Port Logo PORT: Navigating Digital Culture
Organized by a r t n e t w e b
MIT List Visual Arts Center
January 25 through March 29, 1997

PROJECT: Prosthesis To A Well, 1997
BY: Sawad Brooks, MIT Media Laboratory, Aesthetics and Computation Group (John Maeda, Principal Investigator).
TIME: Opening Reception, January 24, 5:30 to 7:30pm EST
every Thursday, 12 - 2 pm EST thereafter
SOFTWARE: Java-capable Web browser (see OTHER, below)
ACCESS: URL: http://www.fa.indiana.edu/~prosthesis/
OTHER: Pentium 200Mhz machines with NT 4.0 are recommended. Highly interactive applications written in Java(tm) run best under the above conditions, at this point in history. Implementations of Java on other platforms hamper to varying degrees the "smooth" interactive animation in this work.
CONTACT: email: sawad@media.mit.edu

Sawad Brooks
MIT Media Laboratory
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

phone: 617-253-0323
fax: 617-258-6264

URL: www.media.mit.edu/~sawad/


Project deals with a potentially infinite and multi-participatory space which participants navigate by "caressing" (with a circular motion) the interface of the program. The circular caresses allow participants to "burrow" deeper into the space. The space's depths are demarcated by "buried" notes (written by me) which become visible as one burrows toward them. A participant may also leave buried additional notes of her or his own. Because this work is a real-time, multi-participatory mechanism, participants "occupying" the space at the same time may write to each other by typing in notes through the keyboard. However, to do so, they must first find each other within this ambiguous space. Alternatively, participants may leave messages behind for others -- a sort of archiving act. Participants' notes dacay over time. On a given day, I may have a different set of notes up. The notes speak about the archival process, the desedimentation of habits, and how these issues are affected/infected by technology.

This project is a distributed software artwork. It functions over the internet, but does not need the World Wide Web (WWW). However, a web component (Java applet) is included in order to give access to participants not physically located at the gallery.

Technologies Used:

1. Java(tm) Programming language
2. Client/Server Technology (implemented by me)
3. Computer, of course.
4. Years of reading and writing.
5. Talking with friends.
6. Pen and Paper.


Born in Bogotá, Colombia, 1964.

INVERTIGO, (February) 1997, Installation, SoFa Gallery University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana. Collaboration with Christa Erickson (University of Indiana), and Beth Stryker (NYC).

Bowling Alley, 1995, Web Installation, 10th Biennale of Sydney Satellite Exhibiton, 1996, Australia.

(Eliot's) Desire, 1996, Internet/WWW, Group show "Can You Digit?" Postmasters Gallery (www.thing.net/~pomaga/art22.html), New York, NY.

Bowling Alley, 1995, Installation, Walker Art Center (bowlingalley.walkerart.org), Minneapolis, MN. Collaboration with Shu Lea Cheang (NYC), Christa Erickson (University of Indiana), and Beth Stryker (NYC).

Aporia, 1995, Internet/WWW, New York Digital Salon (www.media.mit.edu/~sawad/proj/aporia/), New York, NY.

Aporia, Leonardo Volume 28, No. 5 (1995)

"Space Matter: On Thomas Bewick's Vignettes," Chicago Art Journal (Spring 1994): 50-56.

Symposium Presentations
Respondent, "Pop, Mass, and Sub Culture," Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, Nov. 1996.

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Nov. 1995, Panelist on "Artists' Forum."

The Goethe Institute, Chicago, May 1994, Symposium on German Philosophy, "Walter Benjamin's Toys."

Respondent, Graduate Symposium on "Techne," The University of Chicago, April 1994.

Design Work
Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY, WWW interface (www.thing.net/~pomaga), 1995.

Digital and Software Designer ("Semiotic weapon"), 5.95 to 9.95 i|o 360 digital. New York, NY.

he Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MS Student and Research Assistant, 1995 to present, Program in Media Arts and Sciences (The Media Laboratory).

The University of Chicago, PhD Student, 1993 to 1995, Art History.

The University of Texas at Austin, MA, 1993, Art History. Thesis title: "The Tool and the Toy: Technologies in the Making and Criticism of Matisse's Cut-Outs."

The University of Texas at Austin, BFA (Studio Art), BA (Computer Science), 1989.


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