“Just-in-time/All-the-time” by Lycia Trouton

“Just-in-time/All-the-time”: 1.5 second viewing time of Art via Social Media – Cultural history and memories go fluid and viral
by Lycia Trouton

10 minute e-versions, parts 1 of The (Irish) Linen Handkerchief Memorial by sculptor Lycia Trouton, 2001.

Various aspects of e-social networking developments in the artworld, dating from 1996 to today, have been documented by the Diane Farris curatorial team this past month, forcing viewer-participants to ruminate on questions such as, “What happens in this brave, new You Tube world where The Gallery = Laptop / iPhone? And, “Does real-time really matter to makers anymore?!” Down here in Tasmania, infamous philanthropist-curator David Walsh of MONA, known affectionately as David Wonka, (of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fame) is doing some of his own questioning of these same ideas in a rather specific way. For example, he purchased 24/7 live web streaming of an artist’s life, (all the way from France to the bottom end of Australia), since January 1 2010. That artist is Christian Boltanski, infamous for his obsession with life and death, as a former hidden child of the Holocaust/Shoah.

What piqued my curiosity in Walsh/Boltanski’s project was how real-time funerary arts interfaces with the virtual world/website screen (the viewer is indirectly, very slowly ‘watching Boltanski make art and die…daily’). I have just posted my Irish Troubles memorial-installation-counter monument on You Tube, launched last Thursday and Friday with a couple of public lectures in North and South Tasmania and now, with thanks to the Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (my hometown). In doing so, what was previously a serious, architectonic installation on the N. Irish Troubles, can now be ‘entered’ as an immediately-available screen-based, cyber-world experience. Posting to You Tube does not make this commemorative, public artwork any less serious, just more accessible in various ways (images of the Chronological Names listing will be available next month).

The screen and the mobile, hand-held device has become a central creative pivot for each of our lives … producing some extreme conceptual juxtapositions in each of our worlds: intimacy as distance, and internationally-connected as intimate: in part, only because it is immediate. Artists are confronting this new cultural game-plan through various hybrid avenues, as shown by the Diane Farris selective exhibiting entrants, a show produced by curator Lili Vieira de Carvalho with research by Mia Johnson and e-circulated by such personalities as Vancouver’s Liza Lee, an “out-and-about” e-social ‘artistrun’ networker. 

Part 2 Blog: Related developments, as noted by Lycia Trouton
Ready-to-Wear e-Dresses: smart wearables for e-social networking.
My research interfaces with new developments in smart textiles and computing. Twenty years ago, Canadian designer and maths whiz, Joanne Berzowska made early forays into e-textiles, communication and how our world would be changing very shortly. She is a Futurist, formerly with MIT and now with Hexagram Research and Concordia, Montreal. She has since won several large grants and been on the Maclean magazine honour role for her pioneering work. She is interested in a type of cyborg e-textiles technology: memory dresses and seamless e-social networking technology. When I saw her speak in person, as a keynote speaker of a conference I attended in Wales a few years ago, I was not only impressed by her smock dress inventions but by her definitive interest in social justice and the socio-politics of conceptualising how new technologies will alter gender relations in terms of public / private space. See 

Liquid e-Books and e-Newspapers: the new norm. Stelarc (Australia), Gary Hall, Joanna Zylinska (UK artists) had a touring holiday in Tasmania last September; they stopped by in Launceston for a type of ‘rock-stars-of-the-artworld’ lecture and party, thanks to Malcolm Bywaters Director of UTAS SVPA gallery. Stelarc courted most of the attention with tales of his 1970s performance art heroism which paved the way for his latest work: an alteration of his forearm with a listening device (a stem-cell cultured ear shape) which will broadcast the auditory dimensions of his life 24/7 to the internet. See: Goldsmith’s Joanna Zylinska theorised on culturemachine and free gift exchange on the internet: http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/cm , while Gary Hall promoted his Liquid Books post-corporate university project www.openhumanitiespress.org/liquid-books.html (produced with editor Clare Birchall). The website states: “Feel free to annotate, tag, edit, add to, remix, reinvent, reuse any of the book content in the series.”  Vancouver’s own Leonard Broady of www.nowpublic.com is another pioneer of the emerging e-newspaper industry which works in a similar way to Hill/Birchall’s Liquid Books. Participatory e-publishing is set to become the new norm.

10 minute e-versions, parts 2 of The (Irish) Linen Handkerchief Memorial by sculptor Lycia Trouton, 2001.

Explanation for You Tube artwork-memorial: A commemorative tribute to all those killed in the conflict in and about Northern Ireland, 1966 – 2009. (Suggestion: use headphones). Names List randomization (8 channel sonic surround auditory localization with ‘the cocktail party effect’, a cacophony of names of those killed) with Stephen Perrett, 2009.

Embroidered chronological Names List on approximately 400 digital slides are to be uploaded in next month (photographer: Stan Gielewski).

Names list by D. McKittrick et al. 2000. The artist wishes to acknowledge Irish Diaspora readers: Margaret Barman (Omagh/Sydney), Tania and Conor Bradley with Jim Clinton (Belfast/Canberra), Aidan Moore (Dublin/Canberra), Lizz Murphy (Belfast/Yass Australia), Robert Trouton (Bangor/ Vancouver), and Isabel Truesdale, a former member of a cross-community friendship group in 1973-4, South Armagh (resides in Canberra).


Lycia Trouton lectures in art theory ‘at the end of the earth’ near the Antarctic. She holds a DCA – Wollongong, Australia: installation art about memory and text/textiles; MFA Cranbrook: site-sculpture, BFA (Hons) Carnegie Mellon: sculpture.  Trouton, an Irish Canadian, immigrated to Australia in 2001 (when e-social networking was just beginning) and was eventually awarded an “International Talent” citizenship!  Now in Launceston, Northern Tasmania, she has deepened her art practice by investigating trauma-of-place in this former penal colony outpost. Trouton is most well-known for a monumental public artwork, entitled The (Irish) Linen [handkerchief] Memorial, which helps generate ‘healing-through-remembering’ and encourages ‘joint public mourning’ and intercommunal coexistence in post-conflict Northern Ireland while recalling the painful period of 40 years of sectarian violence (which started in the 1960s), called The Troubles. She will be a speaker at TEDxTasmania on June 18th.

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