Renate Ferro is an artist working in emerging technology and culture. She is co-moderator for the list serve -EMPYRE-soft-skinned space <http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/> and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Art at Cornell University. Additionally, she directs the Tinker Lab, a creative research lab for research design, creativity, and interdisciplinary technology http://www.tinkerfactory.net
She is currently launching a new project entitled "Suspicious Packages." She is collecting narratives from anyone who would be willing to record their experiences whereby they or their belongings were under suspicion. She is particularly interesed in accounts that took place at a border site. That border can be defined as either actual or conceptual.
In a new project, Suspicious Packages, Renate begins to lay the groundwork for another archive, a collection of audio narratives. As participants recount situations where personal space or belongings have been under suspicion, the territories between the private and public again become blurred. Difficult to demarcate a border or marker that divides or separates, often times suspicion takes on a contested imaginary. As the project spans both the real and virtual spaces of exhibition, the object relations of packages of all shapes and sizes will trigger digital events via sensors that will illicit channels of video feedback in real time intermixed with archival footage, animation, still images, and sound.
In the real spaces of emergency preparedness as Renate and Tim left New York one day after the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Mayor Bloomberg in a televised press conference urged all citizens to be wary of suspicious packages. In the very early stages of researching the project, Renate took note of the virtual links online to both the Centers for Disease and Prevention and ready.gov the place to get up to date information on emergency preparedness. The relationship of information on the virtual site and the urgency to manage the panic of an event in real space and time were sources of reflection for the relationship between an artistic archive online and the manifest of that in a real time exhibition space.