Kāinga a roto Home within, 2010 Sonja van Kerkhoff, Sen McGlinn and Toroa Pohatu, Installation with five monitors, video and audio
A system, even an integrated system, is not a seamless continuum: what makes it a system is that it consists of distinct interrelated parts. A culture – a symbol system – is one integrated system. The human person too is an integrated system (memory, hopes, relationships, reason and spirituality), and so is an individual biography. A person, seen as a system, is the microcosm to the natural world’s macrocosm, which contains elemental systems – of water, wind and earth, and of the biosphere.
Kāinga a roto (Home Within) is an art-system, consisting of five distinct videos, soundscapes, music, lighting and shadows, and a physical space where visitors sit or lie close to the ground. This art-system is used to represent the complex system of a particular biography influenced by New Zealand Colonial and Māori cultural values.
psworld 2010/11, Julian Oliver, Software and hardware
psworld is work of ‘philosoftware’. It began as a modification of the utility, ‘ps’, found on all UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems. ps is used by people and programs to quickly sort and print a table of processes that are running on a computer. psworld maps these processes onto visual features in the world, creating a perceptual dependence between a computer and the world around it. As the computer’s visible surroundings change, the instability of the operating system increases.
An example: a computer running psworld is in a park watching a bird in a tree. If the process ‘Firefox’ is attached to the bird’s head and the bird suddenly flies away, Firefox will be terminated on the computer. Similarly, a breakfast scene may include many processes attached to various edibles on the table. As breakfast is eaten, dependent processes on the computer will be terminated.
Julian Oliver CV and bio
Julian Oliver is a New Zealand artist based in Berlin. He has been active in the critical intersection of art and technology since 1998. His projects and the occassional paper have been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work has received several awards, ranging from technical excellence to artistic invention and interaction design.
Julian has given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, augmented reality, creative hacking, data forensics, object-oriented programming for artists, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualisation, UNIX/Linux and open source development practices worldwide. He is a long-time advocate of the use of free software in artistic production, distribution and education.
2011 Excellence Prize (Art category), Japan Media Art Festival
2010 Award of Distinction (Hybrid Arts category), Prix Ars Electronica
Third Prize, Fundacion Telefonica, VIDA 13.0 Art and Artifical Life awards.
First Prize, Jeux Vidéo et Attractions, Laval Virtual.
2008 Technical Innovation award, Indiecade
The New Zealand Open Source Award
Honorary Mention (Interactive Arts category), Prix Ars Electronica
Jury Reccommended Work (Entertainment Division), Japan Media Arts Festival
2004 Honorary Mention, Transmediale
Recent exhibitions, talks, workshops
2010 Improved Reality lecture, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
psworld at ‘moddr_*’, iMAL, Brussels (curated by moddr_).
ioq3aPaint at ‘Virtual Rebellion’, KOP, Breda, Netherlands.
The Artvertiser, Beeldfestival (augmented street exhibition and talk), Rotterdam
Improved Reality lecture, Migrating Art Academies conference, C.H.B, Berlin.
The Artvertiser, Media Facades Festival Europe 2010 (workshop and augmented
street exhibition), Brussels
The Artvertiser, ‘Stadt am Rande’, Goethe Institut, Beijing
levelHead at The Lighthouse, Brighton
levelHead at Space Invaders, Netherlands Institut voor Mediakunst, Amsterdam
M.I.G at Worm Space, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna
‘Improved Reality’ paper and presentation, TEDx, Rotterdam
‘The Great Augmented Goldrush’: a Reality-check for Artists’. Presentation, V2, Rotterdam
ioq3aPaint at 26th edition of ‘Art Amsterdam’, Amsterdam
Six Composite Acts, MMX Gallery, Berlin
The Artvertiser (at the Murcia stand), ARCO, Madrid
The New Arena Paintings (solo show), Hannah Maclure Centre, Dundee, Scotland
The Artvertiser at Transmediale 2010, Berlin
‘The Not So Brief History of Sound Based Games’, artist talk, A-MAZE Festival, Berlin
2009 levelHead at Space Invaders, FACT, Liverpool, U.K
levelHead at Over The Game, Zemos98, Seville, Spain
The Atocha 24 Insertions, HAMBRE (group show) Madrid
levelHead at TWEAKFEST, Zurich, Switzerland
levelHead, Award and exhibition, LAVAL VIRTUAL, Laval, France.
levelHead at Art Rock festival, St Brieuc, France
The Artvertiser workshop, Cartagena, Spain
Composite City, Paper presentation, See Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany
levelHead at Mois Multi, Quebec City, Canada.
levelHead at the Japan Media Art Festival, National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
levelHead at the Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria (opening exhibition ofnew center).
Information Comes from the Sun 2011, Julian Priest, Solar powered monitor, Video animation, Media player, Photovoltaic cells
Open System Closed 2011, Julian Priest, Assemblage (nine underwater camera cases, found objects)
“Information comes from The Sun” is a video artwork consisting of an animation of The Sun that was first shown at ISEA 2011 in Istanbul Turkey.
The animation is made from Solar Observatory data images of the sun that have been rendered in zero’s and ones using ascii art software and a custom font.
The animation shows a single solar rotation (28 days) photographed twice a day by the SOHO orbital instrument EIT304.
The animation may be connected to a one pixel camera that measures light levels and adjusts the resolution of the animation accordingly.
In the dark a single zero is shown – as light levels increase the number of characters increases until in the brightest light a full image of the sun is shown with every pixel a character.
Information comes from the sun represents the sun as an information source rather than an energy source – an information service provider.
What is it that we get from the Sun that we use up on Earth to power life?
Most people would say energy.
While The Earth is bathed in an enormous flow of energy from The Sun, it is not the energy that we use up on Earth. Energy from The Sun falls on Earth as visible light yet if we look at The Earth from space as an energy emitter, we see that it radiates energy as infrared light. In fact the incoming visible light energy and the infrared outgoing energy are more or less equal. If they were not in equilibrium The Earth would quickly explode. As a whole The Earth maintains an energy balance and therefore in cannot be the ENERGY from The Sun that we use up.
If we look at the incoming and outgoing energy streams we can however see that there is a frequency drop. This is related to a quantity called entropy which is a measure of disorder or energy disspipation. Entropy can also be thought of as the opposite of information. A system with higher entropy has less information. The information we are talking about here is not digital information 1’s and 0’s but possible physical states.
The entropy of the outgoing energy from the earth is greater – there is less information in the global output stream, than in the input.
This entropy gradient is what we use to structure life on earth – all the biology, culture and technology that we see on earth is a result of the process of converting the more ordered energy stream from the sun, into a more disordered output stream. We take a high information source, convert it into a low information source, and the difference stays with us on earth – as biosphere, civilisation, culture and technology.
If we think about it in this way it is clear that it really is information that comes from the sun – it is carried by a massive energy flow, but what the earth uses from the sun is the potential to order – to create structure or information.
In the field of non-linear thermodynamics it is shown that it is precisely the fact that life is efficient at degrading the entropic gradient that makes it possible to exist as a meta stable state at all.
When we reframe our understanding of the relationship between us and the sun as an informatic one rather than an energetic one there are some consequences. If we understand that the life process is not about energy, but about transforming energy in a
way that maximises information capture, we may choose to do things differently.
Currently we foreground access to energy resources politically with much emphasis placed on securing access to fossil fuels. This is a kind of quantative view of the world as resource. If however we focus on the informatic, we look not at how much energy we can capture, but how much structure we can produce for a given amount of low entropy energy or information.
Looked at this way a tree is worth more alive than dead, as an ecosystem rather than firewood. As a complex living structure of information it is vastly richer informationally than an information poor ash pile. With informational eyes we foreground efficiency over power.
With this artwork I’d like to begin to propose a different language for re-framing what are currently energetic issues as informatic ones. With this as a starting point we will have more luck in designing a sustainable infrastructure as we slowly but surely out of the fossil fuel era.