THE FUTURE AS A DERIVATIVE TECHNOLOGY AT PRESENT
A few notes on risk, future and present in and beyond our derivative condition from an artistic perspective
As an artist and researcher I have been examining finance as information capitalism’s most powerful tool to produce future possibilities for nearly twenty years. Financial markets are constructed around mathematics, physics, communication networks, computer technology, legal contracts and economic theory and are to a large degree self-controlling and self-regulating. In essence, this social sphere renders qualitative value(s) quantifiable as price at increasingly lower latency. The subtle – and sometimes complex – tools deployed can be described as surgical knifes wielded to cut disrete areas of risk organs into the ephemeral flesh of the uncertain. Finance is less about insuring or reducing but about producing risk, as anticipation of contingent opportunities is constantly evaluated by a probabilistic recalibration of risk options in a future-at-present. If, however, derivatives are a “technology of the future” not exclusive of capitalism, as the financial engineer and philosopher Elie Ayache claims, can we then reformulate the derivative paradigm as an intelligent network of interdependent human and non-human relations and utilize it to unlock the encosures of capital? How art reads, activates and supports this process is a core interests of my practice.
Art and the Survival of Extreme Environmental Conditions
Biotechnology since the middle of the twentieth century. In the lecture discussed will be some recent artistic interventions into the striving of humanity to survive the threatening environmental conditions. Maja Smrekar has created genetically transformed micro organism MaSm Saccharomyces cervisiae (2011) with adding her enzyme to the yeast and has thus contributed a practical solution to facing with global food deficit. Within K-9_topology: ECCE CANIS she is planning to cross-breed human and dog species. Robertina Šebjanič and Špela Petrič have developed Humalga (2012–), a hybrid species between human and algae, which assures better survival conditions in the unpredictable scenarios for the human species. Andy Gracie (Drosophila Titanus, 2011) breeds fruit flies in order to genetically modify them to survive on Titan, which is considered to host an environment rather similar to Earth. The discussed projects challenge the issue of anthropocentrism, as well as some related issues, such as genetic manipulation of organisms to survive extreme environmental conditions, hybridization of species, cannibalism as means of survival tactics, etc.
Ma(i)cro Visions: Utilizing Social Network Service data for a transformational process of urban social spaces
Geo-tagged posts not only trace human existence, but also enable mapping human perception since the tagged locations are places where experiences took place that people want to share and remember. This research contemplates the role of big data and visualization as an informative tool for social space making through a series of spatial analysis on the psychological geography of geo-tagged Instagram posts in Boston. Visualizing the distribution of geo-tagged posts draws a net of places around the city, which is distinctive from quantitative social space readings, measuring the physical accessibility to parks and landmarks. With this new layer of human perception of the city, the research attempts to understand the relationship between the distribution of geo-tagged places, the demographic characteristic, and the built form of each places. The research maps each type of data and overlaps them to understand what conditions form both agglomerations and social space deserts in different neighborhoods of the city. The study demonstrates that the density of geo-tagged places has an accelerating rate of decrease along a logarithmic curve as the neighborhood becomes more vulnerable. Also, posts in private space or commercial space increases as vulnerability increases, with an increasing mismatch between public institutions and open spaces and actual venues of psychological recognition. The result concludes that traditional city reading looses the accuracy the more vulnerable the population becomes, and emphasizes the possibilities of social network data visualization as a tool for more responsive and localized social space making actions.
The basic idea that drives most of my research is that our current visual language of typography, that represents our communication in a visual form, is in many cases not sufficient when it comes to problems of ordered complexity. Therefore, we need new forms to understand such complex systems. One path to understand ordered complexity is the language of data mapped onto visual forms also known as information visualization.
Earth System Aesthetics
The news has been delivered. We now understand with near certainty that human induced climate change generated by industrial economies worldwide is at odds with the physical systems of the planet. The future for human civilization and countless non-human species is at risk. Shocks such as the credit crunch, infectious diseases, climate instability, and ecological collapse are converging. Despite the rush of information, we have so far failed to take collective action of a meaningful kind. Solutions that are advance, rarely, if ever, address these seemingly intractable issues systemically. We are fast approaching an era of rolling crisis. Alternative systems, including political, economic, legal, and social ways of organizing need to be articulated. In order for this to happen in a meaningful way, a new philosophical foundation must be forged. New paradigms, stories of ‘being’, and ecological worldviews need to be articulated. An emerging systems view of life is at the forefront of such attempts. A systems view of life recognizes that humans are a part of a larger bio-community, a vast planetary network of beings interlinked in space and time. Based on a principles approach (principlism), Earth system ethics (ESE) is proposed as a unifying foundational discipline to systematically inquire and respond to the environmental crisis from a uniquely non-anthropocentric (systems) approach. Based on a fundamentally non-anthropocentric worldview, ESE promotes reflection and inquiry into human potential, and (re)emergence as creative, citizen humans (cf reductionist rational agents) nested in ecological systems of our home planet, Earth.
Suspended Disbelief. Gerald van der Kaap’s Hover Hover (1991)
By the 1990s many artists were exploring the possibilities and limitations provided by digital and computer imaging, and addressing the problems of authenticity presented by the virtual realm. In 1991, Gerald van der Kaap (b. Enschede, 1959) presented the first exhibition of digitally manipulated photography at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Entitled Hover Hover (1991, Hripsimé Visser), the exhibition incorporated compelling photographs, some of which featured the very same galleries in which they were hung in most implausible scenarios – fully submerged under water or with a sparkly jumpsuit-clad woman levitating above the gallery floor. A catalogue, produced by the artist, further serves to create an unsettling disjuncture between the computer-manipulated gallery images and the ‘real’ exhibition. Labeled as ‘installation views’ it is unclear to the reader whether the images are records of a spectacular installation, or whether they were themselves the content of the exhibition, framed and hung on the gallery walls.
This paper will reflect on how Hover Hover questions the fixed status of the exhibition. It will address both the mediality of the project and its context as an institutionally sanctioned, curated show. Further, Hover Hover will be productively considered alongside another project that occurred in the Stedelijk in the very same year. MARBLEPUBLIC, the retrospective exhibition of the artist duo Fortuyn O’Brien, featured computer-rendered images of the same gallery spaces included in Van der Kaap’s photographs. Both projects reflect upon the physical space of the museum by using emergent media to image the museum’s galleries. Are these practices merely experimenting with new media? Or can this mediation of institutional space be read as a self-reflexive critique of the highly mediated position of art in the early 1990s?
Laura BELOFF. What Flies Got To Do With It?
What kind is ecology that is a merger of artificial and biological things, and which is based on relations and interactions between living and lifelike non-living organisms and their environment? The origins of artifacts and biological organisms are typically considered radically different. Humans have divided things into artifacts made by humans and into things that are emerging (e.g. from nature.)
“The Fly Printer; Prototype n:o 3 is a printing apparatus in a form of glass sphere that contains a flock of fruit flies. The flies eat special food mixed with laser jet printer inks that is prepared for them. The food gets digested and the flies print different color dots onto the paper that is under the glass sphere. The standardization of images, paper and inks in contemporary societies produces a certain way of seeing. Similar thinking is duplicated in the standardization of biological research through epistemic artifacts such as model organisms, such as the fruit fly” (Beloff & Valerio Gonzales 2014).
There exist various theories that investigate the principles of biological evolution in technological artifacts and their design development (Brey 2008). However these theories do not reflect the recent developments in biotechnology and life sciences, which have enabled the appearance of design approaches to biological living matter. This paper investigates the merger of technological components and living components from artistic perspective.
Data Bending: Aesthetics, Code and Photography
Data, coding and software permeates our lives nowadays. Understanding their core – how they work, how they are constructed and how to interfere on them – is one of the concerns drawn by artists doing data bending. Similar to circuit bending that focus on musical instruments and toys to produce sound, data bending also experiment with the data to produce artwork. In this paper I propose to present some of the visual results of these experiments, the artistic process and results of tweaking with data, especially focusing on glitch images. Glitch art here is examined as process art. Similar to photography, this artwork is based on trigger and select. Thus, should we see glitch image as photography? Or as code? Or as error? Is the process of creating the image part of it? This paper aims to discuss these questions through software studies, contemporary art practices and photography theory.
Affective Embodiments of Subjectivities: the Auto-Affection of the Lived Body and the Affection-Images in Media Arts
In the last few decades, the concept of affect has played important roles in theoretical studies of politics and image-based media. Firstly, in political theories, researchers argue that affect holds a key to rethinking postmodern power after ideology. Secondly, in phenomenology, philosophers assert that affect is the capacity of affectivity of the flesh. The third discourse of affect is the affective embodiments by the work of art in image-based media. Deleuze, following Bergson, argues that there is a subjectivity that suspends individuation and motivated by the intensities. In this domain, affect is the entity that attains as the image of magnified face in media arts. This article aims to investigates the contexts of affective embodiments and purposes that the shift of affects in theoretical frameworks is result from the plural affective embodiments in multiple subjectivities. The concept of affects is firstly embodied by the phenomenological flesh and secondly detached from the individual to act as the entity.
The COLLIDER project as a Model of “Post-Media Art” Combined Science, Public Space, History and New Technologies to Rethink Worldwide Changes
The Collider project works with space-time, space, science, urbanism and history. Collider examines the iconic places in different urban landscapes of C20-21 political history. The Large Hadron Collider could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backwards in time. In the project, time is presented by projected video that consists of 24-60 fragments of moving image, which are revolved with acceleration in an artistic collider, activating a mechanism of audio-visual jumps where certain fragments can gradually be substituted by archival videos.
Collider is a panoramic presentation of some of the world’s most perilous political flashpoints: Sarajevo, Dallas, Moscow and Kiev. By brining Ukrainian events into this common language, project deliberately resets the global understanding of Ukrainian local, as the world-historic turning points. In the project a fragmented representation of a time and space makes reference to the quantum theory. Under experimental conditions, colliders research quantum particles collision to generate strange matter, anti-matter, art collider researches human being collisions and energy outcome. These are not metaphors; these are physical explanations. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari insist that their work not be taken metaphorically – that it is variously practical, instructional, imperative. Nietzsche in his Gay Science famously proclaimed: “Long live physics!” – constantly reminding us that the physical world is all we have and our ethics are grounded in this one and only world. In January 2007, the Atomic Scientists moved the perilous hand of The Doomsday Clock from its originary 1947 setting of seven minutes to midnight, to just five, reflecting the twin threats of nuclear destruction and failure to act on climate change.
The Collider project, working with the events that have formed the world in which we live now, raises the question: is a person a particle in the system of accelerators of global forces, or the energy of interaction investigating new values, new forms of thought and new ways of existence in the world – insisting that another world is possible?
Artists Merging the Biological and the Digital
Digital Biological Converter device that enables biological teleportation. Shakespeare’s sonnets stored in DNA. Mini 3D printed organs that mimic beating heart and liver. In laboratories across the world, scientists and corporations are not only manipulating life, they are also combining together the digital and the biological, two worlds that had long appeared to be inherently independent from each other.
Eager to offer an alternative and more critical view on this new merging of the artificial and the organic, or simply curious to explore the possibilities offered by new practices, today’s artists, designers, hackers and activists are also investigating the porosity of fields we used to dissociate from each other.
The presentation will look at some of the most critical and thought-provoking artworks that question and comment on the latest advances in life science and technology. It will open in 1739 when inventor Jacques de Vaucanson showed to the bewildered crowds his Canard digérateur (Digesting Duck), an automaton which, he claimed, was capable of eating, digesting and defecating grains. The talk will then fast forward to today’s society in which the alliance of biological and artificial life gives rise to new forms of surveillance, profiling, man-made ecological disasters and of course new forms of creativity.
Microbe-philia: Art Practices that Explore our Relationships with Microbial Symbionts
Since the discovery by Pasteur of microbes they have been seen as enemies to humans. Medical Microbiology has concentrated on the study of the 0.1% of microbes that are medically important, microbes that were detrimental to our health, rather than those that were essential for our health.
This has skewed our relationship as our skin and guts contain multitudes of bacteria that co-exist with us. This leads to the idea that a human without bacteria is a sick human indeed. It was recognised early that cows got help from bacteria in their stomachs and that humans can get some of their vitamins from bacteria in their guts, but this was just the start.
After the sequencing of the human genome, science has moved beyond merely the DNA of the host (human) organism, to other levels of regulation and other -omics (metagenomics). Early discoveries are starting to unpick the deep relationships between us humans and our bacterial symbionts.
At the same time Microbes are becoming industrial workhorses, spitting out everything from recombinant insulin to enzymes that end up in washing products.
A second wave of fermentations has started, an explosion in microbrewing and artists are in the middle of it, looking at our outer and inner microbes. Who, what and why are some of the questions to explore in this paper.
Daniela DE PAULIS
COGITO: Neuroscience and Radio Astronomy in Art
First presented as part of my artist talk at ‘Kosmica’ in Mexico City in 2013 and in several other art and science events, ‘Cogito’ (short title for ‘I doubt therefore I think, I think therefore I am’) is an art project speculating on the creative and philosophical possibilities of exploring the cosmos by means of radio waves.
The project has been first shown as part of the 50th Design Biennale in Ljubljana on the 18 September 2014. During the opening day of the Biennale, I recorded the brain waves of the visitors and then transmitted the data into space from the Dwingeloo radio telescope in The Netherlands on the 29 November 2014. The brain waves, recorded by a brain lab as EEG signals and converted into sounds, were transmitted first in the direction of Titan, then into outer space for sixty minutes, covering a large portion of the sky dome. The brain waves transmission was presented as part of a live performance streamed on the web. A recording of this performance can be viewed on:
The title of the piece is inspired by Cartesian philosophy and aims at linking the project to the ongoing debate on consciousness, of which René Descartes was an important figure for his mind-body dualistic vision, which greatly influenced the development of modern Western philosophy. Recent experiments in quantum physics seem to suggest extraordinary links between the matter of the mind and that of the cosmos, raising profound questions on the nature of consciousness and perception. Sending thoughts into outer space is thus a symbolic action for shifting our consciousness from the earth-centred perspective, to the cosmos-wide perspective, while questioning the mathematical notion of intelligence, as conceived by some relevant SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) researchers.
Thinking is more than logical reasoning and can communicate much more about our nature to a potential extraterrestrial life, should it be able to decode our EEG signals.
The project is currently being developed in collaboration with Frank White, founder of the ‘Overview Institute’ and a well known space philosopher, also author of ‘The Overview Effect’, a pivotal essay which looks at the psychological and physiological changes on the astronaut’s mind, after experiencing the sight of the Earth seen from space.
As part of ‘Cogito’, a brain lab will be permanently installed inside the cabin of the Dwingeloo radio telescope, in order to be used by visitors who will be able to send their thoughts into outer space, while experiencing the immersive view of the Earth seen from space through a visual simulator.
‘Cogito’ will thus allow people to experience virtual space travel and shift their consciousness into outer space.
The project also aims at fostering a global awareness of our planet, raising questions on timely political and geographical issues. Ultimately, this is the objective I share with the Overview Institute: travelling into space for better understanding our planet and reflecting upon ourselves.
Slow/Networked Media Art and the Museum: Who Takes Care of Whom?
This paper looks at the importance of Slow/Networked media art for a rethinking of the museum and its traditional view on preservation. With process or a time-based approach at its core Slow/Networked media art is in principle incompatible with the conservative object-based approach of the museum. Where museums once were a haven for contemplation they now tend to be fast-paced, mass orientated and commercial. Rather than confining Slow/Networked media art in this non-sustainable perspective the paper suggests to work towards a networked version of the museum that is able to step outside of its constraining walls and truly cross borders. Slow/Networked media art can play an important role in returning to a contemplative approach and help to re-educate towards achieving a longer and slower attention span for current and future audiences.
The issue of preservation is thus somewhat controversially reversed and turned into how Slow/Networked media art can be meaningful for museums rather than trying to box it into a format where it does not belong.
Contemporary practices incorporated in the arts such as gardening and walking might give scope for new approaches, allowing Slow/Networked media art to offer an alternative and/or additive standing closer to the practice and experience of both makers and audiences. As through its process-based and thus continuous identity it already encompasses the idea of preservation, notions of documentation or re-enactment might suffice.
The paper gives a short historical overview of some good practice and uses the recently completed European ALOTOF-project as a case study.
Art, Modernism, Posthuman
In her book How We Became Posthuman (2001) Katherine Hayles analysed the process through which the conception of the liberal humanist subject let its way at the posthuman subject, a subject who lives in complete intertwining with the digital. This process, however, was not innocuous: it made pervasive within many fields of knowledge the (imaginary) perception that information could do without material instantiation, a process to which Hayles finds an origin in the Macy Conferences and the evolution of cybernetic theory. This research identified an analogous process within the artistic realm: When Clement Greenberg delineated the concepts of opticality and colour field as the main characteristics that “defined” Modernist painting he conceived of these in a purely disembodied subject (Krauss 1997). In this context, this work proposes to consider that the actual overcoming of Modernism comes along with the advent of the Posthuman tracing its origin to Marcel Duchamp and his “invention” of the readymade, and not with Postmodernism, which theoretical consistency, at least in the artistic field, this work will question. A desired result of this research in the long term will be to unify the main concepts of the artistic field with those of cybernetics, to bring together, or at least closer, “Turing land” and “Duchamp land”, to put it in Manovich’s words.
Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s)
Inhabiting and Interfacing the Clouds (I&IC) is the title a joint design research project that investigates counter-proposals to the current development of “Cloud Computing”, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (“Personal Cloud”). It is an ongoing “research through design” project led by Patrick Keller (ECAL) and Nicolas Nova (HEAD) that includes institutional partners (EPFL/Alice, EPFL + ECAL Lab) as well as independent designers and scientists (fabric | ch, Auger-Loizeau and #algopop).
I&IC started in April 2014 with three main objectives:
1. to explore alternative point of views to “Cloud Computing”, which is mainly governed by corporate interests, and envisioned as a purely functional and centralized setup;
2. to deliver open source decentralized tools to designers, architects and ethnographers to develop projects including cloud computing technologies out of the usual centralized services provided by the main actors of this domain (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, …);
3. to experiment a “research through design” methodology with interdisciplinary partners from the fields of interaction design, architecture, computer sciences and ethnography, by developing design projects at different scales (object, building, territory).
My proposal for Renewable Futures 2015 is to present the results of the first phase of this research project. I will detail how the proven process of design practice can structure a research process in a post-media environment with concrete examples from I&IC and also from Variable Environment, a previous “research through design” project I was involved in with Patrick Keller at ECAL.
More info: http://iiclouds.org/
Manifestos in the Post-Media Age
Looking back in the 1930s at the pre-war avant-garde ‘moment’ in Europe, the Vorticist leader Wyndham Lewis recalled a golden age for art before broadcast media became a ubiquitous presence: ‘The Press in 1914 had no Cinema, no Radio’, he wrote: ‘so the painter could really become a “star”’. The pre-war period, which also saw the birth of the artistic manifesto with Marinetti’s ‘First and Founding Manifesto of Futurism’ (1909), was followed during the 1920s by an explosion of ‘isms’ that has been described as a ‘manifesto moment’. A century later, from the vantage of our post-media age, how have things changed for the manifesto? What is the state of the manifesto genre?
The past decade has seen a flood of new activity in a genre that was long considered moribund – too political, too polemical, too overbearing – in the culture industries. Now, in a new era of political engagement, myriad splinter movements, slogans and memes, the daily arrival of new platforms and means of circulation and dissemination, and a return to the ironic playfulness married to deadly seriousness that defined Vorticism, Futurism, and Dada, the manifesto is reborn. This paper will trace and characterize the re-emergence of the manifesto using dozens of examples, from Bourriaud’s ‘Altermodern Manifesto’ (2009) to Occupy to Accelerationism and beyond.
Ivan HENRIQUES, Theun Karelse
Symbiotic Machine. Machine Ecology
Anthropocentric landscapes are characterised by reduced biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Traditionally the machinery we’ve developed is focussed on efficiently extracting these landscapes. Technology is both the cause and the solution given the current climate crisis, environmental pollution and loss of biodiversity. The use of robots in ecology still in its embryonic stage but they are already becoming essential tools for a variety of disciplines. The creation of autonomous robots have significantly changed the way we explore the world, other planets, stars and also collecting data from animals and remote areas. In the next future robots will play an essential role in population ecology, using recognition and tag technologies. Machine Ecology is a joined presentation by Henriques and Karelse sketching out the potential for artificial beings as a functional part of ecosystems contributing to it’s biodiversity to illustrate a path between the evolutionary vector of machines and nature, into a new direction.
Can artificial beings contribute to biodiversity, pollination, microclimates, reforestation or even fill vacant ecological niches? What does it mean for machines to become indigenous to natural landscapes? Would it be possible to reshape and redefine our design and tools to amalgamate with natural systems?
Alan HOOK, Danielle BARRIOS-O’NEILL
Future Energy Networks and the Role of Interactive Gaming as Simulation
As energy systems integration deepens to support the development of a cleaner and more intelligent energy infrastructure, it will be increasingly important for consumers to better understand their relationship to energy systems and to take more proactive roles in managing energy. Foregrounding the importance of systems comprehension, we argue for the strong potential of interactive games to be helpful in engaging consumers in sustainable energy practices, as they can demonstrate complex system dynamics through simulation-based experiences. Focusing on interrogations of engagement and social change posed by gaming theorists and designers, and using several flagship interactive games as points of reference, we discuss the elements of game space that make it capable of simulating complex systems and large-scale implications of energy decisions richly and effectively. We discuss social, technological, and narrative elements of game play, pairing a theoretical investigation with a practical exploration of how energy-related games can link with data in the real world, with particular emphasis on the emerging Internet of Things. Our conclusions emphasise the importance of game simulation toward the longer-term goal of cultivating more complex patterns of interaction and cultural analysis around energy use; this is based on the assertion that energy, a social resource, must be managed in ways that are equally social.
BETWEEN SLOW and FAST: TIME, CHANGE, and CONTINUITY in MEDIA INSTALLATIONS
How do media artworks endure over time? How can we conceive of their nature and behavior from the point of view of their continuity? What does it mean to conserve media artworks taking into consideration their intrinsic temporalities? Does the gravity of their material residues bind them to a particular historical moment or can their futures be infinitely renewable and thus changeable?
In my paper, I will explore the reciprocal relationship between materials and meanings derived from the observation of the materiality of media, linked with archive, time and people, and to the same extent with their exhibition, curation and conservation cultures.
Inspired by my engagement with media artworks both in museum and academe and extending the discussion to a theoretical contention with the perpetuation of artworks in general, I will explore the issues of temporality and change involved in media artworks and consider how the understanding of these aspects may allow us to revisit the standard notions about artworks that were conceptualized as unchanging and fixed. I will distinguish between slow and fast media, ask whether the theories of performance may be helpful in revisiting certain museological paradigms, and, finally, strive to draw conclusions for a critical rethinking of our approaches to their continuity.
Critical design. Criticise the present by speculating the future
During the last decade a design branch known as critical or speculative design has gained a significant role on the design scene.
Critical design projects balance between art and design disciplines. Both have similar objectives – to encourage discussion about certain issues, to let the audience question the presumed obvious everyday processes and things and to promote a critical attitude. But also the way critical design projects reach their audience belong more to arts. They are usually exhibited in museums and galleries as installations, often accompanied by photos or videos showing the intended (but mostly fictional) functioning of the objects.
Critical and speculative design projects feature fictions of future that are poetically visualised by dystopian scenarios. The term “critical design” was first introduced in the end of 90s but the concept in not completely new. It roots in the radical designer and architect groups of 60s and 70s, and it is also common in the science fiction literature and cinema since a much longer period of time.
Future fictions are created to seem credible and also scientifically plausible. It is important that the audience identifies with the issue, because only then the fiction can provoke discussion about the non-preferable future and promote critical attitude towards the present state.
Although all the projects are dealing with future, the objective of critical and speculative designers is not future prediction. Instead they want to make people aware of the unwanted futures that might be inevitable if the current lifestyle is pursued.
Truth and Trademark in Hybrid Artworks
Within the field of ArtScience, questions arise about the verifiability of hybrid artworks. Are they what they purport to be? How “true” are they, aside from being compelling artworks—and does it matter? The problem arises when artists create works that are so complex and technically opaque that it is not possible to evaluate the work’s technical structure without specialised skills or technical instruments, hence the veracity of the work (in relation to what it claims to be) is called into question.
If the work is declared “false,” fraudulent, this could have the same significance than were it to be deemed true. In the case of art the most important thing is whether it “works” – that it generates a response and interest, and does not leave viewers ambivalent. If projects in science can be distinguished as either true or false, in art “truth” can mean that an artwork functions successfully in terms of art communication. On the other hand, a work that does not generate feedback, and as a result is invisible – even if the assertion it makes is scientifically true and correct – may then be deemed “false”.
A noticeable quality of modernistic art practice is to build creative distinctiveness through the creation of a “trademark” personal style. Usually this involves the use of a common visual element or theme that makes the artist and the art recognisable and distinctive. A “trademark” can also be created for substantive or commercial reasons. The question is: to what extent do we see this “trademark” utilised in technological art and hybrid art? Works by Eduardo Kac, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Thomas Feuerstein, Paul Vanouse, Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch, Julius Popp, Aram Bartholl, Alessandro Ludovico & Paolo Cirio, Timo Toots are discussed.
Transeverythingsim: Gender Identity, Audiovisual Languages and Emerging Technologies
How has the proliferation and ubiquity of communication technologies and channels changed the environment for trans individuals?
Within less than five years, the slow and invisible fight for the normalization of trans identities has developed with what can only be called an exponential explosion of awareness and presence, a phenomenon never experienced by others fighting for legal and political rights, recognition and social inclusion [Dr. Marci Bowers call the Trans Rights the last great civil rights movement of our society].
A dispersed, far-flung minority population are able to not only contact each other, to get information and share ideas through texts, demonstrations, art and song, but have also witnessed an explosion of positive visibility in both mass and micro media- character roles on television, film and music celebrities; social media sites of local organisations, blogs and youtube channels of individuals have provided a normalization-via-ubiquity.
Regarding trans identities, what is perhaps the surprising factor is the psycho-social evolution occurring from this digital prostheticization of the self: how views on gender identity and physical sex have changed so rapidly. Our notions of Self are becoming less centralized, less concrete, and more fluid: multiple identities, conversations and locations [both physical and virtual] exist simultaneously; physical characteristics [male, or wheelchair-bound, short] are neither revealed nor relevant, no longer factors in a digital identity. Only the ideas or personality are present in an online dialogue or a monological viewing of online art, video or documentation. Post-media art and presence changes our very notion of “Human-Being.”
The Fatigue of Richard Rorty’s „Ironic Intelectual“- Camp Aesthetics in Subcultural
R.Rorty describes contemporary situation as overwhelmingly ironic introducing the term or „ironic intellectual.“ Since then new tendency appeared as negation of negation within dialectic development of ironic attitudes- more presented and prised is camp aesthetics that through the self-irony seeks for „true“ and „authentic“ stand-alones within art and more broadly- various culture scenes including the trendy developments of stylishnes in subcultural domain. The programmatic text about camp is published already in 1964, it is Susan’s Sontag’s essay „Notes on „camp““. Semiotician Umberto Eco writes the final chapter of his On Ugliness (2007) dedicated to kitsch and camp.
In the subculture scene camp appears as the figure of school-boy nerd, who becomes the style-icon in hipsters‘ and punk/hard-core scenes. Punk as derrivative from situationists capitalism critique theorethized by Guy Debord’s „society of spectacle“ evolved from colourfull spectacularity that was the other side of glamour ideology presented in glossy magazines to the military style within hard-core scene with its fight for social justice preserving the early critique of capitalism quest and more recently it mimics the nerd with his awkward glasses resembling hipsters‘ dress code. Militant phase like also camp seeks style from transcendent to the varios fashions military domain, but nerdic dresss-code is more self-ironic while preserving the search for „authentiqueness“ picking up the sign that stands outside the whole range of democratic choises between school-boys‘ subcultural fashions like goth, hip-hoper, etc.
The Sound Beehive
The Sound Beehive is an immersive multi-media installation which provides viewers an artistic visual and audio experience of activities in a beehive. Data were recorded in urban beehives and processed using sophisticated pattern recognition, AI technologies, and sonification and computer graphics software. The installation includes an experiment in using Deep Learning to interpret the activities in the hive based on sound and micro-climate recording.
This paper describes an early stage research project that seeks to programmatically apply neo-Situationist concepts of psychogeography to urban walking as artistic and activist practice. The project seeks to ultimately create a structured language that can be used to describe and codify the spatial and subjective practice of walking in the city. This process is both a conceptual and discursive exercise to generate new knowledge about urban space as data space and a practical open framework which can be used to algorithmically generate walking experiences tailored toward specific desires and activities.
This will be achieved through the development of algorithmic methods to analyze, comprehensively describe and codify urban walking movements, developing a granular understanding of spatial movements, the footsteps Michel deCerteau claimed as one of the real systems that in fact make up the city. Walking in this project is understood as being situated within urban systems based on data and algorithmic processes. As urban space is increasingly determined and defined by these processes this effort seeks to propose a counter-movement that builds a language of urban walking that appropriates these to create rich crowdsourced walking experiences that suggest alternative user-centric modes of reclaiming the right to the city.
This paper will outline the project structure, methods and ambitions detailing how the concepts have derived from previous technologically enabled walking projects that leveraged multiple data-sources to highlight specific aspects of the urban experience such as cultural mappings, the geography of the Irish IMF bailout, infrastructural analysis and economic inequality.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS: THE AERIAL VIEW of the POST-ROMANTIC SUBLIME
As we plan our exit from Earth, seeking other habitable planets, our approach to knowledge mirrors this fleeing: We are in a post-media world in the sense that science seeks to transcend media – that is, physical materiality – in favor of the artifactual, towards the weightlessness of theoretical models. Yet our language remains Earthbound; on Mars, where there is no sea, we still define the average height of all the points on the planet as “sea level”. This is also true for the roundest object in the world, the kilosphere. At BESSY laboratory in Berlin, I was allowed to hold this 9.375cm silicon globe, which is the subject of an international project to “solve” the kilogram by counting every atom of this sphere, making the definition of a kilogram nothing more than a number, ironically, making it weightless. If it were the same size as the Earth, its highest peak would be 2.4 meters above sea-level.
“The weight that I have on Earth is the weight of the Earth.” So what happens when we leave? Using sea-level in Nida, Lithuania as a baseline, I’m continuing artistic research on the collapse of the map/territory by performing maps of the coastline. For part two, in August I will travel to the Himalayas to “scale” mountains, by climbing them, shrinking them into maps, and weighing myself as I ascend (as a person rises above sea-level, he/she weighs less). This cartographic experimentation is meant to further bring together ideas of aerial views and weight: Can we as mountaineers escape the weight of the world by climbing up, leaving the Earth, “getting high” as the oxygen thins and we become more and more weightless, like angels headed towards outer-space? In pursuit of the pure outer-worldly gaze, are the person and the Earth erased?
Hand-drawn Visualisations and Maps as Research Texts in the Age of Big Data
In the Age of Big Data handmade and hand-drawn visualizations draw our attention faster even though they are outcomes of very slow processes. They look like frozen moment in time where abundance of data is manageable only by huge algorithms and processors.
I am collaborating with artists and designers who are translating my research into visual data and later on I include these maps, diagrams and visualizations into my research as equal part of the text. I want to question how can visual material argue in the same way as text in academic research. I will present a bunch of successful and unsuccessful examples from my collaborations with artist sand designers and forthcoming book on artistic research.
Baltan Laboratories – Open innovation strategies for art; tech; science and society
The City and The City (and The City), aims to investigate the shifting, experimental roles of the artist and journalist in the dissemination and enactment of data by exploring specific strategies employed by citizen journalists to create and distribute alternative news narratives. It acknowledges that journalists have mobilised citizen data in transformative ways with the global media and news industry and considers the potential impact of such tools when put into the hands of artists. Therefore, The City and The City (and The City) explores this emerging area of activity within citizen journalism and the changing roles of the artist within this shift. With this in mind, it is our objective to:
• Creatively re-examine practices and structures in the field of digital media art and citizen-journalism, with the broader aim to contribute to greater depth of knowledge of E-culture.
• Foster innovative ideas to generate new insights: stimulate future artistic practice by supplementing existing practice in interdisciplinary way.
• Create forums for participants to harness open-source technologies in collaborative, creative ways that will strengthen the international position of the design sector.
• Test playful modes of digital storytelling.
Melting on Ice
This presentation will focus on the project Melting on Ice organized by Lorna in Iceland as part of North Creative Network collaborative project. It will explain the idea behind th