Credit: Stefan Engelbrecht
Aalborg University (DK)
The exhibition Roads Less Travelled by . . . features student projects from the Art and Technology course and the Erasmus Joint Master in Media Arts Cultures at Aalborg University. All student projects are the results of critical academic inquiries into art, technology and culture involving problem-based research and learning processes; a pedagogical framework that prioritizes interdisciplinary group work with a focus on real-life issues and challenges. This means, that all projects investigate and question reality and its different manifestations using practice-based methods involving critical studies of user experiences and knowledge production.
Students on the BA course work in various formats, such as performance, sculpture, participatory events, robotic processes, sound and data. On the Erasmus master’s AAU semester, the students investigate the ontological effects of a culture of ubiquitous information. Both courses address the challenges to art (and any productive mode) in what Donna Haraway calls a “mixed-up time”, in which “Our task is to make trouble, to stir up potent response to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places” (Donna Haraway, Staying With the Trouble, Duke University Press, 2016, p. 1.).
Through the problem-based learning methods, the students are encouraged to take the roads of knowledge production that are “less travelled by”; meaning that, to use Haraway’s phrase, they are asked to “stay with the trouble” of contemporaneity. How does technology transcend itself as mere means in our urge (re-)present, experience and contextualize art and culture?
Aalborg University (AAU)
Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark, has been providing students with academic excellence, cultural engagement and personal development since its inception in 1974. AAU is currently consolidating its profile as dynamic and problem-based research and an educational institution aiming at finding innovative solutions to global and complex challenges.
Cristina Palomares (ES), Melinda Varro (DK), Christine Hvidt (DK), Anna Major (DK), Daniela Maciel (DK/PT), Sidsel Abrahamsen (DK)
Seeds10110100 is a sound-reactive generative-art installation consisting of ecologies living together as a community, mimicking a living organism through light. They organize their community through interaction with the surroundings and according to a set of rules. The artwork changes its behavior depending on the level of interaction, seeking to demonstrate the continuous exchange of information between systems.
Stefan Engelbrecht Nielsen (DK), Alberte Husted Larsen (DK), Karina Lindegaard Aae Jensen (DK), Louise Ørsted (DK), Maria Emilie Nielsen (DK)
Sumbiophilia is an “Association of Experimental Explorers of Symbiotic Existence” that investigates how it is possible for humans, nature, and technology to exist in a mutually beneficial manner. The association proceeds from an investigation of an abandoned area near Limfjorden in Northern Jutland through artistic experiments and explorations. Sumbiophilia aspires to find novel ways for humans to live with nature, moving away from the existing perception of how we organize our existence. We hope that our work will inspire others to join us in the exploration and encourage further investigation at other sites around the world.
Bas van den Boogaard (NL), Vibeke Thorhauge Stephensen (DK), Karina Lindegaard Aae Jensen (DK), Louise Ørsted (DK), Stefan Engelbrecht Nielsen (DK)
Skin is a morphing of old techniques and digital technology. It addresses the use and effect of modern technology by transforming insensible transmissions into a vibrotactile embodied experience. Skin uncovers the extent to which transmissions surround us when we step into the digital world; first encounters are left with an unsettling feeling of being surrounded in this new unknown territory. We lack the proper tools to get a human understanding, but with Skin our sensory apparatus is equipped for this.
Shivani Anja Luithle (AU/DE)
Adjunct Infection explores the anxieties between the living and the technologically manipulative through boundaries of the cyborg and the organic, the impact of technology on our sense of self, and vulnerability to restraint and isolation in a society where we are no longer only extended physically but also mentally. These wearable sculptures aim to awaken our presence, and provoke intimate reflection and revelation, under the blind and distancing dependence on our everyday attachments.
A Universe of Memories
Gabrielle Maria Lepianka (DK), Sidsel Abrahamsen (DK), Matilde Nobel (DK)
A Universe of Memories is about the objects that you surround yourself with that have a certain memory or feeling attached to them. It might be an old bracelet or a coin, objects that do not necessarily have any obvious or material value but hold big sentimental value. Displayed in a giant mobile, the audience gets the opportunity to walk around in others’ memories and experience the sensation connected to the object representing them.
André Mintz (BR), Olga Lukyanova (RU)
The project takes Internet politics as a central topic, reflecting upon it from the analogy of network as a trap. It does so through a web application that offers users a simple, futile web service that, in exchange for their Facebook data, shows them which dead artist they are a reincarnation of. Performing data collection, anonymization, analysis and presentation, the project aims at the playful defunctionalization of technology it is based on.
Ina Čiumakova (LT), Rodrigo Guzman S. (MX), Stefan Palitov (MK)
Suono Specchio (lit. sound or play mirror) is an interactive sound installation that explores the use of the face as a possible interface for musical expression. The installation consists of a one-way mirror with which the user interacts by gesticulating. Facial gestures are mapped to specific musical and poetic elements, which are played back to the user through headphones or speakers. Suono Specchio expands the expressive capabilities of one’s own face while at the same time posing questions regarding the phenomenological and archaeological significance of mirrors and reflective surfaces.
Memorial to Forgotten Sounds
Adriaan Odendaal (ZA), Karla Zavala (PE), Luis Bracamontes (MX), Sultana Ismet Jerin (BD)
Memorial to Forgotten Sounds is a pop-up exhibition that showcases neomaterial sound souvenirs created from the sound waves’ digital sound pieces that belong to forgotten or unused online archives, as a way to reactivate them. These sound souvenirs thus become mnemonic devices to respond to the era of ubiquitous contextual computing and the Internet of Things. It represents an exploration for alternative ways to improve online archival practices and the preservation of media arts cultures through mnemonic strategies for post-digital contexts. It is based on Wolfgang Ernst and Wendy Chun’s idea that archives consist not only in storage but also in memory and access.
Jasper Fung (HK)
Encode consists of a hacked fire alarm and images of newspaper printed on a stainless-steel plate. The plate is connected to the fire alarm by electrical wiring, which forms a closed circuit. The fire alarm plays percussive patterns that are essentially Morse code/Chinese commercial code. These codes are derived from keywords from the popular Chinese social-media blogging site Weibo, which has been censored by the government of the People’s Republic of China.