to a-pam ...
for disorientation" call issued by "web-side 1.0"
attracted our attention immediately as it fitted in so well with
our interests and lines of research and work. We shall therefore
make a brief description of the works we carried out previously
which revolve around these concepts. Because we see no difference
between a-pam(del nas) and those projects, but rather the
continuation of an evolving line of research which we have been
pursuing for some time. In a certain way they form part of the same
Thus, in the following
section we shall briefly describe some of TAG's works, highlighting
the concepts they share in common with the a-pam(del nas)
- Visualitzador d'Arbre de Textos (Text tree viewer) (2003)
|Structure created by the VAT v.5.0 from a forum which we use as an example.
The VAT shares
with a-pam(del nas) the fact that it is a system of viewing
a non-linear structure by way of a "map" or "network
of connections". In this case it is a method of viewing the
structure of a ramified text, such as that of a Forum with different
lines of conversation.
Here the intention
is, to a certain extent, the contrary to that of a-pam(del nas).
The VAT sets out to show the structure of a conversation in a more
or less clear (and thus "orientational") fashion. To do
so, it uses various strategies to prevent the graphic representation
from becoming too complicated. Even so, in its current version some
superimpositions are still generated, depending on the structure.
how a-pam(del nas) works, it may prove useful to see the
results of previous versions in the VAT's development in
which representation of the structure was determined by a higher
degree of randomness.
Two things are
interesting to note. First, the difference between the representation
of the same Forum offered by the VAT v. 2.0 and the VAT v. 5.0.
This tells us that not only the graphics decisions but also the
optimization mechanisms are important. The second observation involves
the differences in the three representations of the VAT v. 2.0 that
we have reproduced. The structure of nodes and links is always the
same, but the variability in its representation is extremely high.
This is so because random factors intervene in, for example, node
position, ramification angles, the distance between nodes at any
given moment and so on. The structure generated by the VAT v. 2.0
is too unclear, its variability indicates that it is supplying little
information about the nature of the structure under study. This
leads the user to desist in "getting into it", in trying
to understand it.
nas) we wanted to take advantage of the potential observed in
the line of tension between the VAT v. 2.0 and VAT v. 5.0. We chose
a strategy similar to the VAT v. 5.0 to offer users the possibility
of "getting into the map" and browsing with a certain
degree of clarity at a local level. However, the greater the distance
that separates the nodes from the user's position, the more the
representation strategy resembles that of the VAT v. 2.0.
is a system which uses the data from a discussion Forum created
with PHP and MySQL. On the basis of this data it generates a bit-map
graphic representing the structure of the Forum conversations..
The VAT operates
using Mozilla 1.0 or Netscape 7.0 or higher (not IExplorer). An
example of the VAT in operation may be found at:
[information regarding VAT development]
[structure generated by the VAT v.5.0 from an example forum]
[structure generated by the VAT v.2.0 from the same example forum. Use the browser's "refresh"
facility to force the system to revise the representation and provide
tol tol - Dynamic maze (1998)
Views of the outside and from the inside of the
"tol tol tol" maze, respectively.
We called this
project a "dynamic maze", a classification we could also
apply to the structure generated by a-pam(del nas). However,
instead of using "external" data (from the www in the
case of a-pam(del nas)) "tol tol tol" has
its own "laws" which bring about the changes in the maze's
configuration. The maze is made up of a number of modules enclosed
in an octagonal grid with three co-ordinated axes. Each position
on the grid is assigned a colour (which the module occupying it
acquires) and certain musical co-ordinates. The aforementioned laws
related to the distances between notes regulate a system which creates
a melody indicating the route to be followed. If the user fails
to follow the path indicated (i.e. does not go to the module corresponding
to the next note) the configuration of the maze is changed (the
modules change position within the grid).
The user's viewpoint
is local and he or she must make suppositions about which route
to follow. This focus from subjective experience is also to be found
with a-pam(del nas).
tol" was developed as a three-dimensional environment generated
and Java for the behavioural programming. The MIDI code is employed
to generate sound.
This project won
the "Barcelona M÷bius 1999" prize.
You must have
the Cosmo Player plug-in installed on Netscape for "tol tol
tol" to operate. You can download the VRML file and read documentation
on the project at:
En el nostre interés per explorar des del punt de vista
de l'experiència subjectiva les estructures no-linials hem
adoptat una pràctica artística utilitzada per Following
our interest in exploring non-linear structures from the viewpoint
of subjective experience we have adopted an artistic practice used
mainly by Situationists but which has ramifications throughout the
history of 20th century art (Dadaism, surrealism, Fluxus, land art
and so on) and significant connections with the way Aborigine peoples
understand the world.
We have adapted
the Situationists proposal of urban drift and psychogeographical
research to suit our interests and discovered significant points
of contact between the exploration of urban structures and the act
of browsing and trying to understand the complexity of computer
We now realize
that, surprisingly, we are not alone in this type of work and that
there are numerous collectives all over the world working along
In the following
section we set out some of the experiences carried out regarding
the practice of urban drifting.
Urban short cuts (1999)
An intervention involving two performers which
consisted in their setting out from two separate points in a city
and leaving a trail wherever they went, with the aim of trying
to find each other. Neither of them knew where the other was,
the only clue being the trail. In common with a-pam(del nas)
as well as with most of the other projects explained here, the
experience emphasised the local (subjective) viewpoint and the
exploration of a non-linear structure (in this case, the city).
The project was carried out in May 1999 in the
context of the 4th Ruta d'Art Jove in PremiÓ de Mar.
Documentation on the project may be found at:
Drifting workshop (2002)
An activity organised in the form of a workshop.
The participants were divided into groups of two people and invited
to practice urban drifting in the strictest sense of the word
(walking around the city absolutely aimlessly) for a certain length
of time. The groups were handed one transparent sheet on which
a map had been photocopied, and another which was completely blank.
Each person documented the route taken on one of the sheets, without
consulting the other. Finally, all the groups met up to discuss
the experience compare their route records using an overhead projector.
The activity was carried out in June 2002 in the
context of the 7th Ruta d'Art Jove in PremiÓ de Mar.
The differences between subjective experiences
and occurrences with respect to the act of drifting were evident.
It was also interesting to contrast the differences between one
type of "objective" record of the route (the one made
on the map) and a "subjective" record (that made without
a map). The similarities with representation systems used on the
Internet based on the latter type of images were discussed at
A description of the experience together with
reproductions of all of the maps generated may be found at:
An urban intervention carried out by just one
person. Three routes were followed. The first had an origin and
a destination, and on the way from one to the other the person
recorded the decisions made at each road junction (straight on,
turn right or left). That sequence was subsequently applied in
two other journeys in the town. Thus the first route generated
an algorithm which was later applied to a different structure
This action combines the use of algorithms to
explore urban non-linearity with the subjective experience of
"letting yourself be taken" through the town without
knowing where you will end up. In contrast to a-pam(del nas)
the person doing the walking makes no decisions as to the route
to be followed but, in a certain way, interprets the specific
application of the algorithm and transforms the surroundings through
his or her personal experience.
The project was carried out in Matarˇ in the context
of the 2nd Mostra d'Art Jove exhibition in May 2003 and its documentation
was exhibited up to early July in the Sala F of the Foment MataronÝ
cultural centre. Visitors were able to obtain a copy of the algorithm
to apply it wherever they wished.
The intervention is documented on a website where
the algorithm is also available under an open code license:
Map of PremiÓ de Mar (2003)
This map was published
coinciding with the 8th Ruta d'Art Jove (May 2003) and sent by post
along with the event's programme as well as being made available
to visitors to the Ruta. The map originated in the AutoCAD file
created by the town council's technical services department and
the names of streets and squares, landmarks and buildings were changed,
at the same time as elements from other towns or imaginary places
from literature were introduced. The modifications were made seeking
a balance which would allow the map to be used as a guide to drift
through the streets losing recognisable references and then finding
The idea was to
offer a public service: a map which helps disorientate yourself
at a time when this is becoming increasingly difficult to do. This
work represents a line of continuity with activities based on urban
drift and sets out to recover the act of walking as an element of
symbolic transformation of space.
with the call's title leads us to believe that there is something
floating in the air that makes this type of proposal necessary.
The "Disorientation Map" shares with a-pam(del nas)
the fact that it accentuates the subjective experience of navigation
within a non-linear structure and, instead of a conventional map,
offers users an alternative which "frees" them from the
bonds of orientation. It also coincides in the provision of a minimally
navigable structure in which situations of disorientation or low-level
orientation are produced. If the map were absolutely unnavigable
the disorientation could not be produced, as users would reject
it from the outset. It is when we believe we recognise elements
of orientation that disorientation effectively occurs, when the
imaginary model we were building fails us.
The project is
documented on the following web page:
is software which works over a server and facilitates simultaneous
connection by various people. It is based on the idea of the 'wiki'
(user-editable website), which it converts into a space for publication
in mobile layers, texts or images. It may be used as a site for
communication, a place for collaborative publication or as an environment
for collective creation where happenings can be organised on-line.
In common with
a-pam(del nas) it allows multi-user connection and shares the
fact that something is being built through combined efforts. The
basic difference between the two is that in the experiences with
"Wikipool" all the participants see the same thing. In
a-pam(del nas) the data is shared (nodes and links between them)
but is presented to each participant in a different way.
and a-pam(del nas) also share the use of the deep reference
for remote images as a gesture in the stand in favour of this practice.
uses dynamic HTML run by a MySQL database managed from PHP. It has
been used in the context of co-operative net.art workshops as a
system of networked collective creation.
is available for use on-line (the experience can be made more interesting
by having several people connected at the same time). As the access
page indicates, user requirements include a browser capable of supporting
DHTML layers, such as Mozilla 1.0, Netscape 7 and IExplorer 5.5
is a highly decentralised cooperative net.art project. It invites
participants to create a mosaic of 32x32 pixel icons and publish
it on a server (each participant has to find their own means of
publication). Once this is completed they can then carry out exchanges
with other participating icons, one icon for another. The other
people's icons will remain posted on the same page for deep reference
through the URL housing the original graphic. Thus the possibility
is opened for the other person to intervene in the pages where his
or her icons are located and change the graphic. Each "external"
icon will contain an associated link to its original page. This
creates an "exhibition" network of icon compositions beneath
which there exists a "social" platform of bilateral negotiations.
As in the case
of a-pam(del nas) the project employs deep reference, though
in "hMosaicoop" there is no "appropriation"
of a third-party graphic but rather the creator of the graphic grants
its use in an exchange process.
It is difficult
to draw a map of the project because it is distributed over different
servers and a site analyser is unable to follow the links. This
can be done however with The
Web Stalker which builds maps of links irrespective of the site.
In fact, a-pam(del nas) could be an alternative system to
browse for projects like "hMosaicoop".
The project was
initiated in February 2002 and has been developed in several net.art
workshops; contributors also include people who found the project
through the website.
The call for participants
is still open as is the request for translations into any language
and the creation of "mirrors" on other servers. The project's
page in "enlloc" is: