April 27, 2014
Please Switch On Your Mobile Phones

Tonight I attended what was listed as a Public Beta 1 of a network controlled performance titled Please Switch On Your Mobile Phones at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. Below is a quick run through of what happened.

The audience arrived in the theatre and were immediately asked to contribute a short memory to the performance from their mobile phones. This was done through a website on a local area wifi network. Once submitted you saw the message displayed below:

mobile-phones-1

And then waited patiently for your message to appear on screen (as seen below) behind the dancers who were warming up/rehersing in the space.

mobile-phones-2

Five memories were then chosen and each one assigned to a group of dancers who were colour coded as red, green, blue, yellow and orange. Below is the memory for the yellow group.

mobile-phones-3

Each message was then ‘transcoded’ into a series of movements based on the number of characters in each word. Below are the ‘transcoded’ movements for the yellow group. At this stage many in the audience started to have technical difficulties (you were instructed to raise your hand if this was the case), become impatient with what was happening and started to wander in and out to the toilets and bar.

mobile-phones-4

Next the audience were asked to pick a pictogram for each group of dancers. From here on I began to not understand the link between what we the audience were doing, specifically choosing the pictograms, and how it/they related to the what the dancers were doing.

mobile-phones-5

The choosing of the pictograms, three times per colour group, amounted to a voting contest and a bar graph of the results were shown on screen (seen below).

mobile-phones-6

Finally all chosen pictograms were shown.

mobile-phones-7

Throughout all of this the website on your mobile phone kept redirecting you to the interacts you were being asked to perform or showed you the choreography chosen for the dancers. Below is shown a menu for all the colour groups which when accessed showed each groups choreography.

mobile-phones-8

And then there were some Kinects in the space that were being used to capture video and projected as an effect (seen below). The audience were now redirected on the website to controls for audio, video etc. which they could control for a set period of time. This however had many technical difficulties with many unable to access it in their limed time slot.

mobile-phones-9

I attended this with I guess too many expectations, knowing full well what can be done with technologies in this context, however that was’nt the issue. I knew the whole event was a test, an experiment, and I was quite happy for it to be rough around the edges but instead it was very disjointed. The ‘transcoding’ of memories to movement was simple, clever, and could have been evolved further. The audience seemed most happy with this part of the performance as they were able to see their memories on screen so they had visible evidence of contributing to the event. Everything about the pictograms was confused; What did the pictograms mean? How did they relate to the memories or were they a completely different idea? What were dancers doing as a response to the pictograms? Was a voting system enough to give audience members a sense of actually contributing? The idea of controlling the environment e.g. the audio, video etc. had lots of potential but the way this control was provided, a time-share of sorts, which was hindered by lots of technical difficulties meant that most audience members seemed to give up.

All of this took over an hour and a half before finally there was a short performance of the choreography score created by the audience. I came away disappointed, disappointed at not understanding how I was contributing in many parts of the performance and disappointed that it took such a long time to score the work for what was then quite short.

Posted by: Garrett @ 1:13 am
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April 24, 2014
Out of Office

out-of-office

If you’re in Cardiff before the 30th of April, it’s worth going along to see Matthew Britton’s curatorial project Out of Office at Arcade Cardiff:

Out of Office is a micro curatorial platform that utilises the auto-reply feature that is present on most email accounts as a method of distributing art. I wish to suggest an even more intimate way of distributing and viewing online works, one which is primarily in the comfort of your own mailbox.

In order to view the work you need only send an email to the assigned email address and wait for the auto reply.

The project features works by: Matthew Britton, Emilie Gervais, Constant Dullaart, Kim Asendorf, Jonas Lund, Sebastian Schmieg, Matthew Williamson, Johannes P Osterhoff, Naomi Heath, Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, Luke Turner, Winnie Soon and Susan Scarlata. If you’re nowhere near Cardiff the works can also be accessed directly from the project website.

Posted by: Garrett @ 5:24 pm
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March 26, 2014
Netscapes exhibited as part of A-EYE

a-eye

Netscapes will be exhibited within the exhibition A-EYE: An exhibition of art and nature­-inspired computation as part of the Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) 50th annual convention at Goldsmiths, University of London from the 01-04/04/14. Full details below.

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A-EYE:
An exhibition of art and nature­-inspired computation

This art exhibition is organised as part of a convention (AISB50) commemorating both 50 years since the founding of the society for the study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (the AISB) and sixty years since the death of Alan Turing, founding father of both Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, will be held at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK from the 1st to the 4th April 2014.

The exhibition is the first of its kind at the AISB convention and it incorporates various aspects of generating artworks using various artificial intelligence techniques (swarm intelligence, evolutionary algorithms, artificial neural networks, multi-­agent systems, artificial life and any other algorithm) or method that derives from the natural world.

Exhibition Date:
1-4 April 2014

Private View:
Monday 31st March, 17:00-20:00
Harold Cohen will give the opening speech in the exhibition venue.

Venue:
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Academic Building

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:37 pm
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February 14, 2014
Update: The Augmented Plateau: Art and Virtual Worlds in HUMlab 2007-2013

augmented-plateau

A group show I’m part of opens on Thursday April 10th (10/04/14) at Umeå University in Sweden. The Augmented Plateau: Art and Virtual Worlds in HUMlab 2007-2013, is a seven year overview of all artistic residencies and contributions to the HUMlab Yoshikaze Second Life space. The show is curated by Sachiko Hayashi, features works by:

Alpha Auer, Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, Fau Ferdinand, Garrett Lynch, Katerina Karoussos, Pyewacket Kazyanenko, SaveMe Oh, Selavy Oh, Oberon Onmura, Maya Paris, Kristine Schomaker, Goodwind Seiling, Alan Sondheim, Eupalinos Ugajin, Juria Yoshikawa.

and contributions by:
Marx Catteneo, Jo Ellsmere, Mab MacMoragh, Steve Millar and Evo Szuyuan.

10th April – 30th April 2014 @ HUMlabX, the Arts Campus at Umeå University, Sweden
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, Noon – 4pm
(18th, 19th, 20th and 21st April Closed)

Posted by: Garrett @ 3:00 pm
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December 17, 2013
Two orchestra-like works

Two orchestra like projects, one highly polished and the other a work produced as part of a workshop but equally as interesting.

computerOrchestra_blue

ComputerOrchestra_interface_3

The Computer Orchestra (images above, video below) by Simon de Diesbach, Jonas Lacôte and Laura Perrenoud, students at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne) is:

a crowdsourcing platform that allows users to create and conduct their own orchestra. They can choose to upload their own music or download samples to integrate into their formation. With a simple interface, they assign the chosen samples to each post. They can also arrange detection zones, that allow them to order the “musicians” to play, using various gestures. Once their orchestra is configured, they can direct it with the movements of their body.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 15.14.19

Neo-Aula (image above, video below) is a interactive sequencer consisting of 25 networked computers and a web based interface to interact with them. This work seems to have been the outcome of a workshop lead by mobilitylab as part of a digital week at the Universite of Vic in Spain.

What’s interesting about both of these projects is seeing a lab of computers within a university as a source of inspiration to create a work. This is most obvious in Neo-Aula which has been subtitled “hacking the classroom”.

Posted by: Garrett @ 3:32 pm
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