Tag: Andrew Thomas Huang

Guomundsdottir on the strand

I went to see the Bjork’s VR show in Somerset house in London. I had heard mixed reviews about it but as not often in London decided to pop down.

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It was ok. It wasn’t so much the work, which was good but the way it was presented. I couldn’t help feel like I was on a conveyor belt, until the next group come in shortly afterwards.

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The piece that had the most lasting effect on me was ‘NOTGET’, Bjork as moth giantess, quite eerie and spooky as she got bigger and bigger and almost took over the circular space.

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Note to Self:

  • Sat on circular chairs most of the VR pieces were on Samsung smart phones in Samsung VR headsets. The NOTGET piece was on a HTC headset wired from the roof and hooked up to a local PC.
  • Presented thus, it becomes apparent what a nascent technology VR is and I wonder if it will ever take off as an entertainment platform outside of gaming circles. Maybe Augmented Reality has a better chance.

Hyper Objects

Still in the midst of writing my research paper, I am buried in references, links and books. One of the case studies in the paper is a virtual sculpture called ‘Hyperskins’ by American video maker and artist Andrew Thomas Huang.

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Hyperskins exhibits three digital sculptures cycling in an infinite loop through multiple surfaces, textural incarnations inspired by the philosophy of “hyper objects” by Timothy Morton – the idea that today’s objects lack a “discreteness” and instead are pervasive, multidimensional and ever-changing throughout phases of time, space and relative orientation to other objects independent of human consciousness.”

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Timothy Morton is a member of the ‘Object-orientated ontology (OOO)’ movement, and the term ‘Hyper Objects’ is explained below;

“Morton uses the term to explain objects so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend localization, such as climate change and styrofoam.”

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I fired off a message to Andrew Huang, and to my suprise he very graciously answered with a quite lengthy enlightening explanation about his piece, the book, inspiration and such subjects touched upon were The Antropocene, virtual relics, cloud data, photogrammetry and the 3D scanning of the beaver skull that sits on his mantlepiece amongst other things. I hope to use some of Andrew’s reply in my conclusion of the paper.

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Inspiratio

We have been asked by Jonathan to present an artist/Group that inspires us, and that impacts on our own making of work. I could not just put x1 Artist or group that inspires me as I am still exploring various avenues of making…Sensors + Arduino, VR/Augmented Reality, IoT/Video.

So I chose x3 artists and aspects of their work that get me excited.

Andrew Thomas Huang: (VR/Augmented Reality)

I first came across the work of Andrew Thomas Huang when he directed the video for Bjork’s Stonemilker [1] track, it was a 360 virtual Reality experience.

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Also Her ‘Vulincura, moving album cover’.

Some of his instagram ‘sketches’ are below. He seems to combine constructed objects, puppets etc..

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…with 3D imagery and CGI effects.

They seem to be of strange, fierce and mythical 3D rendered creatures, which are beautiful. He is Asian/American and seems to have that affinity for a bright and powerful colour palette, oranges and turquoises mix with deep reds and day-glo limes.

TeamLab: (Sensors + Arduino)

TeamLab are a Japanese ‘Ultra Technologist Group’ comprising of UI engineers, CG animators, web designers, software architects and mathematicians.

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Their founder Toshiyuki Inoko believes…

“Technology and culture can evolve society, and that the start of the information age was a revolution in Society and it will be looked back on in a few hundred years as a Renaissance and a new dawn.”[2]

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I like the fact that they take from ancient Japanese culture and thorough experimentation and innovation blur the boundaries between science, technology, art and design. They use sensors a lot to trigger particular events in their installations.

Mark Leckey: (IoT/Video)

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A performance work of his, GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction (2010) touched me as it seems to me he is trying to give a plaintive voice to the object, the thing. There is a strange kind of brutal pathos in the thought of an object trying to find its voice in the world of humans and sentient beings.

The Fridge stands on a green screen infinity cyc while ‘he coaxes it into revealing its thoughts and actions’. It shows a shiny black Samsung smart fridge pondering its existence and mingling with like objects. In a scientifically-charged description that concerns its inner workings, the fridge’s anguished, robotic first person voiceover renders audible its inner life and its potential dreams. As we create increasingly smarter objects, Leckey predicts a world in which things become sentient, start communicating, and alter our environment into new digital ecosystems.

“Now, instead of wanting to seduce an object into offering up its meaning, Leckey seemed to want the object to consume him. The work began with his inhaling the gases used as coolant for a Samsung fridge: a kind of shamanistic ritual in which, in order to understand the fridge, he took on some of its characteristics. The fridge sang back a kind of mournful plainchant: “See, see, see we assemble. See we assemble. See we assemble; Samsung, Viking, Gaggenau and Whirlpool …” The work, Leckey said, is a kind of fantasy: that he could bring himself into “a state outside of myself, fridge-like, less-human, feeling like an image”. As if he wanted to dissolve into pixels.

You could see the work as nodding to the notion of the internet of things – the technology through which objects, especially consumer appliances, will be connected online and see it more broadly, as a reaction to the fact that technology is triggering strange, disruptive new relationships between humans, objects and images; people, animals and machines.” [3]