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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Currently on “display” at STRIJP-S in Eindhoven, the Netherlands until the end of this year: 4D GRAFFITI INVASIONS by AUJIK.

4D Graffiti Invasions is an experience/exhibition which combines  the post-industrial  environment of the Strijp-S area (formerly a Philips Electronics plant) in Eindhoven, with augmented reality (AR) “graffiti” projected onto the streets and buildings. While walking on Strijp-S, you experience a virtual layer on top of the physical environment through your smartphone. Graffiti in augmented reality (AR) can pop up anywhere on your smartphone and then disappear again. This graffiti is not a frozen image in AR, but  consists of abstract animations:

This is how it works. To be able to experience the AR graffiti you must first download the free 4D Graffiti Invasions app  from the Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS).  The app shows the location of the 4D artworks at Strijp-S. If you walk over to a site, there is sticker on the ground, which you need to scan to experience the AR graffiti piece of that particular site on your smartphone.

AUJIK is an artistic concept initiated and maintained by the Swedish artist Stefan Larsson, who is currently based in Japan. Stefan Larsson is fascinated about the idea that everything, no matter how synthetic it seems, is nature. Everything derives from nature even though we sometimes perceive it otherwise. To extend this idea he gave it an animistic character influenced by Shinto and various pagan beliefs in his AUJIK concept. AUJIK  is modelled to resemble a fictive esoteric cult. Its themes are artificial intelligence, nature, technology, perception, future speculation, neuroscience and architecture.

In AUJIK he divides nature it into Primitive (vegetation, soil, humans/animals etc.) and Refined (AI, robotic, nano-technology etc.) and creates artefacts that are crossbreeds of these nature types. The central idea of these artefacts is that everything, even the most artificial things, have consciousness and a soul. Although it can only be experienced on the tiny screen of a smartphone, the results of this concept are quite stunning as you can see in the video above. Want to experience the works of AUJIK at Strijp-S yourself? Start your tour at the AUJIK Homebase at Mu artspace. Here you will find the information about the app and all the locations of the AR works.

More information:

 

Currenty at Mu Artspace in Eindhoven, The Netherlands: the exhibition “Back End” by Dries Depoorter.

Back End exhibition

Dries Depoorter is a Belgian media artist and a freelance concept provider.  He has a background in electronics and studied Media Arts in Ghent, Belgium. His work is focused on the internet, especially on topics such as online privacy, identity and surveillance:

In Back End Depoorter shows how boundaries can be dissolved with a few simple interventions. How human creativity and machine learning, private and public, entertainment and morality all blend together online. Anything can be linked and the actual connections are visible in the exhibition ; the cables, the plugs, the way the software works. Depoorter’s play with technology, access and data analysis creates a sense of unease.

Ten recent and new works are on show at Mu, among them Jaywalking. Jaywalking, shows live streams from traffic cameras at intersections with pedestrian crossing lights. When someone unsuspectingly crosses the red light, the installation offers the viewer the opportunity to let know the police: one push of a button sends an email with a screenshot of the violation to the nearest police station. Jaywalking Frames exists of an entire wall filled with these screenshots, except that these were generated with the aid of automated image analysis. The prints can be purchased for the cost of the fine which the buyer would receive in the country where the violation was captured:

Jaywaking FRame photo installation

Depoorter depicts this and other works in the exhibition as both critical and funny: “you can say they are critical… and, well, I think they are not entirely without humour”. That seems spot on to me, so don’t forget to visit this exhibition if you are anything near Eindhoven, NL. The exhibition runs until September, 23.

More information:

I discovered Swedish artist Jonas Lund through an interesting article in Gonzo (circus) entitled “Propaganda as a scalpel“. Jonas Lund is a Swedish artist working from Berlin and Amsterdam, who makes use and often questions (and criticizes) the current state and usage of online communications, advertising and marketing.

Terms of Service

TOS (Terms of Service) 2016, Terms of Service textual agreement

According to his online resume he “creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites and performances that critically reflects on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control“. For this purpose he has made many installations,  websites, online games and bots, of which an overview can be found on his website. Check some of his disturbing online games and bots such as:

Being a web developer by profession from 1995 onwards, I sympathize with his efforts in this particular field of “‘critical” web/net art. After a surge in popularity and interest around 2000 it seems to have disappeared in obscurity again. Nice to see there are still artists who are dedicated to this type of tech art.

More information:

Yesterday the yearly “light in architecture” GLOW 2016 festival has started in Eindhoven. This is only two weeks after the Dutch Design Week (DDW) ended on October, 29  also in Eindhoven and visited by around 300.000 visitors during 9 days!

So there is quite a lot to do these months in my home town. To keep up, I want to look back on the most interesting exhibition of DDW 2016 in my opinion: Will the Future Design us? organized by MAD emergent art center and ViolaVirus, working together as Manifestations@DDW. This exhibition was somewhat hidden in the MicroLab at the Strijp-S area and curated by Viola van Alphen of ViolaVirus, also know as multimedia artist Sandwoman.

The theme of the exhibition was  Hyperreality: a new vision of the future. Will We Design the Future or Will the Future Design Us? with Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master as a subtitle. On the exhibition website it says:

“Will the Future Design Us? Man is limited in observations, what happens in a world when these can be manipulated? Do we need an update in perceptions, do we need exoskeletons and other digital plugins? Are digital observation systems more absolute? In a society with Nervous Systems, our behaviour is predicted and affected. How do we regain control on our devices and systems? Will the Future Design Us or can We Design the Future? Manifestations shows the future 10 years ahead, in passwords, virtual reality, artificial social intelligence, hacker culture, digital valuta-mining, internet-of-women-things, it makes a statement and takes you into a world where you actively create your own future. It wants to design the future together, before the future designs us.”

This interesting topic was explored by art works related to robotics, virtual reality, digital fashion, biohacking and artificial intelligence. This short video (in Dutch….sorry) gives a quick overview of the contents of this exhibition:

 

Freek Wieringa demonstrated his impressive new Android/Humanoid exoskeleton robot in the exhibition..:

 

 

And Erik van Veen showed his Mental Institute for Robots in which  caged modems and furbies were behaving very unpredictably, asking the question if robots can have mental disorders? 

 

 

But by far the most impressive piece on display was Harper, the worlds first artificial intelligence experience developed by Johannes Teuns and the Technical University of Twente:

Harper is a 3D projection of a head to which you can ask questions in Dutch and English. It will provide answers to your questions, enabling you to have a real dialogue with an artificial intelligence artifact. I have seen 3D avatars in the past, but never so lifelike as Harper. Harper did not only answer the questions asked to him but also asked questions back to the asker. In effect, a real conversation with the avatar was established.

So far not much information is available on the Harper project of TU Twente: just two very basic websites, with some pictures and an e-mail form, but no videos or any background information. However, this is such a stunning art work (?), that you really want to keep track of it once you have seen and experienced it (in person). So check out these links below. And don’t forget to visit GLOW this week if you are in NL..

 

More information

 

In September I was on holiday in the Baltic states (and in St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia). In  Riga I bought a book-which-actually-is-a-magazine  called “Systems”  (edition of 500 copies, ISSN 2255-9310, Popper Publishing) dedicated to contemporary and post-internet art in the Baltics (and Russia).

One of the most interesting art works (on page 82) in this book/magazine was Untitled from Latvian artist Victor Timoveef. I became curious and visited his website where I found more interesting works, such as the computer generated Soft War images:

 

 

 

 

So who is Victor Timofeev? The bio on his website doesn’t provide much information, but he recently had a solo exhibition in the Drawing Room in London, called S.T.A.T.ESuprisingly, the Drawing Room is  “the only public and non-profit gallery in the UK and Europe dedicated to contemporary drawing”. Here some more info on the digital (?) artist can be found:

“Viktor Timofeev was born in Latvia in 1984, studied at Hunter College, New York and is currently completing his MFA at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Viktor Timofeev’s practice combines drawing, digital and sculptural work.  [He] creates installations with digitally generated imagery, interactive games and rule-based performances. He is a prolific draughtsman but also makes computer games and browser based collage puzzles without instructions.  This [digital] work runs parallel to a drawing and painting practice from which his logic and inventions spring and which are collectively grouped as S.T.A.T.E., a title conceived by Timofeev in 2013.

So there is also a Dutch connection… Being a web developer myself, I was triggered by the browser based collage puzzles without instructions part of the bioThis refers to a work called Selekthor. Selekthor is a looping collage-based puzzle without instructions written in native Javascript, originally hosted at minerpie.net, but now embedded in his website. If you click on one of the images below, the web page with the puzzle is opened:

     

 

You didn’t click? Here is a video demo of the puzzle, which might make you change your mind:

Timofeev also participated in the thelimitedcollection on Tumblr, a collection of animated gifs made by various digital artists:

 

 

So a very interesting Latvian artist to follow whose work ranges from drawings to javascripts. Check these links to find out more:

Every technology has its own accidents. Rosa Menkman is a Dutch media artist who focuses on visual artifacts created by these kind of accidents in digital media. The visuals and installations she creates are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of unplanned noise.

Although most people perceive accidents as negative experiences, Rosa Menkman emphasizes their positive consequences. By combining both her practical as well as academic background, she merges her abstract pieces within a grand theory (“glitch studies”), in which she strives for new forms of conceptual synthesis of the two.

Glitch art seems to be an art form which requires a considerable amount of – rather obscure – explanation. According to Menkman, “glitch art is best described as a collection of forms and events that oscillate between extremes: the fragile, technologically based moment(um) of a material break, the conceptual or techno-cultural investigation of breakages, and the accepted and standardised commodity that a glitch can become. […] Glitch genres perform reflections on materiality not just on a technological level, but also by playing off the physical medium and its non-physical, interpretative or conceptual characteristics. To understand a work […] of glitch art completely, each level of this notion of (glitch) materiality should be studied: the text as a physical artifact, its technological and aesthetical qualities, conceptual content, and the interpretive activities of artists”.
and audiences.

If this description confuses you: it is  – more or less! – explained by Rosa when interviewed for the Digital Manifesto Archive:

So much for theory. How does this actually look and/or sound? Below are a few video’s included of works made by Rosa Menkman.

 

Pattern Recognition, Beyond Resolution

This video was apparently commissioned by the Dutch railways to be played on big LED ‘Urban Screens’ in train stations all over the Netherlands. However, when finished it wasn’t used because it was classified by the railway company as being “to strange for train passengers”:

 

DCT:SYPHONING

This installation is part of the Transfer Download exhibition of the Minnesota Street Project in Transfer Gallery in  San Francisco, which ends on September 9, so next week. So you are actually still able to see/experience it if you are living near SF!

According to the Transfer Gallery website this work is inspired by the 1884 novel ‘Flatland’ by Edwin Abbott Abbott. Rosa Menkman tells the story of a father who introduces his son to different levels of compression; they move from dither, to lines, to macroblocks (the realm in which they normally resonate) to the ‘future’ realms of wavelets and vectors.

 

Xilitla

Xilitla is a software game/application for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms which enables you to view the videoscapes of Rosa Menkman in glitchy  way outside the confines of YouTube and Vimeo (or this  blog page..). The app can  be downloaded for free on the Xilitla/Beyond Resolution website. In the About Xilitla video below she explains the goal and concept behind the app:

 

 

All in all, a very interesting Dutch media artist,who combines art theory and practice in her work and has in doing so already produced an extensive body of media art pieces around the concept of “glitch”. Below are some links – in random order, of course – to get you viewing, playing and reading:

More info:

Found on ArtTube.nl: a very interesting documentary (in Dutch, but with English subtitles) about the issues of preserving digital and software driven art works over time.

As these art works are software or make use of software, they age very fast because computers, storage media, operating systems and programming languages develop rapidly. This poses a challenge for museums who buy these art works. The documentary illustrates this problem by discussing the preservation of works of artist Peter Struycken, the Dutch pioneer of 20th century digital art, whose works have been acquired by most Dutch contemporary art museums. An excellent opportunity to get acquainted with this important Dutch artist and some of these Dutch art museums:

 

 

More info:


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