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We're organizing Art Hack Day "AFK" : part-happening, part-hackathon in Cairo, Illinois.
We're organizing Art Hack Day "AFK" : part-happening, part-hackathon in Cairo, Illinois.
47 backers pledged $2,103 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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ArtHackDay Berlin
ArtHackDay Berlin

As famous new media artists we connected for the first time during Art Hack Day Berlin in September 2013 and loved the experience so much that we wanted to organize one on our own. Art Hack Day is an open event that brings together people making art with technology to create a flash exhibition from scratch; and we're bringing it to Cairo, Illinois.

We are creating an Art Hack Day exhibit in Cairo, Illinois under the theme "AFK", scheduled for May 1-3, 2014.

Cairo Map
Cairo Map

Cairo, IL

Cairo (pronounced "care-o") is the southernmost city of Illinois. Founded in 1837, the city grew to a size of 15,203 by 1920, and was an important hub of economic activity.

Welcome to Cairo
Welcome to Cairo

Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers (the two largest in North America), the strategic importance of Cairo's geographic location sparked prosperity during the Civil War. The rivers converge at Fort Defiance State Park, a fort that was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant.  Cairo was a strategically important supply base and training center for the Union army.

Downtown Cairo
Downtown Cairo

In 1900, Cairo had a population of nearly 13,000 but the construction of automobile traffic bypassing the city resulted in one of the most dramatic declines of any city in the United States, resulting in a population of only 2,831 residents by 2010 and a per capita income of $12,461.

The city suffered severe racial tensions throughout the 20th century with myriad riots during the civil rights movement.

Civil Rights Protest
Civil Rights Protest

Cairo is emblematic of the social, cultural and economic pressures we face today. In addition, it has the lowest elevation of any location in Illinois at only 318 feet above sea level, and is surrounded by levees. The entire city was evacuated during the 2011 Mississippi River Floods, a premonition of the impending sea level rise coastal communities around the world will face.

Art Hack Day Cairo? 

For the past 10 years, we have been prolific internet artists, mainly working online or doing technologically mediated live performances. Our art is often highly contextualized and may to some seem prankish or at the very least only work in specific settings. 

With Art Hack Day "AFK" - Cairo, Illinois we hope to bring tech-based art out of the echo chamber and into an environment where the audience will have a different frame of reference. The theme for the exhibit, "AFK" (Away From Keyboard), alludes to this new context. 

In Cairo, we'll be organizing the hack & exhibition alongside the Cairo community and offering educational opportunities for the community to be co-creators of the works. 

How will art work using technology function in this environment? How can we explore the issues shaping this community through our practice? Can we create an opportunity for this community in a way that brings people together? 

These are some of the questions we hope to answer through this event. In any case, here are some more questions you might have that we can answer already now:

How will this work?

Darsha: Check out the Art Hack Day in Berlin to see how an exhibit like this is created: http://arthackday.net/berlin . Basically a bunch of artists whose medium is tech and hackers whose medium is art come together to create an exhibit that’s free and open to the public.

How will you use the pledges?

Barry: All of the money raised will go directly towards the production of the event: food, internet-access, venue rental and last (funds permitting) subsidies for participant travel costs.

Why do this in a small town, is this not patronizing? 

Jamie: Actually, one could argue that framing the question that way implies a patronizing view of the world. I grew up in a small town in rural Canada but I now live in Copenhagen but am doing a residency in Berlin. Typical artist life, but it’s actually not glamorous at all. As artists we’re often forced by pure economic pressure to be active or gravitate in the megacities of the world but it definitely comes at the risk of homogenizing or even diluting our work. It’s no coincidence artists in the past used terms like ‘purity’ and ‘authenticity’

What do you hope to achieve with this?

Darsha: Personally, I’m most looking forward to the soldering and arduino classes I’ll be doing during the hack. (I’m probably the best solderer in the world. And I can’t wait to be challenged)

Anything else?

Anthony: Yeah, your contribution will ensure that the Cairo, Illinois will be heard in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

Rewards

Pledge $9 or more and get a "Famous New Media Artist!" button from Jeremy Bailey.
Pledge $9 or more and get a "Famous New Media Artist!" button from Jeremy Bailey.
Pledge $49 or more and receive a Jeremy Bailey "Augmented Reality Portrait" of yourself. For $499 you'll get a unique 8x10 digital print version.
Pledge $49 or more and receive a Jeremy Bailey "Augmented Reality Portrait" of yourself. For $499 you'll get a unique 8x10 digital print version.
Pledge $79 or more and receive a private electronics class from Darsha Hewitt, maker of Electrostatic Bell Choir.
Pledge $79 or more and receive a private electronics class from Darsha Hewitt, maker of Electrostatic Bell Choir.
Pledge $199 or more and receive a Friends as Fonts sweater in your name by Jamie Allen.
Pledge $199 or more and receive a Friends as Fonts sweater in your name by Jamie Allen.
Pledge $29 or more and receive a custom Anthony Antonellis GIF read to load on a Net Art Implant NFC chip.
Pledge $29 or more and receive a custom Anthony Antonellis GIF read to load on a Net Art Implant NFC chip.

Pledge $999 or more and have your face projection-mapped by artist Barry Threw. (project with Obscura Digital shown)

Risks and challenges

Barry: We’ve all organized or been a part of major exhibitions before so the logistics of pulling an event like this are well understood. Incidentally, I hail from Southern Illinois myself so I know the county on a personal level.

Anthony: I’m still concerned we’re going to get negative press and seen as the net art crew descending on middle America.

Jeremy: I have produced and participated in hundreds of exhibitions all over the world and faced challenges of nearly every kind. I have never missed an exhibition deadline so don't see much risk there but I do see risk in our delivery of the rewards. Luckily though, I did a successful Kickstarter in the past and fulfilled rewards similar to the ones I’m offering now.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $4 or more About $4

    THANK YOU: your name will appear in the organizer section of the Art Hack Day website and the exhibit hand-out.

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    "FAMOUS NEW MEDIA ARTIST!" BUTTON Jeremy Bailey's classic fluorescent green 1.5" button emblazoned with the words "Famous New Media Artist!" For backers who are important. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    YOUR OWN NET ART RINGTONE: "Net Musician" Barry Threw will create a custom ringtone for your mobile device. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion and the installation should be done by the backer. It will be so Net.

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    YOUR OWN NET ART IMPLANT GIF: Anthony Antonellis will make a custom gif intended to be loaded on your own implanted NFC chip. Note, you must provide and implant your own NFC chip. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion and the installation should be done by the backer.

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    YOUR AUGMENTED REALITY PORTRAIT: Your digital augmented reality portrait created by Jeremy Bailey from a photo you provide. Delivered via email. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    PRIVATE ELECTRONICS CLASSES: A limited edition, 30 min private tutoring session with the inimitable Darsha Hewitt. The session will take place via Skype and Darsha will share the skills that enabled her to make work like Electrostatic Bell Choir. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOUR OWN FAMOUS NEW MEDIA ARTIST COSTUME: You will receive a SIGNED version of Famous New Media Artist and Auctioneer Jeremy Bailey's signature turtleneck and jorts. PRE-WORN.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    CUSTOM NET ART: Anthony Antonellis & Barry Threw will collaborate on a single-page website for you based on a theme of your choice. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    FRIENDS AS FONT SWEATSHIRT: Jamie Allen will make a FriendsAsFonts.com sweatshirt. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    YOUR SUPER IMPORTANT AUGMENTED REALITY PORTRAIT: A digital and a 8x10 unique (+1 artist copy) archival print of your augmented reality portrait created for you by Jeremy Bailey from a photo you provide. Note that as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    YOUR FACE PROJECTION MAPPED: Projection mapping artist Barry Threw will custom projection map your face, resulting in a unique video for Note that this reward can only be delivered to inhabitants of the SF and NYC metropolitan areas and as a work of art the final product is at the artist’s artistic decision and discretion.

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Funding period

- (30 days)