GLOBAL CONTROL

THE 3RD OPEN FIELDS CONFERENCE, 6 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS, 60 PRESENTATIONS, INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 33 ARTWORKS, PERFORMANCES, AND JUST 140 AVAILABLE SEATS

When

13.09. – 15.09.2018. / The Exhibition Open till 21.10.2018

Where

The National Library of Latvia, Conference Center

Welcome to visit the Global Control
And Censorship exhibition,
open every day, free admission!

SEE THE EXHIBITION

ABOUT

Marking the centennial anniversary of independent Latvia and Baltic countries, this year's festival takes up the call by becoming a space for artistic interventions and hot-button conversations addressing the complexity and future of digital society, especially with regards to ubiquitous surveillance and data privacy.

The anniversary festival conference titled GLOBAL CONTROL, investigates issues from three main perspectives:

Hybrid Wars and Post-Truth

The first, “hybrid war”, is particularly relevant in the context of the Baltic states independence celebration year, when continuous “post-truth” propaganda in media and tensions around military training in this region are on the rise. We also discuss the issue of “fake news”, its consequences on global politics, and its impacts on individual nations.

Surveillance and Immersion

The second perspective deals with “surveillance and immersion”; as we all are under surveillance, we need to become aware of both the enormous scale of “watching”, as well as the potential “depth” of watching due to the development of immersive technologies.

The Next Big Privacy

The third, concerns “the next big privacy” issue, discussed from a “data politics” perspective – What is the future of our social media? How can we feel safe about our data we publish on the internet today?, and How to maintain trust with the next generation?

EVENTS

OF2018:
Global Control Conference

LNB Conference Center

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Global Control
and Censorship Exhibition

LNB Exhibition Halls

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Public
Keynotes

LNB Conference Center

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Opening Program

LNB Exhibition Halls

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Performances

TALLINAS IELA CREATIVE QUARTIER

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Swamp Radio
and Satellite Events

Kemeri bog and RIXC Gallery

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Book Presentation
Acoustic Space No. 17

LNB Conference Center

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Press
Conference

LNB Conference Center

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PROGRAMME

9/6/18 3:00 pm

Registration and Coffee


Venue: The National Library of Latvia

9/9/18 4:00 pm

Opening Keynotes. HYBRID WARS AND GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE
Moderated by Rasa SMITE and Raitis SMITS

Bruce STERLING / Jens HAUSER / Bernhard SEREXHE
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

Bruce STERLING / US-IT-RS
Science fiction author, WIRED journalist, critic and futurist

Multicolor Revolutions
Bruce Sterling describes media events in the Ukraine after the Euromaidan, the Novorussia secession and five years of armed struggle online and on the ground. This presentation includes a lot of images from his private collection of separatist and loyalist Ukrainian propaganda, along with some papers that Bruce discovered in the Yanukovych Palace while sleeping in the abandoned secret-service headquarters of Ukraine’s former President. Since the Euromaidan “Color Revolution,” this kind of covert media struggle has been professionalized by the likes of “Fancy Bear,” so it’s of interest to see how “computational propaganda” looked back when it was much more amateurish, awkward, comical and confused. Since Bruce is a science fiction writer rather than an intelligence operative, this speech will end with a few mild speculations about how the new media culture of armed struggle and frozen conflicts may go in the near future.

Keywords: media, propaganda, virality, Russia, Ukraine revolution, secession

Biography
Bruce Sterling is a novelist and journalist. While acting as “Visionary in Residence” at Art Center College of Design in 2008, he wrote “Shaping Things,” one of the first books about the Internet of Things. In 2008 he was the curator of the Share Festival in Turin, on the theme of Italian digital manufacturing. He was one of the original columnists for Make magazine and wrote the cover story for the first issue of WIRED. His most recent book is a work of fiction titled “Pirate Utopia”. Bruce Sterling lives in Turin, Belgrade and Austin.

 

 

Jens HAUSER / DE-DK-FR
Researcher and curator in art and bio media
Department of Arts and Cultural Studies and Medical Museion/Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Ungreening Greenness
Are we in control of ‘green’? The entanglement between symbolic green, ontological greenness and performative greening poses challenges across disciplines: ‘green’, symbolically associated with the ‘natural’ and employed to hyper-compensate for what humans have lost, needs to be addressed as the most anthropocentric of all colours, in its inherent ambiguity between alleged naturalness and artificiality. There has been little reflection upon greenness’ migration across different knowledge cultures, meanwhile we are green-washing greenhouse effects away. Far from having universal meaning, ‘green’ marks a dramatic knowledge gap prone to systematic misunderstandings: Engineers brand ‘green technologies’ as ecologically benign, while climate researchers point to the ‘greening of the earth’ itself as the alarming effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

A morbid odour clings to the charm of the pervasive trope of greening everything, from mundane ‘green burials’ to transcendental ‘greening the gods’, and even ‘green warfare.’ Despite its broadly positive connotations, ‘green’ incrementally serves the uncritical desire of fetishistic and techno-romantic naturalization in order to metaphorically hyper-compensate for indeed material systemic bio and necropolitics consisting of the increasing technical manipulation and exploitation of living systems, ecologies, and the biosphere at large – the generalized, and very ‘un-green’ mechanization, automation, standardization, interchangeability, and hierarchization of parts.

Keywords: greenness, postanthropocentrism, media studies, transdisciplinarity, necro/biopolitics

Biography
Jens Hauser is a Copenhagen and Paris based media studies scholar and art curator focusing on the interactions between art and technology. He holds a dual research position at both the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies and at the Medical Museion at the University of Copenhagen, and leads the (OU)VERT research initiative for Greenness Studies. He is also a distinguished affiliated faculty member of the Department of Art, Art History and Design at Michigan State University, where he co-directs the BRIDGE artist in residency program. Hauser is also the chair of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts’ annual 2018 conference in Copenhagen.

 

 

Dr. Bernhard SEREXHE / DE
Art historian, independent international curator, author, certified expert for electronic and digital art

Total control: towards a new humanity
Whereas not so long ago digital forms of communication were seen as the hope for new forms of democratic participation, they have recently been converted and perverted into ideal door openers for the perfect control of billions of people. Being at the mercy of overwhelmingly powerful authorities of control and censorship has become the conditio humana, the basic condition of our culture and society. We have become accustomed to this situation, just as we are not deterred by the myriads of video cameras on the way to work or on our way back home. And this resignation paired with our love of ease and selfishness invites a new totalitarianism to install a new society with a pre-programmed divide between an elite of hyper-agile information users and a broad mass of interactive consumers restlessly zapping futile audio-visual products and services offered at dumping prices in order to control all of their practices and preferences. This re-coding of humanity will result in the worst of all totalitarianisms, that of a brave new world, in which everyone will be content, well-informed of everything he or she should know in order to play a useful role in society, but remaining ignorant of everything, which does not need to be known and consequently permanently amused to the point of complete satiety.

Keywords: control, surveillance, social profiling, social credit system, totalitarianism

Biography
Dr. Bernhard Serexhe, Karlsruhe, has studied sociology, psychology, art history, philosophy, educational science; research restauration studies for the Monuments Historiques de France, publications on romanesque architecture, Ph. D. thesis on the architecture of the Cathedral Saint-Lazare in Autun, Burgundy (France), University of Freiburg (Germany); manifold exhibitions and publications on the impact of digital technologies on art and society since 1995 consultant for the Council of Europe, and for international NGOs and cultural institutions.
1994-97 curator of ZKM | Media Museum at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (Germany)
1998-05 head of ZKM | Museum Communications department
2006-16 chief curator ZKM | Media Museum Karlsruhe
Since 1998 lecturer at State Academy of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, and Universities of Berne, Basel and Karlsruhe, CAFA Beijing, 2008-12 professor for aesthetics and media theory at Istanbul BILGI-University.
2010-14 director of European Unions Research Project: www.digitalartconservation.org
Since 2016 independent international curator and certified expert for electronic and digital art; lecturer for the conservation and curation of media art at the University of Berne, Switzerland.

9/9/18 7:00 pm

GLOBAL CONTROL AND CENSORSHIP Exhibition and RIXC Festival Opening
Guided tour through the exhibition by curators: Bernhard SEREXHE and Lívia NOLASCO-RÓZSÁS.


Venue: The National Library of Latvia

Artists: Artist Collective “3/8” (LV), aaajiao (CN), Hamra ABBAS (KW / US), Selma ALAÇAM (DE), Halil ALTINDERE (TR), Daniel G. ANDÚJAR (ES), Zach BLAS (US / GB), Osman BOZKURT (TR), James BRIDLE (GB / GR), Alice CAVOUKDJIAN dite GALLI (FR / DE), Hasan ELAHI (BD / US), Finger Pointing Worker + Kota TAKEUCHI (JP), Kaspars GROŠEVS (LV), Michael GRUDZIECKI (PL / DE), KIT-KASTEL (DE), Frédéric KRAUKE (DE), Marc LEE (CH), Virginia MASTROGIANNAKI (GR), Erik MÁTRAI (HU), Ruben PATER (NL), Dan PERJOVSCHI (RO), Ma QIUSHA (CN), Pēters RIEKSTIŅŠ (LV), Oliver RESSLER (AT), Bernhard SEREXHE (DE), Christian SIEVERS (DE), Alex WENGER (CH / DE) & Max-Gerd RETZLAFF (DE).

9/7/18 9:00 am

Registration and Coffee

Conference Day 1
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

9/11/18 10:00 am - 9/11/18 11:30 am

Panel A1. ALGORITHMIC SOCIETY AND SURVEILLANCE
Moderated by Gary Zhexi ZHANG

Pablo De Soto / Maciej OŻÓG / Conor MCGARRIGLE / Pascal GLISSMANN / Monica TOLIA / Varvara GULJAJEVA
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

Pablo DE SOTO. From the Sputnik to the Stack: Radical Cartography in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism
From the Soviet Sputnik to Benjamin Bratton’s proposition of the Stack, planetary-scale networked infrastructures have become a global architecture of computer mediation which produces a distributed and largely uncontested new expression of power (Zubofff 2016). As Edward Snowden and others have disclosed, the online world, which used to be kind of our world, is now where surveillance and capitalism are developing in new ways by data gathering, thus generating intense concentrations of wealth over extraction and threatening core values such as freedom and privacy.

Dr Pablo DeSoto is an architect, scholar, artist and educator with a singular and iconoclastic experience across geographic and disciplinary borders. He holds a Master Degree in Architecture from the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm and a PhD in Communication & Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is the editor of three books: Fadaiat, freedom of movement and Freedom of knowledge, Situation Room: Designing a prototype of citizen situation room and After.Video Assemblages; and coauthor of the Critical Cartography of the Straits of Gibraltar, exhibited worldwide. In the 2000s he was a co-founder of hackitectura.net a group of architects, computer specialists and activists. http://pablodesoto.org

 

Maciej OŻÓG. Media Art as a Critical Analysis of Surveillance in Hybrid Space
In the paper several examples of mobile media art are presented and interpreted as a form of subversion and activist interventions that address and critically analyze social, cultural and political implication of pervasive use of surveillance technologies in hybrid space. Artistic practices such as reverse engineering, tactical re-use and hardware/software hacking allows for unauthorized and sometimes barely legal appropriation of various surveillance technologies (from GPS and mobile phones to RFID). In this way artists like Mark Shepard, Julian Oliver, Danja Vasiliev, Gordan Savičić and many others disrupt an invisible ubiquitous “digital enclosure” we live in today due to the extensive use of mobile media. They initiate open, critical debate on mobile media surveillance while offering at the same time numerous technology-based, grassroots tactics that can be used to oppose a constantly growing network of surveillance in technologically augmented space of everyday life.

 

Conor MCGARRIGLE. The Data Pharmakon
This text offers case-studies of the development of critical data art works that explore data as material and artistic medium that not only offers new methods to produce new hitherto unachievable work but additionally adds a critical voice that not only opens the black box of data assemblages but suggests alternative understandings of data usage beyond those of surveillance capitalism.
It draws on three data-driven artistic interdisciplinary collaborative research projects by this author: an EU-funded multi-national project that re-frames Smart City practices to benefit local communities; a role as artist-in-residence at Dublin City Data Dashboard working with data scientists to develop strategies to re-connect city inhabitants with their data through AR-based data narratives that (re)materialize data in the space of the city; and a commission for the Science Gallery in Detroit that uses social media data to train an AI Twitter Bot that embodies the spirit of 24/7 precarious capitalism.
Together these works propose that in the era of big data and algorithmic governmentality true criticality comes from an engagement that reveals the workings and processes of data, machine learning and algorithms. Data, after Bernard Stiegler, is understood as Pharmakon simultaneously poison and cure; and art practice it is suggested has a role to play in our data futures.

Conor McGarrigle is an artist and researcher. He is a lecturer in Fine Art at the Dublin School of Creative Arts DIT, and a research fellow at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media Dublin.
His practice is characterised by urban interventions mediated through digital technologies, and data-driven explorations of networked social practices.
He has exhibited extensively internationally including the 2011 Venice Biennale, the Saint-Étienne Biennale, the Science Gallery Lab Detroit, SIGGRAPH, FILE São Paulo, SITE Santa Fe as well as EVA International Biennial, and the Science Gallery Dublin.

 

Pascal GLISSMANN. Observational Practices and Global Control: Object America
Since the election of Donald J. Trump it has become increasingly clear that Americans “see” America in hugely divergent ways. In this polarized environment, it is crucial to try to understand how those unlike oneself perceive the world — to do so necessitates an understanding of one’s own, often unconscious, practices of seeing.
The Observational Practices Lab, Parsons School of Design, aims to provoke dialogue and instigate critical reflection about the very nature of observation across disciplinary boundaries. Observation is fundamental to ways of knowing, yet it is rarely investigated as a set of comparative methods and contingent practices. We aim to foster a non-hierarchical engagement with diverse modes of observation in order to investigate it’s past effects, present consequences and potential in creating the future.
As a response to recent changes in the US political landscape, the Observational Practices Lab, initiated the transdisciplinary research project OBJECT AMERICA to explore the idea of “America” through everyday objects. We invited Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator at Cooper Hewitt, to choose an object which she believed would represent “America” into the future. Thirteen researchers from very different disciplinary backgrounds, from climate science to poetry, investigated this object. The observational methods that emerged will be disseminated publicly to not only inspire new ways of seeing but also contribute to the vital conversation about who and what defines “America”. http://www.objectamerica.org

Pascal Glissmann is a media designer, artist, educator and founder of the studio subcologne, he holds an MFA in Media Arts/Media Design from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and is currently Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons.
Selena Kimball is a visual artist whose work investigates visual perceptions of history, she is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art Practice at Parsons.

 

Monica TOLIA. Technologies of Lived Abstraction: Future Present
This paper takes the practice of choreography and its principles, analysing how urban environments are now becoming immersive sites through various sensing technologies, and their role in the organisation of bodies in space. With enormous sensing, tracking and motion capture capabilities, and the data accumulated on subjects and how it is deployed towards them, my enquiry is how much does the algorithmic drive movement. Digital architectures are creating new ecologies of experience in the intertwinement of human-machine processes that raise important questions about bodily affects, perception and agency. As a condition of contemporary subjecthood where to participate in the world means (in)voluntary surrender of ones’ data to the algorithmic, what are the implications of these various abstractions? How are “data-self” and “real-world” subjects mutually constructed? What affects do they produce and how is this impacting human agency? What indeterminacies arise from this complex intertwinement of human and machine? This will be addressed with specificity to my recent performance work “Technologies of Lived Abstraction: Future Present”, which incorporates sensing technologies and machine learning algorithms, asking questions about the moving body in these immersive spaces.

Monica Tolia is an interdisciplinary artist working across choreography, dance and score, computation, installation, sculpture and sound. She has recently graduated from the MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Thinking through Brian Massumi’s notion of “lived abstraction” (Semblance and Event), I am interested in how abstract systems of power operate upon bodies in the neoliberal environment through various forms of spatialisation. Drawing upon already existing principles in choreographic practice and my background as a dancer, I think through how various power dynamics (the social, the institutional, the state, the financial, the computational) altered by the algorithmic are influencing patterns of movement, shaping subjectivity and creating probabilistic determinisms that influence our present. I call my analysis of this process and its real-world effects the “choreography of power”.

 

Varvara GULJAJEVA. The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism And Dataveillance
The paper focuses on the paradigms of the surveillance and dataveillance age, where we are trapped in the panopticon machine and followed by an inescapable digital gaze. Being under a constant control is a part of post-digital age. The surveillance has gone further than a camera gaze; it is much more complex and diverse. Physical surveillance has been transformed into the data tracking. Echoing Boris Groys (2013): “[t]he internet is by its essence a machine of surveillance. [—] The internet registers every moment when a certain piece of data is clicked, liked, un-liked, transferred, or transformed.”
The industry driven datafication is described as surveillance capitalism (Shoshana Zuboff 2015), which underlines the ongoing and expanding monetisation of big data. We have reached the age of surveillance economy where profit is earned by surveilling the customers.
The problematics of today are addressed through several art projects and it is investigated how issues of monitoring resonate in the contemporary art practices. In other words, the article introduces critical voices of artists regarding surveillance capitalism and dataveillance.

9/13/18 11:45 am - 9/13/18 1:00 pm

Panel B1. HYPERCONTROL AND PRIVACY

Colette TRON / Mitch GOODWIN / Raivo KELOMEES, Stacey KOOSEL / Vincenzo SANSONE / Elke REINHUBER / The Miha Artnak
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

Colette TRON. Toward An « Art Of Hypercontrol » ?
The French philosopher Bernard Stiegler develops the concept of « hypercontrol ». Up to his thought, we are entered in the societies of hypercontrol, and the formula is inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s one about « societies of control » : this hypercontrol is made possible by digital technologies, the big data, and all systems of tracks and their automatic treatment, present in the functioning of these technologies, into their industrial conception, development and applications. These apparatus follow and guide people in their behaviors, cause of the informations let into their data, when catched by any power, economic or political. And this kind of process destroys privacy as well as public sphere, individual and collective freedom, but also cultural and social diversity rather than composes the « social networks ».
In this proposal, it would be made an historical and conceptual interpretation in order to understand the question of control and surveillance : as the term was used by William Burroughs, the American writer, from whom the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze found the reference and then conceptualized « the societies of control », and with the differences of disciplinary society described by Michel Foucault. Then it would focus on Bernard Stiegler’s concept of hypercontol and its technologies, their threat for democracy and peace in the global village.

Colette Tron is a poet and an independent critic. She explores mediapoetry and theories of digital medias, specifically the relation between languages and media. Founder of Alphabetville (www.alphabetville.org) she has created a laboratory where to articulate practices and theories of art and culture, art and technology, technology and culture. She has directed two books and publishes many papers.

 

Mitch GOODWIN. Mechanised Ecologies – The Atmospherics Of Automation And Emergent Systems Of Control
The machine sees the machine knows but the mechanics are invisible. Algorithms lean into human spaces, mimic conscious thought, adapt modes of seeing and render virtual replications.
Through a post-Snowden prism, are we witnessing the permanent synthetic overlay of corporate, political and government systems of control? Technologies of deep learning, machine vision, automation are no less tools of science as gateways to a new global order of things. The stakes have never been higher, as increasingly convergent interests, via a clever act of subterfuge, impose a new reality of automation and algorithmic determinism. Concepts such as spidergrams and kill lists, drone swarms and pre-crime, bot-nets and A.I. avatars, gait recognition and geospatial oversight are riddled with ethical conundrums that are rarely discussed in mainstream media discourse yet haunt the background atmosphere of the contemporary experience.
The systems themselves however are ambiguous in both their design and their function. The manner in which they intersect with privacy and freedom of movement, labour and love and notions of truth and reality are evidence of a new complexity – systems of control that are at once personal and global in their reach. What are the conditions of automation and machine learning that underpin this new black-box version of control that is at once imposed by force, and mostly government sanctioned, and those imposed by stealth for market advantage and political expediency?
This paper will seek to unravel this a double-image game of virtuality by unpacking these competing and often messy ecologies that define our emergent datafied society. A society that is seemingly at the mercy of a surveillance apparatus that has become emboldened by a confluence of technical innovation and political instability.

 

Raivo KELOMEES, Stacey KOOSEL. Privacy Experiments In Public And Artistic Spaces
This presentation focuses on the comparison of two phenomena: Memopol (2010), an interactive installation by Estonian artist Timo Toots (1982), and the National ID Card and Public Transport Card system currently in place in Tallinn, Estonia. These geographically specific examples are a small part of a larger global discourse on questioning the line between what is public and what is private. Artistic projects such as Memopol have reframed problematic issues that characterize our modern age of a surveillance society and digital technology, while raising pertinent questions about the blurry line between what is considered personal information versus public information. Increasing advances in surveillance technology in both the public and private sector, as well as social and cultural shifts brought about by digital media have created more accepting paradigms about privacy. This perception shift has been communicated in artworks, which is one of the ways how the topic has entered the public sphere.

Raivo Kelomees (b.1960) PhD (art history), artist, critic and new media researcher. Presently working as senior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn. He studied psychology, art history, and design at Tartu University and the Academy of Arts in Tallinn. He has published articles in the main Estonian cultural and art magazines and newspapers since 1985. His works include the book “Surrealism” (Kunst Publishers, 1993) and an article collection “Screen as a Membrane” (Tartu Art College proceedings, 2007), “Social Games in Art Space” (EAA, 2013). His Doctoral thesis was “Postmateriality in Art. Indeterministic Art Practices and Non-Material Art” (Dissertationes Academiae Artium Estoniae 3, 2009).
Stacey Koosel, PhD, writer, curator. Her doctoral thesis “The Renegotiated Self: Social Media’s Effects on Identity” explored digital identity, digital culture and media ecology. Her projects include editing “Estonian Art” magazine (published by the Estonian Institute) and curating exhibitions of contemporary art, such as: “Eastern Omen” (Düsseldorf, 2013), “The Hypnotist Collector” (Barcelona, 2014) and “TL;DR” (Tallinn, 2015).

 

Vincenzo SANSONE. The Cultural And Artistic Goals Of Urban Screens And Media Facades: The Betrayed Promises
Since the early 2000s one has spoken about Urban Screen, Media Facade, etc. to refer to something born in the urban space and linked to digital technologies. Amongst the advocates of this new research we can quote Mirjam Struppek that in 2005 coined the term Urban Screens, underlining how these screens were controlled by market forces but wondering if their use could be culturally extended to transform public spaces in spaces of creation and exchange. From Struppek’s reflections several ideas have been formulated and some practical experiences were realized to bring out the cultural side of the urban screens, even if the watchwords for these objects are still today information and advertising. In particular, the commercial content — linked to international brands — and the urban screens — as physical objects, built following a common design standard — create a disturbing phenomenon. Urban spaces begin to lose their identity, aesthetics and architectural styles move towards homogenization and cities begin to become each other’s copy. The market has taken over global control of urban spaces. How did we come to this result? Is there any hope yet to keep the promises that artists and researchers made to redefine urban screens?

Vincenzo Sansone, master’s degree in Digital Performance (Sapienza University of Rome), is PhD in European Cultural Studies (University of Palermo). He was visiting scholar at Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona and Polytechnic University of Valencia with a research about video projection mapping and performing arts. The focus of his research concerns these areas: performing arts, new media, AR technologies, urban design. He is actor and digital set designer and since 2015 he has been working with Teatro Potlach, realizing performances and site-specific projects both in Italy and abroad (US, Iran, Hungary). He took part to some international conferences: “Bodies on Stage” (Paris 2015), “IFTR 2016” (Stockholm), “Open Fields” (RIXC-Riga 2016), IFTR 2017 (São Paulo), “Virtualities and Realities” (RIXC-Riga 2017).

 

Elke REINHUBER. Surveillance – Outsmarting the Algorithm or Leaving the Grid?
2018: Cameras are everywhere. In each mobile device, also in lampposts, vehicles, lobbys, hallways, satellites, lenses watch us, follow our movements, perceive our features, and the focus broadens.
2020? Cameras are ubiquitous. In every mobile device – the watch, the glasses, the phone, the pad – also in bedposts, seats, walls, pillars, pillows, lenses recognize every step we make, anticipating my next decisions, so it is time to get invisible.
Currently living in Singapore, I feel like having become transparent, from the moment the fully automated border control opens the gate. Everytime I order my coffee, I wonder again why the barista asks for my wishes, for she should already know. The public transport system tracks my journeys, the telephone company my calls and my internet requests, my loyalty cards, my online shopping and my Uber habits leave even more dots to connect, from which to draw a picture of me. And my instagrams, my tweets, all the data I collect for the purpose of self-tracking and auto-quantification flesh out this image of me I never get to see.
To tackle this dilemma that the future, which was promised to me in the canon of the Western cinematic mythology, looks and feels exactly like many of those Science-Fiction-movies rolled into one, like »Star Wars« and »Blade Runner«, like »Star Trek« and »Alien«, like »2001« and »Matrix« simultaneously, I approach my paper like handling a double-edged lightsaber: exploring strategies to outsmart the algorithms, to bug the system from outside and, at the same time, investigating into different modes of existence, withdrawing from the world of electricity and its manifold constraints. When secretaries of the interior speak the same language as the Borg, something feels wrong: “Resistance is futile” and “there is no alternative“ sound not only similar, both are a diminution of basic human rights.
My inquiry will address artistic perspectives and procedures to handle the upcoming total control of the surveillance state, but concurrently the option, to leave the grid, to become a media artist without a palette, without any current.
The meshes in the network are drawn nearer and tighter, ready to strangle everyone.

With her background in applied photography, media artist Elke Reinhuber has experienced a wide range of cameras, of the analogue and digital realm. While being fascinated, but also scared by the omnipresent camera lenses which are pointing at each and everyone nowadays, she is curious to explore other aspects of photography such as stereoscopic imaging, panorama photography, and further aspects of recording light and other electromagnetic radiation, even beyond the visible spectrum. Elke teaches currently at the School for Art and Design at NTU in Singapore as an Assistant Professor. Her artwork was presented internationally.

 

Dani PLOEGER. Frontline (360-video immersive installation)
‘frontline’ combines uneventful 3D 360 video documentation of a frontline position in the Donbass War in East-Ukraine with a spectacular battlefield soundscape produced in a movie studio. The work intertwines the documentary and the fictional in a representation of warfare that unsettles the promises of realism commonly associated with both documentary practice and virtual reality technology, and undermines the expectations of spectacle that often surround representations of warfare.

Dani Ploeger combines performance, video, computer programming and electronics hacking to investigate and subvert the spectacles of techno-consumer culture. Re-purposing, misusing, and at times destroying everyday devices, his work examines seemingly banal and taken-for-granted aspects of digital culture as objects of both physical beauty and political power.
He has worked with traditional metal workers in Cairo to encase tablet computers in plate steel, made a VR installation while embedded with frontline troops in East-Ukraine, and travelled to dump sites in Nigeria to collect electronic waste originating from Europe. He is a Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and an artist-researcher at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.

Cultura Plasmic Inc. Personality As Artwork: The Personal Is Political In Online Surveillance Culture – tbc.

9/11/18 1:00 pm - 9/11/18 2:00 pm

Lunch


VENUE: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA

9/11/18 2:00 pm - 9/11/18 3:30 pm

Panel C1. POST-HUMAN AND AI

Violeta Vojvodic BALAZ / Kathryn BLAIR / Waiwai/Hiuwai CHAN, John BRUMLEY / Niels BONDE / Daniela MITTERBERGER, Tiziano DERME / Budhaditya CHATTOPADHYAY
VENUE: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA

Violeta Vojvodic BALAZ. AI and Virtual Well-being
Profit driven legitimacy of the effectiveness of technological efficiency, set up the virtual world as real in its consequences. Couplings between human and machine, internalized machine-based attributes into people and externalized human-based features into machines, which is perplexing the boundaries of the Self, decision-making and creativity. The whole new social structure of conventions, roles, relations, organization, would be needed for co-evolution of human system and artificial intelligence tool system. Thus techno-cultural aspects of change relate to augmentation of our collective ability required to regulate complex AI systems for cultivation in accordance to Human Sustainability: “The ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Today software tracks productivity at work, leisure time, influence users behavior and decision-making with aggressive advertising algorithms (e.g. the latest case of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica). This paper will focus on the prospects of AI ethical design for Virtual Well-being, as sophisticated network of checks and balances. Whether “machine” can be intelligent without sense of responsibility, empathy, social consciousness of oneself as an agent, awareness of the boundaries of freedom, and the future consequences that its actions may have on the environment?

Violeta Vojvodic Balaz started to work in the field of network-based art because of the utopian belief in libertarian online society of the future, based on non-hierarchical structures, merit-based assessment, and personal freedom. She received MA at Faculty of Fine Art Belgrade for postgraduate work CD-ROM Urtica Medicamentum est (2000). She specialized European Diploma in Cultural Management, Brussels, her research focused on strategic planing and virtual organization (2006). Violeta studied at the University of Belgrade at the Faculty of Fine Art for her art PhD (2017), with a doctoral thesis The Case Of Art-Adventurers Operating Into Global Margin—Art, Money, and Value in The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Together with Eduard Balaz, she co-founded Urtica media art group in 1999. She was one of the co-founders of New Media Center_kuda.org (Novi Sad). 2005-07 She worked as an editor (New Media Expert) at www.labforculture.org. Within Urtica, she won UNESCO Digital Arts Award at Institute for Advance Media Art and Science in Japan. She exhibited at numerous international festivals and exhibitions such as Ars Electronica (Linz), FILE (Sao Paolo), Festival The HTMlles (Montreal), DystoRpia Project Queens Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary art Belgrade, among others.

 

 

Kathryn BLAIR. Logical Conclusion: Analog Methods for Exploring Algocracy
This session will detail the results of Kathryn Blair’s Master of Fine Arts thesis research at the University of Calgary, Logical Conclusion, which presents a way for visitors to take on the role of algorithms that have social impacts by completing logic puzzles based on how algorithms operate – including the Facebook News Feed Algorithm and China’s Social Credit Score. The puzzles are presented on magnetic blackboards. Visitors manipulate magnetic pieces representing the elements of each premise to solve the puzzles, taking on the role of young computer programs who are students in an algorithmic school of logic. Each puzzle is illustrated, with characters represented as anthropomorphized animals, as though it were in a school primer, providing additional context and offsetting the serious content of the puzzles. The presentation will detail the development process of the exhibition, which explores a physical, analog way for visitors to engage with the type of mathematical logic behind algorithms that, with the advent of big data and high computing power, now make so many decisions about our lives. The work aims to provide a space where visitors can reflect on the impact of the algorithms, and whether they reach logical conclusions.

Kathryn Blair is a PhD student in Computational Media Design at the University of Calgary. Her work focuses on the ways humans interact with technology and how technology mediates human experiences, using wearable technology, physical computing, games and printmaking to explore these themes. She has been involved in the Calgary-based tech couture fashion show Make Fashion since 2013, and has shown her wearable technology work in British Columbia, the United States and Ireland.

Waiwai/Hiuwai CHAN, John BRUMLEY. Crafting Images for Electoral Campaign with Artificial Intelligence
The author is developing a system to generate and optimize the image of a ‘perfect’ leader with artificial intelligence. By using the generative adversarial network, the author trains the algorithm with images mined from electoral campaigns and popular culture to generate hybrid candidates, for who users can ‘vote’ as their ideal leaders during exhibitions. The voting data will be collected and analysed to optimize the models. Such pipeline mimics the current architecture of digital politics, providing a means for discussing and speculating the future landscape of electoral politics and interface culture.

Waiwai. Currently based in the Interface Culture Lab(Linz), Waiwai(Hiu-wai Chan) has educations and work experiences in electoral campaign, media art, fine art and data-driving programming. She is also the co-founder of Poetics of Politics, a symposium program on techno-geopolitics. Her work has been featured internationally, such as Ars Electronica, Mongolian Biennial and Lisbon Architecture Triennale. http://www.wai-wai.xyz

John Brumley. Currently living in Japan and pursuing a PhD. in Empowerment Informatics, Brumley’s research focuses on using mixed reality systems to promote collaboration in physical space. Brumley received an MFA in Design Media Arts from UCLA and a BA in music composition from UC Davis. His works gather contemporary skill sets and distractions into messy, disparate clumps of media. New virtuosities, outsourced memory, and the eminence of “weird trick” solutions have prompted further investigation into the memetics of the mediated physical world. Plotting moments where contemporary activities become irrevocably trapped in networks of subterranean fibre. http://www.johnbrumley.info

 

 

Niels BONDE. Facial Recognition
From 1992 I have addressed surveillance in installations and objects, but as the use of computers and cameras have become ubiquitous today, data collection is neither science fiction nor paranoid delusion. A recent project is about surveillance based on very small amounts of data, like metadata and face recognition. In order to get a 95% sure recognition from publicly accessible image databases only 6×7 pixels are required. For comparison Facebook profile images are 960×960 pixels, which is 21,000 times more than necessary for this 95% secure recognition.
A center piece is a approximately two by three meter custom made screen of only 11×17 pixels showing Mark Zuckerberg answering Senator (D) Dick Durbins question: ”Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed on last night?” with an embarrassed ”Ahhhmm … hehe… ehhhmmmm … no” and a headshake. Even though the video of Zuckerberg is extremely pixellated, it is possible to make it an almost certain recognition. Also on show are tin foil helmets on piedestals named after NSA surveillance programs. Quantum Theory, Treasure Map, Packaged Goods, Cult Weave, Traffic Thief, Fallout, Boundless Informant, Egotistical Giraffe are only some of the fantastic names.

Niels Bonde is a pioneer of digital art in Denmark, working with new media – video, installation and digital media, as well as old media – drawing, painting, sculpture and rugs. His works explore the spheres of memory and the registration of people and objects. And what electronic and in particular digital media means to our culture and shapes us and our behavior. Especially in regards to control, surveillance, voyeurism, exhibitionism and paranoia, and how these topics have become core elements in our society rather than kinky fringe phenomenas.
Through the 1990’s, he has distinguished himself as an installation artist in museums and galleries counting Statens Museum for Kunst [DK], MIT List Visual Arts Center, ZKM Karlsruhe, Stedelijk Museum, PS1 MoMa New York, Pinacoteca do Estato de Sao Paolo, Heart [DK], ARoS [DK], Academy of Fine Arts Hanoi Vietnam, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius Lithuania, Malmö Kunstmuseum and Deutsche Hygiene Museum Dresden. Studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen and at Institut für Neue Medien at Städelschule Frankfurt. He has taught at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts [DK], Malmö Art Academy Sweden and at Kunsthøjskolen in Holbæk Denmark. Niels Bonde lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and Borrby, Sweden.
http://nielsbonde.com/

 

 

Daniela MITTERBERGER, Tiziano DERME. The Savage Mind
The Savage mind is an art piece which translates the emotional data (movement, carvings, and environment) of a ritual into the digital realm of a movie. The movie explores the emerging intersections of art, architecture, culture, technology and society. The film investigates notions of the reality of past events, debating on identity and alterity using Digital Architecture and Virtual Reality. The Savage Mind is an art project which examines the relation between intangible cultural heritage, technology and the production of a speculative architecture. More specifically it focuses on the traditional Klaubauf ritual performed in alpine villages in eastern Tyrol / Austria. Klaubauf / Krampus is a ritualistic event taking place in Austria between 04.12 and the 06.12 accompanying the appearance of St. Nikolaus. The act of “Klaubaufgehen” derives from a pagan culture of matchmaking and the commencement of a marriage. It is highlighting the dark side of pre-christmas activities transforming a whole village into a zone of danger and seduction without specific zones of concentration till the peak of the ritual.
A diverse range of data capturing technologies such as motion capture processes, photogrammetry, Faro 3D scanning and CGI were used to capture the emotional data of the ritual and translate it into the medium of a movie. The concept discusses the importance to capture with modern technology not just data but emotions and create art-pieces which stand with one foot in the virtual realm and with one foot in the physical space. The piece enters a new technodigital landscaped, mirrored on top and entangled with its wondrous physical alter ego, a dialogue of multiple writings, The Savage mind is an art piece showing two diacritical sides of a coin, created through scissiparity, framing the scene of a sacrifice.

Daniela Mitterberger is an architect with multi-disciplinary interests ranging from digital experiments to analog production, combining the fields of media culture, philosophy and narration with architecture. She is currently external lecturer at the Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck and visiting lecturer at MSD Melbourne School of Design.
Tiziano Derme is an architect, computational designer and researcher, currently based in Vienna, interested on the application of contemporary technologies and novel material systems in architectural production. He is currently lecturer at the University of Innsbruck and visiting lecturer at the University of Melbourne.
Both Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme are Directors and Co-Founders of the multidisciplinary architecture practice FutureRetrospectiveNarrative based in Vienna, with an emphasis on digital production, pluri-media exhibitions, material science and robotic fabrication.

 

 

Budhaditya CHATTOPADHYAY. Post-immersion: Towards a Discursive Situation in AR/VR
Immersion is a much-loved word in the domain of contemporary media art, such as AR/VR. It is through immersion that the audiences often are made to engage with the media environment, especially those involving multi-channel sound, video, and spatial practices. In these works, immersion operates as a context for realizing the production of presence as an illusion of non-mediation (Reiter, Grimshaw et al). The main concern of the proposed paper, however, is whether the audience tends to become a passive and non-acting guest within the immersive space often constructed by an authoritarian and technocratic consumer-corporate culture. In this mode of non-activity the audience may lose the motivation to question the content and context of the work by falling into a sensual and indulgent mode of experience, therefore rendering the consumerist-corporate powers to take over the free will of the audience (Lukas et al). From the position of a media artist myself, in this paper, I will argue for producing a more discursive environment rather than an immersive one. I will examine the possibility to create AR/VR and other media artworks where the individuality of the audience is carefully considered and taken into account as a parameter for a fruitful dissemination of the work. I will discuss and present a few recent artworks to develop and substantiate my argument.

9/9/18 4:00 pm

Keynote Lectures II. TOTAL CONTROL AND FRAGILE NETWORKS
Moderated by and Rasa SMITE and Raitis SMITS

Jasmina TESANOVIC / Mauro MARTINO / Ellen PEARLMAN
VENUE: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA

Jasmina TESANOVIC / US-RS
Author, feminist, political activist, and filmmaker

Internet of Women Things, IoWT
It was my idea to have an open-source connected home of the future. My scheme was accepted by brave new geeks, brilliant people, but mostly male. They gave the house, “Casa Jasmina,” my name: I am grateful for that, but the house is not altogether comfortable.
People are diverse and live in bubbles of limited human understanding. Men and women, poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, designers, engineers — we might try to classify them as idealists or realists — the people in cloud bubbles, or the people in ground bubbles.
Now, a project like Casa Jasmina — is it a hands-on, practical, maker’s project struggling up toward ideals, or is it a set of ideals searching for grounded realities that might prove that high concepts are possible?
Is it a house for the cloud-bubble people, those who invent their own cloud-world before crashing into the ground (or at least landing on it, now and then, to pick up supplies)? Or is a grounded launch-pad for aspiration, where the ground-bubble people assemble tools to reach for the sky?

Keywords: Internet of Women Things, IoWT, critical thinking, design fiction, Casa Jasmina

Biography
Jasmina Tesanovic is a Feminist and political activist (Women in Black; CodePink) and a writer, journalist, musician, translator and film director. In 1978 she promoted the first feminist conference in Eastern Europe, “Drug-ca Zena” (Belgrade). With Slavica Stojanovic she designs and creates the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans, “Feminist 94?, lasting for 10 years. She is the author of “Diary of a Political Idiot”, translated in 12 languages: a real time war diary written during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo. Since then she has been publishing her works on blogs and other media, always connected to the Internet.

 

Dr. Ellen PEARLMAN / US
New media artist, critic, curator and writer
Parsons/New School University, ThoughtWorks Arts

Biometrics and Total Control
Though big data and fake news make the most headlines, the future of real global control will develop around a ‘quantified self’ including a deep dive into biometrics. Areas include the honing of facial recognition and eye scanning algorithms, genetic profiling, immersive experiences profiling (i.e. like Facebook data gathering, except around experiential preferences in AR/VR/MR), brain computer interfaces and the semantic/dream brain, and artificial intelligence algorithmic selectivity. The use and abuse of this information will be subject to nation state dictates ranging from socially conscious societies to rogue dictatorships. Using the arts practices developed in the ThoughtWorks Arts Residency and Art-A-Hack(TM), based in New York City, this presentation examines how arts practice can shed light on the implications of this coming storm.

Keywords: biometrics, arts practice, algorithms, AI, Machine learning, big data

Biography
Dr. Ellen Pearlman, a Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, New Media and Technology is on faculty at Parsons School of Design/New School University in New York City. She is Director of the ThoughtWorks Arts Residency, President of Art-A-Hack(TM) and Director and Curator of the Volumetric Society of New York. Her brain opera “Noor” was the world’s first fully immersive interactive brain opera in a 360 degree theater in Hong Kong, and she is working on a new brain opera, AIBO using emotionally intelligent artificial intelligence.

 

Mauro MARTINO / IT-US
Artist, designer, inventor and educator
IBM Research AI, Northeastern University

Fragile AI: Visualizing perturbations of Artificial Neural Network
After the publication of the paper “Intriguing properties of neural networks” in 2013 by Christian Szegedy, we have discovered that learning algorithms are vulnerable. Input data visually indistinguishable from “normal” input are specifically tuned so as to fool or mislead the machine learning system.
How is it possible that neural network-based image classifiers exchange the photo of a panda for a gibbon, and do it with a very high level of confidence, almost 100%? We are faced with a more fragile AI than we thought.
At the talk we will observe what happens during an attack on neural networks, we will enter into the layers and the neurons and filters of dozens of Deep Neural Network models, to discover their beauty and fragility.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, neural network, visualization, deep learning, adversarial examples

Biography
Mauro Martino is the founder and director of the Visual AI lab at IBM Research, with offices in Cambridge, US, and Professor of Practice at Northeastern University in Boston.
His works have been featured in important scientific journals such Nature, Science, PNAS, among all, and textbooks about data visualization: “Data Visualization”, “The Truthful Art”, “The Best American Infographics” 2015 and 2016 editions.
Mauro is an award-winning designer whose projects received the Gold Medal at The 2017 Vizzies Visualization Challenge by National Science Foundation, Innovation by Design Award by Fast Company, Kantar Information is Beautiful Award. His projects have been shown at international festivals and exhibitions including Ars

9/9/18 6:30 pm

Dinner with Curators / Tickets – 25 EUR (available at the registration desk).


Venue: Restaurant TINTO, Elizabetes iela 61

9/9/18 7:00 pm

Performances

MACIEJ OŻÓG PL, JASMINE GUFFOND AU/DE, STELIOS MANOUSAKIS GR/NL, MARTA SMILGA LV, PURVA BRIGĀDE LV, CLAUSTHOME + MĀRTIŅŠ RATNIKS LV, TRIHARS LV/US
Venue: TU JAU ZINI KUR, Tallinas iela Creative Quartier

9/9/18 10:00 pm

DJ’I: MARIS G, GTS, RAIMONDS MEŽAKS, IVOLINNEN, MEDNIS, ARTURS F, PA + RAGAVA (LIVE!), NIKOTĪNS, DEELIS, VJ: MLADA // Tickets – 6 EUR / 3 EUR (student discount) / for registered conference participants admission free.
Venue: TU JAU ZINI KUR, Tallinas iela Creative Quartier

9/7/18 9:00 am

Coffee

Conference Day 2
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

9/9/18 10:00 am - 9/9/18 11:00 am

Panel A – AI AND ARTISTIC RESEARCH
Moderated by Gary Zhexi ZHANG

Kristin BERGAUST, Stephanie HOEBEKE, Haakon Haraldsen ROEN, Stefano NICHELE, Benjamin BOCQUILLON, Heidi DAHLSVEEN, Henrik LIENG.
Venue: The National Library of Latvia

The adoption of novel technologies, such as artificial intelligence, is radically changing our society, the way we live and work. However, people’s lives are shaped and influenced by this technological race without the time or necessary knowledge to understand the implications and effects. On the other hand, there is enormous interest in this renewed convergence of art and technology around the globe. At the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway), we have started a collaboration between the Art in Society research group and the Applied Artificial Intelligence research group, with the aim of investigating new ideas and encourage speculations on possible futures, and through art explore new potentialities emerging from the development of intelligent machines. By researching at the boundary of science, fiction and art, we seek to explore future (speculative) scenarios at the intersection of biological life (humans) and artificial life (intelligent machines), through art. As a first step, students from Master in Art, Design and Drama were invited to learn from and interpret research projects in the Applied Artificial Intelligence research group. We will reflect on the collaboration and present two examples of resulting projects:

1. Random colouring has been exploited in art, for example by Damien Hirst’s spot painting, as humans are fascinated by the nature of random sequences. However, humans do not always perceive true random as random and, on the other hand, may perceive non-random distributions as random. Random number generators are key components of modern algorithms, e.g. artificial intelligence, as well as traditional computing systems. Natural and biological systems also display random and complex emergent patterns at the boundary of chaos and order, i.e. edge-of-chaos (Langton, 1990). In this work, we create and investigate art visualizations using Random Discrete Colour Sampling algorithm (Lieng et al., 2012).

2. Several aspects of the behaviour of social insects, such as ants, has served as inspiration for multi-agent research in artificial intelligence and swarm robotics. Inspired by the pheromone-based form of communication, a swarm of robots equipped with infrared sensors is placed on a heat sensitive surface (thermochromic paint) that changes colour based on robot movements, thus producing a continuously changing emergent artistic exhibition, which seeks to display a form of living technology and artificial life (Penny, 2017).

9/12/18 11:15 am - 9/12/18 12:30 am

Panel B. VR AND EMPATHY
Moderated by Raitis SMITS

Karolina MAJEWSKA / Ilva SKULTE, Normunds KOZLOVS / MOON Martina Zelenika / Tivon RICE / Dani PLOEGER
VENUE: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA

Karolina MAJEWSKA. VR is an Empathy Switch
The 21st century has confronted humanity with grave problems, including the refugee crisis and homelessness. This paper will examine how VR can grant the opportunity to alter human attitudes and perceptions towards such issues by encouraging empathy for those afflicted.
A VR experience transports a user’s physical presence to see the world through the eyes of a homeless man in San Francisco or a young Syrian girl in a European refugee camp. The viewer transcends mere observation and becomes a participant.
Research suggests that the prime benefit of VR is full immersion of the viewer, utterly transposing their reality and – via this deeply engaging experience – eliciting a previously unobtainable empathy.
While the potential benefits of VR are exciting, the same technology could be misused to manipulate the mind, cloud perspective, and leave us vulnerable to increased observation and control. It seems significant that large corporations – the Googles and Facebooks – are investing colossal sums in VR development.
My research proposes to fully explore the twin potentials of VR, both in terms of the gifts of empathy and understanding, and the menace of surveillance and manipulation.

Karolina Majewska is a visual artist working in New York and Warsaw. She has MFAs from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Visual Art in NYC. Her recent work has combined VR, spatial painting, and performance. Karolina investigates the varied ways that technology manipulates human perception, as she questions the impact of applied science upon the human capacity for empathy. Her curiosity has been inspired by the transformative and teleportative possibilities of VR/AR and 360-degree cameras, as explored in her present digital project, The Cell.

 

Ilva SKULTE, Normunds KOZLOVS. Technopoetical Elements Of Media Constructed Reality: Age Of Algorithmic Imagination
Poetical aspects of technic and the special kind of (dialectic) relationship between the generating, creation, production and knowledge have a long history of discussion and reasoning and a rich collection of arguments and approaches. This can be used as a base for deeper understanding of how contemporary media producing news, stories and reflections are involved in constructing the ways we know, think and act in the reality. Of a particular interest here is the role of algorithms – procedures aimed on effective solving of problems – that are more and more deeply integrated in all human actions including everyday rituals performed for creation of consensual knowledge about (social) reality (construction of reality). In his recent book “What Algorithms Want. Imagination in the Age of Computing”, Ed Finn speaks about algorithmic imagination in order to understand tensions between human and machinal in part starting in tensions between effective solution of a problem and its function as computational process behind of “how the algorithm really works as a process that runs forever, persistently modeling reality.” (Finn, E. (2017). What algorithms want: Imagination in the age of computing. MIT Press., pp.42.)
In this paper we are going to analyse the parallels and contradictions in poetical and technical aspects of creation of a message in the social context as well as potential of technopoetical aesthetics in the algorithmic culture. Our attempt to find out how work of algorithms can be understood in the traditional philosophical framework of techne, poiesis and episteme with a special attention to the work of Russian Marxist thinkers of early 20th century.

Ilva Skulte, Dr. Philol., Assoc. Prof. has a doctoral degree in history of language from Latvian University. Since 2001, she is working at the Department of Communication in Riga Stradins University, Latvia last 9 years as a Director of Master Programm for Communication and Media Studies. Having tought and written about history of media and reflecting the changes in culture caused by new media she discovered the importance of media literacies (especially, digital literacies) in the context of childhood and school, the area of research where some of her latest contributions are made.
Normunds Kozlovs has philosophy and sociology study background at Latvia University as well as social work education praxis in higher school “Attīstība” and currently is lecturing at Riga Stradins University’s communication department as well as Liepaja Pedagogic University’s program for new media art. His academic interest is counter- culture ideology. Articles on dandyism, camp esthetics and steam punk are published by arterritory.com The papers in English and Latvian are collected at the site: http://rsu-lv.academia.edu/NormundsKozlovs

 

MOON Martina Zelenika. A secret way of communication: The perfect language that the global control system can not control

Are we able to develop a new communication system that the global control system can not control? Can a secret language be considered the perfect language?
The paper examines the impact of digital extensions on the intuitive understanding of universal symbol in a form of audio-visual content. In this case I present the audio-visual logograms from my new Augmented Reality mobile application project “6th SENSE”. The integration of Augmented Reality technology isn’t just an ordinary game, but the way we interact with devices and content become a way of communication. How Augmented Reality become a trigger for mind and emotional reactions on a deeper level? In this project, a combination of drawings and sounds, analogue and digital images, makes a unique fusion. Sound and drawing as communication fields can be seen as telepathic or mind communication, or emotionally responsive communication where no words are needed. The main goal of analyzing this creative process is the transformation from one medium to another, focusing mainly on the relationship between visual forms and sounds that results in audio visual design and interaction. It is a study of a universal communication field that has both autonomous and independent features for developing a secret language – the perfect language.

Croatian contemporary artist MOON a.k.a. Martina Zelenika is an independent interdisciplinary artist with a unique artistic expression. By deconstructing meta-language, the artist tests out modern communication space and combines the most up-to-date digital technology along with an analogue one to embody spiritual dimension of universology. Martina Zelenika graduated in 2001 at the Academy of Fine Arts University of Zagreb, and took a master’s in 2006 in the area of Video-New Media at the Academy of Visual Art and Design University of Ljubljana. Martina is a member ADA– database of Virtual Art, Croatian Freelance Artists Association, founder and artistic leader at NAGON– interdisciplinary laboratory of arts based in Zagreb.

 

Tivon RICE. The Voices of Nandimul X (VR film)
The Voices of Nandimul X (2018) – 3 short-films for VR. Nandimul X is a ghost living within an artificial intelligence, or more precisely, within a machine learning model trained on the complete works of science fiction author J.G. Ballard. As this language model describes images of mysterious landscapes and structures, it both hallucinates Ballard’s artistic style and recalls his many critiques of modernism and its effects on architecture, urban life, and the natural environment.
This project creatively addresses the processes of photogrammetry and machine learning as forms of archiving: photogrammetry as a mode of reconstructing depth from large bodies of 2d images, and machine learning as a strategy for recreating the voice or style of an artist, by analyzing large corpora of texts, images, sound, etc.
Originally commissioned for the 2018 Modern Body Laboratory in Den Haag NL, The Voices of Nandimul X explores the festival’s theme of permanence in a post-digital world, and asks: how do histories reside in physical spaces? Can images accumulate a significance over time, different than that of the object within the image? And how may our imaginations of an afterlife be impacted by A.I. systems that are increasingly capable of archiving and emulating an individual’s creative output.
Made possible by The Modern Body Festival, Yukun Zhu, Google Artists and Machine Intelligence, Maxwell Forbes, and the University of Washington Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media. Narration by Kevin Walton.

 

Dani PLOEGER. Frontline (360-video immersive installation)
‘frontline’ combines uneventful 3D 360 video documentation of a frontline position in the Donbass War in East-Ukraine with a spectacular battlefield soundscape produced in a movie studio. The work intertwines the documentary and the fictional in a representation of warfare that unsettles the promises of realism commonly associated with both documentary practice and virtual reality technology, and undermines the expectations of spectacle that often surround representations of warfare.

Dani Ploeger combines performance, video, computer programming and electronics hacking to investigate and subvert the spectacles of techno-consumer culture. Re-purposing, misusing, and at times destroying everyday devices, his work examines seemingly banal and taken-for-granted aspects of digital culture as objects of both physical beauty and political power.
He has worked with traditional metal workers in Cairo to encase tablet computers in plate steel, made a VR installation while embedded with frontline troops in East-Ukraine, and travelled to dump sites in Nigeria to collect electronic waste originating from Europe. He is a Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and an artist-researcher at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.

9/13/18 12:45 am - 9/13/18 2:15 pm

Panel C. AUGMENTED ECOLOGIES
Moderated by Rasa SMITE

Jasmine GUFFOND / Bianca HLYWA / Marc DaCosta / Jade BOYD / Oksana CHEPELYK / Gary Zhexi ZHANG / Jakub PALM
VENUE: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LATVIA

Jasmine GUFFOND. The Web Never Forgets (web performance)
‘Listening Back’ is a creative research project focused on the proliferation of ubiquitous online surveillance and the methods by which our information flows are intercepted by mechanisms that monitor and control. It is also the title of a custom made plug-in for the Chrome browser. A practical outcome of my artistic research, this browser plug-in sonically notifies Internet users of the tracking cookies that collect personal and identifying data by storing a file on your computer. By translating internet cookies into sound ‘Listening Back’ functions to expose real-time digital surveillance and consequently the ways in which our everyday relationships to being surveilled have become normalised. By directly intervening with the World Wide Web as a technological, social and political platform, this project explores how sound can help us engage with complex phenomena beyond apparent materiality. By sonifying a largely invisible tracking technology ‘Listening Back’ critiques a lack of transparency inherent to online monitoring technologies and the broader context of opt in / default cultures intrinsic to contemporary modes of online connectivity. By engaging listening as a mode of examination this project asks what is the potential of sound as a tool for transparent questioning?

Jasmine Guffond is an artist working at the interface of social, political and technical infrastructures. Through the sonification of data she addresses the potential for sound to engage with contemporary political questions. Interested in providing an audible presence for phenomena that usually lies beyond human perception, via the sonification of facial recognition algorithms, global networks, or internet tracking cookies she questions what it means for our identities, choices and personalities to be reduced to streams of data. She is a current PhD candidate at UNSWAD, Sydney Australia conducting research into sound as a method of investigation into contemporary online surveillance.

 

Bianca HLYWA. Untitled as for now
Distinguishing life from non-life facilitates a sort of control over that which is considered inanimate. We wish to push the material world radically apart from us, in fear of death and disintegration humans prefer the infinite possibility of the screen-or material pushed to its greatest symbolic capacity-effectively codifying infinity. The ideas is to inhabit the moment where the inanimate becomes animate, and the distinction between self and other becomes blurry. The practise is cultivating a six foot by four foot symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. I have utilized the process of anaerobic ethanol fermentation and anaerobic organic acid fermentation along an oxygen gradient to create a layer of gelatinous cellulose-based biofilm which looks a lot like a thick layer of skin. Alongside this growth, I have been working to construct a robotic arm which will lift this living biological film out of its womb, which is a giant low lying glass vat. The lifting of the culture would take place during the exhibition of the work over the period of a couple of hours in a tight space that confronts the viewers with a foreign life form that challenges the size of the human body
MISSING BIO

Marc DaCosta. Making Sense of the Ether
The airwaves can be a cacophonous place. Signals from GPS satellites exist alongside bluetooth headsets and the dispatch channels of police stations. The emergence of low-cost Software Defined Radios (SDRs) have made this world more accessible than ever. In this talk I will discuss how public data can be joined with the electromagnetic spectrum to better understand the world around us. In the first portion of the talk, I will discuss how governments regulate the usage and ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum. The data residue of this process can be used for everything from geo-locating electronic border surveillance infrastructure to discovering the location and transmission frequency of every McDonald’s drive-thru radio. In the second portion of the talk, I will discuss how various protocols for data transmission can be decoded and joined with contextual public data. For instance, every cargo ship emits an “Automated Identification System” signal that can be joined with shipping records to understand what the ship is carrying. By the end of the talk, I hope attendees will leave with a richer sense of how the radio waves are being used and the tools necessary to critically explore them further.
MISSING BIO

 

Jade BOYD. Wave-lengths Hitherto Undetected
Jade Boyd’s presentation centres around her recent artwork, ‘Wave-Lengths Hitherto Undetected.’ The installation, named after William Crookes’ ideas on potential higher forms of telepathic communication, measures the changing electrical potential within three sets of Oyster mushrooms and converts these into light. Specifically, a sensor, an Arduino and dimmer translate the signal from the mushrooms into light on a lamp, which varies in brightness according to the strength of the signal. Anything that changes the electromagnetic fields within the space around the mushrooms will alter their electrical potential, including mobile phones and other electronic devices, human proximity – and human touch. In this way, inter-species communication takes place between human and fungi. This communication is manifest synthetically in the form of both light, via the lamp, and sound, via the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio, which produces audio in response to changes in EM fields and light and also receives AM radio transmissions. Contact with the mushrooms via touch allows for haptic compositions. A circuit between the four elements – the mushrooms, humans, radio and light box is created. Veering between science and the occult, this organic-electronic synthesis suggests that there may be forces at work that humans are yet to detect.

Jade Boyd’s artistic practice reflects the ways she is “…fascinated by the capacity of technology for manifesting the otherwise unseen forces which govern our existence…” (Joseph Stannard, (The Wire) 2011). A PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, Jade works with audio, video and installation, often in a live setting and in collaboration with musicians and sound artists (as in Unsound festival). She has presented her research at GANZA (Gothic Association of New Zealand and Australia), Auckland, NZ (2017); PopCaanz, Sydney (2016); Revelation Film Festival Academic Conference, Perth (2015 and 2014); Exist-ence symposium, QLD College of Arts, Brisbane (2013)
 and most recently, PopCaanz, Wellington, NZ (2017), with her article “The Electro-mystical Machines of Lovecraft and Pynchon” published. www.jadeboyd.nl

 

Oksana CHEPELYK. Virtual and Natural, Global Data and Local Ecosystem: Ukrainian Case Study
IZOLYATSIA. Platform for cultural initiatives from Donetsk has been occupied by Russian militaries since 2014, was forced to move to Kyiv. A nomadic institution in exile has produced a plethora of art projects focusing on the scenarios of survival in the current turbulent reality of propaganda and post-truth in order to promote critical thinking, radical design for activism in artworks that take “technology” as their subject matter. Research led within American Arts Incubator (AAI) at IZOLYATSIA were focused on the Dnipro river. The Waters Come Into My Soul project within AAI examines water pollution in Ukraine, particularly along the Dnipro River. The industrial runoff and over abundance of phosphorus, nitrogen and phosphates cause active reproduction of blue-green algae which causes the “Dnipro Blossoming” phenomenon. Using microbial fuel cells with polluted water from the Dnipro and speculative algal bioreactors, Tiare Ribeaux in art project considered converting cyanobacteria and polluted water in the Dnipro into energy for illumination.
Radical Mapping + Speculative Design, Design of a Platform for Dnipro water state monitoring including VR game, where swimmer should avoid some obstacles, size and for form of which are variable, depending on data obtained through low-level Internet protocols: pollutions, microorganisms, audio-visual algorithmic environments.

Dr. Oksana Chepelyk is a leading researcher of The New Technologies Department, Modern Art Research Institute of Ukraine, author of book “The Interaction of Architectural Spaces, Contemporary Art and New Technologies” (2009) and curator of the IFSS, Kyiv. Oksana Chepelyk studied art in Kyiv, followed PhD course, Moscow, Amsterdam University, Banff Centre, Canada, Bauhaus Dessau, Germany, Fulbright Research Program at UCLA, USA. Awards: ArtsLink1997 Award (USA), FilmVideo99 (Italy), EMAF2003 Werklietz Award 2003 (Germany), ArtsLink2007 Award (USA), Artraker Award2013 (UK). Works shown: MOMA, NY; MMA, Zagreb; German Historical Museum, Berlin and Munich; Museum of the Arts History, Vienna; MCA, Skopje; MJT, LA,; Art Arsenal Museum, Kyiv; “DIGITAL MEDIA Valencia”, Spain; MACZUL, Maracaibo, Venezuela, “The File”, Sao Paolo; XVIII LPM 2017 Amsterdam.

 

MOON Martina Zelenika. A secret way of communication: The perfect language that the global control system can not control
Are we able to develop a new communication system that the global control system can not control? Can a secret language be considered the perfect language?
The paper examines the impact of digital extensions on the intuitive understanding of universal symbol in a form of audio-visual content. In this case I present the audio-visual logograms from my new Augmented Reality mobile application project “6th SENSE”. The integration of Augmented Reality technology isn’t just an ordinary game, but the way we interact with devices and content become a way of communication. How Augmented Reality become a trigger for mind and emotional reactions on a deeper level? In this project, a combination of drawings and sounds, analogue and digital images, makes a unique fusion. Sound and drawing as communication fields can be seen as telepathic or mind communication, or emotionally responsive communication where no words are needed. The main goal of analyzing this creative process is the transformation from one medium to another, focusing mainly on the relationship between visual forms and sounds that results in audio visual design and interaction. It is a study of a universal communication field that has both autonomous and independent features for developing a secret language – the perfect language.

Croatian contemporary artist MOON a.k.a. Martina Zelenika is an independent interdisciplinary artist with a unique artistic expression. By deconstructing meta-language, the artist tests out modern communication space and combines the most up-to-date digital technology along with an analogue one to embody spiritual dimension of universology. Martina Zelenika graduated in 2001 at the Academy of Fine Arts University of Zagreb, and took a master’s in 2006 in the area of Video-New Media at the Academy of Visual Art and Design University of Ljubljana. Martina is a member ADA– database of Virtual Art, Croatian Freelance Artists Association, founder and artistic leader at NAGON– interdisciplinary laboratory of arts based in Zagreb.

 

Gary Zhexi ZHANG – An Ecological Turn: Aesthetics of Decentralisation
Decentralisation presents itself as a technological panacea and an ideological imperative. By giving a little more agency to the parts over the whole, we give way to a network of emergent interactions of a truly creative kind: a little noise goes a long way. From asynchronous logistics to embodied intelligence, contemporary designers and engineers are mobilising self-organising behaviours and recombinant architectures to organise, optimise, and negotiate complex systems.
As the technological imaginary moves from distributed networks of communication towards decentralised bodies, cities and societies, what does it mean to design for the parts over the whole, govern from the individual over the collective, build the platform over the society? Tracing a line from Victorian evolutionism, Bogdanov’s tectology to systems ecology and contemporary cybernetics, this paper explores what we want from decentralisation, and to examine the possibilities and pitfalls of a paradigm that has promised us so much over its short, technological history. By drawing on past moments in our desire to decentralise, this essay offers an interwoven account of technological diagrams and ecological forms, proposing an feedback loop between the systems we inhabit, the systems we build and the systems we think ourselves to be.
Gary Zhexi Zhang is an artist and writer interested in socio-technical objects. His current work explores decentralized organizations such as swarms, mycelia, and markets within the context of aesthetics, cryptography, and work. He works with film, installation, and software. As a writer, Zhang is a regular contributor to Frieze and Elephant magazines, and has also published in Foam, Fireflies and King’s Review. He was recently awarded the MIT Journal of Design and Science essay prize. Recent projects and exhibitions include “Net Work” and the Decentralized Web Summit at the Internet Archive, “Cross-feed” at Glasgow International 2018, vdrome.org (online), and “All Channels Open” at Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn (2017).

9/11/18 2:15 pm

Lunch


9/11/18 3:00 pm

the Bus Trip to Kemeri bog


9/9/18 4:00 pm

Arriving in Kemeri. SWAMP RADIO – guided tour through the swamp


Sound installations by Ivo TAURINS, Krista DINTERE, Chelsea POLK, and the students from Liepaja University’s MPLab (Art Research Lab) and MIT Art, Culture and Technology program, in collaboration with Swamp Pavilion (swamp.lt), curated by Nomeda and Gediminas URBONAS in the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Bus ticket – 5 EUR / 3 EUR (student discount) / for the registered conference participants – free admission (NB! places are limited, please book your place on the registration desk).

9/9/18 9:00 pm

Returning from Kemeri – Arriving at Brick Bar, RIBOCA


VENUE: Brick bar (Ganību dambis 30)

Testimonials

I would like to thank all of you for the interesting and wonderful conference Global Control. Everything was perfect as the last years. The exhibition, the key note speakers, all the speakers, the swamp radio under the rain. Amazing! It’s a very pleasure to take part to your activities.

Vincenzo Sansone
19.09.2018

Thanks a lot! It was amazing and so interesting. Such a work, and a good work.

Colette Tron
18.09.2018

Thanks for the invite and hospitality 🙂 i had fund and learned a lot. I wish you all well and to continue the fight.

Artist from Slovenia
19.09.2018

Thank you for the intelligent and creative time we spent in Riga…

Jasmina Tesanovic and Bruce Sterling
18.09.2018

It was super dense three conference days, I have learned a lot! And the guided tour across the Latvian swamps was gorgeous.

Pablo De Soto
19.09.2018

REGISTRATION & ACCOMMODATION

Registration fees: 
 
Early Bird registration is open until August 25, 2018!
 
Early Bird Standard 48.00 EUR (Full Price – 64.00 EUR)
Early Bird Student 24.00 EUR (Full Price – 32.00 EUR)
Early Bird Attandee  48.00 EUR (Full Price – 64.00 EUR)
Early Bird Press 24.00 EUR (Full Price – 32.00 EUR)
 
To the registration page >
 
More detailed info about registration and accommodation find here > 


SUPPORT

  • Latvia 100
  • VKF
  • Rigas dome
  • Kulturas ministrija
  • creative europe prageamme
  • RISK change
  • EMAP – EMARE
  • Goethe institut
  • ZKM
  • LNB
  • Liepajas Universitate
  • MPLab
  • RISEBA
  • esse

LOCATIONS

Venues

The National Library of Latvia

Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga, LV-1423

RIXC Gallery and Center

Lenču iela 2, Rīga, LV-1010

KOMPOTS. Performances program + DJs night

Tallinas iela 10, Rīga, LV-1001

Kemeri Bog Bus Tour

Start at 15.00 at the National Library of Latvia

Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga, LV-1423

KLANG Sound Art Exhibition

Tallinas iela 6, Rīga, LV-1001

Jakob Lenz Guest house

Lenču iela 2, Riga, LV-1010

Rixwell Gertrude Hotel

Gertrudes iela 70, Riga, LV-1009

Konventa Sēta Hotel

Kalēju iela 9/11 (Old Riga), Riga, LV-1050

Cafe Film Noir (in the Splendid Palace Cinema building)

Elizabetes iela 61, Riga, LV-1050

Neiburgs Hotel

Jauniela 25/27, Centra rajons, Riga, LV-1050