The Upgrade! Vancouver

Kate Armstrong and Michael Tippett launched their new net art collaboration Grafik Dynamo, a 2004-2005 commission for Turbulence.

Grafik Dynamo is a net art work that loads live images from blogs and news sources on the web into a live action comic strip. The images are accompanied by narrative fragments that are dynamically loaded into speech and thought bubbles and randomly displayed. Animating the comic strip using dynamic web content opens up the genre in a new way: Together, the images and narrative serve to create a strange, dislocated notion of sense and expectation in the reader, as they are sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes perfectly in sync, and always moving and changing. The work takes an experimental approach to open ended narrative, positing a new hybrid between the flow of data animating the work and the formal parameter that comprises its structure.

Kate Armstrong is a new media artist and writer who has lived and worked in Canada, France, Japan, Scotland, and the United States. Her work focuses on the creation of experimental narrative forms, particularly works in which poetics are inserted within the functional framework of computer programs, and performative pieces in which computer functionality is merged with physical space. She has worked with a variety of forms including short films, theatre, essays, net art, performative network events, psychogeography and installation.

Armstrong was artist in residence at the Techlab at the Surrey Art Gallery and received a New Media Production Grant from the Canada Council in 2003. She is a recipient of a 2004-2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., for Turbulence, which was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally. Armstrong curates Upgrade 2.0 at the Western Front in conjunction with Upgrade in New York, and runs the media arts organization Special Airplane. She has written for P.S 1/MoMA, the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, TrAce, Year Zero One, and The Thing, as well as for catalogue publications. Her first book, Crisis & Repetition: Essays on Art and Culture, was published in 2002.

Michael Tippett has a decade of experience creating and managing technology businesses. With expertise in design, namespace, distributed & mobile media and wireless technology, Tippett’s media background is in pioneering new forms of networked content. His newest venture,, uses emerging technologies like camera phones, digital cameras, blogging tools and RSS standards to change the way news is created and distributed. lets people build their own news. Bloggers can use their blogs to automatically dispatch photographers to the site of a news story anywhere in the world. At the same time, photographers can distribute, manage and sell their media. News readers can see what members are reporting on and see how this is reflected elsewhere on the web and in the media. Content that passes through NowPublic is systematically organized and accessible into multiple and specific RSS feeds and is fed back into the blogosphere. NowPublic can be thought of as reality news – providing a hub for citizen reporting and for viewing world events though the prism of an alternate, distributed, real time media.