help to understand a psychogeography of the virtual world that goes beyond established cliches of surveillance, erosion of privacy or the ‘infowar’. It is hoped that through combining – mapping onto, pattern matching, comparing, – those two research processes – the ‘subjective’ (human, writerly, contingent) and the ‘objective’ (measurement of flows of data) – we can reassess the position of the human individual in relation to highly mechanized and technological environments such as container terminals, wireless networks and mobile phones.

Updated Concept and exhibition – April 2005

Documentation of Medosch’s research can be found at http://www.scansite.org/ports. Briefly, as the project progressed and Medosch made further visits to the venues (Aspex Gallery, Lighthouse Poole and Mount Pleasant Media Workshop), Medosch became more interested in the real traffic of people and goods. His research went deeper into how this was documented through data visualisation and manipulation. He was particularly interested in the changing role of the docks at Southampton. Medosch researched at the Southampton Oral History Archive and made contact with community groups through Mount Pleasant Media Workshop and incorporated this research into graphical representations of people’s experiences. Ports became an investigation of how to represent real people’s lives through data visualisation and has become a critique about the way in which organisations use statistics and data to represent groups and individuals.

On April 11, the work from Armin Medosch’s research will be shown as a small exhibition which we plan to work into a larger scale exhibition in the future. It is hoped that Medosch will produce some his installations proposed for Southampton City Council.

With thanks to Southampton Oral History Archive, Southampton Oceanography Centre and the Somali Society, Southampton.

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