SIGGRAPH Now: Art as Time Capsules: Software, Robotics, and Materialities
[Music] Welcome! Thanks for joining us for this SIGGRAPH Now webinar. My name is Yoon Chung Han I'm the SIGGRAPH 2023 Art Gallery Chair. I'd like to introduce myself briefly. I'm a media artist and then an interaction designer and educator. So I'm currently I'm associate professor in the design Department at San Jose State University and then um yeah I've been participating in SIGGRAPH for I think since 2009 so it's been a while so happy to yeah service and also huge honor to serve as the Art Gallery chair this year and then so great to be here today with all of you guys so as we count down to SIGGRAPH 2023. So I'm so glad to moderate the discussion so what an honor to to moderate this discussion and this very very special topic in the art space. It's a topic that
is especially interesting to me but I'm pretty sure you guys are also interested in this topic as well. This is also um the Art Gallery focus this year — art as a time capsules, software robotics, and their materialities, so please join me today. We have three amazing internationally well-known artists of whom will be presenting their work in the SIGGRAPH 2023 Art Gallery, and so I can't wait to introduce you to them their work and their fascinating perspectives in a moment.
We hope today inspires you and then this discussion excites you about what you can experience at SIGGRAPH 2023 in Los Angeles and it was to come for the future of art to let everyone joining it now so please use the Q&A Zoom function to submit questions for our panelists as you think of them and if you don't have any specific questions totally fine so you can upvote someone else's question by liking it within the Q&A window, so we can more focus on those questions and then we'll put up the questions around like a 45 minutes mark. We can't wait it to hear and then discuss your questions. So now let's begin so let's move to the discussion you came here for so I'm so excited to welcome today's panelist our artist Casey Reas, Behnaz Farahi, and Ebru Kurbak. So our panelists, could you please introduce yourself to our participants. Maybe we can start with the Casey and then uh Behnaz and Ebru. Hi Yoon. I'm Casey Reas. I'm an artist I work with code. I'm a professor at UCLA in the department of design media arts and I'm a co-founder of the processing software with Ben Frye dating back to 2001, and I also founded an online gallery called "Ferrofile" a number of years ago. I'm really excited to show my work at SIGGRAPH this year! Yeah, that's a start of, start of the introduction.
Hi everyone, my name is Behnaz Farahi. I'm a computational designer artist and critical maker based in Los Angeles I'm also assistant professor of design at California State University Long Beach and I'm extremely delighted to be among such an amazing group of panelists as well as showing my work this year at the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery. Thank you very much! Hello everybody. I'm Ebru Kurbak. I am an artist and researcher I'm based in Vienna in Austria. I'm currently in Vienna. I am a senior research fellow at the University of Applied Arts Vienna running my own research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund I'm also a LAKMA Art and Technology Grant recipient and working on my project which will be actually shown in SIGGRAPH this year. I work with a lot or major part of my work is at the intersection of tech styles and various technologies. I use
this to talk about actually the politics behind invention and research processes in technology. I'm working towards bringing more diversity and a more inclusive research culture basically. Thank you so much. Awesome! So we have an amazing panelist so I think we it's time to get started so I think first thing is so probably our audience members are curious about the the pieces you're gonna exhibit in the SIGGRAPH 2023 Art Gallery, so could you please each share a bit about your work in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery and then what inspired and then what can SIGGRAPH 2023 participants expect to experience when they visit in the Art Gallery. So could you
um please explain? Maybe we can take turns. Casey and then as a group please. Casey: I'm going to be showing a piece called an "Empty Room" which is a commission by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art it's currently up there until July 2 and it was a commission in relationship to a show that's open there also until July 2 coded and that's a show of the history of the art art and computers from 1952 to 1982. So it's a historical show and my work was commissioned to be a contemporary artist um sort of uh inspired by the work in the show um showing a new piece. The work was originally built around a proposal by Victor Vasarelli who was a one of the founders of kinetic art and optical art um and the LACMA LA County Museum of Art had a program called Art and Technology which was in the late 1960s into the very early 1970s and Vasarelli proposed this image machine this electrical image machine that would be a grid of light and would be able to produce a set of images that he would then take photographs of and then translate into his artwork. His artwork's very hard edge geometry it's built around a grid he developed this idea of color forms where in the grid he was working with like circles rectangles different kinds of shapes and had a very systematic way of thinking about his painting practice and so he made this proposal to LACMA. At that time, the machine was estimated to cost around two million dollars and was never built. So they asked me to sort of like
look at this proposal and think about that now my first instinct was to build it and then I quickly sort of like moved through that and decided to build something a little bit different. So it's a two-part commission the first part is called Meta Vassarelli which is to look at Vassarelli's work. Something I've been doing a few years is what I call the "Century Series" which is looking at different artists from the 20th century who are working with paint but who I consider to be generative artists. I think they were working with paint because that was the medium of the time but I think if they would have had access to software to coding they might have been working in that way and so it's a research practice that I have where I look at their work analyze it and then make me work as an homage to what they were doing and so I did that with Vasarelli's work and that was called Meta Vassarelli and then I did a second project on top of that called an "Empty Room" which is a three-channel projection which takes a "Point of Departure", Vassarelli's painting style from that era in 1965 to 1975, but then moves into my own direction. And it's really about the history of representation in painting like going back to analytical cubism but it's also about simulation and the way that um form light shape is simulated inside of computer graphics like going back into the early days um and thinking about the nature of digital images the um the space of color the RGB space and then rendering these images and then pulling them apart according to their data involved in them. So that was a lot of talking and hopefully some
of it came through but that's the work that will that will be installed in Los Angeles in August. Yeah that's amazing! You know Casey's work will be actually part of the SIGGRAPH show in the Art Gallery and then actually SIGGRAPH this year will be their 50th year anniversary which is very very special so it's so great to you know that Casey kind of uh put together everything from Victor Vasarelli's work and then you know kind of um check the uh the old you know these computer graphics and then put it together so amazing. Okay so Behnaz, it's your turn please. Yeah I just want to say before I talk about my piece, I just love that exhibition at LACMA so definitely check it out before SIGGRAPH. So the piece that I'm going to show at the SIGGRAPH is called "Returning the Gaze". It's going to be an iteration of the piece called "Returning the Gaze". Um I have to say that the team of the Gaze is an underlying critical
concept that I've been working on for the last few years and um so I will keep coming back to the notion of the Gaze more um uh. But "Returning the Gaze" was actually a piece that it was initially um uh commissioned last February uh by a fashion house for the Milan Fashion Week, so it was part of the runway show they reached out to me to design an installation for a runway show. And I was really interested to think about this as a way of subverting um the the sum of the some of the critical issues that exist in the fashion world. I mean fashion um is an interesting medium for production of culture but yet it's been very complicit in um sort of sexual harassments in the culture of sexual harassments and female objectification, so when they reach out to me with the question of like "how do you design an installation for a runway show", for me this was an opportunity to really address that how can I subvert this. How can I create this type of um worth where we can sort of return the gaze um that is been watching the female body back to the audience. So in the middle of this installation there is a model with a custom made helmet which is um capturing the eye of the model and stream that for monitors that they're basically mounted on four industrial robots um and is staring back at the audience. So
this kind of like cyborgian vision where the gaze of the model expanded and extended to Industrial robotic arms staring back at the audience, creating the sort of uncanny feeling of being watched. The intention is kind of like make the audience to be more aware of this type of uh sort of subconscious biases that we have in our gaze on the way that we look at one another. So the piece that I'm going to show at the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery would be iteration of that um obviously in a different context but still the question of the gaze and how what feelings it sort of creates in us when we are being watched and how does the gaze can be expanded to to robotic means. These are the the teams that I want to sort of show in this installation at the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery.
Amazing, yeah can't wait to experience it in our Art Gallery. Thanks for sharing. Ebru, it's your turn please. Yes, the work I will be showing is called "Reinventing the Spindle". It is actually the work
I started developing in thinking about in 2019 together with the Lockheed Martin and Technology Grant. I have been advised by the MIT Space Exploration Initiative on this project and I was um, I will tell more about the project but the concept basically is, what I'm doing is, I'm I'm performing research in microgravity environments. And the research I'm doing is basically spinning yarn out of raw fibers. Why I'm doing is uh this it emerges from the fact that the flax plant was the first plant ever grown in space. So the plant was in 1971 the first plant growing in space, but I was very inspired by this fact and looking at the history of research I saw a lot of activities of making in space like welding glass blowing soldering a lot of making techniques were experimented within zero gravity; however, I didn't find any textile experiments thread based experiments spinning and so forth until very recently. And the
recent experiments are also kind of labeled as "hobby" and not as "research", so to intervene in this reality of um you know marginalized knowledge not taking place or finding place in in weightlessness. I decided to perform this kind of research so actually there is the project is actually a performance and I will exhibit a reenactment of this performance in the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, so my aim is to bring diversity into the research structure but also inspire the audience to experience my experience my subjective experience provided to them and also claim ownership in technologies like this and or in in in commons or um commodities like zero gravity and think about their own potential experiments to be made in this space. So that's what I'm aiming at to to create, more inspiration about um about ownership of weightlessness in a way. Yeah, sounds amazing! Yeah, thanks for sharing. Thank you for all the answers so I think we can start uh by diving into the webinar. The title of our webinar is "Art as Time Capsules: Software, Robotics, and Materialities", so in order I actually uh said the the theme of the Art Gallery this year as a time capsules because I feel like artists' work can be considered time capsules. It's actually a preserved storytelling of our culture society, you know,
the environment all the things happening and that the time and then artists, you know, have their own creative lens and then from their perspective they created preserve it through their lens. And then put together and they exhibit it and then when we actually look at you know uh back, there you know it's we can kind of understand that what they uh thought about it. We can also understand what happened in that the society at that time, so I think the um yeah, I think would be great to talk about it. Might be a little bit abstract, you know, question but what is time? So you know the
time is as you know time is subjective we feel like sometimes time is going fast or very slow right, so perception on time is very different based on compression the compression of time so then I'm pretty sure you know all our three panelists use time in your your work right. So how does your your art use time and how does it help understand the time and then maybe other context or storytelling uh in your work as a time capsules? And then, when you think about your work as a time capsule, what do you envision it? How does it look like? So I think is it kind of open um yeah this question. Maybe anyone can chime in answer this question? Well the way I see my work, I mean it's an interesting question it brings me to reflect on my work uh from a from a point of view that I don't usually reflect from and that's why I appreciate the topic and when I was submitting to SIGGRAPH already. I thought about like how does it relate and there are a few ways that I see my work relate to to the concept of a time capsule before talking about the abstract concept of time maybe um because my work is very interventionist. I don't know if this word exists but I do interventions and I think a lot of artists work in this way the way they they do something needs to create some change obviously not one work will create that change but there is a desire for change when you bring in something for instance this intervention into microgravity research so um if I would imagine my work as a time capsule maybe um or an object in a time capsule my biggest hope is my work to destroy itself in a way because once I create that intervention I hope the context to create a different type of awareness go to into a different type of direction so my hope for my work is in the future that it loses relevance, so I find that ironic in a way in the way I work so it it for it to be successful actually it should lose social relevance after a long time when you open that and look at that work you shouldn't be able to have the same concerns at that very moment and maybe without context you shouldn't be able to understand it that's kind of the hope behind it and I found that an interesting relationship between the way I work and your concept of the time capsule.
Um so yeah I can continue talking but let's see what others say. Yeah thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think that's really really cool like destroying itself is a really interesting concept. Anybody else? Yeah um I mean it is an interesting topic right like the time and how it reflects in our works. I mean in my work um creating um a lot of sort of uh multi-dimensional experiences where a lot of time there is um activations of components and the environment moves or get activates uh through different materials or robotics um the question of time becomes so dominant um so creating interactive experiences ranging from this scale of um the intimate scale of variables and fashion all the way to architectural scales of the world of interactive installations the question of how you experience time and become so um uh crucial in this experience so the perception of time is important the the perception of those type of movement in the space is important a lot of time I've worked for instance with materials or activation system that um that is very difficult to see the movement so I have to redefine or sort of experiment with different materials so people can observe the movement um so the question of like literally how how I can direct people's attention to a towards a certain dynamic behaviors in our in my installation is something that it's become dominant, so how do you design any motion or how do you design um certain movements in order to direct the attention in time it's become crucial but then I also want to talk about so that was more of a pragmatic way that my practice sort of see the time but in a conceptual or sort of like larger scale I would say theoretical scale I would say my work encapsulates um the sort of essence of particular time or a concept um that it's related to that time um or related to that the specific concept so for instance again back to the notion of the gaze and surveillance and this has been something that I've been really working on in the last few years. And really for instance, the question of let's say male gaze is nothing new, in fact, the question of male gaze has been in visual cultures the world of cinema and and the the sort of humanities or the humanities for so such a long time but for me it's very interesting to see that how emerging computational technologies could allow us to revisit this concept to give them tangible meanings um and allow viewers to really contemplate or reflect on these sort of specific concepts um to think about their temporal dimensions especially in the context of let's say meta movement or woman empowerment or protest like woman life freedom. How do we revisit some of these older concepts and
and then bring them on board and allow people to have conversation around those concepts is something that I think it's become the way for my practice to um encapsulates um time. I think it's the history of art is very much a time capsule of uh well the history of art is uh it's you know a document of contemporary art and I really think that um the contemporary art of the past is a is a marker of different ideas and different technologies and I really feel like the history of ideas and the history of technologies are completely intertwined um. And so when the idea of perspective first and then sort of how it gets implemented that changes the history of art it changes the history of culture that gets encoded in certain artworks uh when people started figuring out how lenses works that changes everything, changes our way of seeing changes the way we imagine ourselves and so that's something that's always kind of present in my work. I think more focused on um like the work that I'm going to be showing at SIGGRAPH this year. I need time. My work always requires time because it requires change and difference and a lot of my work has the unexpected embedded like I sit in front of it I can sit there with other people I don't know what's going to happen five minutes from now I have no clue what's going to happen 15 minutes from now and um for me that's really essential to the work that I make and it just doesn't exist without without time and that unexpected unfolding of the performance is um I would say like one of the most essential things that software working with code allows me to do. Yeah there are a lot of really interesting points about the time conceptually and also physically and then you know especially performance or installation you know we are working on you know performance and interactive installation and time is very the sensitive important you know the thing to check so yeah it's really great to yeah hear many thoughts um uh one comments about cases for me that which I think really fascinating. I mean in a way as a
creator of software like processing but you also sort of shape the conversation around in a way it's not just like waiting for tools to inform us what to do but you're also creating tools that then inform the next generation of artists so in a way that the role of the artists creators um become sort of intertwined in what is the definition of time time um it's not in a way one way sort of become a loop almost gorgeous yeah all of us you know sharing together and making open source tools things that people can open up the hood on things that people can extend and I think with processing it's all about the libraries and the community of people who've made libraries that have extended things for example like Ebru went to textiles um into fabrication into sound um that uh us sort of making things for each other and for other artists and sharing that I think um I'm just very I'm always very excited about that yeah it's amazing you know software can kind of become like a kind of some something like a very interesting medium medium to continue making like some kind of connection between the two different generations and then you know it's kind of living creature so you never know how it actually will grow and the impact to other you know creatures as well so I think that I use a processing definitely for my earlier like projects and then now as a still you know many people use and the p5j is there and then so many yeah like artist designers researchers use it to create their own things really quick is like I think that um when you work with non-linear media when you work with code when you work with textiles when you work with um real-time input there's a non-linearity to it that I think it's so exciting um I think when you work with film and you work or digital tools that have a timeline there's that that sort of like regularity there's a beginning middle and end I think when we start working with these other media um time is fixed in a totally it's not fixed it's it's unbound and it can unfold in many different ways and compressed in with this real-time media. One thing I would like to add if if it's okay, about this compression of time, I also felt like what you were talking about you know watching your interactive your installation and it generates something that you don't expect it's a bit like artistry itself like this expanded version of you don't know what will happen in the future is kind of compressed in your work also similarly like I am in the piece I'm going to show in the graph I'm actually including a technology that is a above 20,000 years old I think the spindle the so there is the technology of space botany from 1970s merged with um space like microgravity parabolic flight technology which is it may be a little more recent and then there is this 20,000 year old technology spindle which remained unchanged until Middle Ages basically until the spinning wheel was produced uh actually I have one on my table I can show you it's like a weight and a stick which works with gravity and it was invented and it's the first relay rotating object on earth so it's kind of the archetype of all rotating technologies in a way so it's like this essence of um of how people dealt with their environment and humans kind of revolutionized the way they lived by making a string and started fishing and sailing and so forth and when you think of history retrospectively you all see you always see these things like causes a sequence of causes and you know events in a way um but actually it's not like that it's because we are reading it retrospectively and when we look at today's technology we think you know this is the point we wanted to reach from the very beginning this was the goal but that's just one of the many paths that could have been taken so in that sense I think art practices have the chance to show compressed time and show different aspects of of this history um together in a in a very nonlinear nurse so I really appreciate this non-linearity concept coming up in that sense. Yeah like Casey uh got inspired by the Victor Vasarelli's work you know like you know it's kind of resurrected the idea and they put together and then yeah showcasing the LACMA test this and with the using the new technology so I think that's yeah time is definitely non-linear so that's amazing uh well speaking of the the technology maybe we can move to the next question so uh each of you use a different technology I know you guys are all technology driven like artists so and then uh probably each of you use many different technologies stuff on the software and then banners you're using robotics uh micro you know zero gravity uh and then textile threading, etc. How do you use the technology in your art? I think that's really broad question but maybe you can maybe uh narrow down to specific parts maybe uh the reason technology you uh use it for your this this PC you're gonna exhibit in SIGGRAPH so any like a surprising thing you discovered uh or any like maybe uh any technology impacted your artistic practice or maybe your arts to envision or implement your ideas? Did you, how did you figure out the technology career you know aspects? I can jump in on this one um for me in my practice this has changed uh throughout my practice in the beginning uh when I started using technology it was a lot of time learning new technologies um from coding to robotics to different material developments it was just learning and mastering the the the knowledge the tools so a lot of time my early work was really showing what is possible what can you do with these technologies in the last few years it was more of I got interested in the idea of critical computation so how how how do you use computation computation to say important issues and critical issues of our time so right now um in the last few years the technologies that I've used varies from various types of robotics to various systems for computer vision that can track gays or facial expressions or any type of information that can can be captured through camera systems and to to mechanical actuation systems so software and but um any of these tools are an excuse to address uh sort of it's a tool for for for addressing larger social cultural and political issues so at this point in my practice um usually the concepts informs me that what tools I should find or what technology I should use in order to demonstrate that concept and that technology can varies based on projects and that's what is making me really excited about the notion of critical computation how tools and technology and computational systems can allow us to address larger issues.
Yeah I think always for my personal personal like artistic practice I always always try to feel like what is the right tool you know uh but also you know sometimes you know tools or technology is actually really it evolves over time and then it really reflects you know uh our culture society you know our needs so I think that sometimes it's kind of learning and applying the technology to the artists practice is also kind of become the context as well so I think it's pretty interesting one any other thoughts about tools technology. Like a very different kind of answer it's um just how the imagination of what I want to make is often not possible at different moment in time and then five years later or 15 years later it's possible and how that changed the form of the medium like I think when I when I got started for example in 2005 I showed a series of um printed images it's a graph in the gallery um I had to show things on print then because I wasn't able to do it real time it wasn't able to be performative at the visual quality that I wanted it to be and then now I'm you know able to do things um that are unfolding 60 frames a second in this way where I don't know what's going to happen where it's not as predetermined and so the um just the ability to work with GPUs and shaders I mean just on a way of being able to realize what I want to make is enabled new kinds of work and that's that's been really exciting thinking about the history of what's been in this SIGGRAPH Art Gallery over time I think for me moving towards real time and this idea that always this compromise between the visual quality of the images versus being able to be generated in the moment and I think that's that's continues to get closer and closer. yeah I totally agree with it and then I can't wait to see what what's coming in the next 10 years or 20 years like a secret of hundreds you know years anniversary what will be uh showcase so you never know um um maybe I could labor any any thoughts yes I could say a few words um uh for me I think I I am not like I'm wondering if I am technology driven I mean I mean definitely driven by curiosity in technology but I I have a feeling that technology is in my work um not uh not a tool or not a medium um but rather a subject so I I work around I work around the concepts around technology the issues around technology technological development and its implications socially um and so that did kind of whatever I'm interested in defines which technology I am going to be working with so I had um I was not a space geek for instance before I I did a microgravity research I just thought um why why why am I not ever dreaming of doing this and that bothered me and that's why I did it so I involved with technology um that I don't feel like I belong to um and I I kind of deal with that feeling so that's why it's not really exploring technology as an artist in my studio practice day to day and seeing the potentials of that but more dealing with technology in every day issues of that and then working with that technology and obviously at some point it has to become um it has to become something that I can share with an audience and at that moment of course I do explore the potentials of that technology and how that can be represented shown shared and how how it can evoke um the feelings I would like it to evoke so um but yeah that's it's more a subject I would say for me yeah thanks for sharing I think that's that's really cool and speaking of the you know how the technology actually impacted you know inspire you you know SIGGRAPH is internationally well-known you know computer graphics conference and a lot of innovative things you know every year you know Innovative Innovation you know and then concept creative you know uh approaches actually are all discovered right so could you please share your um previous experience or any engagement or any thoughts about the secret you know how does it if you already like have an experience with a secret participate in previous SIGGRAPH before how does impacting your artist's practice if any uh or what do you what do you think about you know overall like the um kind of your participation in Industry graph and then if you haven't participated in Instagram before what are your uh most looking forward to about your your participation this year so any thoughts I I know Ben as you exhibited your work in previous Art Gallery, Casey, of course uh I'm not sure hey bro have you participated SIGGRAPH before? Yes oh actually it's a funny full circle for me now that you're asking. I just want to tell this like 20 years ago um I was rewarded by my I was a new graduate and I was rewarded a trip to an art and technology festival by the university I was working at and I chose SIGGRAPH. It was my first time in LA. My first time inside the convention center it was 2004 so 19 years ago
I was not exhibiting I listened to Bruce Sterling giving a keynote and sold the Art Gallery for the first time I was back then an architecture graduate and had no experience in art and technology so actually thinking about it SIGGRAPH might have played a really huge role in um kind of inspiring me to maybe change course and and deal with other things and then the first work I have ever done funnily in the art and technology field if you may count it so is a work called news knitter a collaborative work and it was funly yeah it like I'm sitting here with Casey talking about my artwork and he is actually the producer of processing which inspired that work or which was used also technologically in that work it was shown in 2009 but I wasn't personally there so this will be the first time actually I am going to be personally exhibit and the second time I really I'm going to be revisiting that hall so it's going to be an experience now that you're asking um yeah it's quite quite uh critical for me I believe this summer's exhibition that's amazing you know I feel like my first SIGGRAPH was a 2009 I was totally like a baby right after grad school also you know I feel like I was so nervous I think I was like oriented yeah my work was there too I couldn't believe it I couldn't go in person the whole way I wasn't there yeah oh okay great okay great okay how about other people newsletter is such a good project that's so good um my first SIGGRAPH was 2000 the Y2K year. It was in New Orleans also um and I was really lucky I was a graduate student at the time at the MIT Media Lab and John Maida's computation group and um we put together a proposal and an installation called the introspection machine which was these like video cameras on these sort of movable pieces and you would Point them at the different um CRT screens and it was basically a video feedback loop video art installation but said graph in 2000 the art show was amazing it had like Camille Utterback showing things it had Danny Rosen showing things and I feel that um it was a huge influence on me and where my life went after that um I think at that moment and before it was really like ours Electronica in Austria or SIGGRAPH where you could see these media art installations they you know they weren't embedded really in other places in the world and so um it's a major major event for me having that opportunity to show it. Wow that's amazing wow 2000 uh Behnaz, any thoughts? Yeah I actually I I participated in 2019 just uh check out SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles and it was very inspiring to just like listen sit down and listen some Technical Papers check out the Art Gallery I was just really felt like this is a great community and then in 2021. I published
a paper uh art paper as well as showed my piece at the Art Gallery but everything was virtual although I really was inspired by just finding that community even virtually but I felt that it was something it was missing so I'm so looking forward this year to show in the gallery space and physically meet people again in person in Los Angeles so uh just super looking forward to that. yeah very looking forward to as well uh I think actually we have we reached the the 46 now so I think probably we have to take some questions from Q&A and then we can maybe I'll go a little quick quickly um maybe you know um the question from actually the uh Joanne Collins don't Jeff to think about the Arts concept what technology could be used what media and where it will be shown at SIGGRAPH. yeah I think for sure 100 for me on that one um and that's one thing that's changed for me over the years is I um have started doing a lot of collaboration with different people um and sometimes I make videos sometimes I make work that's meant for the browser or as much distribution as possible sometimes they make really site-specific things for certain buildings or certain communities um I think that's that's always a part of it and when I don't and when I'm outside of a medium that I know to work with like sound composition or um space that's when collaboration comes in so um for me yeah I completely agree with the question and the ideas there um I also yeah I also agree that um like a lot of time for me and my practice also these information informs I mean it's iterative it's back and forth I mean in fact right now I'm sitting in um uh a place that uh its Innovation is based in my university that I teach where because of this space is cylindrical room I produce a piece that also um was caught sort of back and forth with this space right like what is space I have available if I have the cylindrical projection room like I'm just gonna run this in the background while we're talking but like if I have such a space what kind of um how that informs the concept that I'm trying to say and how that type of space or technology that I have can be sort of um uh uh uh starting points for developing an idea further so it's always back and forth I think the concept is very crucial troll but then what kind of technology equipment space and mediums you have available to transfer those information to your concepts as well so it's it's um it's it's always non-linear and it's going back and forth so. I I think I already said um how the concept also like you been us it's very crucial to my my work as well and that kind of defines the media and the technology I'm working with about the space I mean that that differs a lot right now I'm working on a research project called The Museum of Lost Technology in which I'm actually creating labs in between different disciplines in a way like I intersect thread bait knowledge with biotechnology one year another year I'm working with mathematics ethno mathematics and and weaving or I like I I combine materials and so that inspires some sort of research and this research is never finished so when an opportunity presents itself a collaboration with a space um then it starts taking shape actually thinking about that space sometimes so that happens but in an occasion like SIGGRAPH where you submit the finished work already um that happens just right before the exhibition so these are different uh according to in which conditions uh the work was produced basically so there is an ongoing studio practice in my case where I develop ideas and works drafts and prototypes which never become a work before I decide to exhibit it so um that's the way I work yeah amazing I think the ongoing arts practice I think that's really crucial to develop your ideas learn your skills and then yeah execute the whole good outcomes uh actually Behnaz as quickly uh one person asks you what is your process do you believe in the concert you didn't answer this question right goodness um what is your process do you believe in concepts more or in prototyping and then researching through making and actually you know this is actually maybe a good time to showcase your new product I see some eyes in your background so yeah could you please answer this question? In the media I'll try to be as quick as possible so um in my current practice really is more concept in forming uh the work so I'm a lot of time like getting interested in a concept so for instance this piece that you're seeing in the background called blindness and it was a response to um protesters around the world that they got shot in the eye by police and authorities um using rubber bullets to disperse the crowd so for me it was how do we bring this victim's eyes to the audience and tell the story of these victims all around the world it started from me getting awareness about Iranian protesters and that they got shot in the eye but I realized that it happens in U.S it happened in Hong Kong it happened in Chile so um a lot of time um the concepts like this has become crucial and then it's the question of what kind of mediums you use what kind of space you use how do you tell the story of um this uh this concept through various mediums that's where my current practice is really focused on to bring the concepts unpack it and then use various ways of prototyping from digital to physical to robotics and and until that story through those mediums that looks really powerful and very meaningful so thank you so much I wish you know there's a maybe you probably will showcase it that works so um yeah somewhere later maybe this is actually a good chance uh maybe Casey and Ebru, maybe if you can share your uh current ongoing project or future work anything yeah any uh what's next yeah quickly any uh answer about the time I can I can jump in I I'm I'm actually as I said I'm working on this idea of the Museum of Lost Technology and here I'm looking at actually I'm looking at history basically um and looking at actually missed opportunities in history so whatever I create actually could have been created years ago um but these Miss opportunities actually try like these technologies that I developed at the intersection of women's work nomended knowledge any marginalized knowledge and high technology or as we call it today um I'm I'm interested in creating pieces that provoke the idea that what we're thinking today is also versatile and is also not you know the final point and can be wrong and can be mistaken and so forth um I'm still dealing with this idea of weightlessness as as a commodity who owns weightlessness idea I'm developing a large scale piece in my studio as a continuation of that LACMA project it's actually my imagination of a specific location on the ISS the beam module and I reconstructed a copy of it in my studio and I'm kind of imagining it to be a gravitational craft research center so it's an imaginary that I'm creating also about low earth orbit it's turning into a market and how can we reflect on other knowledges to be tested there and so forth so that will scale up the work and finalize that work so yeah as I said working at the intersection of many different fields in science and technology and crafting knowledge sounds amazing and ambitious and incredible so yeah uh current projects briefly I'm I'm working with um in the broad idea of the history of visual technologies and I'm making works that are photographs technically but they're made through photochemistry like origins going back into the 19th century of photochemistry they're made with early computer graphics technology the bitmap technology which would take a continuous tone grayscale images and turn into black and white images and then also with machine learning and so it's about taking these like three different eras of visual technology and sort of embedding them in a single image um and uh showing those as a series of photographs or photographic imagery that's what I'm up to now I think I'll show that for the first time in Spring 2024 so I don't really know where it's going to go that was amazing too okay wow um actually we have five minutes but I think this question will be pretty interesting so if you could choose a keynote speaker for next year's SIGGRAPH conference, who be who want to invite it if you're like a SIGGRAPH chair? Who you want to invite any maybe one person per person? I can never answer this question. I think um uh so I'm from Iran um and when I was in Iran I was always inspired by the work of Harvard Professor Crystal Paduska who's uh his art is always sort of a critical vehicle to use technology for larger scale projection to tell um to tell interesting critical stories uh to public that I when I moved so Christopher is one of my uh favorites and then another would be Laurie Anderson I think she's a pioneer of how you can really think beyond um boundaries of what is possible um she was um she's just a huge inspiration for me to to really see how um you can see the world through different cultural lenses to see beyond boundaries and to push edges and be fearless and and um brave so I would say uh Lori Anderson would be my first first choice yeah those are great I don't have anyone in mind I would have to research that more but I think someone who could speak to um AI machine learning imagery and ethics machine learning imagery and bias around the ethics of data sets um around the bias around race and they're limited um sort of views of the world and humanity and culture I think that would be a really essential topic topic like Kate Crawford maybe or yeah yeah I know last year or two years ago you know SIGGRAPH there's some kind of discussion uh going on about the AI ethics and then yeah so those issues so I think it's a probably a secret office and looking for a person who can speak about it uh we have two minutes so um it's pretty tricky um maybe one question quickly and then maybe one person can answer so tell us more about your work art can serve as a performance hmm how your art can serve as a performance any one person can answer this question please I use the word performance bluntly like I'm not a performer at all but I just um wanted to like when I was using that word I was talking about not my art as performance but my research um as a an artistic maybe intervention and therefore the performance of the research the actual making of the research is the piece um in which like me taking the time to do that research is the piece in that sense I would kind of see it as a form of performance obviously it's not perfect performing at that moment to an audience but it's being done and also um in this piece Reinventing the spindle um because of um covet the flight that was organized by the MIT Space Exploration Initiative it took really long to take off so in these two years I talked with engineers downloaded PDFs understood this very technical kind of outlines and guidelines and negotiated those I even see that part of the work as a performance because maybe you know there were knowledges that were there were it was a very open-minded setup but still perhaps there were some biases in the system like they were they had expectations on what had to be researched there maybe and like by bringing in something else you actually do intervene into that structure in a way um so all that process leading up to the the actual flight and actually trying to spin in that flight trying to be aware of your body and try to create something all this I see as a performative work in that sense so that's how I would relate it yeah I think that's really uh important point okay so I think we have to wrap up so Casey and Behnaz has many uh any really quick final words for our attendees here so super quick final thoughts or look for the same people in August in Los Angeles please say hello amazing likewise I'm looking forward to meet all of you and meet everyone at SIGGRAPH so please come yeah so I think the well first of all thank you so much for joining this webinar everyone and a huge thank you to our panelists uh it's really uh was hard to you know make it happen so really really appreciate your time uh and then whole in energy consideration for this webinar so if you want to listen to this presentation again uh look out for the recording so it will be up and uploaded to the our YouTube channel soon so please um yeah keep it um yeah check it out and then finally don't forget to register for the SIGGRAPH 2023 conference taking place in Los Angeles Convention Center from August 6 to August 10 so you don't want to miss it so it'll be because after long pandemic it'll be fully in person conference so please come check it out and then so that you can visit the incredible amazing arts and solutions in the Art Gallery and also other inspiring conference programming so please come and then I think that's it so thank you everyone and then I'll see you in LA.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [Music]