by Michael Mandiberg and Julia Steinmetz
Michael Mandiberg and Julia Steinmetz
IN Network is an extended cell phone life-art performance about distance, communication, intimacy, telepresence, and living together while apart. In August 2004 artist Michael Mandiberg moved to New York; Julia Steinmetz remained in Los Angeles, postponing her move for a year because of commitments to her job and her collaborative art practice. Faced with a year apart, and the prospect of a long-distance relationship, the two artists got their frequent flyer numbers handy, and switched both of their cell phones to a provider with free "IN Network" service.
Michael and Julia started out having normal conversations, giving each other updates about their days, and sending cameraphone pictures back and forth, etc. As they switched to using hands-free microphones, they began using the phone differently. They started doing things together at the same time, 3000 miles away, via cellular connection: driving to/from work, eating dinner, giving lectures to students, going for a walk, having a cocktail, reading books in silence, falling asleep and waking up.
What began as a pragmatic attempt to make their relationship last the year of separation through good communication, turned into something less about communication and more about intimacy through (misuse of) technology, and sharing (sonic-virtual) space.
During the month of March the artists will present this cell-phone life-art performance via a Photo Moblog and Podcast on Turbulence.org. The IN Network site will host a Podcast of recordings of their phone conversations. . There will be several live webcasts of audio of the artists sleeping together on their cellphones. They will route all text messages and picture messages sent to one another through the IN Network site.
IN Network Website
IN Network Podcast (RSS 2.0 Feed)
juliasteinmetz -at- yahoo -dot- com
michael -at- mandiberg -dot- com
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MICHAEL MANDIBERG is a new media artist who uses the internet, video and performance to explore subjectivity, labor, and commerce. His projects include "Bush Poll," a statistical survey of the 170 George Bushes in the United States, 2004; and "The Exchange Program," a collaborative performance, 2002. Mandiberg has exhibited at Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria; ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany; Transmediale Festival, Berlin; and C-Level, Los Angeles. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Berliner Zeitung, and Wired. Mandiberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Culture, at the College of Staten Island/CUNY.
JULIA STEINMETZ is a founding member and co-director of the Toxic Titties, a Los Angeles based collective working in performance, video, photography, and new media. Their work has been performed at the Museum On Contemporary Art, Seattle; REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; Out Fest Film Festival Los Angeles, LA; "Intersectional Feminisms" conference at UC Riverside, CA; and Edith Russ Site for New Media, Oldenberg, Germany. Titties have been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, Mexico City's La Reforma, and Black Book Magazine. Their performance documents and design work have appeared in "Gendered Geographies," and "SITE, Schinitt Austellungsraum."