Starting on August 15th, Mary Mattingly‘s WetLand, a floating, self-sustaining ecosystem on the Delaware River, will open to the public as part of the 2014 Fringe Festival. WetLand will include living and performance spaces, gardens, a water filtration system, and potentially a beehive and chickens. In addition to hosting dozens of artistic and environmental events, WetLand will be home to a rotating cast of resident artists who will work and live on the barge. Brian House discusses his plans for his residency and how WetLand‘s ethos will interact with his own.
Incredibly excited for this year’s Eyeo Festival! I’m honored to be among the presenters:
How can music visceralize data? What is the tempo of code? What physical performances haunt our encodings, and how do we both resist and depend on those atomic metronomes in the sky? Brian House will walk, bike, and browse his way through recent ‘compositions’ and encounter ambivalent technologies and their implications along the way.
Automatic Browser is an extension for Google Chrome that learns how you browse — then sit back, relax, and it will do the work for you, automatically visiting the sites you were probably going to look at anyway. It might even offer some improvements.
Join us to celebrate participatory culture in art and science at this year’s 17th annual Subtle Technologies Festival. Looking at art, science and DIY culture we will investigate the tools and techniques of harnessing collective knowledge and creativity. Our theme for 2014 is “Open Culture”. The festival will celebrate the ways artists and scientists are creating and making use of tools and techniques to harness the collective power, knowledge and creativity of the citizen. Bringing together artists and scientists who are working in these domains will open streams of dialogue leading to increased collaboration between artists and scientists who are interested in contribution of an engaged public.
Val Alen Institute + ISSUE Project Room The Imprint of the City
Spring 2014 Events Launch
Friday, May 9, 7:30pm—9:00pm
How does the physical and sensory richness of the city shape who we are—for worse or for better?
To launch Van Alen Institute’s Spring 2014 Events, the Institute and ISSUE Project Room present a fast-paced medley of music, poetry, personal reflections, conversations, and performances by designers, artists, musicians, writers, social scientists, and others exploring the meaning of well-being, and the effects of the city on our minds and bodies.
Contributions by: Vito Acconci, designer; Diana Balmori, Landscape and Urban Designer; Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Partner, Business Development at BIG; Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University; Ariane Lourie Harrison, principal of Harrison Atelier and a critic and lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture; Seth Harrison, principal of Harrison Atelier and founder of Apple Tree Partners; media artist Brian House; poet Rachel Levitsky; artist, designer and founder of The Center for Urban Pedagogy Damon Rich; Associate Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, Meredith TenHoor; modular synthesizer artist Ben Vida; and musician C. Spencer Yeh.
Art project by Brian House and Jason Rabie are framed pieces of Facebook Facial Recognition data of users (thus, a portrait of users characteristics):
Facebook uses face recognition software to identify its users in photos. This works via a ‘template’ of your facial features that is created from your profile images. These features — the distance between your eyes, the symmetry of your mouth — generally do not change over time. Unlike a photograph, which captures some ephemeral expression of who you are at a particular moment, a face recognition template forever remains your portrait. It is all possible photos, taken and untaken, by which you, or someone else, might document your life.
These templates are Facebook’s proprietary data. For a brief period in 2013, users could access their template using the “Download a copy of your Facebook data” option in the settings (it is no longer included in the download). The information is unusable in its raw form without knowing the specifics of Facebook’s algorithm. But as an irrevocable corporate byproduct, the future implications of such data remain unclear.
Eternal Portraits is a series of printed and framed face recognition template data from our friends and ourselves.
Students in an EPSCoR studio taught by Digital + Media Critic Brian House and Foundation Studies Critic Bryan Quinn are grappling with how to develop an ecocentric approach to design and everyday life. Through readings, lectures by visiting artists and wildlife biologists, and hands-on field research of migrating marine ducks, students enrolled in The Art and Science of Ecocentric Practices are attempting to piece together their own view of our place in the natural world.
Last Friday they learned about the work of Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Ellie Irons, who discussed her ongoing quest “to reframe nature as ecology, locating humans in an all-encompassing, inescapable network of melting ice, shifting populations and evolving technology.”
Click on the photos above for caption information and stay tuned for more details about student projects to be completed at the end of the semester.
On the chance that you’ll be headed through the midwest this week, I want to invite you to the opening of Buildering: Misbehaving the City at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati this Friday. The exhibition features a new performance work commissioned from Knifeandfork, my partnership with Sue Huang. In Arrangement for Building we have a chamber orchestra repeatedly perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – the musicians are in sync temporally (via a network of Raspbery Pi computers) but are spatially distributed throughout the Zaha Hadid-designed building, playing in both the galleries and more interesting spaces like the elevator and the machine room. I’m excited to experience the result. We’re taking an experimental approach to documentation, and hopefully we’ll get that up soon if you won’t be able to stop by…
I am very excited to be teaching an experimental EPSCOR/NSF-funded course at RISD this semester, along with the ecological designer Bryan Quinn. It’s called Ecocentric Practices:
Marine ducks travel great distances, inhabit multiple ecosystems, and are susceptible to a variety of human-related threats that have likely led to recent and drastic population decline in many species. Working closely with wildlife biologists, emerging technology, and data sets, studio participants will explore alternative methods to communicate ecocentric themes related to marine duck populations through studio work, field observation/study in coastal Rhode Island, and interaction with a diverse group of artists, designers, and scientists.
This studio is open to all mediums and no technical experience is required. However, we will spend time with geospatial systems (such as GIS) and open source tools such as Python and Processing. Theoretical grounding will be provided through readings of key texts in ecology, geography, data visualization, media theory, philosophy, illustration, and a survey of the wide range of artistic and design practices engaged with the biosphere. Students will also utilize to-be-determined hardware capable of collecting scientific data.
Students will work in a workshop-type environment that leverages individual interests. Student projects will encourage public dialogue about marine ducks. Student work will be compiled for a public exhibition at the end of the course.
These photos come from our first field trip, observing ducks on Bold Point and at Sachuest with Peter Paton of URI.