Artwork / Tools for a Warming Planet
- Abstract: We live on a planet in flux–with warming waters and land, chaotic weather, and unknown futures. Our adaptability and ingenuity are crucial to our survival, and our planet’s. In response to this condition, we are exploring new tools for understanding, engaging, and responding to our current and future environment. Bringing together artists, designers, scientists, and activists, this crowd-sourced piece focuses on ‘tools’, as a call for action, access, and collective engagement. New tools are needed to build more adaptable, resilient communities, as well as to imagine new ways of living on a fragile planet.
Tools for a Warming Planetis focused on the idea of tools–tools of collection, translation, engagement, connection, and care–which directly speaks to a time of climatic flux. Through display of physical and digital objects, as well as narratives on the use of these tools from the participating artists, the installation is a living archived of methods for working and living together. The project will develop over the course of the exhibit, allowing attendees and the larger global community to contribute tools to grow the collection.
The term ‘tool’ is used to focus on action: from hand craft, to care and repair, to data mapping, to digital filters, to community engagement. New tools posited across the works represent new possibilities of working and open up a conversation about our role as cultural and social activators. Tools for a Warming Planet brings together global voices into a visual dialog across languages and cultures that all must adapt to a changing climate on planet Earth. These global perspectives will allow for both localized perspectives and universal experiences, advancing a collective conversation with endless possibilities.
- Biography: Sara Dean is an architect and designer in California. Her work investigates opportunities of digital technologies to engage cities towards greater equity and adaptability, under the dual threat of the Anthropocene and capitalism. This includes works responding to climate disaster, digital activism, mapping, and the future of our cities. She is an advocate for open-source systems of knowledge.
Beth Ferguson is an ecological designer and educator in California who blends industrial design with sustainable transportation, solar engineering, climate resiliency, and public engagement. She is the director of Adapting City Lab at UC Davis, which investigates new potentials of solar charging, urban transportation planning, and forms of micro-mobility in global cities.
Marina Monsonís is a visual artist who works with hybrid processes of micro-social transformation rooted in territories, collectives, and communities with a focus on marine science, place-based design, gastronomy, graffiti, radical geography, critical ethnography, and oral histories. She is the director of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art Kitchen Lab and based in Barcelona, España.
Artwork / AquA(l)formings – Interweaving the Subaqueous
- Abstract: The AquA(l)formings project addresses the possibility of an empathic human relationship to more-than-human entities, drawing on Donna Haraway’s notion of “tentacular thinking” as the ability to perceive the world through empathizing with more-than-human entities.
The project explores changes in the marine environment caused by human presence and tries to imagine how the new conditions (rising sea levels and water temperatures, new chemical composition, etc.) affect its inhabitants. Seas and oceans record such environmental changes as memories, either in individual organisms or as distinct shifts in ecosystem structures.
AquA(l)formings is a multilayered installation exploring “aquatic sensing.” The physical (biomaterial sculpture) and digital (audio, video AI models that interact with sensory data) form a tangible experience of changing conditions in the coastal environments.
The artists trace “threads” of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), a marine inhabitant that has always aroused the curiosity of scientists and others involved with the sea, and use it as a visual synonym for the more-than-human entities. Today, however, the noble pen shell has succumbed to disease caused by environmental changes in the Mediterranean. The use of AI technologies helps visualize the past and the future of the noble pen shell, and the vast underwater meadows of the Posidonia oceanica seagrass in the northern Adriatic Sea.
By presenting its story, the artists help to initiate research to explore the use and improvement of new biological materials that would not threaten the existence or habitat of certain organisms.
- Biography: Robertina Šebjanič is an artist whose work explores the cultural, geopolitical and ecological realities of aquatic environments and the impact of humanity on other organisms. She tackles the philosophical questions at the intersection of art, technology and science. In her analysis of the Anthropocene and its theoretical framework, the artist uses the terms “aquatocene” and “aquaforming” to refer to the human impact on aquatic environments. Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica, Starts Prize, Falling Walls.
Sofia Crespo (Entangled Others) is an artist with a focus on artificial life, her practice is driven by a huge interest in biologically-inspired technologies, such as neural networks. Her main focus is the way organic life uses artificial mechanisms to simulate itself and evolve. Her work has been exhibited and has won several awards. https://entangledothers.studio
Feileacan McCormick (Entangled Others) is a generative artist, researcher & former architect. His practice focuses on ecology, nature & generative arts, with a focus on giving non-human new forms of presence & life in the digital space.
Artwork / ゴジラ/ɡɒdˈzɪlə/
- Abstract: On March 1, 1954, Daigo Fukuryū Maru (Lucky Dragon Five), a Japanese fishing boat, was contaminated by nuclear fallout as a result of the United States’ thermonuclear test, Castle Bravo, in Bikini Atoll. The first ゴジラ movie was released in November 1954, as a direct response to this incident as well as the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The kaiju (monsters) are a metaphor for nuclear weapons, the American militarization of the Pacific, and environmental disaster. In total, 29 Japanese films were made by Toho Co., Ltd. ゴジラ/ɡɒdˈzɪlə/ (2020) is a 96-minute single-channel video with sound that layers all 29 films simultaneously, but with all scenes involving monsters and humans removed. This erasure mirrors the United States’policies and actions as a settler and colonial nation, leaving a wake of destruction in its path. The transparencies reflecting the half-life of radioactive isotopes as well as the trauma of America’s nuclear legacy. We are the monsters and the monsters are us.
- Biography: As an artist and ocean engineer, Jane Chang Mi assesses the post-colonial ocean environment through interdisciplinary research. Mi examines the narratives associated with the underwater landscape considering the past, present, and future. She most often focuses on the occupation and militarization of the Pacific Ocean by the United States. Specifically, her practice is centered around the topics of militourism — the creation and protection of tourist economies by military or paramilitary forces — and scientific colonization. This interest emerges from her background as an ocean engineer, a field that is inextricably linked to the American military complex. June 9 to August 21
Artwork / Vibrant Landscapes
- Abstract: We live at a time where there are a set of predictive calculations occurring for any given action. This might be most obviously when we are online and as a result of data mining highly targeted ads appear. But predictive analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence is already being deployed throughout all levels of our social structure, from policing and medicine to models of climate change. The sheer persuasive utility of these AIs underwrite particular the logics of their practice. The amplification of the value of functionality accounts for their ever-increasing deployment even in the face of known problems such as the way in which they can retain or extends cultural bias. In this context using AI in a non-functional way is an act of resistance.
The ai generated videos included in Vibrant Landscapes are based on movement through real ecologically fragile landscapes. The work acknowledges how our expansive technologies have led to crises; yet its aim is restorative. The AI algorithm, trained on original footage I shot of these landscapes, generates new sequences by predicting and adding new frames. The spatial trajectory of the source footage troubles the AI’s process of “understanding” patterns of relation. The resulting videos have an animate sense of desynchronization, an aesthetic strategy that reveals the copresence of multiple durations, temporalities, and tempos. The representational drift evokes upheavals in geological time, an ever-changing reshaping: destruction, renewal: vibrancy. We’ve tried to contain the natural world, to dam its living rivers and stop its fluctuations, but here they’re set adrift in the unresolved contingencies of our times. Comfort and crises.
- Biography: Colin Ives is a media artist whose creative practice operates within a nexus of overlapping cultural categories, including art, technology, and ecology. He uses technology never as an end in itself, never an unexamined tool, but a chance to reflect, examine, and reveal aesthetic and cultural substructures. Across a diverse range of work, including media installation, kinetic video sculpture, sculptural objects, and interactive work, he explores how our digital tools are not only changing our capabilities, but also our worldview. His AI Creative Practice Research Group (AICP) created a project with the gammy nominated vocal quartet New York Polyphony called Aleph Earth. It premiered at New Currents Media festival in 2020 and his current project Garden in the Machine will be showcased at this years New Currents festival and an AI based project Vibrant Landscapes will be shown at ISEA 2022 in Barcelona.
Artwork / Quadra Minerale – Rare Earths
- Abstract: QUADRA MINERALE – TIERRAS RARAS 2017-2019
On the basis of the war, deeply linked to mineral colonization, Rare Earth Elements, has sought to expand the geopolitical reading on the subject and the problems derived from it – technology, economy and society – from a publication, an installation of the creative process, a pictorial polyptych and various works.
On the basis of the war, deeply linked to mineral colonization, Rare Earth Elements, has sought to expand the geopolitical reading on the subject and the problems derived from it technology, economy and society – from a publication, an installation of the creative process, a pictorial polyptych and various works in drawing, printmaking, video and photography.
• In 2010, the press began to talk about the so-called “war of the rare earths”.
• Rare Earths and lanthanides, have been extracted from the end of the 19th century.
• They belong to a large group of the periodic table of elements, which celebrates 150 years of history in 2019.
• In the 1960’s, they started being used for high technology China, United States, India and Brazil, are major producers of rare earths.
• China is now a key country in the production of the Rare Earths and its tight control has generated profound disagreements and conflicts – affection and disaffection – worldwide.
The development of the proposal concludes in the Vademécum: Quadra Minerale. Rare earths, other minerals and mining concepts. An approach to the elements and their technological uses in contemporaneity.
- Delves into the contemporary processes of technological production, regarding affection and disaffection they generate Makes visible the economic, political and military problems of the elements of the table and concepts derived from it.
- Historically focuses on past processes as conclusions of the present: colonization, post-colonization, decolonization.
- Makes these problems visible from the field of visual arts at a theoretical-practical level;each element is related to objects from my studio, works by other artists and myself.
- Builds international relations between Latin America, Europe, USA, Russia, the Asia-Pacific axis and some countries in the Middle East.
Workshop / Anatomies of Intelligence
Inscriptions open: https://kenes.eventsair.com/isea2022/workshop10/Site/Register
- Abstract: The research conducted under the Anatomies of intelligence project has been feeding a growing dataset and online repository which gathers terminologies and techniques for a critical examination of the “anatomy” of learning and prediction processes. The same platform is used to explore, through performance, how such a collection and an artisanal algorithmic toolkit can confront the idealized bodies of artificial intelligence — its representational structures and sense-making processes.
Participants will explore together with us the concepts of the project, such as connections between early Enlightenment anatomical science, classification and collection and contemporary practices in data collection and statistical machine learning. We also lead the participants through embodiment and inner-movement practices taken from dance, and guide them through exercises which connect their own sense of body and internal orientations to the high-dimensional spaces and complex topologies of feature vectors within machine learning.
The workshop culminates with a collection and clustering exercise, we will focus specifically on embodying the widely used unsupervised clustering algorithm K-means and collectively deconstruct its underlying assumptions of (Euclidean) space and distance. Core to the workshop will be a consideration of data classification and clustering. What different kinds of sense-making emerge when handling of data is grounded in the experience of having a body? What is a unit of anatomical space and how can that inform embodied approaches to machine learning?
Whereby participants will experience in a “hands-on” manner the process of optimization inherent in statistical learning, while also becoming acutely aware of the multiple vectors where subjective bias is entangled within this process.
- Biography: Joana Chicau [PT/UK] is a designer and researcher — with a background in dance. In her practice she researches the intersection of the body with the constructed, designed, programmed environment, aiming at widening the ways in which digital sciences is presented and made accessible to the public. She has been actively participating and organizing events with performances involving multi-location collaborative coding, algorithmic improvisation, open discussions on gender equality and activism.
Jonathan Chaim Reus [US/NL] is a musician and artist who explores expanded forms of music-making and improvisational performance through a critical, embodied engagement with technological artefacts. His practice is cross-disciplinary and research-based, involving open and iterative processes of collaboration with practitioners from across the arts, sciences and humanities. Increasingly his artistic work has used performance to probe the representational qualities of computing systems, algorithms, and infrastructures.
Artwork / #See You at Home – The Domestic Spaces as Public Encounter
- Abstract: #See You at Home is an interactive and immersive installation about changing the role of the private space in a time of crisis. It is part of an ongoing participatory project that reflects on our everyday domestic life between private and public spheres, and thus on our relationship with living spaces in general. The project consists of a collection of hundreds of three-dimensional documents taken between 2020 and 2021 in over 40 different countries during the most intense periods of self-isolation and home confinement.
Following an open call, the collected videos were converted to 3D objects using the technique of photogrammetry. These imperfect objects (pointcloud images with gaps and unfinished endings) are the core content of the work’s archive, along with personal statements about the time of quarantine and the changing meaning of private spaces in the form of audio pieces and text.
#See You at Home (SYAH) is a physical installation that includes 3D-printed objects, plotter prints on the wall, and interactive objects with QR codes leading to 360 degree virtual spaces that visitors can view through the ‘magic window’ feature of their phone. Additionally, the work expands on, and includes within, a previous work: the VR installation The Smallest of Worlds. With it, #See You at Home offers a journey within a journey that explores the private spaces as its possible forms develop and change, in a back and forth between the real and the virtual that is both conceptual and experiential.
- Biography: Uwe Brunner is an Austrian architect, experience designer, teacher, and researcher. Since 2019 he has been a faculty member at the ./studio3, Institute for Experimental Architecture at the University of Innsbruck. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with a research focus on the Essay, its affective and cognitive modalities, and its potential for space-making in virtual reality environments. In addition to architecture, his wider research draws from an array of different fields such as media art, film studies, game studies, and media philosophy.
Bettina Katja Lange is a German scenographer and visual media artist, with a background in theater, opera, and film. She has worked in leading production houses such as the Opera Zuerich, the Nationale Opera & Ballet Amsterdam, the State Theater of Munich Kammerspiele, the Wooster Group, and the Performance Space Theater in New York City. Her recent work extends to physical installations and virtual environments, with an emphasis on the documentary strength in unconventional theatrical and digital media forms. Her current research has been supported with a fellowship by the Goethe Institute Beijing; it focuses on the correlation between ordinary objects, private space, memory, and communication behaviors; i.e. the owner’s social identity and autobiographical representation.
Joan Soler-Adillon (PhD) is a Catalan artist and associate professor at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), in Barcelona. He has held previous academic positions at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and Royal Holloway, University of London (UK). His research and practice revolve around digital interactive media and its manifestation in digital art –particularly interactive installation, an experimental approach to interactive storytelling and documentary, and Virtual Reality. From a full-body interactive game run on an inflatable slide to a VR-based experimental documentary, he has worked on a myriad of projects with a focus on behavior design and interactivity, and on fostering audience collaboration and participation.
Artwork / Repository
- Abstract: Our digital footprints in the vast data universe are duplicatable, transferrable and mutable. Deletion has become much harder than throwing a piece of paper into a shredder, which was first invented over a hundred years ago. Photos, videos, geographical tag or just simple texts living on social media platforms as the virtual presence of digitized human memories strengthen the power of machine computation and analysis while underlying the control from us.
When we try to preserve or delete our own stories in the digital landscape, do we still have the authorship of them? Are they in a constant shift of meaning and representation?
Repository is a virtual reality experience created around the issue and question of data authorship and data oblivion. It builds a world of data in motion merging the structure of a server farm (A place physically stores data) with a paper shredder (A machine deconstructing data). Repository gradually transforms from a surreal bank safely stores memories into a space filled with floating shreds of letters and characters through assembling and fragmenting various conversations borrowed from Twitter posts in 2019. Its non-linear narrativity, interactive experimental sound, and surreal aesthetic provide a conceptualization of an alternative model of human-machine interaction, and question whether we have the right to be forgotten, at the same time as the right to be remembered?
- Biography: Weidi Zhang is an LA-based new media artist and researcher. Her current research and media art practices investigate A Speculative Assemblage – interactive image-data-based visualization of a human-machine reality in the context of data visualization, responsive Intelligence system design, and immersive media. Her works are featured at international venues, such as the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Best In Show, ISEA, Times Art Museum (CN), Japan Media Arts Festival, Lumen Prize (UK), SIGGRAPH ASIA, IEEE VISAP, Planetarium 1 (RUS), Zeiss-Planetarium (GE), Society For Arts and Technology (CAN), and others. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Arts and Technology Program and a graduate researcher in Experimental Visualization Lab. She lectures at UC Santa Barbara and The Ohio State University. She holds her MFA degree in Art + Technology at the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA degree in Photo/Media at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Artwork / Waiting for other
- Abstract: The indigenous cultures of the Pacific believe material and immaterial worlds are connected, wherein the present exists, our past and future. Centred in this multi-layered and multidimensional understanding of the world, genealogy (akapapa, whakapapa) manifests interconnection and continuity through inherent recursive strategies.
Through the lens of genearchelogy (Refiti, 2008), the manifestation of our ancestor is made present through the body. Here the notion of self (I) in the singular is positioned in relation to self as other as in ancestor as in the multiple. That is to say, the notion of self is understood as the binding relation of one’s ancestors through one’s gene archaeological matter, manifesting the past in the present.
It is through this understanding of self that the thematic consideration for this work begins. The project explores the extent interconnection and continuity, from an indigenous Pacific lens, can be explored through digital means.
The project has a two-forked approach. The first sequences body parts in relation to indigenous pacific cosmological beginnings. The animated sequence of body parts is a reorientation of ‘self’ and ancestor. The second looks at the relation between the skin of the body and skin of the digital image. Crucial to this exploration is the notion of tu ke (to stand in difference),as in the negative stereotype applied to black skin, and te’ta’i, (to stand as an(other) as in ancestor). This two-fold approach calls into question what ancestors manifest through the skin of the body and the skin of the digital image, and to what the digital interface surfaces in us.
Refiti, A. L. (2008). The forked centre: duality & privacy in polynesian spaces & architecture. Alternative: An International Journal Of Indigenous Scholarship, 4(1), 97 – 106.
- Biography: Nooroa Tapuni is an interdisciplinary artist that seeks to derive a correlation between seemingly disparate knowledge sets to unfold power relations. Their past projects posited an indigenous understanding of interconnection as a cybernetic system, a relationship of communication and control, through interactive digital art practice. It did so as a way to explore the extent that digital material can be the interface for intuitive understanding and indigenous knowledge. Current interests include the ambiguity of communication through transcoding material.
Artwork / Syndemic Sublime
- Abstract: Syndemic Sublime is an ongoing series of data-driven computer-generated animations created using COVID-19 data libraries and molecular visualization software. The animations intertwine molecular models of SARS-CoV-2 with both human and non-human protein structures such as antibodies and cell receptors. The generative movement is created using data from COVID deaths to disrupt the 20 amino acid residues along the protein structures. The resulting disruptions create mesmerizing tableaus that are sometimes spastic and sometimes sublime. Each animation has a unique starting and ending form as it slowly morphs from its biological folded form or “conformation” to its technologically distorted form. The generative quality of the process allows for unpredictable and unique transformations within each animation as the software creates unexpected visuals. The unraveling and collision of the proteins results in both jarring glitches and in soothing movements. The animations in the series combine models of proteins from the coronavirus with proteins from llamas, alpacas, cats, dogs, pangolins, bats and humans evoking our increasing interspecies entanglements in the contemporary biotechnological landscape. From zoonotic diseases to transgenic vaccine development to the use of animals as living factories to produce biological products, our understanding of what it means to be “human” in the “natural world” is becoming increasingly complex. The slow, quiet animations create liminal spaces for reflection, mourning, and wonder at the unseen molecular forces of the biological world affecting our daily lives in profound ways.
- Biography: Laura Splan is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of science, technology, and culture. Her artworks have been commissioned by The Centers for Disease Control Foundation and Triënnale Brugge, exhibited at the Museum of Arts & Design and the Beall Center for Art + Technology, and are represented in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation and The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Articles including her work have appeared in The New York Times, Discover, designboom, CLOT, and Frieze. Publications featuring her artwork include The Routledge Companion To Biology In Art & Architecture. Splan has received research funding from The Jerome Foundation and her residencies have been supported by The Knight Foundation and The Institute for Electronic Arts. She has been a lecturer at Stanford University and her research as a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC Creative Science incubator has included collaborations with scientists to explore interspecies entanglements.
Artwork / How to Make an Ocean
- Abstract: Each bottle contains Kasia’s tears and North-Sea algae accompanied by a date, a reason for crying and the name of hosted algae. There is a log of her diet from the period of the research, accompanied by a log of presence of chemical elements (N, P, K) important for healthy growth of algae. These elements can be regulated by diet. The artist wanted to know how she could use her bodily waste to care for the environment, which we have destroyed? The main question she posed here was: “Can I look after my physical and mental health in order to be of “use” to other life forms? Or can environmental health be an indicator of our own health?”
From Winter of 2019 until recently Kasia has been collecting her tears – first when she cried after losing 3 loved ones in the Autumn 2019. Then, with the start of COVID-19 she “trained herself” to cry in order to relieve her anxiety. This led to her exploring the chemical composition of human tears to see how they could make a healthy tiny marine ecosystem. To use her own tears to host a sea life became a form of catharsis and a constructive way to deal with personal and also then environmental loss
- Biography: Kasia Molga has refused to be labelled – design fusionist, artist, environmentalist, creative coder, she is driven by a curiosity of how design, science and technology intersect and how art can reveal stories embedded in those intersections. Predominantly focusing on the ever-changing human relation to and perception of natural environments and more than human fellow “earthlings”. For over two decades Kasia has sought ways of conveying the notion of collaboration with nature.
Kasia is a founder and director of Studio Molga Ltd, where, aside from her art practice, she heads a team of creative technologists and architects delivering socially engaged commissions and educational projects.
Her work is exhibited worldwide, most notably: Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, V&A Museum, Ars Electronica, Meta.Morf (NO), Translife Media Arts Triennial (Beijing, China), MIS (Sao Paulo, BR), Dutch Design Week (NL); and is a recipient of many international awards, grants and residencies, including: STARTS EU Residency.
Artwork / Infodemic
- Abstract: Infodemic is a neural network-generated video that questions the mediated narratives created by social media influencers and celebrities about the coronavirus. The speakers featured in the video are an amalgam of celebrities, influencers, politicians, and tech moguls that have contributed to the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus by amplifying rumors, repeating narratives that are contrary to those of official health agencies, or developing technologies that amplify untrue content.
The talking heads in Infodemic are generated using a conditional generative adversarial network (cGAN) that predicts the pixels for each frame of a video through an algorithmic process similar to those used by search engines and social media news feeds. Search and content recommendation algorithms that once promised to provide access to more information and enable the public to make well-informed decisions have actually made it more difficult to find accurate information on important and politically-charged topics. There is a disconnect between the optimistic Possibles promised by the technocratic elite and the dangers posed by a power structure that can hide behind proprietary algorithms and circumvent criticism due to a general public’s limited technological understanding.
The cGAN in Infodemic was trained on a corpora of multiple individuals simultaneously. The result is a talking head that morphs between different speakers or becomes a glitchy Frankensteinian hybrid of different people that contributed to the current infodemic speaking the words of academics, medical experts, or journalists that are correcting false narratives or explaining how misinformation is created and spread. The plastic, evolving, and unstable speakers in the video evoke the mutation of the coronavirus, the instability of truth, and the limits of knowledge.
- Biography: Derek Curry (US) is an artist-researcher whose work critiques and addresses spaces for intervention in automated decision-making systems. His work has addressed automated stock trading systems, Open Source Intelligence gathering (OSINT), and algorithmic classification systems. His artworks have replicated aspects of social media surveillance systems and communicated with algorithmic trading bots.
Jennifer Gradecki (US) is an artist-theorist who investigates secretive and specialized socio-technical systems. Her artistic research has focused on social science techniques, financial instruments, dataveillance technologies, intelligence analysis, artificial intelligence, and social media misinformation.
Curry and Gradecki have presented and exhibited at venues including Ars Electronica (Linz), NeMe (Cypress), Media Art History (Krems), ADAF (Athens), and the Centro Cultural de España (México). Their research has been published in Big Data & Society, Visual Resources, and Leuven University Press. Their artwork has been funded by Science Gallery Dublin, Science Gallery Detroit and the NEoN Digital Arts Festival.
Artwork / Can the mind exist without a body?
- Abstract: “Can the mind exist without a body?” is a large-format flag installed in public space. It shows a Yiannis Laouris’s question taken from a chapter of the Onlife Manifesto, coordinated by Luciano Floridi, where they address the transformations of the digital hyperconnectivity era, such as the need to re-engineer the concepts of human and non-human life.
This work is, at the same time contextualized in a larger public art project and PhD research called #internetflags, which explore several aspects of life in a hyper-connected and Internet-based society. We think that this project can as well be a response to the need for new location structures to show artistic proposals and to promote social interactions and critical thinking from the arts perspective.
The conceptual focus of #internetflags is based on three axes. The permanent existence of portable digital communication devices, close to the idea of prostheses in the context of a hyper-connected society, and how its effects are interpreted from contemporary art; the problems derived from the massive use of the Internet together with a lack of knowledge of its internal physical structure, as well as its political and environmental implications; and also the current pandemic context in which social relationships are virtualized, public space is blurred and physical contact is restricted.
- Biography: Irma Marco is an artist, researcher, and teacher. She holds a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the UPV, is currently pursuing her doctorate in Advanced Studies in Artistic Productions at the University of Barcelona, and is a resident at the Fàbrica de Creació Fabra i Coats. She is also a consulting lecturer at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and teaches at institutions such as MACBA and Escola Massana.
Marco works from pre-existing elements (such as sounds, texts, or particular contexts), looking for new meanings within materials that already have a past. She is interested in the plurality with which events are narrated and recorded, and she relies on noise, appropriation, collaboration, and exchange as strategies to open up a space of possibility from which to create meaning. Her practice encompasses sound experimentation, installation, actions, and interventions in physical spaces as well as virtual environments and publications.
Artwork / Muted
- Abstract: When the world shut down overnight last March, projects were disrupted, everything was on pause, and my practice shifted into a more responsive mode. I was responding to what was happening around me, what I felt, and really just trying to find a way through. It resulted in a series of five technologically-mediated performances—Later Date, I heard TALKING IS DANGEROUS, What do you want me to say?, Sleepover, and Good Night. The series of performances reflect on issues of disconnection, danger, communication, presence. They experiment with different forms of liveness and listening that can be accessed under remote circumstances.
Later Date was an early-pandemic performance in which the artist hosted text-based, one-on-one chats with people to imagine future plans that could only transpire “later.” In I Heard Talking Is Dangerous, I showed up to friends’ doorsteps to deliver a monologue via text displayed via phone screen and text-to-speech. Participants were then invited to visit a URL to continue a text-based, in-person conversation about danger, safety, and the uncertain future. In What do you want me to say? visitors to the web-based work are asked by a digital clone of my voice, “What do you want me to say?” However they reply, my voice responds by speaking their own words back to them. Then it asks again, “What do you want me to say?” In Sleepover I would show up to a friend’s yard with a sleeping bag, text them “hello,” and then spend the night outside their home—without ever coming into physical contact. In NFT artwork Good Night, I text “goodnight” to a designated recipient every day before she goes to sleep for as long as she is alive.
- Biography: Lauren Lee McCarthy is an LA-based artist examining social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithmic living. She is the creator of p5.js, an open source creative coding platform that prioritizes inclusion and access, and a part of the Processing Foundation. She has received grants and residencies from Creative Capital, United States Artists, Sundance New Frontier, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, Autodesk, and Ars Electronica. Her work SOMEONE was awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica and the Japan Media Arts Social Impact Award, and her work LAUREN was awarded the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction. Lauren’s work has been exhibited internationally, including the Barbican Centre, Ars Electronica, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Haus der elektronischen Künste, SIGGRAPH, Onassis Cultural Center, IDFA, Science Gallery Dublin, and the Seoul Museum of Art. Lauren is an Associate Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts.
Artwork / Imaginary Sunset
- Abstract: Imaginary Sunset is an AI-generated video that investigates how technology interprets collective memory experience. The machine learning model generates a set of fictional landscape pictures using a dataset of sunset and dusk photographs taken by individuals around the globe on social media platforms in 2020. It explored how artificial intelligence is being used to interrogate between reality and fake and is supposed to recreate memories about the pandemic lockdown from a machinery perspective. The dusk landscape is a typical and commonplace photographic subject. Even so, in the midst of the worldwide pandemic, it takes on a significance that cuts over cultural and political boundaries, as though as a symbol of humanity observing the times.
- Biography: Xuanyang Huang is a media artist, researcher and educator based in Guangzhou, China. Ranging from computer graphics, digital photography, generative art and performance, his art practices explore the artistic potential of artificial intelligence, especially in association with memory, and the hybrid forms and narrative in computational audio-visual art.
Huang’s artworks have been showcased and exhibited in New York, Zurich, Hong Kong, Shanghai and other countries and regions. He is a lecturer and thesis supervisor at Roy Ascott Technoetic Art Studio, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. He received MA and MFA from the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, and later was a resident at the Transcultural Collaboration programme at Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK).
Artwork / EoE Triptych #1
- Abstract: The human sense of permanence and significance leads us to imagine futures where we are present, having found ways to dominate nature and conquer space. This project argues that there are events from which there is no escape and that all timelines, including the human one, will come to an end through developing cultural and scientific narratives around the end of the Universe.
Where we imagine permanence and continuity, the Universe presents itself as a fluid entity where stars glow into existence and burn out, where galaxies collide and where eventually all matter will dissipate in a field of cold radiation. The brief existence of stars and planets on the timeline of the Universe is nothing but a momentary glitch in the process of transformation from Big Bang to Heat Death.
An important narrative within the work is the fine balance between knowledge and speculation. While our understanding of the Universe and capacity for prediction is astounding, we still cannot be sure that the next thousand trillion years will be as we imagine. Everything we know so far points to the ending known as heat death, the slow fading of the Univers,e into a field of cold radiation, but how can we know if dark energy, dark matter and quantum fluctuations will change things or not?
And in trying to understand these vast cosmic processes, where do we find the space to examine our humanity? How do we confront the melancholy of imagining a future that we can never experience? How can we attribute meaning and significance to something so fleeting and intangible?
The triptych presents the end of the Universe in three stages; the end of the Solar System, the end of the galaxy and all stars, and the end of the Universe itself.
- Biography: Using installation, robotics, sound, video, lighting effects and biological practice, Andy Gracie makes work situated at a point of separation between the arts and the sciences, creating situations of exchange which allow new understandings and knowledge systems to develop. Much of his work involves reactions to and engagements with deep time, eschatology and space research. Employing scientific theory and practice, he questions our relationships with exploration and experiment whilst simultaneously bringing into focus the very relationship between art and science, and how new knowledge is culturally assimilated. Much of his work features an ongoing engagement with semiotics, simulation theory and apocalyptic or post-human scenarios.
His work has been exhibited widely and internationally in both solo and group shows and presented at conferences and seminars across the globe, as well as publishing a number of articles and papers.
Artwork / Concerto para Piano e Pandemia
- Abstract: Concerto para Piano e Pandemia (Concert for Piano and Pandemic) invites us to feel with our body what the world wide web is feeling right now about the pandemic, whilst reflecting on how the amount of data we are presented with every day affects us. Tweets are captured in real time by a python script that takes their characters and transforms them into musical notes in a piano sound. As the thousands – maybe millions – of tweets reach our ears, they pile up and mix sonically, creating an immersive soundscape that messes up our senses.
In this installation, we can let this algorithmic non-human robot search for information about COVID-19 across Twitter to help us understand it faster than we could previously. But finding the data is not the only thing that is needed to do. After the use of this search robot, we need to find a way to absorb the content of each tweet that gives us information about the subject; we need to try to understand it. And if the cognitive way is not fast enough, we can try to absorb it with our other senses, like hearing and feel-ing it physically. Our body can then try to understand the speed of incoming information and adjust our brains to it, in an unconscious way of dealing with such a terrifying new disease that affected our entire way of living, spreading fear among families.
As our information distribution channels became and remain congested with the influx of data regarding COVID-19, with this artwork I hope to find and present to the public a new way of absorbing information and knowledge about it, using our senses to feel the data instead of trying to make sense of it rationally.
- Biography: Sound artist and musician currently based in Lisbon studying a Masters in Production and Technologies of Sound at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. My work deals mostly with the intersection of musical production and sound art, looking to push the boundaries between these two fields. As a self-taught programmer and DIY enthusiast, I focus my research on the development of interactive audiovisual devices that can present new ways of interacting with sonic materials. Through them, I hope to bring people closer to technology-based artworks.
Artwork / Tally Saves the Internet
- Abstract: Tally Saves the Internet is a browser extension that transforms data advertisers collect into a multiplayer game. Once installed, a friendly pink blob named Tally lives in the corner of your screen and warns you when companies translate your human experiences into free behavioral data. When Tally encounters “product monsters” (online trackers and their corresponding product marketing categories) you can capture them in a turn-based battle (e.g. “Pokémon style”) transforming the game into a progressive tracker blocker, where you earn the right to be let alone through this playful experience.
- Biography: Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy (Sneakaway Studio) build online interventions, animations and mobile apps to reimagine a more sustainable and equitable digital future. Concerned about the unintended consequences of automated systems, their creations break apart and reconfigure existing structures to build awareness of the internet’s underbelly. Selected exhibitions include Locust Projects in Miami, Drexel University in Philadelphia, Art Center Nabi in Seoul, Transitio_MX in Mexico City, TINA B Festival in Prague and Venice, the University of Florida and the University of Texas. They’ve received support from the NEA, Mellon Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, UC Berkeley, DAAD, and Fulbright.
Artwork / It will happen here, in Barcelona (Tindrà lloc aquí, a Barcelona)
- Abstract: Tindrà lloc aquí a Barcelona (It will happen here in Barcelona) is an immersive experience that reframes questions of sea-level rise, migration and extinction, in which familiar places — and the memories and dreams that attend them — are transformed by rising waters; the work gives rise to acts of recognition, utterance and transformation. Viewers travel along the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local watershed and others worldwide that are shaped by industrialization. The sounds, images and text flow like waters, following a computer-code based system that gathers materials together in ever-changing experiences. Like ocean tides, the code-driven work is always changing. Roderick Coover’s images, gathered over the past decade from journeys on and around shorelines, combine with field recordings, voices and electronic music composed by Adam Vidiksis. Nick Montfort draws from Coover’s logs to create a continually evolving, poetic text.
The remarkable spectacle reveals forces of flow, floods and chemical contamination. Visitors plunge into the imaginaries of times present and future in a work that attempts to put into words the unspeakable threats posed to existence, time and belonging. Disruptions of language, spatial disorientation and fragmented media propel users to refigure history and give utterance to current crises. Written observations and images filmed at local industrial, post-industrial and natural sites are entered into the system to merge like images of other shores to intermingle histories, conditions and consequences as well as suggesting local differences. The music and sound design accentuate the collision of natural and industrial rhythms and the power of irrational forces, evoking imagined futures through dream-like sequences and by moving between surface and submerged realities and sentience. By compressing and distorting the scales of time that normally confound human imagination and undermine human action, the work opens possibilities for recognition, utterance, connection and action.
- Biography: Roderick Coover uses emerging forms to tackle questions of global warming, human rights, memory and the Anthropocene. The recipient of major awards from Fulbright, Mellon, Whiting, Adam Mickiewicz, APS, CHS and LEF, his works feature both in arts venues and public spaces from the Venice Biennale to the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Recent installations include The Floods (large-scale generative projection), Water On The Pier (locative, generative), The Key To Time (fulldome), Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project (VR/CAVE) and Toxi•City: A Climate Change Narrative (combinatory). Coover is Professor of Film & Media Arts at Temple University and lives in the USA and France.
Adam Vidiksis is a musician who explores social structures, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. Vidiksis’s music has won numerous awards and grants, including recognition from the Society of Composers, Inc., the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP. His works are available through HoneyRock, EMPiRE, New Focus, PARMA, and SEAMUS Records. Vidiksis is Assistant Professor of music technology at Temple University, and president SPLICE Music. He performs in SPLICE Ensemble, Transonic Orchestra, Ensemble N_JP, and directs the Temple Composers Orchestra and BEEP.
Nick Montfort‘s computer-generated books of poetry include #!, Autopia, The Truelist, and Hard West Turn. He has collaborated on digital projects The Deletionist, Sea and Spar Between, and Renderings. Six of his books, collaborative and individual, have been published by the MIT Press, including The Future, Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction and The New Media Reader. He is Professor of Digital Media at MIT, where he directs The Trope Tank, Professor II at the University of Bergen and a teacher at the School for Poetic Computation. Montfort lives in New York City.
Artwork / Opportunity in Obsolescence
- Abstract: With many issues surrounding our high-tech products including: 1) planned obsolescence, 2) a linear “cradle-to-grave” life cycle, 3) the accumulation of electronic waste (e-waste), and 4) consumer culture, there is potential of finding creative solutions to reusing/repurposing our obsolete technology. This potential can be found in this artistic work where a typewriter hacked to perform as a USB printer using the design principles meant to combat the issues listed above. This includes using open-source hardware and software as well as incorporating adaptive design for future updates.
- Biography: Erik Contreras is an interdisciplinary designer and engineer with a background in mechanical engineering and rapid prototyping. His work involves prolonging the lifespan of consumer electronics and finding alternative uses for post-consumer products. His design philosophy seeks to promote user repair, modification, and reuse for consumer products. As an advocate for the right to repair, he wishes to develop products and prototypes that “welcomes the end-user, inside and out”.
Erik typically uses a hands-on approach towards his work/research and can be found hacking obsolete tech or 3D printing custom parts in his home machine shop. With technology being part of every aspect of life in the Bay Area, there also a vast accumulation of e-waste in the community. With e-waste being readily available, Erik feels the material is an “unnatural, natural resource” when it comes to finding parts and inspiration for his prototypes.
Artwork / Unreal Window
- Abstract: Unreal Window was inspired by zoom meetings during the covid-19 pandemic, the loneliness produced from the sense of being monitored, the painful absence of rapport that politeness dictates we have to pretend not to feel, the despair and creeping terror of not being able to connect with others physically, their smell, their touch, their heat, and longing for that which can only be shared through physicality.
I wonder how far down this path we might go. If this situation continues until I die, then what does this mean for my identity? Who can I be under these circumstances? I ask, ‘Where do I exist?’ and if a part of the answer is in the digital, what does that imply about AI?
In Unreal Window, I manifest myself fifteen to twenty times in embodiments of different ages and forms. I appear as a baby, a toddler, an adult, an elderly woman, and as a human-computer hybrid, a woman with a monitor for a head, forever in a zoom meeting. All versions of me are following after this hybrid as she flees – attempting to stay in the frame of the webcam, competing, desperate to show that they exist. I also attached a surveillance camera to each character, creating a scenario in which they are all constantly spying on each other.
Unreal Window is a real-time virtual animation video that is designed for video game simulation, but this video game has no player. The computer’s systems play each other without the need for further input.
Like I Ching, These characters are doomed to watch each other randomly and chase the camera infinitely in the auto-gameplay of machine composition (NPC) set to a chasing and fleeing game scenario. I wanted to create a situation without an end, both as a reflection of feeling of endlessness in this pandemic, and also so that the machine learning system could develop the action in ways that might surprise me. For example if the characters learn to chase and flee using obstacles and tools, what kind of relationships and environments might that produce?
I wanted to know, in a place where everything is made with AI, would I feel like I could breathe? Is there a bottom to this abyss, or is it infinite sliding?
I wonder whether we are actually in conversation when telecommuting. I can see the person I talk to only in a square box. Sometimes I feel confused whether I’m speaking to a real person or not, and I notice that I watch myself as I speak as much as I look at the other. I want to express this wandering between reality and unreality.
I feel very anxious that communication and relationships between people might be lost in the absence of physical presence, and this virtual world will persist, existing online even as generations come and go. I’ve started thinking about the real meaning of confinement.
- Biography: Chanee Choi is a transdisciplinary artist. She has developed a ritualistic craft-based art practice that transcends the conservative and isolationist roots of traditional East Asian craftwork by focusing on a celebration of feminist theory and modern tech. Within this hybrid genre, she produces both embodied and virtual immersive experiences exploring the effect of immigration on issues of identity, and the synesthetic processes of corporeal-cognitive space.
She is originally from South Korea and now lives, works, and studies in Seattle, Washington. She earned her BFA in Craft Design from Dongduk Women’s University in 2013 and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Choi is currently a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in Art and Technology at DXARTS at the University of Washington.
Her work has been published in UW News, UW College of Arts & Sciences, GeekWire, International Examiner, Seattle Times, KUOW National Public Radio, KING-TV, and WIRED magazine.
Performance / Anatomies of Intelligence
Simultaneously, in-person the same distributed platform is used as the core audio-visual material to create an immersive experience for the audience on site where each step of the algorithm is slowed down, made visible, audible and felt.
Amongst our focus points are those that relate to tacit knowledge and a reliance on the senses when accumulating knowledge about bodies and body-like structures. The concept of “aesthesis” has been especially useful in shaping our work; aesthesis is a somewhat obscure term occurring in eighteenth-century European medical and philosophical dictionaries describing “the faculty or power of sensation” (1) in scientific practice. Our concept of aesthesis shapes a methodology for this project that looks at the “sensory power” displayed by machine learning algorithms, their representations and sets of training data.
Our research has been feeding a growing dataset and online repository (2) which gathers terminologies and techniques for a critical examination of the “anatomy” of learning and prediction processes and models of machine learning algorithms. The same platform is used to explore, through a performance practice combining live-coding, voice and meditative reflection, how such a collection and an artisanal algorithmic toolkit can confront the idealized bodies of artificial intelligence — its representational structures and sense-making processes.
(1) Hendriksen, M.M.A., 2012, Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University.
(2) Link: https://anatomiesofintelligence.github.io/catalogue.html
- Biography: Joana Chicau [PT/UK] is a designer and researcher — with a background in dance. In her practice she researches the intersection of the body with the constructed, designed, programmed environment, aiming at widening the ways in which digital sciences is presented and made accessible to the public. She has been actively participating and organizing events with performances involving multi-location collaborative coding, algorithmic improvisation, open discussions on gender equality and activism. Website: joanachicau.com
Jonathan Chaim Reus [US/NL] is a musician and artist who explores expanded forms of music-making and improvisational performance through a critical, embodied engagement with technological artefacts. His practice is cross-disciplinary and research-based, involving open and iterative processes of collaboration with practitioners from across the arts, sciences and humanities. Increasingly his artistic work has used performance to probe the representational qualities of computing systems, algorithms, and infrastructures. Website: jonathanreus.com
Artwork / Spectral Landscapes
- Abstract: My current artistic work takes place under the umbrella of Spectral Landscapes where I investigate radioactivity and the landscape. Since spring 2020 I conduct intense fieldwork in Finland. I am exploring sites with heightened natural radioactivity, originating from the decay of natural uranium and thorium mineralisations with some of those places being potential future sites of mining. There I collect data via custom-made sensors and software which allow me to portray the gamma radiation fields as bodies that protrude from the radioactive base-rock as intricate but intrinsic features of the landscape. Invisible but present, the constitution of these bodies is part of the innate processes of our planet in deep time. They conform with continental drift, the biogenic accumulation of oxygen in our atmosphere, the folding of mountain ranges, and their weathering and they follow the carvings of geophysical forms which produce the features of the landscapes we observe around us. I refer to these bodies as spectral because their presence is ghostly and can only be detected via extra-sensorial means, but then they are also spectral because they are fields of light, of photons, although located in a part of the spectrum not visible to the human eye. At the same time, Finland is building Onkalo, the first permanent deep geological spent nuclear fuel repository. It will be backfilled until 2120 and engineering claims that Onkalo can hold back the nuclear waste for the next one hundred thousand years, traveling into a deep future yet to become. Two stories connected by their materiality cover the full scale of planetary time. What can we learn from deep time for the present and a possible deep future, what about questions of intergenerational justice, is there a politic of scales, and what are possible artistic strategies to address such questions?
- Biography: Erich Berger is an artist, curator, and cultural worker based in Helsinki. His focus is on the intersection of art, science, and technology with a critical take on how they transform society and the world at large. Throughout his practice, he has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material. His interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena, and their socio-political implications in the here and now. Berger moves between visual arts and science in an area that he also develops with his work at the Bioart Society in Helsinki. Berger has exhibited widely in museums, galleries, and major media-art events in Europe and worldwide.
Artwork / privacy-GrDN.info
- Abstract: By placing automation within this simulated i̶d̶l̶e̶ garden it arises the complexity of what being human is in this electronic age. Learning, leisure and work share the same interchangeable framework in this post-truth dynamic where operations are engineered in an ambiguous way to praise & glorify the strenuous path of c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶m̶p̶o̶r̶a̶r̶y̶ labour system. Hybrid emulation that deals with prediction & feeds on its own coding as the backbone structure of a semiotic < container > / .
- Biography: S4RA is a non-binary && genderqueer digital artist that spent endless hours fighting monsters & strolling through mazes. so, it only felt natural 2 evolve through an experimental & explorative process of gaming visual culture & popular gif files. also feeds on social media platforms 2 engage animations into the depths of gender role play & political plots. still plays old school video games.
Santa Mònica – La irrupció
Opening June 9 at 7 pm
Consult the schedule at https://artssantamonica.gencat.cat/
The main exhibition will take place at the arts center Santa Mònica, from June 9 to August 21. Under the title “La irrupció“, the exhibition, curated by Marta Gracia, Jara Rocha and Enric Puig Punyet, includes more than twenty artworks from the call.
These pieces, inserted within the local context, will open a dialogue about the complex circumstances that we are living on the planet after the disruption of the pandemic. The exhibition will show proposals from leading international and local artists such as Robertina Šebjanič, Erich Berger, Joan Soler-Adillon and Andy Gracie.
Following the center’s new methodology that encourages horizontal participation, discursive itineraries will emerge with participation at different levels and the involvement of Santa Mònica’s resident artist communities during the exhibition’s period.
Inauguració el 9 de juny a les 19:00h
Consulta l’horari a www.artssantamonica.gencat.cat
L’exposició principal tindrà lloc al centre d’art Santa Mònica, del 9 de juny al 21 d’agost. Sota el títol “La irrupció”, la mostra, comissariada per Marta Gracia, Jara Rocha i Enric Puig Punyet, inclou més d’una vintena d’obres del call.
Aquestes peces, inserides en el context local, obriran un diàleg sobre les complexes circumstàncies que estem vivint al planeta després de la interrupció de la pandèmia. L’exposició mostrarà propostes d’artistes locals i internacionals de referència com Robertina Šebjanič, Erich Berger, Joan Soler-Adillon i Andy Gracie.
Seguint la nova metodologia del centre que fomenta la participació horitzontal, sorgiran itineraris discursius amb participació a diferents nivells i la implicació de les comunitats d’artistes residents a Santa Mònica durant el període de l’exposició.