project advisor to Here Nor There
I first become involved in Here nor There through my work at Watershed Media Centre and my own academic research. ...here nor there... started as from a discussion about a residency project at Watershed, to enable two artists, Mac Dunlop and Annie Lovejoy, to continue collaborative work begun with Koka Ramishvili in Georgia the previous year using electronic communications to bridge the geographical gap.
As the project, and the here nor there group, expanded and developed, expanding from a website virtual studio space to a whole series of events, residencies and collaborations across real and virtual geographic spaces, it has become an important example of practical collective collusion and collaboration to create and experience new work.
For me, thinking about the dual role of an arts institution, to exhibit and promote new work, and the importance of also reflecting the changing experiences and perceptions of artwork using technologies, here nor there creates a fluid and dynamic structure for people to engage with, experience and interrogate. Since ...here nor there... has meaning when its collaborators come together to produce or experience an event, documented on the website archive, it requires that its creators and collaborators be present to work, exhibit, perform and discuss in the next temporary location, or incarnation, of ...here nor there... . This then creates interactions with audience and participants that enables the focus to be on the permeable border of communication and possibility across many technologies, rather than a more isolated experience of one person interacting with one machine.
Here nor there's fluidity is also important in the cultural diversity of its projects, allowing for the examination of technologies and communication structures at the same time as creatively exploring them - its collaborators have built Georgian fonts to enable parts of the website to become bi-lingual, highlighting again the fact that the common language and dominant technological interests of the internet is English/American centred, and creatively subverting that.
So, as an advisor and occasional participant in Here nor there, I would say that the important part of this project for me is the communication collaboration and participation that here nor there generates, via its website, events, and projects. Its model of interrogative and multi-layered participation is a unique and dynamic usage of technologies through direct experiences in specific sites; its mixture of virtual and physical geographies allow participants to at least begin to question the networks of technologies and cultural exchange that we might take for granted.
Jacky Puzey was Exhibitions Officer at Watershed until September 2000. Her academic research for her MA in Visual Culture focussed on creative uses of digital technology, examing interaction and audience experience via works based on collaborative participation. Now she has returned to her own creative practice with a project using fictional national costumes to examine the experiences of travelling.