Art, Technology, Research in Progress
Proof-of-Process is a prototype for a community-based research laboratory. It consists of a series of hybrid exhibitions, workshops and symposia where participants, along with artists-researchers, can interact with and collaborate on, the development of science and technology-based artworks and research projects in various stages of development - all within a publicly accessible laboratory and production workshop set-up in the gallery space. We seek to engender an atmosphere of critical engagement and experimentation where the experience of the work unfolds through its direct manipulation. Visitors are invited not only to view and interact with projects, they are also encouraged to directly manipulate components and actively change the configuration of systems. Unplug, rewire, and experiment.
Artist-Researchers will be on hand throughout to answer questions, provide technical assistance and participate in discussions. Proof-of-Process fuses research, DIY production workshop, educational seminar and a gallery exhibition into one event. Some of the projects that will be accessible include: intelligent drums that communicate via electrical stimulation, an interactive display of bioluminescent algae, an electrochemical analog computer and a luminous 3D display connected to a virtual grove of bamboos.
Borne of several ideas and realizations, Proof-of-Process seeks to address certain (sometimes problematic) trends in interactive art and new media. First, we have noticed that contemporary new media and interactive art is increasingly (and needlessly) becoming a highly specialized discipline that is locking itself behind security and becoming like the science of the academy. Second, art works that incorporate technology often seem to espouse an aesthetic of consumer technology: the wires must be hidden and the components must be put into a black box. Third, much like a scientific research project, the average contemporary new media or interactive art piece is often a collaborative project that is never at a standstill. Works often exist as iterations or modified versions of previous works. Finally, the works presented challenge common notions of "new media" incorporating chemical processes and biological materials into active configuration with computing technologies. We believe the philosophy and goals of Proof-of-Process will address all of these issues and challenge the way that interactive art is practiced and thought about.
This event is open to the general public. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend.
The Apology Grove
The Apology Grove (www.apologygrove.org) allows people to make an apology or view and witness public apologies. One can also respond to an apology made to them using this site. For every apology made, a virtual bamboo is planted on the site. For every forgiveness granted, a virtual cedar tree.
For the Proof-of-Process, the data of the Apology Grove will be made available using Web protocols, allowing anyone to take apology data and use it in whateer way they may find it useful. The data of the Apology Grove will be interfaced with Lumarca (www.lumarca.info), a low cost, open-source volumetric display designed by Albert Hwang and Matt Parker. A protocol for communicating and displaying objects in Lumarca will also be developed and made available.
DPrime Research (Steven Barnes, Carlos Castellanos, Tyler Fox, Yin He)
Biolesce couples the organic and inorganic, or living and machine, together. Bioluminescent dinoflagellates — single-celled algae that emit light when physically agitated—are manipulated through physical computing. The project explores the sensorial response of dinoflagellates in a computing context, exploring the visual potential of these tiny plant bodies. Light sensors and motors will be connected through a microprocessor to create a generative display of bioluminescence. The project explores the generative possibilities of new configurations between organic and digital. For Proof-of-Process, Biolesce will be open to recoding, reconfiguration, and connection to the other projects in the show.
DPrime Research (Steven Barnes, Carlos Castellanos, Tyler Fox, Yin He)
Biopoiesis is an arts-based exploration into the relationships between structure, matter, and self-organization. The project features the construction of simple analog computational devices that each harness an electrochemical reaction. Information (an electrical signal) is passed through electrodes to a tank ﬁlled with a metallic salt solution (e.g., ferrous sulfate, stannous chloride). The resultant electrochemical reaction grows into dendritic metallic threads - ultimately leading to the formation of a continuously shifting and unpredictable signal network (not unlike a neuronal cell assembly). For Proof-of-Process, Biopoiesis will be set up so as to allow the other projects in the exhibition to “patch” into the electrochemical network. The basic idea is that of an open-ended "jam session" where the complex, self-organizing properties of the electrochemical solution are used as a method of generating interesting and unexpected media forms.
Protocol is an interactive art installation that attempts to realize a new form of human-machine symbiosis. Through a multi-modal interface, the piece networks the human with a group of sensing, artiﬁcially intelligent entities. It features a set of intelligent acoustic drums that can "bite back" whenever they are struck. The multi-modal interface allows these intelligent drums to sense and communicate with a participant via sound, rhythmic patterns and electrical stimulation of the participant's skin. The system combines a form of electro- tactile communication with an "embodied" approach to artiﬁcial intelligence known as reinforcement learning.
Steven J. Barnes holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Trained as a behavioural neuroscientist, his neuroscientiﬁc expertise lies in the areas of learning and memory, psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, neuroplasticity and metaplasticity. He currently teaches neuroscience and psychology at UBC, does research in the areas of (non-traditional) virtual reality, bodily awareness and embodied cognition, and runs a consulting and programming business.
Carlos Castellanos is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher with a wide array of interests such as embodiment, cybernetics and systems theory, networks, phenomenology and artificial intelligence. He is exploring the aesthetics of information technologies and their effects on lived embodied human experience. This has taken a variety of forms and include scholarly writing, net art, interactive installation, sound, performance and techno-conceptual systems. Castellanos is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), Simon Fraser University and splits his time between Vancouver and San Francisco.
Tyler Fox is an artist and researcher with a broad interest in embodiment, technology, posthuman identities, and the discursive and material practices that produce categorical distinctions and differences, such as ‘art’ and ‘science’. Tyler received his MFA in Intermedia from the Elam School of Fine Arts in New Zealand in 2004, he is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University.
Yin He is an engineer with interests in wearable computing, social networking and electronic design. She has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University and a Masters degree in Ubiquitous Computing from Simon Fraser University.
Diego Maranan is an artist, activist, and academic whose interests lie in the intersections of motion, bodies, and technologies. He is an MA candidate at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, where he previously studied computing science and contemporary dance. He has facilitated workshops both in new media art and in movement practices in Europe, Asia, and Canada. A recipient of an Honourable Mention for the 2006 Holy Body Tattoo Emerging Artist Award for British Columbia, he is an instructor at the University of the Philippines Open University, an afﬁliate of the Centre for International Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Emerging Technologies Coordinator for WeDpro, a non-proﬁt organization that promotes the protection of human rights of women, youth and communities in the Philippines.