[July 1-July 23] Paggank Daywaygun

PagDay(‘17) is a multi-user interactive digital, kinetic, geo-locative performance media project by Max Kazemzadeh and Reza Safavi:that uses algorithmic functions calculated in a custom GPS Tracking Android Phone App that directs participants or “passengers” around Governors Island uncovering significant information/content relating to the island’s history and present. The passenger’s movement around the island is physically mapped to the installation space, either a location inside or outside of the Harvestworks house, with a machine similar to a 3D printer that drops nuts, or nut-like items, onto different drums within a given space to create both a visual and audible topology of the activities of the remote user in the field… (refer the slightly different project iteration called “Beirithms (2016)” which created a realtime three dimensional hourglass topology with rice that reflected the movement of the users through Beijing. The PagDay machine is driven by the GPS data and other triggers transmitted from the user’s cell phone app with javaScript with node.js, which connects to an Arduino’s wifi/ethernet shield in order to control the physical installation, thereby activating real-time physical events in the installation as a direct response to specific user/passenger actions in the field. (see “Dabarithms (2014)” and the triggers of the ferry drones, and “Madritmos (2016)” with the user’s “siesta trabajo” or “midday rest/job (game)” that remotely triggered different movements and actions of a curtain in the exhibition space). This type of project has been implemented before in four other completely different ways, requiring completely different systems and technology, addressing issues and content local to the country, city and location of the installation.

July 1 – July 23rd 2017

Artist Talk on Sat. July 1 @ 3 pm

Fri. Sat. Sun and Holiday Mondays noon – 5 pm

Nolan Park Building 7a      Governors Island New York Ferry Schedule

Paggank means “Island of Nuts” in the Munsee Dialect of the Lenni Lenape Native American language, which was the original name for Governors Island (due most likely to all of the walnut and chestnut trees found there), and “daywaygun” means “drum” or “drum sound.” As in each of my custom French-Situationist-inspired artworks, “PagDay(‘17)” invites participants to navigate the space of Governors Island, highlighting elements of navigational chance in order for the participants, (those who access the cell phone app) to experience the island outside of their own control, directing them around the island with little games and tasks, in order for each to have a different experience of the island, while remotely generating a physical byproduct, or action, in another location or “exhibition space.” In the 1960’s, with the emergence of “performance art” and art “happenings,” the French Situationists experimented with numerous rules for navigating Paris with the goal of breaking from their daily routine in order to re-experience Paris from new perspectives, and finding innovative ways to document those experiences.


Max Kazemzadeh is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Art & Media Design in the Art, Communication & Theater Department at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.  Kazemzadeh uses a syncretic approach to investigate connections between art, technology, and consciousness in his research, experiments and interactive installations. For the last ten years his work investigated the influence constructed, semi-conscious interfaces had on human perception and interaction. Directly connected to elements within machine perception and sense-based recognition, his work feeds naturally into the focal point of his recent research, investigating the significance and value of errors within the process perception and identification (via the senses) as essential contributions to creativity, inspiration, innovative thought, and learning.

Within the last three years Kazemzadeh has exhibited in nine international exhibitions (five of which were group exhibitions and four solo shows which spanned from New York City to Beijing, Madrid, Dubai, Los Angeles, and his home city of Washington DC), has given seven workshops and four artist talks internationally, curated a national exhibition, and acquired an ongoing annual grant from NASA to support a project and class he created which merges open source hardware and software to track, capture and transmit the data associated with the speed, altitude, roll, pitch, and yaw of skateboarders as they move about a skateboard bowl (gifted to Gallaudet and his research, from the Kennedy Center’s “Finding a Line” Project) in order to visualize that data in a projection on an adjacent wall. Kazemzadeh has also organized events, lectures, and conference breakout sessions connected to his research and creative interests at Gallaudet and
the skateboard bowl.

In Fall 2014, with artist and University of Washington, Pullman Associate Professor Reza Safavi, Kazemzadeh gave a workshop and exhibited the site specific interactive work “Dabarithms: Palm Wish” at ISEA’14 in Dubai, UAE. In January 2015, Kazemzadeh and taught a Drawing Machines hardware/computer vision workshop to Graphic Design students at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in the Hague, Netherlands. In February, 2015, Kazemzadeh exhibited at the Linda Jordan Gallery in Washington DC. Then in June, 2015, collaborating with UCLA Professor Dr. Victoria Vesna, exhibited an interactive work called “Birdsong Diamond” at the New York Electronic Art Festival (NYEAF) in Fort Jay on Governors Island, which followed with performance in Times Square, and then again at the home of Linda Weintraub. Then in 2016, working in collaboration with Professor Safavi, Kazemzadeh completed and exhibited Beirithms ’16 in Beijing, and then created and exhibited Madritmos ’16 in Madrid at the Medialab-Prado during a invited residency there. Kazemzadeh was appointed by Roger Malina to serve as advisor to the monthly DASERs events by CPNAS, the Cultural Programs: National Academy of the Sciences

Reza Michael Safavi (CA) is an artist currently living and working in the United States. His current research examines how the presence of technology in daily life shapes human experience: our perceptions, social behavior, economics, entertainment and the way we meet our basic needs. He uses video, sound, sculpture, analog and digital devices and elements of the natural world to create interactive experiences that highlight the interfaces, both macro and micro, among people, technology and the environment. He has been a member of a number of artists groups, and in addition to his solo work, he regularly participates on collaborative projects. He received an MFA in Digital Arts from the University of Oregon and a BFA from the University of Victoria. Reza’s work has recently been exhibited at CAFA, Beijing, China, Hangar.org, Barcelona, Spain, ISEA2014, Dubai, SP_Urban Digital Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Di-EGY Festival, Cairo, Egypt, Medialab Prado, Madrid. Safavi is currently an Associate Professor and Digital Media Director in the Department of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Pullman, WA.  http://hi-reza.com

Press Coverage 

“‘Rodin was a hacker,’ Kazemzadeh says, and recalls how the sculptor boldly left his thumbprint in a work of clay.”
—“Rodin was a hacker” Julie Ardery in Texas Observer

“As for LHOOQ, the reference to Marcel Duchamp’s iconic ‘readymade’ work consisting of a postcard of the Mona Lisa defaced with a moustache and goatee, Kazemzadeh sees Duchamp as a seminal figure in the development of works like those in the exhibition. ‘I think that he represents a playful culture hacker, but also someone who was really integrated multidisciplinarity into the systems of math, science, and art. I really believe a lot of those things have to be inside of the mind of the artist who’s working with technology and experimental media,’ he says.”
—-“Experimental Media 2012: D.O.L.L.”  BY LIZ GEORGES

“‘With the wishes that people have and express, more than the order of fulfillment, it is about the self-recognition of one’s own intent, and the conscious direction of that thought, hope, or wish’ says Max Kazemzadeh.”


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Previous Projects 

Egyrithms (2013) – Cairo, Egypt –https://vimeo.com/65597051
Dabarithms: Palm Wish (2014) – Dubai, UAE –https://vimeo.com/116585386
Beirithms (2014-‘16) – Beijing, China –https://vimeo.com/176380179
Madritmos (2016) – Madrid, Spain –https://vimeo.com/174589509


Reza Safavi





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