Friday, June 26. 2015
I&IC within Poetics and Politics of Data, exhibition at H3K, scenography. Pictures | #data #research
By fabric | ch
Note: last end of May was the opening of the exhibition Poetics & Politics of Data at the Haus der elektronischen Künste in Basel. This was the occasion to present the temporary results of the design research I'm leading at ECAL/University of Art & Design Lausanne, in collaboration with Nicolas Nova from HEAD - Genève, EPFL and EPFL-ECAL Lab. But for that matter, fabric | ch realized the scenography of the whole exhibition, in particular the "hidden" part hosting the presentation of the design research itself.
The whole spatial display we designed looks like some sort of "heterotopy": an archive and (computer) cabinet of curiosities within the white cube. A little bit like the "behind the scenes" of the exhibition, occupying its center, yet articulating it. It is basically made out of the modular elements that constitutes the "white cube" itself. Just that we maintained the hidden parts of these walls open and visible, widen and turn them in a pathway and an archive.
Also present in the space and scenography are different works from fabric | ch: Deterritorialized Daylight is used to drive the lighting of the inner part of the cabinet, a new work Datadroppers --an online data commune, reminiscence of the now dead Pachube-- is used to collect and re-use random data from the exhibition, several Raspberry Pis in their dedicated 3d printed casing are collecting these data (which includes, in addition to the traditional ones more surpising ones like "curiosity", "transgression", etc.) and "dropping" them on the online service. They are then searchable and be used in third parties applications.
The exhibition will still be on view until the end of August in Basel, with works by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Moniker, Aram Bartholl, Jennifer Lyn Morone, Rybn and several others.
Pictures by David Colombini and Marco Frauchiger
Intro text to the exhibition and credits:
Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s) is an ongoing design research about Cloud Computing. It explores the creation of counter-proposals to the current expression of this technological arrangement, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (Personal Cloud). Through its fully documented cross-disciplinary approach that connects the works of interaction designers, architects and ethnographers, this research project aims at producing alternative yet concrete models resulting from a more decentralized and citizen-oriented approach.
Project leaders: Patrick Keller (ECAL), Nicolas Nova (HEAD)
Students (ECAL): Anne-Sophie Bazard, Benjamin Botros, Caroline Buttet, Guillaume Cerdeira, Romain Cazier, Maxime Castelli, Mylène Dreyer, Bastien Girshig, Martin Hertig, Jonas Lacôte, Alexia Léchot, Nicolas Nahornyj, Pierre-Xavier Puissant
Scenography: fabric | ch
ECAL director: Alexis Georgacopoulos
ECAL/University of Art & Design Lausanne, HEAD – Genève, EPFL-ECAL Lab, HES-SO
Wednesday, May 27. 2015
Note: as explained below in the message I posted on the documentary blog about the design research project I'm currently working on at ECAL, we've been pretty busy recently... and not only with the exhibition project mentioned even so we've been working on the scenography for it. So to say, this explains why we are having a hard time to be more active on | rblg! But hopefully, things will calm down a little bit after that and I'll find time again to write about the many projects we've been working on over the past two years, in parallel to continue archiving interesting works and resources on this blog!
Note: after some time of relative silence on the blog, we’re happy to say that the design-research project Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s) will be part of the next exhibition at the Haus für elektronische Künste in Basel (CH), in the form of a counterpoint or “behind the scenes” to the media art exhibition per se. This explains partly that, then…
We had to work hard for the exhibition, especially because I was also in charge of the scenography (a work by fabric | ch in this case though), while Lucien Langton produced almost all the video documentation content.
At the invitation of H3K curator, Sabine Himmelsbach, we’ll therefore present the work that has been realized so far, half-way through our research process.
This will consist for large parts in video documentation and few artifacts, including some new ones (“Tools” oriented). We will use this material later on the I&IC website to fully document the current state of our work.
The opening of the exhibition Poetics & Politics of Data will be tomorrow at 7pm, at H3K (Dreispitz neighborhood in Basel), the show will then last until end of August.
Christopher Baker, Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise, 2008
Poetics and Politics of Data
duration: 29.05.2015 – 30.08.2015
opening: 28.05.2015, 7pm
H3K, Freilager-Platz 9, 4142 Münchenstein / Basel, CH
The exhibition „Poetics and Politics of Data“ addresses the paradigm of a data-driven society and reflects life in an increasingly datified world. In visionary future scenarios, scientists enthuse over a world in which algorithms take over managing processes, envisioning a highly sensory and datafied space for us to live in, a world in which our desires and activities are anticipated, long before we carry them out. „Big Data“ is the keyword to this new era in which the power of data induces a radical transformation of a society whose actions and production of knowledge rely increasingly on the accumulation and evaluation of data.
“Poetics and Politics of Data” shows artistic works that approach the phenomena of Big Data and data mining, visualizing the continuous bitstream in various ways while referring to the political and social implications that come with a world that is controlled by data – from the processes of self-optimization to economical aspects and questions concerning the use and evaluation of this data. Who has access to our data? In what ways is it possible to extract useful information and find “valuable” and applicable correlations from the immense pool of data?
The exhibition introduces critically subversive approaches and interventions in networked spaces that make use of the potential of a virtual community and reflect personal performance in social networks. It focuses on aspects of surveillance strategies, data mining, privacy, post-privacy and digital autobiography acted out in social networks. Amid the constantly growing, infinite ocean of data, artists question the meaning and position of the individual in a technologically networked society and – thanks to their resistance and sense of independence – offer various alternatives to a normative world of data.
From computer-mediated installations to data visualizations, they address these questions through different media in order to not only generate a new approach to complex data structure, but to create a poetic immersive space of data.
“Poetics and Politics of Data” is an interdisciplinary project between HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel), the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS and Opendata.ch, the Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, presenting an exhibition about artistic approaches to big amounts of data. Artistic strategies and concepts of data usage, -interpretation and -criticism will be on display, discussing the potential and dangers of Big Data and data mining.
Group exhibition with works by:
Sunday, February 01. 2015
By fabric | ch
Along different projects we are undertaking at fabric | ch, we continue to work on self initiated researches and experiments (slowly, way too slowly... Time is of course missing). Deterritorialized House is one of them, introduced below.
Some of these experimental works concern the mutating "home" program (considered as "inhabited housing"), that is obviously an historical one for architecture but that is also rapidly changing "(...) under pressure of multiple forces --financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical. What we used to call home may not even exist anymore, having transmuted into a financial commodity measured in sqm (square meters)", following Joseph Grima's statement in sqm. the quantified home, "Home is the answer, but what is the question?"
In a different line of works, we are looking to build physical materializations in the form of small pavilions for projects like i.e. Satellite Daylight, 46°28'N, while other researches are about functions: based on live data feeds, how would you inhabit a transformed --almost geo-engineered atmospheric/environmental condition? Like the one of Deterritorialized Living (night doesn't exist in this fictional climate that consists of only one day, no years, no months, no seasons), the physiological environment of I-Weather, or the one of Perpetual Tropical Sunshine, etc.?
We are therefore very interested to explore further into the ways you would inhabit such singular and "creolized" environments composed of combined dimensions, like some of the ones we've designed for installations. Yet considering these environments as proto-architecture (architectured/mediated atmospheres) and as conditions to inhabit, looking for their own logic.
We are looking forward to publish the results of these different projects along the year. Some as early sketches, some as results, or both. I publish below early sketches of such an experiment, Deterritorialized House, linked to the "home/house" line of research. It is about symbiotically inhabiting the data center... Would you like it or not, we surely de-facto inhabit it, as it is a globally spread program and infrastructure that surrounds us, but we are thinking here in physically inhabiting it, possibly making it a "home", sharing it with the machines...
What is happening when you combine a fully deterritorialized program (super or hyper-modern, "non lieu", ...) with the one of the home? What might it say or comment about contemporary living? Could the symbiotic relation take advantage of the heat the machine are generating --directly connected to the amount of processing power used--, the quality of the air, the fact that the center must be up and running, possibly lit 24/7, etc.
As we'll run a workshop next week in the context of another research project (Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), an academic program between ECAL, HEAD, EPFL-ECAL Lab and EPFL in this case) linked to this idea of questioning the data center --its paradoxically centralized program, its location, its size, its functionalism, etc.--, it might be useful to publish these drawings, even so in their early phase (theys are dating back from early 2014, the project went back and forth from this point and we are still working on it.)
1) The data center level (level -1 or level +1) serves as a speculative territory and environment to inhabit (each circle in this drawing is a fresh air pipe sourrounded by a certain number of computers cabinets --between 3 and 9).
A potential and idealistic new "infinite monument" (global)? It still needs to be decided if it should be underground, cut from natural lighting or if it should be fragmented into many pieces and located in altitude (--likely, according to our other scenarios that are looking for decentralization and collaboration), etc. Both?
Fresh air is coming from the outside through the pipes surrounded by the servers and their cabinets (the incoming air could be an underground cooled one, or the one that can be found in altitude, in the Swiss Alps --triggering scenarios like cities in the moutains? moutain data farming? Likely too, as we are looking to bring data centers back into small or big urban environments). The computing and data storage units are organized like a "landscape", trying to trigger different atmospheric qualities (some areas are hotter than others with the amount of hot air coming out of the data servers' cabinets, some areas are charged in positive ions, air connectivity is obviously everywhere, etc.)
Artificial lighting follows a similar organization as the servers' cabinets need to be well lit. Therefore a light pattern emerges as well in the data center level. Running 24/7, with the need to be always lit, the data center uses a very specific programmed lighting system: Deterritorialized Daylight linked to global online data flows.
2) Linked to the special atmospheric conditions found in this "geo-data engineered atmosphere" (the one of the data center itself, level -1 or 1), freely organized functions can be located according to their best matching location. There are no thick walls as the "cabinets islands" acts as semi-open partitions.
A program starts to appear that combines the needs of a data center and the one of a small housing program which is immersed into this "climate" (dense connectivity, always artificially lit, 24°C permanent heat). "Houses" start to appear as "plugs" into a larger data center.
3) A detailed view (data center, level -1 or +1) on the "housing plug" that combine programs. At this level, the combination between an office-administration unit for a small size data center start to emerge, combined with a kind of "small office - home office" that is immersed into this perpetually lit data space. This specific small housing space (a studio, or a "small office - home office") becomes a "deterritorialized" room within a larger housing program that we'll find on the upper level(s), likely ground floor or level +2 of the overall compound.
4) Using the patterns emerging from different spatial components (heat, light, air quality --dried, charged in positive ions--, wifi connectivity), a map is traced and "moirés" patterns of spatial configurations ("moirés spaces") start to happen. These define spatial qualities. Functions are "structurelessly" placed accordingly, on a "best matching location" basis (needs in heat, humidity, light, connectivity which connect this approach to the one of Philippe Rahm, initiated in a former research project, Form & Function Follow Climate (2006). Or also i.e. the one of Walter Henn, Burolandschaft (1963), if not the one of Junya Ishigami's Kanagawa Institute).
Note also that this is a line of work that we are following in another experimental project at fabric | ch, about which we also hope to publish along the year, Algorithmic Atomized Functioning --a glimpse of which can be seen in Desierto Issue #3, 28° Celsius.
5) On ground level or on level +2, the rest of the larger house program and few parts of the data center that emerges. There are no other heating or artificial lighting devices besides the ones provided by the data center program itself. The energy spent by the data center must serve and somehow be spared by the house. Fresh and hot zones, artificial light and connectivity, etc. are provided by the data center emergences in the house, so has from the opened "small office - home office" that is located one floor below. Again, a map is traced based and moirés patterns of specific locations and spatial configurations emerge. Functions are also placed accordingly (hot, cold, lit, connected zones).
Starts or tries to appear a "creolized" housing object, somewhere in between a symbiotic fragmented data center and a house, possibly sustaining or triggering new inhabiting patterns...
Project (ongoing): fabric | ch
Team: Patrick Keller, Christophe Guignard, Christian Babski, Sinan Mansuroglu
Friday, January 23. 2015
Note: Following my recent posts about the research project "Inhabiting & Intercacing the Cloud(s)" I'm leading for ECAL, Nicolas Nova and I will be present during next Lift Conference in Geneva (Feb. 4-6 2015) for a talk combined with a workshop and a skype session with EPFL (a workshop related to the I&IC research project will be on the finish line at EPFL –Prof. Dieter Dietz’s ALICE Laboratory– on the day we’ll present in Geneva). If you plan to take part to Lift 15, please come say "hello" and exchange about the project.
Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s)
Curated by Lift
Fri, Feb. 06 2015 – 10:30 to 12:30
Room 7+8 (Level 2)
Architect (EPFL), founding member of fabric | ch and Professor at ECAL
Principal at Near Future Laboratory and Professor at HEAD Geneva
Workshop description : Since the end of the 20th century, we have been seeing the rapid emergence of “Cloud Computing”, a new constructed entity that combines extensively information technologies, massive storage of individual or collective data, distributed computational power, distributed access interfaces, security and functionalism.
In a joint design research that connects the works of interaction designers from ECAL & HEAD with the spatial and territorial approaches of architects from EPFL, we’re interested in exploring the creation of alternatives to the current expression of “Cloud Computing”, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (“Personal Cloud”). It is to offer a critical appraisal of this “iconic” infrastructure of our modern age and its user interfaces, because to date their implementation has followed a logic chiefly of technical development, governed by the commercial interests of large corporations, and continues to be seen partly as a purely functional,centralized setup. However, the Personal Cloud holds a potential that is largely untapped in terms of design, novel uses and territorial strategies.
The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss these alternatives and work on potential scenarios for the near future. More specifically, we will address the following topics:
The joint design research Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s) is supported by HES-SO, ECAL & HEAD.
Interactivity : The workshop will start with a general introduction about the project, and moves to a discussion of its implications, opportunities and limits. Then a series of activities will enable break-out groups to sketch potential solutions.
Friday, January 16. 2015
Note: we didn't found enough time last December to document an interview of fabric | ch that was publish in the French design magazine Étapes. So let's do it in early 2015... The magazine itself has been recently revamped under the direction of a new editorial board. It is now a quite exciting magazine, interested in transverval approaches to design questions, including interaction design, architecture, etc. even so its main and historical focus remains graphic design.
The interview that took place between Christophe Guignard (fabric | ch) and Isabelle Moisy (editor in chief, Étapes) concerns the specific approach to architectural design that fabric | ch has adopted through times. This approach has taken into account since our foundation (1997) the networked and digital natures of contemporary space and territories (landscapes) combined with the physical one. This last point was particularly evident in the fact that since the start, our group was composed of architects and computer scientists. Our work has of course evolved since 1997, but this "coded/data dimension" of space has obviously gained importance in our work and in general since then, it has also proved itslelf to become a major element in the conceptualization of spaces in our still early century.
By fabric | ch
From the "Édito":
"(...). En l'absence d'horizon précis, les supports de communication se superposent, et les designers débordent sans complexe des pratiques restrictives auxquelles ils ont été formés. Les qualificatifs se multiplient. Designer pluriel, transdiciplinaire. (...)". Isabelle Moisy
Thursday, November 13. 2014
By fabric | ch
I'm very happy to write that after several months of preparation, I'm leading a new design-research (that follows Variable Environment, dating back from 2007!) for the University of Art & design, Lausanne (ECAL), in partnership with Nicolas Nova (HEAD). The project will see the transversal collaboration of architects, interaction designers, ethnographers and scientists with the aim of re-investigating "cloud computing" and its infrastructures from a different point of view. The name of the project: Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), which is now online under the form of a blog that will document our progresses. The project should last until 2016.
The main research team is composed of:
Patrick Keller, co-head (Prof. ECAL M&ID, fabric | ch) / Nicolas Nova, co-head (Prof. HEAD MD, Near Future Laboratory) / Christophe Guignard (Prof. ECAL M&ID, fabric | ch) / Lucien Langton (assistant ECAL M&ID) / Charles Chalas (assistant HEAD MD) / Dieter Dietz (Prof. EPFL - Alice) & Caroline Dionne (Post-doc EPFL - Alice) / Dr. Christian Babski (fabric | ch).
I&IC Workshops with students from the HEAD, ECAL (interaction design) and EPFL (architecture) will be conducted by:
James Auger (Prof. RCA, Auger - Loizeau) / Matthew Plummer-Fernandez (Visiting Tutor Goldsmiths College, Algopop) / Thomas Favre - Bulle (Lecturer EPFL).
Finally, a group of "advisors" will keep an eye on us and the research artifacts we may produce:
Babak Falsafi (Prof. EPFL - Ecocloud) / Prof. Zhang Ga (TASML, Tsinghua University) / Dan Hill (City of Sound, Future Cities Catapult) / Ludger Hovestadt (Prof. ETHZ - CAAD) / Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG, Gizmodo).
Andrea Branzi, 1969, Research for "No-Stop City".
Google data center in Lenoir, North Carolina (USA), 2013.
As stated on the I&IC webiste:
The design research I&IC (Inhabiting and Interfacing the Clouds), explores the creation of counter-proposals to the current expression of “Cloud Computing”, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (“Personal Cloud”). It is led by Profs. Patrick Keller (ECAL) and Nicolas Nova (HEAD) and is documented online as a work in progress, 2014-2017.
I&IC is to offer an alternative point of view, a critical appraisal as well as to provide an “access to tools” about this iconic infrastructure of our modernity and its user interfaces, because to date their implementation has followed a logic chiefly of technical development, mainly governed by corporate interests, and continues therefore to be paradoxically envisioned as a purely functional, centralized setup.
However, the Personal Cloud holds a potential that is largely untapped in terms of design, novel uses and territorial strategies. Through its cross-disciplinary approach that links interaction design, the architectural and territorial dimensions as well as ethnographic studies, our project aims at producing alternative models resulting from a more contemporary approach, notably factoring in the idea of creolization (theorized by E. Glissant).
Wednesday, October 08. 2014
Note: a few of our recent works and exhibitions are included in this promising young publication related to architectural thinking, Desierto, edited by Paper - Architectural Histamine in Madrid. At the editorial team invitation, I had the occasion to write a paper about Deterritorialized Living and one of its physical installation last year in Pau (France), during Pau Acces(s). We also took the occasion of the publication to give a glimpse of a related research project called Algorithmic Atomized Functioning.
By fabric | ch
From the editorial team:
"The temperature of the invisible and the desacralization of the air.
28° Celsius is the temperature at which protection becomes superfluous. It is also the temperature at which swimming pools are acclimatised. Within the limits of the this hygrothermal comfort zone, we do not require the intervention of our body's thermoregulatory mechanisms nor that of any external artificial thermal controls in order to feel pleasantly comfortable while carrying out a sedentary activity without clothing. 28° Celsius is thus the temperature at which clothing can disappear, just as architecture could."
Authors are Gabriel Ruiz-Larrea, Sean Lally, Philippe Rahm, Nerea Calvillo, myself, Helen Mallinson, Antonio Cobo, José Vella Castillo and Pauly Garcia-Masedo.
Editorial by gabriel Ruiz-Larrea (editor in chief). Editorial team composed of Natalia David, Nuria Úrculo, María Buey, Daniel Lacasta Fitzsimmons.
Inhabiting Deterritorialization, by Patrick Keller.
Desierto #3 and past issues can be ordered online on Paper bookstore.
Wednesday, September 03. 2014
We've been working on a new publication for the magazine PAPER / Architectural Histamine about the project Deterritorialized Living, that has just been published, an interview for ETAPES: design & cultures visuelles magazine and we've also been invited to work on two competitions (invitations & deadlines during deep Summer are always most welcome...). All these in what? 6 weeks or so.
I will publish about these new works later this year, when I'll hopefully find time again, so as about other researches that matter to us and that we've been working on for some times (Algorithmic Atomized Functioning, based on data feeds, sensors and actuators, Responsive Atmospheric Patios, which atomizes its functions too, Deterritorialized House, Satellite Daylight Pavilion, etc.), or that we've just started to work on (a research project we'll be in charge for ECAL, Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s), in collaboration with Nicolas Nova and for which a dedicated documentary blog will soon be opened).
So... hopefully many things to come. But in the meantime, let's continue our "subjective collection of ..." which among other things and thanks to all these meaningfull works that tell something about our times, helps us develop our owns.
Friday, August 01. 2014
By fabric | ch
As we continue to lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't have a "tag cloud" ... This post could help you navigate though all the content on | rblg, via its tags.
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT TAGS TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen just below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch at 21:19
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By fabric | ch
As we lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't have a "tag cloud" either... (and as Summer is also a period when there is maybe still a bit of time left to dig into content)
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT CATEGORIES TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch, Architecture, Art, Culture & society, Design, Interaction design, Science & technology, Sustainability, Territory at 21:18
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fabric | rblg
fabric | rblg is the survey website of fabric | ch -- studio for architecture, interaction and research. We curate and re-blog articles, researches, exhibitions and projects that we notice during our everyday practice.