In 2002 I worked on a collaborative project 34 North 118 West that was one of the first GPS locative narratives. After that there was a new terrifying feeling in my life of what to do next, where to go on an invisible, uncertain path. I felt lost for a year then collaborated on a project that ran text/image/sound works with hacked data from earthquake sensors. We worked on it for months and it was in a gallery back when digital exhibition was strange and odd. We buried a computer in a wall. I hoped to find someplace to recognize what it had in terms of ideas and exploring raw data as art (the code ran live on the screen and re-sequenced the images and text as a kind of collaboration with the earth as well as raw code as art). Noema had amazing depth and range and was really fascinating in terms of content and approach. Pier was also a brilliant academic at the helm.
I was beyond thrilled and the article was brilliant and really helped show people the project and the layers of symbolism and concept. My ancestors are from Naples so it was also really exciting to touch Italy as well as the online. Funny story is the writer asked me if I knew any Italian phrases to possibly include and I mentioned “baccaus”. My great uncle Pasquale and my nonna often spoke of one that we had when we came to America from Italy as poor farmers in 1905. The journalist asked around and searched hard for this seemingly rare bit of Italian. My great uncle then told me “no no… it is back house… a shed in the back”. Mystery solved.
More recently I have been working with applying artificial intelligence to text and typography and looking at functionality in organic chemistry, molecular biology and quantum mechanics to apply to text as internal self-editing models. It was a great thrill and honor to again find a home at Noema and amazing discussion with Pier on the graphics and concepts. The quake project Carrizo Parkfield Diaries is now in the permanent digital collection of the Whitney Museum and I know this would not have been possible without Noema and that brilliant article.
Pier is a brilliant photographer, humble, fun and now as before at the helm of something great and important many of us are deeply fond of and indebted to.