RIXC Art Science Festival 2016 presented three exhibitions – at the National Library of Latvia, the other one – in the RIXC Gallery, and the third – in RISEBA University's H2O 6 Center.
September 29 – November 2, 2016
OPEN FIELDS Featured Exhibition
The main festival exhibition featuring 25 artworks by international artists
The National Library of Latvia, address: Mūkusalas iela 3
September 28 – October 5, 2016
Turnton, a small city on the Sea. Artists: Time's Up (AT/AU)
The opening – September 28, 2016, 18.00
RIXC Gallery, address: 11. novembra krastmala 35, entrance from Minsterejas iela
September 19 – October 2, 2016
Impulses. New Sound Days
Exhibition by young new media artists from Liepaja University
The opening – September 19, 2016, 20.00 // Performances and Guided Tour through the Exhibition – September 30, 21.00
RISEBA Center for Architecture and Media “H2O 6”, Address: Durbes iela 4
The OPEN FIELDS international media art exhibition at the exhibition halls of the recently opend new building of the National Library of Latvia will represent works by artists, artists-researchers and data designers, who are challenging the notion of art and contemporary aesthetics by moving across, bringing together and converging different knowledge, various media and diverse fields, as well as using scientific, cultural and social data as new artistic medium, and interpreting them in a new and meaningful ways.
Exhibition curator: Dr. Raitis SMITS / RIXC / the Art Academy of Latvia.
Exhibition artists: Rafael LOZANO-HEMMER (MX/CA); Christoph HAAG (DE), Martin RUMORI (DE), Franziska WINDISCH (DE) and Ludwig ZELLER (DE); AUGER-LOIZEAU (UK), Subramanian RAMAMOORTHY (UK) and Alan MURRAY (UK); Laura BELOFF (FI) with Malena KLAUS (DE/DK); Erich BERGER (FI/AT) and Mari KETO (DK/FI); Das Vegas (LT/SE); Līvija DAUDZE (LV) with Valters GRIŠĀNS (LV); Gints GABRĀNS (LV); Mindaugas GAPŠEVIČIUS (LT/DE); Jānis GARANČS (LV); Adam HARVEY (US/DE); Bjørn Erik HAUGEN (NO); Jukka HAUTAMÄKI (FI/UK) and Roberto PUGLIESE (IT/FI); Ellie IRONS (US); Raphael KIM (UK); Karen LANCEL (NL) and Hermen MAAT (NL); Pei-Ying LIN (TW), Špela PETRIČ (SI), Dimitrios STAMATIS (GR) and Jasmina WEISS (SI); Mauro MARTINO (IT/US) and Jianxi GAO (CN/US); Avner PELED (IL/FI), Elisa SPIGAI (IT/FI), Idamaija PITKONEN PIGUET (FI) and Soujanyaa BORUAH (IN/FI); PolakVanBekkum – Esther POLAK (NL) and Ivar van BEKKUM (NL); Telcosystems (NL); Jan TORPUS (CH) and José NAVARRO (ES/CH); Paula VĪTOLA (LV); ::vtol:: (RU).
REAL PREDICTION MACHINES
Auger-Loizeau, Subramanian Ramamoorthy and Alan Murray (UK)
Electronic devices controlled by the algorithm, print, 2014
Predicting the future is no longer limited to the mystical reading of natural and celestial phenomena. Today it is all about data. Prediction algorithms are predominantly being exploited by big industries such as banking, insurance and commerce, or examined via massive research projects such as the EU funded FuturICT.
The Real Prediction Machine (RPM) is a domestic product that uses big and small data, in combination with machine learning and predictive modelling to make predictions about specific future events. RPMs exploit the potential of this technology, motivated not by the interests of industry and research but by the more emotive and personal needs/desires of people – this has the purpose of communicating the transformative potential of big data in domestic life, and asking if the future possibilities described by the project are desirable.
James Auger (b.1970) and Jimmy Loizeau (b.1968) have been collaborating on projects since their development of the Audio Tooth Implant, conceived whilst students at the Royal College of Art in 2001. Post RCA they were employed as research associates at Media Lab Europe (The European Partner of the MIT Media Lab), where the main focus of their research was a design-based investigation into technologically mediated human communication (2002–2005). Their ongoing approach is to develop products and services that contradict and question the ideology of contemporary design and the related conspicuous consumption of technology.
Auger-Loizeau projects have been published and exhibited internationally, including MoMA, New York, 21_21, Tokyo, The Science Museum, London and the Ars Electronica festival, Linz and is in the permanent collection at MoMA.
James Auger (b.1970) is an associate professor at Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute.
Jimmy Loizeau (b.1968) is a senior tutor at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
What Does It Matter How Many Lovers You Have If None Of Them Gives You The Universe?
Bjørn Erik Haugen (NO)
This project is a transcription for mechanical piano of a lecture by the French psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan. In his lecture Lacan talks about language as a foundation for our understanding of our surroundings. His talk is abruptly disrupted by a student who ruins his lecture notes with flour and water, as a protest to society. The student is a situationist; inspired by Debord they start a discussion before the student ruins Lacan`s cravat/tie and is thrown out of the lecture hall. Lacan then continues lecturing about the protester's views on people and society, about revolution and love. The lecture was held in 1971, in the context of the student protests in France.
The artist choice of using the piano is intended to both be a critique and a homage to Lacan and postmodern thinkers like him. The title of this piece is a famous quote by Lacan; the work received the Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica 2012 in the section ''Digital Musics & Sound Art''.
Bjørn Erik Haugen has an MA from the National Academy in Oslo 2007. He works mainly with sculpture, sound- and video installations. He works from a conceptual platform where the idea for the work comes before the material, media or way of expression.
His works have been shown in the annual national autumn exhibition in Norway, and have been screened in Vienna, Barcelona, Sweden, Germany, England and in the USA. He exhibited at Transmediale 2012, Berlin. He received an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica 2012 in the section ''Digital Musics & Sound Art''. One of his videos was screened at the Palais de Tokyo, during the Rencontres Internacionales, December 2012 and at the WRO International Media Art Biennale in May. In 2014 he exhibited at the Bucharest Biennial, ISCM 2014, and at the Bristol Biennial. Last year he exhibited at the Land-Shape, Århus, Spring- exhibition, Fotogalleriet, Oslo, ISEA 2015, Vancouver and at the 28. Festival Les Instants Vidéo, Marseille. This year he will have a solo-exhibition at the Haugar Art Museum.
Pei-Ying Lin (TW), Špela Petrič (SI), Dimitrios Stamatis (GR), Jasmina Weiss (SI)
3D-printed augmentations and accessories, metal stands, cases, 5 living potted plants, 2014
The PSX Consultancy project conceives of augmentations intended for vegetal species for the purposes of enhancing the given client’s natural reproductive processes. In other words, we make sex toys for plants.
Misleadingly quirky, the PSX Consultancy is a project which investigates the changing paradigm of the human/non-human relationship. Incorporating cultural frameworks through which we as humans understand ourselves and our environment – science, design and art – we improvise design tools that challenge our anthropocentric vantage point to think on the plants’ behalf. As the plant clients are silent about their necessities, we relied on scientific knowledge of plant biology. The results of the interdisciplinary approach are critical discursive objects posing as sex toys, inherently paradoxical and absurd, yet manifesting our “all means possible” attempt to truly understand the non-human. Through the hybrid exploration of the parallelism between plant and human reproductive strategies, we uncover the realm of bio-logic whilst provoking an ethical discourse connected to post-anthropocentrism.
Credits: PSX Consultancy is a collaborative project developed within the "Designing Life" topic at BIO50, the Biennial of Industrial Design 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia; supported by MAO, the Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana; the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia; the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, R. O. C.; National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan, R. O. C.
Pei-Ying Lin (TW) (1986) is an artist, designer and programmer with an MA in Design Interactions, from the Royal College of Art and a BSc in Life Science, minor in Computer Science and Cultural Studies, from the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Her main focus is on the combination of science and human society, through artistic methods. She is currently running a Taiwanese BioArt community in Taiwan.
Špela Petrič (SI) (1980), BSc, MA started her professional career as a scientific researcher in the field of biochemistry. Her interest in the context of knowledge production and its cultural impact motivated her to obtain a degree in Transmedia at LUCA, Brussels. She has been working with living systems as an artist-researcher since 2011. Her artistic practice combines natural sciences, new media and performance.
Dimitrios Stamatis (GR) (1983) is a designer with a formal background in Product / Graphic design.
He has worked in Athens, London and Hangzhou, designing products for a range of diverse industries. Currently he is operating as a freelancer (leavenlab.com), exploring how design can contribute as a catalyst for positive change.
Jasmina Weiss (DI) (1963) is an interior designer and designer with a formal background in Architecture / Design. She has worked in different fields connected with design, architecture and art. Currently (and in the past) she is interested in different fields of science, culture, psychology, biology, ecology, and the environment.
POND BATTERY. FLUCTUATIONS OF MICRO WORLDS
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits / RIXC (LV)
Time-lapse video, 3D milled wooden sculpture, 2016
Pond Battery visualises the electrical energy generated by microbial fuel cells in outdoor conditions. It is an outcome of Biotricity project series by RIXC that explores dynamics of local ecosystems. Six “bacteria cells” were installed in the pond of the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia in Riga. Live web-cam images and continuous measurements of bacteria electricity fluctuations, were delivered live on the Internet, thus making audible and visible the invisible processes of nature – such as micro world activity happening at the bottom of a pond, and which otherwise we can neither see nor hear. Collected data from the seven month long observation of the Pond Battery – from summer to winter, are transformed into 3D visualization that represents the combined value of data from six microbial fuel cells. Hence, the “tangible” 3D data representation along with time-lapse video and sound composition, creates new aesthetics as well as sensual and emotional experiences – a poetics of green energy.
Sonification for Pond Battery outdoor installation was made by Voldemars Johansons.
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are artists and media art researchers, who work together since 1990's, exploring intersection of art, science and emerging technologies. They are key founders of RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga, curators of RIXC annual festival, and chief editors of Acoustic Space – peer-reviewed journal & book series.
Rasa Smite holds her PhD in sociology of culture and media, and works as associate professors in New Media Art programme at Liepaja University. Raitis Smits has received his doctoral degree in arts from the Art Academy of Latvia, where he also works as assistant professor.
Their pioneering internet art project – Xchange Net.Radio Network was awarded with PRIX Ars Electronica (1998), while their recent artworks – Talk to Me and Biotricity, have been exhibited in KUMU museum in Tallinn, Ars Electronica Center in Linz, kim? and National Arts Museum Arsenals in Riga, Stockholm Science and Technology Museum in Stockholm, etc.
In 2002 Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits were nominated at the World Technology Awards in The Arts category.
Das Vegas (LT / SE)
The STRATA project is concerned with the limits of human senses at those edges where the boundaries dissolve. In an audiovisual film both the audio and the visuals work together – to create evocative and extreme experiences. The project explores the aesthetic properties of analog and digital transformations formed by the limitations and qualities of various forms of sensing apparatus. The result takes the form of noisy and hypnotic soundscapes. An abstract animation is directly and in real-time generated from the sound itself; audio frequencies affect the pulsation of the RGB diode. The artist plays with several parameters affecting the light (e.g., amplitude, frequency, phase, frequency modulation, and wave shape). The camera captures the pulsation of the light and generates moving colorful lines through that. In such a generative process, there is no need for any post-production technique. The STRATA film project is closely related to S T R A T I C audiovisual performance project.
Das Vegas work is grounded in visual, conceptual and media art paradigms, recently strongly focusing on technological aspects of new media and its political issues of digitalization and data. Vegas uses an art platform to explore the concepts posed by economic, social, and political conditions. He is using new approaches to look at the essentials of technology, thus establishing a fresh point of view on our society. The concept of change and the political agenda of neoliberalism is the most important issue in the artist’s works.
Shadow Box 10
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (MX / CA)
Interactive computer generated installation, 2015
"1984x1984" is the tenth piece in Lozano-Hemmer’s Shadow Box series of interactive displays with a built-in computerized tracking system. The piece shows a grid of thousands of random numbers extracted from addresses photographed by Google Street View. Scanned by Google from the front doors of buildings around the world, the numbers have an immense variety of fonts, colours, textures, and styles. As a viewer walks in front of the piece, his or her silhouette is represented within the display, and within its form, all numbers countdown to show the number 1984 repeated throughout. The piece was made as a homage to George Orwell’s eponymous dystopian novel, 30 years after his predicted date for the collapse of privacy.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1989 he received a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. An electronic artist, he develops interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. His main interest is in creating platforms for public participation, by perverting technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnivals and animatronics, his light and shadow works are “antimonuments for alien agency”.
OFFENER SCHALTKREIS (OPEN CIRCUIT)
Christoph Haag, Martin Rumori, Franziska Windisch and Ludwig Zeller (DE)
Sound installation, 2006–2016
A silent labyrinth created out of open copper trails on the floor carries the electrical signals of a multichannel sound repository. By putting wireless speaker-cylinders on them, the carried sound layers become audible and the interpretation by the visitors is made possible. “Offener Schaltkreis” reacts depending on the way the speakers are used: if nothing is moved, the sounds stay calm and soft, but as soon as a single cylinder is placed elsewhere, the sounds of all speakers intensify simultaneously. This results in a dynamic relation between silence and noise, which is influenced by the visitors.
Christoph Haag, born in 1981 in Kempten, Germany, received his diploma in Audiovisual Media at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2008. As a user and maker of interfaces he explores and creates relationships through design and software practices. He lives and works as a designer, animator and publisher in Augsburg, Germany.
Martin Rumori was born in 1976 in Berlin, Germany. He studied musicology, computer science and philosophy in Berlin and received his M.A. in 2005. His artistic and theoretical work focuses on sound installations and audio augmented environments. He also works in the area of musical instrument research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria.
Franziska Windisch, born in 1983 in Memmingen, Germany, received her diploma in Audiovisual Media at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2010. Operating in both sound art and visual art, her work moves between the areas of performance, text, composition and installation. She lives and works in Brussels and Cologne.
Ludwig Zeller, born in 1981 in Sonthofen, Germany, holds an M.A. in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art London and a Diploma in Audiovisual Media from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He explores the relationship between technologies and culture through a multitude of artistic and scientific methods, blurring the supposedly clear, disciplinary borders between art and design. He teaches at the Academy of Art and Design Basel.
FLY PRINTER – EXTENDED
Laura Beloff (FI/DK) in collaboration with Malena Klaus (DE/DK)
Installation with fruit fly habitat and intelligent image recognition system, 2016
The Fly Printer is a printing apparatus in a form of a closed environment that contains a flock of fruit flies and special food prepared to contain printer ink. The flies digest the food and gradually print dots onto the paper that is placed under the fly habitat. In the Fly Printer biological organisms are used to replace a standard part of our common printer technology. The work points to a divide between the engineered and the organic and shows the human aspiration for control of information and of biological species. The Fly Printer – Extended incorporates a technological vision and neural network learning software. The purpose of the set-up is to juxtapose human perception with technological perception through a system that incorporates living organisms (flies, and human-observers) and evolving technology. The work ironically plays on the over-interpretation of the technological system and points to how human abilities are considered the point of reference in technological developments.
Laura Beloff (PhD) is an internationally acclaimed artist and a researcher.
Her research interests include practice-based investigations into combinations of information, technology and organic matter, located in the cross section of art, technology and science. Currently, she is Associate Professor and Head of Section at the IT University in Copenhagen. http://www.realitydisfunction.org
Malena Klaus (BSc.) is writing her master thesis in game technology. She is interested in all kinds of games, but her focus is on artificial intelligence, gameplay and alternative controls. She is organising and participating in various game jams, keen to experiment with new things. Currently she working as a Unity Developer at usTwo in Malmö.
Erich Berger (FI/AT) and Mari Keto (DK/FI)
Installation: a storage and open care system for nuclear waste autoradiographies, 2016
OPEN CARE – distributed nuclear waste storage. A generation ago when the container was delivered to you by the OPEN CARE FOUNDATION, the bronze disk was too radioactive to dispose of. Today you will perform your service of measurement to determine if you can return the container, or if you and your descendants need to continue to care about it.
The OPEN CARE nuclear waste storage container holds:
• your nuclear waste encapsulated in steel pellets mounted on a bronze disk
• a gold leaf electroscope to measure radiation
• spare gold leaf
• an electrostatic charger
• a timepiece
Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki and Copenhagen. His interests lie in information processes and feedback structures, which he investigates through installations, situations, performances and interfaces. Throughout his artistic practice he has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material. His current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now.
Mari Keto combines jewelry materials in her installations and portraits to explore the limits of artifacts. In Keto’s works both the conceptual underpinning and a high degree of craftsmanship merge into the artwork. Keto’s work is strongly research-based. She engages with her subject matter from various perspectives in order to define her own. Keto explores the tensions and structures of our contemporary culture by portraying the icons and symbols predominantly surrounding us. Deriving from cultural histories and pop culture, her work examines the distinctions between value and consumption. Keto’s multilayered works contain intemperate realism mixed with humor and irony.
Līvija Daudze in collaboration with Valters Grišāns (LV)
Thermal printer, print, 2016
The result of a data visualization often means a slight glimpse of its automated process. By assigning it elements of interactivity, the user experience resembles a game, while hiding its technical details. Something that is handmade seems to be the opposite of the digitalised, generative process. It often is associated with something time-consuming therefore exclusive. The "do-it-yourself" possibilities available today have become substantial in several creative fields, especially for independent artists. Provided with countless "how-to" videos, manuals and the supply of online shops, through self-instruction and experiments with self-made gadgets, personalized solutions and prototypes of otherwise utopian ideas have become reality.
The work focuses on the beginning point of a data visualization – the human-made writing of code that reveals the "kitchen" of the technical process. The interpretation imitates every step made to change the idea of a form into a form, its digital depiction and, by going through several stages of manual processing, achieves a tangible result.
Livija Daudze has graduated from Liepāja University (New Media Art) as well as the Art Academy of Latvia (Visual Communication). She currently practices graphic design. In her creative work she purposefully pays attention to introspection and self-analysis by resolving existential subjects relevant to herself.
Valters Grisans has always been actively interested in the design and development of digital products, both during and after the studies at Liepāja University (NMA). Today he views the world through a pixel prism, leaving programming in his free time.
Gints Gabrāns (LV)
Mobile application, photographies, 2016
The SAN project is based on a GPS-based augmented reality mobile application. The application allows users using their smartphones in certain places to view a virtual art object which works as a digital layer in connection with the real environment. Together it changes the way people interact with buildings and cities, as well as social structures and cultural institutions. Currently the sculptures have been placed in the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Tate Modern London, MoMA New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, TWC New York, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum Berlin, MAXXI Rome, the National Library of Latvia Riga, Esplanade Riga. The SAN application can be used for Android and IOS and you can download it at gabrans.com/get.
Gints Gabrans (1978) graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia, Department of Scenography (1995). Gabrans has taken part in exhibitions since 1992 and he mainly works with installations and new media art. He won the Hansabank Art Award in 2005, and in 2007 represented Latvia at the Venice Biennale with the Paramirrors project Gabrans has exhibited his works in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Moscow (Russia), Rauma (Finland) Biennales, as well as in other venues worldwide in solo and group exhibitions.
INTRODUCTION TO POSTHUMAN AESTHETICS
Mindaugas Gapsevicius (LT/DE)
2 toolkits, 2016
The discourse on the symbiosis of humanity and technology reaches from the middle of the 20th century, when the idea of the digital computer was first introduced, and continues with the emergence of new disciplines, such as artificial intelligence, artificial life, and bioinformatics. The participatory/performative/educative/interactive installation aims at defining this present-future aesthetic. There are two toolkits for collaborative workshops for critical evaluation and discourse at the Open Fields exhibition: “My collaboration with bacteria for paper production”, and “Ultra low voltage survival kit”. Whether framing the discussion of political, economic, or cultural issues, my installation will question the creativity of machines and will not presume humans to be the only creative force at work. While quoting and questioning the evolving technology, living organisms, contemporary media theory, and art practices, the installation unleashes further questions, ranging from abstract, philosophical examinations of creativity to global concerns about what forces dictate the organization of humanity and determine our future as a society.
Mindaugas Gapševičius (b. 1974) is an artist, facilitator, and curator based between Berlin, Weimar, and Vilnius. Gapševičius earned his MA at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1999 and his MPhil at Goldsmiths, University London in 2016. His artworks question the creativity of machines and do not presume humans to be the only creative force at work.
CRYPTO-CURRENCY TRADE PATTERN MELTING
Jānis Garančs (LV)
Networked interactive installation, 2016
Using publicly available data feeds from several online crypto-currency exchanges – both real-time data of currently ongoing trades and historical trades – a vast, abstract cinematic landscape of juxtaposed multiple financial token value relationships is created. Imagery swings from models of traditional stock rate displays where a number of popular technical analysis patterns (such as “support/resistance lines”, “Elliott waves”, “stochastic indicators”, “bullish/bearish signals”, “Cypher patterns”, etc.) – are “tried” on incoming trade data, or – by visitors’ choosing – earlier replayed historical trades. Via touch screens visitors can activate several display modes and levels of visualisation complexity – that move away from a display of a “usefulness of analysis” of specific trade markets, towards a generalised, abstract representation. The artwork reveals the rhythms, phases and interconnectedness of highly speculative online trade processes, where human emotions and drives like greed, “fear-of-missing out”, confusion, despair and an illusory sense of control through participation combine, without the ability to “undo” the action beyond the moment that has just passed.
Jānis Garančs was born in Latvia in 1973. He is an artist and researcher working primarily in genres of interactive installations, and multimedia performances using immersive technologies. He studied painting at the Art Academy of Latvia; computer and video art at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Stockholm and audiovisual media at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.
Adam Harvey (US/DE)
3 photographic prints, 2010–2013
CV Dazzle is an ongoing art and research project that explores how fashion can be used as camouflage from face-detection, the first step in automated face recognition. The camouflage technique works by exploiting vulnerabilities in face detection algorithms, namely the widely used Viola-Jones algorithm. The vulnerabilities are determined by reverse engineering face detection profiles to determine the key facial features and their expected tonalities. Hair and makeup styles are then applied to conceal a face's most salient features.
Since publishing the first proof of concept in 2010, CV Dazzle has been featured widely in news media (BBC, Wired, New York Times), referenced in popular culture (60 Minutes, Sherlock), referenced in a classified intelligence briefing (est. 2013), and cited in several counter-counter-surveillance research papers on computer vision. As facial recognition technology continues to develop around the world, CV Dazzle is only becoming a more relevant strategy.
Adam Harvey is an American artist and independent researcher. His work includes developing camouflage from face detection (CV Dazzle) and thermal imaging (Stealth Wear). He graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU in 2010 and is currently based in Berlin.
HUE DICHOTOMIES: A MEADOW SPECTRUM
(Bushwick, Brooklyn and Gothic, Colorado)
Ellie Irons (US)
Plant derived pigments in gum arabic, pencil and plant pigments on paper, post cards, plant cuttings, video, 2015
An expansion of my Invasive Pigments project (in which I make watercolor paints from wild-growing urban plants) this installation compares the hues of two distinct plant communities: the urban meadow and the research meadow. Made of plant materials drawn from the land surrounding a remote research station in the Rocky Mountains, the Gothic paintings reflect the plant composition of a meadow that has been carefully studied, manipulated and protected by humans for close to a century. The Bushwick paintings are made of pigments extracted from plants that live on the margins of a harsh urban landscape and are often derided as noxious weeds. The Project is supported by the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Art Science Exchange residency. Colorado herbarium specimens were generously provided by the Intermountain Region Herbarium Network and the RMBL Herbarium.
Ellie Irons is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She works in a variety of media, from walks to WIFI to gardening, to reveal how human and nonhuman lives intertwine with other earth systems. Recent work has focused on plants, people and urban ecology in the so-called Anthropocene. Irons teaches part time at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Raphael Kim (UK)
4 photographic prints, 2014
Microbial Money speculates on alternative roles of synthetic biology in finance: How might micro-organisms be engineered/designed to function as living currencies, as models of trading, and as forecasters of stock market fluctuations? Who might use them, and what are the potential scenarios that may emerge as a result?
A set of four photographs help to narrate activities of ‘bio-financiers’: the fictional characters who embrace, subvert and implement living workhorses of synthetic biology, in the hope to profit from the technology that promises bright futures for global economic health and beyond.
Credits for the project:
Microbial Money is a part of the Blueprint for the Unknown project, commissioned by Design Interactions Research, the Royal College of Art, UK, and is funded by Studiolab, EU FP7 Programme.
Raphael Kim is a bio-designer who uses biology as a design material and a process and to narrate outcomes. A graduate from, and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, Raphael is currently undertaking a PhD in Media and Arts Technology, Queen Mary University London.
Karen Lancel, Hermen Maat (NL)
in collaboration with STEIM Amsterdam, Thijs Ham
Real time brain waves scanning audiovisual performance, 2 channel video installation, 2015
CAN I KISS YOU ONLINE? Can we transfer a kiss and it’s intimacy online? Do we want to save our private kisses in a transparent database – to be used by others? In E.E.G. KISS the artists investigate how a kiss can be translated into bio-feedback data. In a poetic, electronic environment for kissing and measuring, for synchronizing and merging, the artists research a shared neuro-feedback system for networked kissing. They radically turn upside down automated control technologies, bio-feedback and sensory perception for a public, intimate experience.
With E.E.G. headsets measuring their brainwaves, visitors participate as kissers, voyeurs and data scanners. In a hosted, immersive data landscape with a streaming E.E.G. data floor projection encircling the kissers, the E.E.G. data of ‘kissing brains’ are real time translated into an algorithm and music score for a synesthetic E.E.G. KISS symphony. Each E.E.G. KISS Portrait can be printed and each kiss-soundscape can be shared from the website database.
Artist duo Lancel/Maat explores the tension between embodied presence, intimacy, privacy and trust in current socio-technological systems. They radically turn upside down automated control-technologies, bio-feedback and sensory perception, creating 'Trust-Systems' for intimate meeting experiences. Their visually seductive Meeting Places, or social sculptures, function as 'artistic social labs’ in public spaces. In their Presence Rituals, the public is invited as 'co-researchers’ to meet through socially challenging, imaginative technologies in poetic orchestrations; to reflect on their perception of intimate body experiences, privacy, identity, and social cohesion. Their work has been presented internationally: at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015 / China Pavillion; ZKM Karlsruhe; Ars Electronica Linz; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Rijksmseum Amsterdam; Transmediale Berlin; Public Art Lab Berlin / Connecting Citie Network; Eyebeam NewYork; World Expo 2010 Shanghai. They lecture internationally at conferences; and participate in artist-in-residences: TASML Beijing; Banff Canada; V2_Lab for Unstable Media; IASPIS Stockholm. E.E.G. KISS emerged from the Shared Senses artistic research conducted at Delft University of Technology in the context of Lancel’s PhD trajectory at the ‘Participatory Systems Initiative’.
Mauro Martino (US/IT), Jianxi Gao (US/CN)
Earth is animated by complex interactions between its life forms, rocks, atmosphere, and water. All living creatures – animals and plants, bacteria, fungi, and others – are involved in a worldwide, multi-layered web of cooperation. In this video we explore, as an example, the connections that exist between Ants and Plants, and we discover the resilience and fragility of this network.
Our life depends on the health status of these and many other connections between all life forms, and the film shows how it is possible now to monitor these connections and identify whether ecological systems are in danger of failing.
Mauro Martino leads IBM’s Cognitive Visualization Lab. He is a distinguished Italian artist, designer, inventor, and educator who investigates the impact of artificial intelligence on design. His projects have been shown at international festivals including Ars Electronica, Rixc Art Science Festival, and art galleries including the Serpentine Gallery (London), GAFTA (San Francisco), kim? Contemporary Art Centre (Riga), and the Lincoln Center(New York). His work has been featured on the cover of Nature and PNAS, as well as Nature Communication, Nature Physics, Popular Science, The Economist, The Financial Times, WIRED Magazine, The Guardian, BBC News, MIT News, and Harvard News.
Dr. Jianxi Gao is a research assistant professor in CCNR at Northeastern University. Dr. Gao received his Ph. D. degree in SJTU in 2012. His major contribution includes the theory for network resilience, robustness and control. He has published over 20 papers in journals such as Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, PNAS, and PRL. Dr. Gao serves on the Editor board of Nature Scientific Reports, has been a distinguished referee of EPL (2014–2016) and Elsevier (2016), and a referee of Science, PNAS, PRL, PRX and more. His publications have been reported over 20 times by international public and professional media.
Avner Peled (IL/FI), Elisa Spigai (IT/FI), Idamaija Pitkonen Piguet (FI), Soujanyaa Boruah (IN/FI)
Real time data visualization and sonification, installation, 2016
How would Facebook make use of emerging technologies that combine businesses with modern science? It is widely known that Facebook is collecting and analyzing our online behavior in order to optimize the website’s experience, which in turn increases exposure to ads and generates profit. Corporate use of Neuroimaging devices enables “Neuromarketing”, the measuring of our brain’s activity in response to ads and web content. We therefore speculate on what’s happening behind closed doors at Facebook’s lab, with access to the latest brain imaging devices. Cooperating with ABL – Aalto’s Neuro-Behavioral Lab, we conducted an experiment, measuring a subject’s brain activity and eye tracking during a 45 minute long Facebook session. We then ran this data through a common algorithm that analyzes emotional regulation activity, namely an LPP analysis.
The result is a glimpse of a probable scenario, in which Facebook directly derives financial bonds from our emotional investment in social media.
As M.A students for New Media Design and Production at Aalto University’s Media Lab Helsinki, the artists are asking questions regarding the social implications of the latest developments in technology and science. Coming from diverse backgrounds, they combined their skills in design, storytelling, programming and neuroscience for the production of this piece. The project was also realised with the help of Veli-Matti Saarinen, a research engineer at Aalto’s Neuro-imaging department.
URBAN FRUIT STREET WRAPPER – LAMPEDUSA
PolakVanBekkum (Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum) (NL)
Digital print in 3 parts, prints on tissue paper, 2013
Inspired by the French origins of the car, we name this location “Fin du Monde”, and imagine a small bar that could have been there, at the end of a dusty dirt road in a Mediterranean country. A refreshing cool breeze dispels the heat. Hang out in the bar Fin du Monde, and look out in the direction of that rocky coast, with a beer in your hand; see the sun set. The end.
Had the world been flat, you might be able to see the coastline across the sea. You could imagine, if you felt like it, that the people on the other side could see your coastline too.
Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum work together as an artist-couple under the name PolakVanBekkum. Routed in the history of the Dutch realistic landscape depiction, they express personal experiences of moving and space. Their projects are often informed by collaborations with participants, be it humans, animals, or even the rays of the sun. Their work has shown at Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, ZKM Karlsruhe, Media-Lab Prado Madrid; INIVA London, IMAL Brussels, Rento Brattinga | Galerie Amsterdam, Pixelache Helsinki, Lagos, Biennale Marrakech, Philadelphia Percent for Art program and Los Angeles.
2005 Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Ars Electronica together with Ieva Auzina, with MILKproject.
Esther Polak studied at the RijksAkademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam and the KABK in Den Haag; NL. Ivar van Bekkum studied journalism at the Academie voor de Journalistiek Kampen, NL.
Jukka Hautamäki (FI) and Roberto Pugliese (IT/FI)
Real time interactive installation using Twitter feed, 2016
Flow-Flawed comments on the topic of immigration and asylum seeking by visualizing the ongoing flow of discussion about it. Streams of “water” are made of words extracted in real time from Twitter feeds using hashtags such as #dialogue, #crisis and #refugee. New concepts merge and emerge from the texts (tweets), comfortably from far away.
The installation makes use of the visibility the topic gains on social media but at same time wonders how the availability of information and political debate shortens the distance between the inhabitants of the hosting countries and those migrants that are being hosted. Waterfalls and flooding are employed as metaphors for both the flux of information and the transit of people. The piece hints at a realization of to what extent we can grasp complex phenomena, regardless of the amount of information and discussion. There is a limit to how close to each other we can get in a time of augmented communication.
During the exhibition Flow-Flawed reflects the changes in the discourse about immigration and asylum seeking as new issues appear in the media.
MFA, sound and media artist Jukka Hautamäki (b. 1971 Oulu) lives and works in Helsinki, Finland / London, UK. Hautamäki works with found materials, electronics, sound, light and video. He places everyday objects and materials into new contexts and forms. The works are often presented in the form of a media installation.
Roberto Pugliese (ITA/FI, b. 1980) is a media artist and researcher based in Helsinki. He holds a M.Phil. from TCD Dublin (2009) and D.Sc. (Technology) from Aalto University (2015). Often concerned with memories, recordings and loss, his pieces can incorporate animation, sound, moving objects and the augmentation of physical media using programmed hardware and software. By collecting, processing and coupling audio and visual material, he works towards a common language among visual and sonic imageries. The installations often use sound and its transformation to establish alternative relations between the visitor and the space.
Telcosystems (The Netherlands)
Electronic book, 2015
With Resonanz, Telcosystems presents an electronic book combining a series of visual artworks with a sound publication in one. Incorporated in the structure of the book are sensors and electronics, providing each page with its own unique soundtrack, which can be listened to via speakers or headphones. While a score comes to life in sound, Resonanz presents sounds visualized in a series of rich and detailed visual narratives.
Telcosystems is David & Gideon Kiers and Lucas van der Velden. In their audiovisual works they research the relation between the behaviour of programmed numerical logic and human perception of this behaviour. Their installations and films focus on self-structuring and generative processes, and they interact with these processes in real-time in their live performances.
AFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTS: REVEAL!
Jan Torpus (CH) and José Navarro (ES/CH)
Interactive installation with biofeedback, 2015/2016
The biofeedback interaction devices in the Installation Reveal! are: a bamboo sphere with incorporated galvanic skin response and pulse sensors and a chest belt with an incorporated respiration sensor affective environments invites visitors to get intimately involved in a public setting by connecting their breathing, heart-rate and skin conductance to the exhibits, thereby measuring their affective reactions. The psychophysiological data, which are processed in real-time, alter parametric values and create new affective stimuli, establishing a human-in-the-loop feedback system.
Reveal! challenges the visitor to find a system of rules in an unknown environment. It invites the visitor to extract paradisiac video images from an abstract three-dimensional space viewed on a monitor. To succeed, the visitor has to produce regular biofeedback data by staying calm. The interactive process of extracting figurative natural images and sounds from a data visualisation space, represents the difficulty of finding inner peace and a calling in modern society.
Jan Torpus is a media artist, researcher and tutor at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW, Basel. He studied audio-visual arts, interaction design and interior design. He develops and internationally presents media art and interdisciplinary design and art research projects in the fields of affective interaction, immersive augmented reality and physical responsive environments.
Paula Vītola (LV)
Every communication device has three basic elements – the transmitter, the medium, through which data can be transmitted, and the receiver. The only thing that they require to make the communication happen is the language or protocol. LIGHT-NET is a primitive, small scale model of the actual internet that transmits information through the air using just a blinking LED light using a very simple protocol that could be decoded with a pencil and a timer.
LIGHT-NET is part of a series of artworks called "Demystifying the Network" that explores different aspects of communication technology and tries to understand how they really work.
Artist Paula Vitola is based in Liepaja, Latvia, and graduated from the New Media Art programme at Liepāja University. She is mainly interested in fields such as art as research, media archaeology, art and science, and relationships between humans and technology.
Her work encompasses experimenting with technology and nature, and programming and gadget-hacking. She has participated in different media art exhibitions and light festivals in Liepaja, Latvia and Europe.
An optic-sound electronic object, 2016
My interest in crystallography and the wish to use flexible kinetic elements has determined the choice of the main optical output device – the center of the work is a red glass crystal and a flexible Fresnel lens. The project includes many reworked electronic devices – a CD-rom, an old scanner, reused electric motors – and involves constant changes of focal length between the light source, crystal and lens, as well as changes in the crystal’s tilt angle and mechanical distortion of the lens.
The object works autonomously, controlled by an algorithm with many accidental events tied to feedback, with sensors defining the position of various mechanical elements in relation to the range of their movement. The sound part has up to 4 voices which depend on the activity of various elements. The sound is also in direct interaction with the actual position of those elements, and basically is voicing the process of movement, brightness of light, and intensity of the piece.
::vtol:: is the alias of media artist Dmitry Morozov. He implements his ideas in technological art: robotics, sound art, and science art. He took part in the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, festivals Archstoyanie and CTM (Germany), and in exhibitions at such prominent venues as NCCA, MMOMA, Moscow Manege, Laboratoria, Electromuseum, Garage museum, ZKM (Germany), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (USA). Laureate of Sergei Kuryokhin Prize (2013), Prix Cube (France, 2014). Honorary mentions of the VIDA 16.0 (Spain, 2014), Ars Electronica (Austria, 2015).
The RIXC Gallery will host the "Turnton, a small city on the sea" exhibition by artists Time's Up (AT/AU), which will open on the eve of the RIXC Art Science Festival.
Exhibition dates: September 29 – October 5, 2016.
Opening – September 29, at 18.00.
Venue: RIXC Gallery, address: 11. novembra krastmala 35, entrance from Minsterejas iela, Riga.
More about the Time's Up exhibition here >>>
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