Earthworks is a five channel computer generated animation, which creates an immersive experience of the phenomena of landscape formation through the scientific and technological devices that are used to study it. Masses of colourful layers are animated by the sound-scapes of earthquake, volcanic, glacial and human activity, recorded as seismic waves, which form spectacular fluctuating marbled waveforms.
By using seismic data to control the masses of layers Semiconductor are not only playing with the idea that it is these forces that have shaped landscapes, but also that being an event that occurs beyond a human-time frame, landscape formation can only be experienced through scientific technological mediation of nature. It produces information about time, space and phenomena that no human consciousness could possibly have witnessed. It is as if we are watching hundreds of thousands of years played out in front of our eyes, enabling us to bear witness to events which ordinarily occur on geological time-frames.
– Semiconductor of Earthworks
unfold – An Audiovisual Installation by Ryoichi Kurokawa
unfold is a synaesthetic, immersive audio-visual experience. Through a complete unison of sight and sound, Kurokawa has created a beautifully abstract (but scientifically based) expression of the beginning of the universe. This new body of work translates space data, specifically the phenomena surrounding the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies, into sounds, images and vibrations.
For unfold, Kurokawa collaborated closely with Vincent Minier, astrophysicist at the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay). The artist was granted unprecedented access to the facility’s scientific data which he used to create striking 3D representations of space, including interpretations of how star-clusters form, and of the birth of sun-like stars. With a focus on the sensorial and the experiential, inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, this beautifully immersive environment transports us to the depths of the universe, bringing us face to face with a reading of the secrets of its inception, and by extension, our own beginning.
unfold artist’s first ever solo exhibition in the UK, premiered at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool from March 2016 – June 2016.
Artificial Killing Machine – Visualizing U.S. military drone strikes
Created by Jonathan Fletcher Moore and Fabio Piparo, Artificial Killing Machine is an autonomous mechanical installation that uses the public database on U.S. military drone strikes to visualise deaths of individuals that would otherwise be represented purely as statistical data. When a drone strike occurs, the machine activates, and fires a children’s toy cap gun for every death that results. The raw information used by the installation is then printed. The materialised data is allowed to accumulate in perpetuity or until the life cycle of either the database or machine ends. A single chair is placed beneath the installation inviting the viewers to sit in the chair and experience the imagined existential risk.
This project consists of 15 toy cap guns and servo motors. Motor mounts were fabricated using laser cut acrylic and connected with custom hardware. The motors are driven by a 16-channel servo controller that is connected to a Raspberry Pi micro-controller using I2C serial connection. Three 7.4v lithium ion batteries and DC/DC step down converters deliver three regulated 5v outputs for the printer and controllers.
The control program was written as a web server, and the main logic was written in Python. The development took place in NY, and it is deployed remotely through the git DVCS. The software stack is: nginx, apache, and flask, and all the hardware was interfaced (by/for/with) Adafruit libraries. A publicly available database of U.S. drone strikes is being queried within a set interval of time, and when a new entry has been detected in the database, the motor control functions activate.
The data was collected, vetted, and organized by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism who have documented the U.S. covert drone war since 1999. Josh Begley created an open-source API in 2013 which makes this information available to artists, researchers, and the general public.
Pedro Miguel Cruz – Lisbon’s Slow Traffic Areas, Data Visualisation 2010
534 vehicles, during October 2009 in Lisbon, leaving route trails and condensed in one single day. Rapid arteries are drawn with greenish and cooler colors, while the sluggish ones are reddish and hotter. Nevertheless, traffic intensity is mapped in the thickness and brightness of the arteries. The white dots represent the vehicles themselves, and there is a visual emphasis on the areas with >slowest traffic.