Turbulence | ShiftSpace Commission: “Yeas and Nays” by Christian Croft

Turbulence | ShiftSpace Commission: “Yeas and Nays” by Christian Croft

“Yeas and Nays” is a browser plug-in that transforms any webpage into a means for contacting Congressional representatives. It is the latest functionality added to Shiftspace.org, an application that provides an open source layer above any website.

“Yeas and Nays” is a powerful tool that translates knowledge into action. By invoking the “Yeas and Nays” interface — which calls elected representatives — readers can respond immediately to the issues they care about. Their phone calls are recorded so that others can learn to articulate their views effectively.

“Yeas and Nays” was awarded first place in the “The ShiftSpace Commissions Program” (http://turbulence.org/works/shiftspace), a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

ShiftSpace provides a new public space on the web. By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions — which are called “Shifts”. Users can choose between several authoring tools — called “Spaces” — that allow web users to annotate, modify and shift the content of a page and through ShiftSpace, share that shift with the rest of the web. “Trails” are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails might be used as a platform for collaborative research, for curating net art exhibitions, or as a way to facilitate a context-based public debate.


As an artist in an age of exponential information growth, CHRISTIAN CROFT’S work harnesses public data flows, filtering their contents to reveal changes in how people communicate. His work translates information trails into new and often contrary spaces to highlight the sociological influence of new technologies. Croft’s production methods include web programming, DIY electronics, rapid prototyping machinery, and telephone system networking. His work has been shown at The Kitchen Summer Institute, Centre Pompidou, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Rhizome Artbase, EYEBEAM Upgrade!, SIGGRAPH 2007, and Conflux 2007.