Ptarmigan operated in Tallinn from 2011-2014. We no longer maintain any presence in Tallinn, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced at Ptarmigan during these years.
With the increase in DIY electronics techniques (as information is shared online and participation-based activities, such as the ones we have hosted at Ptarmigan, enable enthusiasts to develop together outside of institutions), the ability to move from the private realm into public space becomes possible. But how can someone use electronics in an expressive, public context? Street art and graffiti most often takes the form of provocative graphic design or tried-and-true genre stereotypes; more elaborate constructions are views as 'public art'. Can there be a space somewhere in-between?
With the cost of electronics constantly falling, it's no longer a crazy idea to invest time and money into something that will end up in a temporary public use. How can "electronics graffiti" build upon a tradition of public intervention (as found in performance art, social practice, relational aesthetics, etc.) in combination with an expressive, production-based art practice?
Australian/UK-based artist Tara Pattenden will lead a 2-day workshop that will bend the idea of public art and electronics. On the first day, she will lead participants through various small projects such as simple noise-making oscillators, LED 'throwies', and similar objects that are inexpensive, easy, and flexible. On Sunday, participants will take to the streets of Tallinn to deploy these objects, documenting where possible, while Ptarmigan remains open for further assistance. Sunday evening, participants will return to present what they have done and discuss their approaches, both technical and philosophical, to the subject.
Tara Pattenden co-founded Ptarmigan in Helsinki, in 2009. She is a visual/media artist whose practice is driven by a working fascination with the excesses of visual culture; that is, with the clutter, framing and generative potential of today’s various electronic communications technologies, broadcast media, advertising design, pop music and film. The interplay of contemporary and traditional ritual in the construction of collective identity is of particular interest to her, as well as the playful manipulation of each process and media’s operational limits. She is one-half of noise duo Kunt and currently resides in Bristol, England. http://www.schmelfhelp.co.uk/