Tuesday, July 05. 2016
Public Platform of Future-Past, extended study phase. Bots, "Ar.I." & tools? | #data #monitoring #architecture
Note: in the continuity of my previous post/documentation concerning the project Platform of Future-Past (fabric | ch's recent winning competition proposal), I publish additional images (several) and explanations about the second phase of the Platform project, for which we were mandated by Canton de Vaud (SiPAL).
The first part of this article gives complementary explanations about the project, but I also take the opportunity to post related works and researches we've done in parallel about particular implications of the platform proposal. This will hopefully bring a neater understanding to the way we try to combine experimentations-exhibitions, the creation of "tools" and the design of larger proposals in our open and process of work.
Notably, these related works concerned the approach to data, the breaking of the environment into computable elements and the inevitable questions raised by their uses as part of a public architecture project.
The information pavilion was potentially a slow, analog and digital "shape/experience shifter", as it was planned to be built in several succeeding steps over the years and possibly "reconfigure" to sense and look at its transforming surroundings.
The pavilion conserved therefore an unfinished flavour as part of its DNA, inspired by these old kind of meshed constructions (bamboo scaffoldings), almost sketched. This principle of construction was used to help "shift" if/when necessary.
In a general sense, the pavilion answered the conventional public program of an observation deck about a construction site. It also served the purpose of documenting the ongoing building process that often comes along. By doing so, we turned the "monitoring dimension" (production of data) of such a program into a base element of our proposal. That's where a former experimental installation helped us: Heterochrony.
As it can be noticed, the word "Public" was added to the title of the project between the two phases, to become Public Platform of Future-Past (PPoFP) ... which we believe was important to add. This because it was envisioned that the PPoFP would monitor and use environmental data concerning the direct surroundings of the information pavilion (but NO DATA about uses/users). Data that we stated in this case Public, while the treatment of the monitored data would also become part of the project, "architectural" (more below about it).
For these monitored data to stay public, so as for the space of the pavilion itself that would be part of the public domain and physically extends it, we had to ensure that these data wouldn't be used by a third party private service. We were in need to keep an eye on the algorithms that would treat the spatial data. Or best, write them according to our design goals (more about it below).
That's were architecture meets code and data (again) obviously...
By fabric | ch
The Public Platform of Future-Past is a structure (an information and sightseeing pavilion), a Platform that overlooks an existing Public site while basically taking it as it is, in a similar way to an archeological platform over an excavation site.
The asphalt ground floor remains virtually untouched, with traces of former uses kept as they are, some quite old (a train platform linked to an early XXth century locomotives hall), some less (painted parking spaces). The surrounding environment will move and change consideralby over the years while new constructions will go on. The pavilion will monitor and document these changes. Therefore the last part of its name: "Future-Past".
By nonetheless touching the site in a few points, the pavilion slightly reorganizes the area and triggers spaces for a small new outdoor cafe and a bikes parking area. This enhanced ground floor program can work by itself, seperated from the upper floors.
Several areas are linked to monitoring activities (input devices) and/or displays (in red, top -- that concern interests points and views from the platform or elsewhere --). These areas consist in localized devices on the platform itself (5 locations), satellite ones directly implented in the three construction sites or even in distant cities of the larger political area --these are rather output devices-- concerned by the new constructions (three museums, two new large public squares, a new railway station and a new metro). Inspired by the prior similar installation in a public park during a festival -- Heterochrony (bottom image) --, these raw data can be of different nature: visual, audio, integers from sensors (%, °C, ppm, db, lm, mb, etc.), ...
Input and output devices remain low-cost and simple in their expression: several input devices / sensors are placed outside of the pavilion in the structural elements and point toward areas of interest (construction sites or more specific parts of them). Directly in relation with these sensors and the sightseeing spots but on the inside are placed output devices with their recognizable blue screens. These are mainly voice interfaces: voice outputs driven by one bot according to architectural "scores" or algorithmic rules (middle image). Once the rules designed, the "architectural system" runs on its own. That's why we've also named the system based on automated bots "Ar.I." It could stand for "Architectural Intelligence", as it is entirely part of the architectural project.
The coding of the "Ar.I." and use of data has the potential to easily become something more experimental, transformative and performative along the life of PPoFT.
Observers (users) and their natural "curiosity" play a central role: preliminary observations and monitorings are indeed the ones produced in an analog way by them (eyes and ears), in each of the 5 interesting points and through their wanderings. Extending this natural interest is a simple cord in front of each "output device" that they can pull on, which will then trigger a set of new measures by all the related sensors on the outside. This set new data enter the database and become readable by the "Ar.I."
The whole part of the project regarding interaction and data treatments has been subject to a dedicated short study (a document about this study can be accessed here --in French only--). The main design implications of it are that the "Ar.I." takes part in the process of "filtering" which happens between the "outside" and the "inside", by taking part to the creation of a variable but specific "inside atmosphere" ("artificial artificial", as the outside is artificial as well since the anthropocene, isn't it ?) By doing so, the "Ar.I." bot fully takes its own part to the architecture main program: triggering the perception of an inside, proposing patterns of occupations.
"Ar.I." computes spatial elements and mixes times. It can organize configurations for the pavilion (data, displays, recorded sounds, lightings, clocks). It can set it to a past, a present, but also a future estimated disposition. "Ar.I." is mainly a set of open rules and a vocal interface, at the exception of the common access and conference space equipped with visual displays as well. "Ar.I." simply spells data at some times while at other, more intriguingly, it starts give "spatial advices" about the environment data configuration.
In parallel to Public Platform of Future Past and in the frame of various research or experimental projects, scientists and designers at fabric | ch have been working to set up their own platform for declaring and retrieving data (more about this project, Datadroppers, here). A platform, simple but that is adequate to our needs, on which we can develop as desired and where we know what is happening to the data. To further guarantee the nature of the project, a "data commune" was created out of it and we plan to further release the code on Github.
In tis context, we are turning as well our own office into a test tube for various monitoring systems, so that we can assess the reliability and handling of different systems. It is then the occasion to further "hack" some basic domestic equipments and turn them into sensors, try new functions as well, with the help of our 3d printer in tis case (middle image). Again, this experimental activity is turned into a side project, Studio Station (ongoing, with Pierre-Xavier Puissant), while keeping the general background goal of "concept-proofing" the different elements of the main project.
A common room (conference room) in the pavilion hosts and displays the various data. 5 small screen devices, 5 voice interfaces controlled for the 5 areas of interests and a semi-transparent data screen. Inspired again by what was experimented and realized back in 2012 during Heterochrony (top image).
----- ----- -----
PPoFP, several images. Day, night configurations & few comments
Public Platform of Future-Past, axonometric views day/night.
An elevated walkway that overlook the almost archeological site (past-present-future). The circulations and views define and articulate the architecture and the five main "points of interests". These mains points concentrates spatial events, infrastructures and monitoring technologies. Layer by layer, the suroundings are getting filtrated by various means and become enclosed spaces.
Walks, views over transforming sites, ...
Data treatment, bots, voice and minimal visual outputs.
Night views, circulations, points of view.
Night views, ground.
Random yet controllable lights at night. Underlined areas of interests, points of "spatial densities".
Project: fabric | ch
Team: Patrick Keller, Christophe Guignard, Christian Babski, Sinan Mansuroglu, Yves Staub, Nicolas Besson.
Thursday, June 23. 2016
Platform of Future-Past by fabric | ch, architecture competition, (ex)1st price | #data #architecture #experimentation
Note: we've been working recently at fabric | ch on a project that we couldn't publish or talk about for contractual reasons... It concerned a relatively large information pavilion we had to create for three new museums in Switzerland (in Lausanne) and a renewed public space (railway station square). This pavilion was supposed to last for a decade, or a bit longer. The process was challenging, the work was good (we believed), but it finally didn't get build...
Sounds sad but common isn't it?
We'll see where these many "..." will lead us, but in the meantime and as a matter of documentation, let's stick to the interesting part and publish a first report about this project.
It consisted in an evolution of a prior spatial installation entitled Heterochrony (pdf). A second post will follow soon with the developments of this competition proposal. Both posts will show how we try to combine small size experiments (exhibitions) with more permanent ones (architecture) in our work. It also marks as well our desire at fabric | ch to confront more regularly our ideas and researches with architectural programs.
This first post only consists in a few snapshots of the competition documents, while the following one should present the "final" project and ideas linked to it.
By fabric | ch
On the jury paper was written, under "price" -- as we didn't get paid for the 1st price itself -- : "Réalisation" (realization).
Just below in the same letter, "according to point 1.5 of the competition", no realization will be attributed... How ironic! We did work further on an extended study though.
A few words about the project taken from its presentation:
" (...) This platform with physically moving parts could almost be considered an archaeological footbridge or an unknown scientific device, reconfigurable and shiftable, overlooking and giving to see some past industrial remains, allowing to document the present, making foresee the future.
The pavilion, or rather pavilions, equipped with numerous sensor systems, could equally be considered an "architecture of documentation" and interaction, in the sense that there will be extensive data collected to inform in an open and fluid manner over the continuous changes on the sites of construction and tranformations. Taken from the various "points of interets' on the platform, these data will feed back applications ("architectural intelligence"?), media objects, spatial and lighting behaviors. The ensemble will play with the idea of a combination of various time frames and will combine the existing, the imagined and the evanescent. (...) "
Download pdf (14 mb).
Project: fabric | ch
Team: Patrick Keller, Christophe Guignard, Sinan Mansuroglu, Nicolas Besson.
Monday, June 13. 2016
Note: after a few weeks posting about the Universal Income, here comes the "Universal data accumulator for devices, sensors, programs, humans & more" by Wolfram (best known for Wolfram Alpha computational engine and the former Mathematica libraries, on which most of their other services seem to be built).
Funilly, we've picked a very similar name for a very similar data service we've set up for ourselves and our friends last year, during an exhibition at H3K: Datadroppers (!), with a different set of references in our mind (Drop City? --from which we borrowed the colors-- "Turn on, tune in, drop out"?) Even if our service is logically much more grassroots, less developed but therfore quite light to use as well.
We developed this project around data dropping/picking with another architectural project in mind that I'll speak about in the coming days: Public Platform of Future-Past. It was clearly and closely linked.
"Universal" is back in the loop as a keyword therefore... (I would rather adopt a different word for myself and the work we are doing though: "Diversal" --which is a word I'm using for 2 yearnow and naively thought I "invented", but not...)
"The Wolfram Data Drop is an open service that makes it easy to accumulate data of any kind, from anywhere—setting it up for immediate computation, visualization, analysis, querying, or other operations." - which looks more oriented towards data analysis than use in third party designs and projects.
"Datadroppers is a public and open data commune, it is a tool dedicated to data collection and sharing that tries to remain as simple, minimal and easy to use as possible." Direct and light data tool for designers, belonging to designers (fabric | ch) that use it for their own projects...
Wednesday, April 27. 2016
Note: we blogged last week about automation and funilly, the Jacquard process was mentioned as one of the early stage of automation and computing during an exhibition in Wien. The "Métiers Jacquard" were an inspiration to Ch. Babbage when he started to design his Difference Engine, one of the early mechanic autonomous and programmable computer (in the sense of a calculator). We should also not forget that in reality, "computers" were real persons doing calculations -- often women (in particular during last world wars), which then became the first operators of automatic computers (see the ENIAC girls) -- until back in the middle of 20th century.
So to say, digital computers have already replaced "person computers" and automated, as well as by far quickened their activities... The first purpose of the computer as we know it was automation. It is part of its DNA.
Now, as a wink to this history but also as a possible "return of the repressed", Google literally enters the textile business and brings computing (back) to fabrics! So it is not by chance that they've picked up this name obviously, "Jacquard".
More about it on MIT Technology Review.
Thursday, April 21. 2016
Note: the idea of automation is very present again recently. And it is more and more put together with the related idea of a society without work, or insufficient work for everyone --which is already the case in the liberal way of thinking btw--, as most of it would be taken by autonomous machines, AIs, etc.
Many people are warning about this (Bill Gates among them, talking precisely about "software substitution"), some think about a "universal income" as a possible response, some say we shouldn't accept this and use our consumer power to reject such products (we spoke passionatey about it with my good old friend Eric Sadin last week during a meal at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, while drinking --almost automatically as well-- some good wine), some say it is almost too late and we should plan and have visions for what is coming upon us...
Now comes also an exhibition about the same subject at Kunsthalle Wien that tries to articulate the questions: "Technical devices that were originally designed to serve and assist us and are now getting smarter and harder to control and comprehend. Does their growing autonomy mean that the machines will one day overpower us? Or will they remain our subservient little helpers, our gateway to greater knowledge and sovereignty?"
Installation view The Promise of Total Automation. Image Kunsthalle Wien
The word ‘automation’ is appearing in places that would have seemed unlikely to most people less than a decade ago: journalism, art, design or law. Robots and algorithms are being increasingly convincing at doing things just like humans. And sometimes even better than humans.
The Promise of Total Automation, an exhibition recently opened at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, looks at our troubled relationship with machines. Technical devices that were originally designed to serve and assist us and are now getting smarter and harder to control and comprehend. Does their growing autonomy mean that the machines will one day overpower us? Or will they remain our subservient little helpers, our gateway to greater knowledge and sovereignty?
The Promise of Total Automation is an intelligent, inquisitive and engrossing exhibition. Its investigation into the tensions and dilemmas of human/machines relationship explore themes that go from artificial intelligence to industrial aesthetics, from bio-politics to theories of conspiracy, from e-waste to resistance to innovation, from archaeology of digital communication to utopias that won’t die.
The show is dense in information and invitations to ponder so don’t forget to pick up one of the free information booklet at the entrance of the show. You’re going to need it!
A not-so-quick walk around the show:
James Benning, Stemple Pass, 2012
James Benning‘s film Stemple Pass is made of four static shots, each from the same angle and each 30 minutes long, showing a cabin in the middle of a forest in spring, fall, winter and summer. The modest building is a replica of the hideout of anti-technology terrorist Ted Kaczynski. The soundtrack alternates between the ambient sound of the forest and Benning reading from the Unabomber’s journals, encrypted documents and manifesto.
Kaczynski’s texts hover between his love for nature and his intention to destroy and murder. Between his daily life in the woods and his fears that technology is going to turn into an instrument that enables the powerful elite to take control over society. What is shocking is not so much the violence of his words because you expect them. It’s when he gets it right that you get upset. When he expresses his distrust of the merciless rise of technology, his doubts regarding the promises of innovation and it somehow makes sense to you.
Konrad Klapheck, Der Chef, 1965. Photo: © Museum Kunstpalast – ARTOTHEK
Konrad Klapheck’s paintings ‘portray’ devices that were becoming mainstream in 1960s households: vacuum cleaner, typewriters, sewing machines, telephones, etc. In his works, the objects are abstracted from any context, glorified and personified. In the typewriter series, he even assigns roles to the objects. They are Herrscher (ruler), Diktator, Gesetzgeber (lawgiver) or Chef (boss.) These titles allude to the important role that the instruments have taken in administrative and economic systems.
Tyler Coburn, Sabots, 2016, courtesy of the artist, photo: David Avazzadeh
This unassuming small pair of 3D-printed clogs alludes to the workers struggles of the Industrial Revolution. The title of the piece, Sabots, means clogs in french. The word sabotage allegedly comes from it. The story says that when French farmers left the countryside to come and work in factories they kept on wearing their peasant clogs. These shoes were not suited for factory works and as a consequence, the word ‘saboter’ came to mean ‘to work clumsily or incompetently’ or ‘to make a mess of things.’ Another apocryphal story says that disgruntled workers blamed the clogs when they damaged or tampered machinery. Another version saw the workers throwing their clogs at the machine to destroy it.
In the early 20th century, labor unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) advocated withdrawal of efficiency as a means of self-defense against unfair working conditions. They called it sabotage.
Tyler Coburn contributed another work to the show. Waste Management looks like a pair of natural stones but the rocks are actually made out of electronic waste, more precisely the glass from old computer monitors and fiber powder from printed circuit boards that were mixed with epoxy and then molded in an electronic recycling factory in Taiwan. The country is not only a leader in the export of electronics, but also in the development of e-waste processing technologies that turn electronic trash into architectural bricks, gold potassium cyanide, precious metals—and even artworks such as these rocks. Coburn bought them there as a ready made. They evoke the Chinese scholar’s rocks. By the early Song dynasty (960–1279), the Chinese started collecting small ornamental rocks, especially the rocks that had been sculpted naturally by processes of erosion.
Accompanying these objects is a printed broadsheet which narrates the circulation and transformation of a CRT monitor into the stone artworks. The story follows from the “it-narrative” or novel of circulation, a sub-genre of 18th Century literature, in which currencies and commodities narrated their circulation within a then-emerging global economy.
Osborne & Felsenstein, Personal Computer Osborne 1a and Monitor NEC, 1981, Loan Vienna Technical Museum, photo: David Avazzadeh
Adam Osborne and Lee Felsenstein, Personal Computer Osborne 1a, 1981, Courtesy Technisches Museum, Wien
Several artifacts ground the exhibition into the technological and cultural history of automation: A mechanical Jacquard loom, often regarded as a key step in the history of computing hardware because of the way it used punched cards to control operations. A mysterious-looking arithmometer, the first digital mechanical calculator reliable enough to be used at the office to automate mathematical calculations. A Morse code telegraph, the first invention to effectively exploit electromagnetism for long-distance communication and thus a pioneer of digital communication. A cybernetic model from 1956 (see further below) and the first ‘portable’ computer.
Released in 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation, the Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer. It weighed 10.7 kg (23.5 lb), cost $1,795 USD, had a tiny screen (5-inch/13 cm) and no battery.
At the peak of demand, Osborne was shipping over 10,000 units a month. However, Osborne Computer Corporation shot itself in the foot when they prematurely announced the release of their next generation models. The news put a stop to the sales of the current unit, contributing to throwing the company into bankruptcy. This has comes to be known as the Osborne effect.
Kybernetisches Modell Eier: Die Maus im Labyrinth (Cybernetics Model Eier: The Mouse in the Maze), 1956. Image Kunsthalle Wien
Around 1960, scientists started to build cybernetic machines in order to study artificial intelligence. One of these machines was a maze-solving mouse built by Claude E. Shannon to study the labyrinthian path that a call made using telephone switching systems should take to reach its destination. The device contained a maze that could be arranged to create various paths. The system followed the idea of Ariadne’s thread, the mouse marking each field with the path information, like the Greek mythological figure did when she helped Theseus find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Richard Eier later re-built the maze-solving mouse and improved Shannon’s method by replacing the thread with two two-bits memory units.
Régis Mayot, JEANNE & CIE, 2015. Image Kunsthalle Wien
In 2011, the CIAV (the international center for studio glass in Meisenthal, France) invited Régis Mayot to work in their studios. The designer decided to explore the moulds themselves, rather than the objects that were produced using them. By a process of sand moulding, the designer revealed the mechanical beauty of some of these historical tools, producing prints of a selection of moulds that were then blown by craftsmen in glass.
Jeanne et Cie (named after one of the moulds chosen by the designer) highlights how the aesthetics of objects are the result of the industrial instruments and processes that enter into their manufacturing.
Bureau d’études, ME, 2013, © Léonore Bonaccini and Xavier Fourt
Bureau d’Etudes, Electromagnetic Propaganda, 2010
The exhibition also presented a selection of Bureau d´Études‘ intricate and compelling cartographies that visualize covert connections between actors and interests in contemporary political, social and economic systems. Because knowledge is power, the maps are meant as instruments that can be used as part of social movements. The ones displayed at Kunsthalle Wien included the maps of Electro-Magnetic Propaganda, Government of the Agro-Industrial System and the 8th Sphere.
I fell in love with Mark Leckey‘s video. So much that i’ll have to dedicate another post to his work. One day.
David Jourdan’s poster alludes to an ad in which newspaper Der Standard announced that its digital format was ‘almost as good as paper.’
More images from the exhibition:
Magali Reus, Leaves, 2015
Thomas Bayrle, Kleiner koreanischer Wiper
Juan Downey, Nostalgic Item, 1967, Estate of Joan Downey courtesy of Marilys B. Downey, photo: David Avazzadeh
Judith Fegerl, still, 2013, © Judith Fegerl, Courtesy Galerie Hubert Winter, Wien
Installation view The Promise of Total Automation. Image Kunsthalle Wien
Installation view. Image Kunsthalle Wien
Installation view. Image Kunsthalle Wien
More images on my flickr album.
Also in the exhibition: Prototype II (after US patent no 6545444 B2) or the quest for free energy.
The Promise of Total Automation was curated by Anne Faucheret. The exhibition is open until 29 May at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area.
Tuesday, March 15. 2016
Note: Sidewalks Labs is a Google spinoff with some new "messianic" ("make the world a better place") views. And soon, for the better and the worst (place), will we all literally inhabit inside Google and push some more data to feed the beast.
The message is somehow simplistic --see below-- considering how complicated and messy a city can be. It's a market driven message of course, but it nonetheless tells the architect community how far their discipline could be further taken out of their hands. It could truly happen if most of them continue to consider that "technical things" are to be left to "technicians"... and don't modify architecture or even the very nature of "space" .
We should probably reconsider here the amazing propositions and theories somebody like Reyner Banham made in books such as The Architecture of the Well tempered Environment back in the 70ies, to see how far we are from what it could be (considering air conditioning techs for exemple).
Via Sidewalks Labs
" Sidewalk Labs is a new type of company that works with cities to build products addressing big urban problems.
To do this, we're building a platform and set of urban applications to accelerate innovation in cities around the world."
Over the past 200 hundred years, there have been three technological revolutions that have defined the modern city. Each has provided huge benefits but also profound social costs. We are now poised for a fourth.
First, the steam revolution gave cities rapid transportation, steamships, and large factories that transformed commerce. But it also gave cities the first industrialized slums and the worst air pollution that mankind had ever known.
Second, the electricity revolution gave us lights, subways and elevators. But electricity also allowed us to block the sunlight, retreat to artificial environments and warehouse people in high-rises.
Third, the automobile allowed the city to expand in every direction, enabling access to more opportunities and weekend retreats. But it also gave us sprawl, traffic jams, smog and nearly killed the central city.
Digital Technology is Ready to Transform Cities
Smartphones already shape how people interact with cities. A new set of digital technologies - ubiquitous connectivity, real-time sensors, precise location services, distributed trust, autonomous systems and digital actuation and fabrication - can collectively transform city life. But towards what end? Will they make the city more responsive, equitable, innovative and human or will they challenge civil liberties and security?
Wednesday, February 24. 2016
Note: j'aurai le plaisir d'être en entretien --en français-- ce vendredi 26.02 à 20h avec le journaliste Frédéric Pfyffer, de la Radio Télévision Suisse Romande, dans le cadre du programme Histoire Vivante qui traite cette semaine du sujet des "Big Data".
Cet entretien, qui a été enregistré en fin de semaine passée, nous verra évoquer la façon dont les artistes ou designers abordent aujourd'hui --mais aussi un peu hier-- cette question des données. En contrepoint ou complément peut-être des approches scientifiques. Pour ma part, aussi bien dans le contexte de ma pratique indépendante (fabric | ch où de nombreux projets réalisés ou en développement s'appuient sur des données) qu'académique (projet de recherche interdisciplinaire en cours autour des "nuages"... entre autres).
À noter encore qu'au terme de la semaine d'émissions thématiques sera diffusé sur la TSR (dimanche 28.02) le documentaire Citizenfour, qui relate toute l'aventure d'Edward Snowden et du journaliste Glenn Greenwald.
Ces cinq émissions seront également disponibles en mode podcast à la même adresse, suite à la diffusion de cette semaine.
Une semaine d’Histoire Vivante consacrée à l’histoire de la recherche scientifique à la lumière de l’émergence de l’internet et des big data.
Dimanche 28 février 2016, vous pouvez découvrir sur RTS Deux: CitizenFour, un documentaire de Laura Poitras (Allemagne-USA/2014):
"Citizenfour est le pseudonyme utilisé par Edward Snowden pour contacter la réalisatrice de ce documentaire lorsqu'il décide de révéler les méthodes de surveillance de la NSA. Accompagnée d'un journaliste d'investigation, elle le rejoint dans une chambre d'hôtel à Hong Kong. La suite est un huis-clos digne des meilleurs thrillers."
Thursday, January 28. 2016
Note: I'll move this afternoon to Grandhotel Giessbach (sounds like a Wes Anderson movie) to present later tonight the temporary results of the research I'm jointly leading with Nicolas Nova for ECAL & HEAD - Genève, in partnership with EPFL-ECAL Lab & EPFL: Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s). Looking forward to meet the Swiss design research community (mainly) at the hotel...
Christophe Guignard and myself will have the pleasure to present the temporary results of the design research Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s) next Thursday (28.01.2016) at the Swiss Design Network conference.
The conference will happen at Grandhotel Giessbach over the lake Brienz, where we'll focus on the research process fully articulated around the practice of design (with the participation of students in the case of I&IC) and the process of project.
This will apparently happen between "dinner" and "bar", as we'll present a "Fireside Talk" at 9pm. Can't wait to do and see that...
The full program and proceedings (pdf) of the conference can be accessed HERE.
As for previous events, we'll try to make a short "follow up" on this documentary blog after the event.
Tuesday, December 08. 2015
Note: We've been pointing out several exhibitions on fabric | rblg recently. Here comes a new one, early next year in London (Whitechapel Gallery), that will undoubtedly become one not to be missed, at least for the media/electronic art community interested in its own art history, but certainly for the art community in general (at a time when the intertwinings between arts and sciences become hot again and as there have note been many such initiatives -- not one that broad in fact, to my knowledge). We will have the pleasure to see again works from E.A.T. exhibited (after the exhibition in Salzburg early this year), so as by N.J. Paik that become a bit hard to see recently (is this due to lawsuits between its inheritor and apparently not too sympathetic gallerist?)
Interestingly, as many of these artists are part of a theory/history course I give to ECAL students, it will become very interesting teaching material for me as well! Great that this will exist, so as the catalogue that I''ll be very curious to read.
Looking forward to meet friends and ghosts in London early next year then!
29 January – 15 May 2016
Media view: Thursday 28 January, 10:00-12:00
Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) - E.A.T. News. Volume 1 (B. Klüver, R. Rauschenberg).
In January 2016 the Whitechapel Gallery presents Electronic Superhighway, a landmark exhibition that brings together over 100 artworks to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day.
New and rarely seen multimedia works, together with film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing by over 70 artists feature, including works by Cory Arcangel, Roy Ascott, Jeremy Bailey, Judith Barry, James Bridle, Douglas Coupland, Constant Dullaart, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Vera Molnar, Albert Oehlen, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Jon Rafman, Hito Steyerl, Ryan Trecartin, Amalia Ulman and Ulla Wiggen.
The exhibition title Electronic Superhighway is taken from a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology. Arranged in reverse chronological order, Electronic Superhighway begins with works made between 2000 – 2016, and ends with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an iconic, artistic moment that took place in 1966. Spanning 50 years, from 2016 to 1966, key moments in the history of art and the Internet emerge as the exhibition travels back in time.
As the exhibition illustrates, the Internet has provided material for different generations of artists. Oliver Laric’s painting series Versions (Missile Variations) (2010) reflects on issues surrounding digital image manipulation, production, authenticity and circulation. Further highlights include a series of photographs from conceptual artist Amalia Ulman’s four-month Instagram project Excellences & Perfections (2014-2015), which examines the influence of social media on attitudes towards the female body. Miniature paintings by Celia Hempton painted live in chatrooms go on display alongside a large scale digital painting by Albert Oehlen and manipulated camera-less photography by Thomas Ruff.
The dot-com boom, from the late 1990s to early millennium, is examined through work from international artists and collectives such as The Yes Men who combined art and online activism in response to the rapid commercialisation of the web.
Works by Nam June Paik in the exhibition include Internet Dreams (1994), a video-wall of 52 monitors displaying electronically-processed abstract images, and Good Morning, Mr. Orwell (1984). On New Year’s Day 1984 Paik broadcast live and pre-recorded material from artists including John Cage and The Thompson Twins from a series of satellite-linked television studios in New York, West Germany, South Korea and Paris’ Pompidou Centre to an estimated audience of 25 million viewers worldwide. Paik saw the event as a counter response to George Orwell’s’s dystopian vision of 1984.
The birth of the World Wide Web in 1989 provided a breeding ground for early user-based net art, with innovators such as Moscow-born Olia Lialina adopting the Internet as a medium, following earlier practices in performance and video. In My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996) the artist presents a love story enacted via an interactive black and white browser screen.
The emergence of net art is explored through a curated selection of interactive browser-based works from the Rhizome archive, a leading digital arts organisation founded online in 1996 by artist Mark Tribe, and affiliated with the New Museum in New York since 2003. In 1999, Rhizome created a collection of born-digital artworks which has grown to include over 2000 and in recent years, it has developed a preservation programme around this archive.
One of the first ever major interactive art installations, Lorna (1979-1982) by Lynn Hershman Leeson presents a fictional female character who stays indoors all day watching TV and anticipated virtual avatars. Also on show is Judith Barry’s video installation Speed flesh (1998), which lures viewers into an interactive computer-generated world.
A proliferation of experiments from the 1960s – 70s pushed the boundaries of technology. Artists such as Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake and Stan VanDerBeek adopted computer programmes to create abstract and geometrical works while Roy Ascott, Allan Kaprow, Gary Hill and Nam June Paik used various new media to connect across multiple sites globally.
The exhibition concludes with artefacts from the formation of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T) in New York in 1966 which saw performances over nine evenings from artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Yvonne Rainer working together with engineers from American engineering company Bell Laboratories in one of the first major collaborations between the industrial technology sector and the arts.
To coincide with Electronic Superhighway a series of related special projects/displays, commissions and special events include:
Harun Farocki – Parallel I–IV (2012–4)
Luke Fowler and Mark Fell: Computers and Cooperative Music-Making
Artists’ Film International: Rachel Maclean
For more information on events and displays visit whitechapelgallery.org
Notes for Editors
For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.
The exhibition is curated by Omar Kholeif, Curator, Whitechapel Gallery with Séamus McCormack, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue edited by Omar Kholeif which includes contributions by Iwona Blazwick, Omar Kholeif, Ed Halter, Erika Balsom, Sarah Perks, Judith Barry, Nam June Paik, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Séamus McCormack, Jonas Lund and Ulla Wiggen. Price £29.99.
The exhibition’s development has been supported by a curatorial advisory committee which includes, Erika Balsom, Lecturer, Film and Liberal Arts, King’s College London; Heather Corcoran, Former Executive Director, Rhizome; Ed Halter, Co-Director Light Industry, Assistant Professor, Bard College; and Sarah Perks, Artistic Director, Cornerhouse and HOME, and Professor at Manchester School of Art.
The full list of artists included in Electronic Superhighway are: Jacob Appelbaum; Cory Arcangel; Roy Ascott; Jeremy Bailey; Judith Barry; Wafaa Bilal; Zach Blas; Olaf Breuning; James Bridle; Heath Bunting;Bureau of Inverse ;Technology (B.I.T.);Antoine Catala; Aristarkh Chernyshev; Petra Cortright; Vuk Ćosić; Douglas Coupland; CTG (Computer Technique Group); Cybernetic Serendipity ;Aleksandra Domanović; Constant Dullaart; Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.); Harun Farocki; Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige; Celia Hempton; Camille Henrot; Gary Hill; Ann Hirsch; Nancy Holt and Richard Serra ; JODI; Eduardo Kac; Allan Kaprow; Hiroshi Kawano; Mahmoud Khaled; Oliver Laric; Jan Robert Leegte; Lynn Hershman Leeson; Olia Lialina; Tony Longson; Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; Jonas Lund; Jill Magid; Eva and Franco Mattes; Model Court; Vera Molnar ; Mouchette (Martine Neddam); Manfred Mohr; Jayson Musson; Frieder Nake; Joshua Nathanson; Katja Novitskova; Mendi + Keith Obadike; Albert Oehlen; Trevor Paglen; Nam June Paik; Jon Rafman; Evan Roth; Thomas Ruff; Alex Ruthner; Jacolby Satterwhite; Lillian F. Schwartz; Peter Sedgley; Taryn Simon; Frances Stark; Hito Steyerl; Sturtevant; Martine Syms; Thomson and Craighead; Ryan Trecartin; Amalia Ulman; Stan VanDerBeek; Steina and Woody Vasulka; Addie Wagenknecht; Lawrence Weiner; Ulla Wiggen; The Yes Men; YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
Admission £13.50 (including Gift Aid donation) £11.95 (without Gift Aid). Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR. T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888, firstname.lastname@example.org, whitechapelgallery.org
Wednesday, October 21. 2015
Note: suddenly speaking about web design, wouldn' it be the time to start again doing some interaction design on the web? Aren't we in need of some "net art" approach, some weirder propositions than the too slick "responsive design" of a previsible "user-centered" or even "experience" design dogma? These kind of complex web/interaction experiences almost all vanished (remember Jodi?) To the point that there is now a vast experimental void for designers to tap again into!
Well, after the site that can only be browsed by one person at a time (with a poor visual design indeed), here comes the one that self destruct itself. Could be a start... Btw, thinking about files, sites or contents, etc. that would self destruct themsleves would probably help save lots of energy in data storage, hard drives and datacenters of all sorts, where these data sits like zombies.
By Isis Madrid
Former head of product at Flickr and Bitly, Matt Rothenberg recently caused an internet hubbub with his Unindexed project. The communal website continuously searched for itself on Google for 22 days, at which point, upon finding itself, spontaneously combusted.
In addition to chasing its own tail on Google, Unindexed provided a platform for visitors to leave comments and encourage one another to spread the word about the website. According to Rothenberg, knowledge of the website was primarily passed on in the physical world via word of mouth.
“Part of the goal with the project was to create a sense of unease with the participants—if they liked it, they could and should share it with others, so that the conversation on the site could grow,” Rothenberg told Motherboard. “But by doing so they were potentially contributing to its demise via indexing, as the more the URL was out there, the faster Google would find it.”
When the website finally found itself on Google, the platform disappeared and this message replaced it:
If you are interested in creating a similar self-destructing site, feel free to start with Rothenberg’s open source code.
fabric | rblg
This blog is the survey website of fabric | ch - studio for architecture, interaction and research.
We curate and reblog articles, researches, writings, exhibitions and projects that we notice and find interesting during our everyday practice and readings.
Most articles concern the intertwined fields of architecture, territory, art, interaction design, thinking and science. From time to time, we also publish documentation about our own work and research, immersed among these related resources and inspirations.
This website is used by fabric | ch as archive, references and resources. It is shared with all those interested in the same topics as we are, in the hope that they will also find valuable references and content in it.
| rblg on Twitter