A few days ago, the Haus der elektronischen Künste (House of Electronic Arts) in Basel inaugurated its new premises with a three-day festival of drones, music performances, immersive data explorations and giant mushrooms.
HeK space is a cultural center dedicated to the new art forms of the information age. The programme is as sleek and geek as its buildings be but its spirit is critical and inquisitive. HeK takes technology out of consumer culture and looks at its more meaningful, socially-engaged or aesthetic uses
By bringing together works by artists, designers, scientists, meteorologists and engineers STRANGE WEATHER asks questions such as: Should human culture be reshaped to fit strange weather or should we reshape weather to fit our strange culture? Who is going to take advantage of climate chaos and how will strange weather benefit me? How will you choose to work, celebrate, live and die when weather gets weird?
The show goes from the very absurd (the Halliburton survivaball) to the very dark and dramatic. But the adjective that pervades the show is ‘fun’. While visiting the exhibition, i’ve been drinking cloud, watched a 1959 film that speculates on how weather control departments would use satellites and met with little child mannequins in Hazmat suits in the most unexpected places
The POLSPRUNG installation features a series of instruments that measure the earth’s magnetic field to detect a possible polar reversal, register the gamma radiation caused by the solar wind and compare the data with the speculative disastrous gamma radiation data during a polar reversal. A small reading space also provides information about polar reversal research and disaster speculation, a magnetite laboratory and a notebook in which visitors can write down their thoughts about disasters.
Over the past few years, Martin Howse has been investigating the possibility to build a computational device that would not only be constructed solely from the earth but would also be embedded within the earth as a critical monument to human technology
Ghostradio deploys feedback and quantum effects to create random numbers from the boundaries of reality and beyond. Ghostradio publishes the resulting random number datastream for the generation of cryptographic keys. This will release the public from the current state of surveillance
The Wind Tunnel project filled with site-specific commissions two wind tunnels buildings, known as R52 and Q121, that were built to test planes, from Spitfires to Concorde, from the first world war onwards. These buildings were decommissioned after the 1960s and have remained closed to the public ever since
Darsha Hewitt built a whole installation that exploits the inherent and irritating glitches emitted by vintage baby monitors. The receivers are attached to motors and slowly bow back and forth in front of the emitters, creating a subtle soundscape of nuanced feedback patterns and squelching radio interference reminiscent of the whimpers of crying babies
Inspired by the work of J.G. Ballard, our story looks to the bleak, man-made landscapes of the future and asks: What happens when virtual environments become indistinguishable from reality? Will our global culture allow us to choose where to live, and who will stop us? What will we do with knowledge that becomes freely available to all?
The crystal forming robots are a physical simulation of a growth process, similar to the growth of crystal structures. Each robot operates autonomously and is driven by the light of the overhead projector…
I’m not even remotely impartial when it comes to Martin Creed. I love his work. Whether it’s the Sick Films in which people enter an empty white space and proceed to vomit on the floor, the mocking neon signs or the cactus plants neatly positioned by size.
The work of Owl Project goes from simple ironic devices such as the iLog which is a log that thinks it is a music player to large scale installations such as ~Flow which was a floating tidal waterwheel powered electro acoustic musical instrument responding to the river Tyne in Newcastle. Owl Project has also toured festivals and events with their rather ingenious Sound Lathe, a musical instrument based on a traditional green wood turning pole lathe that explores the relationship between the crafting of physical objects and the shaping of sound
Loop.pH’s work speculates on near and far future scenarios as a way to probe at the social and environmental impact of emerging biological and technological futures. Some of their most renown projects include collaborating with a Nobel prize winner to communicate the functioning of molecular machines, designing a curtain made of algae that produce bio-fuel, setting up an edible DIY bio fab-lab for the video of an Aussie band. creating a sound and light performance that explores the field of neuroscience and investigating the possibilities of living architecture
A couple of weeks ago, i was in Derry/Londonderry. Beautiful landscapes, super friendly people, vegan-approved yummy food at the Legenderry Warehouse, stunning socially-engages exhibitions i’ll tell you about later and a city-wide event called Lumiere. Lumiere is a festival of 17 projections and installations that lit up as the night came onto the city. It is a crowd-magnet, a place to bring your family and marvel at what artists and designers can do with light. Some of the works, however, had depth and bite
I’ve finally gone through all the images and texts i made and received from the GAMERZ festival in Aix-en-Provence. There’s a ridiculously high amount of new artists and works i’d like to blog about. But let’s start with what i think are the smartest and most elegant works in the festival. Both play with perception, both are by Luce Moreau
Inspired by the environmental work of Diller & Scofidio, the performative and multi-sensory work of Bompas and Parr, and the nostalgia of 1960s event architecture, the project utilises sugar as a base element and ‘centrifugal random fibre extrusion’ fabrication (candyfloss) to build a candy floss cloud on an architectural scale
The Living Mirror is a ‘bio-installation’ that combines magnetic bacteria with electronics and photo manipulation to create liquid, 3D portraits
Addie made a painting using a drone as a brush, enrolled a stern industrial robot to rock a baby cradle, asked online sexcam performers to replicate classical paintings, and built a chandelier using CCTV cameras
The designers will be talking about the aesthetics of scientific experiments but also about the human capabilities in sensing future events. They’ve explored this slightly debatable topic with a series of experiments inspired by the experimental evidence for the existence of physiological precognition, depicted the Sensing the Future paper written by Daryl J. Bem a social psychologist and professor emeritus at Cornell University.
Conducted and presented as a scientific experiment TNM challenges the participants to consider the outrageous proposition of algorithmic prejudice. The responses range from fear and outrage to laughter and ridicule, and finally to the alarming realization that we are set on a path towards wide systemic prejudice ironically initiated by its victim, Turing
I had an exchange of emails with Mario De Vega to talk about Thermal, a performance in which he uses microwave ovenss to alter the molecular composition of different materials. The work also uses custom-built hardware to sonify the electromagnetic activity produced by the overheating of the content of the ovens
HeHe took the invitation to turn FACT (the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool) inside out literally. Their new piece used the exhibition space to extract gas from the ground underneath the gallery and suggest that in the future we might want to bypass big energy companies and extract our own fossil fuels ourselves in our back garden
Adam Brown is a conceptual artist working with scientists to create art pieces that use robotics, molecular chemistry, living systems and emerging technologies. He recently demonstrated how bacteria can, over a period of one week, digest the toxins of gold chloride and spit out nuggets of 24-karat gold
Sascha Pohflepp is an artist and designer interested in the myths and realities shaped by science and technology. During the radio show, we will be talking space exploration, and more specifically space gardening but we will also talk science fiction, complex science and impossible projects
In the context of omnipresent telecommunications surveillance, “The Pirate Cinema” makes visible the invisible activity and geography of peer-to-peer file sharing. The project is presented as a control room that reflects P2P exchanges happening in real time on networks using BitTorrent protocol. The installation produces an improvised and syncopated arrangement of files currently in exchange
Today on ResonanceFM, Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead will be talking about how to handle and archive materials found on the web, the absence of any image documenting war in certain parts of the world, spam and other jolly subjects
In-Potentia exposes, in the most limpid and absurd way, how science is blurring what we are used to regard as clear-cut categories, such as where life begins and ends or what constitutes a person. Or in Guy Ben-Ary’s words:
What is the potential for artists employing bio-technologies to address, and modify, boundaries surrounding understandings of life, death and person-hood? And what exactly does it mean culturally, artistically, ontologically, philosophically, politically and ethically to make a living biological brain from human foreskin cells?
Drones / Birds: Princes of Ubiquity taps into the debate of an increasing autonomous technology, connected to machinic vision, the post-human and the New Aesthetic. Core to the exhibition are digital artifacts and instances of the computational or digital in nature. Birds as objects reflecting our contemporary relation with technology
The participating artists not only play with distortions of the “real”, but also pioneer new ways to interact with their work. The formal exploration of new interfaces is as much part of their preoccupation, as is the content of their work, and the kind of commentary on the current state of reality we live in
Sassolino’s works have danger, mechanical tension, darkness and make the spectator vaguely uneasy (“Is this going to break? Will i be hurt? Shouldn’t it take one step back?”) In fact, the artist also explained that the beams vibrate but they hold the pressure. The system actually gets in motion when a visitor gets closer to the work. And that’s when, as the artist puts it, a kind of Sadomasochistic moment emerges: the visitor would like to see some dramatic collapse of the wooden structure but doesn’t dare to get too close to it
From atmospheric installations to intangible sculptures that you can move around – and even through – visitors can experience light in all of its spatial and sensory forms. Individual artworks explore different aspects of light such as colour, duration, intensity and projection, as well as perceptual phenomena. They also use light to address architecture, science and film, and do so using a variety of lighting technologies
Today i’m stuck in Turin, it’s been snowing all day long and i’m not complaining but i don’t feel like going out to see exhibitions. I’m thus going to point you to an online exhibition over at dARTboard, a digital art space that the Vilcek Foundation created to ‘celebrate the accomplishments of foreign-born artists living in the United States and working in the realm of digital art.’ This year’s featured artist is Marc Böhlen who’s showing two works that investigate the relationship between people and automated systems
Three large-scale installations that experiment with scientific phenomena and pay homage to Nikola Tesla. The works can be experienced without mediation but each of them also conveys several layers of meanings and readings, whether you’re intrigued by the technical description or by the sheer beauty of the sparks, lightening bolts, and sonic properties of the works
FACT gallery has just opened WInter Sparks, The exhibition features large-scale installations by artists who use scientific experiments as a raw material. The figure at the core of the work exhibited is the one of the engineer whose inventions and ingenuity shaped the 20th century technology: Nikola Tesla. There are only three installations in the show, each of them large-scale, impressive and attempting to make scientific processes visible. I’m going to single out Evolving Spark Network and write about the others in my next post
Hertz makes robots controlled by cockroaches, video game systems that you can literally drive around, he gives talks about Zombie Media and has just crafted a magazine about critical technical practice and critically-engaged maker culture that puts us all (us being media people) to shame
This week, i’m talking with architect, artist and curator Ruairi Glynn about cybernetics, interactivity, puppetry and machines with a mind of their own
This year, even GAMERZ, an art&tech festival with a name that promises tis visitors much joy and entertainment, didn’t want to turn its back to the times of fear and uncertainty we are living. The festival was as playful as ever but with a slightly darker tone and with a selection of artists whose works question the worrying changes at work in society
LABoral’s latest show is all about performance and installation art but they are never dissociated from the role that the public takes in the exhibition space. Implicitly or explicitly. Physically or psychologically
By reinventing an obsolete low-tech sound wave generator in this all-digital age, Bzzz ! serves as a commentary on the history of technology and a tribute to unprocessed, unsampled analog sound : in a word, the raw sound of electricity
Five Thousand Generations of Birds was an exhibition located in the archipelago of Fitjar, on the West coast of Norway, – a landscape consisting of 381 islands, isles and reefs.
Curators Silje Linge Haaland and Andrea Bakketun assigned an island to each participating artist with the mission to produce a temporary and site specific work