20240421 - a fly in a blockchain ecology / blockchain landscape

there's a community art event happening this week, called #objkt4objkt #objkt4objkt4. I made a code based API drawing of blockchain metadata to continue the series from previous events, then used it to map / project onto a fly mushroom I've been watching emerge / grow over the past couple of weeks.

the second work is a video piece, "a fly in a blockchain ecology / blockchain landscape"

the drawing shows the progression of the fly (mushroom) scanned from nature, being digitised then becoming part of the blockchain ecology / blockchain landscape. the final stage has blockchain metadata from the first API drawing mapped onto the 3d model, live mixed to a video. part of my specture project, exploring putting extinct species onto the blockchain, and what their new digital habitats / landscapes could look like

links: https://teia.art/objkt/850935 & https://teia.art/objkt/850683

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20240419 - post-internet art, digital fragility and new materialism

Earlier this month, I came across Estonian artist, Katja Novitskova's Post Internet work and love this more recent work: "Soft Approximation (Looking Glass Deers Kissing 04)", 2023 via https://www.instagram.com/p/CzBgKwRofU5 — the materiality of the glass as the fragility of ecology/species works well, and loving the use of colour. Forests of the future?

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20240405 - on 30 plus year old air, textiles and Richard Serra's gravity

Richard Serra & Hal Foster - Conversations about Sculpture (2018) is one of my favourite books on sculpture. I really resonated with Serra's ideas on gravity — of course, his ideas are for physical materials and process art, but the ideas can be re-applied to digital art. It was a reminder and aha moment for me — obvious in hindsight — that digital art is not limited by gravity, so when making 3D models / worlds / scenes etc, you can do what you like.

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20240404 - post-internet influences

Inspired by Gene McHugh's excellent Post Internet blog & writing project from 2009-2010, I'm attempting to write more often here. Deciding on which section has been the most difficult — the issue with too many sections / broad scope of interests. Specture is my overarching research and art making project, albeit with some sub-sections / topics along the way.

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The RIXC festival will focus on artificial intelligence, NFT art and crypto and blockchain technologies and will explore how the new generation of internet technologies (or so-called Web 3.0*) are currently changing the landscape of art and culture in the context of one of the major contemporary challenges – climate change.

The RIXC Art Science Festival 2023: CRYPTO, ART AND CLIMATE takes place in Riga and virtually. The Festival Program includes the OPENING (September 20, 2023), the FESTIVAL EXHIBITION (September 20–November 11, 2023 / National Library of Latvia), the SensUs AR EXHIBITION and ARTATHON (September 21, 2023 / Hybrid: Virtual / Riga), the SYMPOSIUM (September 22, 2023 / Hybrid: Virtual / Riga), featuring artistic performance program.

visit https://festival2023.rixc.org to register or join online

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Rixc https://festival2023.rixc.org

specture readings 05

once-unimaginable ocean landscapes and habitats, creative research, VR in schools ::: 20230419 - 20230427

reading and watching

::: Designing curriculum for creative learning about Biomes with VR ::: teachers in South Australia creating classes in VR to teach students about biomes. the VR school research site has other resources covering using VR in schools

::: Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter ::: this letter has been in the news / twitter for the past few weeks, calling on AI labs to pause their training and research for 6 months

::: The NFT Collector | Colborn Bell ::: a discussion between Colborn Bell, the founder of the Museum of Crypto Art (MOCA) and Primavera De Filippi

::: Information Overload ::: "Claire Bishop on the superabundance of research-based art". Research-based installation art running in parallel to PhD studies, and the author notes, is tied to technological advances and data.

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specture readings 04

multispecies storytelling, ecology, sound & listening, kinship structures, landscape, AI classes ::: 20230412–20230419

reading and watching

::: These Lizards Stress-Eat When Loud Military Aircraft Fly Overhead ::: via This week in sound ::: Stress eating checkered whiptail lizards in Colorado — an impact of modern life I hadn't considered before. What other ways are species adapting to cope with noise pollution

::: Nature, Crisis, Consequence exhibition looks at the social and cultural impact of the environmental crisis on different communities across America.

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specture readings 03

AI, GPT, digital and generative art, First Australians' knowledge book series, 3D art experiences ::: 20230409 - 20230412

reading and watching

::: Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly discuss Songlines and the importance of memory, place and oral history in First Australians' culture (video), and a response to Bruce Chatwin's book/interpretation of Songlines, as capturing, quite quickly, the essence of them. Their books discuss these further, particularly Songlines: The Power and Promise (2020).

see also:
Bendigo Writers Festival. 2021. "The Songlines Code: Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly." YouTube. Video, 14:50. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUcbbPS1z6E.
Neale, Margo (Editor). 2017. Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters. Canberra, ACT: National Museum of Australia.
Neale, Margo and Lynne Kelly. 2020. Songlines: The Power and Promise. Melbourne, Victoria: Thames and Hudson.

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specture readings 02

AI / ML readings, trees and sounds of the city ::: 20230408 - 20230409

reading and watching

::: Eryk Salvaggio's "Critical Topics: AI Images" undergraduate class. It introduces data ethics, a history of art, media studies alongside AI-image making approaches. Eryk notes it's a work in progress, with videos of lectures & loose reading list ::: via Eryk Salvaggio

::: AI Images, Eryk Salvaggio's Class 1 - Love in the Time of Cholera https://www.cyberneticforests.com/ai-images ::: AI/ML images as data visualisations or infographics

::: How to Read an AI Image - The Datafication of a Kiss

::: AI Images, Eryk Salvaggio's Class 19: Artist Talk video with Merzmensch via Merzmensch


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specture readings 01

filtered news ::: 20230329 - 20230407
a loose collection of news and links collected during this period, often shared via twitter

reading and watching

::: art and climate - from conversation to action https://www.artshub.com.au/news/features/art-and-climate-from-conversati...

::: a changing world: computational creativity https://www.acmi.net.au/stories-and-ideas/changing-world-computational-c...

::: trial and theresa women's vj collective in berlin http://trialandtheresa.de/about/

::: teia DAO LLC announcement https://blog.teia.art/blog/registration-announcement


Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons @ Hayward Gallery, UK

"Constructed with materials scavenged from salvage yards, junk shops, auctions and flea markets, the immersive installations have a startling life-like quality.

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this is you and me by Santiago

this is you and me is a digital painting by Santiago. It is a vibrant and dynamic scene, full of expression, movement and is dream-like as well. It feels to me as the artist has captured a glimpse of latent space, replicated a scene from a dream, and/or shown us a scene from a virtual world. Figures project from the walls, with arms open wide, reaching out with purpose. All but one figure is looking away from the viewer, to the right side of the frame, to the future. What are they trying to say to us? Perhaps it's as David Sylvian sings in Orpheus: "Sunlight falls, my wings open wide. There's a beauty here I cannot deny." Yet Orpheus is a sombre, haunting version of this painting. The visual scene in this work feels lighter, brighter and hopeful.

Santiago. this is you and me. 2023. Digital painting. 1488 x 1488 pixels. Reproduced from Twitter, https://twitter.com/neymrqz/status/1634976417246228480.

Apart from the figures, the wall also draws the viewer in, inviting them to take a closer look at the drawings and plants littered around the walls. Is this an interior room or exterior wall? The use of flat, bright and highly contrasted colours, particularly the pink and orange, speaks to the digital-ness of the landscape. The pink brushstroke in top left corner feels like thickly applied watercolour, where the paint pools on first stroke and you can just see the thickness of the brush and pooling of each row of applied colour. Yet it's the digital painterly feel, the unnatural, glossy, plastic-like paint as viewed on a glass screen, rather than on a piece of paper or canvas. There's an uncanny feel about the scene: the perspective is almost one point perspective, but not quite — the edges of the walls seem to have multiple, uneven joins, shifting the position of them. Is it one wall or many morphed together? This leads back to the dream-like quality and also suggests a virtual world. Are we seeing many moving images captured as one? The paintings on the walls are bounded by expressive thin lines, that could be ink or graphite. Some look like quick, expressive sketches, others finished works. It's the scene of an artist's fertile and imaginative mind, many future and past works and ideas in varying stages of completion. There's suggestions of portraits, and also eco/bio-influences, with the many pot plants and greenery littered across the walls, many suspended in air. The wall has cutout windows, at varying levels, merging the background into the foreground, adding interest to the scene. The floor is strewn with domestic objects, adding life to the scene — stools, tables and chairs, papers, even a dog, and a person curiously kneeling in the left corner with hands covering their face. Whilst the background is predominantly flat, there is depth and shading in the figures and furniture, adding an extra dimension to them, and making them more familiar to the viewer, despite their wonky forms.

Santiago is an artist from Uruguay in South America. I'm looking forward to researching more art from this region to see local influences, but in the meantime, looking with Australian eyes, I see glimpses of references such as Brett Whiteley, Russell Drysdale, Sydney Nolan and Fred Williams, albeit unintentionally by the artist. It makes me wonder which works Stable Diffusion 2 has been trained on, and what the prompt was for this scene.

Overall, a wonderful world-building painting, which invites the viewer to spend time with it, seeing more on each viewing.

See more of Santiago's work at: Teia, Objkt & SuperRare

Neymrqz. 2023. "this is you and me". Tweet. Twitter. Accessed on 13 March, https://twitter.com/neymrqz/status/1634976417246228480.

::: also published at https://aliak.substack.com/p/this-is-you-and-me-by-santiago and https://medium.com/@aliak/this-is-you-and-me-by-santiago-ab96c12406d0

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Espacios comunes as places of connection

Espacios comunes is a code-based, generative artwork by Javier Graciá Carpio (jagracar) minted on fx(hash), with the main version plus 512 iterations. The drawing is made using P5.JS, with pixel sorting and added noise / texture via GLSL shaders.

Jagracar. Espacios comunes. 2023. Digital artwork. Variable sizes. Reproduced from Fx(hash), https://www.fxhash.xyz/generative/slug/espacios-comunes.

Initially I saw digital landscapes built up from atoms/points, forming over time. After reading the artist's description and translating the title as common spaces, I interpret the artist's intention of a collection of spaces as more socially based places. Jagracar describes the work as: "Horizontal, decentralized societies. Espacios comunes. We can see the circles, squares, plane cuts, but we cannot give them an order or authority" and further explained via a tweet: "It's more or less what we are doing in Tezos, right? Different backgrounds and shapes, but all well mixed and at the same decentralized level :)" By adding the social aspect to these spaces, Jagracar has reinforced their use as places — this fits with my research on the exploration of the blockchain as not a placeless space, it is actually a Place in the architectural and geographical theory sense, due to the communities active on it and social aspects. Jagracar's views of Espacios comunes could be seen as the topographical map, extending from and sitting alongside Paul Baran's decentralised network topologies diagram (as used by Vitalik Buterin also), to see the societies' view — another view of Haraway's tentacular thinking, where the interconnections between nodes/communities are closer, as with Tezos and its communities themselves.

Jagracar. "Tweet". 2023. Image of tweet reproduced from Twitter, https://twitter.com/jagracar/status/1629227616090587137?s=20.

AliaK. Paul Baran's network topology map, also used by Vitalik Buterin. 2022. Image screenshot reproduced from AliaK.com, http://aliak.com/content/specture-topology-and-context.

Espacios comunes is a durational work — the points creating the forms appear over time, drawn using P5.JS code. The points are displayed simultaneously, growing in intensity, so you see the whole image appear gradually, rather than it building different areas of the drawing sequentially — aligning to a progressive scan rather than interlaced scan; the digital over the analog. Texture is added via the addition of noise from the shaders, which are also doing some pixel sorting. In this world communities have grown in parallel, together, rather than sequentially where they would be waiting for one to start and finish before the next can be formed. The work uses varying colours from tuned palettes. Though it's described as a flat, 2D work from a conceptual perspective, the use of colours and textures applied via the shader provides dimensional and tonal aspects to the work.

The work is bounded by fixed borders, yet each iteration has a different support size. Instead of making a uniform dynamically sized work, the overall collection of iterations provides the variation in dimensions. Each collector's iteration depicts a new layout of the places, a new configuration of social interactions, new perspectives. This adds a multi-dimensional aspect to it. There are control commands which can be used to adjust the dimensions of the work, if the viewer wishes to interact with the work, in the same way that members of the communities can interact with and adjust the sizes of the communities and their involvements.

Overall, a beautiful debut for the artist on fx(hash) platform. Jagracar's earlier works can be found on Teia also via https://teia.art/jagracar
View the work and its iterations at https://www.fxhash.xyz/generative/slug/espacios-comunes

::: these notes / analysis are based on the context of my specture project research
::: also published at https://www.fxhash.xyz/article/espacios-comunes-as-places-of-connection and https://medium.com/@aliak/espacios-comunes-as-places-of-connection-d8c00...

Haraway, Donna J. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Experimental Futures). Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Buterin, Vitalik. 2017. "The Meaning of Decentralization." Medium. https://medium.com/@VitalikButerin/the-meaning-of-decentralization-a0c92....
Rand Corporation. 2022. "Paul Baran and the Origins of the Internet." Rand Corporation. Accessed on 15 September, https://www.rand.org/about/history/baran.html.

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Fashioning Technology Showcase at the Cyber Palace

In 2022, Fashioning Technology workshops were organised by the Cyber Palace in Brisbane, creating works as a mix of eTextiles, fashion, art and technology. The exhibition featured soft circuitry and textile works.

The Fashioning Technology Showcase, held on Friday 24 February 2023, featured talks and presentations from eTextiles and creative technology experts such as Mika Satomi and Steph Piper, as well as artist talks and an exhibition from participating artists, makers, creative technologists, designers and textile artists such as: Suzon Fuks, Sharka Bosakova, Cathy Godwin, Felicity Clarke, Leah Emery, Rebecca Healy, Yulia Bouka and Tara Pattenden.

A copy of the catalogue featuring works from the workshop participants is also available via the Cyber Palace

image via https://cyberpalace.com.au/fashioning-technology-showcase

visit https://cyberpalace.com.au/fashioning-technology-showcase for more details
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/3393747240945051

Mika Satomi's projects: How to get what you want ::: Kobakant
Steph Piper's projects: Maker queen

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Floodplains virtual 3D experience highlights the impact of dramatic weather events

Floodplains.XYZ is a virtual 3D experience from new media artist Michelle Brown about the impact of dramatic weather events caused by climate change. The platform lets the visitor experience the panic and rush to grab treasured belongings before their Queenslander themed house is flooded. The viewer can collect these items as NFTs, and try reach safety before the timer runs out. It's a digital, virtual world simulation in 3D, mirroring scenes seen recently during floods in Australia and New Zealand. There's definite aspects of the sublime — the terrifying power of nature and the risk of losing everything. Well worth checking out

I saved some items and escaped the house before it flooded -- great project by @Thebadlament & @violet_forest. It is both scary & sad that this is reality for many

Visit https://www.floodplains.xyz

Image via https://twitter.com/FloodplainsXYZ/status/1628638847570694145

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Figured Stones: Exploring the Lithic Imaginary

Paul Prudence's book Figured Stones: Exploring the Lithic Imaginary is a perfect ode to stones, an essay brimming with quiet ideas and research, written with a poetic feel — just the right balance. In a lovely small format book size too, slightly more than a chapbook, but with the same charm and grace

Basically the kind of landscape flavoured book I wish I'd written myself (on other topics, I don't know much of geology / stones). It's perfect

Published by Xylem Books (2022)

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