Paula Levine

Fellowship Supported by Google Inc.

Paula Levine is a Canadian-American artist whose work uses locative and mobile media to bridge global and local. Her current work uses locative media, maps and the web to collapse the safety of distance and visualize the impact of distant geopolitical events in local terms. Her work examines the space between information and experience by using networks, public spaces and mobile tools to build cross-cultural and geopolitical intimacy. Her proposed Fellowship project will address how locative, mobile technologies and wireless networks diminish distances between the impact of political trauma, dislocation or upheaval in one location, and other areas untouched by these distant events.

Levine's current work uses locative media, maps and the web to collapse the safety of distance and visualize the impact of distant geopolitical events on local ground, translating the impact in local terms. Presented as a series Shadows from another place engages questions of politics, place, borders, boundaries investigating the daily experiences of the local, as networks extend our experiences of place beyond our physical lived borders. San Francisco- Baghdad overlays the first night of the U.S. invasion on San Francisco, mirroring each bomb and missile site, and TheWall-TheWorld transposes a 15-mile segment of the wall in the West Bank upon any city of choice allowing the viewer to explore the wall in both locations, simultaneously in Google Earth.

Her writings on locative media and the expanding cartographic imagination have been presented at conferences at ISEA, ZERO1, MIT and the University of Wisconsin's Conney conference for Jewish Studies. Recent work has shown at ISEA, Interactive Futures, 09, Vancouver, British Columbia where she was also a keynote speaker. Paula Levine is an advisor on Wi: Journal of Mobile Media published by Hexagram, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Her essay On Common Ground: Here as Therewill be published in the Spring, 2013 in Digital Storytelling and Mobile Media: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies edited by Jason Farman (Routledge). She is a Professor of Art at San Francisco State University, teaching in the area of Conceptual Information Arts. Her work has been shown in transnational venues including the SF Museum of Modern Art, NY Museum of Modern Art, the Canadian National Gallery, New York's Lincoln Center and the Getty Center. She been awarded residencies from The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Experimental Television Center and the Djerassi Foundation, and has been the recipient of many awards and grants including the Canadian Council for the Arts, Art Matters, CanWest Global Award, the Western Regional Media Arts Award Fellowship and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art).


Innovation Challenge 
Public policy is increasingly ill equipped to manage a society with the kind of boundless creativity that technology like the Internet enables. The ways that people innovate, distribute and engage information are increasingly online, which demand a new perspective on the issues, challenges, fears and opportunities represented by online creativity and the technology that empowers it.

Project for ZERO1 Fellowship/x
Have you ever wondered about the trajectory of your data stream when you e-mail, browse a website or carry out an other on-line activity? That’s part of what Canadian-American artist Paula Levine researched over the past year. With a focus on the more widely available open public wireless systems, Paula’s project City-to-City visualizes network traffic in the form of a topographic map, illustrating in color and sound the real-time trajectory of an individual’s internet inquiry from the point of entry to its final destination, from city to city en route.

Questions arise around the value and necessity of empathy as a common good in our current interconnected world. At the core, however, are challenges and opportunities to imagine new platforms for community building based on ideas of global citizenship in which the individual recognizes his and her role as an inherent element of the bridge between local and global, and the responsibilities suggested by this notion.