"Rozin's anthropomorphic PomPom Mirror features a synchronized array of 928 spherical faux fur puffs. Organized into a three-dimensional grid of beige and black, the sculpture is controlled by hundreds of motors that build silhouettes of viewers using computer-vision. Along its surface, figures appear as fluffy animal-like representations within the picture plane, which is made permeable by a 'push-pull' forward and backward motion of meshed 'pixels'. Ghostly traces fade and emerge, as the motorized composition hums in unified movement, seemingly alive and breathing as a body of its own."
Daniel Rozin, "PomPom Mirror", 2015, 928 faux fur pom poms, 464 motors, control electronics, video camera, custom software, microcontroller, wooden armature, 48 x 48 x 18 in / 121.9 x 121.9 x 45.7 cm
"'Submergence', work by the Squidsoup collective, will be the only indoor piece in all of the [Mexico City] 2015 VAW festival, envisioned for a closed space. Like the name of the piece suggests, 'Submergence' proposes the audience to be immersed, inviting to stroll through it, which in an interactive process produces changes in the intensity of the lights, colors and sound expressions. With a narrative path composed of 4 parts of approximately 5 minutes each, an abstract story slowly takes shape with great poetic weight and added to the mutations that the audience contributes with their movements. The transition through subtle atmospheres introduces us to a magical and unreal world. Beyond the multiple meanings the spectator can perceive in free interaction with 'Submergence', the experience is key in itself, the possibilities this piece offers to perceive and enjoy all the senses at once."
"When critical thinking is at its strongest, it often comes from exactly the sort of fluidity of practice that does run through Digital Revolution. The London–based architect and artist Usman Haque has been creating innovative software products alongside interactive artworks for more than 15 years. In 2007, he founded Pachube, a global data–sharing network that anticipated by years the current buzz around big data and the internet of things. In 2011, Pachube enabled hundreds of Japanese civilians to quickly and easily share weather and radiation data in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, boosting monitoring and relief efforts. Haque's Umbrellium team has produced a new artwork for Digital Revolution, which takes up the entirety of The Pit, the Barbican's subterranean theatre space. Called Assemblance, the piece allows about 25 people at a time to physically shape beams of light with their hands, pushing and pulling them around the space–while also bumping into and potentially messing up the shapes created by other people.
Haque calls it 'a virtual reality', but not in the sense of a purely digital realm: 'It's there, it's responding to you, you can see it, but as you try and approach it you can't actually feel it. For me, the idea is to question this distinction between the physical and the virtual.' The process is akin to building a sandcastle on the beach, where you are building a structure that anyone else, or the elements, can destroy in a moment.
Assemblance attempts to answer the question: 'How do we create things together in a shared environment, where we can't always trust each other, but we need to act together regardless?' This, indeed, is the situation we find ourselves in now. In the modern digital world, the question of participation is crucial as our various networks–social, media, national–require us to constantly mediate between acting as individuals and acting as a group. For Haque, the digital has given us 'the capacity to have an effect on the other side of the world almost instantaneously', from news events and economic flows to disaster response and warfare. 'We can do things to other people in distant lands, and so the question of our responsibility, and our culpability, is thrown up in ways that it hasn't been before. On the other hand, we now have the capacity to connect with each other, and develop new ways to work together, rather than against each other.'
Assemblance asks the audience to see itself as part of a networked whole, where actions have consequences. It also points towards the fact that 'the digital' is not a medium, but a context, in which new social, political and artistic forms arise. After 50 years, at least, of digital practice, institutions are still trying to work out its relevance, and how to display and communicate it–a marker, perhaps, that it is indeed a form of art."
(James Bridle, 18 June 2014, The Guardian)
Fig.1 Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field by Usman Haque and Dot Samsen from Umbrellium. Photograph: Umbrellium.
"An artist and comedian [Miriam Elia] has been told by the publisher Penguin that her new satirical art book breaches its copyright, and if she continues to sell copies it could use the courts to seize the books and have them pulped. ...
Elia's version sees them visiting an exhibition at a modern art gallery and grappling with existential questions about the nature of Tracey Emin–style conceptualist work, much of it peppered with distinctly adult imagery."
(Gareth Rubin, 2 March 2014, The Guardian)
"29 April 2013, marks the Australian launch of a unique project that will see a giant work of art by Australian Aboriginal artist Lena Nyadbi installed on the roof of the musée du quai Branly in Paris. To be officially revealed on June 6, the 700 square-metre installation is viewable from the Eiffel Tower and accessible by Google Earth users, making it one of the largest artworks made by an Australian artist and an important new addition to the world renowned museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas."
(International Development for Australian Indigenous Art)