January 23, 2009

laptop_orchestra (image above, video below) by Limiteazero is an interactive instrument for audio-visual performances. The work consists of:

fifteen laptops, arranged on regular rows…the formation of an orchestral group. On each one of them is installed a Software consisting in algorithms which activate sounds and abstract visual shapes based on color spectrum. Each laptop has its own sound and its own instructions for the construction of a shape. Interacting from the orchestra conductor podium, lightly touching metal stems, it is possible to activate or deactivate each single laptop , permitting the generation of an endless number of different compositions.

Posted by: Garrett @ 9:27 pm
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January 22, 2009

I do really like new media installations which are messy, which don’t try to hide what they are or how they work, they seem to reveal in their own form as new media. There was a trend a few years ago that good new media installations tended to be immaculately presented and just show the media, the projected imagery or the sound etc. These somehow seemed to be more aesthetically interesting within the art world, more accepted as the technology is out of view. Luckily this seems to be fading fast and now artists are quite eager to show the inner workings of the work emphasising the interconnectedness of parts, software and hardware, interface and media etc. (like this or this ) or to dispel the aura of mystery that could surround new media and explain it o the user (like this).

Off-Sense (views of the installation above, screenshots of the work below) by Masaki Fujihata is a messy installation with plugs, cables, hard drives and monitors of varying types scattered around the floor, visuals projected onto two walls and sound filling the space.

The work consists of a networked cyberspace portraying an alternative, abstract world with 24 avatars each of which are controlled by a separate computer. The computers however are not supplied with interfaces so users can not intervene in the space.

Originally seen on VVork.

Posted by: Garrett @ 1:50 pm
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January 21, 2009
Time Slip

Time Slip by Antoine Schmitt is a generative work which exists so far in the form of a light installation and a web page. The work subverts the meaning in RSS news feeds.

On the screen or on a public display, a news ticker constantly displays scrolling textual news, but these news are conjugated at the future tense : “the NASDAQ will drop 4.3 points today”, “A plane crash in Madrid will kill 153 people”, “The Giants will crush the RedSocks 10 to 3″.. Apart from the tense of the verbs, all the news are completely true…

Originally seen on the Spectre mailing list.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:43 am
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January 17, 2009
Web 2.0

There are some great low-fi tutorials for networked input devices on instructables by Evan Roth, the double keyboard and the double mouse. These, combined with a modified version of USA-USB, were used by the artist to exhibit China Channel, a work created in collaboration with Aram Bartholl, as the installation Web 2.0 (image above and video below). The installation explores networks and censorship / access to them defined by geographical location.

Two computers are connected to a single keyboard and mouse allowing visitors to control both identical machines at the same time while using just a single input device. The only difference between the two internet terminals is their network connection; one machine is connected to the less restricted internet in Hong Kong, while the other is connected to the internet through a connection point in the mainland of China.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:21 am
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January 8, 2009
Scalable Relations Exhibition

There is what looks like a very interesting exhibition opening tomorrow night at a selection of venues across the University of California Digital Arts Research Network (UC DARnet). Scalable Relations, curated by Christiane Paul (bio here), aims to bring together:

works that explore digital media’s capability of representing a growing amount of data in constantly evolving relations. Addressing a range of issues, the projects in Scalable Relations illustrate the complexities and shifting contexts of today’s information society…The format of the exhibition itself, in its distribution across multiple venues, mirrors the relational theme of the exhibition and the inherent connectivity of the digital medium.

Division of the works across venues breaks down as follows:

The six works featured at the Beall Center explore patterns, complexity, and generative algorithmic process with regard to nature, organic processes, and urban development, as well as representations of online communication and sharing. UCSD’s gallery@CalIT2 exhibits three pieces that use the framework of computer gaming for exploring social and belief systems and expand the usually confined simulated world of a game to the ‘real world.’…The grouping of works at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA examines issues surrounding science, ethics, public health and social conditions…The satellite exhibition at UCSB addresses complex behaviors and transmodalities, featuring three pieces that, respectively, investigate sensing and perception, the geometries of the invisible connections in our lives and our environment, and the multi-scale, multi-modal experience of revealing internal structures within genomics data.

The following is a selection of works (old and new) which primarily focus on the relationship between people (users of the artworks) and their environments.

Conversation Map v.2.0 (images above) by Warren Sack is quite an old piece from 2000 which has once more become quite relevant in light of the surge of interest in social networks. The work maps the evolution and development of discussions by producing:

an interactive diagram of hundreds or thousands of email messages sent to online public discussions. The diagram includes three parts: a social network visualizing who is exchanging messages with whom; a list of discussion themes, a menu of topics being discussed; and, a semantic network that shows which topics are discussed in similar terms; or, in other words, the synonyms or metaphors that are emerging from the discussion.

Cell Tango (image above) by George Legrady and Angus Forbes, follows in the tradition of much of Legrady’s work in its use of the database as form of expression and the artists desire to create archives representational of the users that interact and contribute in a variety of different ways (i.e. Pockets Full of Memories). In this work images are contributed by users from their camera enabled mobile phones.

The received images are organized based on cellphones’ area codes, carriers, time and date of transmission, and participants’ contributed categories and descriptive tags…The received images are visualized within a virtual 3D architectural structure and organized based on a number of metadata criteria such as cellphones numbers (original contract locations), carriers, time and date of transmission, and participants’ contributed categories and descriptive tags.

The installation strives to answer some of the following questions:

Will cellphone technology transform how we create/use images produced “on the fly”? In what ways do online visual databanks such as Flickr recontextualize the images we create and share? Can such online images be used creatively as components in artistic works that explore the construction of visual narratives through the juxtaposition of sequenced images? What may be relevant implementation of voice annotation to add metadata to images?

CO2 Playground (image above) installation by Greg Niemeyer:

is a site of exploration for visitors to observe changes in air quality due to human and plant activity. It allows visitors to affect air quality measurements through their activity and is monitored via the website of its parent project, Black Cloud. The activities involve active exercise, still contemplation, human presence and absence (due to gallery opening hours). The slides facilitate exercise (as allowable by venue regulations) and encourage a form of activity—to climb up slowly and slide down fast—that expresses the slow process of Oxygen generation and the fast process of burning Oxygen. The plant activities involve CO2 absorption and Oxygen production through photosynthesis, which is regulated by the quantity of available light. The proportion of plants and slides address how many plants are required to sustain human life. The project website shows continuous live feeds of data from the air quality sensors, which have been placed in several of the exhibition venues.

ATLAS in silico (image above, video below) by Ruth West is an interactive virtual reality installation which visualises the Global Ocean Survey.

Participants may simply observe, or individuals can step forward and use their own movements to animate and maneuver the colorful 3D images and audio…onscreen images and multichannel audio are created by a unique process that combines genetic information from microorganisms collected by the Global Ocean Survey with environmental and social data from the geographical locations in which the organisms were found…By interacting with the luminous and colorful 3D graphics and a responsive data-driven sonic microworld, participants explore relationships within data that spans from the molecular to the global.

Walleye by Simon Penny and Tom Jennings is an interactive light installation employing photo-sensors and an array of incandescent bulbs:

The project consists of an array of photo-sensors and an array of incandescent bulbs, spaced on a 10″ grid on walls facing each other. Each photosensor drives one lamp directly opposite of it and the lowering of light to the sensor-by people walking past and blocking it-will result in the lowering of light emitted by the corresponding lamp. Visitors moving between the wall array of photo-sensors and the wall array of lamps see a low-resolution pattern, more temporally coherent than spatially resolved. Moving close to the sensor wall, their image becomes sharper, moving closer to the lamp wall, their image is more diffuse.

Difficult to visualise this work as I could not find any images online but it sounds similar to Masaki Fujihata’s Light on the Net.

Originally seen on the NetBehaviour mailing list (website here).

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:48 pm
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