I & I Exhibition: New Ways of Making
The conference is framed by the I & I - Digital Art Exhibition ‘New Ways of Making’ by Faculty members of the Faculty Architecture & Design, VUW
The exhibition will be officially opened on Monday, 15th April at 18:30. So make sure you are there.
Inhabiting Omni-Architecture by Jessie Rogers (SoA)
The artwork presents the generation of new virtual relativity laws, reimagining virtual space inhabitation within an omni-directional environment. Presenting the trilogy of virtual classifications; the virtual inhabitant; the speculative environment; and the virtual built-form, these coalesce, generating a new realm of design within immersive architectural space. The components within the trilogy are all designed relative to each other following the Interconnective Design Methodology Ecosystem framework, which allowed a high level of complexity and richness to shine through the research and design work. The vital components within the trilogy of virtual classifications are the; Architectural designer’s role; Interactivity; Global time; Diachronic time; Environment boundaries; Virtual body; Spatial locomotion; Audio experience; User population; Aesthetic materiality and filters; Geometry; Spatial orientation; Local-scale; Atmospheric filters; Orthogonal; Polygonal; Curved rotational fractals; Minimal surface; and Reveal sequencing.
MachineTime_NatureTime by Mizuho Nishioka (SoD)
MachineTime_NatureTime offers an amendment to the practices of photographic image-making. Nishioka explores how multiple participants might affect their own agency the production of a photograph. Fragments of botanical specimens float suspended in the picture plane inviting us to become immersed in a wind-blown field of petals, leaves, pollen and twigs.
Yet all is not quite as it seems. In allowing wind to move her specimens, the photographer has allowed, what she calls, ‘Nature Time’ to outpace ‘Machine Time’. As she says: The technology for producing the photographic imprint is pushed beyond the limits of its ability to form a complete photographic image and instead offers a more complex map of the relationship between these two worlds. MachineTime_NatureTime enmeshes the familiarity of the botanic and the unfamiliarity of marks made by technological disruption. This representation of normally unseen processes recreates for the artist some of the “moments of great expectation, anticipation and terror” involved in image processing in an era of technological sophistication and seamlessness image making.
Space Sheet by Tom White (SoD)
We introduce a new spreadsheet based interface called SpaceSheets for creating novel images and other media. Unlike traditional digital tools, ours is parameterized entirely by a neural network with no preprogrammed rules or knowledge representations. The capability of SpaceSheets to support visual exploration and communication is demonstrated within the context of several domains including facial images, fonts, and english words. SpaceSheets is demonstrated to support the experimentation and exploration of latent spaces enabling more effective design experimentation.
Your Hearing Them by Blake Johnston (Cand. PhD SoM)
Resonant Apparatus is a composition for a bespoke headset that allows for the audience to experience extraordinary spatial and sonic phenomena. The headset consists of two loudspeakers, which sit on the ears like normal headphones, and two surface transducers that sit on the cheekbones of the wearer. These transducers vibrate the cheekbones and skull of the wearer, allowing for the experience sounds seemingly emanating from within the head. The work investigates the creative and experiential affordances of the bespoke headset by placing the listener’s head as the site of exploration, creating sounds that move around and inside the listener’s body. The work employs binaural techniques to create hyper-realistic sonic environments with convincing spatialmorphological qualities. These environments are contrasted with the intimacy of the surface transducers, which create sounds that emanate from within the body
Drone Sweet Drone by Anne Niemetz (School of Design)
In current literature and the popular press, drones are most commonly associated with unmanned attacks on civilians and the surveillance of populations. Quite rightly, there is significant concern about the use of drone technologies for these often ethically dubious ends (e.g. Greenwald, 2013). Most recently, drone swarms, in particular, have been the focus of this concern. At the same time, a normalisation of drone technology is taking place. In the West this year many technology lovers, hackers and makers received drones as Christmas presents; and, as Matthew J. Cousineau (2011) observes, users can even play games on the US Air Force website that mimic missions to locate and destroy enemy targets. Cousineau goes on to argue for the advantages of studying surveillance as entertainment, rather than just focusing on its effects on civil liberties. He suggests that this approach can bring to light how surveillance agents use the language of popular culture to manufacture consent for their political agendas; as well as bring the domestic effects of foreign wars to the fore. In addition, he argues that by focusing on surveillance as entertainment, new questions can be asked, such as how masculinity is being reconfigured by technologies such as drones.
The art installation, Drone Sweet Drone, is in dialogue with these debates and asks us to consider the ordinary and extraordinary effects of drones in our everyday lives. By referencing Home Sweet Home (an expression that was popular with troops on both sides of the American civil war), and seemingly glorifying drones, the installation aims to open up discussion about the uses of drone technology beyond its usual associations with warfare. As embroidered blueprints using Arduino powered lights, the aesthetic of the drones combines techniques associated with the past and the future; art and science; the amateur and the professional; and the feminine and the masculine. The blueprint text prompts us to further consider the potential of drones, as well as the gendering of new technologies and the masculine associations of war and surveillance. Drone Sweet Drone is purposely conspicuous rather than stealthy. Turning surveillance on its head, it wants us to study the fly on the wall that is increasingly becoming a greater part of our lives.
Text by Sarah Baker
ANT project by Nico Vernio (DARA)
The goal of the ANT project is to investigate possibilities for the creation of autonomous scout robots able to adapt to terrains, explore and map the environment (like a 3D scanner), and offer a real time point of view to the user through usage of VR headsets. The scout would roam around the targeted area on its own (AI and machine learning) and allow users to "step in" at any time to observe and move around manually whenever desired or required.
Prototyping up to v4, ANT project helped identifying problems and refining solutions related to basic functionalities: out of physical and mechanical limitations, primarily, how to solve efficiently the remote controlling, the processing of data and establishment of communication protocols between the server/controller and the client/robot. At this stage, the solution allows the device to move wirelessly within the range of the host network, in any direction, at variable speed and many other settings, such as reach of legs, incidence of the feet (last leg segment), height, length and "homing" of steps.
Allocating time and funding, the next steps are to extend work on AI and to implement distance sensing at the tip of each leg to allow the robot to gather and forward spatial data in view to create a point cloud map and a volumetric 3D representation of the explored environment. This would allow the device to adapt and travel across other than planar terrains, on top of extending/updating the overall geographical database on record. Mounting a real time stereoscopic camera on a gyroscope system would then allow VR headset users to visually inspect the robot environment, in any direction and in real time as if physically located in the robot’s position.
Cloud Computing by Jayn Verkerk (Cand. PhD SoD)
This installation is an expression of people’s perceptions of cloud computing: information flows and ecosystems, ephemeral, deceptive, connections and projections, sharing and data surveillance, loss of control and privacy, occult knowledge and hidden infrastructures, power structures, data surveillance and tracking. These are just some of the responses of people when asked about their experience of the cloud.
Cloud computing and mobile devices provide convenient, seamless back up of personal files, and information access through centralised data storage, freeing users of the need for personal hard drives. However, unlike most everyday technologies the infrastructure of cloud computing is invisible for the user, reduced to an icon in the corner of a browser.
The metaphor of a cloud stack provides a vision of personal data clouds floating safe above us. Though in reality packets of data travel along subterranean network cables to data server warehouses owned by corporations in unknown locations. Here personal data is stored, and further processed through big data analytics to inform and predict user behaviour. While there are concerns about cloud computing regarding privacy, security, and surveillance capitalism, as it is free, convenient and accessible, opting out seems unworkable. How do users reconcile and visualise this invisible technology?
Through personal mobile devices, customised search engines, and tailored advertising on social media the online experience is increasingly private. Removed from those around us, the user’s personal perception of cloud computing can vary widely. This project casts a critical eye on the intimate space of people’s imaginings of their cloud. What role does the metaphor of a cloud have in the user’s perception of cloud computing? This project casts a critical eye on the intimate space of people’s experience of cloud computing.
In the first part twenty-four people drew their cloud, including themselves in it. Three drawings that represent dominant themes were chosen: the factory, surveillance/spirituality, the noosphere. These are recreated into physical models of cloud computing. The resulting installation materialises user narratives as physical models of cloud computing infrastructures – cloud cabinets. Offering a tangible architecture in response to the cloud, this work reflects on the implications of the poetic metaphor of a cloud, and questions our perception and use of hidden technologies.