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Call for New Media Art: Digital Checkpoints

Subject: Call for New Media Art: Digital Checkpoints exhibition for  
FLEFF 2011 (deadline: 31.01.2011)

Types: Call for new media art, locative media, tactical media,  
electronic civil disobedience, experimental coding, radical  
cartography, opportunity, announcement, festival, prizes, competition


The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) provides a  
vibrant space for debates and dialogues of environmentalism according  
to twenty-first–century global perspectives that embrace the complex  
nexus of political, economic, social, and aesthetic dimensions, such  
as public health, genetically modified seeds, endemic disease,  
indentured labour, militarized international borders, civil war,  
biological war, neoliberal economic policies, intellectual property,  
free trade zones, bioengineered foods, informal economies, rare  
minerals, women’s rights, and human rights.
We invite submissions of new media art, database documentaries,  
locative and tactical media with a distributed network component,  
digital video designed for online exhibition platforms, experimental  
coding, data-visualization applications, experimental archiving, and  
other web-based media that engage the theme of “Checkpoints” for FLEFF  
2011’s juried competition and online exhibition, Digital Checkpoints.   
One prize of 250USD will be awarded.
Checkpoints evoke crossing over to a different physical, artistic,  
social, political, psychic, emotional, or intellectual place.  In the  
1940s, aviation instituted the term checkpoint to denote checking  
altitude in comparison to landforms or structures.  Checkpoints  
functioned as reference points, markers, navigational aids.
Later, its geographical significance expanded: Checkpoint Charlie, the  
West Bank, the United States and México, Baghdad, Afghanistan and  
Pakistan, Myanmar and Laos, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Colombia.  Checkpoints  
entangle surveillance: Homeland security.  Airports.  Sobriety  
checkpoints.  Weigh stations.  Checkpoints undergird the new  
international security apparatus.  Checkpoints test safety, monitor  
progress, and refuel in adventure racing or the Iditarod.  You  
probably want to know where you are, but so do others.
Checkpoints evoke both orientation and control.  Renaissance  
polyphonic music pointing allotted syllables to notes.  Transaction  
checkpoints recover data in computer systems.  A gamer who dies can  
restart via a checkpoint.  Biological checkpoints block cell division  
and stave off cancer.  Checkpoints modulate the body’s ecology.   
Checkpoints mark environmental turning points: global temperature  
gradients, flooding, heat waves.
A checkpoint is a check-in—and check-out.  Check, checkup, checkmate,  
checkpoint, checked, spot check, checkered, checking, boiling point,  
border point, match point, point, pointer, pointing, flashpoints— 
principles of operation and crossings to somewhere else.
Comparably, distributed networks, such as the Internet and mobile  
communications, allow freedoms and controls of information via digital  
checkpoints that are rhizomatic, layered, coded, and transcoded.   
China makes international news for its violations of unfettered flows  
of information on Google and other popular commercial search engines;  
others states, such as India and Saudi Arabia, make news for  
threatening to shut down Blackberry services that are not in step with  
domestic and international security measures.  Meanwhile, WikiLeaks  
makes news for its ‘democratization’ of information in its ‘Afghan War  
Diaries’ and ‘Iraq War Logs’.
States and corporations often collude to quell electronic civil  
disobedience by switching off the root of networked communication.   
Whether T-Mobile’s blocking the Institute of Applied Technology in  
2004 for its TXTmob, which facilitated SMS communication among  
protestors at the national conventions of the only two officially  
sanctioned political parties in the United States, or University of  
California San Diego’s sanctions against one of its own professors,  
Ricardo Dominguez, in 2010 for his ‘Transborder Immigrant Tool’, which  
facilitates safe crossing of the inhospitable and deadly terrains of  
the ‘Devil’s Highway’ between México and the United States by  
providing information via GPS and mobile phones.
Indeed, political theorists suggest that an epoch of disciplinary  
control is giving way to one of regulated control in a center-less,  
yet hierarchical, distribution of power that functions like  
distributed networks of what was once called the ‘Information  
Superhighway’.
Checkpoints are everywhere—in the airwaves and on our hard drives.   
Artists, community activists, intellectuals, and students respond with  
innovation and circumvention.

We invite submissions that engage with FLEFF 2011’s theme of  
checkpoints by any means possible—disrupting them, visualizing them,  
allowing users to experience or embody them.
The Digital Checkpoints exhibit will go live in April 2011 in  
conjunction with the festival in Ithaca (New York), USA.  Visit the  
FLEFF web site at www.ithaca.edu/fleff for details, links to previous  
new media art exhibitions and blogs, including the curators’ blog  
Digital Spaces: Speculations on Digital Art and Viral Spaces.  Please  
also read about other events associated with FLEFF and its global  
network of partners in the Open Cinema Project.
Please send links to submissions with a brief bio in an email to  
curators Dale Hudson (UAE/USA) and Sharon Lin Tay (UK/Singapore) at [log in to unmask] 
  no later than 31 January 2011.
Only projects that can be exhibited online can be considered for this  
exhibit.  Media artists working in off-line formats, should visit the  
FLEFF web site for other calls.  Unfortunately, we cannot consider  
projects previously curated in FLEFF exhibits, nor can we consider  
projects by Ithaca College students, faculty, or staff.

JURORS’ BIOGRAPHIES
Sharon Daniel (USA) is Professor of Film and Digital Media at the  
University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her research involves  
collaborations with local and online communities.  Her role as an  
artist is that of “context provider,” assisting communities,  
collecting their stories, soliciting their opinions on politics and  
social justice, and building the online archives and interfaces that  
make this data available across social, cultural, and economic  
boundaries.  Her goal is to avoids representation – not to attempt to  
speak for others but to allow them to speak for themselves.  Daniel’s  
work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Biennial, University of Paris,  
Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Ars Electronica, and the Lincoln  
Center Festival, as well as on the Internet, and her essays have been  
published Leonardo and the Sarai Reader.
Carlos Motta (Colombia/USA) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work  
draws from political history in an attempt to create counter  
narratives that recognize the inclusion of suppressed histories,  
communities, identities and ideologies. His work has been presented in  
solo exhibitions at MoMA/PS1 Contemporary Art Center; Hebbel am Ufer,  
Berlin; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and Museo de Arte  
del Banco de la República, Bogotá; as well as in numerous  
international group exhibitions.  He is a Guggenheim Fellow and an  
alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program.  www.carlosmotta.com

CURATORS’ BIOS
Dale Hudson (UAE/USA) teaches film and new media studies at New York  
University Abu Dhabi.  His work on global cinema and new media appears  
in Afterimage, Cinema Journal, Journal of Film and Video, Screen,  
Studies in Documentary Film, and elsewhere.  He is preparing a book  
manuscript entitled Blood, Bodies, and Borders.
Sharon Lin Tay (UK/Singapore) teaches film and digital theory at  
Middlesex University in London.  She is on sabbatical in 2010 and is  
currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Nanyang Technical  
University in Singapore.  Her new book about women filmmakers and  
digital artists, entitled Women on the Edge: Twelve Political Film  
Practices (2009), is published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Hudson and Tay have co-curated four previous exhibitions at FLEFF:  
Undisclosed Recipients (2007), ubuntu.kuqala (2008), sticky-content  
(2009), and Map Open Space (2010).
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.ScreenSite.org