A Different Kind of Woodstock Summer!

Project Noah map image - world map

Streetmapping art and various psychogeographic events have taken hold of the imagination of artists and participants over the past decade, in part due to a reaction (ranging from delight to dismay) to advances in geographic information systems and the proliferation of on-demand, amazingly detailed maps such as Google maps, and due to an interest in re-politicizing the growing number of corporately owned and controlled spaces in urban life.

The artists, business people, and open source mappers assembling in a quaint Vermont town on Saturday June 18th for the first Woodstock Digital Media Festival provide a range of projects to satisfy those curious about how we understand space through experiencing and making maps.

This is all taking place in Woodstock Vermont — not the famed New York Woodstock and the nearby farm on which thousands descended to hear the music of their time and redefine culture. This Summer of Love is one engaged in the Love of Place, and is equally poised to be one of those culture shifting events in the way that artist-driven themes merge with popular culture and create new options that transcend any one particular group, and ones in which anyone can participate.

How do we come together to understand a place? How do we document it, map it, see it anew? How are we constrained by commercial systems, and how can nonprofit, community, and artists’ projects help us see place in new ways?

Saturday Morning Events:

Anne Galloway – editor, VTDigger.org, a nonprofit web-based news journal –

Charlie Rattigan – founder, Green Mountain Digital, mobile apps leader in nature and wildlife

Helen Labun Jordan, director, eVermont: The Community Broadband Project

Hurricane Coast of Openstreetmap.org, the free, editable map of the world created by people like you in a mapping expedition through Woodstock. Join in with your smart phone or we’ll help with the hardware.

–Project Noah founder Yasser Ansari and the National Park Service will conduct a Digital Nature Walk in the Marsh-Billings

– Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, using the Project Noah app to document found wildlife and add to the international database of knowledge.

Discussion: Issues in Digital Media Art – Christiane Paul, curator of New Media, Whitney Museum of American Art – will lead a conversation with some of the Festival’s participating artists and Magdalena Sawon of NYC’s Postmaster gallery on current issues in New Media art.

Afternoon Exhibition, 2pm – 5pm

Invited artists exhibit and demonstrate throughout Woodstock

All venues are free and open to the public and are within walking distance of the Festival Information Center at the Village Green.

Ecoarttech –“Indeterminate Hikes” in Woodstock

eteam –  If its traveling from one end of town to the other, is it faster to send data over a wireless network or to carry it on a hard disk? Find out!

Will Pappenheimer –“ WiWo Spinners,” mixing the natural world with the digital in everyday experience

C.J. Yeh – Creating with the Modernist masters

Jack Toolin – Teach the “Village Idiot” about the place, as performer Toolin documents what he learns and presents a mock corporate presentation of local data visualization.

I’m thrilled about this event for a number of reasons: the ethos of the festival is such that all of the artists are actively working with participants throughout the festival. As one of the artist-organizers on the event, with Joe McKay, Marcin Ramocki, and Kristin Lucas, I’m excited to experience digital art that engages with place in a small town context.