Exhibition Opening and Guided Tours

13 July 2018

October 8, 2020
Location: The National Library of Latvia
Zoom Webinar (performance) + Live Stream: Youtube

October 8, at the exhibition hall of The National Library of Latvia, will take place the opening of the ECODATA exhibition. From 17.00 to 17.50 at Zoom and Youtube will take place an opening performance called Rattling The Curve – Paradoxical Ecodata Performances Of A/I And Facial Recognitions Of Humans And Trees by a group of artists of (DDL)2 — (Digital Dramaturgy Lab) squared : Antje BUDDE, Candy BLAIR, Jill CARTER, Felipe CERVERA, Lars CROSBY, Nina CZEGLEDY, Astad DEBOO, Martin KULINNA, Amit KUMAR, Montgomery C. MARTIN, Karyn MCCALLUM, George Bwanika SEREMBA, Don SINCLAIR, Heike SOMMER, Grace WHISKIN, Vicki ZHANG in collaboration with assistants: Sanja VODOVNIK (research assistant, doctoral candidate) and Yizhou ZHANG (technical productions assistant/ research).

At 18.00 visitors will have the opportunity to follow a guided tour by curators in English , while at 19.00 will follow a guided tour in Latvian.

Rattling The Curve – Paradoxical Ecodata Performances Of A/I And Facial Recognitions Of Humans And Trees

Project description
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
The project video trailer