Tim Fite’s iBeenHACKED Project Shows How You Can Work Locally With A Global Reach
Tim Fite is an interesting multimedia artist whose work involves a lot of performance elements including songwriting and music videos as well as performance art and teaching. His current project, iBeenHACKED, uses humor to critique digital culture in a variety of ways including the release of an album on October 7. Fite's work struck me as particularly worth considering for its model of working locally while being able to attain a global reach with specific products.
Tim Fite is an interesting character. He brings a lot of humor to his work with crosses genres though it seems to be organized around album releases.
Wikipedia has a nice description of the project which, along with Fite's activities to date, should give one a sense of how Fite's working in between the music industry and the art world:
"In 2014, Tim parted ways with ANTI records and took a more direct approach to distributing his work, by launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund his next album called IBEENHACKED. His ambitious goal was to create not only an album but a 'unified body of artwork surrounding the theme of an album' that would become a 'multi-media exploration of how digital living, digital dependance, and digital thinking effect our everyday lives in terms of productivity, creativity, privacy, and self-realization.'"
The iBeenHacked Kickstarter gives one a more complete overview of the project:
iBeenHacked : a tim fite project
An important part of iBeenHacked, in addition to the successful Kickstarter campaign itself, was the creation of The PHONEY!, a smart phone "surrogate" designed to help one break free of "smartphone dependence." Fite created this during a residency at the Chicago Glass Collective.
The residency included workshops:
"With the help of Beam Center Students, Tim will transform Beam Center's WindowShop into a giant cellphone (complete with live feed video capabilities). During the day, the phone-window will provide digital and analog passersby with a view into my studio practice, and at night it will be a proscenium for performance and video."
Along the way Tim Fite has been releasing videos on his YouTube channel which gives one a sense of the overall project as he builds to the album release.
Working Locally With A Global Reach
You'll note that most of the videos have very limited views while the music video for a single from the album done in collaboration with Bonaparte, "Me So Selfie," has over 50,000.
If you check Google for me so selfie you can see it got decent coverage partly because of Bonaparte's involvement.
So you have this interesting combination of local and global that's happening both on and offline with iBeenHACKED.
The art world activities happen in local residencies for relatively limited audiences yet take place in major cities (Chicago, New York) with a powerful media reach where a local project can sometimes receive international media attention.
That dynamic is almost clearer in the videos. Most are focused on the art activity that took place at BEAM or are project-related creative videos. They have limited views. One is the "Me So Selfie" video which has over 50,000 and got web media coverage that extended its reach.
So there's a rich mix of local activity out of which products emerge that can have a more global existence.
Traditionally moving to the big city was a way to achieve that mix. Though the web certainly hasn't replaced the value of location, ask anybody in Silicon Valley, it is expanding what it means to work both locally and globally as Tim Fite illustrates.
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