1. Laura Beloff (FI) - The Curious G. and The Uncertain Future

    15:00

    from CIANT Prague / Added

    41 Plays / / 0 Comments

    Science scholar Helga Nowotny claims that uncertainty in society arises from an oversupply of knowledge and that curiosity is one of the main driving forces behind scientific activity (Nowotny 2008). The same could be claimed of the arts where curiosity is a permanent ally. Whereas one can argue that uncertainty is actually one of the key elements inherent in speculative art & design practices. These kinds of experimental and unpredictable practices, which do not follow an established path but rather explore new areas and ideas, emerge within contemporary conditions that are characterized by a desire to speculate on future scenarios. The author’s artistic practice evolves around the notions of a human, technology, and human relation to her environment and the world when both human and the environment are artificially modified. In this paper the author investigates specifically the relationship between a human and her environment through presenting three recent art works: A Unit, Evidence and Appendix. These three works share similar notions on human as an organism compiled of complex network of connections, and reference Gregory Bateson’s argument that organism + environment is the unit of survival (Bateson 1978 [1969]). However, in the described example cases the situation is intervened by artificially constructed and modified components. The author proposes that these kinds of speculative approaches that are allowed in art & design, and which offer us new potential scenarios about the future, also help us collectively share, evaluate and construct the desired futures.

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    • Varvara Guljajeva (ET) - The development and role of digital fabrication

      20:53

      from CIANT Prague / Added

      255 Plays / / 0 Comments

      This paper argues about the importance of textile manufacturing in the age of digital fabrication. Today, the tools of desktop fabrication have been developing rapidly, at the same time the first digital personal manufacturing tool for home-use that is the electronic knitting machine from 1976, has been forgotten. The first part of this article aims to bring forward changes in manufacturing industry starting from the Industrial Revolution up to the today's tendencies towards one-person industries. The phenomena of Fab Labs and open hardware are also discussed, while underlining the absence of textile fabrication. Through several case studies, examples, and detailed technical modification of an obsolete electronic knitting machine, we aim to demonstrate the efficiency and future possibilities for applying a knitting machine in the field of personal manufacturing and desktop fabrication.

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      • Jane Grant (UK) - Between signal and noise: potency, potentiality and the uncertain moment

        18:06

        from CIANT Prague / Added

        23 Plays / / 0 Comments

        One of the holy grails of neuroscientific research is to determine the ‘site’ of memory. Many neuroscientists suggest that memory is stored in unstable synapses. As humans we have the potential to store long-term memory for around 100 years, yet the synaptic moment is around a second long. How can this be? Recent research claims that it is noise that carries ‘the imprint of all memory patterns in temporal correlations’. Could it be that randomness and indeterminacy are at the core of ourselves? The old model of mind is undone, selfhood a flickering event, temporal and reflexive, the self in the brain a phantom where memory is made up of noise incipient and uncertain.

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        • Benjamin Pothier (FR) - MAIITSOH an interactive documentary installation and mindset proposal for transcivilizational cultural

          22:52

          from CIANT Prague / Added

          73 Plays / / 0 Comments

          In this paper I will discuss the artistic direction, specific mindset and working protocols that lead to the first production phases of Maiitsoh, an interactive documentary Installation and a Network Experiment dealing with the notions of modern & traditional craft, Computer History and contemporary History and practices. It is the result of a 10 years long Research, with both theoretical and practical aspects, including a dozen of exclusive face to face interviews with Artists, Scientists, Philosophers, Zen masters and researcher, in seven different countries. From the roots of DIY Culture, to the core of contemporary History, from Myth and Storytelling to pure Facts, somewhere between a found objects sculpture and a Network Art experiment, Maiitsoh questions the man-machine relationship in an historical, sociological and artistic way, offering the public and users a challenging, playful, aesthetical and multimedia experience. The corpus of interviews includes one hour or more long interviews with Noam Chomsky, Fons Elders, William Gibson and Jeremy Narby, to name a few. Furthermore the Maiitsoh project works at some levels as a meta-meme, specifically in it’s particular design and ways of being exhibited that makes it an icon of the open-source culture, a statement about contemporary History and Computer History and a mindset proposal for trans-civilizational cultural production and preservation. Adopting a syncretic approach, the perspective of my artistic and more global Research is based on a traditional Aikido sword exercise called Happo-giri , or “to cut in eight directions”. This shape got in my point of view a symbolical connection with the Buddhist wheel or Dharmachakra. I extend my perspective to contemporary practices, and in a more trans-disciplinary perspective the aims of the research is to analyse and theorize the implication (at environmental and various other level) of any industrialization and globalization of traditional and therefore “ultra local” linked practices or “habits”, and their impacts on the mental and natural environment at a planetary scale. With a focus on particular cases studies inside and outside of my personal body of work and research protocols, I will develop in this paper my personal perspectives on bi-cognitivism, ultra-locality and a contemporary look at Craftsmanship (traditional & modern) as an educational , cognitive and knowledge enhancing tool suitable for a sustainable future.

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          • Aleksander Valjamae (EE) - Neurogenetic Media: From Research Tool to New Art Applications

            16:07

            from CIANT Prague / Added

            30 Plays / / 0 Comments

            Rapid development and maturation of different brain imaging techniques fostered new research domains of imaging genetics and neurocinematics. On one hand, imaging genetics links together brain activity studies in laboratory that are typically employ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) techniques with studies on human behavior genetics. Examples of imaging genetics studies that try to link certain genes with particular brain responses include different mood disorders, human decision-making, or human trust and altruism. Many of these studies already use interactive Virtual Reality (VR) scenarios to investigate human behavior in controlled situations. On the other hand, neurocinematics analyze brain activity of multiple viewers in order to find common patterns of film experiences. Particular interest here represents an area that is very close to neurocinemantics – enactive cinema technologies that allow viewer’s experience to influence the film content in real-time using brain imaging. It is natural to think about the possible new field that would merge the two above-mentioned fields into the new field of neurogenetic media. Here, different media like interactive films, or VR can be specifically designed to trigger particular brain responses, for example, for diagnosis of schizophrenia, that will be linked to the viewers genetic data. But the reverse might be also true – viewer’s genetics might determine which film to watch in the evening. Neurogenetic media futuristic concept has many open questions and this session will aim at stimulating discussion on this topic.

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            • Jennifer Kanary (NL) - Mind Warriors – Second Person Empathic Resonators in Neurocinema

              21:38

              from CIANT Prague / Added

              136 Plays / / 0 Comments

              Let's suppose that madness lingers in all of us, that psychosis is a world of raw beauty and pure creation in which our thoughts and emotions are so powerful that they are experienced as real realities. We might venture into this world in search of narratives that help us make sense of things, to change realities that we are not in agreement with. But what if we venture so deep that our neurons do not find the way back to their usual patterns? We might stumble, stagger and panic as we no longer are able to bridge the communication gap between first person reality and third person reality. To get out of psychosis we need help. What if future neurotechnology would be able to monitor and register real time psychotic experiences? This technology would provide a rare opportunity for interactive observation. Therapists would be able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the world as their patients do real time, allowing for more empathic treatment. For instance by learning that the color yellow is a trigger of fear, one can adjust treatment to which it takes the presence of the color yellow into consideration when a patient shows fear during therapy for ‘no apparent reason’. But just because one knows that the color yellow triggers fear, does not mean one understands why. A person in psychosis often does not have the ability to communicate their experience, so in order to make sense of psychotic narrative one might employ social group intelligence in which participants function as second person empathic resonators. Much like wikipedia is written by many people, the content of psychotic narrative could be mapped and interpreted with the informed associative skills of a social network. A new form of therapy might be devised: Cloud Therapy. Labyrinth Psychotica is an interactive cinematic augmented reality artistic research PhD project that investigates such a future. In this art project a visitor is asked to wear a head mounted display and participate in a (fictional) medical experiment in which your mind will be uplinked to the mind of a girl named Jamie who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. You are asked to make observations and report back to Jamie's therapist. Through this mind uplink you are able to see her memories, hear her voices, follow her chain of thoughts. At the same time her experiences seep into your reality, faces in your own world become distorted, you start to engage in behaviors that your world finds quite mad...Using the sensors of a Wii system, aspects of the narrative become interactive, the system starts to control you. In the cinematic experience you are forced to play The Movie Game, are taken to The Oracle, given the power over colors and get sucked into the black and white world of The Labyrinth. Labyrinth Psychotica might be considered as a form of 'Digital LSD', a type of do-it-yourself-psychosis-kit', a tool of empathy, a prosthesis for our imagination in situations that our minds find hard to grasp. For MutaMorphosis Labyrinth Psychotica will show a recording of the experience and present reflections on the role of the artist as an intuitive neuroscientist with reference to the work of Prof S. Zeki. The artist and the participant as second person empathic resonator's with reference to the work of F. Varela. And the art experience as a form of 'active extended mind' with reference to the work of A. Clark and D. Chalmers. What if in the future we would not only be able to follow a persons experience, but also shift it? Would you dare to uplink your mind? Would you give consent to others entering yours?

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              • Adam Zaretsky (US) & Tony Allard (US) - Mutate or Die

                23:02

                from CIANT Prague / Added

                45 Plays / / 0 Comments

                “Mutate or Die” was a bioart project conceived of and executed by Tony Allard and Adam Zaretsky. Bioart tends to use cutting edge biotechnology as an art-making device and specializes in presenting living organisms as art. In this project, an amplified DNA sample from William S. Burroughs preserved turd was isolated and amplified in order to be shot into the nuclei of mixed cells: sperm, blood and faecal. At this time Mutate or Die has come to a collaborative halt. Adam Zaretsky and Tony Allard no longer share the same projected vision. The path is now divided into two forms from the original project: Tony Allard’s Mutate or Die and Adam Zaretsky’s Mutate or Die cum IUFN (inter urinus et faeces nascimur [between urine and feces, we are born].) The following text represents a time capsule of sorts leading towards multiple leaky futures.

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                • Mushon Zer-Aviv (IL) & Galia Offri (IL) - Wikipedia Illustrated

                  17:34

                  from CIANT Prague / Added

                  123 Plays / / 0 Comments

                  While we celebrate the explosion of open source software and collaborative projects like Wikipedia, visual art has not enjoyed similar levels of passionate and generous online contribution. Open culture has developed inspiring text-based collaborative models, but has yet to develop successful models for open collaboration on visual culture. Wikipedia Illustrated seeks to develop such models. Through 26 illustrated articles, a blog that follows the production and a set of workshops we hope to develop a methodology for contributing creative-commons licensed illustrations to Wikipedia. The talk will address the questions at the heart of this project. Is the visual aspect of Wikipedia so lacking and dated because it could only use freely licensed images? Or is it that images have to become "historical" to become removed, objective, factual, and therefore applicable to the Wikipedia guidelines? Is the Wikipedia project really inviting visual artists to contribute their work to the commons? Or is visual work inherently less collaborative? As the project evolves it exposes the myths and biases behind these questions and reveals the surprising and complicated dynamics of open culture.

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                  • Monika Weiss (US) - Sustenazo - Public Space and The Environment

                    13:37

                    from CIANT Prague / Added

                    108 Plays / / 0 Comments

                    The interruption and convergence of our understanding of dispersed histories and identities happens through an evolving poïesis, examples of which take into account enunciation, repetition, performativity, and interactivity. As artists, we strive to deepen and extend the public sphere and conceive projects that help those who have been rendered invisible to make their appearance and to develop viewers’ capacity for public life by asking them to respond to, rather then react against, that appearance. How can we contribute to a transdisciplinary research and practice that aims at sustaining our environment and defeats “heroic dreams” which result in wars and destruction? Can (electronic) art offer a vision that might overcome apathy and respond to suffering of others? This essay discusses the nature of lament as a performative language sited within the space of historical memory and contemporary urban landscape, and understood as public, communal and performative acts of questioning historical trauma, and as reaching beyond language. The text looks also at my new and evolving collaboration with the international criminal law and international justice expert, Dr. Leila Sadat, and asks questions related to my current projects that consider aspects of public memory and amnesia as reflected within the physical and political space of a City.

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                    • Monika Bakke (PL) - Vegetal Sensoria

                      23:21

                      from CIANT Prague / Added

                      150 Plays / / 0 Comments

                      Accepting the position that ‘to view plants as entirely disposable objects is to do them an injustice’ is becoming one of the new challenges facing us in the twentieth first century. We are now rediscovering plants as a result of the emergence of plant neurobiology generating discussions on ‘plant intelligence’, ‘root brains’, ‘plant memory’ and other phenomena related to plant signaling and communication. Scientific knowledge of plants, however, has also enabled and accelerated their technological use, although plants have been the subjects of biotech since the very beginning of agriculture. At the same time proposals concerning the ‘rights of plants’ and ‘plant dignity’ are being put forth in response to new contexts created by biotechnology that is re-shaping human-plant relations. A growing interest in our ethical approach to plants – their being considered as life forms with an inherent worth, and therefore deserving protection for their own sake – is now gaining visibility in both the humanities and in art practices. Methodology: The goal of this stream is to gather researchers, artists, designers, architects and others whose work involve plants both on a material and on a discursive level opening up a territory where the complexity of plant lives can be put forward and communicated to a wider public. Projects/proposals of interest to this stream should pose theoretical and practical questions concerning the use of plants as well as indicate and promote change in attitudes towards them. Research with the potential to challenge the mainstream anthropocentric approach to plants, usually based on instrumentalization, colonization, separation, and control, is particularly welcomed. Presentations may also directly or indirectly deal with plant related biotechnologies – implemented either in professional laboratories or in a do-it-yourself mode – and open up the possibilities of a more inclusive postnatural history of human-plant relations.

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