The trend toward reduction of bodily contact with reality is generated in the world of the new media thanks to a process that is gradually making them exist as a universe of pure surface (the monitor or, more in general, any computational instrument), or even the purely virtual (the scene behind and inside). Sensorial din represents the perfect antithesis; the very media that are thus the realm of inconsistency are, at the same time, noisy, upholstered with visual clamor, flickering with sonic glare.
Università della Svizzera Italiana – Design School
25th of September 2011
Seminar curated by: Marco Mancuso
Digicult was called by Prof. Massimo Botta to lead a seminar about the contemporary artistic application of the interaction between men and machines, at the Master of Advanced Studies in Interaction Design he leads at SUPSI in Lugano.
The Master proposes different design modules and complementary topics. The program starts with a module composed by a series of workshops addressed to provide an overview on the technical, methodological and practical skills of interaction design discipline.
The goal of the Master is to train skilled professionals able to lead interdisciplinary team design projects within the most innovative industrial and design fields.
The Man-Machine interaction
The communicative impact of new technologies in the most common aspects of everyday life takes the form of two opposite approaches: a gradual loss of contact with reality and a progressive synaesthetic overload. In other words, this scenario is the result of two diverging thrusts: on the one hand, a progressive dematerialization of media communication, on the other its growing multisensorial din.
Consciously immersed in this reality, the artists working on this synaesthesia can follow one path only: that of reduction of redundancy and futile originality, mindful that objects, artifacts and environments are not just forms but factors that provoke an aggregate of sensations. To be manipulated coherently, aware of the parameters of certain devastating dichotomies conceded by creative and conscious use of digital technologies. Is art what appears, the finished result, or is it the process that lies behind? How deeply as cyber culture penetrated our social DNA? To what extent do the new media permit translation, into concrete objects, of a series of new emotional experiences?
This seminar gives the participants a critical and historical overview of the most interesting artistic e productive realities in the field of interactive art & design, connecting them to the development of digital technologies, software, hardware, sciences, aesthetics and styles in the last years. The sensorial materialization of data flows, the creative autonomy of random codes, the aesthetic defined as that of machines and the binary systems hidden behind them, the synergetic relationship between technologies and environment, are only some of the items that will enrich the program of this seminar
- Interaction human-machine-environment: last century’s avant-garde’s research with a variety of analog instruments constitutes a key reference point for contemporary artists working with the digital. From Bauhaus to constructivism, to cinetic and programmed art, artists and designers have realized numerous research projects by experimenting with technologies and materials as well as with their public.
- the videotracking and the first experiences with the digital: the use of camcorders has been for a long time the only way to map the presence of human beings in a given space. This facilitated the rise of the first interactive installations that
connected the body of a person with fluxes of sound and images.
- Environmental installations and sensors (Arduino): interaction design has always had great applications in fields related to the environment and urban design. Let’s not forget the conspicuous recent development of the sensorial research and the use of Arduino, and other software of generative graphic programming
- Performing Media: the interaction with the body has always influenced the work of choreographers and dancers, performers and live artists, who have experimented with the interaction with machines, graphics and sounds on the stage.
- Media Architecture and Interaction Design: these new forms of media-architecture question the relation between virtual spaces and real spaces, between material and digital environments, often drawing from experiments in urban interaction design.
More specifically, they engage with the valorization of dialogue between the human being-citizen, technology-environment and the emotional recontextualization of public space.
- Locative Media, Geomapping and sound maps: the urban context is not formally and architecturally transformed: it actively functions as the physical place of representation as opposed to the digital non-place of the new electronic media. This
is both to enjoy sounds, images and colors in the urban context in a new manner, and to unravel the increasing lack of privacy caused by the presence of digital technologies that map the physical location of citizens.