Preemptive Media

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Swipe Bar, 2003 © Preemptive Media
Zapped! Workshop Diagram, "How to Make a Keychain RFID Detector", 2005 © Preemptive Media
Swipe Bar, 2003 © Preemptive Media
Swipe Performance, Irvine, CA, 2003 © Preemptive Media
Swipe Bar, Pittsburgh, PA, 2002 © Preemptive Media
Moport, 2004 © Preemptive Media
Departing from Headquarters with Device, 2006 © Preemptive Media
Device Screen Close-up, 2006 © Preemptive Media
3D Render of AIR Device, 2006 © Preemptive Media
Device Diagram, 2006 © Preemptive Media
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Preemptive Media is included in the present Southern Exposure Exhibition, VAPOR which is up until May 3: VAPOR is a survey of new art, architecture and design that takes our declining atmospheric conditions as subject matter, medium and metaphor for creative work. Preemptive Media are especially focused on creating practical applications in response to climate change. Their project for the exhibition is titled AIR, which includes an object that individuals can use to test the air quality. This process creates self-knowledge and empowerment versus relying on the government or the science community for information.

Preemptive Media is a collaboration between Beatriz da Costa [LA], Jamie Schulte [San Francisco] and Brooke Singer [NY]. They are a group of artists, activists and technologists who are making their own style of beta tests, trial runs and impact assessments based on independent research. PM is most interested in emerging policies and technologies because they are contingent and malleable. The criteria and methods of PM programs are different than those run by businesses and government, and, therefore, PM gets different results. PM hopes that their inquiries create new opportunities for public discussion and alternative outcomes in the usually remote and closed world of technology-based research and development. More specifics on past projects can be seen here:


Type: Devices, Data Visualization and Workshop
Description: In August 2005, Preemptive Media was awarded the first Social Sculpture Commission (SSC) from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Eyebeam to develop Area's Immediate Reading (AIR). For this project PM is prototyping portable air quality measurement kits to monitor various air pollutants in Lower Manhattan, as well as create data visualizations of our findings. The SSC are intended to develop a new process oriented, socially based artwork that integrates the community into the creation and presentation of the work and affects the world around them. An AIR public workshop took place in June 2006 in New York City and the full project launched in September 2006.

Type: Devices and Workshop
Description: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is not yet a household name, but PM predicts that everyday encounters with this technology--whether known or not--will become commonplace in the industrialized world in coming years. One goal of RFID systems is to track humans, so that they may be better integrated into modern information economies. Zapped! addresses the mass implementation of RFID and its contribution to the ever growing field of technology-enhanced surveillance practices. Because RFID is used to track moving objects and organisms, we have found it both practically and symbolically useful to provide living entities (such as humans and roaches) with tools to monitor and jam RFID systems.

Type: Bar and Toolkit
Description: Find out what information is encoded on your driver's license and prevent the hemorrhaging of your data without consent or notification. Swipe illustrates how personal information is used and why businesses and government crave it.

Type: Online Mobile Reporting Tool
Description: Moport is an online tool for generating and sharing mobile phone reports. The site enables people to collectively report in real-time using mobile phones or digital cameras and computers.

Introducing AIDC as a Tool for Data Surveillance
from the Sarai READER 04, Crisis/Media (pdf)

Surveillance Creep! New Manifestations of Data Surveillance at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
from The Radical History Review, "New Imperialisms," Issue 95, Spring 2006