[-empyre-] (no subject)

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Fri Oct 13 07:54:53 AEDT 2017

Thanks Tyler for this post which brings together the conceptual/theoretical and the practical as well as the material and the networked.  Really looking forward to more of the same. Thanks for the URL.  Just a note that you all can post images directly or post links and moving images on our -empyre soft-skinned FACEBOOK PAGE. 

-empyre soft-skinned space

Thanks again to all of you. 
-empyre soft-skinned space
Managing moderator

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

On 10/12/17, 2:19 PM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Tyler Fox" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of tylersfox at gmail.com> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>Hello everyone,
>First, I also want to send my best wishes to April and Matt. I have
>friends and family in the same area, some who had to flee in the
>middle of the night with nothing more than pajamas and their cat
>(which, at least, is a thin silver lining). I am saddened for all,
>humans and nonhumans, dealing with such devastation.
>I would like to thank Margaretha for inviting me as a guest to this
>week. Also thanks to everyone for the wonderful posts with much to
>consider (terroirism, affection, enlivenment, grieving and resistance
>thereof, turtles and other turtles, listening, learning, and
>communicating with nonhuman collaborators…the list goes on). Just.
>As Margaretha’s introduction suggests, I am interested in feeling
>alongside nonhumans, and in the two projects described below I attempt
>to create experiences that can be shared, in ephemeral and limited
>ways to be sure, but shared nonetheless between humans and nonhumans.
>I believe that feeling alongside nonhumans is a powerful counterpoint
>to thinking alongside of nonhumans and can help situate perspective in
>important ways.
>Biolesce is a series of interactive sculptures made with
>bioluminescent algae, or dinoflagellates. When physically moved the
>algae emits a bright flash of light. I incorporate biosensors for
>human audience that trigger motors that move the algae causing a
>bioluminescent response. For instance, one iteration used three
>‘stations’ comprised of a bottle of seawater and algae embedded with
>motors connected to a heartbeat sensor in each. The human audience
>members placed their finger on the sensor, and then the algae lit up
>in in time to their pulse. I tried to make an intimate experience
>between human and algae, featuring different embodied processes.
>After vowing to never again work with something that requires complete
>darkness (more on this in a moment) I turned my attention to another
>embodied process: fermentation. Fermentum, a project that always seems
>to be in progress, uses sensors to track the fermentation process of
>kimchi and sauerkraut and then sonify the data. I like to say that
>it’s allowing the kimchi to sing, but more accurately it’s a
>soundtrack of bacterial individuation and environmental change. My
>goal is to create a sonic experience that allows a human audience to
>hear an ongoing, embodied process (bacteria changing their
>environment) and to recognize it as a rich individuation between
>bacteria and milieu. It is far from complete, and I’m currently
>working on collaborating with a lab to identify probiotic strains in
>my ferments as a basis for a more complex soundtrack.
>Both projects are predicated on the philosophies of Alfred North
>Whitehead and Gilbert Simondon. Thinkers who have helped me understand
>experience as a non-cognitive aspect of the world, open to all
>entities (bacteria, single-celled algae, and Arduino
>microcontrollers). They have also helped me understand experience as a
>unfolding process, tied to a nexus of sensations, or prehensions,
>(Whitehead) between individual and milieu (Simondon). Simondon claims
>that individuals and milieus are co-emergent, he writes of them as
>dyads, and that the world must be understood not from the point of
>view of individuals, but through the processes of individuation, from
>which individuals and milieus emerge. Thus, interactive works based on
>biological processes, such as fermentation, are moments to experience
>an ongoing individuation, perhaps this is an enlivenment of a
>biological process through technical means. That’s a gross
>oversimplification of the contributions of both of these thinkers, but
>hopefully enough to stress an emphasis on experience and feeling.
>Feeling is key.
>I have returned to the dark, so to speak, as I and another faculty
>member are leading a research-through-design project with a small
>number of undergraduates. We will collectively build a bioluminescent
>‘display’ and the students will work in small teams to create
>visualizations for the bespoke display. I’m now teaching in an
>engineering students, and my practice is both intriguing and
>bewildering to many of the students, but just last night we had a deep
>conversation about the limits of quantification (important when making
>a display that will be inexact!), and the concepts of abstraction and
>representation in the context of ambient displays. It was deeply
>gratifying when a student commented at the end of our hour-long
>conversation that it felt like we were in a philosophy class. We then
>went on to make seawater and propagate algae for our display. When
>finished with our prototype, the students will come up with design
>proposals for bioluminescent interactions and technologies, to use
>their experience to dream of a different future. It’s my first step at
>pushing them toward a speculative design practice. I hope they too
>will come to understand feeling alongside nonhumans as key to their
>Thanks for having me-
>Documentation of both projects can be found at my website: www.tylersfox.com
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

More information about the empyre mailing list