Exploding Space: Conceptions of Space and Network in Interactive/Dynamic Architectures


An interactive architecture offers an explicit engagement for the user, a de-emphasizing of the architect; allowing anyone who enters the space to become at minimum a collaborator and in some cases a co-creator. The moment of the aesthetic of the collaborative, the utilitarian, the designed and empowering solution has arrived. In the histories of kinetic sculpture, video, installation, performance, littoral practices, there exist historical antecedents for interactive art practices. To the architectural, participating in the computational data rich experience and the interactive, presents a new escape, a new collaborative attitude, and an antidote to the static, extemporal, and spectacular that has dominated architectural thinking over the last 50 years.

The medium of architecture itself is changing, becoming a combination of spaces, networks, and agents both mechanical and organic. We already experience architecture as a shifting array of mediums. Architecture bloggers Stephen Becker and Rob Holmes winkingly named the iPhone as one of the most important architectural works of the first decade of the new millennium, arguing: “urban systems are defined most fundamentally not by structure and infrastructure, but by practice, action, and thought-process; what act has more significantly altered the practices and thought-processes of urbanites in the past ten years than the mass distribution of smart phones?” The Rhinoscript-ing of Parametric Architecture is most certainly, if nothing else, a demonstration that compelling notions of space can be generated by algorithmic processes. Architecture historian Beatriz Colomina argues in Architecture between spectacle and use that the fame of Mies van der Rohe is largely based on photographs of his work. The medium of architecture is already diffuse and complex. The interactive architectural environment simply extends that diffusion, integrating a dynamic system, an interconnected series of structures, situations, and objects that participate in the myriad ways that we consider and shape urban and living space.


Revolving Realities (2010) - Carsten Goertz, Martin Hesselmeier, Andreas Muxel and Marcus Schmickler.



Revolving Realities is an autoreactive installation, one that plays with our sense of reality by continually causing us to perceive and experience a place and an object in new ways. Its surfaces projected with different images, textures and animations, the object becomes a mirror of changing realities. As a result, a kind of real virtuality arises to confront virtual reality.


Originally via VVORK


Link Round-Up



This clip of protesters in Bil'in, Palestine dressed as Na'vi from James Cameron's Avatar circulated widely across the internet this week, and that, paired with the recent announcement that Avatar is nominated for 9 Oscars, made me feel that it was about time to present a round-up of the more thoughtful articles I've collected on Avatar. Feel free to post links in the comments section - I'm hoping this post can become a resource for those who might be interested in additional reading concerning the film.

► "Avatar and Invisible Republic" by Rob Horning [From PopMatters]


By coincidence, I began reading Greil Marcus’s Invisible Republic, which in part is about the demise of the 1960s folk movement and Bob Dylan’s role in destroying it after having come to exemplify it. The folkies, in Marcus’s depiction, had the same patronizing attitude toward Appalachian poverty and civil-rights injustices (the Other America, as Michael Harrington dubbed it) that the makers of Avatar seem to evince about colonization. Capitalism sullied and exploited the pure rural people, as clear-headed bourgeois liberals can best recognize. To adherents, folk music (and Avatar) offers us glimpses of pre-capitalist America, a “democratic oasis unsullied by commerce or greed” in which art seems “the product of no ego but of the inherent genius of a people.” The Avatar planet is such a product, for the race occupying it and the film-industry execs who made it.

The substance of this fantasy about indigenous people at harmony with their appropriate environment is the denial of individual subjectivity (the overriding value of the folk revival, according to Marcus), which is rendered unnecessary and impossible. Everyone is at one and merged with one another. Just look at the blue people in the movie sway to the unsounded ...


Top 5 - 10


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Zhang Wei earned a MA Creative Curating course at Goldsmiths, London. She is Founding Member and Director of Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou, and the shop in Beijing. She has realized a number of long-term projects and exhibitions in close collaborations with artists, as part of the research of Vitamin Creative Space. Her daily practice focuses on the shaping of different spaces - Vitamin Creative Space, the shop, Vitamin Blog, and the communities that form around Vitamin and the shop. Curating each of these different spaces, which each require different approaches and can generate different energies, challenges and opens new possibilities of making space in contemporary art and culture. Through the negotiations of independence in the Chinese context in particular, Zhang Wei's practice involves a continuous re-examination of the meaning of public space.


The links below are from our blog. I found them interesting in that they survey practices involving the daily living environment. I found that these individuals open up the complexity of our reality, while also providing some clue as to how to encounter that reality.

► http://www.map-office.com/

► http://www.oneeyeman.blogspot.com/

► http://blog.sina.com.cn/mianmian

► http://blog.tianya.cn/blogger/view_blog.asp?BlogName=sggsgg

► http://www.aaa.org.hk/

► http://www.a-i-t.net

► http://www.rmbcity.com


Interview with Brody Condon


Cover of William Gibson's novel Neuromancer

Scheduled for its New York premiere this Sunday, November 22, Case is an experimental adaptation of the 1984 novel Neuromancer by William Gibson. Considered a classic work of the literary genre cyberpunk, Neuromancer tells the story of Case, a fallen super hacker whose glory days have long since ended, leaving him in a drug-addled, regret-ridden state that lifts when a mysterious entity offers him a second chance. Charged, kaleidoscopic, and prescient, Neuromancer dilates on virtual reality, artificial intelligence and a globalized world through the intricacies of Case’s story. Case (2009), conceived and produced by artist Brody Condon, will be a day-long installation and performance that, in the artist’s words combines “Gibson’s 1980s dystopian techno-fetishism with faux ‘virtual reality’ scenes that will unfold via moving Bauhaus-inspired sculptural props accompanied by the Gamelan ensemble Dharma Swara.” I asked Condon a few questions in advance of the New York premiere so readers, near and far, could get a sense of how this ambitious work will unfold on Sunday.

Case is commissioned and presented by Rhizome and Performa 2009: the New York Biennial of performance art, whose theme this year is futurism. It will take place at the New Museum on November 22 from 1-6pm. Viewers may come and go; there is no set time required to stay. Advance tickets are available here: http://www.newmuseum.org/events/384.

Lauren Cornell: Why were you inspired to adopt Case's story in 2009?

Brody Condon: One core theme of Gibson's novel is addiction and transcendence, and is embodied by the hacker Case. The performance will feature Ray "Bad Rad" Radtke, an infamous Midwestern hell-raiser and activist, reading as the main character. This work started as a series of interviews with Ray, which I mashed ...




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Wendeltrap by Miriam Ellen Ewers (from nonmonument.com)

Created by artist Peter Baldes's Electronic Strategies Class at Virginia Commonwealth University, nonmonument.com is a collection of 3D models tagged with geolocation data and viewed in Google Earth. The project uses Google Earth to introduce impossible and possible interventions and objects in that space, and it plays with the program's claim to represent reality. In a communication with me, Baldes stated that these nonmonuments be thought of "...as real, at their own resolution." He sees the works as a unique form of public art and/or graffiti that "exist in a different layer of our reality." His class has opened up the forum to submissions as well, and visitors are invited to submit their own nonmonument.


Analog Environments (2009) - Mitch Trale




A Panoramic Diorama

(From jstchillin's revolving exhibition series "Serial Chillers in Paradise")


Video Selections from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory's First Decade


A joint initiative between the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Engineering and School of Art & Design, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory has long operated as a center for interdisciplinary research in art and computer science. Founded in 1973 by artist Daniel Sandin (creator of the Sandin Image Processor, a crucial tool for video artists in the 1970s) and computer scientist Tom DeFanti (developer of the GRASS programming language), over the years EVL has sponsored pivotal research and development in the field of visualization, resulting in output such as the virtual reality theater CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) in 1992, the GeoWall in 2001, Varrier in 1999 and the LambdaTable in 2004.

Admittedly, one day of videos is not enough to cover the breadth of EVL's work from the past 36 years. That said, today we will post selections by EVL's faculty and students from the first decade. These clips capture the playfulness and excitement of their creators, as they experiment with new tools and techniques. All of these videos were sourced from EVL's YouTube account, which includes original work and documentation up to the present day.


Between Spaces


"Beam Me Up" is the ultimate call for oblivion.

From Star Trek's transporter room to the tractor beams of our most fervent UFO nightmares, the very notion of "beaming"—of dematerializing only to reappear somewhere else, somewhere potentially unknown—represents a complete relinquishment of control, as well as a pure acknowledgment of the subjective, relativistic nature of human reality. After all, if you can spontaneously "beam out" of danger, or "beam in" to the frightful recesses of an alien craft, what is there to be said about the here and now? Or the me? To beam is to temporarily cease to exist in space and time, to blink into suspension, and, invariably, to invert the accepted order.

Besides being its namesake, "Beam Me Up" is a very apt starting point for Xcult.org's ongoing global exhibition about space, recently curated by Sarah Cook of CRUMB, the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss. "Beam Me Up" takes place online, an alternative space which, perhaps incidentally, is probably the international human headquarters for the entire "beam me up" sentiment—that fervent, and often delusional, reach toward dreams of conspiracy, government mind control, and alien visitation ("I want to believe!").


A New History for New Media


Image: Art and Electronic Media (Cover)

Edward A. Shanken’s new book Art and Electronic Media (Themes & Movements), published by Phaidon Press, presents a rich and comprehensive overview of the history of electronic media art practices in the twentieth century, focusing mostly on work produced in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The book balances the historical and the contemporary, the analytic and the particular, with style and critical rigor.

The text is organized thematically in order to cover major topics in the field: Motion, Duration, Illumination; Coded Form and Electronic Production; Charged Environments; Networks, Surveillance, Culture Jamming; Bodies, Surrogates, Emergent Systems; Simulations and Simulacra; and Exhibitions, Institutions, Communities, Collaborations. Given the extensive breath, in historical accounts and details, this organization system presents the reader with a convenient way to access a historical period, artist, or practice of their particular interest. Each theme reappears three times throughout the book, in each of the three main sections: Survey, Works, and Documents (a division that is consistent with previous volumes published in this Phaidon series).

Quality research into the history of electronic media art production, exhibition, and conception is consistent throughout. The section on "Networks," for instance, includes an insightful contextualization of new internet-based art with pre-network art, such as Hans Haache’s 1969 News, an installation that involves a series of Teletype machines set to receive and print local, national, and international news in real time. Shanken’s placement of current genres in these historical frameworks not only enhances our appreciation of the newer practices but also develops an understanding of the historical origins of net, systems, or environmental art.

Over 200 colorful images accompany the text, many of them projects that have not been exhibited widely. One example is the photograph of Christa Sommere and Laurent Mignonneau’s A-Volve (1994-95 ...