[resgat 200604]


  • food experiment - how people approach eating unknown foods and how do they find out what the food is (relational and social context). The food brought to the meeting were palm nuts.


Video textures in Ogre

  • discussions with the developer of Theora
  • looking into GStreamer
  • output of this research should be included into Ogre

Currently reading: B. Kosko's Fuzzy Thinking

  • philosophy of science, focusing on control theory
  • written with a broad audience in mind (popular science)
  • describing how to make fuzzy systems from a philosphical POV
  • fact can be anything, not simply true/false
  • the benefits of being uncertain
  • non-aristotelian scientific notification
  • discussions about people who wrote the theories, rather than theories themselves
  • the author would be an interesting person to present at one of our lectures


Research trip to Lithuania, looking at local situation in terms of Active Materials

Lina was interested to find out what is possible in Lithuania, in terms of epaper and thermochromic materials (one of her sources informed her that there are interesting developments in this field). It turned out that none of these developments exist as yet, but there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm.

There are several possible research trajectories:

  • market research (a catalogue of labs, companies and design agencies)
  • mapping and development of the sci-art field
  • survey of active materials, to be presented to the Lithuanian audience.
  • Interest in connecting people through interaction design
  • currently only into 'make-up' - using simple tricks to 'beautify things'
  • potential collaboration with University of Lithuania, for this meeting with a theoretician from the faculty of physics; contacts should be made in materials science, chemistry, physics,
  • science in Lithuania is very political (and quite corrupt)
  • very short term thinking
  • someone should engage in a field survey
  • difficulty with science: no knowledge how to move from prototype to product
  • no dialogue science-art: * scientists: this is not possible * artists: we need it

interesting developments:

  • company making organic crystals
  • chitin * maggots used to make water-proof material - * interesting ethical debate: is this any worse than making silk, where butterflies are killed just before degrading the silk cocoon
  • lasers:

visit to a laser company

  • head of the research department is also part of the science council
  • production of machines to make lasers
  • production of holograms on various scales
  • looking at eye-safe lasers


1. politics of distribution and production of food Example: Feral Trade by Kate Rich

  • frustration with non existent information about the source of food products in supermarkets; lots of information about energy levels and ingredients, but nothing about where the ingredients are from, how they got from their origin to their destination
  • kate is making a database, with which it is possible to track every step of a product, visualising its trip from producer to your kitchen.
  • Feral Trade can be considered 'slow shopping'. Kate finds products that interest her (usually discovered through informal social relationships, on parties, friends' dinners…), then establishes direct and personal contact with the producer (either through email, phone or f2f), sets up informal distribution networks and has information about who, when and for how much someone transported the product. Until April 2006 Kate has imported coffee from El Salvador, sweets and rice cookers from Iran.
  • Kate 'shops on demand' * it is a grocery business, funded by Kate's arts practice and the sales of the products, that exists when is needed, rather than over-buying stock and having to dump it when it's out of date. You order the products, she collects orders and once the order is large enough, the shipment is made, then distributed through a network of friends who happen to be travelling to your home-towm. Every plane, taxi and metro ticket is registered and contributes to the final price.

URL: http://feraltrade.org/

2. aesthetics in technological arts

  • triggered by discussions in the production of the .x-med-a. magazine
  • due to the much stronger focus on concept and function, several .be technological artists seem to be unable to discuss issues of aesthetics without bursting into emotional wars, where aesthetics seems to have become such an intimate thing, that it can almost be considered a taboo.
  • questions of collective aesthetics, where aesthetical decisions are made ad-hoc (such as in real-time situations), by several people, but also by machines (even though a machine doesn't consciously make an aesthetic decision, its functioning changes the decisions made by artists)
  • approaching the issue of aesthetics from an intuitive POV (but still aware of theories such as Adorno', Virilio, Nicholas Bourriaud 'relational aesthetics'…)
  • in order to discuss this Maja invited Michael Samyn from Tale of Tales (another artist very concerned about the non existing aesthetic debate in Belgian media arts), to organise a panel on 'aesthetics in the age of digital art'. The panel will be held on Okno Public01 festival at the end of May 2006.

Abstract (more On Beauty)

Aesthetics is a term that became a taboo in many contemporary arts circles for nearly a decade. Swept away as the frilly fluff that adorns much of the mainstream entertainment, in the 'media arts', beauty became subordinate to elaborate concepts, social context, critical theory and technological functionality. However, we are quite sure that even the most rigorous of media artists like to see, hear, touch, wear and immerse themselves in an atmosphere which resonates with their aesthetic sensibilities. We would like to know what are these sensibilities and how people incorporate them in their artistic adventures. How does aesthetics relate to the technologies we use and develop? Is it dictated by the tools, or can we bend the tools to make something we consider beautiful? When we work on collaborative projects, do people make compromises, or do they give each other a 'carte-blanche'? Is there such a thing as 'democratic aesthetics'? Can different people's aesthetics connect or disconnect a piece together in distributed, networked, realtime performances? And finally, how do we talk about it, without offending anyone's most intimate sensibilities?

Alkan … unravelling loose ends, as his field work is coming to an end 1. Social geography:

  • how to write about mixed reality spaces, when he hasn't visited one?

- * instead, he has been to several formal and informal exhibition spaces, which might be interesting to look at.

  • studio/workspace of FoAM is an interesting sociological space
  • looking at issues of neighbourhood in terms of arts collectives

2. networks on different levels

  • how are personal and impersonal networks entangled?

3. aesthetics and technology

  • the elements of social and political domains in aesthetics
  • intrinsically woven with politics of funding and partnerships
  • technology: intrinsic fusion between concrete and abstract
  • aesthetics and technology could exist without the other, but ethnography could fuse it


  • looking at teaching sci-art to children

Domus academy research centre (Reggio Calabria)

  • interesting approach to collaborative creative process
  • everyone is involved in every step of the process/projects
  • having mixed groups of adults (elderly) and children in the development process

foam – * off the grid and with kids ?

  • resgat200604.txt
  • Last modified: 2007-07-12 17:51
  • by nik