STREET DIGITAL / JODI (JOAN HEEMSKERK and DIRK PAESMANS) / MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE / NEW YORK, NY / 2012 / WEBSITE

Artwork captions below are taken from exhibition wall text.

ZYX (mobile app)

2012, custom software for iOS5

ZYX (mobile app) uses the iPhone or iPod Touch's built-in motion-tracking capabilities to guide users through a series of gestures, from turning in a circle to raising one's arm up and down. Each time a gesture is performed correctly, the phone clicks; when all gestures have been completed, the device sounds an alarm in celebration. This app situates the user in a realm that is both virtual and physical. Bystanders see the user as performing a strange dance; in contrast, the iPhone observes and rewards the user's adherence to a prescribed set of movements. This dissonance between the virtual space inhabited by the iPhone user and the physical space occupied by the observer has become an everyday phenomenon, exemplified by the experience of passing someone on the street who appears to be delivering a nonsensical monologue while speaking into the microphone of a wireless mobile device.

SK8Monkeys on Twitter

2009/2012, wireless keyboard, modified skateboard, browser with Greasemonkey script, Twitter account (twitter.com/sk8monkey), coding by Sean McIntyre

Sk8Monkeys on Twitter emerged out of JODI's trawling through YouTube videos for their Folksomy project (also exhibited here). It began with an original video in which a group of young people recorded themselves using keyboards as skateboards. SK8Monkeys on Twitter takes this concept a step further by connecting the skateboards / keyboards to a Twitter account. When visitors step on the keyboard, the device generates a strong of letters and numbers, producing gibberish that is published on a live Twitter feed. SK8Monkeys on Twitter puts to the test the adage that an infinite number of monkeys, typing randomly for a long enough period of time, could recreate the complete works of Shakespeare. The resulting foot-written text, from from Shakespeare, is a mischievous take on the phenomenon of user-generated content.

Burnout (History of Car Games)

2004-2012, nine looped digital videos with sound

Burnout (History of Car Games) is a series of video recordings of popular driving games as played by JODI, including and Carmaggedon. In each game, the duo performs exactly the same action: they screech their tires and spin in circles ("donuts") over and over. On the surface, JODI's driving techniques references acts of vehicular rebellion seen in teen movies. At the same time they can be seen as a critique of the goal-oriented logic of video games, as well as an endlessly looping expression of futility. By repeating the same action across nine games and nine screens, the work also calls attention to the formal conventions of driving games, making Burnout equal parts media history and slapstick farce.

YTCT (Folksomy)

2008/2010, looped digital video with sound, 106 minutes

In 2008, JODI began collecting YouTube videos in which people did, the in the artists' words, "strange things with computers." Examples included people singing ballads about the joys of HTML code or others gleefully smashing their cell phones with a hammer--behavior that seemed to reflect a love-hate relationship with technology. The videos shown here are selected from JODI's online collection. The title of this project is a misspelling of folksonomy (combining "folk" and "taxonomy"), sometimes also referred to as social tagging, in which groups of people label--or "tag"--online content with individual words. JODI tagged each of the videos collected for Folksomy with a descriptive label. Though their unorthodox tags are not revealed in this installation, certain themes, such as devices being set on fire and people stepping on computers, emerge.