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THIS PAGE SERVES AS A RESOURCE FOR OUR TEAM RESEARCH PROCESS, GATHERING OUR IDEA STREAMS AND EXPERIMENTS INTO ONE PLACE, RATHER THAN REPRESENTING FINISHED WORKS.
A Residency/Research project as part of the Argentinian Project
Cyber - Cyborg - Trans:Cuerpo Posthumano
Buenos Aires, May 2014
London, UK, Residency Team
Jesi Lewitt - Artist & Designer
Jamie Griffiths - Digital Artist
Annalisa Terranova - Digital Artist
Mauro Politto & Donato Panacio - Music Composition
David Kallo - Performer
The most recent research days are shown first. Scroll down to see earlier days of work.
DAYS FOUR & FIVE
This video is an excerpt from pre-recorded video tests, and is not refined work. It does however, show the use of interactive sound, and motion to drive the visuals.
The final installation will be a fully interactive installation including an articulated animation body that maps to the movement of the participating gallery visitors body. They control the animation character in the video with their own body.
The installation cycle begins in the Da Vinci world of Vitruvian Man and the idealism of perfect divine proportions. The music is generated by these mathematical ratios. As the installation proceeds, the participating gallery visitor is drawn into a 3D space and time, and increasingly moves away from the world of symmetry and order. A shift from an internal to an external experience was described by all the the artists working on this research project, as representing an emotional experience related to the state of a 'Post-Human'Condition'. Remembering childhood and earlier decades, a sense of the majority of experience being internal has shifted to the feeling that the majority of experience has somehow become external.
Video Documentation of the research team at work.
Sketches of 'Post Human' from Jesica (more will be uploaded to the gallery above)
PureData screenshot (music)
Jesi: Drawings for Animata animation software based on her charcoal motion drawings on Day Two of David.
Charcoal motion Drawing of David by Jesi
Vitruvian Intonation audio samples by Mauro and Donato
Video tracking with kinect into skeleton tracking software (Delicode NIMate) and image processing software (Isadora) by Jamie and Annalisa.
Sketches from Jesica
Discussion of what the 'Post Human Condition' means to all the artists.
Planning and testing of computer systems.
Music composition design - demo and explanation of design from Mauro & Donato
Explanation from Mauro & Donato:
Using the human body's ratios found in the "De Architectura" by Vitruvius, an algorithmic composition has been generated. Starting from a given frequency (in this case we've used the height of the performer) we've inserted specific parameters based on the Vitruvian's ratios.
Considering David Kallo's body:
Chin to top of forehead = 1/10 of the body = 187mm
Open Hand = 1/10 = 187
Head from chin to Crown = 1/8 = 233.75
Neck and shoulder to the lowest roots of hair = 1/6 = 311.666667
Foot = 1/6 = 311.666667
Middle breast to crown = 1/4 = 467.5
Chin to nostrils = 1/3 of the height of the face = 62.33
We set up musical patterns randomly generated according to Vitruvius proportions.
Every pattern (either rhythmic or melodic) is based on a certain body element and it's played back (randomly) until a unit is created for example:
we took 1870Hz as starting frequency and split it into as many frequencies as are the proportions mentioned by Vitruvius in his book, therefore,
following those ratios, 233.75Hz (which is the what we used for the section that goes from the chin to the crown - 1/8 of the body) is going to be
reproduced randomly along with the other frequencies. (311.666667Hz, 187Hz etc…)
When this frequency appears in the system 8 times a unit is created and a new random sequence will kick in the system. ( i.e. 10 times for the hand, 6 times for the foot, etc...)
The new sequence is going to be related to the next one following the "just intonation" system that creates harmonic relations among the patterns.
Then ratios are applied to the microstructure (frequencies, life of the sound in time) and to the macrostructure at the same time (patterns that create the overall piece plus duration of the piece).
Following these principles this process could hypothetically go on forever.
All the sequences play at the same time and they vary according to the system we have explained.
POST HUMAN CONDITION - ARTIST DISCUSSION
Discussion revealed a common feeling of loss of control to the invisible power matrix/matrices of technology, commerce and government. Each artist identified different ways of experiencing this but significant similarities existed. Despite being artists engaged with technology we all felt stress, as if racing to keep up with the pace of new developments... feeling that the technology was progressing at a rate that was somehow leaving us behind.. leaving our humanity behind? We all felt we have no choice but to accept this. We all choose to leave the body to some degree in order to follow the trail of the cultural machine? This occurs at different levels, starting with communication technologies and social media, but progressing deeply into learning programming, devising new technologies ourselves. Eventually perhaps this will lead to the body becoming immobile; a cultural situation where it is not necessary to physically move about the city for example... a situation where we just enter the 'matrix' with our minds in order to exist there instead of in the body. Even this already exists in the world of Second Life. Could there be a future corresponding physical evolutionary development where the body becomes less mobile, and functions more as the material location for thought and emotion? But what about relationships, sexuality, touch, nature, ecosystems... So many questions! A sense of loss as well as gain. Fear about losing control of the decisions to those who hold the Big Data... corporations interested only in profit and governments interested in control.
We all agreed that to some degree we feel... STUCK BETWEEN living life in THE BODY versus living it in the rapidly expanding EXPONENTIAL KNOWLEDGE MATRIX.... Perhaps this is the post human condition... the struggle to adapt to living in this new reality... ?
Post Human Condition (by jamie griffiths)
STATE OF LEAVING
My body grips with fists
to the flesh and bone of my ideas.
Mechanical monsters keep about their day.
Noticing me. Unconcerned. Busy.
I pull the threads towards me
of the ever-expanding knowledge tree.
My heart screams "LET IT GO!"
But I fight
thinking I am drowning.
I am water-boarding daily into my life.
MORE DISCUSSION NOTES:
In Vitruvius’ time, symmetry was valued more highly than today. We have moved towards asymmetry and dissonance over the centuries, aesthetically and philosophically.
The journey from perfect to imperfect....
a dot has become a sphere?
a line has become a matrix?
UK woodland image and birdsong - Pure nature?
Today we better understand the complexity of nature (Vitruvius and Da Vinci would have said God/s?) and so we have built computer and communication systems that reflect our new understanding.
MAURO: one day we will be able to live inside/outside time
JAMIE: it feels like my body is now 5% (?) of my life when it used to be 95%
this external network a knowledge matrix is now 95% of my life
the human is decreasing & the machine is increasing.... (in power?)
everything is becoming more machine and less human, is what it feels like
but the content of the machine is created by humans, so is it just a different expression of ourselves, actually? But it is still comprised of us?
JAMIE: is it the exponential growth of the knowledge matrix that is overwhelming the human part of us?
What is humanity’s place in the universe?
What is the human place on the earth?
What is my place in community?
What is my singular life for me?
Who am I?
What is life?
JESI: Are we loosing sight of the individual life? What about the body experience?
MAURO: In future the body will expand... ? We will become the environment. We are already expanding but right now we are still living in the body. Evolutionary speaking.... in millions of years, we won't need to move, we won't need the body any more.... we may become spheres of light, for example? Has the body has lost its centrality in our lives?
JESI: What does the body still control? Emotions are experienced through the physical body, in the micro and macro cosmos. Are we the micro? Is the ‘matrix’ the macro? Will we learn to feel in a new way without relying on our body?
What about the physical inside of the body, the blood, the water, the hormones...? And the effect on the body? What is the balance of Mind versus Body in our lives ?
We looked at TED TV Vitruvian man, which concluded that the circle and aquare represent ideas of the spectrum of possibility for humankind to be closer to God or to the Devil.
We looked at therapeutic photography video clip, which is very much about the body... feelings, the physicality of humanity.
New Scientist article: Poised between order and disorder
Research Paper (pdf) by Daniel K.S. Walden* Harvard University, Department of Music, Cambridge MA, 02138, USA
Test export from Isadora software, using sound frequency to draw location of circular particle stream, and using wave and friction to blur to shift a square into a circle and then into patterns.