THE CRITICAL ENGINEERING MANIFESTO

The Critical Engineering Working Group
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.

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Inspiration: Ilinx (2014)

 

http://chrissalter.com/projects/ilinx/

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.

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Key Concepts & Initial Thoughts

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).

Enter the Void by Gaspar Noe (2009)

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?

Observing Next Nature from nextnature.net

“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).

hannesborg
The author in VR great for a presentation of the Machine To be Another by beAnotherLab

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).

Neuromancer by William Gibson

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WallTalk – Connecting Generations

A high quality relationship between elderly and their (grand)children can be beneficial for all generations involved. However, a communication barrier can exist between the younger and older generations, because generally each generation prefers different communication methods. This can negatively influence the grandparent­(grand)child relationship.

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Visual Songs

To explore the techniques of computational intelligence (text mining and machine learning), me and some other Lifestyle Informatics students initiated Visual Songs.

While artists themselves translate their lyrics into sound, we challenged ourselves by the problem of visualizing their songs and automatically generating a mood board based on written songs.

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Soular – a Neurofeedback Lamp

Soular is a neurofeedback lamp that allows you to get a deeper insight of your attention levels, as they are visualised with light and sound. The concept of this lamp is based on biofeedback: the gaining of information and awareness of unconscious physiological changes in order to learn to influence them at will.

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Pyro: The experiment of my first Nikon 1 4K RAW film

Equipment used: Nikon 1 V2, Canon FD 28mm f2.8, Canon FD 50mm f1.8, Canon FD 70-210mm f4, Pentor Auto 135mm f2.8, 128GB Komputerbay SD card, Fotodiox FD-Nikon 1 Lens Mount Adapter with tripod mount, tripod, Zoom H4n audio recorder, Macbook Pro Retina 15″ 1TB SSD Software used: Custom Perl script for sorting the burst photos, … Continue reading Pyro: The experiment of my first Nikon 1 4K RAW film

Source: Jip.deBeer.IT

Product Development – The Beacon

My favorite course at ADM was Interactive Devices where we developed lamps that visualize information about a person. As you can hear in the video, my concept is like this: The Beacon – A smart lamp for lovers. Do you like to feel connected to the people you care about? We do! That’s why we’ve … Continue reading Product Development – The Beacon

Source: Jip.deBeer.IT

Masters in Media, Art, Design and Technology