Aware: Rengo

Dataset

Description

This collection of texts, images and mobile video-clips re-presents a media art and design project entitled 'Aware: Rengo', in which two producers, including the author, invited five multi-disciplinary students into a prototyping workshop and related guided tour, as a contribution to a symposium of electronic arts in Helsinki, Finland during summer 2004. The article starts with a background on an early prototype mobile media system used by the author and utilized in the project. The historical and contemporary Japanese linked-verse practice called renga is introduced as inspiration, and related to ideas of sharing mobile media in the early 2000s.

The production process of the project is introduced, referring to the choice of the site-specific 'guided-tour' presentation format for telling about mobile interaction. The different elements of the production process, from workshop to prototyping interactions that was presented in the final 'guided-tour' presentation are explained. Transcribed dialogue is used from the 'guided tour' in 2004 to include the voices of different persons presenting and attending the event. Issues such as micro-interactions between participants are raised, as well as reflections on practice and challenges of early mobile media interfaces. A selection of 'linked-verse' mobile video-clips are aligned with photo-documentation of the workshop and presentation events, recovering associations and connections between past practice and remaining archives.

In summary, representing the narrative 'Aware: Rengo' one year or ten years later has been challenging due to the nature of our performance approach to presenting a collaborative workshop process, but also the instability of the mobile media platforms we used, and changing focus and attention in collaborative project work over time. However, it presents an example of a media archaeology of early mobile interaction and artist experiments with contextual media technologies.
Date made available2014

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