Lilla LoCurto & Bill Outcault
The willful marionette
the willful marionette (2014) was created by artists Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault during a residency with the University of North Carolina Charlotte, working with the College of Computing and Informatics as well as the College of Art and Architecture. The marionette is 3d printed from the scanned image of a human figure and responds engagingly in real time to spontaneous human gestures by reading a viewer’s movements and expressions. Its strings are manipulated by motors and software and there are two depth sensors that read and analyze the behaviors and gestures of participants. The puppet’s subsequent actions are designed to elicit further responses, creating an exchange focusing on the frailty and insecurities of the human participant and raising issues of contemporary relevance. The intention of the project was not to create so much a perfectly functioning robot but rather to imbue an obviously mechanically actuated marionette with the ability to solicit a physical and emotional dialog with a viewer.
Light is using high-precision lasers to draw continuous abstract shapes on the screen, perfectly synchronized with the sound. Intense light contrasts with total darkness, and slow movements and the evolution of small details are as important as strong gestures. The result is both quaint and futuristic. Emerging models leave room for many possible explanations. Hieroglyphs, symbols in an unknown language, architectural drawings, connections between data points, or early video games like Tron are magnified 1,000 times.
La lumière utilise des lasers de haute précision pour dessiner des formes abstraites continues sur l’écran, parfaitement synchronisées avec le son. La lumière forte contraste avec l’obscurité totale, le ralenti et l’évolution des petits détails sont aussi importants que les gestes forts. Le résultat est à la fois pittoresque et futuriste. Les modèles émergents laissent place à de nombreuses explications possibles. Les hiéroglyphes, les symboles dans une langue inconnue, les dessins d’architecture, les connexions entre les points de données ou les premiers jeux vidéo comme Tron sont agrandis 1 000 fois.
‘future self’ is a study in human movement. the installation captures movement in light to create a three dimensional ‘living sculpture’ based on the composite gestures surrounding it, mirroring the actions of those who pass around it. entirely hand-made, 30,000 LED lights line the brass rods which are arranged to create a structure reminiscent of a rectangular prism, 3D cameras record people’s motions which are expressed through a ghostly, illuminated image, constantly changing.
Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Abschlag” installation, which occupies the first room on the main floor, offers a lesson in how not to engage with the Russian milieu: the Swiss artist constructed part of a typical Petersburg apartment block out of cardboard inside the full-height space, ripped off its façade, and deposited the refuse at its base, revealing shabby interiors lined with original avant-garde masterpieces (on loan from the nearby Russian Museum) by the likes of Malevich and El Lissitky. The references allude to a politically radical Russian past; the construction debris acts as a metaphor for history. Though Hirschhorn suggests a recovery of the revolutionary communist spirit of the 1920s, he falls prey to a historically revisionist fetish: citing the Russian avant-garde as a generative point for vanguard culture in the West, and offering it as a source for renewed progressivism in Russia. Hirschhorn seems woefully unaware of the Putin government’s branding campaign, one that aims to sell the Russian avant-guard as a nationalist movement in line with the regime’s own values (perhaps he didn’t watch the Sochi opening ceremony). Hirschhorn ultimately proves Zhilayev right — with its political pretenses, “Abschlag” aspires to make a grand gesture against conservatism, but fails because its critique has already been co-opted..
The movements of one individual effect the balance of the piece so greatly that the other person must move to balance the sculpture. ‘Our bodies are constantly adapting and bending to the configurations of buildings and the designs of transportation. In recent drawings, urban blueprints fuse with human anatomical representation… I emphasize on the ideas of flexibility and lightness. The machines I build serve to express the elegance of a gesture, a finite moment of equilibrium.’ Eve Bailey
ST/LL opens on a stage with a long set table, perpendicularly to the orchestra, under the eyes of the audience; on the sides of the table there are some chairs. On the background, coinciding with the inner extremity of the table, there is a projection screen developing vertically, like a painting that evokes the Japanese pictorial tradition. The perimeter of the stage is covered with a veil of water, in which everything reverberates. The whole visual structure of the work develops all around this diaphanous dimension. A man enters the scene and carries out actions on the table: he moves the cutlery, changes the position of the chairs, makes tiny gestures, which let the audience foretell that an action played on the visible will develop. To the sound of a metronome, two women and then a third one enter the scene and sit at the table making gestures that imitate a meal without food.
Imitation is a part of being human. Eelco Brand uses both paint and digital techniques to create images that reflect his conception of nature. In this sense his works are not so much the depiction of an actual place or event, but the way he imagined it and modelled it in the calculated space of digital art. Viewing his work can be both an alienating and deeply human experience. His subjects are modelled to the utmost detail to create a kind of hyperreal cosmos, a simulacrum of nature. Still, we experience these models of forests, cars and mountains as pure conveyers of meaning. These static images speak the language of scale, light, repetition, infinite detail and the deeper meaning of a simple gesture.
The title of the piece references Harun Farocki’s 1969 film of the same name, which approaches the impossible task of effectively depicting the horror of napalm on film. Cassils’s gesture of self-immolation speaks to both the desire for–and the impossibility of–knowing such horror, even while decisively aiming to approach it. Though the stunt is a simulation of violence, it still presents real danger. This possibly volatile situation–and the attempt to control it–is captured to create an image where danger, empathy for those experiencing violence, and the privilege of removal from such circumstance operate simultaneously in one transparent performance.
“Over the 90 minute performance, I feel no less than transported. There are eight male performers, including Ushio Amagatsu himself. The dancers often move slowly, with incredible muscular control, fluidity and elegance. And suddenly the spell will be broken and they’ll run across the stage, their painted bodies leaving clouds of white powder hanging in the air like a shadow or ghost. Slow sustained movements are countered with tiny, minute gestures of the fingers. Hands are often gnarled, the joints contorted with incredible tension. It is mysterious, hypnotic and strange. The countenance of the performers is most arresting – behind the white paint, their faces reveal the fragility, humility, vulnerability and truth of their humanity.”Day Helesic
Ghost Pole Propagator II
Ghost Pole Propagator captures and replays the ‘skeletons‘ of passersby in its environment, creating a layered and dynamic tapestry that reflects the history and activity of a locale. Presenting a universal communication of presence, attitude and gesture, the stick-figures this artwork generates are compact and expressive means of representing the human form. The format of the work is variable; in some presentations, the project serves as a kind of ‘interpretive monitoring station’ for nearby pedestrian traffic.
The OCR began work on Specimen Box in 2014 at the request of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit. Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center monitors communications coming from hundreds of millions of PCs around the world that have become infected by botnet malware. Employing data sonification together with advanced visualization techniques, Specimen Box provides a configurable multi-sensory presentation of botnet signal activity in real time. It also features a multitouch gesture-based interface for navigating, exploring, selecting, and examining the billions of signals that have previously been collected. Users can access the collected signals based on their activity levels, the geographic locations of their sources, or their daily activity patterns over time, using clustering to group sources with similar behavior.
Penwald: 2: 8 circles: 8 gestures
Se trata de creación a través del cuerpo, el movimiento y la acción. Podríamos decir que lo que muestra es más una acción que una exposición. Así, presentará una performance de creación plástica en directo, que deja sobre el papel un dibujo espectacular. Las dos obras de su actuación se enmarcan dentro del proyecto artístico en el que está trabajando, Penwald drawings. Su técnica: grafito en mano y utilizar las posibilidades de movimiento de su cuerpo, ya sea tumbado, con las rodillas o involucrando todo el cuerpo en su obra.
chun hua catherine dong
The gestures in the performance are inspired by gargoyle, a legendary stone-carved grotesque with a spout that normally is designed to convey water from a roof. Mouth serves as the opening for food intake and in the articulation of sound and speech. However, when performers wear the mouthpieces, or when women’s mouth is forced to open, the mouth loses its function. In fact, it silences and disables the women because they are unable to talk when their mouths are widely pulled open. This performance explores another side of the unseen and unspoken—the vulnerability, struggle, shame, and suffering that we are uneasy to share and expose.
Field of Infinity
Inspired by both Italian Renaissance paintings and contemporary news broadcasts of protests at the border of Gaza with Israel – the work processes human gestures and figures in a landscape into a dark and colorful mix, opening up a series of reflections on the political image, the image of the political, the politics of the image, and the image of the image.
Flowers for Africa
Flowers For Africa the artist mined archives related to African de-colonization to compile a list of flowers associated with individuals, nations and/or resistance movements; an image library that became the basis for meticulous sculptural recreations of individual flowers, or entire bouquets. As Kapwani described of the series, in a statement that reads as apt in relation to her overall approach: “What I’m trying to do is to acquaint myself with these various historic times, and questions, and more generally an interest I have in power dynamics. With this project I have chosen to look from the African continent at these global questions of power dynamics. This project is a way for me to acquaint myself with different archives, consulting documents and simply pondering on those moments. In this process, this was the most natural gesture which emerged”
In the photo project INposition (2013), which was shot by a Hasselblad 501CM camera, she’s using playful manipulation of physical fragments to express existentialism or the limits of body and mind. Anna Horcinova staged her models – mostly dancers in physically difficult dance poses expressing an emotional state of mind together with a gesture. And with the help of the body she tries to cross the imperceptible boundaries between her subject and the world around it.
Parades & Changes
Parades & Changes, replays is a full scale re-creation of the masterpiece Parades & Changes, a major 1965 work of American postmodern dance legend Anna Halprin. The provocative Parades & Changes, Halprin’s first “collective creation” dynamited the codes dominating dance by exposing the process of performance: improvising around several “scores,” dancers dress and undress, inventing gestures and vanishing naked in rolls of skin colored paper. This “ceremony of trust,” as it was named by Halprin, seeks to utilize dance as a medium for being together: her prolific composition addresses the process, the place, the action, and the performer as both unique and corresponding entities.
Matthias Zwicker, Wojciech Matusik, Fredo Durand, and Hanspeter Pfister
Automultiscopic 3D displays
Automultiscopic 3D displays allow a large number of viewers to experience 3D content simultaneously without the hassle of special glasses or head gear. This display uses a dense array of 216 video projectors to generate images with high angular density over a wide field of view. As users move around the display, their eyes smoothly transition from one view to the next. The display is ideal for displaying life-size human subjects, as it allows for natural personal interactions with 3D cues such as eye-gaze and spatial hand gestures.
Portrait of the Artist
Jennifer Rubell, the American artist and niece of Studio 54 co-founder Steve Rubell, brings a maternal touch to this year’s Frieze Art Fair with her autobiographical piece Portrait of the Artist. The pristine white nude, cast from steel-reinforced fibreglass, reclines like an odalisque at the Stephen Friedman Gallery stand. The sculpture is a replica of Rubell’s own eight-months-pregnant body, except it is eight metres high: the large belly, which is carved out to leave an egg-shaped void, can accommodate a fully grown adult. Spectators are able to clamber into the artwork and curl up inside as if they are the artist’s unborn child.Rubell’s intention was to create a monumental gesture of unconditional motherly love. There is a feminist statement here, too: Rubell has appropriated a style and scale historically reserved for male leaders to show, she says, “an emotion that is intensely personal and un-heroic”. The artist adds that watching members of the Frieze audience enter in the sculpture’s womb is “tremendously satisfying” – in her eyes the enlarged form was “incomplete until the first viewer entered”. Amid the hustle of Frieze’s mini-city there is something undeniably appealing about the opportunity to put your feet up in the foetal position in the name of art. Not to mention the comfort factor.