01SJ Biennial: Build Your Own World

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September 22, 2010

This past weekend marked the third 01SJ Biennial, held in San Jose, California. "The Silicon Valley is such a capitol of innovation, technology, and people thinking creatively that we wanted to create a festival highlighting that intersection of art and technology," says Jaime Austin, the festival's assistant curator. Exhibits, sculptures, and performances took over venues across the city but the center of it all was in the San Jose Convention Center's South Hall. This year's theme, Build Your Own World, lead to the naming of the hall's title: Out of the Garage, Into the World. "We tried to make the world's largest garage," Austin says "because so many Silicon Valley companies started in garages." Over 30 artists moved into the space on September 4, preparing their creations (fully while on view to the public) before the biennial began on September 16. "The goal is to have people engage with the projects," Austin says.

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  Nancy Nowacek, a former Metropolis art director, set up shop creating her Office for Movement Advancement and Research. Squared in by weighted banker boxes, Nowacek set up a standard office--desk, task chair, file cabinets--and covered them in a dirt-like granite. "The idea is to create a possible office for the future by burying the office of today,"  she says.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Nancy Nowacek, a former Metropolis art director, set up shop creating her Office for Movement Advancement and Research. Squared in by weighted banker boxes, Nowacek set up a standard office--desk, task chair, file cabinets--and covered them in a dirt-like granite. "The idea is to create a possible office for the future by burying the office of today," she says.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The "Flinestonification of the office," as Nowacek calls it, requires "crawling, scrambling, kneeling, and readjusting." As a result, she and her staff--who worked on the pile of dirt for the full two weeks--found that moving around throughout the day and being engaged in their activities and space meant they made and needed coffee far less often than when working in their office.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The "Flinestonification of the office," as Nowacek calls it, requires "crawling, scrambling, kneeling, and readjusting." As a result, she and her staff--who worked on the pile of dirt for the full two weeks--found that moving around throughout the day and being engaged in their activities and space meant they made and needed coffee far less often than when working in their office.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  All Raise This Barn, West, a project by MTAA, proposes how to build a community when a quintessential community-building event--barn raising--no longer occurs. Here, the artists polled people online to decide how the barn would be built, asking what color it should be and even "Should this barn be a barn?".  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    All Raise This Barn, West, a project by MTAA, proposes how to build a community when a quintessential community-building event--barn raising--no longer occurs. Here, the artists polled people online to decide how the barn would be built, asking what color it should be and even "Should this barn be a barn?".

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  TechShop, Inc built a temporary workspace in the center of the South Hall to provide artists the tools needed to build their exhibits. TechShop is a member-based workshop with locations in Menlo Park, California, and Durham, North Carolina, with shops opening in Detroit, Michigan, and San Francisco and San Jose, California.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    TechShop, Inc built a temporary workspace in the center of the South Hall to provide artists the tools needed to build their exhibits. TechShop is a member-based workshop with locations in Menlo Park, California, and Durham, North Carolina, with shops opening in Detroit, Michigan, and San Francisco and San Jose, California.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Mexican artist collective DreamAddictive, founded by Leslie Garcia and Carmen Gonzalez, created OpenSolarCircuits for the biennial. Powered by solar energy, each box produces a different sound, that changes when one moves closer to or further from the sensor.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Mexican artist collective DreamAddictive, founded by Leslie Garcia and Carmen Gonzalez, created OpenSolarCircuits for the biennial. Powered by solar energy, each box produces a different sound, that changes when one moves closer to or further from the sensor.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The project encourages "social interactions," Garcia says, "because you have to control the piece in a group."  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The project encourages "social interactions," Garcia says, "because you have to control the piece in a group."

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Examining the ways in which art and technology intersect, Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall created the Gift Horse: a 13-foot-tall Trojan Horse filled with models of Trojan Horse computer viruses.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Examining the ways in which art and technology intersect, Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall created the Gift Horse: a 13-foot-tall Trojan Horse filled with models of Trojan Horse computer viruses.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Visitors were encouraged to create models of computer viruses such as the ILOVEYOU virus or Koobface Facebook virus, as well as physical illnesses such as smallpox or H1N1. The Gift Horse was filled with the models, paraded to the San Jose Museum of Art, and had its belly split open, allowing the viruses to spill to the floor, for public exhibition.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Visitors were encouraged to create models of computer viruses such as the ILOVEYOU virus or Koobface Facebook virus, as well as physical illnesses such as smallpox or H1N1. The Gift Horse was filled with the models, paraded to the San Jose Museum of Art, and had its belly split open, allowing the viruses to spill to the floor, for public exhibition.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  In Name Your Price, artists from the University of California, Santa Cruz' Digital Arts and New Media program asked visitors what influenced their clothing decisions and showed ways to reuse garments, such as cutting sweaters into lengths and weaving them into a rug, as shown here.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    In Name Your Price, artists from the University of California, Santa Cruz' Digital Arts and New Media program asked visitors what influenced their clothing decisions and showed ways to reuse garments, such as cutting sweaters into lengths and weaving them into a rug, as shown here.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  At the far end of South Hall, Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark created the Empire Drive-In. The duo built a functioning movie theater using entirely salvaged materials, from the 25 cars from a junk yard (wired so sound came through the FM radios) to the wood used to hold up the screen. Throughout the festival, it served as the theater for daytime screenings and evening events.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    At the far end of South Hall, Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark created the Empire Drive-In. The duo built a functioning movie theater using entirely salvaged materials, from the 25 cars from a junk yard (wired so sound came through the FM radios) to the wood used to hold up the screen. Throughout the festival, it served as the theater for daytime screenings and evening events.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  In 2006, Monica Haller created the War Veteran's Book Workshop to help those affected by the Iraq War share their stories. Over the course of ten days at the biennial, she worked with five veterans to create five soft-bound, print-on-demand memoirs.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    In 2006, Monica Haller created the War Veteran's Book Workshop to help those affected by the Iraq War share their stories. Over the course of ten days at the biennial, she worked with five veterans to create five soft-bound, print-on-demand memoirs.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  During the main weekend, Haller opened the pages of the books and the process of making a War Veteran's Book in a small library she created in the South Hall.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    During the main weekend, Haller opened the pages of the books and the process of making a War Veteran's Book in a small library she created in the South Hall.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Artist Nova Jiang created Archipelago, a series of "mobile desert islands" (they can all be ridden around by the hidden bikes underneath). Jiang invited visitors to ask a question on a piece of paper, put it into a recycled bottle, and slip it into a hole in each island. Each paper was marked with an ID code for the writer to enter at urban-archipelago.net to retrieve answers from the site's readers.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Artist Nova Jiang created Archipelago, a series of "mobile desert islands" (they can all be ridden around by the hidden bikes underneath). Jiang invited visitors to ask a question on a piece of paper, put it into a recycled bottle, and slip it into a hole in each island. Each paper was marked with an ID code for the writer to enter at urban-archipelago.net to retrieve answers from the site's readers.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  For solarCircus, Tiffany Holmes invited attendees to participate in workshops in which they were encouraged to hack solar-powered hobby kits to "make a miniature kinetic city," she says. "The goal is to promote environmental stewardship.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    For solarCircus, Tiffany Holmes invited attendees to participate in workshops in which they were encouraged to hack solar-powered hobby kits to "make a miniature kinetic city," she says. "The goal is to promote environmental stewardship.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  During the weekend parade, Holmes carted around the mini solar city on a wagon, letting the little creations whiz and flap behind her.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    During the weekend parade, Holmes carted around the mini solar city on a wagon, letting the little creations whiz and flap behind her.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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