Tag: installation

“Designing with Living Organisms” at Research through Design (RTD) conference 2017

I had the chance to present “Designing with Living Organisms” at Research through Design (RTD) conference  2017

Research through Design (RTD) conference  hosted at the National Museum of Scotland
22nd – 24th March, 2017
Collaboration with Larissa Pschetz
Edinburgh, Scotland 2017

The paper presented the process I went though and the issues I had to face when designing and exhibiting living organisms.



Recent advances in biology and intersecting areas of research have brought a renewed interest in engaging with living materials. BioDesign is becoming increasingly popular, and has included diverse proposals, ranging from products that incorporate microorganisms as new, often considered more sustainable materials, to speculations on future impact of synthetic biology. In this paper we present three objects that incorporate living organisms as a way to reflect on the design process. We discuss how engaging with living materials could be considered a shift in traditional design practices, and the challenges of integrating design in current biotechnology development.




The knife piece has been chosen as Provocation #1 during the Museum Panel session to discuss how do museums go about selecting which of today’s objects need to be preserved and why? How do they use these to map the lineage of our material culture, and how important are museum collections in giving rise to the new? What are the curatorial processes in place to achieve this? More precisely the role of the museum to ‘kill’ artefacts in order to collect or to keep artefacts alive.



From Twitter


Black water vortex

I generally like Kappoor’s work, but I am particularly impressed by this one. Recreate this kind of phenomenon relate of the magic in our mind. The images are beautiful but I guess that seeing it for real might be hypnotic. And from the explanation of this work (see bellow) I understand why his work fascinate me: he is playing with boundaries 🙂

the kochi-muziris biennale is india’s first biennale for contemporary art being held in kochi. one of the festival’s biggest draws is legendary artist anish kapoor‘s ‘descension’, created especially for the event. kapoor — long renowned for his large-scale, invasive sculptural works — sets visitors within the harrowing space at aspinwall house, fort kochi, where a caged vortex of black water spins down a seemingly bottomless hole in the gallery floor. a perpetually rushing whirlpool churns into the ground, entrancing observers in its continuity, and creating a spine-chilling atmosphere for those nearby. contained within the circular gate, ‘descension’ naturally draws visitors to peer as far down to its depths as they can, but it is kapoor’s masterful play with boundaries that keeps them constantly intrigued. Text from Designboom

Comes alive


Ephemerā by Mischer’Traxler consists of an oak table and two mirrors, decorated with water jet-cut metal shapes of leaves, flowers and insects that appear and disappear depending on visitors’ proximity to the installation.

“When a visitor gets too close, all the elements hide away and become very functional again. Once you step back they become very alive and more decorative.” Thomas Traxler adds: “If you are in a forest and a deer is running by, if it detects you or if it knows you are there, it runs away and hides. We wanted to recreate that moment. If you are in a forest and a deer is running by, if it detects you or if it knows you are there, it runs away and hides. We wanted to recreate that moment.” “The species that are used on the table and on the mirror area all related to real species,” he added. “Some are extinct and some are very common plants that can be found all over the planet, while others are newly discovered species. So it’s also about the impact of humanity on nature, and the impact we have.” The leaves and insects on the table lie flat when people are nearby, but rise up as soon as they move away, powered by small embedded motors.

Text from Dezeen







Berlin Transmediale 2015

We spend with my master class of design informatics a week in Berlin attending the Transmediale festival. What do the futures of work, play and life look like through the black mirror of data? How will our quantified lives unfold? transmediale 2015 looks at how we make sense of a culture dependent on measurement and automation procedures, and how to act with autonomy within such a culture.

It has been a very inspiring week. I will share the notes I took during the festival as well as some projects which were the most inspiring for me or innovative.

This was our plan with Clément for the 3 days:

  • 1 opening ceremony
  • 1 concert @ Berghain
  • 1 screening
  • 5 conferences
  • 4 performances
  • 3 exhibitions



Notes and reflections


Keynote capture all_work
Judy Wacjcman
Puting life to work
Work is done in time
Capitalism: work in a periode of time = certain amout of money
Comercilisation of emotion
How we manage our time in today work with digital technilogy
Boudaries between work, personal life, sleep…
New technology promise to free our time ( do things simultaneously)
Technology changed the character of time
Synchronised activity  in unsynchronised society
Emails symbolic of work stress
Quality of life
Labour Technology and time


Play as a commons practical utopias and p2p futures
Ruth Catlow
Play Your Place – Creation of good life is the buisness of us all
Further field – Public space for exhibition
Platforn game good to think at Action and consequence
Make your game with your drawings
Make the world together – Play the web we want
Oposit to gamification
Back to the collective, is this really?
Ludic turn (used by neoliberal)
Open Source is a meritocracy, hacker is a benevolent dictator
Benefit still : fast non hierarchical production
PlayYourPlace : Game platform on Github
Gamification is a thin / dry layer over the world. Marketing tool
Stuck within templates stopped asking the right question
Higher potential, higher risk and reward to be be awarded by real world utopian games
When you play you leave/ are freed from pattern of behaviour
Free to act as you wish

Fascination for utopia – Utopian thinking
Alternative way of interaction – Game to make topic accessible
Art design and education – Novel senario even absurde
i am what i am
ykon game
Play act as aproach the world as if…. Reamigine
Have freedom to imagine how it could be different
It is not only possibility it is also danger when you propose alternative
Look for solutiom or provocation
Looking at solution can close debate
You can change your atitude
Ludification of culture: never before have people played as much as they do today
Partial utopia: realistic alternative possibility
DIWO do it with others


Keynote Capture All_Life
Byung-Chul Han
What is transparency – Transparency positive meaning before
New parendim
Fredom freewill autonomy
Power of the rule of like “smart power” is that it doesn’t impose, force itself on the user
It pleases, creating dependence
It’s hard to identify because it “just happens”

Discovery of AdNauseam
As online advertising is becoming more automatic, universal and unsanctioned, AdNauseam works to complete the cycle by automating all ad-clicks universally and blindly on behalf of the target audience. Working in coordination with Ad Block Plus, AdNauseam quietly clicks every blocked ad, registering a visit on the ad networks databases. As the data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user profiling, targeting and surveillance becomes futile.

Appropriate and Accelerate – Art Under Algorithmic Pressure

Jennifer Lyn Morone
Jennifer Lyn Morone is an American born natural person who incorporated her identity by founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™Inc in 2014 during her time as an MA student at the Royal College of Art. Since then Jennifer Lyn Morone’s mission is to establish the value of an individual in a data-driven economy and Late Capitalist society, while investigating and exposing issues of privacy, transparency, intellectual property, corporate governance, and the enabling political and legal systems.



Jonas Lund (1984, Sweden) creates paintings, sculpture, photography and websites that incorporate data from his studies of art world trends and behaviour.
Very interesting talk when he question the way the art is valued.
For Curate This he use his curatorial rank algorithm to determine what works from the collection of multiples and editions of Galerie van Gelder would generate the biggest positive impact on his curatorial rank. Lund supplied Willers with detailed analysis on all the works in the collections and what influence they would have on his curatorial rank. Willers then consulted the list and made his final selection of works for the exhibition.




Another work he presented was Studio Practice. On his web site it is presented like that : he transformed the gallery into an art production line by hiring four assistants who will work full time during the gallery’s open hours throughout the run of his exhibition. Their task is to produce work inspired by the guidelines set out in a 300 page book that Lund created expressly for them. Once a work has been completed, it will be reviewed online by an advisory board consisting of artists, art advisors, gallerists and collectors. The board will assess the work so that Lund can better decide whether the work should be signed or destroyed. The entire process will be publicly accessible in the gallery space and on a dedicated website (studio-practice.biz). The website will include live footage of the gallery, assessments of the advisory board as well as Lund’s final decision and comments regarding specific works.



Clément appeared every two lines on the Stakhanov installation… quite weird and scary.

Presentation Stakhanov is the BigData Oracle of the new era. In the era of Data, Information and Knowledge, Stakhanov is the expression of our new global data-religion. Stakhanov continuously harvests social networks for information and data, making connections, assumptions, correlations, using them to predict the future. Line-by-line, it emits its verdicts about what will be and that which won’t. This is the Word, coming from the Data-Above, in The Cloud. A playful neo-religious data-invasion of privacy, an exploration in false-hopes and in the ingenuity of contemporary determinism.


Erica Scourti – Body Scan
First I have been very impressed by her performance during the opening ceremony, then by her work in the exhibition space. I can’t really explained why I really like her work… I just found quite fascinating and very well executed. It must ask a lot of patience and hard work to perform like that.
Presentation A snapshot of mediated intimacy, Body Scan records through screenshots a process of photographing different parts of the artist’s body with an iphone similar image app that identifies visual information and links it to online data. At times assuming the instructive voice of a body scan meditation, the accompanying voiceover draws on the search results to convey relational uncertainties and sexual energies entangled with commodity descriptions. A game alone and between lovers turns skins into readable interfaces full of the potential for miscommunication, and signals connections between embodied, private experience and public, commercial data.


Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg – Networked Optimization
Helping to realise how little we are actually reading, or in general what percent of information we memorise or assimilate. Simple great idea of data visualisation.


Presentation Networked Optimization is a series of three crowdsourced versions of popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is however invisible, because it is set in white on a white background. The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called “popular highlights” – the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users – together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon’s data centers.





Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life 

Oliver Walker – One Euro
Stunning idea to represent inequality, labour, value…

Presentation One Euro is a six channel video installation, with each channel depicting one person working. Each video lasts as long as it takes the person depicted to earn one Euro. The films vary in length from well over an hour for low paid agricultural workers; to their slightly higher paid counterparts in industry; via those on middle income wages; down to one minute, and with one film little over a second long. The films do not offer a narrative, but rather quite detached observations of people at work. It is not intended as a didactic essay on wage inequality, though it invites reflection on these staggering inequalities, and this political position is ultimately not left ambiguous. Whilst we often encounter information about inequality presented through text or graphics, here time is employed, making direct comparison more difficult. Ultimately the people on the screens are simply taking part in their everyday lives, and we see six people on six screens, side by side.


Ellie Harrison – Timelines
Beautifull visual of our daily routine. Very inspiring.

Presentation For almost five years Ellie Harrison documented and recorded information about nearly every aspect of her daily routine as part of her artistic practice. These laborious, demanding and introverted processes grew ever more extreme until she devised the ultimate challenge in 2006 for Timelines – to attempt to document everything she did, 24 hours a day, for four weeks. The Timelines project was motivated by Ellie’s overwhelming feeling that she was ‘always at work’, it was to be an empirical study – monitoring exactly where all her time was going – to find out whether this was indeed true. What had seemed like a simple proposition quickly became an all-consuming ritual in which she was forced to take on the dual role of ‘observer’ and ‘observed’. On the first day she confessed that ‘It was horrible feeling so trapped – I couldn’t do anything without generating and accumulating data’, and so she rationalised the experiment by categorising her time into 17 possible activities such as ‘art practice’, ‘domestic work’ or ‘leisure’. Each day the data was transferred onto an expansive spreadsheet. By the end of the four weeks it contained 2,297 entries, which were then transposed into a series of 28 colour-coded timelines.


Tuur Van Balen & Revital Cohen – 75 Watt
Intriguing at first, then beautiful and after reading the explanation it all made sense.


Presentation A product is designed especially to be made in China. The object’s only function is to choreograph a dance performed by the labourers manufacturing it. The work seeks to explore the nature of mass-manufacturing products on various scales; from the geo-political context of hyper-fragmented labour to the bio-political condition of the human body on the assembly line. Engineering logic has reduced the factory labourer to a man-machine, through scientific management of every single movement. By shifting the purpose of the labourer’s actions from the efficient production of objects to the performance of choreographed acts, mechanical movement is reinterpreted into dance. What is the value of this artefact that only exists to support the performance of its own creation? And as the product dictates the movement, does it become the subject, rendering the worker the object? The assembly/dance took place in Zhongshan, China between 10-19 March 2013 and resulted in 40 objects and a film documenting the choreography of their assembly.




The Pirate Cinema
It was great. A bit overwhelming in term of chaotic sounds but the idea is brilliant and well executed.

Presentation The hidden activity and geography of real-time peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent is revealed in The Pirate Cinema, a live performance by Nicolas Maigret and Brendan Howell. In their monitoring room, omnipresent telecommunications surveillance gains a global face, as the artists plunder the core of restless activity online, revealing how visual media is consumed and disseminated across the globe. Each act of this live work produces an arbitrary mash-up of the BitTorrent files being exchanged, in real time, in a specific media category, including music, audio books, movies, porn, documentaries, video games and more. These fragmentary contents in transit are browsed by the artist, transforming BitTorrent network users (unknown to them) into contributors to the audio-visual composition that is The Pirate Cinema.

Citation City
It was AMAZING. An incredible work of very clever references. The sound track mixing live was perfect and same full of references. I would watch it again , because I am sure that there is some great moment you miss when you look at it once. I recommended ++++.

Presentation: A world premiere of the new audovisual performance of renowned collage artist People Like Us (Vicki Bennett). The project is a further development of the artist’s database approach to cinema, deconstructing cinematic clichés and representations into unique associative and playful narratives. Citation City sources, collage and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell? Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual performance is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. In the live performance a series of story lines (convolutes) sit side by side with a soundtrack sourced both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content. 

Robin Fox & Atom TM “Double Vision”
It was like seeing the sound in 3D infront of our eyes. Magical. The ceiling was transformed into a sky thanks to the laser and the smoke.

Interview of Robin Fox & Atom TM HERE

100 tonnes of ice

Artist Olafur Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing have made a visually striking contribution to the climate debate with ‘ice watch’ copenhagen city hall square


Olafur and Rosing are placing a monumental, 100 tonnes of inland ice collected from a fjord outside nuuk, greenland onto the danish city streets. the twelve large blocks of ice are to be displayed in the formation of a clock, serving as a physical wake-up call that temperatures are rising, the ice is melting and sea levels continue to rise. the project has been conceived to mark the publication of, and to draw attention to, the fifth assessment report of the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), which contains assessments of knowledge about climate change and its consequences. 

‘today we have access to reliable data that shed light on what will happen and what can be done. let’s appreciate this unique opportunity – we, the world, must and can act now.’ eliasson and rosing say ‘let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.’

‘as an artist, I am interested in how we give knowledge a body. what does a thought feel like, and how can felt knowledge encourage action? ice watch makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope that people will touch the inland ice on city hall square and be touched by it. perception and physical experience are cornerstones in art, and they may also function as tools for creating social change. we are all part of the ‘global we’; we must all work together to ensure a stable climate for future generations.’ — olafur eliasson

‘ice is a wonderful, peculiar substance. just as the progress of our civilizations has been tied to the coming and going of the ice ages, so, too, are our future destiny and the destiny of ice tied together. through our actions we are now close to terminating the period of stable climate that served as the condition for civilizations to arise and flourish. science and technology have made it possible for us to destabilise earth’s climate, but now that we understand the mechanisms behind these changes, we have the power to prevent them from growing.’ — minik rosing

From designboom

Scott Sona Snibbe – Boundary functions

Scott Snibbe is a pioneering digital artist and entrepreneur whose work includes apps, video, and interactive installations.

His statement

The purpose of my work is to bring meaning and joy to people’s lives. My work is frequently interactive, requiring viewers to physically engage with diverse media that include mobile devices, digital projections, and electromechanical sculpture. By using interactivity, I hope to promote an understanding of the world as interdependent; destroying the illusion that each of us, or any phenomenon, exists in isolation from the rest of reality.

Humans often think of themselves as embodied beings acting separately from their environment and other people. However, when we examine the object most of us take to be “me”—the body—we find it composed entirely of non-self elements: skin, cells, our parents’ genes, food, water, atoms originating from ancient stellar explosions, and these, as far as we know today, made up of pure energy. Furthermore, our bodies’ parts are in constant exchange with our environment and with others’ bodies through eating, respiration, immunology, and genetics. Similarly, the contents of our human minds are dependent: language, thoughts, memories, and preferences only emerge from our interactions with others. Even while alone, the imprints of our lifetime’s interactions propel our thoughts and memories. Such a view of interdependence has long been central to Buddhist philosophy, and has recently gained widespread validation from neuroscientists, social psychologists, and philosophers of emergence, chaos, and complexity theories.

Boundary Functions

We think of personal space as something that belongs entirely to ourselves. However, Boundary Functions shows us that personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control.

Boundary Functions is a set of lines projected from overhead onto the floor, dividing people in the gallery from one another. When there is one person on its floor, there is no response. When two are present, a single line cuts between them bisecting the floor, and dynamically changing as they move. With more than two people, the floor divides into cellular regions, each with the quality that all space within it is closer to the person inside than any one else.

The regions surrounding each person are referred to as Voronoi diagrams. These diagrams are widely used in diverse fields and spontaneously occur at all scales of nature. In anthropology and geography they describe patterns of human settlement; in biology, the patterns of animal dominance and plant competition; in chemistry the packing of atoms into crystals; in astronomy the influence of gravity on stars; in marketing the strategic placement of chain stores; in robotics path planning; and in computer science the solution to closest-point problems. The diagrams represent as strong a connection between mathematics and nature as the constants e or pi.

By projecting the diagram, the invisible relationships between individuals and the space between them become visible and dynamic. The intangible notion of personal space and the line that always exists between you and another becomes concrete. The installation doesn’t function at all with one person, as it requires a physical relationship to someone else. In this way Boundary Functions is a reversal of the lonely self-reflection of virtual reality, or the frustration of virtual communities: here is a virtual space that can only exist with more than one person, and in physical space.

The title, Boundary Functions, refers to Theodore Kaczynski’s 1967 University of Michigan PhD thesis. Better known as the Unabomber, Kaczynski is a pathological example of the conflict between the individual and society: engaging with an imperfect world versus an individual solitude uncompromised by the presence of others. The thesis itself is an example of the implicit antisocial quality of some scientific discourse, mired in language and symbols that are impenetrable to the vast majority of society. In this installation, a mathematical abstraction is made instantly knowable by dynamic visual representation.


The Berlin Wall Is Going Back Up


“When the Berlin Wall was built back in 1961, it literally went up overnight. Constructed first out of just barbed wire, then supplemented with concrete walls, landmines, and watch towers, the mauer split Berlin in half for nearly 30 years, until it one of the biggest bureaucratic gaffes of all time caused the wall to come down earlier than expected in 1989. To mark the anniversary of the fall of the wall, Berlin will once again cut the city in half starting in the middle of the night on November 7. But this time, it won’t be done with barbed wire–it’ll be done with balloons full of light.

Designed by light artist Christopher Bauder and film maker Marc Bauder, Lichtgrenze is a nearly 10-mile installation which will feature around 8,000 glowing white orbs, marking the original path of the Berlin Wall through the city. For two whole days, the German capital will once again be split between East and West, at least metaphorically.

Situated at six key locations along the path, Lichtgrenze will display historical footage of what was life in those areas while the wall was up. In addition, every 500 feet along the wall, visitors will be able to find personal anecdotes, memories, and stories–100 in total–from people who lived on both sides of the Wall, or whose lives were affected by it in some way.

The Lightgrenze will stay erected until November 9 at 7 p.m., at which point thousands of volunteers (called balloon patrons) will attach personal messages to the balloons and then disconnect their strings, sending the lit balloons streaking into the sky. But no need to worry about the environmental impact here: the balloons have been specially designed for the event by researchers at the University of Hannover to make sure that they are completely biodegradable.”  From Fastcodesign

Aparna Rao


Artist  Aparna Rao re-imagines the familiar in surprising, often humorous ways. With her collaborator Soren Pors, Rao creates high-tech art installations — a typewriter that sends emails, a camera that tracks you through the room only to make you invisible on screen — that put a playful spin on ordinary objects and interactions.

The ‘Pygmies’ is the installation which is the most poetic for me.


100 colors


The main interest in this project is to create ‘something’ to allow people to escape from the reality. Sometime it is good enough to don’t have other purpose that giving happiness, or well being. To bring back to David Steindl-Rast theory: Stop Look Go. Be great full.

“Emmanuelle Moureaux first conceived a floating volume of ’100 colors’ in 2013 for the shinjuku creators festa, delivering a massive suspended cloud of brilliant hues created from 840 sheets of paper from japanese paper manufacturer takeo. for the 2014 edition of the event, the french-born, toyko-based creative took her ’100 colors’ outdoors, transforming the water plaza in shinjuku central park; bringing a vibrancy to the urban site where high rise buildings soar in the background. this second installation was crafted instead from textiles — each of the 1875 strands have been individually hand-dyed — a medium which encouraged the entirety of the work to capture light breezes and sway in the wind. The brilliant tones layered with the surrounding skyscrapers, created quite the scene, bringing forth a breathtaking scene which encourages people to stop for a moment, and escape from their reality.” From Designboom