I arrived to Sydney a few days ago for the ISEA. Before the conference starts on Tuesday, the event has a series of workshops with an electronic arts focus. I gave my workshop “Sensing for Visualization” yesterday and will repeat it today at 3 PM. The idea was to create a programming crash-course for physical computing. The workshop covered Processing and the Wiring board. It was cool to put the idea to a test with participants. The workshops occur at the College of Fine Arts of UNSW.
You can download the file with the workshop here
I was interested on teaching the Wiring board in the context of the Latin American Forum of the ISEA and to give information about this seminal project that preceded Arduino developed by the Colombian artist/designer Hernando Barragán. Hernando was a professor while I did my art undergrad in Bogotá at Universidad de los Andes, were he still teaches.
There are a lot cool things going on. Right now I at a workshop named SurSouth, an online collaborative conversation. It was great to reconnect with an old friend, Hamilton who now lives in London. His work is pretty cool. His objects are living organisms that exist through alchemy and technology. Check his stuff here
There we be a lot coming up. I’ll try to document other experiences of this trip. There is too much going on.
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My workshop “sensing for visualization” and paper “Stretch” were selected for the next ISEA 2013 in Sydney. Good news to start the year. The workshop introduces the use of analog sensors to produce interactive experiences. Using inexpensive microcontrollers, components and open software, participants will prototype electronic boards to read meaningful data from the environment. The sensors can be affected by the light, the orientation, or a user’s physical input. I’ll be using the Wiring microcontroller.
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In september I had two presentations in LAF ISEA 2012 in Albuquerque, NM. It was really great to see this part of the country and reconnect with my friend Andres Burbano, whom invited me to collaborate in the code talkers panel. I have decided to add here both of my presentations in pdf for documentation
Radio Chigüiro was a social platform for the distribution of Lafayette, Indiana’s “glocal” culture. It operated as a community radio, exploring youth practices associated with parties, live music shows, and free radio workshops by using a web site as a medium for contact, production and participation. Using basic computers, participants will learn to produce their own radio programs. The objective of the workshop is to instruct in easy
and free resources for audio recording, editing and broadcasting.
The workshop is available here:
Radio Chiguiro Workshop
and materials here:
My other presentation was “Navajo Code Talkers and technology.” I was invited to collaborate with this project, originally conceptualized by Andrés Burbano.
The Latin American Forum at ISEA2012 is proud to host Bill Toledo, Navajo Code Talker. The history of Native American Code Talkers remains as one of the most complex and intriguing interactions between indigenous communities and the geopolitical challenges that characterized the XX century. This conversation with Bill Toledo is not only an opportunity to engage with his personal history and the context of his work as a code talker, but is also an opportunity to explore topics related to the nature of language, code and computation. This presentation highlights the renovation of the discourse about Latin American understanding with the richness of the Native American Cultures.
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A few weeks ago I returned from the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun in the company of Dr. Mohler, Professor Hassan and my fellow PhD student and friend Zheng. I had the great opportunity to present my study about Aldo Giorgini in the Art Papers panel and it went very well. I was intimidated by the size of the conference and the amount of people. Before the presentation I received a call from my dad in Colombia, who told me… “Don’t worry about the public, just think that they’re students,” and I think it worked. During this panel I met Francis Marchese, a professor in the department of Computer Science at Pace University. His paper entitled “Conserving digital art for deep time” was very inspiring and eye-opening as well. The practice of preserving digital art is a work in progress and researchers are looking for a feasible methodology to preserve this type of art. Digital art has been often times called “new media”, however, this “newness” is about 50 years old and it’s necessary to stop and think about the past of this discipline.
On the same day of the panel, the Leonardo journal had a reception in the SIGGRAPH art gallery where I had quite an exciting time. All the papers presented in the art papers panel where also featured in the latest issue of Leonardo, which for a PhD student counts as “two birds with one stone.” In the exhibition I had the pleasure to meet with Computer art pioneer Professor Chuck Csuri. My adviser Dr. Miller had previously sent him an introduction letter as a fellow “Buckeye”, asking him to meet me at SIGGRAPH. I saw him there and gave him a recording of a presentation he did at Purdue in 1974 or 1975 where he talked about interactive graphics.
We talked for about 15 minutes and he gave me some very good pointers in relation to the history of Computer Art. Roman Verostko was also with us and I was very excited to hear about the 1970s context. They recommended me to look up the work of researcher Margit Rosen and her historical research entitled “A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer’s Arrival in Art
New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961–1973.” Get your hands on one of these catalogs NOW. This is the most amazing study of digital art I’ve seen so far. It tells a complete different history of computer art and it compiles a large group of artists and avant-gardes. It’s kind of the missing link between optic-kinetic art and computer aesthetics. You ever wondered why the work of Cruz-Diez or Vasarelly resembled the first computer aided designs? It is because this movements were actually connected! and they were called “New Tendencies.” All the ideas of concrete art and the avant gardes in south america shared similar views with the first computer artists, in fact they coexisted around the “new tendencies” exhibitions in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) from 1961-1978.
I have the good luck to have kept in touch with Professor Csuri and I am hoping to ask him more specific questions about his relation with Aldo Giorgini and the role that he played in the computational arts movement.
Vancouver was such a blast. I am still recovering from all the information I received. I had a lot more interesting conversation with other artists and researchers, namely, Michael Bielicky from ZKM, Osman Khan and David Bowen. It was great to meet this amazing guys on a personal level. It felt good to share similar ideas about art and computers with more established artists and professors.
Here I am back in Lafayette now. I traveled so much this summer that I hardly had any time to think… but now that the whole excitement is wearing off and I come back to my normal life as an artist, a course instructor and a researcher, I can’t help but feeling the despair of not knowing what to do next.
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