Tag Archive for 'art'

16FebSolar Music

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Sculpture at Maudslay, Newburyport, MA September 2010 by Kevin Belli.

Sun Boxes by Craig Colorusso are an environment to enter and exit at will. It’s comprised of twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.

Here is a video, Sun Boxes at the 12th annual Sculpture at Maudslay. Filmed by Kevin Belli on September 18, 2010.


02Nov220 petites Pixel-tiles

It’s really nice to see friends and co-workers from the MIT Media Lab making their ways to the contemporary art scene. Zigelbaum and Coelho keeps winning awards! After celebrating their Design Miami/Basel Designers of the Future award, they are now exhibiting in New York, you can see their work at the Johnson Trading Gallery.

They will show their computational light installation which steals the pixel from the screen and re-introduces it to the physical world. An ambitious, pulsating LED installation completes itself only when touched by the visitor, each movement modifying and transforming the work itself.

The gun-testing vault at Riflemaker will house 220 luminescent pixel-tiles. Visitors to the gallery will be able to change the colours of the tiles, create a rhythmic pulse and re-arrange the overall form of the square, magnetic blocks.

Zigelbaum & Coelho is a design studio founded by Jamie Zigelbaum and Marcelo Coelho. Their work utilises physical, computational, and cultural materials in the service of creating new, but fundamentally human, experiences.


23FebThe WoW pod at Mixer in New York!!!

After receiving three grants: from the Council for the Arts at MIT, SHASS’s Peter de Florez Fund for Humor and from Eyebeam, the WoW Pod will be exhibited during the MIXER event in New York!

Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, Marisa Jahn’s WoW Pod is an immersive architectural space that provides and anticipates all life needs of the World of Warcraft player. Outfitted with toilet throne, hydration system, and meals at the ready, the WoW Pod makes daily human function possible without ever stepping away from the game. In addition, these tasty meals are cooked via a cookset that connects a hotplate to the computer, allowing the player to let their World of Warcraft avatar know when the meal is ready to eat.


The official call!
Eyebeam presents an alternate “World’s Fair” with airborne surveillance balloons, guerilla media towers, and computerized prayer booths. A temporary village occupied by a dozen creatively engineered pavilions, performances, and DJ sets by Tim Sweeney and Juan Maclean.

Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7, 2009
9PM - 2AM
Tickets: $15 per night in advance; $30 for both nights in advance at www.eyebeam.org; $20 per night at the door.
Eyebeam 540 W. 21st St. (btw 10th and 11th Aves.)
Limited press passes available: RSVP: rebecca@eyebeam.org
Installations will remain on view at Eyebeam, Saturday, March 7, Noon - 6PM, with free entry.

New York City, February 20, 2009 - MIXER, Eyebeam’s quarterly event series dedicated to showcasing leading artists in the fields of live audiovisual performance, interactive and participatory art, will present its fifth iteration on Friday, March 6 - Saturday, March 7, 2009. Using the World’s Fair as the framework, Eyebeam will transform its rugged warehouse space into a temporary village of utopian pavilions for a two-night extravaganza called MIXER: EXPO.

Both evenings will include musical guests: Tim Sweeney (Friday, Midnight - 2AM) and Juan Maclean (Saturday, Midnight - 2AM); multimedia pavilions by Angela Co + Aeolab, Anakin Koenig, Chris Jordan, and Caspar Stracke, and Not An Alternative; interactive installations by Taeyoon Choi and Cheon pyo Lee, The Institute for Faith-Based Technology, Mark Shepard, Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, and Marisa Jahn; and fashion performances by Di Mainstone.

MIXER: EXPO - Background

From London in 1851 to Chicago in 1893 and New York in 1939, the World’s Fair has been an influential cultural spectacle that promised a utopian “world of tomorrow” while packaging and promoting the national and corporate agendas of the day.

MIXER: EXPO is an alternate take on “World’s Fair” expositions, a faded cultural phenomenon that set the tone for urban planning in the 19th and 20th centuries. The World’s Fair also championed the philosophy of better living through technology, presenting innovative strategies that continue to resonate through contemporary life and leisure - from shopping malls and theme parks to natural history and science museums; broadcast media and exhibit display to sell consumer products, technological innovations, and nationalistic ideologies.

Like the best science fiction and social satire, MIXER: EXPO constructs a fictitious place in order to examine a world that might have been, that has come to be, or that might be on the horizon.

Musical Acts
Friday, Midnight - 2AM
Tim Sweeney (Beats in Space) is a respected international club DJ, remixer, and host of Beats In Space, a weekly radio show mixed live every Tuesday night on WNYU. Sweeney rocks the party with a mix of electro, disco and No Wave.

Saturday, Midnight - 2AM
Juan Maclean (DFA Records) first garnered attention in the early 90s as the guitarist/keyboardist for electro-punk band Six Finger Satellite, but has gone on to wider acclaim in the last decade as a solo artist on DFA Records (founded by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem). Maclean’s recordings combine his multi-instrumental virtuosity with tight beat production inspired by house, techno, and funk classics. His DJ sets dig deeply into the same vault of musical riches.

Installations / Participating Artists
Taeyoon Choi and Cheon pyo Lee’s sculptural installation and performance,
Grey Belt tells the story of an undiscovered nation located in a demilitarized zone. The land of Grey Zone is the world’s purest natural site, secretly inhabited by mutant animals, abandoned war machines and the exiled living in a zero-gravity landscape.

Angela Co + Aeolab’s Weather Making Balloon utilizes NASA materials technology for its own “Space Mission”. The metalized thermoplastic skin of the Balloon functions as a mirrored surface through which attendees can be monitored and captured on film. Playful interaction with the responsive surface of the puffy, cloud-like Balloon masks its primary function as a surveillance tool.

The Institute of Faith-Based Technology, or InFaBat™, was founded in 2006 by techno-theologists Aaron Meyers and Jeff Crouse to bring religion into the digital age. Praying@Home is the name of a suite of technologies developed by InFaBat™ and installed for use at Eyebeam, which is designed to broadcast a worshipper’s “Prayer Signature” directly to God. Unlike humans, who need to take breaks from praying to fulfill biological needs, computers need no breaks, resulting in 24/7 prayer output. Praying@Home represents a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of Digital Prayer Technology.

Media artists Anakin Koenig, Chris Jordan, Caspar Stracke pay tribute to the “retro-futurist” utopian dwellings of the 20th Century with TripleFlow, a large-scale inflatable architectural structure. Referencing Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, the three-chamber biomorphic dwelling creates a fluid, immerse experience through responsive lighting, and live audio and video performance by Jordan and Stracke.

The nomadic-citizen of the world is never lost because she is always at home. Di Mainstone’s SHAREWEAR questions this utopian ideal, through a performance that incorporates a set of modular dresses that explore our desire for a connection to “home” in an increasingly transient world. Referencing familiar icons of the home, such as the armrest on our favorite sofa, SHAREWARE is comprised of a pair of modular electronic dresses housed in crates that are unpacked, assembled on each performer’s body, and then physically slotted to one another, unleashing the potential for intimate interactions.

The Subsumption Machine by activist collective Not An Alternative is a skeletal multi-level media tower hacked with video projections, TV monitors, billboards, stage sets, live video feeds, and surveillance cameras. As the audience walks through the chaotic architectural structure, they are captured on camera and unwittingly inserted into the media stream. The Subsumption Machine represents the postmodern dystopian world as a biopolitical “prison house of language”, and in a Warholian gesture, flattens all images into a non-hierarchical supersaturated mix.

Hertzian Rain is a wireless audio broadcast system designed by Mark Shepard that responds to bodily movement. Just as land and water are limited resources, Hertzian Rain demonstrates the limits of the electromagnetic spectrum. Wearing wireless headphones and carrying an umbrella covered with electromagnetic-shielding fabric, users walk around the exhibition space tuning into an audio broadcast of a live music performance while creating interference into the audio broadcast signal with the umbrella, and as a result destroy the shared resource. Live performances will be provided by Doug Barret, Craig Shepard, Daniel Perlin, Al Laufeld and others.

Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, Marisa Jahn’s WoW Pod is an immersive architectural space that provides and anticipates all life needs of the World of Warcraft player. Outfitted with toilet throne, hydration system, and meals at the ready, the WoW Pod makes daily human function possible without ever stepping away from the game. In addition, these tasty meals are cooked via a cookset that connects a hotplate to the computer, allowing the player to let their World of Warcraft avatar know when the meal is ready to eat.

Tickets: $15 per night in advance; $30 for both nights in advance; $20 per night at the door. For more info and to purchase tickets visit www.eyebeam.org.


Founded in 1997, Eyebeam is an art and technology center that provides a fertile context and state-of-the-art tools for digital experimentation. It is a lively incubator of creativity and thought, where artists and technologists actively engage with the larger culture, addressing the issues and concerns of our time. Eyebeam challenges convention, celebrates the hack, educates the next generation, encourages collaboration, freely offers its output to the community, and invites the public to share in a spirit of openness: open source, open content and open distribution.

More info

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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10DecA message table

Dana Gordon (currently with us in Cambridge, MA) hacked an existing answering machine and rewired some of its original functions (such as recording a message, play, pause and delete). The result is super fun and inspiring. Imagine in your living room a reactive table instead of a regular answering machine! She called the machine the “message table” as in an answering machine merged into a wooden table. For each message received, a box appears on the table. To listen, open the box - and to delete, push it back into the desk.


Designed with Shawn Bonkowski, she exhibited the table at the Victoria & Albert Museum, at the Salone del Mobile 2005 in Milano and at the Gallery AB+, Torino.

You can watch the video here.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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04DecArt for the World of Warcraft

I used to play World of Warcraft, I like to have my digital body engaged in breaking down monsters. This can be translated in defining strategies to destroy unstoppable monsters! I reached level 70, raided a lot afterwards and then entirely stopped. In France, I used to play strategy games with 15 players in the same house, creating teams, ordering Pizza and getting tones of Soda. We started on Friday at the end of the afternoon and we stopped on Sunday night.


These past months I have rarely played any game, but I cherish these addictive gaming moments and decided to design an architectural object that criticizes the process of massive multiplayer gaming, designing a refuge with a survival kit integrated as well as doing something with the laptop that continuously burned my legs while playing! Also reflecting on the intense things that are happening on world of warcraft, such as the multiboxing setup!

Recently, I’ve been awarded a grant by the Council for the Arts at MIT camit-logo.jpg. This grant is to help the design of the AFK cookset and the WOW Pod, projects that will be exhibited from April 2009 until September 2009 at the MIT Museum. I am making these two pieces in collaboration with artist duo Shada/Jahn, with who I always wanted to work with; I recently blogged about one of their work, and presented on this blog many projects by Marisa.
The Pod resembles a mobile structure, however it works as a parasite. Connected to the home, it depends on it, it is stuck to it and uses it for survival. A nice metaphor for the teenager who is oblivious to his addiction and the effect it has on his family house! The AFK cookset benefits from a very annoying feature from the old MacBook Pro, that literally burns your laps while playing. The AFK cookset cooks your diner while raiding, it automatically alerts you and the raiders that you are AFK because your “eggs are ready”!

The AFK cookset
World of Warcraft is a massive online multi-player game that attracts millions of players including a large proportion of teenagers and children as young as 10 years old. A typical scenario for teenagers addicted to the game is to settle down in front of the monitor on Friday night and collapse on Sunday night. Sleep deprivation as well as high saturated fat diet is the pride of these players who barely do not take any break, and when they do they sign the typical “AFK” (“Away from Keyboard”) that pops up of top of their avatar. The average AFK is of two minutes, time to run to the fridge, to open a bag of potato chips, to replenish the glass of milk, or go to the bathroom. We are proposing a design noir aiming at representing the ideal setup for the player to spend more quality time online.

Can you imagine the toll that this extreme behaviour takes on the developing body, not to mention the amount of energy waste produced during such a 48-hour non-stop game? The addiction to World of Warcraft, you see, raises questions about the ecological and physio-morphological consequences of the computer game industry – but WOW players would refuse at any cost to reduce their addiction. Another solution must be considered…

The AFK Cookset harvests the heat produced from an ordinary laptop computer to cook meals. Before beginning a WOW session, the player places a shallow metal box beneath his/her laptop. The player pulls out a metal drawer that contains a tray with subdivisions. In one section, the player implaces powdered milk, powdered eggs, a dash of salt and pepper plus seasoning to taste. This protein-rich herb omelette will be cooked first because of the egg whites’ naturally low cooking temperature. In a second subdivision, the player implaces powdered tomato, water, and basil – a perfect second course tomato bisque to provide Vitamin C-rich soup to ward off scurvy. In the final section, the player implaces a frozen pizza. This pizza will be fully heated about the time the player (warrior) is ready for a third meal.

When each respective recipe is ready, the AFK Cookset WOW Plug-in automatically notifies the player that his/her meal is ready. A graphic, announcing, “Bob’s eggs are ready” is immediately visible to the other players on the “Raid Window.”

A first sketch!

The WOW pod
The WOW Pod is an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WOW player that provides and anticipates all life needs. Before entering the WOW Pod for a weekend-full of adventures, the player first stocks the pod: he/she refills the water bag that skins the architectural exterior and pipes liquids directly into the pod via a plastic tube that the player places adjacent his/her mouth. The WOW Pod holds and dispenses up to 3 cannisters of Pringles chips within easy reach of the desktop. The AFK Cookset and backup foodtrays (see description above) provides nutrients to nourish the hungry warrior. Inside, an array of monitors and computers allows the hard-core player to simultaneously control not one – but a whole assembly of players – with ergonomic ease. For instance, normally “multi-box systems” ask the player to use key commands and different mice to switch between players (warrior, magi, etc.). Involving all the latest features of an integrative computing sytem, WOW Pod allows the player to control the magi with his/her elbows, the dwarves with his/her feet pedals, the warrior with his/her hands. The player also has the control to re-program and re-designate the team of warriors according to his/her ergonomic preference.

The exterior of the WOW Pod is a customizable skin that allows the player to publicly demonstrate his/her guild association. Normally, guild affiliations are shown through “tabards”, or wearable insignias. WOW Pod now allows the player to demonstrate to those not online the richness of his/her online identity.

A first sketch

So far we have a lot of fun! I will update soon as we progress in the building of the two pieces. More soon ….

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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