In certain types of engineering practices, there’s this idea that the computer and mathematics itself are sort of  a-cultural. That they only exist in their own technical and formal world. Every computer system is built within a social and historical context of its time.

~Professor Fox Harrell

Last year, I delved into work and research of Professor Fox Harrell. He runs the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE) Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Click here for an introduction to the ICE lab.

The lab’s most recent work is the AIR Project, which stands for Advanced Identity Representation. This particular project looks at the ways in which end users can actively create a richer, dynamic identity within the virtual world. I’m oversimplifying here but I highly encourage you to visit the project site to read immerse yourself in the details. Although his work is based on computation and artificial intelligence (AI), the focus is on the human condition and our (virtual) interactions. This type of new media art helps shed light on the way we behave, perceive, and inevitably mesh and mold into identities we have created for ourselves. More to follow…

Currently reading: Toward a Theory of Critical Computing: The Case of Social Identity Representation in Digital Media Applications by Dr. Fox Harrell 

Face to Facebook by Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico ~ Source Image: Artists' Website

What happens when you gather one million stolen Facebook profile photos, filter them through face-recognition software, put them on a dating website, and show the work internationally? You’ve got some thought-provoking art.

If you haven’t seen or heard of this project, I suggest you check out the genius behind Face to Facebook created by Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico. The project is the third installment of The Hacking Monopolism Trilogy. By the way, if you’re huffy and puffy about art like this, you’re probably the same person that says, “My kid can do that!”, when you look at Modern Art. Or, you’re hyper-vigilant and quick to say, “What about my privacy?”. To remind you, your kid didn’t do it (case closed). About your privacy, change and check your settings and starting educating yourself. Still concerned about your privacy? Keep a slambook, lots of stamps, and hush.

This is art.

Why and how, you ask? Face to Facebook forces the viewer to contemplate the age of social media and how one differentiates from their physical existence. Cirio and Ludovico are providing some hefty culture criticism and, well, I enjoy the philosophical, social, cultural, and economical underpinnings of this work. Again, check it out and feel free to share your comment and thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

fragments of RGB – 02 from onformative on Vimeo.

Interactive installation, Fragments of RGB, created by onformative, which is a generative design firm in Berlin, Germany. The piece uses an LED screen coupled with the viewer’s movements to create changes in perception and perspective.

New Media Artist, Fernando Orellana - Image Source: Artist Website
Click on the images to learn more about the artist, Fernando Orellana, and his current show at Satellite 66 gallery. It was fantastic meeting the artist and talking about new media, electronic, and robotic art. Review to follow. Hang tight. Will be posting soon…

Invisible Canine, 2011 ~ Archival Inkjet Print - Image Source: Artist Website

Click on the image above to read some inspiring interviews!

I’m a sucker for interviews. I can’t help it. I find them inspirational (especially when the questions asked get at the why and how of someone’s success story). Artist, Matt Ganucheau, shares all the great stuff with me and I’m seriously grateful for him sharing his wealth of knowledge in arts and technology. Kudos (again) to my artist friend for sharing this latest addition to my essential reading – Substratum. Beautifully designed and well put together, Substratum asks artists about their stories and what they envision in their communities and the world and how arts and technology can affect change. That said, I highly recommend you delve into the space and learn about some really (truly) amazing artists and innovators!!