The SuperUber group has created a computer game with a philosophical bent to study the relationship between humans and electronics that demonstrates how this form of communication has reached an intuitive level and become a notional reflex. You can become a co-creator of this work by activating the game and playing it to the end. This installation’s exhibition history shows how easily this mission can be accomplished anywhere in the world, from Brazil to China.
THE COLOR OF A SHADOW
George and Ilya Pusenkoff have developed a new language of imagery that makes it possible to express the analogue and digital worlds in a mutual videospace. Through their work, the Pusenkoffs present a convincing argument that painting in the digital era — in the epoch of production and consumption of video images — has once again acquired artistic value and is rapidly evolving by using technical advancements to achieve impressive results. “The Color of a Shadow” is a hybrid installation that dazzles the viewer with visual paradoxes arising from colored shadows and casts doubt on stereotypes in the perception of the so-called real world. Video rays from six projectors are synchronized on transparent screens. People become the interactive link in this field where a waterfall of pixels morphs into a torrent of colors as soon as the viewer’s silhouette appears on the work’s surface.
Daan Roosegaarde has encased artificial light within crystalline rocks. The 700 tactile “hybrid rocks” presented at the exhibition are crystals of a unique salt that form naturally around light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Like precious pearls that a mollusk develops layer by layer around a speck of sand that finds its way into a shell, Roosegaarde’s crystals cover man-made objects with a new layer of natural beauty. The artist’s manifesto is minimal and timely: high technologies are incapable of outdoing nature. By asserting the supremacy of natural over artificial processes in the creation of ideal forms, Daan Roosegaarde reminds us of the importance of observing a natural equilibrium and, as we consume, of giving nature and our loved ones our attention and energy.
“Materialization/De-Materialization” slowly evolves from a random pattern of “digital ripples” against a black background, which gradually reveal themselves to be rings made up of formations of human silhouettes in various poses. This installation uses video samples from the “transporter room” effect from the original Star Trek television series where the characters were “De-materialized” then teleported through space and “re-materialized” at their destination. Groupings of hundreds of characters are introduced using this effect, each edited into a motion loop where they are never fully revealed and always appear on the verge of departure or arrival, trapped in a perpetual state of transition and forever migrating in this constantly regenerating moment of flux.
An industrial chat between David Letellier’s two robots mimics the classic model of a tête-à-tête, which in its natural “human to human” format is today no longer the dominant type of communication. Gigantic robot-flowers, positioned opposite one another, are able to record, replicate, and recognize sounds, respond to each other’s communications by moving their petals and eavesdrop on and analyze surrounding conversations between people. The robots are engaged in a continuous monotonous dialogue, which can be altered only by outside audio interference, in other words by sounds made by the audience. In this way, Letellier illustrates the process of movement: “Memory of the past lasts but a moment — until it is recreated, wastes away, is completely forgotten and replaced by the present”.
British artist Philip Worthington’s installation “Shadow Monsters” is an interactive generator of digital monsters: specialized software recognizes and transforms dogs, bunnies, elephants, and other characters from Victorian shadow puppet theater into fantastical monsters with fangs and claws. “Shadow Monsters”, Worthington’s thesis project at the royal College of Art, is one of the most successful projects in the history of interactive design and now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern art (MoMA) in New York.
JULIUS VON BISMARCK
MIRROR PERPENDICULAR TO THE BISECTRIX BETWEEN TWO PAIRS OF EYES
Julius von Bismarck’s work follows the main principle of his renowned teacher Olafur Eliasson: he transforms traditional properties and functions of household items and spaces, thus destroying our conventional perception of the surrounding world and provoking us towards aсtive engagement. You won’t be able to see your own reflection in von Bismarck’s system of mirrors. Since it travels around in a circle, you will see someone else’s instead. Without ceasing to reflect, the mirror becomes a channel for transmitting information, and in transcending the limitations of a closed-circuit system of communication, without asking your permission, it incorporates you into a visual dialogue with otherviewers.
NISHIDA AND KOSEKI
Lexus Hybrid Art presented a collaborative debut by two Japanese artists. Hidemi Nishida, an artist and environmentalist, has transformed a video by Teppei Koseki into a physically tangible object: the video projection is reflected in transparent spheres, which fill the installation, thereby illustrating the relentless intrusion of virtual reality into our everyday life. Objects from the digital world are constantly present in our surroundings, on our computer and television screens, in street advertisements. They drastically limit our personal space, not by violating its physical borders, but by dominating it visually through intensive movement, color, sound and light.
Brazilian artist Cadu’s “Partitura” is a vivid example of how simplicity can be brilliant. A toy train travels in circles, brushing with thin wires against glass objects along the way. The sounds form a melody, the melody hypnotizes and watching the motion magnifies the effect. Trainspotting, a term made famous by Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle, reminds us of how spellbinding movement can be. The beauty and harmony of this process complements a collection of high-tech art and turns “Partitura” into the exhibition’s common denominator.