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The Pacific Rim New Media Summit

A Pre-Symposium to ISEA2006
7--8 August 2006, San Jose, California
Co-sponsored by CADRE Laboratory and Leonardo/ISAST


Special Issue of Leonardo

Leonardo 39:4

Dedicated to the Pacific Rim New Media Summit

The Pacific Rim New Media Summit

How are information technology and creativity shaping new directions in the arts and sciences around the Pacific Rim? What challenges face organizations and individuals in the region who are working in the fields of architecture, design, literature, theater, music? How do the puzzle pieces of academic research and information technology-based industry fit into this picture?

The political and economic space of the Pacific Rim represents a dynamic context for innovation and creativity. Experimentation in the many disciplines that encompass art, science, and technology is resulting in the emergence of new forms of cultural production and experience unique to the region. The complex relations and diversity of Pacific Rim nations are exemplified as well throughout the hybridized communities that comprise Silicon Valley.

The Pacific Rim New Media Summit was gathering of organizations and representatives from the Pacific Rim and Asia to look at the complex relations and diversity of Pacific Rim nations and to focus on the development of partnerships in order to address the multiple challenges faced throughout the region as it develops its arts and sciences networks in tandem with its increasing economic influence. This trans-disciplinary event had a specific focus on educational methodologies and practices.

The summit was organized into seven working groups according to the following topic areas:

* Container Culture (Chair: Steve Dietz)
* Education (Chair: Fatima Lasay)
* Place, Ground and Practice (Chair: Danny Butt)
* Urbanity and Locative Media (Chair: Roh Soh-Yeong)
* Latin American/Asia-Pacific New Media Initiatives (Chair: Jose-Carlos Mariategui)
* Directory, Organizations and Residencies (Co-Chairs: Julianne Pierce and Nisar Keshvani)
* Piracy, Ethics and Community (Chair: Steve Cisler)

Summit Objectives

- Focus on common and divergent themes of Transvergence in which traditional borders segregating disciplines, ideology and liabilities are crossed and critiqued.

- Explore and build interpretive "bridges" between institutional, corporate, social and cultural enterprises with an emphasis on the emergence of new media arts programs and initiatives.

- An important objective is to examine and emerge new transaction spaces for creativity and innovation.

Summit Outcomes

- An ongoing network of Pacific Rim new media initiatives and programs supporting continued interaction.

- Publication. Leonardo ISAST will publish an experimental journal issue as a product of and response to the Summit.

- Cooperative agreements. Strategic alliances will be formed to promote collaborative research, artistic and scientific investigation, corporate sponsorship and interaction, student and faculty exchanges, residencies, exhibitions, performances, conferences and festivals.

- Diaspora involvement. San Jose is very diverse ethnically and culturally. The summit will shape specific outreach programs to engage local communities in the development of interaction networks in the context of these international heritages.

- Knowledge transfer. Models will be developed to enable knowledge transfer from expert practitioners to lay participants. The role of new media institutions in creating learning possibilities for the public will be examined, as well as how such efforts can be collaborative with cultural institutions.

Visit the ISEA 2006 Pacific Rim New Media Summit site.

Leonardo Publishing Initiative

Special Journal Issue: Leonardo 39:4 (August 2006)

In conjunction with the Pacific Rim New Media Summit, Leonardo undertook a multifaceted publishing initiative directly related to its role as co-sponsor of the summit event.


A special issue of Leonardo is devoted to the work of the seven Pacific Rim working groups, featuring new media educational programs and artists from the Pacific-Asia region. The print issue of the journal includes statements by artists as well as articles by cultural theorists looking at issues germane to the seven working group topics, plus introductory texts by the working group chairs.

Some of the topics covered in the issue include:

- Surfing the Outernet: Where net art presented the medium of the Internet, locative art brings to the fore those of mobile and wireless systems. Drew Hemment unfolds a taxonomy of locative-art approaches to the gap between the perfect grid and the reality of the mapped world.

- Cyber-Mythologies and Portraits of Dispossession: Rachel O'Reilly examines how Asian and Pacific understandings of place in recent work by Vernon Ah Kee, Lisa Reihana and Qiu Zhijie expand the frames of contemporary locative art.

- Cartographies of the future: Annie Lambla discusses the San Francisco Exploratorium's Invisible Dynamics project, which considers the museum's relocation from a perspective integrating art, science and geographic context.

- Culture, uncontained: Commerce, communication and technology intertwine in the works of the Pacific Rim New Media Summit exhibition Container Culture. Artists from Mumbai to Vancouver use the medium and metaphor of shipping containers to explore regional and global complexities.

View the Table of Contents of Leonardo 39:4 and order this issue

LEA Special Sections on Working Group Topics

As a lead-up to the summit, the Leonardo Electronic Almanac published materials submitted by the working groups as each developed its mandate. Working group statements, names of working group members, and contact information for the working group chairs are available in issues of LEA since March 2005 (on the Web at http://www.leoalmanac.org). Additional materials will continue to be published in LEA as the working groups define and refine their focus in preparation for the summit.

Discounts for ISEA Members: ISEA Members are eligible for a 20% discount on subscription/memberships to Leonardo. Contact Members Services at ISEA for more information.

Updated 11 October 2006

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