In-sight project examines models – models for collecting, storing and sitributing data subject to privacy laws. It questions the point of systematic collection of huge amounts of databases without a single or clear purpose, exploring the significance of decision-making algorhythms and the power associated with manipulating databases. It is intended to provoke thinking about our presence in real and virtual space and the current relation between safety and privacy.
present at: 8th Triennial of Contemporary Art – U3 / Beyond the Globe, curated by Boris Groys
projection, computer animation on digital photograph, 2014
The view from the tallest building in the city, the JPMorgan Chase Tower On the left is the Bank of America financial center, by architect Philip Johnson. Next comes The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, and down below in the center, beside the arts center, stands the hanging tree. Next to it a signboard reads: “Many stories attached to the 400-year old history of this live oak. Some say that during the days of the Republic of Texas (1836-1845), at least 11 criminals were hanged from its graceful boughs.” Although others dispute such tales, the legend lives on. The center of the city, or downtown Houston, is separated from the suburbs by the wide expanse of the Gulf Freeway or Interstate 45, the main traffic artery between the Gulf of Mexico and the major cities of the state of Texas. The Trackeds project was created in 2008, the result of a residency organized by the Ratti Foundation, Como (I) and headed by architect Yona Friedman. The project is built on researching dynamic structures in urban spaces and analyzing super-automated systems that collect and process captured data, with a special emphasis on building data-based or visual content with the use of cybernetic applications. Sophisticated surveillance systems can also be understood as a giant network of contemporary vistas of landscapes and cityscapes. The views are not, however, captured with the purpose of creating beautiful and charming panoramas; their primary aim is to collect data on people and their activities and provide “security.” Interestingly, these systems are so highly automated and autonomous that they are becoming the sole end users and, paradoxically, the sole “admirers” of the captured images. While preserving the original format of surveillance systems, the Trackeds project does not assume the function of surveillance. It creates an image that is then offered up to be admired. Although the data is captured from the microcosm of specific locations, the project has a global orientation. The focus of interest is not personal data or the static properties of an object, but on a body of reduced dynamic properties from which global patterns can be derived, patterns that could present space and time differently, in the form of an artwork. Traces recorded by motion tracking software are drawn on top of a projection of a static reference picture of the place the data was captured, creating a dynamic drawing. The automated image is produced by a software application that combines the diverse body of information into a multilayered composition. Functioning as a hybrid form, the visual representation opens up different views of the chosen location, in layers from the substratum of the unconscious, through historical elements to the science-based and empirically measured environment. Each layer of information presents another situation, adding to and at the same time erasing the perceptible image. The abstract algorithm and digital recording both contrast and fuse with the urban structural makeup of the environment. Sound is generated in relation to the position and density of the detected objects and builds a data-based synthesis of space and time. Historical elements intertwining with dynamic fragments of the present allow space and time to manifest non-linearly. The collected data is saved as a finite set of numbers representing a correlation between space and time. Any given time flow can be observed as multilayered directions, velocities, accelerations and densities, together with their sums and differences that speak about the dynamics of a specific urban space. At the same time, the captured data also reflects the rules in place there, and traces the history that has established the order of the dynamics. Trackeds Houston was made in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Art Research ALABAMA SONG, Houston, TX, and with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
video installazione, Udine, 2015
BridA/Tom Kerševan, Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica con sede a Šempas (Slovenia) è l’autore di un originale progetto per riportare ai cittadini di oggi la memoria della Grande Guerra. Utilizzando una piattaforma multimediale che raccoglie i dati e le esperienze di alcuni workshop realizzati in città, BridA mette in relazione i nomi dei soldati di ieri con i cittadini di oggi. Dopo Karlsruhe (ZKM, 2006), Kassel (2008) e Linz (Ars Electronica, 2009), la galleria Tate St Ives nel 2013 e Kalmar Konstmuseum (2015), quello di Udine è il loro primo esperimento di arte contemporanea legato alla Grande Guerra. Una video installazione e una mostra diffusa sulla cartellonistica stradale della città, restituiscono gli interventi e le azioni dei cittadini a confronto con i soldati di cento anni fa.
The Interspace Module intermedia project is based on exploring the unoccupied abstract space – the vacuum in the perception of the message of art. By using controlled and automated systems, connected into a schematic grid of pre-emptively placed units, viewers find themselves in indefinite situations, where they are able to compose their own image or message and thus, focusing their attention to an area with, as yet, no clear image or association. When we talk about unoccupied space, we reflect on the fact that understanding the message of art depends on the acquired mental schemes, the patterns imposed by society upon individuals to shape their cognition, as well as about space offering opportunities for artistic value beyond reference models.
SpreadKOM does not need a conventional central unit in order to function, it generates all the useful information by itself. It does not require any inbound sources or other global data providers. Instead, it generates a sustainable and autonomous form of communication comprised of units that can be added individually, having the potential to grow into a more complex and more sophisticated network. To establish communication, these devices use only sound impulses, which they exchange with a microphone and a sound generator tuned to specific frequencies.
The term 'Homo faber' is used in anthropology to describe mankind as a living being, which uses tools to change its environment. Today, we are surrounded by a lot of devices, instruments or apparatuses to exert influence on our surrounding. Most of these tools are designed to make us more productive. Only some of them fall in the category of play or celebration. Vilém Flusser came up with the idea that it might be possible for mankind to become what he called 'Homo ludens': Man the Player. In this text, projects of the art collective BridA/Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica, Tom Kerševan will be explored with regard to Flusser's utopia of a telematic society, in which mankind will primarily be playing or even be celebrating, since everybody will be empowered to do so by a new imagination. The following quote by Flusser gives a broader view on his philosophy and shows the potential of BridA's computational artifacts: First, man took a step back from his life-world, to imagine it. Then, man stepped back from the imagination, to describe it. Then, man took a step back from the linear, written critique, to analyze it. And finally, owing to a new imagination, man projected synthetic images out of analysis. READ MORE ►
The Sound-Around art project is based on constructing a work of art with the audience participating actively. Various mechanical devices and sound units enable direct impact on the construction of the artwork. Mechanic modules, microphones and security cameras are tracing the topography of the space in which people hang around. These people are be integrated into an interactive system, enabling them to participate actively in the creative process. The audio-visual setting enables the audience to perceive and comprehend the topography of specific location quite differently than usual.