October 8-10, online and in Riga, Latvia will take place the RIXC Art and Science festival: ECODATA. The festival will feature exhibition in the physical space at The National Library of Latvia and the RIXC gallery, online conference as well as a hybrid program of online and onsite activities – artistic interventions, screenings, virtual bio/eco-artworks and performances by young artists.
Conference chairs and curators:
Rasa SMITE, Raitis SMITS, Yvonne VOLKART.
(EEST), UTC +3
Guided Tour Through the Exhibition
LOCATION: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA + ZOOM + LIVE STREAM: YOUTUBE
Ecodata–Ecomedia–Ecoaesthetics research project team:
Yvonne VOLKART / Marcus MAEDER / Rasa SMITE, and a scientist Kaisa RISSANEN
MODERATOR: Felipe CASTELBLANCO
Research team Yvonne Volkart, Marcus Maeder and Rasa Smite
This year’s RIXC festival is a collaboration with “Ecodata–Ecomedia–Ecoaesthetics” research group led by Yvonne Volkart at The Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory / FHNW Academy for Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland.
“Ecodata–Ecomedia–Ecoaesthetics” (2017-2020) is the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funded project that explores the role and significance of new media, technologies and technoscientific methods in the arts for the perception and awareness of the ecological. It took place in the Pfynwald forest in the Valais, southwest Switzerland, which is unique for both its state of crisis caused by the local aluminum industry and by its drought intensified by climate change. The forest has been under close surveillance of natural-scientists for more than 25 years. In close cooperation with The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, the artists-researchers – Marcus Maeder, Rasa Smite and Aline Veillat developed aesthetic projects related to this alpine forest. What kind of experiences are possible if a forest, the soil, the air turns out to be contingent and relational techno-organism, dependent on various actors? And what happens, if the audience is not anymore human only, but interspecies-correlated?
Proposing a new techno-ecological theory, project initiator Yvonne Volkart investigates technoscientific methods based on registering, collecting and interpreting data in the arts. How do the data affect us? Do they trigger care, solidarity, and empathy?
Celebrating the project’s closing phase in Riga, Marcus Maeder and Rasa Smite will show their artistic research results in ECODATA exhibition of the RIXC Festival, and together with project leader Yvonne Volkart and scientist Kisa Rissanen will participate in the discussion on art and science collaboration.
Dr. Yvonne Volkart is senior researcher and lecturer in art theory and cultural media studies at the Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory IAeP, Academy of Art and Design, FHNW Basel, and at the Master of Arts in Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts. Besides she is project leader at the department for art and architecture, City of Zurich public works office (since 2019). She lives as curator, author and art critic in Zurich. Regular contributions to Springerin, Texte zur Kunst, Kunstforum, Kunstbulletin, Flash Art et.al. Her main concerns are ecological, political and digital aesthetics; climate change; gardening, landscape, nature, and technology; New Materialisms; the non-human; trans- and intermedia; history of modernity; art and science; curatorial practices; queer and gender theory; history and performativity in the arts.
Marcus Maeder is a sound artist, researcher and composer of electronic music. As an author, Maeder has written on a number of topics in the fields of sound art, artistic research and digital media.
Maeder currently pursues his PhD in Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zürich. He runs the music label domizil, which he co-founded in 1996 with Bernd Schurer. Maeder has worked as an editor and producer for the Swiss radio station SRF and has been working as a curator and researcher at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) of the Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK since 2005. In his research at the ICST, Maeder is working on data sonification of ecophysiological and climatic processes and studying the acoustic and aesthetic requirements for making them perceptible. Maeder contextualises his scientific and artistic work in the fields of Acoustic and Soundscape Ecology.
On an invitation by French President François Hollande, Maeder presented his sound art installation trees: Pinus sylvestris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21.
In 2017 Maeder presented his installation AmazonFACE: Ocotea at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington – the same year where he and Roman Zweifel received an honorable mention from the STARTS Prize by the European Commission at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz/Austria for their works under the moniker treelab.
Dr Rasa Smite is an artist and researcher, working on the edge of art, science and emerging technologies. She is co-founder of RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga, and co-curator of RIXC Art and Science festivals (http://rixc.org). She holds a PhD; her thesis “Creative Networks” (2011) has been published by The Amsterdam Institute for Network Cultures. She lectures on topics of networked media art, science and techno-ecologies at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW in Basel, Liepaja University in Latvia, HfG in Karlsruhe, and MIT ACT in Boston.
In her artistic practice, Rasa Smite works together with Raitis Smits creating visionary and networked ‘techno-ecological’ artworks, such as “Talk to Me” – human-plant communication, and “Biotricity” – exploring a poetics of green energy have been shown in HeK, Ars Electronica, ZKM, Venice Architecture Biennale, Futurium Museum in Berlin, and other venues in Europe, US, Canada.
Kaisa Rissanen. Why Are Scientists Fascinated By The Odours Of Forest?
What we recognise as the odour of forest is a plethora of volatile compounds released by the trees, the undergrowth, and the soil. These compounds play many roles in the forest: they are an important part of tree defence against environmental stresses and a way in which trees and insects sense their environment. They also participate in the complicated processes of the atmosphere.
Although the forest odours and the volatile compounds have been a subject of an increasing scientific fascination, we still have a lot left to discover. Questions remain about the potential of volatile compounds to protect the trees against pest insects or harmful fungi, their net effects on air quality and climate in different environments, and their diverse sources within the forest.
In this presentation, I discuss these questions and introduce a research project in which we explored an unstudied source of volatile compounds, the stems of pine trees. The project, conducted in collaboration with Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL) in Pfynwald forest of Switzerland, revealed that the role of tree stems as a source of volatile compounds is probably more important than previously estimated.
Kaisa Rissanen is a post-doctoral researcher at Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada. In her doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland, she concentrated on understanding the interrelations between the physiology, resin and emissions of volatile organic compounds of Scots pine. As a part of this research, she collaborated with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL) to study resin dynamics and emissions of volatile organic compounds from pine stems in severe drought conditions. Her current research explores water use of urban trees and how trees can cool the urban heat island.
Ursula BIEMANN / Sarah BURGER / Susana SOARES /
Leena and Oula A. VALKEAPÄÄ
MODERATOR: Yvonne VOLKART
Ursula Biemann (CH). Acoustic Ocean (2018, Video projection)
Grounded in a research-based practice, Ursula Biemann creates video essays and texts that address the interconnection of politics and the environment across local, global, and planetary contexts. In her most recent work, Acoustic Ocean, Biemann combines scientific, personal, and phenomenological narrative in an exploration of oceanic depths and interspecies relations above and below the waterline of the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. The female aquanaut and human protagonist of this semi-fictional narrative places sensing instruments such as hydrophones and parabolic microphones along the shore in search of communication and connection with beings that inhabit the depths below. This watery world holds memories of evolution that span time scales, and also swirl with the possibility of dissolution. Microscopic creatures, for example, with bodies porous and vulnerable to the increasing acidification of their habitat, foretell of an unknown future existence. The narrative takes on a personal dimension when the aquanaut, performed by singer and environmental activist Sofia Jannok, recounts the uneven effects of a shifting climate on the indigenous Sami community of which she is part, and the reindeer on which their economic and cultural sovereignty rely.
Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer and video essayist based in Zurich. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates the political ecologies of forests, oil and water. Her video installations are exhibited at the International Art Biennials of Istanbul, Liverpool, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Gwangju, Montreal, and in museums worldwide. In 2020 she has a solo shows at the Museum for Modern Art in Nice and in Buenos Aires. Biemann received the 2009 Swiss Grand Award Meret Oppenheim
Sarah Burger (CH). (un)earthed (2014 – ongoing, Textile collage and video)What does a work of art consist of when it disappears, when it completely changes its shape, when it becomes something it was not at the beginning?
(un)earthed: Nine sewn objects made of biodegradable fabric, buried in nine places. A work about material properties, duration and places, about disappearing and the things that appear from within it.
Sarah Burger studied Philosophy, Comparative Literature and Linguistics in Zurich and Berlin as well as Art in Geneva. In 2017 she finished her PhD in Artistic Research at the Kunstuniversität Linz in collaboration with ZHdK, Zurich.
In her artistic practice she focuses on the idiosyncratic qualities of different materials, the on-going transformation of the surface of this planet earth by natural and cultural forces, as well as in the eclipsing contemporaneity of different periods of time.
Susana Soares (PT). Urpflanze (2013, Print and digital design)
In collaboration with Monica Santos (interactive piece design) and Dante Marinho (webmaster). Acknowledgments: Professor Andrew Fleming, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences – Science advisor
Can or should we design plants adaptable to extreme weather conditions? Can we afford not? The diversity of leaf shapes, sizes and structures allow plants to adapt to nearly every environment. Research on plant morphology is putting together the genetic blueprint that controls plant structure and shape. The findings could be the first steps to a new generation of plants that are more resilient to unpredictable weather patterns, meet the challenges of global demand for food and even influence climate.
Urpflanze displays computer-generated images of plants that represent optimal macro scale designs for extreme weather conditions. The illustrations are inspired by plant morphology research from the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield. It looks at metamorphoses by which specific plants adjusted to certain living conditions and environment, such as duckweed to water and cactus waxy coatings to drought.
The project attempts to give a brief overview of current research, questions whether we should design specific adaptations to a rapidly changing environment, and where can we draw parallels applicable to us.
Susana Soares is a designer and educator exploring the implications of the technological redesign of nature. Her work oscillates between harnessing symbiotic relationships with living beings and reengineering nature. She employs design to create opportunities to increase technological fluency, empathy and engagement.
She is Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University and in addition has held research fellow positions at IMPACT! and Materials Beliefs.
After completing a BA in Industrial Design, she graduated at MA Design Interaction in Royal College of Art, London.
Susana work has been published within design and scientific publications such as Wired, New Scientist and Nature, and exhibited at the MoMA in NYC, MOMAK in Kyoto, Science Gallery in Dublin, Southbank Centre and The Royal Institution in London.
Leena and Oula A. Valkeapää (FI). Manifestations (2017, Multimedia)
Manifestations is a compilation of text messages and emails Oula A. Valkeapää sends to his partner Leena. The verbal and visual messages describe Oula’s Sami background and his life with reindeers. They reveal the parallel existence of the everyday and the mysterious through Oula’s experiences. The messages catalogue various events in an often dream-like reality. They include documentary footage, photography, poetry and less formal texts. The two different media convey knowledge of the Sami culture and its mysticism, which are documented by the poetry of the work. Manifestations is a dialogic work produced by two artists. Leena’s role is to be an inspiring and inquisitive receiver. She also records and edits material produced by Oula and supplements. Oula’s narratives with his own images. Manifestations is a collage where word and image are conjoined in an intensive meditation on being. The manifestations of the work also create an air of questioning where the questions become a part of life, without the need to find clear answers. Living with questions and the mystery of life creates a space for creativity.
Leena and Oula A. Valkeapää live on the fells of northern Lapland where no roads can reach them and work together surrounded by natural phenomena. Leena Valkeapää works as an environmental artist and Oula A. Valkeapää continues his family’s tradition of reindeer herding.
Leena Valkeapää (Doctor of Arts) is an artist and researcher who lives in the wilderness in the northwest Lapland, near Kilpisjärvi. Valkeapää is working as a mentor in Ars Bioartica residence. She has exhibited as a visual artist since (1988) and has produced public environmental artworks, including the rock wall piece Ice Veil (1999) in Turku. Her doctoral dissertation Luonnossa, vuoropuhelua Nils-Aslak Valkeapään tuotanon kanssa, 2011 (In the Nature, a dialog with Nils-Aslak Valkeapää´s art) proposed a dialogue with nature and its poets.
Oula A. Valkeapää is working as a reindeer herder. He is interested in an engagement with the authenticity of a deeply individual experience with nature.
(DDL)2 --- (Digital Dramaturgy Lab) squared
LIVE STREAM: YOUTUBE
Rattling the Curve – Paradoxical ECODATA performances of A/I and facial recognitions of humans and trees
A group of more than 15 artists, scholars, and scientists with cultural roots in several continents (North America and Turtle Island, Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe) and across many time zones embarked on this adventure of alternative praxis between May and October 2020. The desire? Rattling the curve.
What emerged as the pattern of artistic intelligence, emotional survival and digital performance dramaturgy was that of a k/caleidoscopic imagination, where multiple fragments reflect and bounce off of each other, while still creating a space of multiplicity and coherent connection.
The project evolves around questions of imaging and imagining technologies, investigated by a group of multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual and multi-cultural creators from the arts and sciences. The first – imaging – is closely related to disruptions of artificial intelligence, the latter – imagining -is grounded in techniques of artistic intelligence. What is intelligence? What is ethics of intelligence? What is the politics of bias in A/I and AI? We propose an experimental and performative project to find out more.
As a result of live prototyping and creation online across multiple time zones, outdoors and at home, a k/caleidoscopic performance emerged. Mathematicians, engaged in computational complexity theory, have applied k/caleidoscopic dramaturgy just recently. “The goal (and peculiarity) of the Caleidoscope school is to reunite in a single event as many different takes on computational complexity as can reasonably be fit in one week.”
We, however, will attempt to share a live-stream performance on the complexity of A/I or artistic intelligence with you in under ONE HOUR. And this statement has to be taken with the pinch of a RED NOSE, of course.
Originally we planned to build a live and participatory performance around a 1870s plate camera as a central actor along with audience-actors, creating and collecting live eco/bio data and facial recognition while processing performance and images. How do images and imagination relate? How does radical slowness impact perception, sensorial processing and creative (re)cognition? What is the dynamic between A/I (artistic intelligence) and AI (artificial intelligence)? What is the materiality of this reality?
Then the global pandemic hit the planet, continuously producing visualizations of the curve.
We embraced the challenge, experimenting and prototyping possibilities of live performance in social distancing mode both in creation and presentation. We worked a lot outdoors, in our homes or online. While busy with “flattening the curve” and a new appreciated for data visualization in the form of daily changing graphs, we were also RATTLING THE CURVE.
Paradox 1: Why do we make square images with circular lenses? What are frames (of reference, of thought, of deceit, of history, of politics, of economics)?
Paradox 2: Insisting on human togetherness in physical spaces, how to abandon this key desire and build a trans-media performance that has to be flattened and robbed of its thought to be critical dimensions?
Paradox 3: Can we trust our perception of the world, our ECODATA input and output, when our sensory apparatus makes us perceive things that do not exist (like color or inverted image direction) but still potentially secures our species’ survival through such performances of fabrication?
Our project is situated in discourses and technological disruptions related to questions of intelligence. How is A/I or artistic intelligence offering a creative and playful question mark to the claimed certainties and doubtful promises of AI or artificial intelligence? How are ARTifice, ARTistic and ARTificial related? What’s intelligent about it? What is the relationship between art and craft and scientific art? How can we find out more in the self-reflecting process of making a multi-modal, multi-sensory live performance?
What if augmented trees and sand (cardboard box of a camera obscura or wooden constructions of historical plate cameras and reconstructions of the laterna magica, sand melt to glass/lenses) make imaginations/ facial recognitions of humans and trees? How are we activating techniques of collective artistic intelligence when making/facing problems? How do we perform live/ life when all physical spaces of gathering are closed down and bodies are in physical distancing mode?
Just as the human eye perceives of the world as upside down and its ECODATA must be augmented by an evolutionary trick of human brains – that takes the raw, inverted visual/photonic data and turns it into a coherent, right-side-up image – we are struggling to create a live performance – meant for a shared four-dimensional space-time of human and non-human bodies – into its paradoxical other on flattened surfaces (monitors, projection surfaces) existing on the internet. How? We will make these discoveries on our journey while rattling the curve.
The project website https://www.ddlsquared.rocks/2020-rattling-riga
The project video trailer https://vimeo.com/462592295
Candy Blair, (Turtle Island, Canada) – dancer, choreograph
Antje Budde, (Canada, Germany) – artistic research director, digital dramaturg, media creator, performer, producer
Jill Carter, (Turtle Island, Canada) – land-based dramaturg, artistic director, performer
Felipe Cervera, (Singapore, Mexico) – media generating cyclist and performer
Lars Crosby, (Germany) – music and sound composer, performer
Nina Czegledy (Canada, Hungary) – media creator and human connector
Astad Deboo (India) – dancer, choreograph
Martin Kulinna (Germany) – plate camera photographer
Amit Kumar (India) – videographer (for Astad Deboo)
Montgomery C. Martin (Canada) – magic lantern printer, performer
Karyn McCallum (Canada) – virtual space and interaction designer, drawing artist
DDL2 Oracle (WorldWideWeb)
Marta Orellana (Turtle Island, Canada) – costume designer (for Candy Blair)
George Bwanika Seremba (Canada, Uganda) – actor
Don Sinclair (Canada) – computational artist, interactive virtual space designer, performer
Heike Sommer (Germany) – videographer for Martin Kulinna
Grace Whiskin (Singapore, UK) – sign language performer
Vicki Zhang (Canada, China) – AI ethics consultant
Assistants (May-June 2020)
Sanja Vodovnik, (Slovenia) doctoral candidate
Yizhou Zhang, (China) MA student
Antje Budde is a conceptual, queer-feminist, interdisciplinary experimental scholar-artist and Associate Professor of Theatre Sciences, Cultural Communication and Modern Chinese Studies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto. Antje has created multi-disciplinary process-based research creations in Germany, China and Canada and works tri-lingually in German, English and Mandarin. She is the founder of a number of queerly feminist performing art projects including most recently the DDL2 or Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared – a platform for experimental explorations of A/I or artistic intelligence, digital culture, creative labour, integration of arts and science, and technology in performance. She is interested in the intersections of natural sciences, the arts, engineering and computer science. Major principles of her work are radical slowness, togetherness, playful doubt and critical laughter.
Candy Blair/Otsίkh:èta (they/them)(Tkaron:to/Toronto) is a mixed First Nations/European, 2 – spirit interdisciplinary visual and performing artist from Tio’tía:ke – where the group split (“Montreal”) – in Québec. While continuing their work as an artist they also finished their Creative Arts, Literature, and Languages program at Marianopolis College (cégep), their 1st year in the Theatre program at York University, and their 3rd year Acting Conservatory Program at the Centre For Indigenous Theatre in Tsí Tkaròn:to – Where the trees stand in water (“Toronto”).
Some of Candy’s noteable performances are Jill Carter’s Encounters at the Edge of the Woods, exploring a range of issues with colonization; Ange Loft’s project Talking Treaties, discussing the treaties of the “Toronto” purchase; Cheri Maracle’s The Story of Six Nations, exploring Six Nation’s origin story through dance/combat choreography, and several other performances, exploring various topics around Indigenous language, land, and cultural restoration through various mediums such as dance, modelling, painting, theatre, directing, song, etc.
As an activist and soon to be entrepreneur, Candy also enjoys teaching workshops around promoting Indigenous resurgence such as Indigenous hand drumming, food sovereignty, beading, medicine knowledge, etc.. Working with their collectives like Weave and Mend, they were responsible for the design, land purification, and installation process of the four medicine plots and a community space with their 3 other members. Candy aspires to continue exploring ways of decolonization through healthy traditional practices from their mixed background and the arts in the hopes of eventually supporting Indigenous relations worldwide.
Jill Carter (Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi) theatre practitioner and researcher is cross – appointed to the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies; the Transitional Year Programme; and Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto. She works with Tkaron:to’s Indigenous theatre community supporting the development of new works and disseminating artistic objectives, process, and outcomes through community-driven projects. Her scholarly research, creative projects, and activism are built upon on-going relationships with Indigenous Elders, Artists and Activists, positioning her as witness to Indigenous aesthetic principles and traditional knowledge systems to contemporary performance, revolving around the mechanics of story creation, the processes of delivery and the manufacture of affect. Jill directed Encounters at the Edge of the Woods (2019) featuring Indigenous and Settler voices, at Hart House Theatre.
Felipe Cervera is a theatre-maker, writer, lecturer in Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, and affiliated graduate faculty at the Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Toronto. At LASALLE, he chairs the Committee for Online and Digital Learning. His research interests are the interplays between performance, science, and technology and collaborative academia. Felipe is interested in definitions and practices of authoring, authorship, and authority, and has published widely on these topics. From 2015- 2018, he was a founding member of PSi's Future Advisory Board. He currently participates in the 2021 Conference Steering Committee in Rijeka, Croatia. A regular contributor to public forums about theatre and performance, Felipe serves as co-editor of Global Performance Studies and as associate editor of Performance Research.
Lars Crosby a multidisciplinary experimental artist who plays various media and micro instruments and has created soundtracks for a wide variety of productions. His work is influenced by experimental by the performance-based and activist network of Open Space Performunion (Berlin) to which he feels connected.
In the 1990s his sound research focused primarily on the harmonium and home organ as well as the the Cytra. All of these in addition to electronic instruments and processes and various rythmic microinstruments characterize his current compositions and sound arrangements. He is experienced with field recording and microphony.
An experimental musician and dancer – one of his basic methods is Butoh and Experimental Theatre (inspired by NYC’s The Living Theatre). His preferred techniques of artistic processing are a synthesis of cut-up, looping and transcription.
Nina Czegledy is and independent media artist, curator, and academic researcher based in Toronto, Canada. Czegledy collaborates internationally on art& science& technology projects. Recent projects: Agents for Change/ Facing the Anthropocene (2020) The Museum, Canada; Who’s you? (2019) Reid Gallery, New Zealand; Leonardo 50th, CyberArts ARS Electronica (2018), Upcoming: Senses, Contemporary Art Centre Laznia (2021) Poland, A light footprint in the Cosmos Centre, Centre A & OR Gallery, Vancouver (2022). She has published widely, participated and led international forums, workshops. Adjunct Professor, OCAD University; Senior Fellow, KMDI, University of Toronto; Research Collaborator, Hexagram, Montreal; Board Member Leonardo/ISAST; Researcher, Noea, Italy, Chair, Intercreate org New Zealand.
Astad Deboo is a contemporary dancer and choreographer who employs his training in Indian classical dance forms of Kathak as well as Kathakali to create a dance form that is unique to him. He has become a pioneer of modern dance in India. Astad describes his style as “contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in restraints.”
Throughout his long and illustrious career, he has worked with various prominent performers such as Pina Bausch, Alison Becker Chase and Pink Floyd and performed in many parts of the world. He has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1996) and Padma Shri (2007), awarded by the Government of India. In January 2005 along with 12 young women with hearing impairment supported by the Astad Deboo Dance Foundation, he performed at the 20th Annual Deaf Olympics at Melbourne, Australia. Astad has a long record of working with disadvantaged youth.
Martin Kulinna works with analogue black and white photography. Since 1990 he travelled the world, camera in hand. On his trips to Romania he documented ancient traditions of mask festivals. Between 1995-2008 Martin worked with Antje Budde in their artist-run collective “SCHLEIFSPUR” producing exhibitions and multi-media installations focusing on cross-cultural exchange and understanding. In 2007 he founded his not-for profit foundation Photography Black&White. He has produced a number of photo books, exhibitions, edited collections centred on intersections between cultures in flux and analogue b & w photography as a cultural technology of documentation, observation and memory. Most recently, 2020, he discovered the potential of media archaeology and is experimenting with a 1870s plate camera.
Montgomery C. Martin is a digital media artist specializing in projection design, interactive performance, and live-streaming. Monty is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto; a technician and writer for Troika Tronix (creators of the Isadora software); and co-hosts Dungeon Dudes, a YouTube-based web series about table-top roleplaying games. Recent projection design projects: Moro and Jasp in Stupefaction (Kabin and U.N.I.T Productions 2017), Riverboat Coffee House: The Yorkville Scene (Soulpepper 2017); A Moveable Feast: Paris in the 1920s(Soulpepper2018); Out the Window (Luminato 2018) Rose (Soulpepper2019),The Virgin Trials (Soulpepper 2019), Hook Up(Tapestry Opera&Theatre Passe Muraille 2019).
Karyn McCallum, theatre artist, is involved with set, costume and projection design. Her practice varies depending on her collaborations. Her stage sets have ranged from devised, design driven works to historical environments to costumes. Projected and moving images image have always been a part of Karyn’s practice from overhead projectors to shadows and slide carousels. Her work continues between analogue and highly digital environments; sometimes working with the way performers interact with light or other times telling story through the movement and colour through costume. Karyn has worked in professional theatre as a designer and scenic artist throughout Canada as well as in England. She is an Assistant Professor at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University, Halifax.
George Bwanika Seremba, actor, playwright and scholar. He was born in Uganda. George holds an M. Phil, and a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies, from Trinity College Dublin. In 1980, having barely survived a botched execution by the Military Intelligence, he fled into exile, resettling in Canada (1983). He has performed in numerous plays including in his own, “Come Good Rain”, which was awarded a Dora award (1993). In addition, he published a number of edited play collections including “Beyond the pale: dramatic writing from First Nations writers & writers of colour” co-edited by Yvette Nolan, Betty Quan, George Bwanika Seremba. (1996)
George was nominated for the Irish Times’ Best Actor award in Dublin’s Calypso Theatre’s for his role in Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold and the boys”. In addition to theatre he performed in several movies and on television. His doctoral thesis (2008) entitled “Robert Serumaga and the Golden Age of Uganda’s Theatre (1968-1978): (Solipsism, Activism, Innovation)” will be published as a monograph by CSP (U.K) in 2021.
Don Sinclair is Associate Professor in the Department of Computational Arts at York University in Toronto, Canada. His creative research areas include interactive performance, mediated performance, projections for dance, sound art, web and data art, cycling art, sustainability, and choral singing most often using code and programming. Don is particularly interested in processes of artistic creation that integrate digital creative coding-based practices with performance in dance and theatre. To help understand these relationships, Don has participated in a number of dance workshops to complement his background in computational arts. As well, he is an enthusiastic cyclist who will most likely exceed riding 500,000 km in his lifetime.
Heike Sommer (Neubrandenburg, Germany) is a well-experienced local journalist and photographer. She has been working for many years with Antje Budde in their artist-run collective “SCHLEIFSPUR. – Büro für ungehobelte Ansichten” (often with Martin Kulinna and others) and produced exhibitions and multi-media installations between 1995-2008 with a particular focus on cross-cultural exchange and understanding.
In 2007 she joined the not-for profit foundation for black and white photography in pursuit of preserving analogue techniques of image making and has travelled widely in search for beauty in life, fellow humans and black and white photography. Apart from her work as professional journalist, she has also been running the Yoga school SOFI (Hatha Yoga) since 2004.
Grace Whiskin (Singapore) works in the world of data, AI, and machine learning. She has backgrounds in both education and performance and uses this to constantly question how these many worlds overlap. Grace has been performing since she was 4 years old and started teaching drama at 14. Her interest in education is particularly surrounding how individuals with special educational needs can be best be supported and encouraged to flourish. She conducted an in-depth research project on how play in drama can assist in teaching children on the Autism Spectrum vital social skills.
Vicki Zhang is a faculty member at University of Toronto’s statistics department. She is the author of Uncalculated Risks (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 2014). She is also a playwright, whose plays have been produced or stage read in various festivals and venues in Canada including Toronto’s New Ideas Festival, Winnipeg’s FemFest, Hamilton Fringe Festival, Ergo Pink Fest, InspiraTO festival, Toronto’s Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT), Asper Center for Theatre and Film, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), and the Canadian Play Thing. She has also written essays and short fiction for Rookie Magazine and Theread.
LOCATION: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA + LIVE STREAM: YOUTUBE
6.00 pm – Guided tour by curators (Latvian)
7.00 pm – Guided tour (English)
Artists: Ursula BIEMANN (CH), Sarah BURGER (CH), Marcus MAEDER (CH), Francois KNOETZE (ZA), Diana SCHERER (NL/DE), Maayke SCHURER (CA), SEMICONDUCTOR (UK), Rasa SMITE (LV), Raitis SMITS (LV), Susana SOARES (PT), Tamiko THIEL and /P (US/DE), Leena and Oula A. VALKEAPÄÄ (FI), VARVARA & MAR (EE/ES), Elaine WHITTAKER (CA).
Tiziano DERME / Kyriaki GONI / Raivo KELOMEES / Vincenzo SANSONE
MODERATOR: Solvita ZARINA
Tiziano DERME. Autonomous Landscapes – Biosensing and the New Wilderness
What are the implications and opportunities in decision making when landscapes are shaped by Ai strategies and machines? How do we frame the environment into a completely new spectrum of relationships and human interference? What does the environment need to perform? Multiple intelligences are currently acting out and changing our perception of the natural world and generally how we refer to environments. If we consider historically to environmental sciences, ecology, we refer to obsolete models (gathering information, data analysis, design, building, maintenance) that generated concepts and concerns such as remediation, regeneration, human safety. Those are the symptoms of the optimized gaze of science trying to extract from the environment fundamental truths, and the making the natural world “how it should be”. We may probably start to look at the environment as a point of departure to encompass and promote other agencies, de-optimizing the way we look at the world, de-construct the false belief of precision and control towards new forms of intelligence and autonomy. How can we confront a more intricate system of interactions? We should start to engage with new moves, rules that need to simultaneously hold machine intelligence and our capability to set goals. How and who is setting them? We should try to describe the ubiquitous reality of computing not just to the introduction of information media into surfaces but also by how it nurtures what is already there. Practically, extend its obliquity into the material substrate of things through biochemical heterogeneity, nested diversity, transversal contamination, symbiosis, and transmission. The design must consider very different regulatory boundaries that enforce existing differences through integration and translation. In other words, Design should be informed by the ethics of ecological information that augment the capacities of exposed surfaces, entire organisms, or the relationship between them into a far-from-command and control state.
Tiziano Derme is an Architect, Media Artists interested in the relationship between Ecology, robotics, and performativity. Currently, he is a researcher at the University of Applied Arts Vienna – Angewandte and Assistant Professor at the University of Innsbruck,
Ph.D. Fellow at the University of Innsbruck focusing on Bio-fabrication and responsive materials. Tiziano is the Director of Co-Founder of MAEID-Büro für Architektur und transmediale Kunst and interdisciplinary practice based in Vienna. Tiziano’s work is a seamless interaction between multimedia interfaces, biomaterials, “living systems” and machines. In 2019, Tiziano was selected as an emergent media artist by Creative Europe EMAPEMARE program and previously had the opportunity
to teach in several international graduates and post-graduate programs, including at the University of Melbourne and the University of Tokyo. His work has received multiple grants and has been exhibited at various events, institutions, and galleries, including Ars Electronica Linz, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Kyriaki GONI. Data Garden. Investigating Data Storage In The DNA Of Plants Through An Art Installation
Can anyone think of the future of connectivity beyond surveillance, minimizing the consequences of technological infrastructures on the natural environment? Is it possible for the bond between human and non-human worlds to be substituted? Can plants, as organisms on which life itself is depended, contribute to the creation and adoption of new practices for the mediated reality? Data Garden investigates these questions by recounting a fictitious narrative that contains elements of truth. The starting point Data Garden is the recent scientific research on the data storage capacity of the living organisms’ genetic material, as well as on the challenges and moral dilemmas concurrently posed. The artist invites the audience to envision a network of plants on the Acropolis rock, in which digital information is circulated and stored. The network is protected by a community of users who in this way maintain the self-disposal of their data. As the storage space transitions from the “cloud” to the earth, and as control passes from the companies to the users, the life circle of data follows that of a plant, fostering a relationship of interdependence and care. In a peculiar garden, users become the plants’ gardeners, whereas plants in their turn become gardeners of the stored information.
Kyriaki Goni is an Athens born and based artist. Working across disciplines and technologies, she creates expanded, multi-layered installations. She connects the ‘local’ with the ‘global’ by critically touching upon questions of datafication, surveillance, distributed networks and infrastructures, ecosystems, human and other than human relations. She presents work in solo (Aksioma, Drugo More, Onassis Foundation) and groups exhibitions (Transmediale, Istandbul Design Biennial, Glass Room, Melbourne Triennial etc). She is a Delfina Foundation alumna (2019) and a Niarchos Artworks fellow (2018).
She writes (Leonardo MIT; 49:4, Neural #65 etc.) and teaches frequently as part of her practice. With prior graduate studies in Fine Arts, Goni also holds an MA in Digital Arts (Athens School of Fine Arts) and both a BA and MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Panteion & Leiden University).
Raivo KELOMEES. Redesigning Paleolithic Forms: From Imagination to Tangible Reality
The talk is based on my exhibition project which was based on digitally produced paleolithic forms. Three exhibitions were produced: “Estonian Preform” (2012), “Fossil” (2015) and “Fossil and Clone” (2018).
Main question and task was to convert imaginative forms to tangible reality using digital technology.
I had some general questions: what would be the most ancient form and shape you can imagine connected to Estonia? If we try to imagine the country without 5000 years of cultural and historical influences, what would be the most primary reality, what we can bring as an example for visual thinking? What would visual art look like without cultural influences? What is the past before the past?
Some questions were more specific: how to achieve consistency in the exhibition space? Is it possible to include into the context of the exhibition the reflection and critics of the same exhibition? Does the digital manipulation of materiality produce new knowledge?
In the center of the exhibition was a form which is designed by myself being inspired by fossils — trilobites — you can find in the North-East of Estonia. There were drawings, 3D animation and documentation of the production of the form and interviews with professional critics. Nonexistent reality becomes an object for artistic meditation.
The project was an artistic research project of a symbiosis between paleolithic biological form, surreal imagination and digital technology.
The project website:
Raivo Kelomees, PhD (art history), artist, critic and new media researcher. Presently working as senior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn. He studied psychology, art history, and design at Tartu University and the Academy of Arts in Tallinn. He has published articles in the main Estonian cultural and art magazines and newspapers since 1985. His works include the book “Surrealism” (Kunst Publishers, 1993) and an article collection “Screen as a Membrane” (Tartu Art College proceedings, 2007), “Social Games in Art Space” (EAA, 2013). His Doctoral thesis was “Postmateriality in Art. Indeterministic Art Practices and Non-Material Art” (Dissertationes Academiae Artium Estoniae 3, 2009).
In recent years he has been participating in conferences dedicated to new media, digital humanities, theatre and visual art in São Paulo, Manizales, Plymouth, Krems, Riga, Shanghai, Göteborg, Hong Kong, Dubai and other places.
Vincenzo Sansone. The use of digital technologies in theatre performances and installations to put the viewer in contact with nature
The notion of “green” has become omnipresent, often used in a superficial and didactic way. We can talk about the issue of nature, without making it explicit but by virtually transporting the spectator inside nature. Several artists, in performances and installations, have done just that using digital technologies. Apparati Effimeri (Italy) links video projection mapping with a study on nature, through references such as Pliny the Elder. In their scenographies (Parsifal) and installations (Naturalis Historia), they digitally recreate the effects of atmospheric agents on plant-elements, immersing the spectators in these panoramas. Miguel Chevalier (France) examines the link between nature and artifice, creating generative virtual plant-releated universes in which the elements appear, grow, die in interactive digital gardens, modified by visitors, through sensors (Trans-Natures). Teatro Potlach (Italy), in its site-specific performance Città Invisibili brings the river Tiber-Farfa to a village through digital technologies and theatre tales, immersing the spectator inside the installation, surrounded by digital water, as if he were in a nature reserve. These examples show how to raise awareness on the theme of nature without didactically proposing it. The analysis of some case studies will allow to understand this narrative possibility enabled by digital technologies, theatre and installations encounter.
Vincenzo Sansone, master’s degree in Digital Performance at Sapienza University of Rome, holds a PhD in European Cultural Studies from the University of Palermo. He was a Visiting Scholar at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, researching video projection mapping and its relationship with the performing arts. The focus of his research concerns these areas: theatre, dance, set design, new media, animation, AR technologies, and software culture. Since 2015, he has been working with Teatro Potlach (Rome) as an actor and digital set designer. In 2020 he teaches Video-Theatre Production Tecniques at Brera academy of fine arts (Milan) and he teaches in the digital scenographies workshop at the university of Milan La Statale
Ji Yun PARK / Michal MITRO / Byron RICH / Sally MCINTYRE /
Gonzalo PRECIADO-AZANZA / Adesola AKINLEYE /
MODERATOR: Solvita ZARINA
Ji Yun PARK. Eco-culture of Multispecies: Symbiotic Bio-social Relationship of Epiphytic plants
All living organisms in this planet are currently encountering a rapid escalation of ecological crisis. One can argue that human-centric beliefs have led to a culture that encourages the elimination of other species and artificial governance over nature. If nature is the host plant, then humans have acted like parasitic plants that conquer and destroy the host.
Mancuso emphasises that ‘symbiotic relationships are fundamental for all forms of life on the planet’ (Mancuso 2015, 141). It reminds me of epiphyte plants, which is a non-parasitic plant that takes its roots on the body of another plant. Epiphytes pursue symbiotic relationships with both their host and their surroundings. The lifestyle of epiphytes organises profound interaction networks between species, which create a unique bio-social community based on multispecies relationships. This bio-social community builds a new eco-culture of multispecies, which enables individual species to be involved with the symbiotic ecosystem of cohabitation.
This paper elaborates my artistic research about the epiphytes’ community. By visualising and representing epiphytes’ symbiotic relationships with immersive eco-cinema, I try to fertilise human engagement in the ecological culture of multispecies cohabitation, which aims to contribute in shaping ‘Renewable future’ or ‘sustainable ecosystem’ that is promising for all species.
PARK Ji Yun is an artist and researcher. She obtained her bachelor degree at the Korea National University of Arts, and master degree at the City University of Hong Kong. She lives and works in Hong Kong and currently is finishing her first year of doctoral study.
Her research interests include urban ecology, more-than-humans and plant sociality. For her doctoral research, she is investigating epiphyte plants’ multispecies interactions and cohabitation in an urban environment through experimental films with the multimedia installation. Her works have been exhibited in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Zurich.
Michal MITRO. Planetary Thermodynamics: Energy Justice
This work attempts to imagine and create a world where Energy, fundamental and universal force determines overall planetary infrastructure of actions and relationships. It narrates docufictionary story of the future built on premise that planetary ecosystem forms single energetic entity that obeys laws of thermodynamics – the indestructibility of power and its transformation from material force to heat. It also establishes that every actor, human or nonhuman, has an energetic impact on this system. In societal context individuals are granted basic energetic income of 2400kJ per day and all their activities are evaluated against energetic contribution rather than monetary prestige.
Effectively, the work seeks to present and establish Energy as a universal value holder and draws a comprehensive and detailed description of why such an etablishment would grately benefit everyone and everything inhabiting this planet.
Michal Mitro’s working method is best described as artistic research and its outputs often take a hybrid artScience shape. Topics that resonate often in his works explore present and future states of our planet, political and economic societal constellations and relationship between human and non-human. Post-medial tendencies, sculpturality and visuality are defining pillars of his current practice .He strives to utilise artistic practice as a specific platform for sharing information and to that sake utilise various immersive and narrational strategies.
In recent years he has been exhibiting and performing mainly in Czechia (Vasluka Kitchen, Letna Studio, Korespondance, Prototyp), Slovakia (Kasarne, DIG gallery, VUNU) and generally across Europe (Gamma Festival, Petersburg; Mediamatic, Amsterdam; JRM, Paris; Trafo, Budapest; Genius Loci, Weimar; Grey Space, den Haag, AV depot, London). Besides being active art practitioner he is also part of STELLA research unit (Somatic Tech Lab) that maps the convergences of technologies and movement-based arts in Central Europe and he, too, curates ssesi.space in Brno, Czechia.
Byron Rich. Alter, 2019
With Alter, I raise awareness of the proliferation of endocrine disruptors—compounds that interfere with sex hormones—in the environment. Alter displays a frog that has been exposed to Atrazine, a herbicide commonly used by American agricultural corporations. Atrazine is a dangerous endocrine disruptor common in the food supply, and it altered the hormone levels in this frog to make it classifiable as “intersex.” Alter highlights the hypocrisy of a corporate system that uses chemicals known to disrupt hormones associated with gender expression, when individuals in those same organizations often espouse right-wing ideologies upholding rigid gender norms by displaying both the nonhuman and the anthropocentric product within the confines of an inverted cross. Frogs are indicator species, meaning they manifest effects of toxic contamination. Thus Alter speculates on a possible future, alerting the audience to potentially profound effects brought on the body by corporate interests. By using an indicator species to highlight the effects of human activity on the nonhuman, in this case through mutation, I am looking into a speculative future where the profit-centric ideology of the American right operates in opposition to the “traditional” values they espouse. Mutation towards an “intersex” future. http://byronrich.com/Alter-2019
Byron Rich is an artist, professor and lecturer born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His work exploring speculative design, biology futures and tactical media has been widely shown and spoken about internationally. He pursued a degree in New-Media at The University of Calgary before moving to Buffalo, New York where he obtained an MFA in Emerging Practices at The University at Buffalo.He was the runner up for the 2016 BioArt & Design Award, and the recipient of an Honorary Mention at the 2017 Prix Ars Electronica. He now serves as Director of Art/Science+ Innovation and Assistant Professor of Art at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Sally McIntyre. A Small Radius of Listening Within the Dead Silence of the Static Archive: Re:collecting Andreas Reischek
This paper focuses on a series of sound and radio art works I have been performing and exhibiting since 2012, which strategically utilise early recording and transmitting media such as wax cylinders, music boxes, and small-radius radio, to reveal a haunted poetics of the post-colonial landscape of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Investigations are conducted on the border between empirical fieldwork and performative site-specific art practice, in which radio and sound function as a set of tools through which to enact a sonic repatriation of particular locatable extinction histories and silences. The materiality of modernist sound and transmission technologies is also approached as a haunted landscape, one whose afterlives can function critically to overlay the visible in order to elucidate memory, hauntings and presences otherwise empirically intangible within sites. Drawing on the collections of Andreas Reischek, an Austrian taxidermist who spent 12 years traveling in Aotearoa/New Zealand between 1877 to 1889, amassing a “near complete” collection of New Zealand bird specimens, including many now-extinct species, now housed in the Natural History Museum in Vienna, these works trace the haunted spaces of the colonial-era encounter and economic relation between Aotearoa/New Zealand and Europe, as well as that between the contemporary museum collection and the field, unpacking the uncanny traces of colonial-era extinctions that occur as buried narratives within both the museum, and invisibly as absences within contemporary ecological sites. These extinction narratives are re-connected to their sites in both Aotearoa and Europe, in order to listen-in to particular acts of ecocide.
Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza, Adesola Akinleye. Dancing the digital beyond-body and the ecological connected-body
This presentation shares some of our choreographic methods for exploring the moving body in and across the digital and physical environment. As artists, we notice many human beings feel cut off from their natural environment as their body is physically in attendance while their mind feels more presence in the digital. For us, this has underlined the dichotomy and opportunity that the new ‘stage’ of Web 2.0 poses. The interconnectedness of dance exemplifies the relationship between sensing body and environment which is challenged by the pixel. By dancing through the digital and physical we use choreography to explore layers of connectedness as a metaphor for exploring how we own our presence in the ecosystem. We have started to focus on the notion of fractal geometry, a natural phenomenon, as an infinite concatenation that connects us. Previously, we suggested in our article, Dance and the Digital Age: a choreographic survey of the new technologies in the choreographic process (2020), that new technology challenges where the human body begins, ends and is visible. We explore the digital age’s unification of art and science through our choreographic practices working with the dancing digital beyond-body and the ecological connected-body.
Dr. Adesola Akinleye: Choreographer, artist-scholar. She began her career dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem later working in UK Companies. She is a Theatrum Mundi Fellow & a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. She creates works, from live performance to film, to text. She has won awards internationally for her dance works, as well as published in the areas of dance and cultural studies. www.dancingstrong.com
Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza: International dancer, choreographer, researcher & author. Gonzalo is a member of The Latvian National Ballet in Riga since 2015. He graduated in Dance at Middlesex University in 2018 and currently, he is pursuing an MA in Cultural Management at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. www.gonzalopreciadoazanza.com
Juan Carlos DUARTE REGINO / Mia MAKELA / Christina STADLBAUER /
Eva-Maria LOPEZ / Paul ROSERO CONTRERAS
MODERATOR: Maija DEMITERE
Juan Carlos DUARTE REGINO. “I” : Environmental Media Interface for Sonic Interaction
“I” is an Interface for the real-time sound synthesis of eco data collected in situ, in this paper – talk I will present the design features of the device, including the future scenarios that will enable the use in field recordings on remote locations. Moreover the possibility to use with radio systems to sense electromagnetic fields and use them as a medium to transfer data and other acoustic signals found in specific environments. The interface is designed in collaboration with the Mexican sound artist Mario de Vega, the project emerged as a platform to develop a long term project for an Instrument that takes multiple forms of use and interpretation for sound performance and installation.
Moreover, the interest of “I” as a platform for collaboration between artists and scientists is to enable a common space to explore the materialities of sound connected to planetary energies and signals, space qualities, and resonance. The system proposes a cybernetic approach, enhancing a medium that is deeply intertwined with planetary cycles and the sonic experience with environmental agencies.
Juan Duarte Regino: Media Artist. Creative Technologist http://juanduarteregino.com/
Mexican-born media artist Juan Duarte Regino works on interaction as a tool for generative art experiments. He is part of Pixelache – art and activist group based in Helsinki. Currently a doctoral student in New Media at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, he reflects on the information society paradigm from the point of view of his background in media art, with a special focus on open source technologies developed in DIY communities and grassroots initiatives. Duarte’s work has been presented in IAMAS, Spiral Gallery, AAVE Festival, Bonniers Konsthall, Rundum Showcase, Ljudmila, Radio, and TV Museum of Lahti, Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle, Mänttä Art, Generate! Festival.
Mia MAKELA. History of an Impossible Destiny – Honeybee´s journey to the heart of anthropocene
Story about the Into the Wild artwork takes us back in time, to a remote corner of a natural park in Southern Lithuania. By documenting ancient beekeeping activities, Makela tracks down key moments in the relationship between two species, and how this affected the process of subjugating the honey bee into a condition of exploitable natural resource. These kinds of processes eventually led us towards the anthropocene we know today. But what do we see in the future?
Through a sensitive, intimate and prolonged observation Makela discovers surprising behavior inside and outside the hive, which she offers as a set of dialogues that bring humor, poetry, reflection and an insight into the fantastic dimension of this species.
The artist spent three years as a beekeeper, documenting her experiences with an I-Phone. She researched the history of European beekeeping and visited bee centers in Finland, Germany, Slovenia, Poland and Lithuania. She also wrote a historical treatise of the importation of honey bee in Finland. Her theoretical framework is critical animal studies. Into the Wild is part of a 3 channel video installation History of an Impossible Destiny.
INTO THE WILD
Vimeo password: Santiago2020
Mia Makela is a Finnish media artist and cultural historian, whose work explores intersections between art and other disciplines: technology, science, ecology. Makela exhibits chosen themes in the forms of video, audio guides, expeditions, participatory acts, installations, performative lectures, related publications and blogs. Makela, internationally acknowledged pioneer in the field of live cinema, has shown her work and lectured all over the globe.
Her latest activities include History of an Impossible Destiny, a 4-channel video installation, for which she spent 3 years documenting beekeeping around Europe and doing research on the destiny of the honey bee. Zootopia- audio guide for zoos, a posthumanist and feminist research on other species. Artistic expeditions on the strait of Magellan, Patagonia and Chiloe Island in Chile. Cabin Walks&Talks – a guided expedition for tracing interspecial empathy. Green Matters – video handbook for algae gatherers – a two-year exploration in the world of green algae and traditional weaving.
Currently she is doing (artistic) research on minerals and geese.
Christina STADLBAUER. Relocation Training Program for Pinna Nobilis – a video Tutorial for Mollusks
The mollusk Pinna Nobilis or the Great Pen Shell has been used by mankind for hundreds of years as a source of food and to make sea silk – an extremely fine, rare, and valuable fabric made from the long silky filaments, the byssus, secreted by the shells. Recently, Pinna nobilis populations have greatly declined and the animal is presently protected under EU law as an endangered species.
The Institute for Relocation of Biodiversity (IRB)* selected this species for direct assistance in relocating. A video tutorial to communicate the urgency and necessity to migrate to possible future, safe habitats was created and presented to the mollusk in the Mediterranean Sea.
* IRB is an imaginary agency taking the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity and habitat as starting point to reconsider the future environment that humans co-inhabit with a multitude of non-human others.
Christina works as artist and researcher. She develops her practice around other than human life forms, and has launched several long term initiatives – like Melliferopolis, the Institute for Relocation of Biodiversity and Kin Tsugi Transformations – to examine interspecies communication and the relation between culture and nature. Christina’s work is process based and interdisciplinary. She questions our habitual tendencies of how we assign value to the environment and proposes new views on cracks, faults and the impossibility of perfection. Christina obtained a PhD in Chemistry and she works as independent in both art organisations and academia, creating installations, rituals, performances and publications.
http://melliferopolis.net :: http://christallinarox.wordpress.com
Eva-Maria Lopez. We Resist. The Adaptation Of Plants In The Anthropocene
Plants are all around us. In fields, urban areas or in living rooms they tell us about changes induced by climate change and modern agriculture. They testify the frightening loss of biodiversity going hand in hand with the agrochemical industry’s promises of a ‘better world’. In her artwork with living plants and ornaments, Eva Maria Lopez maps these changes. For the artistic research project we resist. plant species have been included that have become herbicide resistant. Their adaption is a naturally occurring process, following Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and the spontaneous change of their genetic make-up enables them to survive. As a result of monocultures and herbicide treatment, the number of such resistant plants is increasing worldwide. Most of them have important cultural symbolic as well as medical virtues. we resist. translates the ambiguity of so-called ‘super weeds’ like cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) into a garden composed of motifs reminiscent of the most typical jardins à la française. Lopez aims to create an awareness of our flora, biodiversity in the anthropocene and the need for more sustainable forms of cultivation.
Eva-Maria Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher working in Karlsruhe and Paris. After receiving her master’s degree in agriculture, she studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Based on this double educational background, her artwork is focused on issues relating to nature, society and the environment. In addition to photography, her main and prime medium of expression, she has increasingly moved towards Land Art projects, thus merging material realities and ways of conveying these issues and histories visually. She conceives of her art practice as such as continuous research, combining the interplay of keywords, titles and slogans with corresponding pictures or graphics, and even artistic garden design.
Paul ROSERO CONTRERAS. The revolution will start in the garden
A living species is a creative species, a species that has formed its environment to function in it and to make it functional. The first living organisms completely changed the planet in the Great Oxygenation. Plants have transformed this planet in such a way that it becomes habitable and breathable for all others. In this process, plants are and create images. Biology shows us a way to understand creation as a result of a cognitive process that is beyond-the-human, a neurobiology of plants that assumes them as sentient bodies in an interdependent relationship with the environment, capable of learning and responding by building an imaginary of possibilities.
Seduced by plants as creative beings, I have been developing the project El Pensamiento de las Plantas (How Plants think) as a speculation on the possibility of the visual self-representation of plants from a conscious agency. This photographic series and the sculpture that is included in this project are influenced by indigenous epistemologies, biological concepts and notions of contemporary anthropology that seek to decenter the human as the only one creative species.
Gathering from the history of bio-sensing experimentation and bio-driven technologies, this paper proposes intelligence as a distributed feature among non-human species, acting as creators of eco-aesthetical phenomena.
Paul Rosero Contreras (Quito, 1982) is a multimedia artist working with speculative realism, scientific information and fictional narratives. His body of work intertwines distinct epistemologies, ranging from indigenous thinking to the history of science. It explores topics related to geopolitics, interspecies reciprocity, environmental issues and experimentation on future sustainable settings. Rosero holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts – CalArts and a Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Spain. His work has received different prizes and grants, and it has been displayed widely at venues and events such as the 57th Venice Biennale, Musee Quai Branly in Paris, Instituto Cervantes in Rome, Museo de Historia de Zaragoza, 5th Moscow Biennale for Young Art, the 1st. Antarctic Biennale, H2 Center, Augsburg, 11th. Cuenca Biennale, 1st. Bienal Sur in Buenos Aires, at Siggraph in Los Angeles, among other spaces. Currently, Rosero teaches and conducts research at San Francisco de Quito University.
Sandra ALVARO / Ellen RØED / Laura BELOFF / John KAZIOR
MODERATOR: Anna PRIEDOLA
Sandra ALVARO. Art, Eco-aesthetics And Cosmopolitics
Isabelle Stengers (2015) described our time as catastrophic, the result of convergent crisis concerning global economy, the environment, increasing violence and depletion of social cohesion. The Anthropocene and its consequences have become an urgent subject for scientists and policymakers, but also philosophers and artists. Current art projects intervene in our environment through speculative projects, approaching geoengineering and the proposal of new post-anthropocentric futures, as well as, by the production of new entanglements of humans and non-humans which could mobilise new affects and change our behaviour.
All these projects share the same aesthetics, a new technologically mediated vision, from where our environment appears as a complex network of systems. The Gaia 2.0 (Latour, 2018) resulting from a process of Technomorphisation (Maturana, 1997) which translates our environment to data and rends it predictable and operational.
This presentation examines a selection of environmental art projects with a twofold aim. First, explore the evolution of this aesthetics after the encounter with post-structuralism and critical epistemologies. Second, interrogate about the inclusion of these art projects inside a Cosmopolitics (Stengers, 2004), after considering art as a material form of experimentation with the capacity of worlding -making up an inhabitable world.
Sandra Alvaro works at the intersection of art, philosophy and technology. She develops a theory grounded in practice for the mapping of conceptual frameworks which improve our understanding of the current sociotechnical system and its relations with the Anthropocene. Among her research main areas are the aesthetics and politics of computational technologies; the epistemology of data-driven models; collaborative design and the emergence of new communities of practice; the commons and environmental justice; new materialism and posthumanist philosophy.
Sandra Alvaro holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. She has been researcher fellow of the program of Culture Analytics at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) in the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and invited artist/researcher at the Laboratoire Paragraphe/CITU at the University Paris 8. Nowadays, she is an adjunct professor of Contemporary Art at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB).
Ellen RØED. Image as Site: The Forest
This artistic research project considers the potential of the moving image as a tool for developing situated knowledge and of its material conditions in terms of experience. It takes as its starting point how devices that produce images, such as cameras and microphones, invite their users to engage with their surroundings by enabling a network of relationships (Røed, 2014). I develop that idea and explore the capacity of video based art for enabling audio-visual ecologies through movement, transience and body, in other words elements of performance characteristic to site (Kwon 2004, Kaye 2000). By considering how the moving image might be engaged as a form of listening, specific environments are explored in order to create artworks that might operate across any dialectic opposition between experience, mediation and representation as a form of ecology of particular sensitivities, presence and place-making. By combining certain practices of site-specific art (performance), sound art (field recording, transposing the field), early video art (performance, materiality, inquiry), and cinematography (movement, gesture), I experiment with the conditions of field recording as methods of inquiry, and approach the recording situation as gestures of listening and tuning, transient temporalities, and relationships between sound, image, body, (custom made) devices, and ethics.
Operating as both visual artist and educator, Ellen J Røed has for the past twenty five years been involved in questioning and exploring electronic and digital materialities and cultures. In the recent years, her interests in the performative and networked aspects of media has developed towards a more specific focus on practices of field recording and on how cameras, microphones and similar devices enable forms of inquiry through ethical, technical and aesthetic conditions in relation to the environment. She has completed a PhD equivalent fellowship in the Norwegian Fellowship Programme for Artistic Research (2014) and is currently professor for the profile area Art, technology, materiality at Stockholm University of the Arts, where she leads a PhD programme in artistic research.
Laura BELOFF. Green Kitsch
The art works emerging from the field of biological and biotech arts have been primarily following the visuality adopted from laboratories and scientific experiments; they are often incorporating petri dishes, glassware, and clinical machine-parts. Amongst numerous artworks one can pinpoint works created with different aesthetics, which could be described to be excessively cute or a result of ‘a poor taste’. This is the generic definition of kitsch.
To consider something what is green, biological and created by natural forces to be kitsch seems unfit; rather natural and kitsch are easily seen in opposite corners. Our cultural history presents various examples of artifacts that can be considered kitsch, which incorporate natural forms and matter, and constitute “relics out of things whose value emanated from their intrinsic relationship to life […]” (Olalquiaga 1998).
The talk focuses on kitsch and biological living organisms especially in the recent years’ practices of biological and biotech arts. The author points towards questions concerning aesthetics of living organisms when biotechnological possibilities are enabling ‘the look’ of an organism to become a design choice. Like Abraham Moles has said that “there is something kitsch at the bottom of each one of us” (Moles 1975).
Laura Beloff (PhD) is an internationally acclaimed artist and a researcher in the cross section of art, technology and science. Additionally, to research papers, articles and book-chapters, the outcome of the research is in a form of process-based installations, wearable artifacts, and experiments with scientific methods that deal with the merger of the technological and biological matter at large. The research engages with the areas such as human enhancement, biosemiotics, biological matter, artificial life, artificial intelligence, robotics, and information technology in connection to art, humans and society. Currently, she is Associate Professor and the Head of ViCCA program at Aalto University, Finland.
John KAZIOR. Filthy Germinators
A short fiction detailing the social and cultural impact of a biosynthetic gardening system on a large american city. The “Germinators”are unsophisticated, but ecologically synchronous automata that have been installed in a dense urban area (despite a great deal of resistance from private interest groups). The impact of the germinator network is polarizing. While ultimately offering food security and overtaking the supremacy of cars in the american urban landscape, the older generation remains largely antagonistic towards the dirty, slightly-dumb, but ultimately ingenious character of the germinators.
This work attempts to give a glimpse of how technology, borne out of programs like the Green New Deal, might impact the social and ecological landscape of the city.
John Kazior is an American writer and designer. Primarily, his work deals with ecological design and media.
He has a BS in Graphic Communication Design from the University of Cincinnati and a MA in Design Research, Writing and Criticism from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work regarding ecological design and the commodification of nature has appeared in such publications as “The Baffler”, “MOLD Magazine”, “AIGA Eye On Design”, “Core77”, and “Icarus Complex Magazine”.
Desiree FOERSTER / Felipe CASTELBLANCO / Karolina SOBECKA
MODERATOR: Rasa SMITE
Desiree Foerster. Aesthetic Experience of Atmosphere
The talk is based on the paper in which I explore the possibility of a shift in aesthetics that accounts for the bio-chemical dimension of subjective experience. I argue that this shift allows to become more sensitive to how we experience, instead of focusing on just what we feel. I focus on media environments that manipulate temperature, air flow, or oxygen levels in the air, in order to affect human subjects in a bodily as well as emotionally-affective manner. I argue that media environments that intensify climatic processes so that they can be sensed, potentially change what we consider to be important in our environment and what we include in our consideration of future actions. For this purpose I will present aesthetic projects I co-created to explore ways of engaging with the materiality of atmospheres – understood as the invisible layer of gases that surrounds us – and how they relate to our imaginative capacity. In exploring and explaining the compositional elements of our atmospheric surroundings and making them explicit and open for engagement for a perceiver, I aim to create a greater understanding for processes in our surroundings that are outside of the human scale and hard to represent.
Desiree Foerster is a Post-Doc at the Department for Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago. She graduated from the Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam with her PhD-thesis “Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes”. Taking on the perspective of process philosophy and media-aesthetics, she investigates the impacts of pre-reflective experiences on human subjectivity.
Felipe Castelblanco. The Cloud, The Tree and the Clouds
Today’s associations with the Cloud relate, more than anything, to the infrastructural apparatus that enable connectivity at a planetary scale. However, unlike the vaporous clouds, the network carries immense weight and conceals a complex history of neo-colonial expansion, surveillance and extraction through remote sensing technologies, climate modelling and politics of forecasting. By fulfilling its promise of omnipresence, today’s Cloud also manifests in remote regions like the Colombian Andean-Amazon region through extractive modes of land-use or even reinforcing a dangerous imaginary of the untouched, ever-green forests. While both trends threaten delicate eco-systemic relations, undermine indigenous knowledge or negate more attuned aesthetic relations with the forest, they also legitimize a type of violent vertical gaze that often surveys the earth from the sky. However, countering this trajectory, or looking up and examining the Andean-Amazon skies from within the forests, is imperative in order to sustain inter-epistemic, embodied and reciprocal ways of knowing the forest and ultimately support ongoing and localized efforts of biocultural peace-building and resistance. This talk builds around a series of ‘cinematic cartographies’ produced in the Colombian Pan-Amazon region, which explore a number of sub-visible relations across vertical layers of occupation and struggle, from the soils to the skies.
Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist working at the intersection of socially engaged and Media art. His work explores new frontiers of public space that enable coexistent encounters between unlikely audiences. Felipe is a PhD Candidate at the Basel Art Academy HGK -FHNW (Switzerland), holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (U.S) and a BA from Javeriana University (Colombia). He has exhibited at museums and galleries in Europe, the U.S and South America. He is the recipient of several awards including the Starr Fellowship at the Royal Academy Schools in London (UK) and has served as a Cultural Emissary for the U.S State Department to the Philippines (2015).
Karolina Sobecka. Clouds And Machines: The Atmospheres Of Control
Drawing on an artistic re-enactment of a geo-engineering experiment as an example, this talk reflects on the contemporary preoccupation with staging, stabilising and production of atmospheres and aesthetics, and on the political potential of such machinations.
Karolina Sobecka is an artist and researcher whose work is focused on the relationship between environmental concerns and science and technology development. Her current projects explore the histories of ecology and their legacies in the contemporary formulations of carbon governance. One of the questions driving Karolina’s research is how artistic methods can be used outside of the art context towards socially-just and emancipatory ends. Through her projects, Karolina participates in and often instigates interdisciplinary collaborations in the settings of science and policy. Karolina’s artwork has been shown internationally, and has received numerous awards, including from Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, Princess Grace Foundation, Eyebeam, Rhizome, and Vida Art and Artificial Life Awards. Karolina has taught internationally and is currently part of a team of the research project “Cycles of Circulation” based at Critical Media Lab Basel.
Jacopo RASMI. All That is Solid Melts into Air.
Atmosphere As a Living Space and Visual Field
MODERATOR: Karolina SOBECKA
Jacopo RASMI. All That is Solid Melts into Air. Atmosphere As a Living Space and Visual Field
What would it mean to think a groundless ecology, taking the unstable atmosphere rather than the solid land as the starting point? How can we conceive our environmental entanglement and contamination through the atmospheric medium ? Are we able to experience and record the hyper-objective forces taking place in the aerial space, beyond the scientific data and statistics so difficult to embody?
We’ll attempt to think how visual arts could (1) mediate atmospheric phenomena as creative documents and (2) inhabit the unsettling point of view of airy ecosystem, without exploiting it in order to better dominate our environments. We will gather an eclectic group of filmmakers (Robert Fulton,Tomonari Nishikawa…) around a table where are sitting a handful of important contemporary thinkers (from Hito Steyerl to Emanuele Coccia).
Jacopo Rasmi teaches and researches in the field of the visual arts and italian studies at the Université Jean-Monnet-S. Etienne, after having worked in Grenoble (where he defended a PhD in Literature and Arts at the Université Grenoble Alpes) and Nancy (Université de Lorraine). He also takes part in the editorial activity of La revue Documentaires and Multitudes and programs cinematic screenings. His last publication is the book Générations Collapsonautes. Naviguer par temps d’effondrement. (Seuil, 2020), with Yves Citton.
LOCATION: RIXC GALLERY, LENCU IELA 2, RIGA + LIVE STREAM: YOUTUBE
Artists: Rasa SMITE (LV), Raitis SMITS (LV).
19:00 Reception and Exhibition Opening
LOCATION: RIXC GALLERY, LENCU IELA 2, RIGA + LIVE STREAM: YOUTUBE
The Interviews with the WSL Scientists (11 min)
The Resin Experiment – performance (3 min)
The Atmospheric Forest (full length film, 17 min)
Daina PUPKEVIČIŪTĖ / Anna PRIEDOLA / Vytautas MICHELKEVICIUS /
Lina MICHELKEVICE / Martin KRUPA / Diana KNĚŽÍNKOVÁ
MODERATOR: Raivo KELOMEES
Daina Pupkevičiūtė. GREEN is not a color: conceptual instrumentalisation v/s affective entanglements
From “Green New Deal,” to conceptual framework proposed by art institutions and non-institutionalized entities, exhibition abstracts and open calls, GREEN and ECO seem to have become a costume, a form that one needs to fit in order to get a ride. Often pieces of art presented under the eco- keyword, fail to be produced adhering to eco- mindset, and instead contribute to the vast overproduction that keeps the art-market spinning.
In what way eco- in art production might be related not only to aesthetic and the superficial? In what way can eco- be a key – an instrument in thinking and practicing, instead of just remaining a keyword? What are the consequences of starting to work in an eco- way? These are the questions I am asking myself, my students, colleagues art practitioners and thinkers.
These are the questions around which I am constructing my artistic work in these last years, as well as my teaching practice based on bodily, affect based practices. For ECODATA I’d like to propose either a talk, or a talk+workshop, which draws on my research in the fields of environmental activism, noise, body and affect and my performance and sound related practice.
Daina Pupkevičiūtė works in the intersection of sound and performance art – as an artist, curator, educator, – and anthropology, and runs a climate-crisis information page.
She researches and thinks of noise – as an acoustic phenomenon, as a field of particular aesthetic, and as a lens to look through into the world we inhabit. Other important lines of research are those of the body and resistance – in physics as well as in human and non-human bodies, physical as well as mental ones. She is interested in definitions of norm and the normative; in power and gaze; in what, how and by whom is narrated; in structures of care and togetherness. Anthropological thinking helps her connect the dots between all of the above and beyond.
Anna Priedola. UnGreening Food [Art]
Food has stood for long in between the distinction of nature and culture – being something that is both grown and made. Nobody doubts that food is part of culture, but still national culture funds do not support the purchase of food as a material for art projects. Do we need to ‘ungreen’ food for it to ‘fit’ into the art world?
Author has researched ‘green’ food communities – mapping a “biologic” food distribution network and developing data recipes, analysed the history of food art, and now she is working on the Book of Food – an overview of Food Art strategies made of edible pages containing starters for recipes to stimulate multi-sensory knowledge-making. Strategies like social fermentation, speculative food design, hacking of food and/or metabolism etc.
In the Open Fields speech, author will analyse the ambiguity of what does ‘green’ mean in the common Western discourse about food – exploring examples when food choices labelled as ‘green’ and ‘eco’ lead to even greater damage of particular local environment (like vast avocado plantations following greater demand for vegetarian diet consume massive amounts of water in regions scarce of it) thus leading to what Timothy Morton calls “feedback loops of Dark ecology”. The idea that humanity can calculate and control the feedback loops in the environment and sustain some ecological stability has proven to be utopian.
The author argues that much of the choices in Western society are aesthetic, including food choices. Thus it is a concern of art research to explore and create the aesthetics of food culture. And currently the label ‘green’ has become toxic in its disguised ambiguity. By ‘ungreening’ the food discourse one frees food from dangerous biases about what is ‘natural’, and allows it to be used as any other ‘made’ material in art but with the added multi-sensory modes of aesthetic expression (olfactory, tactile, taste) – relevant cases of which author will analyse in her speech.
Anna Priedola is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and researcher exploring topics like sustainability, trade and consumption in data visualization, installation art and communal art forms. Anna Priedola is managing Liepaja University Art Research Laboratory and BA study programme “New Media Art” since 2016. Anna Priedola has worked on the production of several local and international art events and exhibitions, like the annual New media art festival “Update” in Liepaja, open-source art education platform “Open Lab” etc.
Vytautas Michelkevicius, Lina Michelkevice. Postdigital Ecologies of Representation in the „Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination“
The choreographed performative talk will be based on a new publication “Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination: Maps in Research, Art and Education” (eds. Lina Michelkevičė and Vytautas Michelkevičius, Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2019). It is a collection of 12 artistic and scholarly positions on diagramming and mapping knowledge and experiences.
The main goal of the publication is to show examples how artists and researchers can communicate complex data and knowledge through maps and diagrams as well as challenge the ecology of mind. Alternatively to computer-aided big data visualisations, we aim to propose embodied, sustainable and slow mapping approaches.
This atlas is also a response to the times we live in. In the face of ever-increasing information flows and the challenges of big data processing and rendition, a linear text is not always the most suggestive form of communication. Meanwhile in maps, within a single plane, we can operate with multiple layers of knowledge, and use different means of expression in order to discover unexpected links.
And yet, in the context of our lifestyles as driven by ubiquitous touchscreens, this atlas might appear as a capricious act of dissent. We call our readers and users to slow down, get comfortable, and immerse or even lose themselves in the essays, diagrams, and fold-out maps.
Nevertheless, diagram is an ecological take of trying to represent piles of data in a mode of sustainable aesthetics.
Dr. Lina Michelkevičė and Dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius are researchers and editors based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Both working at Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lina as researcher in the Institute of Art Research and Vytautas as Head of Photography and Media Art Department and programme leader of Art Doctoral Studies, they engage both in separate and joint research and/or curatorial projects. They share a long-lasting interest in maps and diagrams as a way of thinking and representation, that so far has resulted in several exhibitions, workshops, symposia papers, and books Mapping Lithuanian Photography: Histories and Archives (co-edited with Agnė Narušytė, 2007) and Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination: Maps in Research, Art and Education (2019). They enjoy collecting and digging into creative diagrams, from time to time also drawing themselves or collaborating with artists and drawers.
Martin Krupa, Diana Kněžínková. Regional Reflection
The topic of this conference contribution is referring to ecological themes in art works of students and head of Digital media studio at the Faculty of Art and Design (University of Jan Evangelista Purkyně) in Ústí nad Labem in Czechia. The theme reacts towards the Ústí nad Labem region. This area is surrounded by communist’s times consequences caused mainly by devastation of landscape as open-cast mining, chemistry industry and social-historical connotations after the second world war.
Digital media studio has been led since 2008 by Michaela Thelenová and Radek Jandera. Both of them are active artists who reflect regional issues in their art works. This naturally inspires their students in their own approach which leads them to reflect these local ecological aspects.
Students are guided to use new media as a tool to reflect their own experience gained in this area. Since part of students are coming from different regions and one of the educational methods is going for excursions and getting along with the local experiences. It creates interesting dialog between students and teachers. These approaches create dialogs and space for collaborative works with the ecological background. Essential media which are used by this studio are video, photography, site-specific, sound and interactive installations.
Diana Kněžínková graduated with a Master’s degree in the Faculty of Art and Design of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in the Curatorial studies progam. She co-founded curatorial platform 3Kuratorky and she’s organized several exhibitions of young Czech contemporary artists in both Ústí nad Labem and Prague.
Martin Krupa graduated with a Master’s degree in the Faculty of Art and Design of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in Digital Media studio and he currently studies Ph.D. program in visual communication. He’s been a part of many exhibitions and art events of young contemporary art such as Jihlava film festival, ”Labyrinth” exhibition in Pragovka gallery, and TOTAL SOLO – Festival Neue Musik in Linz.
Margarida MENDES / Maija DEMITERE / André SIER / Matteo PIZZOLANTE /
MODERATOR: Solvita ZARINA
Margarida Mendes. The Aquatic Sensorium
In recent oceanography there is a desire to merge biotic and robotic forms of sensing. The practice of biomimicry has influenced science throughout the centuries and is recently connected to the invention of a series of tools and man-made materials to enhance ocean prospection, in an age of decaying marine life. Inspired in nature morphology and animal behaviour, researchers across the world are developing different technologies for scientific use that better aid in the collection of samples and operations under pressurized conditions without harming the environment, while at the same time, the ocean is framed as a sensorium where its fluid cartographies are being militarized. Questioning different scientific and conservation plans for the world’s oceans on this decade of sustainable ocean science, I will deconstruct the technoscientific rationale and cosmotechnics beneath different sensing regimes. I will draw my examples from recent scientific experiments with biosensing, seismic waves, and information networks, looking at the crossover bertween governmental strategies and data politics from the perspective of societies, coastal communities and other-than-humans.
Margarida Mendes’s research explores the overlap between cybernetics, ecology and experimental film, investigating the dynamic transformations of the environment and its impact on societal structures and cultural production. She is interested in exploring alternative modes of education and political resilience through her curatorial practice and activism, and is consultant for environmental NGOs working on deep sea mining and has directed several educational platforms, such as escuelita, an informal school at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo – CA2M; The Barber Shop project space in Lisbon dedicated to transdisciplinar research; and the ecological inquiry curatorial research platform The World In Which We Occur. She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and a frequent collaborator of the online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting Inhabitants.
Maija Demitere. Freeze Fast, Cook Slow
The presentation will explore how mindfulness can be reached through food. “Mindfulness” here is used as an idea of being present in the moment in this environment that has been created around us by other people (other generations, cultures).
When I started doing my research, I focused on growing food as a way to explore my own self-sustainability. Food felt like the only thing I could fully control. As part of my research I created various micro and unconventional gardening works and prototypes to share with the local community and exhibition visitors. When presenting my research and artworks, I realised that people were the most interested in simple, practical DIY tips and also my recipes.
I adapted my research to include cooking, something that comes naturally to me, to continue the conversation with my audience about sustainability and ecology using the metaphor of fast freezing and slow cooking.
As a result of the presentation, I will show my online platform/experience that the viewer can use to practice micro-gardening, cooking, food preservation, etc. as a method of downshifting and adjusting to the uncertainty of our near future.
My research is based on the theoretical writings of Haraway, Morton, Coccia and Guattari.
Maija Demitere is an artist, doctoral student at Liepaja University and working as a project coordinator at Art Research Laboratory (MPLab). Her main fields of research are deep sustainability, slow media art, developing art research and presentation methods that could offer different lifestyles – promoting individual self-sustainability, using local culture and traditions (Latvian and Soviet cultural heritage) together with technologies to create a deeper understanding of true balance between urban and country environment and individual and communal lifestyle.
André Sier. Wolfspace: Interactive century deep cartography visualization and sculpture making tool by wolves in Portugal
Wolves and their small nomadic packs, besides contributing to profound changes to the environment they inhabit, usually delineate a non-human space, and their presence may be used as indicators to pinpoint a healthy wild life ecosystem. The work Wolfspace (Sier, 2018-present), displayed on tablet devices, is an interactive cartography, visualization and sculpture making artistic tool by wolves in Portugal. Wolfspace utilizes recent GPS data from CIBIO (Universidade do Porto) obtained by non-invasive methods in selected wolf individuals over the years 2012, 2013, 2014, as well as historical data gathered by Grupo Lobo (Universidade de Lisboa) of wolf sightings and encounters since 1910 until 1990. The work accumulates historic data and instant movements by elements from the population of iberian wolves on portuguese territory over time, providing both an instant three dimensional cartographic sculpture and an historical interactive background view century deep.
André Sier works aesthetically with code, electronic, interactive, digital and antique media, where he combines videogames, installations, painting, sculpture, music and computation in objects and experiences of imaginary arts, on which he merges mythology, generative space-time continuums, art&science artifacts, human and non-human interfaces. Over the past 25 years has produced serialized, interactive and fixed media works that ludically unveil spatio-temporal interlinks synthesized mostly on electronic substrates, shown at over 27 individual exhibitions and 100 collective events. Director of s373.net/x studios, since 2002 educator of electronic arts, presently visiting lecturer at Universidade de Évora, PhD candidate at Planetary Collegium in Plymouth University, has a digital portfolio at andre-sier.com and games and codex studio at s373.net/x.
Matteo Pizzolante. Oscillum project
The project entitled Oscillum faces a problem that broke out in late 2013. It is about a disease that is threatening the heath of olive trees and the surrounding landscape in Puglia (Italy). The phenomenon known as Olive Quick Decline Syndrome has been expanding irreversibly throughout the region and is now moving towards north. The bacterium provoking it is called Xylella; it is causes the drying up of olive trees and eventually their death. The project is inspired by a widespread ancient Messapian custom. The Messapi were a tribe that inhabited southern Apulia from 8th century BC to 3rd century AD. The oscillum was a disk made of terracotta that was usually hung up on a tree in order to foretell and protect the fertility of vines and olive tree fields.
The project was developed in close operation with the Laboratory for Monitoring Stress in Trees using Environmental Remote sensing at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, leades by Pieter Beck. The research group collects very high-resolution hyperspectral and thermal images on the field, permitting to analyse the state of health of individual trees. These high-resolution images reveal early stages of disease that are invisible to the human eye.
Matteo Pizzolante was born in Tricase, Lecce, in 1989. He earned a degree in Construction Engineering from the Milan Polytechnic and enrolled for a Masters in Sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, with Vittorio Corsini. He completed his studies in Germany at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden with Wilhelm Mundt and Carsten Nicolai. He has participated in several exhibitions in Italy and is the winner of the Jaguart Italian Road Show project held by Artissima and Jaguar. Among the latest projects are Q-Rated, Ricerche sensibili held by La Quadriennale di Roma and “Resonances Festival” put on jointly by the Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra and Museo della Scienza e Tecnologia, Leonardo da Vinci, Milano.
Stelios Giannoulakis. Noise Poetics – Composing with Urban Soundscapes
This talk is based on the paper which attempts to analyze the role of urban soundscape in electroacoustic – acousmatic composition, looking at my own work, as well as with a view on contemporary music in general. Exploring the concept of noise in our culture, I approach the mechanisms that allow the sounds of everyday experience to participate in the development of a poetics rich in emotional dynamic, connected with fundamental elements of our music tradition and directly dependent on the way we experience sound.
A large part of my source recordings come from the city. Urban soundscapes have become the new natural sound environment for the people of the city. Over a century of exposition to sounds by machines, crowds, plastic and metal, pure tones and recorded music embedded in everyday background, tends to redefine the processes and archetypes that govern the way we evaluate sound as art, as well as our emotional responses to it. The meaning and cultural significance of noise radically change.
Having chosen recorded sound as the main material of my sonic art, I sometimes use unprocessed sound and drive the composition forward by cutting, juxtaposing and mixing, playing with connotations, and the locally emerging myth. Alternatively, I might use the recording as a malleable material that I can change and warp around to the extreme. ‘Real-world’ sound has always had a certain power on the mind of the listener and so have the processes of its transformation, subtle or dramatic, gradual or sudden, playing with degrees of recognizability and laying out some kind of idiosyncratic dream-scape for listeners to follow and explore in their own mind.
Stelios Giannoulakis is an electroacoustic and cross-genre composer and performer, sound designer, engineer, improvising multi-instrumentalist, creative music technology researcher and educator. PhD in Electroacoustic Composition (University of Bangor Wales UK), MA Digital Music technology (Keele University UK.), first degree in Electronic and Biomedical Engineering (National Technical University of Athens). Soundscape recording, electroacoustic concert performances. Music and sound design for theater, concert, video, film, dance, video games. Sound diffusion system design, circuit bending, game mechanics, interactivity. Cross-genre music projects: RSLG Quartet, Fallstreak.Hole, EleKtroBalKana, Schema Musicalis, Sinusexplorer. Residencies: EPHMEE – Paysage Sonore (2018), SGT – Tuned City (2018), Kumaria (2009), and others. Awards: 18th European Media Art Festival Germany 2004; “Jeu de Temps” composition contest, CEC – Sonic Arts Network (2003); Bourge International Electroacoustic Competition, France (2002/1999); SPNM Shortlist for Electroacoustic composition, improvisation UK (2002/2001); Lieu Insolite, Studio Cesare, Reims, France (2012). Founding member of HELMCA (Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association).
Amanda LEWIS / Michal KINDERNAY / Oksana CHEPELYK / Fernando Nobre CAVALCANTE / Karla BRUNET / Toni OLIVEIRA / Carlos Alessandre DOMINGOS LENTINI / José Garcia VIVAS MIRANDA
MODERATOR: Kristin BERGAUST
Amanda Lewis. A Study of Scarred Landscapes
“A Device for the Study of Scarred Landscapes,” is an open source multi-layered pollution sensing device which allows the user to interact with the environment by revealing invisible information about the land. The device is a tool of engagement as the user travels to different landscapes. While it serves as a scientific tool for collecting environmental data, it is also an instrument of interpretation as it creates generative sounds based on the data collected combined with nature sound recordings of the investigated spaces. The sounds are deep and electronic, referencing the artificial nature of the pollutants they are sensing. Depending on the pollution levels of the area, the sounds range from low and steady to aggressively high frequency. Through this field work, the artist searches for new ways to interact with and understand the land in order to critically examine her relationship with the earth.
Amanda Lewis is an environmental artist and designer from Saint Louis, Missouri and currently based in Paris, France. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons Paris, where she developed her thesis project on the investigation of air pollution in natural spaces using open-source sensing technology and sonification techniques. In her work, she examines the intersection of environments and digital technologies through research and artistic practices. Her goal is to discover a tangible and accessible way to comment on, augment, or improve our relationship with nature through technology.
Michal Kindernay. Data carpets (across critical history)
Presentation of a long-term project and related topics connected with usage of environmental data in art within the context of political and ecological practises of Central European cities during the (not only) communist regime.
The case study was carried out (and is still ongoing) at the “normalization” housing estate Pankrác in Prague, which was built in the 1960s and 1970s as an extensive residential complex with a specific art and decor of public space. Czech Sculptor Miloš Zet (1920 – 1995) was part of urban planning of Pankrác area and in general significant part of his work is connected with architectural ones and urban projects also in other parts of Prague: the Opatov housing estate, metro station, the Prague hotel etc. All these localities are opportunities for reinterpretation and recontextualization of copyrighted works and their current state. Sculptures, walls and other sculptural elements by Miloš Zet in the Prague housing estate Pankrác are subject to historical, political, social, weather changes and temperature fluctuations, intense rains and hail, including differences between day and night temperatures, strong UV radiation, etc., and currently climate change. Data prints presented on the walls include: time-lapse technology, humidity, temperature, pressure, group of gases affecting air quality, NH3, NOx, benzene, CO2, M10, PM2.5, wind speed and sound intensity.
The project is realised online and also within the summarizing exhibition of the artist in House of Arts in Brno, Czech Republic (Martin Zet – Sculptor Miloš Zet – Walls, Plinths and Mock-ups, 12.2. – 26.7.2020.)
In my work I reflect ecological issues through various technological approaches in relation to nature environment. My work includes audiovisual performances, interactive installations, experimental documentary projects, sound projects and compositions. I’m interested in interdisciplinary approaches of sound and media art, which I assume correlate a lot with today’s issues and topics and initiate critical questions. My artistic, curatorial and educational practice cover various approaches to contemporary visual art, experimental film, sound art, intermedia projects and science. My projects are also devoted to building alternative audiovisual devices and ideas, which raise different aesthetics, new approaches to human and social perception, sound, motion image and its philosophy and which also address specific issues and communities.
Michal Kindernay is an intermedia artist, sound artist, curator and performer. His audio-visual installations interconnect art, film, technology and science. He reflects ecological issues through various technological approaches in relation to nature environment. His works include video performances, interactive installations or experimental documentary projects or sound compositions. He is one of the founders or yo-yo non profit culture organization and initiator or RurArtMap project. He was one of the curators of Skolska 28 gallery in Prague. He teaches in Prague College – MA Fine Art and in Centre of Audiovisual Studies in Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts (creative modules). As an organizer or artist he was involved in many international projects.
Oksana Chepelyk. Exploring Ecodata within Art, Science and Society Program at IMéRA
Art, Science and Society Program at IMéRA that supports the artist’s collaboration with Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology / Marine Station of Endoume and Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography in Marseille is oriented toward valuable impact by raising awareness around environmental protection, climate change and danger for biodiversity, preventing the loss of biodiversity, learning from micro structure of diverse underwater species in order to bring it into architecture design, searching for symbiotic future, exploring an ethics of companionship.
Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology is focussing on Metabolomics as a systematic study of unique chemical “fingerprints” specific for processes occurring in living cells useful for understanding of functioning of biodiversity and as biomarkers of effect of environmental changes. How art and technology can reveal the hidden layers? Art, engaged into cognitive practice socially and environmentally oriented, could shape society responsible for sustainable future. Appealing different ecodata parameters from ecological and economic sciences: Biocapacity, Ecological Footprint, or Biological Wealth an art-science project is developing at IMéRA as the translation of complex bio-chemical events into audio-visual “Metabolomics” data-driven installation, where the invisible and insensible, unimaginable can be made visible that people become aware of future loss.
Dr. Oksana Chepelyk is a leading researcher of the New Technologies Department, Modern Art Research Institute of Ukraine, author of book “The Interaction of Architectural Spaces, Contemporary Art and New Technologies” (2009) and curator of International Festival of Social Sculpture, Kyiv. Oksana studied art in Kyiv, followed PhD course, Moscow, Amsterdam University, Banff Centre, Canada, Bauhaus Dessau, Germany, Fulbright Research Program at UCLA, USA. Awards: ArtsLink1997/2007 Award (USA), FilmVideo99 (Italy), EMAF2003 Werklietz Award 2003 (Germany), Artraker Award2013 (UK), Best Project2018 (Taiwan). Works shown: MOMA, NY; MMA, Zagreb; German Historical Museum, Berlin and Munich; Museum of the Arts History, Vienna; MCA, Skopje; MJT, LA; Art Arsenal Museum, Kyiv; “DIGITAL MEDIA Valencia”, Spain; MACZUL, Maracaibo, Venezuela, “The File”, Sao Paolo; LPM-2016/2017 Amsterdam.
Fernando Nobre Cavalcante. Who is afraid of ayahuasca?
It focuses on the concept of biomedia based on the image analysis related to a hashtag on Instagram: #ayahuasca. It discusses the concept of framing in a Goffmanian perspective derived from ethnomethodological studies, assuming that images can be supposed brackets of a literality of the lifeworld. An image modulated by the functionality of motion and instantaneously could be assumed as an anchor of human-computer interaction. It uses grounded theory by code analysis in software-based qualitative research. Research corpora criterion is conducted by the researcher’s observation, codified explicitly by feelings of fear, curiosity, and belonging. The research proposes a metareflection on the mediatization studies on taboo frames.
Fernando Nobre Cavalcante is an associate researcher at the State University of Campinas as a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Applied Linguistics. Investigates interactions in mediatized groups, developing a project called QualiChat, a software for quali-quantitative analysis aimed at researchers who have an interest in the way the news are spread on WhatsApp groups. Ph.D. in Media Studies and Master in Sociology. Associate professor at UNI7. Visiting professor at the University of Bremen (Germany-2020) and the University of Kansas (United States-2018). A keen interest in qualitative method innovation applied in the fields of Media Ethnography. Specialist in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) by compiling qualitative perceptions in quantitative reports.
Karla Brunet, Toni Oliveira, Carlos Alessandre Domingos Lentini, José Garcia Vivas Miranda. Antarctica Convergence
Having in mind the image of the oceans converging in Antarctica, a visual artist, a code artist, and two scientists got together to create a hybrid art portraying this confluence of the seas and art & science. Antarctica Convergence is a fusion of sounds, images, and data visualization of the sea around King George Island, in Antarctica. A loop video shows the place’s perception of a submerged camera, data collected by the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth), and data sonification/visualization. It is a dive into the cold water of the Southern Ocean and a dive into the data. Antarctica Convergence intends to present a sensitive form of understanding this remote underwater environment. It is about feeling the data, exploring the sea.
Karla Brunet is an artist and researcher, has a Ph.D. in Audiovisual Communication (UPF, Spain), a master’s degree in Fine Arts (Academy of Art University, USA). She has participated in different media art exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East, North, and South America. From 2009-2012, Karla was the coordinator of a media lab focused on women and free technology, and in 2012, she was the curator of LabMAM. In 2014, she got a postdoc grant at UDK, Berlin. Karla is a professor at IHAC/UFBA, where she coordinates the Ecoarte Group. Her art practices involve photography, video art, data visualization, sensory environment, hybrid art, audiovisual performance, webart, mapping art, and gaming – always focusing on experiences in nature.
Toni Oliveira is the coordinator of the undergraduate degree in Music Production and professor of “Electronics for the Arts” at UFRB (Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia). He is an experienced musician and researcher of new open-source digital technologies and computer programming contextualized in artistic environments. He holds a Master’s degree in Culture and Society by Federal University of Bahia – theme: “The source code in a symbolic context in Computational Art: a panorama of the relationship between software and culture.”
José Garcia Vivas Miranda
Graduated in Physics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (1995), MA in Physics from the Federal University of Bahia (1997) and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences – University of La Coruña (2000). Worked as a postdoctoral researcher on two occasions at the University of La Coruña – ES and once at Harvard University – USA. Currently an associate professor at the Federal University of Bahia. He has experience in complex systems, with emphasis on computational models, acting on the following topics: fractals, complex networks, computational models, neuroscience and biomechanics.
Carlos Alessandre Domingos Lentini holds a bachelor degree in Oceanology from the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG), an M.Sc. in Physical Oceanography from the Oceanographic Institute of USP (IOUSP) and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami (RSMAS/UM). He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment Physics at the Institute of Physics at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) and leader of the Tropical Oceanography Group (GOAT). He has experience in the areas of Physical Oceanography and Remote Sensing, with an emphasis on Ocean Dynamics, Western Boundary Currents, Altimetry, SAR data, and geophysical data analysis (in-situ and numerical).
Tivon RICE / Eva SJUVE / Adnan HADZISELIMOVIC / Jakub ‘Preppikoma’ PALM
MODERATOR: Solvita ZARINA
Tivon Rice. Models for Environmental Literacy
How do we (as children and as adults) learn about the natural environment? At school? Through our direct encounters with nature? Through mediated forms of communication – television, cinema, the internet? How do we build our individual environmental literacy?
With recent technical and critical attention given to artificial intelligence, a similar set of questions may also be asked of non-human agents. How, and why, are machines made to control natural environments? To what degree can a machine perceive a landscape, drawing upon data rather than lived experiences? And can our observation of this machine perception allow us to reflect upon human nature, our individual understanding of the environment, as well as non-anthropocentric ecological perspectives?
With Models for Environmental Literacy, I address these questions by generating three large datasets of ecologically concerned literature – including fiction, philosophy, and scientific texts – which create distinct, yet correlated computer voices for an environmentally literate machine intelligence. These AI-generated narrative texts then provide the scaffolding for a new series of experimental animated films about environments at the boundaries of ecological change: an archipelago of small islands in the northern Baltic, an estuary overcome by toxic algae, and a perfectly circular artificial island in the Netherlands.
Tivon Rice is an artist and educator working across visual culture and technology. Based in Den Haag (NL) and Seattle (US), his work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital culture and asks: how do we see, inhabit, feel, and talk about these new forms of exchange? How do we approach creativity within the digital? What are the poetics, narratives, and visual languages inherent in new information technologies? And what are the social and environmental impacts of these systems?
Rice holds a PhD in Digital Art and Experimental Media from the University of Washington. He was a Fulbright scholar (Korea 2012), and one of the first individuals to collaborate with Google Artists + Machine Intelligence. His projects have traveled widely with exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Taipei, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and São Paulo.
Eva Sjuve. The New Metopia: Operations on Xenotemporalities in Environmental data as Sonorous Phenomena
Through artistic practice, latent behaviors and dynamics in ecosystems are made perceivable by visual or sonic means of environmental data. In this paper, I discuss the need for experimental sensory models, to critically investigate ecologies and systems and the anthropocentric perspective from which we are designing these systems. At the same time, there is a need to question infrastructures and policies, and the lack thereof, as a form of resistance, to find new strategies for artistic practice and design thinking, to decondition current outdated models and update these.
This paper discusses aspects of operation on Xenotemporalities from environmental and toxic data as sonorous phenomena in the artistic project Metopia, addressing questions such as strategies in designing with multiple time-scales in the creation of sonic works through the experimental use of data and machine learning. The operations on environmental data for sensory experience are discussed with the writing of Gilbert Simondon, and Henri Bergson in mind, both Simondon’s notion of the disjunction between technicity and the magical world, and Bergson’s philosophy of duration.
Eva Sjuve is a media artist working with new technologies and urban spaces. Her most recent work is Metopia, a series of sonifications of environmental data using custom built interfaces with machine learning. Her work has been included in exhibits, including Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; CAEIT Experiments in Art, Information and Technology, CalArts, USA; The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago; and the City Exhibition Hall, Sydney. Her research has been presented at conferences such as International Computer Music Conference ICMC 16/18, Hybrid City 13, Live Interfaces 12, Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 12, MediaCity 10, Creativity & Cognition 09 (ACM), ISEA 08/14/15/16/19, NIME 08, LAC 08, Auditory Cultures 07 and many more. Website is located at, http://www.moolab.net
Adnan Hadziselimovic. Machine Learning and Environmental Justice
In order to lay the foundations for a discussion around the argument that the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies benefits the powerful few, focussing on their own existential concerns, exploiting the environment, the paper will narrow down the analysis of the argument to environmental justice and jurisprudence (i.e. the philosophy of law), considering also the historical context. The talk is based on the paper which explores the notion of humanised artificial intelligence in order to discuss potential challenges society might face in the future. The paper does not discuss current forms and applications of artificial intelligence, as, so far, there is no AI technology, which is self-conscious and self-aware, being able to deal with emotional and social intelligence. It is a discussion around AI as a speculative hypothetical entity. One could ask, if such a speculative self-conscious hardware/software system were created at what point could one talk of personhood? And what criteria could there be in order to say an AI system was capable of committing AI environmental crimes?
The paper will discuss the construction of the legal system through the lens of political involvement of what one may want to consider to be powerful elites. Before discussing these aspects the paper will clarify the notion of “powerful elites”. In doing so the paper will be demonstrating that it is difficult to prove that the adoption of AI technologies is undertaken in a way which mainly serves a powerful class in society. Nevertheless, analysing the culture around AI technologies with regard to the nature of law with a philosophical and sociological focus enables one to demonstrate a utilitarian and authoritarian trend in the adoption of AI technologies
The paper will then look, in a more detailed manner, into theories analysing the historical and social systematisation, or one may say disposition, of laws, and the impingement of neo-liberal tendencies upon the adoption of AI technologies. The regulatory, self-governing potential of AI algorithms and the justification by authority of the current adoption of AI technologies within civil society will be analysed next. The paper will propose an alternative, some might say practically unattainable, approach to the current legal system by looking into restorative justice for AI environmental crimes, and how the ethics of care, through social contracts, could be applied to AI technologies. In conclusion the paper will discuss affect and humanised artificial intelligence with regards to the emotion of shame, when dealing with AI crimes.
Adnan Hadzi is currently working as resident academic in the Department of Digital Arts, at the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta. Hadzi has been a regular at Deckspace Media Lab, for the last decade, a period over which he has developed his research at Goldsmiths, University of London, based on his work with Deptford.TV. It is a collaborative video editing service hosted in Deckspace’s racks, based on free and open source software, compiled into a unique suite of blog, film database and compositing tools. Hadzi is co-editing and producing the after.video video book, exploring video as theory, reflecting upon networked video, as it profoundly re-shapes medial patterns (Youtube, citizen journalism, video surveillance etc.). A thorough multi-faceted critique of media images that takes up perspectives from practitioners, theoreticians, sociologists, programmers and artists, presenting a publication which reflects upon video theoretically. Hadzi’s documentary film work tracks artist pranksters The Yes Men and ! Mediengruppe Bitnik Collective. Bitnik is a collective of contemporary artists working on and with the Internet. Bitnik’s practice expands from the digital to affect physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. Bitnik’s works formulate fundamental questions concerning contemporary issues.
Jakub ‘Preppikoma’ Palm. Sandboxing the Ecosphere: On Meeting the Forecasting Needs of a Superlect
Ray Kurzweil and other transhumanists advocate for using bio- and nanotechnological breakthroughs to scan—at the molecular level—all the processes occurring in one’s organism to make a digital copy of their personality thus enabling it to be uploaded to a body sporting no protein vulnerabilities. This process might require help from a superlect (i.e. superintelligence in the Bostromian sense).
Such being might undertake a similar scanning enterprise for acquiring data of all objects from its surroundings. This might be driven by epistemic needs—to maximise its knowledge about the universe, about how it ‘manifests’ itself bottom-up (from the sub-atomic level upwards); moreover, the more data it gathers, the better simulations it produces and thus forecasts better. As it is currently hypothesised, a superlect might strive for becoming a computronium, which begets optimisation of its resources, properties of structure, etc. In order to achieve greater comprehension of the universe, higher computation power might be needed, and this would be obtained via assimilating other objects to the computronium.
Futurological scenarios concerning the possible relation between superlect and ecosphere are to be presented, based upon the former’s initial need for ecospheric data, and its subsequent perception of the latter as purposeless.
Jakub ‘Preppikoma’ Palm is a philosophy PhD student that deals with intersections of philosophy of technology, futurology, epistemology, and utilitarianism. MA theses on technological singularity (in philosophy) and on open access to information (in history). ‘Mediated Environments: New Humanities Practices in Transdisciplinary Research’ NPRH grant researcher. Board Member and Regional Coordinator at Polish Transhumanist Association, Collective Intelligence Specialist at Swarmcheck, Member of Optimum Pareto Foundation, Member of Grupa Robocza collective. Initiator of PhilosophyCon: Fan Convention and Academic Conference cycle, co-creator of #biohackingkrk event series. Main purpose: contribution to development of epistemically-oriented superintelligence.
Jens HAUSER / Kristin BERGAUST
MODERATOR: Rasa SMITE
Jens HAUSER. UN/GREEN & (OU \ / ERT) – Inverting and Opening in Curatorial Strategy
How can curatorial practice in art spaces convey, cognitively, sensorially and emotionally, the importance to debunk the misunderstandings inherent in ‘greenness’ tropes pervasive in contemporary culture? Are white cubes and black boxes followed by greenhouses when we put anthropocentric assertions to the test in the age of ubiquitous greenwashing?
This talk presents examples of how ‘green’ has being conceptually inverted and opened up in the 2019 exhibitions UN/GREEN at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga and OU\ /ERT: Phytophilia – Chlorophobia – Situated Knowledges at the Emmetrop/Transpalette art centre in Bourges. These strategies not only encompass new ways of dealing with audiences’ perception but also include resolutely material and performative practices such as gardening, live pigment production or the staging of multi-sensory alternatives to vision or trans-species encounters, going against the grain of dominant colour symbolism.
Both exhibitions critique the tendency to ‘green everything’ as hyper-compensation, based on a misinterpretation of vegetation green as a symbolic analogy of the ‘natural’, whereas its perception reveals above all an anthropocentrism: while the electromagnetic spectrum corresponding to ‘green’ is useless for plants’ photosynthesis and is therefore reflected, humans perceive it with the greatest acuity, mistaking this spectral surplus for the very essence of the plant.
Jens Hauser is a Paris and Copenhagen based media studies scholar, writer and art curator focusing on the interactions between art and technology, trans-genre and hybrid aesthetics. He’s currently a researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Medical Museion, following a dual post-doctoral research position at the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. He coordinates the (OU)VERT network for Greenness Studies and has been the chair of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts’ ‘GREEN’ 2018 conference in Copenhagen. He is also a distinguished affiliated faculty at Michigan State University where he co-directs the BRIDGE artist-in-residency program. Hauser has curated about thirty international exhibitions and festivals.
Kristin Bergaust. Oslofjord Ecologies- What Can Art Do? About Artistic Research On Environmental And Social Sustainability
The Oslofjord is the fjord that is overlooked when visitors prepare to enjoy the scenic Norwegian fjords from cruise liners in West Norway.. The Oslofjord Ecologies project started in 2016 as part of Renewable Futures Network. Artworks and texts presented in the book are developed before March 2020.
Looking back to not living in pandemia, the Oslofjord Ecologies acquires new actuality. The Oslofjord Ecologies project and book looks at our situation where we live and work and initially asks the unanswerable: What can art do? When we ask what will be next and how we can proceed, art is also mindset, performative methods of actions and reflections.
In 2020 cruisers are not present and international traffic is sparse. We are left with a melancholic fjordscape, freed from the most intense traffic of ferries, cruise ships and immense container freighters bound for everywhere in the world. Still, the fjord is inhabited by smaller vessels, be it ferries for local passenger transport, tugboats, fishing boats, barges carrying machines or materials, sleek sailing boats, roaring speed boats, the odd classic yacht becoming visible among all kinds of leisure: kayaks, canoes, waterboards. We are still here. Under the surface, various marine life forms strive to coexist with residues of human activities. The Oslofjord is nature, economy, infrastructure, biology, materiality, culture and history as well as future plans and challenges.
Kristin Bergaust is educated at the University of Oslo and at National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. She works as an artist, researcher and educator. She has been a professor at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design in OsloMet, Oslo since 2008. She was formerly professor and head of Intermedia at Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, NTNU (2001-2008) and artistic director of Atelier Nord media lab for artists (1997 to 2001). Kristin is one of the pioneers of the self-organized early media art scene in Norway from the early 1990-ies. Her feminist and relational perspectives on contemporary conditions are investigated through performative and technological strategies, sometimes also fed by cultural history or other narratives. Experiments with the communicative and the sensory are inherent both in research and art. Currently, she leads FeLT- Futures of Living Technologies, a three year interdisciplinary artistic research project based at OsloMet.
MODERATOR: Jens HAUSER
Marko Peljhan. Sensing Remotely – A Systemics Arsenal
The talk will discuss the landscape of systemic strategies that have been and are currently being developed in the framework of multiple art, tactical media, engineering and science initiatives, from the Makrolab series, Arctic Perspective Initiative to Isolabs.
Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist, tactical media worker and researcher and lives and works between California and Europe. He founded and co-founded several still active arts organizations in the 90’s such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he works on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research at an intersection of art/science/engineering; among others he co-founded the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation in 2002 and in 2008 with fellow artist and colleague Matthew Biederman the Arctic Perspective Initiative. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica with Carsten Nicolai and his work has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales (Venice, Lyon, Istanbul, Gwangju, Johannesburg, Moscow…) exhibitions and festivals, such as documenta, ISEA, Ars Electronica and museums and art institutions worldwide (YCAM, ICC-NT, PS.1. MOMA, GARAGE…). He serves as professor and director of the Systemics Lab located in the California Nano Systems Institute and since 2017 serves as chair of the Media Arts and Technology Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. He also serves as the coordinator of international cooperation for SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.
Platons BURAVICKIS, Ivo TAURINS, Lauris SMITS, Daniel HENGST,
Rasa SMITE & Raitis SMITS, Artis KUPRISS
Live Stream: Youtube
The concert for ‘plants and people’ is provided by RIXC Fields Residency Greenhouse from Riga. It was made to be featured in two festivals: Ars Electronica and RIXC Art and Science festival: Ecodata.
The FOREST GARDEN is the Live Concert Event at the Greenhouse of RIXC Fields Residency near Riga. It is an environment for artistic, scientific and speculative experiments focusing on ‘greenhouse effect’ – relations between the terrestrial- and atmospheric-, human- and plant-, and impacts of climate change on future eco-systems.
It is conceptually based on Talk To Me. Human-plant Communication by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, and will use its interface and environment for maintaining the live concert’s program.
Talk to Me is a human-plant communication interface and art project that encourages people to talk to the plants. https://talktome.rixc.lv/ Artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits invite you to send encouraging messages to help the plants grow tall and strong. You can choose the language and male or female voice. Your messages will be read loudly for the growing tomatoes by the loudspeaker installed in the greenhouse, where the live concert will take place on September 12, 2020, featuring the live stream for Ars Electronica Garden Riga-Karlsruhe program by the artists and musicians:
Lauris Smits. RIVERS IN THE SKY
Ivo Taurins. GENERATED FOREST
Platons Buravickis. RED WAVE
Daniel Hengst. THE BLOOMING LOVE (immersive environment)
Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits. TALK TO ME. HUMAN-PLANT COMMUNICATION (real-time communication interface and voice) with Kristaps Biters. PLA(N)Tform: Forest Garden Greenhouse (visual)
Project Credits / Acknowledgements:
Artistic concept and curating: Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits
Performing artists: Ivo Taurins, Platons Buravickis, Lauris Smits, Daniel Hengst, Kristaps Biters
Production: RIXC Riga
Support: EMAP / EMARE, State Cultural Capital Foundation of Latvia
Virtual BioSensing Project Group / BioDesign Lab / HfG Karlsruhe
The PLA(N)Tform is a collaborative platform for bioartistic growing, sensing and ‘making human-plant kin-ship’ experiments and their virtual transformations in the digital space. It was made to be featured in two festivals: Ars Electronica and RIXC Art and Science festival: Ecodata.
Concept: In the darkness of an infinite space of potentialities, a living cosmos of subtle relations and accumulations unfolds – like delicate spider threads, but apparently interwoven without any recognizable pattern. The PLA(N)Tform grows in decentralized rhizomatic proliferations while it is nourished by luminous seeds, which in turn contain their own virtual worlds. By juxtaposing the different realities in a heterogeneous plurality, the PLA(N)Tform is understood as a speculative experiment of terrestrial co-existence, in which epistemological and aesthetic practices, far removed from hierarchical mechanisms, merge into a space-time of Planthropocene.
Online Exhibition: The Virtual BioSensing project group presents the video of the online exhibition at BioDesignLab HfG Karlsruhe, which shows a journey through the PLA(N)Tform’s virtual environment and the individual Virtual BioSensing projects:
Julia Ihls (DE). VIRTUAL RHIZOME
Kira Ellen Adams (DE). NATURE NOSTALGIA
Jung Eun Lee (DE/KR). HOMESICK FARMING
Isabella Münnich (DE). IMMERSED GARDEN
Carmen Westermeier (DE). AA Alt 12 APIPA Cave II. Humans Plants Kinships
Margrethe Emilie Kühle (DE/NO). BIO-SENSING FOREST
Alejandra Miranda Janus (DE) in collaboration with data scientist Patrick Scislowski. PLANTBLINDNESS.
Eleanora Pfanz (DE). COALESCO. BUTTERFLY STILLEBEN
Christina Vinke (DE). FLOATING WOODLANDS
Project Credits / Acknowledgements:
Curated by Rasa Smite / RIXC Riga & HfG Karlsruhe
Virtual Biosening project group at HfG Karslruhe: Kira Ellen Adams, Julia Ihls, Alejandra Miranda Janus, Margrethe Emilie Kühle, Jung Eun Lee, Isabella Münnich, Eleanora Pfanz, Christina Vinke, Carmen Westermeier.
Produced by RIXC / Riga-Karlsruhe, in collaboration with BioDesign Lab HfG.
I would like to thank all of you for the interesting and wonderful conference Global Control. Everything was perfect as the last years. The exhibition, the key note speakers, all the speakers, the swamp radio under the rain. Amazing! It’s a very pleasure to take part to your activities.Vincenzo Sansone
Thanks a lot! It was amazing and so interesting. Such a work, and a good work.Colette Tron
Thanks for the invite and hospitality 🙂 i had fund and learned a lot. I wish you all well and to continue the fight.Artist from Slovenia
Thank you for the intelligent and creative time we spent in Riga…Jasmina Tesanovic and Bruce Sterling
It was super dense three conference days, I have learned a lot! And the guided tour across the Latvian swamps was gorgeous.Pablo De Soto
This year, the registration is exceptionally free.
Register for the RIXC Art Science Festival: ECODATA
and Open Fields 2020 Conference by October 7.
For a free ticket (as a participant, visitor or press)
go to the registration page >
The National Library of Latvia
Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga, LV-1423
RIXC Center for New Media Culture
Lencu iela 2, Riga, LV-1010