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25 APRIL 2015

Supersymmetry: a immersive aesthetic experience by Ryoji Ikeda

"Supersymmetry attempts to transform the complexity of quantum information theory into an immersive aesthetic experience, meshing sound, visual data and high-speed light displays. The show pairs two inter-related installations. As you step into the cavernous, pitch-black space at the top of Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, you're confronted by [experiment]. Three 1m x 1m light boxes, glowing white, skitter and whoosh with tiny ball bearings, forming unique and unpredictable patterns. It's a disorientating experience, leaving you feeling adrift in such a frenetic space, with red lasers constantly scanning the surface movements.

As you step through the curtain into the next space, [experience], you're plunged into the middle of two 20m-long screens, blinking with forty monitors, all displaying how the previous room's data has been analysed and translated. The synchronized monitors pulse with high-speed analyses and typed text, while the electronic soundscape -- a symphony of bleeps, buzzes and droning hums -- adds to the charged atmosphere. The overall effect, as you glance at the mutating text and the rapid-fire bombardment of data, is both hypnotic and hallucinatory, and yet there's also something strangely oppressive about being caught in this endless loop of sound and information."

(Daniel Culpan, 23 April 2015, Wired)

"Supersymmetry" by Ryoji Ikeda, 2015. The exhibition runs at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park, London, W1F 0LA, until 31 May 2015.

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2015aesthetic experienceart and scienceart exhibitionartist in residence • artistic response • austere ambienceball bearings • beeps • bleeps • buzzes • CERN • charged atmosphere • complexity • dark space • disorientating experience • droning • electronic soundscape • emotionally empty art • endless loop • hallucinatory • Higgs boson • humming • hyper-sensory experience • hypnotic • immersive aesthetic experience • Japanese artist • Japanese visual artist • Large Hadron Collider • light installation • light pulses • lightboxmodernist aesthetics • multistorey building • particle accelerator • particle research • physics • quantum information theory • Ryoji Ikeda • sound and imagestrobing • Supersymmetry (2015) • symmetry • The Vinyl Factory • unique patterns • unpredictable patterns • visual artistvisual representations of scientific conceptsvisual spectacular • whooshes • Wired (magazine)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 APRIL 2015

Radio La Colifata: radio broadcast from inside a mental hospital

"More than 20 years ago, a psychology student doing his training at one of Argentina's oldest psychiatric wards kept being asked by his family and friends what it was like to work in there. So he came up with an idea: to let the patients explain in their own words.

The first radio station to broadcast from inside a mental hospital was born. Radio La Colifata - slang for loon, crazy person, has been on air from Hospital Jose Borda in Buenos Aires every Saturday afternoon for 23 years - to confront the stigma around mental illness, breaking through the wall in AM, FM and now online."

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1991 • access and engagement • agency of access and engagement • Al Jazeera • Alfredo Olivera • alternative voices • ArgentinaBuenos Airescurrent affairs • current affairs programme • empowerment • Hospital Jose Borda • Marcela Pizarro • mental health • mental hospital • mental illness • psychiatric hospital • radio • Radio La Colifata • radio station • radio station broadcasting • Spanish language • The Listening Post (Al Jazeera)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 APRIL 2015

Normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies

"Mop-ping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others.[1] Instead, normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies.

Perhaps these are defects. The areas investigated by normal science are, of course, minuscule; the enterprise now under discussion has drastically restricted vision. But those restrictions, born from confidence in a paradigm, turn out to be essential to the development of science. By focusing attention upon a small range of relatively esoteric problems, the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise be unimaginable. And normal science possesses a built-in mechanism that ensures the relaxation of the restrictions that bound research whenever the paradigm from which they derive ceases to function effectively. At that point scientists begin to behave differently, and the nature of their research problems changes. In the interim, however, during the period when the paradigm is successful, the profession will have solved problems that its members could scarcely have imagined and would never have undertaken without commitment to the paradigm."

(Thomas Kuhn, 1962, Vol. II, No. 2, p.24)

Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".

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1962 • accurate predictions • anomalies • ascendant revolution • Bernard Barber • conceptual continuity • development-by-accumulation • episodic model • history of science • history of scientific knowledge • logical positivism • logically determinate procedure • normal science • paradigm • paradigm shiftphilosophy of science • philosophy of scientific knowledge • puzzle-solving • realistic humanism • revolutionary science • science • scientific discovery • scientific knowledgescientific progress • scientific revolutions • sociology of scientific knowledge • Thomas Kuhn • useless science

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 APRIL 2015

Tactical Media Files: a living archive of social-political action

"Tactical Media emerged when the modest goals of media artists and media activists were transformed into a movement that challenged everyone to produce their own media in support of their own political struggles. This "new media" activism was based on the insight that the long-held distinction between the 'street' (reality) and the 'media' (representation) could no longer be upheld. On the contrary, the media had come to infuse all of society.

To challenge dominant (strategic) structures in society, it was necessary develop new (tactical) means of producing and distributing media. Not a specialised task separate from the social movements, but a key activity around which social movements could coalesce. And of equal importance, the media environment characterised by a broadcast logic of geography was being supplemented with an environment characterised by a many-to-many logic of access.

Though much has changed these insights remain as valid today as they did in the early 1990s."

(Eric Kluitenberg and David Garcia)

Fig.1 Image from: Critical Art Ensemble, Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media, 2001. http://critical-art.net/books/digital

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1990sagency of access and engagementamateur cultural productionAmsterdamartist collectivebig media • broadcast logic • broadcast mediacollective action • critical art • critical engagementcritical perspectivescritical practices • David Garcia • digital resistance • Eric Kluitenberg • hegemonic discourse • International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam • living archive • living practice • many-to-many • media activism • media archive • media environment • media representation • multimedia organisation • new media activism • new tactical means • participative mediapolitical action • political struggles • politics of resistance • power and agency • producing and distributing media • renewal and re-invention • social historysocial movementstactical engagementtactical media • Tactical Media Files • television programming

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2015

Webcam Venus (and other NIRL Masterpieces)

"In Webcam Venus, we asked online sexcam performers to replicate iconic works of art. This piece is an experimental homage to both fine art and the lowbrow internet phenomenon of cams. Sexcams use webcams and chat interfaces to connect amateur adult performers with an audience. Users log on to see men, women, transsexuals, couples and groups broadcast their bodies and sexuality live for the public, often performing for money. To create this experiment in high and low brow media, we assumed anonymous handles and spent a few hours each day for a month asking performers: 'Would you like to pose for me?'

What is beauty today? By operating in the language of sexcams, we alter the contemporary ideal of beauty with the ubiquitous display of sexuality online. We challenge the institutions which enforce false perceptions of propriety—via nudity in classical painting—as the only form of acceptable safe-for-work beauty. Publicly presented traditional paintings and sculptures are prevalent with sexuality and gender politics, and yet the display of nudity online is usually defined as 'pornography'. Amateur adult broadcasters also resist the popular, contemporary definition of beauty. They are not the typical definition of beauty prevalent main stream media: heavily Photoshopped image in the name of advertising, which destroys self image and confidence while encouraging materialism. Sexcam performers are the apotheosis of the most honest parts of us and yet typically the least valued part of a society. Even though they are transmitted virtually, they are real people and they are beautiful."

(Addie Wagenknecht, 5 March 2013, Free Art and Technology Lab)

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2013 • Addie Wagenknecht • adult imagery • adult performer • Amadeo Modigliani • amateur adult broadcasters • body politics • cam space • cam-girl • camgirl • chat model • classical beautycritical reinterpretation • Danae • de-sexualisation • depictions of mendepictions of women • digiphrenia • display of sexuality • Edgar Degas • Eugene Delacroix • fine art masterpiece • Free Art and Technology Lab • gender politics • graphic sex acts • in real life (IRL) • interactive online spaces • intimate interactions • IRL • James McNeill Whistler • La Fornarina (1518) • la Gioconda (1506) • La Vague (1896) • Leonardo da Vinci • live cam • Mademoiselle Rose (1824) • mediated representation • Mona Lisa (1506) • NIRL • not in real life (NIRL) • NSFWnude in western art • Pablo Garcia • porn performer • public intimacy • Raphaelreal peoplereclining nudeRembrandt van Rijn • self-aware • self-conscious • sex chat • sexcam • sexcam performer • sexual depictions • sexuality online • spectacular societytableau vivantTitianVenus of Urbino (1538)webcam sex • Webcam Venus (2013) • western artWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau • Woman with a Comb (1884)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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