Sunday, December 14, 2008

Burak Arikan @ the Neuberger

On November 5th, I listened to Burak Arikan, an artist and researcher, focus “on creating networked systems that evolve with the interactions of people and machines”. He was the featured lecturer for the New Media Lecture Series at the Neuberger and he spoke about his work that “confronts issues ranging from cultural sustainability to finance to politics and labor in networked environments”. He showed “the instances of these systems online and onsite through diverse media including prints, animation, software, electronics, and physical materials.” I found him to be very intriguing and creative, especially after learning about his project collaboration with DJ Richie Hawtin, Meta-Market and MyPocket Projects.

Arikan’s Meta-Market is an “online stock market for trading shares of socially networked creative products”. YouTube videos, Delicious bookmarks, blogs, or social network profiles are some of the creative products that can be traded. Arikan recently stated that “In Meta-Markets people trade shares of bookmarks, profiles, videos, or blogs. Just like companies, socially networked products have ever growing values. When product owners issue their shares in Meta-Markets, they raise capital – today play capital, but tomorrow real capital. With Meta-Markets we aim to help people to retain the value of their immaterial labor in social web services”. Arikan used his first name, Burak, for the title of the currency in Meta-Markets. The currency is to show the value of the creative product being traded. It is like Second-Life’s Linden Dollars, but does not have a real world conversion.

Arikan’s other project is MyPocket, and it is a collection of Arikan’s spending history over the course of two years to three years. It is shown through a topographic type image, and “thickness of connecting lines shows the total spending amount” of related purchases. Arikan’s spending history is put into his custom made software and it predicts where Arikan’s money will be spent in the future. It shows Arikan’s “financial records to the world by exploring and revealing essential patterns in the daily transactions of his bank account”. Arikan’s spending is divided up and showed through his Transactions Graph. The graphs show the “intensive network of transaction items existing in time”. On one day the Transactions Graph showed Arikan spent 100 dollars for rent, spent around 23 dollars in groceries and purchased a book for around 90 dollars. MyPocket “shows the unprocessed model of dynamic relationships between transaction items and their effects changing overtime”. Arikan’s predictions for the future are proved with his marked receipts that are “physical manifestations of the predictions”. MyPocket is “a system in which both the software and the artist adapt to one another…MyPocket presents a hybrid interface to a living physical/digital process”.

Burak Arikan -
MyPocket -
Meta-Market -

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