SIGGRAPH Now: Art as Time Capsules: Software, Robotics, and Materialities

SIGGRAPH Now: Art as Time Capsules: Software, Robotics, and Materialities

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[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]

2023-06-27 07:33

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