The Jackal Project

Part public studio, part performance, the Jackals were conceived before “making” was a movement. A multi-city, multi-year touring project that involving public hacking of toys, networks and ideas. The Jackals were tech evangelists for the voiding of warranties. As a team, they dressed in white jumpsuits and handmade masks, descending on upon various locations for limited engagements of environmental reconstruction.

WTTW 11 Chicago: Artbeat Coverage of the Jackal Project at MCA Chicago Version 2.0 Festival

The Jackals are Tangentlab:
Andrew Sempere, Mary Lucking, Dima Strakovsky, Ben Chang, Silvia Ruzanka

With: Anne Bell, Bill Setheras, Chris Sorg, Roger Ruzanka and Ranjit Bhatnagar

Mar 2001 – Chicago, IL – Equinox Festival @ MCA
April 2002 – Chicago, IL – MCA Version 2.0 Festival
July 2002 – San Anotonio, TX – Siggraph 2002
April 2003 – Boston, MA – Boston Cyberarts

Artist’s Statement for SIGGRAPH 2002:
In the grey space between utopia and dystopia we who are jackals live on the edges. Opportunistic omnivores who are, unavoidably, circling your city! There have always been jackals, there always will be jackals. We are the ones who put your tech to use, the ones who recycle the glut and make it useful in aesthetic glory. The technology is neither servant nor master, but merely our raw material, to gnaw, rework, shape and build.

Stealing as appropriation is appropriate to this venue. The building is the making is the thinking is the reason. Invited or not, we will be watching, thinking, reshaping. The making of art is the making of the future from the past. Moore’s law doubles the power of the past yearly, making the present at least half as strong as it will be. The building of our work is the process by which we internalize your world and construct our own. Websites, plasma displays, high modernism, biotech, abstract expressionism, history, postmodernism, mechanical engineering, physics, philosophy, IP protocols, circuit boards and solder are all dropped into a blender with a bit of irony. The resulting concoction we call art and technology, the horrible crossbreeding of the best and worst of our thinking.

Scientists have combined spinach and pigs, painters have reworked painting as photo as handmaiden of science as art object as commodity into market. And we who are neither do neither and both and render your commodities useless as market art objects, even evolving something of our own.

The Jackals will live on the outskirts of metropolis, watching, collecting, repurposing what they can to construct a new reality of techno-art. We will arrive with only enough supplies to survive. The nature of the work depends on what we can scavenge. We invite all participants of the conference to watch, or better yet, participate in our work.

BBC: News In pictures: Hi-tech art attack
8/14/2002: Coverage of the Jackal Project at Siggraph 2002 [link to website]

BBCi: Go Digital Radio/Webcast
8/5/02: Coverage of the Jackal Project at Siggraph 2002 (and we don’t have their laptop… urm… *chomp*…. nopenope)

Wired: Interact With Art at Siggraph
6/27/02: Coverage of the Jackal Project at Siggraph 2002 [link to website]