2009

Mediating Locality is a project designed to bring distant localities together in a creative collaboration which examines their specific contexts, their needs and the challenges which they face, sharing their situations with each other and celebrating their diversity and unities. Mediation here refers to both the mediation of technology but also the mediation of negotiation, interpretation and communication. The aim of the project is to examine how we can link communities, form lasting cooperation and also tackle pressing issues, and to consider what role emerging technologies can play in this. This will of course necessitate discussion on access  and literacy of such technologies and how they can be adapted or utilized to benefit communities.

The project will be implemented through an artist in residency program to be held in the western regional area of Tokyo, where one can find an expression of the local even within such a megalopolis. Japan is well known for its technological advancements and has been at the forefront of the media arts movement in Asia. Many artists in other parts of Asia are exploring this field, which is rapidly evolving, with highly unique approaches, often advanced rather than hindered by a certain lack of resources. This project will allow the selected artists to share their skills and approaches, also with artists in Japan, and also be exposed to other technological resources/methodologies , considering their creative potential which they may harness in their own practices and communities.

During their residency the artists will focus on the following issues: Environment // Disability-Health // Education // Social issues and work with particular groups in the local community in Tokyo while also linking to communities in their home localities to form an exchange of ideas and experience in the examination of how these issues are affecting people in both local situations. The artists will work concertedly throughout the residency with their chosen groups and will aim to foster lasting links between them and make a significant contribution to their activities.

Through an intensive 1 month period of workshops and open seminars each artist will explore how we can use available resources, simple media technologies to connect communities creatively, involve them in a meaningful exchange and also empower them within their own contexts. Inclusion is key to this process and so we aim to give a voice to those who may feel disenfranchised. We will work with a broad cross-section of the community including children, the elderly, the disabled, migrant groups and social activists forming links within communities and between communities.

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