Decay 崩壊 is an interactive sound installation/performance, first conceived spontaneously in March 2011 for the ”手向け Tamuke” Solidarity with Japan event. In view of ongoing triple catastrophe that hit Japan in summer 2011 – the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear emergency – and also in view of many other natural and man-made disasters that humans face everyday, Decay encourages us to recognize the material world as a platform for enlightened practices: to press against, to locate resonance, to situate the body, and to engage the world as a site of buried sound. Decay invites audiences and performers to interact with natural and artificial found objects acoustically transmuted into sculptural electronic instruments, evoking post tsunami debris. Modulated through movement, objects sing of their past lives and continually recompose themselves into new meanings. Through varied augmentation of the object’s acoustical response, the natural and the synthetic collapse in immediate vibrational relation, whispering that perhaps we are produced by objects as much as we create them.
In-‐Between is an interactive installation investigating the relationship between presence and material separation. By creating an interaction where people can directly animate their environments, In-‐Between tries raise questions as to the relationship between the idea of a place, and the place itself. Starting from an exploration into surfaces that move in response to human engagement, the project makes maximum use of air (pneumatic valves) and variable pressures to inflate and deflate, i.e. animate, architecture that is normally static – in this case, a wall made of spandex and inflating/deflating balloons. The spandex is also used as a medium of interaction, as the participant pushes on its surface to play with both its physical and audible properties. This interaction is then projected onto the ceiling in above them in real time. This interaction evokes a feeling of direct influence onto the surrounding built environment in a way that is playful and unfamiliar. When viewed directly beneath, the project appears as an optical illusion, however as the participant changes their position – rotating around the project – they will realize the ceiling bulges down up to six feet. The project is made through responsive sound, real time video with visual effects as well as the physical structure but is only brought to life through participant’s interaction.
For the second iteration of this project, the dimensions will be roughly 9 ft. x 16 ft. with a controlled grid of inflating balloons of various sizes – ranging in diameter between 1 ft. – 6 ft. that rest behind the frame of spandex.
Funded by Hexagram
Concept: Omar AL FALEH &Nikolaos Chandolias
Support: Marcello Licitra
ACATUS, the Greek word for the mythological “floating vessel”, is a modular suspended interactive light structure that is responsive to people’s presence and action. When looked at from above, ACATUS is a rigid grid of equal squares, which is the traditional reductionist divisive systems that describe space and place in traditional architectural drawings. However, ACATUS’ grid vertices are vertically displaced to transform the perspective of those who walk under it into a varying geometrical landscape that does not obstruct vision yet influences their behavior and trajectory in space.
This formal geometrical deformation is a reminiscence of the early experimentation in deconstructive architecture where systems (semiotic, symbolic, and representational) are iteratively transformed and complexified. The resulting shapes are a snapshot of this transformation that holds evidence of its origins and futures, thus adding a temporal dimension to the genesis of ACATUS as dynamic responsive architecture that exists across the four dimensions.
ACATUS is designed to respond to different modalities of interaction: presence, motion, and sound levels. The response is rendered on the node level rather than lines, which is a symbolic reference to constellations and star mapping, which was the original path-finding and geo-mapping system, before digital systems were invented.
ACATUS exists on various states that are presence-dependent. When no one is present in the installation, ACATUS cycles between different pre-determined animated behaviors. When presence is detected, response happens on the sonic level and on the motion tracking levels, and rendering the response is responsive to the accumulated input of the multiple users within the space.
Project: Semantic Shift
The video below demonstrates a new idea that derived from the storytelling space (storytelling space.weebly.com) and has to do with how we can use transcribed utterances, natural language processing techniques and semantic clusters to re-think the way we perceive and interact with text. Every time a movement is detected (like swapping or changing-page movement) the text re-iterates itself and is recomposed in the same syntactical structure with words that derive from the initial semantic analysis.
The system could apply transformations in different parts of speech (PoS), ex. just verbs, adverbs, nouns etc. creating infinite possibilities of semantical transformations, depending on each individuals movement intensity and the designers choices. This is a demo screen capture of the system. I want to realise this project as an installation where the text is projected on a piece of paper, and each time someone approaches or interacts somehow with the paper a new semantic aspect of the text appears. Like in the example the “This is perfect and stable.” text becomes “this find just right and abiding.”. (If we have chosen just adverbs to be analysed the result would be “this is just right and abiding.”)
This research explores mimicking digital looking effects using white textile as visual data manipulated altered through changing the camera shutter speeds. The textile is installed in the space vertically and horizontally fixed by magnets. In addition, fabric strip ends are attached to the body of a performer creating an analog form of motion capture. Through this method, human body movement is suggested by the traces of white fabric, which are being physically manipulated by a performer moving throughout and interacting with the installation space. The slow shutter effect blurs the shifting fabric and among the white waves are only brief glimpses of a body moving in and out of clarity. Live feed from the camera to provide real-‐time feedback to performer and initiate play between worlds, in-‐camera versus real space. Additionally this next iteration of the process would include hanging threads/fabric strips with contact microphones provide incoming data to affect the filmed footage by scrubbing clips from a database (non-‐linear). Eventually wider pieces of fabric will be used as projection surfaces intended to be manually opened by the installation ‘explorer’ to reveal hidden moments.
Thought Controlled Contexts: Brain Control Interface (BCI) Augmented Environments and the Experience of Everyday Architectures
Inspired by architectural theorist Juhani Pallasmaa’s assertion that primary sensory experiences are integral to the enhancement of well being (Pallasmaa, 1996/2013, 97), my research frames the question how does the layer of networked and interactive digital information affect the phenomenology of physical space? My proposed project involves the repurposing of consumer- grade thought-controlled computing technologies, specifically non-invasive brain-computer interfaces (BCI), to moderate built architectural interventions and digital enhancements. I will initially be working with a Muse brain-sensing headset provided by InteraXon Corporation essentially “hacking” the headset by hiring a software developer to rewrite the program interface to interact with a series of microcontrollers. While the specific output devices will be further developed during residence, I am currently working on a BCI that is worn on a type of “ride,” that moves a person along a 40’ long motorized track, while the space responds to their mental states by regulating surrounding architectural elements and added interventions. For example the person may control the lights, amplify sounds, trigger holographic or narrative projections etc. My initial research for the project has been funded by a Hexagram Student Grant, and a prototype will be exhibited at LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver in collaboration with VIVO Media Arts Centre. The intention of the project is to construct multi-sensory participatory environments that both critically and humourously imagine a future scenario where the collapse of physical and digital space has rendered the internal external, and the unfamiliar familiar.
Architecture, care & dare
Architecture care & dare explores how a body connects to an environment, reacts to it, dwells in its perception. Capture the experience, as it is experienced, before it becomes conscious, when it is still at a subconscious level, when it is something that is happening to an individual. Before the mind controls, creates habits, values, imposes culture and decides to erase the bodily presence. Stay at the first level of embodiment. Proceed to the automatic recording of what comes forth.
This project intends to erase the gap in architecture between a knowledge-based practice imposing rules to action within a space, and the individuals’ experience of architecture. I wish to capture the sub-conscious act of inhabiting, the emergence of experience and of the imaginary in their capacity to act as gateways, as tools to bridge, to reconnect the human to the collective and individual empowerment. How does one reconnect people to their senses? In a timely experience, address empowerment, to show without saying but by making individuals experience in a seemingly banal action, make them perceive something they have never observed before.
Concordia will be the case study for the whole project, in the making and the exhibiting – addressing the space, with the people within.
- The recording of an extensive encounter with their environment of a dozen individuals. Create a context of direct intimate experience of architecture, and document the moment.
- A single self-contained, textured, multi-dimensional “narrative” blurring words, all recordings brought into a single composition.
- an immersive physically-dedicated listening tool/set-up: the visitor puts on a headphone, to which is attached a frontal horizontal mirror so that he all at once sees himself, the space both behind the mirror and behind him. To and in front of this headgear + mirror is attached a full-length “horse-tail” hanging to the floor. The viewer’s relation to the environment is disrupted (a disturbance amplified by his movement) through the duplicity of his vision and shift of gravity, making perceptible, changing his subconscious relation to the environment. The visitor is transformed into a character: his perception leading his jerky actions in space, he becomes a performer.
- a feedback process
- a recording of the visitor’s use of the headphone is added to the previous soundtrack, live (which includes a spatial recording of the environment)
- the object itself is not final. The user can modify it. Eventually the parts will disassemble and come together in another manner, for another use. Elements can be taken off or added to it. Maybe a set of various elements can be staged, spread around the room.
The Old Cinema
“Cinéma” was a performance which took place over three days in the space of the Société des art technologique (SAT). An audience seated indoors in theatre seating facing out through windows towards a public square watched a series of ambient actions repeated on varying cycles. These action were hardly discernable from the ‘normal’ events going on in the park (drug dealing, skate-boarding, hanging out): a man swept up garbage with a pan and broom; another arrived on a bicycle, locks it and runs away (repeats); another performer re-enacts the gestures of a Palestinian suicide bomber as he disarms himself at gunpoint; a musician plays kalimba on a bench, chatting with a policeman. Each night a sound mix was generated using material recorded in the park at other times, mixed with live material picked up in microphones in the park. The piece was often intervened upon, or completed, by actions of the users of the park interacting with the performers, or the police arriving , for example. I have decided to re-score this piece and present it again using a similar apparatus in public space. The first version of the piece was so complex that I hardly had time to understand the rapid unfolding of events on each night. I learned much about the complex dynamics of performance in public space. This new version is a chance to take the piece further.
What to do In the Black Box
So the original ‘Cinema’ was a perceptual apparatus like a camera — a room opened towards the world through sound and light. Not only was the audience able to watch what was going on outside, they also heard a soundscape ‘pulled-in’ by microphones located in various places (on the musicians instrument, on the dust-pand of the sweeper). This was a live mix each night. So the box of the theatre is like a camera. It is a black box with an aperture out onto the public space. The new exploration that could be done in our underground black box is to think about ways, other than the visual, to sense and rebuild another space. If the black box has no window (as we know) how do we ‘see’ out. in this space how can we experience something happening elsewhere. This could be a live demonstration or simply us making a mock-up of what would be an audience experience. How could we ‘spatialize’ this intentionally neutral space.
Lighthouses [ working title]
I’ll be working on a series of early prototypes for a larger site specific installation called Lighthouses to be presented at Les Transnumériques Biennale (Belgium) this fall, within the context of MONS 2015 (European Capital of Culture). The experimentations will consist of dichroic glasses, stepper motors, light, smoke and various mechanical components. During this residency, I will work on creating color patterns, developing suspension methods, and I will explore emerging material properties such as glass resonance in order to see what these assemblages can activate within the space.