Tantalum Memorial, Arnolfini, Bristol UK

bnr#61 => Tantalum Memorial, Arnolfini, Bristol UK

Data Jam

The promise of data Jamming: -
communication always anticipates more communication.

#definition SIGNAL => incitement to action.

A data Jam is an open event comprising of a group of mutually interested people who pass content freely between themselves, exploring the potentialities of data made live by its very immediacy. The locus of the Jamming takes place at a particular temporal and physical location.

Or just imagine a jumble sale where exchange is as important as sale, intimacy is as important as accessibility and where the clothes arrive with their stories still attached. Someone has made cakes and discusses the recipe with someone else and tapes it up on the tea earn as it burbles and hisses a steamy welcome in the corner. Someone else has really cared about setting up this space and making it cosy even thought to put a bunch of flowers at the entrance. Their scent mingles with the smell of old clothes and lived lives fills the room. The surprisingly sunny weather not only allows us to turn the building lights off and disconnect from the main power grid but also allows the building to unfold itself into new and surprising shapes, connecting the activity inside to outside and vis versa. The doors open and the sound of laughter and strange media tumble out of the door and fall into the ears and eyes and mouths of people passing by. The breeze circulates from outside causing humidity changes within which again leads to a realignment of the windows affecting the space outside.

I arrive early to get the place set up for the Antarctic Data Jam - feeling a bit bad as I have had no time to walk the dog – whoops too late he has shit right outside the door. As I bend down and insert my hands into two Tescos carrier bags I breath in the heavy scent of digested wheat and offal. I think to myself (an ant does not respond to a dog bark and a dog does not respond to the ants pheromones, so if not many people turn up – its OK) –

Just as a signal is only visible to those domains interested in its content. So a Data Jam only takes place in the minds of those who are open and free enough to imagine ice sheets as numbers, glaciers as groves and global warming as beats with which to dance - whilst looking at the crackle of network – screens twitch into life revealing the heartbeats of those attached at the other end.

Data jams locate at the networks nexus. The point of least resistance to the flow of information and the desire to bath in it. The protocols have all been previously agreed, built and resolved, all devices are handshaking true. Tony and Derek have built a forking server to reap the rewards of billions of dollars of Antarctic research. 73 Automatic weather stations. On the local network people download a patch to their desktops and unfold themselves into a net-send on port 20208 which in turn anticipates a net receive on port 3000.

Tom writes

i will try to be on-line then. i think Adam may be able to be on-line then
too but I'm not sure. have you checked out the daily data coming from the
Groundhog automatic weather station unit. its on the front page of interpolar.org

the data categories from left to right are:

sampling interval in minutes, year, Julian calendar day, air temperature
in deg C, relative humidity, net solar radiation, photosynthetic
radiation (PAR), wind gust in metres per second, time of wind gust, wind
speed in metres per second, wind direction expressed in deg east of north,
ice temperature in deg C, temperature on north facing surface of Groundhog
unit in deg C, temperature inside the Groundhog unit in deg C

14:00 at the Mediashed – Take the train from Liverpool street 12:30 to Victoria Station Southend-on-Sea, follow the map round the back of B&Q. Book your journey on-line more then a week before for extra value.

Here comes everyone – some have walked along familiar memories to get here. Some have peddled along invisible maps of safety avoiding the mainstream others by rail and others by car, a kind of petro-chemical network of war, engineering and licensing designed primarily for one.

All have come to with a quiet aim: To spread and receive signals through media, books, pamphlets, cd's dvd's, Internet, telephones. To bend familiar stories into unfamiliarly shapes to see how they could or would not fit together, exploring what we collectively know or think we know about the Antarctic. Some have even turned up empty handed. But no one minds if people come with nothing but their own curiosity.

A signal is a carrier of content which is information distinct from its mode of presentation. The traffic light is the media the lights are the signal and stop, ready and go is the content of that signal.

Some one says communication is about something that has already happened even if it is about the future it was uttered from the past to the present. So we blindly fall into a new future taking out seeing machines, text machines, hearing machines, and speaking machines to transmit or tune into the signals of our communities of interest. The unrepresented community too busy with kids or already on the ice attend remotely by re-encoding its thoughts and actions into us.

More flavor for the Jam.

We encode search terms into well aimed signals to provoke the environment into revealing itself through other signals. Like sharks focusing down on other electrical bodies that we might consume them, making them part of us, only this time its a collective image thrown up on a large screen - made up of hundreds of thousands of small thoughts about the Antarctic held together by the magnetism of hard disks.

Some one else suggests communication is the exchange of information between two points. Another retorts media is any substance that allows communication of a signal. I scribble down a note to myself communication only exists if it results in action taking place at two points within the range of the signal. One being the origin.

Now I drift off, lose attention with what's going on and catch a drift of dog shit. Is it on my shoe or my bag. My dad told me about this bloke who was a sweeper and had a large handlebar moustache and when he was sweeping up one day and flicked a bit of shit on his moustache. He spent the whole day searching for the shit that was under his nose and no one told him it was their.

The dog eats, digests and the bacteria in its anal sack encode the faeces with unique identity containing information about time, size of dog. Any other dog strolling along can decode the information.

I look down at my notes:

#definition MEDIA-SYSTEM => is a group of interrelated, interdependent, interacting elements that together provide the ability to:

1. Enable the encoding of CONTENT into a SIGNAL.
2. Pass the SIGNAL through MEDIA.
3. Decode the SIGNAL to enable the CONTENTS reception.

*note: CONTENT can be an encoding of another SIGNAL.

Richard says The media-systems used potentially offer us freedom within the domains of communication but simultaneously make us visible within the domains of control.

The visibility of a Data Jam within the domain of control is an opportunity to manifest an image out of the jam that attracts like to like, a cultural magnet.

Bringing everyone together some physically some through wires some through the electromagnetic sphere generates heat from bodies heat from conflict and where there is heat there is energy.

And so what if the Data Jam is about something that Control society finds contentious – or we want to address something ileagal.

We exchange data and think well on a given subject. Photos are passed round, stories are re-told, books are swapped. People exchange recipes for folding in various forms media objects in on themselves revealing strange relationships.
anyone with anything in particular to say on the subject says it.

This exchange is not instantaneous – for weeks people have prepared systems that can disperse the data amongst those who which to play with it tools are created that allow various interpretation of the same data set.

The promise of data jamming is that we open up a physical place and a space within ourselves in which we can contemplate, experiment and make strange a thick body of data whether it be the Antarctic, Iraq, Laughter or about dog feses.

We are continually force fed with data broadcast at us or willingly received and we are continually transmitting even when we leave the phone at home and go in search of a domain of unavailability we leave behind machines physical and virtual that are working for our name-space receiving and transmitting data packets.

The data jam is an opportunity to peal open the insulation that lies between the pipes that act as media for the signal, let the crash and clash of incompatible media invade each others domains. Let the electromagnetic field jump from one circuit to another.