Geostash is a public art project that uses the city of Toronto as its inspiration and utilises Global Positioning Technology (GPS) and the web as a means to achieve its creative goals. Geostash takes its cues from the practice of Geocaching - a sort of high-tech treasure hunt that was originally conceived in 2000, and has spread worldwide through websites promoting this activity. Each artist will hide a "stash" somewhere in the city and post the GPS co-ordinates of where the stash is hidden on the Geostash website. The stash may contain a set of instructions requesting an in-situ performance, or could contain objects, materials and a manual to create temporary public art. Once the stashes have all been placed in the city, each participating artist will be randomly assigned another artists' stash to find using a GPS receiver. Once found, the artist will transform the contents of the stash into an ephemeral work of art.

Date: October 29 - 31, 04
Location: Various locations in Toronto TBA (check blog for updates)
Presented by Year01
Artist Talk and Panel Discussion at YYZ Artists Outlet - date TBA

Participating Artists

Jason Van Horne & Duncan Walker (City Beautification Ensemble)
Shawn Micallef & Gabe Sawhney ([murmur])
Slavica Ceperkovic (digitalexhaust)
Paola Poletto & Jon Sasaki
(Paola @ Kiss Machine / Jon @ Instant Coffee)
Willy le Maitre (w----e.net)

Curators

Michael Alstad & Michelle Kasprzak

Bios

Shawn Micallef is a freelance writer who has an enthusiastic interest in the intersection of urbanism, politics, and theory and has written articles for the Globe and Mail, Eye Weekly, and numerous other publications. Shawn is a founding member of [murmur], a location-based storytelling project that completed installations in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal in 2003-4. Shawn and his partners developed [murmur] while residents at Habitat, the Canadian Film Centre’s new media lab. One of the primary ambitions of the [murmur] team was to apply the interactivity of new media to the urban environment and the daily lives of citizens. Shawn has presented the practical and theoretical aspects of the project in lectures and media interviews across North America and Europe.

Driven by a keen interest in psychogeography, Shawn leads weekly walks in Toronto, exploring and drifting through various parts of the city with the Toronto Psychogeography Society (psychogeography.ca). Shawn writes the Flâneur column and is a contributing editor at Spacing Magazine (spacing.ca), a Toronto-based publication that investigates public space issues. Participating in a range of art projects continues this exploration of space, and the ways in which artists and the public can together use civic gatherings for their own expression.

Shawn is currently working with the [murmur] team producing the installation of the project in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. His future research and project commitments will further develop ideas on urban space, locative media, and citizen participation.

Gabe Sawhney is a hacker working at the edges of code and culture. Gabe co-created the concept for [murmur] while in residence at Habitat, the Canadian Film Centre's New Media Lab. As Technical Director of [murmur], he developed the platform, tools and infrastructure for the project. With an academic background in architecture, film and semiotics, Gabe balances an understanding of technology with a passionate interest in visual design, usability and information architecture.

Slavica Ceperkovic Originally from Toronto, Slavica received her BFA in New Media Studies from Ryerson University in 2000. After moving to France for two years to further her research and practice at Le Fresnoy, The National Studio of Contemporary Art, Slavica moved back to Canada for a visiting artist faculty position at the Alberta College of Art and Design in their Media Art Digital Technologies Department.

Her interactive installation and video work has been exhibited throughout East and Western Europe, UK, Canada, The United States and most recently in South America. Slavica has recently accepted a position at the Banff Centre for the Arts as the Co-production coordinator in the the Banff New Media Institute.

Jason Van Horne and Duncan Walker are members of the City Beautification Ensemble. The primary goal of the City Beautification Ensemble is the vigorous and continual battle to off-set the ever increasing blight of dullness. The City Beautification Ensemble has presented their work in urban spaces near you, and at Mercer Union, ne plus ultra, Harbourfront Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and other festivals and institutions.

Paola Poletto is a mixed media artist based in Toronto. Recent projects include Girls and Guns, an exhibition curated for the sixth issue of Kiss Machine, a magazine she co-produced between 2000 and 2004, the Inflatable Museum, an online exhibit at www.kissmachine.org, and digifest, produced by Design Exchange from 2002 to present.

Jon Sasaki
is a Toronto-based artist who can't seem to commit to any one fixed strategy of art-making, instead preferring to prioritize some form of collaboration. Working with an ever-changing roster of culture producers allows him to shift among audiences, media, methodologies, and thus is well suited to his short attention span. He is a member of Instant Coffee, works at Mercer Union, and is a co-founder of the Toronto Cutters Cycling Society.

Willy Le Maitre
works are primarily video based. Treating video as a live medium, it has served as a pivot point in collaborations between himself, musicians, writers and other visual artists. For a number of years he has suited work for the internet; most notably with The Appearance Machine, an autonomous system that generates media assets and content streams from the reannimation of consumer refuse and distributes its live results to logged galleries. Lately his efforts come under the rubric of 'Playlist', a streaming multi-threaded media work whose structure is visualized as a
navigable 3d environment.

He has received several grants and awards including 2nd prize and the Public Choice Award at LIFE 3.0 competition for artificial life artworks in Madrid and The Telefilm Canada prize at Images Festival of Independent Film, 2000, Toronto, for best film or video at festival.

A web site with descriptions and photos of works made with his principle collaborator, Eric Rosenzveig is accessible at : http://www.w----e.net

Michelle Kasprzak
is an award-winning artist, writer and lecturer. She is currently an M.A. candidate in the École des Arts Visuels et Médiatiques at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Her study of performance art and technology at the Master's level is complimented by her concurrent teaching career and independent research. As adjunct faculty for the Canadian Film Centre's new media programmes, she designs and delivers curriculum that addresses the most recent creative applications of new technologies. Michelle is also currently a member of the Mobile Digital Commons Network, a cross-disciplinary research group funded by Heritage Canada for the purpose of investigating the transformation of public space through the development and deployment of location-specific content.

Since winning the InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre Emerging Electronic Artist award in her early career, Michelle has proceeded to exhibit her work and present performances across North America and Europe. She has been featured in numerous publications and on radio and television broadcasts syndicated worldwide.

She blogs here, and maintains her web headquarters here.

Michael Alstad is a Toronto based artist and curator working in installation and digital media. He is a founding member of the Canadian artist collectives Year Zero One and Symbiosis. Michael has co-ordinated several site-specific projects in Toronto including The Clinic(95), The Bank of Symbiosis(97), The Hoarding Project(98) the Transmedia video billboard exhibitions(00, 02) and Teletaxi (03). His web/video works have been included in many international media arts festivals and on-line exhibitions.