Blueskying a Social Media Platform for the Arts

Hosted by
the Social Media Narratives Class
Art and Technology Studies
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Facebook and Google Groups
November 7 - 12, 2019

Richard Lowenberg
Founding Director of the 1st-Mile Institute, and of NM Broadband for All

R ichard Lowenberg, born in Haifa in 1946, is an artist, planner/designer and eco-cultural activist. He has dedicated his creative life to understandings and creative realization of works exploring and setting examples for an "ecology of the information environment", and via art/science/society collaborations, demonstrating emergent opportunities for development of a "cultural economy". Richard founded 1st-Mile Institute in 2006, its New Mexico "Broadband for All" Initiative, and SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) programs. Living on an organic farm in Jacona, NM, he serves on the Board of Parallel Studios’ CURRENTS: New Media Festival. He co-organized Internet Society's Indigenous Connectivity Summit, held in Santa Fe, Nov. 2017. Richard studied design and taught at Pratt Institute, initiating its Electronic Media Arts program in 1971, and was one of the founding team of the Kitchen in NYC that year. He was founding Programs Director of the Telluride Institute from 1984-1996 and led its InfoZone rural Internet project. From 1996-2006, Richard directed the Davis Community Network, taught TechnoCulture Studies and was Artist-in-Bioregional Residence at UC Davis. Richard was involved in a number of early telecommunication-arts projects, and has integrated networking with rural community eco-planning across the U.S., as well as in Japan, Europe and South America. He prepared and led New Mexico’s statewide broadband initiative, 2008-2012. Personal interdisciplinary design, media arts, installation, performance and art/science works have involved collaborations with Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, UNM, Santa Fe Institute, NASA, Gorilla Foundation, military labs, intelligence agencies, numerous high-tech companies and research institutions. Artworks have been presented internationally at the Kitchen, Whitney Museum, San Francisco MoMA, Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf, NTT-ICC, Tokyo, Santa Fe CCA, 1986 Venice Biennale, MIT List Center and ISEA2012. Grants/support awarded by NEA, State Arts Councils (CO, CA, NM), SECA, Art Matters, National Space Society, IBM, Apple, CPB, NTIA, GRiD, JVC, Lightwork, McCune Charitable Trust and Thoma Foundation.

The State of Artmaking on Social Media

Networked society while wondrous in its emergent realization and collective potential, is evolving along an increasingly troubled path, now led primarily by corporate trajectories and unspoken capitalist visions, intertwined with the destructive influences and vested interests affecting the realms of localism-globalism, energy, economics, politics and all other segments of our inter-dynamic eco-social evolution.

Current social media is especially troubled. Our social media understandings as the basis for next iterations, must be considered in relation to the near future of the Internet, bandwidth matters, widening digital divides, and the development of technological society amid existential concerns for our narrow-minded economies and ecological survivability. How do the arts fit into this complexity?

While selectively using past and current social media and paying close attention to international criticisms of Facebook, Google and other dominant platforms, I have given little constructive thought to what next for social media and the arts. So, I look forward to jointly thinking through, conspiring and communicating about our topic and the formidable challenges before us.

Serious fun.

Social Networks for the Arts – Preliminary Considerations

  • Project conceptualization and grounding
  • Social, cultural and economic structuring
  • Technical structuring
  • Applications and user experience structuring
  • Building on existing systems or radical innovation
  • Testbedding and realization

Additional Considerations

  • Real names or anonymity; privacy
  • Micro-payments for postings
  • Blockchained metadata
  • Low and high bandwidth options
  • Selectable arts apps menu
  • Crap filtering
  • Open and closed systems

Transcript of Richard Lowenberg's Facebook and Google Doc conversations
for the Issues in Social Media for the Arts 2019 panel

Judy Malloy:
Introduction to the Panel

Overviews, Ideas, Histories, and Observations

from Policy Makers and Advocates

Juana Guzman
National Arts Consultant and Arts Advocate

Dal Yong Jin
Professor, School of Communication at Simon Fraser University

Richard Lowenberg
Founding Director of the 1st-Mile Institute, and of NM Broadband for All

Marisa Parham
Professor of English, Amherst College, Director of the Immersive Reality Lab

Ellen Sandor
Founding Director of (art)n, chair of the Gene Siskel Film Center

from: Artists/Educators

Adriene Jenik
Artist, Professor of Intermedia in the School of Art, Arizona State University

Tom Klinkowstein
President, Media A LLC, Professor, Hofstra University, Adj. Professor, Pratt Institute

Wendel A. White
Photographer, Distinguished Professor of Art, Stockton University

from Artists/Designers

Deanne Achong
Artist and Designer

Tommer Peterson
Theatre Artist and Designer

from Curators and Critics

George Fifield
Founder and Director of Boston Cyberarts

Isobel Harbison
Art Critic and Lecturer in the Department of Art

SAIC ATS Class in Social Media Narrative
Vee Nyah Culton, Terrell Davis, Adriana Guillen Santalla, Samuel Han, Xavier Hughes, Yoon Joong Hwang, Olivia Paige Johnson, Mara Iskander Mirzan, Keun Mok Park, Richard Park, Wayne P. Tate, Ruby Hana Williams, and July Yoon

SAIC ATS Part-time Faculty: Judy Malloy