Zero One San Jose to Ingenuity Three in Cleveland - Glocalization for 2007

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 10/13/2006 - 00:09.

Today, at WVIZ IdeaCenter, Ingenuity Festival founder and director James Levin hosted his peer Steve Dietz, director of a remarkable "sister" arts and technology festival ZeroOne San Jose, along with a group of NEO arts leaders, for intimate planning for the 3rd Ingenuity Festival, which will be held around Playhouse Square and Cleveland State University in 2007. James introduced the discussion by explaining he had been in San Jose last month for ZeroOne and is working with the organizers of that event in his brainstorming for our festival, which is one of the most exceptional of its type in the world. And, based on what was presented and discussed today with Steve Dietz, Ingenuity Festival is about to get much more exceptional... James is looking and partnering very globally and focused on strengthening the integration of "technology" into Ingenuity 2007. This was clearly a strength in the exciting artistic expressions of ZeroOne, as presented in an impressive overview by Dietz.


Dietz started his presentation with a reality check of great value - like with the organizers of Ingenuity Festival, he explained, one of the greatest challenges for ZeroOne was explaining to "outsiders" what the festival was about. Ingenuity has always wrestled with this challenge here. However, whereas Ingenuity has had to work within a community that is more arts than technology (making the education curve very steep), ZeroOne is in the capital of technology innovation, and they were very successful transitioning the technology community and outcomes to world-class levels. That the seven-day long ZeroOne was melded with the 13th International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA2006) certainly helped. Being rooted by an international Electronic Arts event, and held in the heart of Silicon Valley, ZeroOne attracted sponsorship from 97 corporations, from Sun to Adobe, providing significant funding supporting artists in residence and commissioned work of international significance, as was clear in Dietz' presentation.

From seeing the outcomes of ZeroOne, and reflecting on critical success factors for that, it is obvious Ingenuity must be supported more broadly by universities. organizations and corporations around the region. As one attendee at this presentation pointed out, Cleveland has world-class arts assets - more so than San Jose - but we do not have the depth of technology wealth supporting the community. A next step in the evolution of Ingenuity Festival is to secure the level of funding from the technology community necessary to fund the level of artistic expression realized with ZeroOne, which doesn't come free or even for cheap! 

Planned over a period of many years, and well funded, the art of ZeroOne was clearly world-class, globally sourced and at times spectacular. When an attendee of this presentation asked if there was an effort to leverage "native" artists and arts, Dietz seemed surprised by the question - no, this was not meant to focus on San Jose arts but be a world-class international phenomenon. Ingenuity must be the same - Glocal. Dietz pointed out most of the 50,000 attendees were from within driving distance of San Jose, but the art came from over 40 countries.

Still, the art of ZeroOne was intellectual challenging and in context for San Jose, and would be in Cleveland, as well. The organizers based the festival around the themes of Transvergence, Interactive City, Community Domain and Pacific Rim (see explanations below), offered exciting, innovative outlets for expressions by the artists, and core connectivity throughout the event and community. The idea of establishing core themes, such as these... perhaps some of the same themes... is an excellent idea for Ingenuity.

Creative work at ZeroOne included 100s of works and installations by 100s of artists... some efforts that Dietz presented that really stuck in my mind include:

  • Container Culture: an exhibition of shipping containers from many artists in many Pacific Rim countries, with each artist using the container as an empty canvas in which to build a unique exhibit
  • Edgy Products: a juried exhibition of work by artists and designers who are manipulating, hacking, subverting, queering, hijacking, recombining, or reformulating the notion of product.
  • Akira Hasegawa's D-K (Digital Kakejiku), which in English can be translated as " a moving Digital-Hanging Scroll", presented through massive scale multimedia projections on the San Jose City Hall Rotunda
  • Jessica Thompson's SOUNDBIKE: a portable sound piece that uses motion-based generators mounted to an ordinary bicycle to broadcast the sound of laughter as the bike is pedaled through the urban environment. The laughter is generated by playing sequences of short source clips that start when the bike reaches a cruising speed and then respond to the bike's velocity. The piece is exhibited by loaning the bike on an honour system.
  • And my favorite: Beatriz da Costa with Cina Hazegh and Kevin Ponto's PigeonBlog: an alternative way to participate in environmental air pollution data gathering. The project equips urban homing pigeons with GPS enabled electronic air pollution sensing devices capable of sending real-time location based air pollution and image data to an online mapping/blogging environment.

Pigeon Blog

More about the themes of ZeroOne below, from their website 

    • Interactive City

      Adriene Jenik, Specflic

      PDAs, cell phones, GPS, wireless networks and embedded computers are dramatically changing the face of city life. Use your cell phone to play Pong with the office lights of a multi-story building. Interact with a grass roots surveillance system using 99 red balloons. Capture nocturnal urban wildlife through video traps.

      We imagine the city as a place of many layers. Within the streets, architecture, and people of a city you are able to access history, hopes for the future, and even far away places. We find ourselves in communal space, sometimes connected, sometimes alone, and all around us is a city full of both visible and invisible elements. The ZeroOne San Jose Festival brings these ideas home with cell-phone based story-telling, found art objects and sculptures, chances to make instant films about downtown and the things you encounter, rolling parties under a blimp, even night surveillance of nocturnal animals.

      More about Interactive City.

      Community Domain

      Daniel Jolliffe

      Communities can be defined by interest or geography or ethnicity or religion or political affiliation. Many of these self-defined communities are not artists or particularly interested in technology. Yet, many artists are using new technologies in creative ways to enable communities to tell very personal stories, which can become community stories. Digital storytelling and participatory mapping are two examples.

      ZeroOne San Jose and ISEA2006 seek to engage diverse communities— of interest, geography, ethnicity, race, belief. In particular, we seek projects that recognize the hybridity of communities and take transverse routes across communities.

      Come and immerse yourself in the culture of a new community.

      More about Community Domain.

      Pacific Rim

      Tiffany Sum and Jonathan Minard, Fingering

      Ages-old trade routes have established economic relationships between the Bay Area and far-flung cities in the Pacific Rim. The cultural context of thse relationships created gaps that still affect how Silicon Valley communities relate to each other. Learn how creativity and technology are combining to bridge not only geographies but cultures.

      ISEA2006 and ZeroOne San Jose seek broad participation from around the world. In particular, as a city on the east coast of the Pacific Rim, we will highlight projects from and about and challening the Pacific Rim region.

      More about Pacific Rim


      Jennifer Willet and Shawn Bailey, BIOTEKNICA LABORATORY REMIX

      New ideas and possibilities never before considered become evident when diverse disciplines intersect. Witness the unexpected creativity that is sparked when architects work with game designers, engineers collaborate with biologists, and psychologists jam with hot air balloon pilots and musicologists.

      ISEA2006 and ZeroOne San Jose seek to identify projects that are transdisciplinary in nature and not only produce new projects and experiences but also inflect how a discipline comes to newly understand itself and modify its practices while retaining its core competencies.

      More about Transvergence.


Steve Dietz is a new media curator and director of ISEA 2006 Symposium ZeroOne San Jose International Festival of Art and Technology. From 1996–2003 he was curator of new media at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, where he founded the New Media Initiatives department, the online art Gallery 9, and the digital art study collection