James Powderly

James Powderly

Infobox Artist
bgcolour =
name = James Powderly

|James Powderly
imagesize =
caption =
birthname =
birthdate = 1976
location = Chattanooga, Tennessee
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = American
field = Street Art, Robotics, and Internet Art
training = New York University, Interactive Telecommunications Program
movement = geek graffiti
works = L.A.S.E.R. Tag, LED Throwies
patrons =
awards = 2006-2007 Eyebeam OpenLab Senior Fellowship, 2006 Ars Electronica Award of Distinction, 2006, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Off the Record Commission, 2005-2006 Eyebeam OpenLab Fellowship, 2005 Eyebeam Artist in Residence


James Powderly (born 1976) is a technologist and artist who founded Graffiti Research Lab with Evan Roth. James studied music composition at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After college, he received a Masters Degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. James worked at [http://www.honeybeerobotics.com/ Honeybee Robotics] and was part of the team that worked on the Mars Exploration Rovers Rock Abrasion Tool. As the collaborative team [http://robotclothes.com Robot Clothes] , Powderly and wife, artist Michelle Kempner, received an artist residency at Eyebeam for their project, Automated Biography. The project used small robots to tell the "personal story about a sick person and their partner." [cite web
title = Robot Clothes
url = http://www.eyebeam.org/engage/exhibitions.php?id=84&subid=91
accessdate = 2008-01-25

In 2005, James became a Research and Development Fellow at the Eyebeam OpenLab where he began collaborating with Evan Roth. Working as the Graffiti Research Lab, Roth and Powderly develop open source tools for graffiti writers and activists, such as LED Throwies and L.A.S.E.R. Tag. [ cite news
last = Dayal
first = Geeta
title = High-Tech Graffiti: Spray Paint Is So 20th Century
pages =
language = English
publisher = New York Times
date = 2006-06-25
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/arts/design/25daya.html
accessdate = 2008-01-25
] Together they also founded [http://fffff.at FAT (Free Art and Technology) Lab] . James lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, Michelle Kempner, and two cats.


Selected Exhibitions, Screenings and performances include:

* 2008, [http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/#/126/ Museum of Modern Art] , "Design and the Elastic Mind", New York City, New York
* 2007, [http://www.sundance.org/festival/film_events/new_frontier_on_main.asp#Graffiti%20Research%20Lab Sundance Film Festival] , "New Frontiers", Park City, Utah
* 2007, [http://www.dac.tw/daf07/openplay_en/exhibition.html 2nd Digital Arts Festival] , "OpenPlay", Taipei City, Taiwan
* 2007, [http://www.microwavefest.net/festival2007/events/events16.html Microwave Festival] , "Luminous Echo", Hong Kong
* 2007, Ars Electronica, "Second City", Linz, Austria
* 2007, Eyebeam, [http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=84 "Open City"] , New York City, New York
* 2006, Ars Electronica, "Goodbye Privacy", Linz, Austria

Detainment in China

On Tuesday, August 19th, 2008, Powderly was detained and interrogated by Chinese authorities. He was in Beijing to debut the L.A.S.E.R Stencil in a work called “The Green Chinese Lantern”, He intended to project the image on one of the buildings beside Tiananmen Square, without acquiring any kind of permission from the local authority. [cite web
title = Beijing: Artist James Powderly, Detained - Aug. 19, 2008
url = http://freetibet2008.org/globalactions/jamespowderly/
accessdate = 2008-08-20
] [cite web
title = How to get thrown into a Chinese prison
url = http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10027448-38.htm
accessdate = 2008-08-30
] This work was intended to show opposition to the Chinese government's restrictions on free speech and their occupation of Tibet in the face of the 2008 Summer Olympics. [ cite news
last = Jacobs
first = Andrew
title = 5 Americans Are Arrested for Protest in Beijing
pages =
language = English
publisher = New York Times
date = 2008-08-20
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/sports/olympics/20china.html
accessdate = 2008-08-20
] He alleged that he and five other Free Tibet activists were detained by Chinese secret service, and interrogated in a Russian hotel before being taken to Chongwen Detention Center and given 10 days for "disrupting public order," a punishment that is rare for American activists detained in China. [cite web
title = Artist Tells all about Time in Chinese Jail
url = http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/news/artnetnews/artnetnews8-27-08.asp
accessdate = 2008-09-02
] He was released during the closing day of the Olympics, on August 24.

As to whether he was "tortured," during his incarceration, Powderly said:: I think probably, a lot of people might disagree, even some of my other detainees might feel like what they received wasn't torture. And relative to what someone might receive on a daily basis at a place like Gitmo it certainly is not particularly harsh. It's kind of like being a little bit pregnant, we were a little bit tortured. [http://gothamist.com/2008/08/29/james_powderly.php]

External links

*Graffiti Research Lab
* [http://fffff.at Free Art and Technology Lab]
* [http://robotclothes.com/ Robot Clothes project website] "robotclothes.com"
* [http://research.eyebeam.org Eyebeam Openlab]


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