Gigantic: Mediation Beyond Surface


Presentation Title:

  • Gigantic: Mediation Beyond Surface



  • Panel Statement (abstract):

    Mediated space continues to redefine its possibilities as large scale surfaces increasingly become playable displays. Now that we can be increasingly immersed in gigantic image spaces the panel will investigate how surface has become frameless and how we can begin to explore image cities and propose imaged planets. The soil itself can be reinvented as a programmable material, leading towards artificial ecologies that are pure design. Our cities buildings are now so completely skinned in display that the entire urban experience becomes media. Smart materials and controlled reactions are being developed that promise massive reactive surfaces in which material behavior is the message. Immersive displays are being removed from scientific contexts with both domes and 360-degree systems being repurposed for digital humanities and creative experimentation. These model projects are fundamentally transdisciplinary, not just in their creation but also in their impact and ability to infect and engage large audiences and transform institutional orthodoxy. We are inside the image now, the ultimate spectacle, and actively exploring how programmable spaces and surfaces can be used for artistic purposes. The panel will consider the aesthetics, technicalities, benefits and concerns of gigantic mediation beyond surface by presenting a group of international practitioners who work in the field of the large scale.

    Individual Statements:

    Rachel Armstrong – The Persephone Project: Technologically convergent artificial ecosystem

    Technological convergence between biological and digital computing is enabling new forms of computation such as natural computing and programmable life-like matter. Persephone is a real world project, which is part of the Icarus Interstellar portfolio of projects that propose to construct a starship research platform in orbit inside 100 years. The aim is to build an artificial ecology for the starship that will indefinitely support its community, starting with the development of artificial soils.

    Maurice Benayoun – Overscale Art in Public Space: from Play to Dysplay

    Street art has reminded us again of the power of media when artists practice outside of the white box. For centuries the frame separated the art from the “real” world, a boundary which was questioned by the introduction of screen technologies. More recently the screen has expanded, invading the walls, the façades and now the very skin of the building itself. Light and image are covering entire buildings in a way that, beyond any previous definition of screen, the urban architectural complex has become a medium.

    Scott Hessels: Built Chameleons: Reactive Media Display

    The number of screens now manufactured has surpassed the number of humans on the planet. Mediated environments today have become so pervasive, it is difficult to think of a moving image that is not electronic; we rarely say ‘digital’ display anymore as the assumption is so ingrained in our culture. Electronic screens are always attached yet rarely integrated, usually added on after the fact. Hence most media understanding does not consider the relationship between the screen and its placement. Media is a skin that does not reach to the bones, the structure of our environment.

    Sarah Kenderdine – Towards an Embodied Museography

    We are in the midst of a transformation, from a world of screens and devices to a world of immersive experience [1] This panel contribution will examine new paradigms for transforming digital cultural archives into these immersive experiences through research in data creation, virtual environment design, interactivity, and information visualization — transforming public engagement with intangible and tangible heritage.

    Mike Phillips – Any resemblance to any other world known or unknown is purely coincidental.

    This panel paper explores the recent liberation of the Fulldome from its planetarium shaped shackles through the work of a transdisciplinary team of artists, VJ’s, coders, performers, producers and curators. This process of liberation has enabled the exploration of a Fulldome language and a range of experiences and enabling technologies that are being deployed in cultural situations and institutions. This process has also created a disciplinary backwash where initiatives such as Fulldome UK, are infiltrating Science Centres with cultural content.