The Third Faction Collective is an affiliation of geographically dispersed entities with a collective interest in exposing binary systems in synthetic environments via in-world performances. The collective operates simultaneously across various platforms including World of Warcraft and Second Life. Third Faction members question the politics, allegiances, and narrative conventions of Synthetic Worlds.
Michael Amundsen is a student at San Jose State University (SJSU), studying Digital Media Arts as well as Cultural Anthropology. Coming from a background in student leadership, Michael has extensive experience in interacting with various communities on a local, national, and international levels. In his academic endeavors, Amundsen spends his time looking at ways of use art to provide commentary on the culture that it is presented in. It is through this commentary that he encourages people to partake in dialogue to regain ownership over the actions they take on a day to day bases. Outside of his art, he is an avert gamer that has engaged in social gaming for the past 6 years. He has experienced games from a variety of perspectives in both a casual and hardcore nature. Michael is a nationally recognized recipient of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in which he implementing the Youth Service Initiative Program at his local high school in California, Bay Area. As a part of the Third Faction’s Demand Player Sovereignty (DPS) project, Amundsen aims to explore ways that art can interact within a global community and potentially change social behaviors.
Thomas Asmuth is an artist working from the southern United States. His work centers around the culture and aesthetics of science/technology, social practices, and performance. His other current projects include autonomous robotics, an exploration of the identity of the ‘Space Race’ generation through portraits and imaging, and a project in tactical media/wearable computing. He is an alumnus of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media and the San Francisco Art Institute. Asmuth’s work and collaborations have been exhibited internationally including: 01SJ (‘06 and ‘08), Laguna Art Museum, the Tang Teaching Museum, and the Sixth Annual International Streaming Festival. Asmuth is appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor and is a principle in the development of the digital media curriculum at the University of West Florida. Asmuth has a second workshop project also curated for ISEA2011, Touchstone. Touchstone is a tactical media platform using audio emitters embedded in gloves for actors and activists.
The impact of Mez's unique codewurks [constructed via her pioneering net.language "mezangelle"] has been equated with the work of Shakespeare, James Joyce, Emily Dickinson, and Larry Wall. Mez has exhibited extensively since the early 90s [eg Wollongong World Women Online 1995, ISEA Chicago + ARS Electronica 1997, The Metropolitan Museum Tokyo 1999, SIGGRAPH 1999 & 2000, _Under_Score_ @The Brooklyn Academy of Music 2001, +playengines+ Melbourne Australia 2003, p0es1s Berlin 2004, Dissention Convention @Postmaster Gallery New York 2004, Arte Nuevo InteractivA Mexico 2005, Radical Software @Turin Italy 2006, DIWO @ the HTTP Gallery London 2007, New Media Scotland 2008, the Laguna Art Museum California and Alternator Gallery Canada 2009, Federation Square Melbourne 2010 and Transmediale Berlin 2011].
Her awards include the 2001 VIF Prize [Germany], the JavaMuseum Artist Of The Year 2001 [Germany], 2002 Newcastle New Media Poetry Prize [Australia], winner of the 2006 Site Specific Index Page Competition [Italy] and Burton Wonderland Gallery Winner 2010 [judged by Tim Burton, Australia]. Mez was a Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2011 nominee for her article set '_Social Tesseracting_' and is the Executive Editor of the "_Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1_" project, a Synthetic Ecology Strategist, Consultant and Game Theorist.
John Pierre Bruneau is an internationally exhibiting new media artist based in the Silicon Valley. He holds a program associate position at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching which allows him to further his research into educational technology and serious games. He is a part-time Lecturer at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco where he teaches classes in web programming and game design. Bruneau is the cofounder of Ars Virtua, The Third Faction, and the San Jose State Game Developers Club. He has an MFA in Digital Media from the CADRE (Computers, Art, Design, Research, and Education) Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego in ICAM (Inter-disciplinary Computing in the Arts Major). Primarily working in games as a medium, his projects range from interactive installation pieces, to online game development, to performance art in virtual worlds. He has been actively producing and exhibiting work for over a decade and has shown in ISEA 2006, 01SJ, The Streaming Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum and more. His goal is to find new, innovative ways to reach audiences and improve education though technology. But most importantly, keep learning fun.
Jenene Castle is a New Media Artist currently studying at the CADRE Laboratory in Silicon Valley. Having sparked an interest in sociological work, her artistic approach revolves around the conceptual ideas of what interactivity, mixed reality, performance, and video art can do to create a dialog with the participants. Her recent works, "Trading Voices" presented at the 2010 01SJ Biennial and "/hug" presented at the Laguna Art Museum in 2009 both address the ideas of how social activism can be created and represented through art. Within her academics, Castle serves as the Assistant Editor of SWITCH Journal for New Media, which strives to unite the Art and Technology communities. At ISEA 2011, Jenene is working collaboratively with the Third Faction to present Demand Player Sovereignty (DPS) which aims to pioneer the bridge extending universal human rights in all forms.
Sara Gevurtz is a graduate student at the Cadre Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University pursuing her Masters of Fine Art in Digital Media. She received her undergraduate degree in Evolution, Behavior and Ecology Biology from the University of California, San Diego. During her time at UC San Diego, she also minored in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts and well as Studio Art. Her work explores the junction between art and science. Her current work has been focusing on ecological and environmental issues, especially those that are politically complex. She has shown work to a wide variety of audiences, including showing to scientists at the Climate, Ecosystems and Resources in Eastern California Symposium held in Bishop California in 2008, as well as participating in a collaborative project that was shown at the Zero1 Biennial in 2010. Gevurtz has worked with international recognized artists such as Miguel Palma and Beatriz da Costa. She is also currently the head for the Switch New Media Journal’s Science As Art, B.E.E.S. Department.
James Morgan is an instructor at San Jose State University and co-coordinator of Sculpture and Experimental Media (SxM). Morgan has an MFA in Digital Media Art from the CADRE Laboratory for New Media and has worked as a curator for nearly ten years. Morgan is the director of Ars Virtua, has shown work nationally and internationally and has created projects for 01SJ, ISEA2006, EMAF, Laguna Art Museum and more. His work revolves around social structures, coded culture and virtual environments.
Liz Solo is a cross-disciplinary interventionist working simultaneously as performance artist, writer, machinimator, activist and musician. Liz is a member of the Black Bag Media Collective and the online collectives The Second Front Performance Art Collective, The Third Faction and the The Avatar Orchestra Metaverse. She is also a member of the working bands The Black Bags and Lizband. She continues to work independently across multiple online platforms investigating virtual embodiment, performance in hybrid space and augmented reality.