Artifact Institute / Institut de l’artéfact (Tim Dallett and Adam Kelly, co-founders)
Investigation 1: Electronic equipment discarded by arts and cultural organizations in the Halifax Regional Municipality / Enquête 1 : Équipement électronique rejeté par des organismes artistiques et culturels de la communauté urbaine de Halifax

This bilingual publication consists of the process flowchart for the ongoing project Investigation 1: Electronic equipment discarded by arts and cultural organizations in the Halifax Regional Municipality / Enquête 1 : Équipement électronique rejeté par des organismes artistiques et culturels de la communauté urbaine de Halifax, initiated in 2009. Investigation 1 is a long-term, process-based project involving the systematic study of over 1000 pieces of electronic equipment discarded between 2004 and 2009 by fifteen organizations. These artifacts were acquired by the Artifact Institute for study through a structured sequence of processing activities. A flowchart illustrates the processing activity comprising Investigation 1. The flowchart is structured into three levels, and consists of 25 individual sections. The flowchart is accompanied by a booklet of symbol legends and detailed process descriptions. The flowchart is both a conceptual model of a real-time system and a literal set of instructions for human activity. These instructions are rigorously followed by Artifact Institute personnel in processing each artifact. Investigation 1 engages the material, historical, and institutional contexts of audio, video, and digital media practices; applies computational principles and algorithmic thinking to the design of a real-time processing methodology; and involves testing, troubleshooting, servicing, repairing, refurbishing, and disassembling electronic equipment. The project explores critical perspectives on technological change to promote dialogue between media arts practitioners and the public at large about the social and environmental dimensions of media technology.

Published by The Artifact Institute / l’Institut de l’artéfact
flowchart: 11×17, 50pp; booklet: 4×11 inches, 24 pp, black and white laser, spiral-bound flowchart and saddle-stitched booklet, 2011
Open edition
Distributed free of charge at public presentations by the Artifact Institute.

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Tim Dallett is an artist, project manager, and arts facility consultant. He studied art history at the University of Toronto and architecture at Carleton University before receiving an MFA in Fine and Media Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Dallett has worked individually and collaboratively as a media artist since 1994, presenting installations and site-specific performances at festivals and artist-run centres in Canada and in Finland. In parallel with his artistic practice, he has worked as a manager, artistic director, curator, writer, publication editor, and technician for non-profit arts organizations across Canada. His work with collectives and artist-run centres has concentrated on building capacity for media arts production and presentation, particularly in regional contexts. In his consulting practice, Dallett supports arts organizations undertaking construction projects. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Adam Kelly is an artist, technician, programmer, educator, and community activist. He received a BFA from NSCAD and an electronics technician diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College. Kelly was involved with the Halifax chapter of Food Not Bombs for close to a decade. He was a founding member of the Halifax Scavenger Society, a loosely knit group engaged in various activities surrounding the practice of urban scavenging. He also introduced and developed the Electronics Lab at the Centre for Art Tapes, the first free and open space in Halifax for people to learn about electronics and work on electronics-based projects. Kelly is currently the broadcast technician for CKDU-FM, Dalhousie University’s campus and community radio station, and an instructor at NSCAD in electronics, mechanics, and programming. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Artifact Institute / l’Institut de l’artéfact was founded in 2007 by Tim Dallett and Adam Kelly to study and intervene in the processes by which artifacts undergo changes in use, value, and meaning. The Artifact Institute uses artistic, institutional, and activist methods and practices to address the relationship of human-made objects and organizational structures to their aesthetic, technical, and social contexts. The Artifact Institute conducts research, collects artifacts, provides services, gives workshops, presents exhibitions, and produces publications. These activities are positioned in a hybrid space between contemporary art, technological practice, and critical inquiry to create multiple points of access and engagement.

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