Day 5: Let us communicate to art!

June 26, 2010 in day#5 by Isabel Gold

Art is taking a new direction. This direction is eminent – interactivity permeates every piece we have experienced. Art has become fluid, dependent on the audience. The pieces are no longer something to be admired from afar. We, the former observers, become part of the art. With the infrared motion tracking technology, we activate the pieces as they change in sound, shape, and color. I became especially entranced with John Carpenter’s work, Shoreline Equivalent.

I too have been entranced by the patterns of sand by the sea: While others sunbathe amongst the seagulls, I have spent hours digging patterns with my feet and kelp, and watch them disappear along with the wave’s foamy blanket. My toes too have pruned in the saltwater, as I stare at sand-crabs, burrowing in and out of the surface, altering the patterns of the sand yards away. His art captures this calmness, this hypnotic state that echoes the mindset of sticking feet into stand.

Later, Nick Hardeman and Bruce Drummond presented their entirely interactive, and very cute piece called the sqncr. Modeled in a format similar to Pinar and Miu’s zodiac piece, participants create their own creatures, fashion their own pictures to the side, and watch as their creature interacts with other creations. This piece brought a completely new feeling of connectedness to the community as strangers indirectly also interact. There is a sense of intimacy in this piece that is now so hard to find.

But the artist I instantly admired was David Kremers.

His spinal cord piece based from diffusion tensor imaging, which is a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)  that measures the diffusion of water in tissue, was absolutely stunning. From afar , the piece resembled the fluorescent images we saw on the second day, but when I looked closer, there were scattered small grains – they resembled a hybrid between rice and nematodes – bright pink, of course. These granules seemed to move in the breezing wind. They bent, like grasses on a field.

“He actually was inspired by Vincent van Gogh,” Carpenter added in front of  one of  van Gogh’s many wheat-fields. He changed the image back to Kremer’s spinal cord. Now that it had the official title of art, I unconsciously looked at it in a different. I no longer racked my brain for any previous knowledge of spinal cords to remember what exactly those hot pink worms were and simply took in the beautiful, natural flow the worms waved in together. I was intrigued at how quickly my perception of the piece changed when a label was suddenly shoved on.

Later, when I found his website, I fell in love.

“I am a clone,” reads the first screen. “i was raised in a synthetic environment. I only differ from you in that I am aware of it.”

What follows is a beautiful, fascinating, and slightly disturbing collection of images like mouse embryos exploring the idea of clones with a perfect mix of scientific fact and beautifully quoted prose.

Through each of the slides, a project of artificial life emerges, not dissimilar to the format of our own template of imagining the impossible.