How we can wake up aspects of human character that might be functional that we haven’t noticed before
I saw the best minds of my generation making spamfilters
Berlin, October 2011-2015
0. The Critical Engineer considers Engineering to be the most transformative language of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate and think. It is the work of the Critical Engineer to study and exploit this language, exposing its influence.
1. The Critical Engineer considers any technology depended upon to be both a challenge and a threat. The greater the dependence on a technology the greater the need to study and expose its inner workings, regardless of ownership or legal provision.
Ilinx is a performative environment for the general public provoking an intense bodily experience that blurs the senses of sight, sound and touch. In the environment, a group of four visitors at a time wear specially designed garments. These wearables are outfitted with various sensing and actuating devices that enable visitors to interface with the performance space. During the event, a ritualistic progression which lasts approximately twenty minutes, the natural continuum between sound and vibration, vision and feeling becomes increasingly blurred, extending and stretching the body’ boundaries beyond the realm of everyday experience.
The project is inspired by work in the area of what is called sensory substitution – the replacement of one sensory input (vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell) by another, while preserving some of the key functions of the original sense.
In essence, my ambition is to create art that illuminate, question and alter (hack) the cognitive process of defining self in relation to our embedment in culture and environment. I believe that this could provoke new insights in the relationship between the individual, and the environment, and in turn the way we interact with our shared space, as well as think about our effect-ability as a part of the human species and the natural systems that compose our environment.
“My aim was to make you feel out of your minds” (Noé, No Date).
As an artist, I am interested in the relationship between the digital and the physical, in the translation and mediation between these spaces and how they affect our perception and diffuse boundaries between the imaginary and the real. What is considered as “real” in the digital age? How do we relate to “being in” and “being with” virtual environments (Luciani, 2014) and how does the virtual affect our understanding of ourselves and of our physical world?
Atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen has proposed the concept of the Anthropocene to characterise the contemporary geological era. It signifies the dominating geological force of human agency having a major impact on global ecology (Crutzen/ Stoermer, 2000). Due to the industrialisation and its consequential processes in energy production and consumption, the Anthropocene is active at least since the 18th century. Stating human agency as a geological force conceptualises humanity as a species and dissolves the nature culture dichotomy; boundary constructions between the natural and social sciences; and poses questions concerning global identity and individual responsibility (Chakrabarty, 2008). Which role does the individual have in the creation of the environment? (Latour, 2014) Can we make a separation between identity and environment, when we generate our understanding of self through a constant negotiation with our environment?
“virtual worlds show us how, under our very noses, our “real” lives have been “virtual” all along. It is in being virtual that we are human: since it is human “nature” to experience life through the prism of culture, human being has always been virtual being. Culture is our “killer app”: we are virtually human” (Boellstorff, 2008).
In order to engage with these questions I intend to experiment with immersive virtual environments, composed of digital objects created with a combination of different techniques such as; 1) real-time generation from user input (using for example Movement Sensors, Electro Encephalo Gram (EEG) or Biometrics), 2) 3D video (captured with 360 degree cameras or depth sensors (RGBD)), 3) 3D and 2D animation.
I imagine these virtual environments to be viewed through Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), and be created with tools such as Unity 3D, Unreal Engine and openFrameworks, as I would like to develop my limited knowledge of the medium(s). They could however also be presented as immersive installations integrated in shared physical space using techniques for spatial placement of digital content (e.g. a combination of Projection Mapping and Augmented Reality) as this also is something that I am very interested in.
My work is inspired by; 1) artistic influences (e.g. the works of Chris Salter, Kyle McDonnald and BeAnother Lab), 2) the social sciences such as Anthropology, Cognitive Science and Psychology (most notably Edward Said, Tom Boellstorff and Andy Clark), 3) the hard sciences e.g. Biology and Quantum Physics as well as 4) Science Fiction (most notably William Gibson and Niel Stephenson).
As evolved beings produced by a biosphere we’re not capable of perceiving reality unassisted
Welcome to .digitalNaturality, a blog documenting the artistic research and practice of Hannes Andersson during the MFA MADtech @ Frank Mohr Institute, Academi Minerva, Groningen, Netherlands.
Code to projects mentioned here can be found on https://github.com/donuan/digitalNaturality