Exits and Rethinks

It has been a tumultuous few weeks in the project. The performance artist we has hoped to work with is no longer able to join us. this opens up the possibility to take a new look at the project and assess what is integral to the project and what is superfluous. to this end we met on the 6 August to work through different possibilities and look at whether the dancer is really necessary or if I or someone else could step in on a more casual level.

This was a great day as we seemed to achieve a great deal in a short space of time. The first point of order was to define the piece as its stands. the best way to do this is to think in terms of a series of blocks which are incongruous but are connected by the throughput of data.

  1. The first block is the audience and the twitter conversation they create.
  2. The second is the twitter to tabla sketch and  Rishii playing that data
  3. The third block is the system that takes touch data from the surface of the tabla and turning that into light formations
  4. the forth block is the individual who sees the light formations and interprets them as hand gestures that Rishii sees (this is where a feedback look occurs as data from the tabla goes back as direction that controls how the tabla are played)
  5. the final block is the system of taking movement information from the hands of individual looking at the light formations and reinterprets that as movements or coordinates sent to a drawing machine.

The idea of the human locked in the algorithmic process is still intact as is the critique of contemporary uses and understandings of data. The idea that data is a type of truth and the visualisation or sonification brings us closer to the origin of that data is very much part of  our life and the work tries to challenge the fetishisation of data both in mass media (through the proliferation of data visualisations in newspapers and magazines) and art (the use of data to create generative artwork using algorithms and software).

More recently I was talking to my four-year old nephew who is into sea creatures and he mentioned a Siphonophorae which (in simple terms) is an organism constructed of smaller creatures called zooid’s.  Each zooid has a particular function, is very complex and different. It is therefore dependant on the zooid’s.  I’m starting to see this artwork as a Siphonophorae as it is a series of linked sections each dependent on the others.

The piece feels like a whole and a series of individual pieces.


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