ArtTechPsyche II Program
#ArtTechPsyche is a full day of presentations, art exhibitions, demos, and other events happening simultaneously throughout the two levels at Arts@29 Garden. Speaker presentations will take place either on the lower level or in the upstairs classroom (upper level) — please see the schedule below for additional information.
Coffee / Meet & Greet
Ricky van Broekhoven
In a world that is very visually oriented, sound has quite unknown and underestimated capabilities. It is an invisible energy that is able to touch us emotionally, and that is also able to manifest itself physically. The talk for ArtTechPsyche II will be about the phenomenon of sound that I deal with in my design practice. With the presentation I hope to create renewed awareness for the omnipresence of noise.
Studio van Broekhoven SoundShapeLab designs sound and music that exceed perception with merely the ears. It’s a laboratory that explores the realm of design and architecture through sound. By using natural forces and processes, unique objects and immersive environments are shaped.
An ‘Unusual’ Story: The Biology Meets Its Match
Multifunctional sensing capability, ‘unusual’ formats with flexible/stretchable designs, lightweight construction and self-powered operation are desired attributes for electronics that directly interface with the human body. Today’s electronics are stiffer by up to six orders of magnitude compared to soft tissue. Thus, present systems limit intimate integration with biology. I have focused on novel microfabrication techniques and tricks to use active piezoelectric materials and required electronic components, which have the shape and the mechanical properties that match with those of human tissues, in order to allow intimate integration without any irritation and/or harm on body.
In this talk, I describe novel materials, mechanics and device designs for emerging classes of wearable health monitoring systems and implantable, minimally invasive medical devices. These include a variety of electrodes, sensors, and energy harvesting components, with promising applications in bio-integrated electronics, such as self-powered cardiac pacemakers, wearable blood pressure sensors, modulus sensor patches, and brain injectrodes. The devices can be twisted, folded, stretched/flexed and wrapped onto curvilinear surfaces or implanted without damage or significant alteration in operation. The fabrication strategies and design concepts can be applied to various biological substrates and geometries of interest, and thus have the potential to broadly bridge the gap that exists between rigid, boxy electronics and soft, curvy biology.
Project Atlas leverages virtual and augmented reality for querying and interacting with multimedia archaeological datasets and life-size reconstructions of architecture at the ancient city of Morgantina (Sicily). In partnership with the Contrada Agnese Project (CAP), tourists, researchers, and the excavation team in the field can interact with photogrammetric models of previous excavations as well as museum metadata for artifacts.
Utilizing both the Project Tango Tablet and Google Cardboard, as well as traditional browser-based web applications, members of CAP can access and analyze a variety of datasets collected during an excavation season via microservice software architecture, which enables real-time layering of data across mobile and desktop devices. As researchers work from the 2D web-based application and move into the immersive 3D environment, they are able to analyze the layout and clustering of significant features and finds, recovered in the course of their excavations. Most significantly, archaeologists can use the Project Atlas platform to virtually “replicate” their work and in the process test previous interpretations of the placement and function of objects and monuments at Morgantina in order to gain a better understanding of the ancient urban landscape and the lives of its inhabitants.
Project Atlas is a collaborative effort of Archimedes Digital, CAP, Jarien Sky-Stutts art, Misc. Labs, and Vermont Digital Arts.
Why do some people hit on solutions that everyone else misses? In her just-released book, Inventology, New York Times contributor Pagan Kennedy takes the reader through the methods that visionaries use to imagine new technologies. Based on interviews with inventors, economists and psychologists – as well as evidence from studies– the book reveals the steps that produce discoveries. Steve Hollinger — an inventor who holds many patents — will join Kennedy to demonstrate some of his prototypes and talk about his own creative process.
Please note: we will be unable to fulfill special dietary requests for lunch, however there are a number of restaurants in the Harvard Square area if you are unable to join us for lunch at the event. For more information check out Harvard Square Restaurants.
Nano.Stasis Cosmic.Garden. [Small is the New Big]
Nano.Stasis is an art form that explores the exquisite side of a radical new technology – one that is changing lives. Sparked by Harvard’s Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Kit Parker, and his invention of a cotton candy-inspired rotary jet spinning technology, nanofibers form the basis of this novel medium. Parker’s groundbreaking work has created a nanofiber textile that is evolving for a spectrum of futuristic applications – from wound healing, tissue and organ growth to fashion couture and “smart” sports related products. Now, for the first time, the tiny fibers are becoming art. Collaborating with Harvard’s Disease Biophysics Group, artist Carla Ciuffo has worked together with doctoral candidate Nina Sinatra to transform nanofibers into small-scale canvases and large format artworks. Showing how artists use science to make their fantasies real and palpable, their discussion will also focus on how science uses the arts in exactly the same way.
Coding in the Digital Classroom: Tools and strategies for teaching code online
“Everyone should learn to code!” This is a popular refrain we’re seeing globally, even reaching as far as presidentially promoted initiatives like the Hour of Code. Education in computer programming is a hot commodity everywhere from traditional university programs to self-paced online tutorials. Simultaneously, the Internet and related digital technologies are at the center of how we communicate, and as a result, they are shaping and challenging traditional educational models. These two factors make it an exciting time to explore learning to program online.
In this session, we’ll examine five case studies of how coding is being taught in the digital classroom. In studying these examples, we’ll introduce some tools and strategies employed and examine the pros and cons of each approach. We’ll then look at how these same tools can be applied in traditional classroom contexts as well.
How can we enhance public spaces in cities so that they engage individuals and community? What can encourage us to slow down and take a moment of pause in our busy lives? Janet Echelman ’87 shares her journey exploring these questions in cities from London, Amsterdam, and Boston to San Francisco, Singapore, and Sydney.
A decade after graduating from Harvard College, she found her voice as an artist when her paints went missing, which forced her to look towards her surroundings and at a new art material – fishing nets. Now she makes billowing sculpture the scale of buildings that become inviting focal points for civic life. She combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create monumental, ultra-lightweight art that moves gently with the wind.
She has collaborated with technologists and computer scientists to create custom software tools for soft-body modeling, in addition to developing platforms that enable members of the public to interact with her artwork, using cellphones to project gestures directly onto the sculpture surface. The result is a communal urban experience that is simultaneously virtual and physical.
Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages with more than one million views, and her work was ranked number one on Oprah Magazine’s ”List of 50 Things that Make You Say Wow!” Recently, she was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces” and received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honoring “the greatest innovators in America today.”
Fashion and technology have always been linked. Today, perhaps more than ever before, emerging technologies are steering fashion’s course and will define its future. Join MFA curator, Lauren Whitley, for a look at the MFA Boston’s current exhibition #techstyle which features the cutting edge of fashion including dresses that you can tweet, clothes that respond to the environment, and fabrics cut and patterned by lasers. Ms. Whitley will consider how technology is impacting both the production and performance of clothing, as well as, social media’s role in disseminating fashion’s many messages.
Technology is designed to make our lives easier, comfortable, and more pleasurable. However the easy pleasures afforded by today’s technology promotes distraction and passivity. What’s more, these easy pleasures are at odds with art that’s meant to be open-ended, provocative, or challenging. Shen’s talk will discuss this strained relationship between art and technology within her own practice and the way technology dematerializes our experience of the world. Her video work uses tech in a way to critique itself and highlight how it can shape our consciousness. Shen then proposes the possibility of developing a different relationship with technology, challenging the primacy of vision through the physicality of sound art.
This talk will include a demonstration of programming in the visual language of Max/MSP and a sound performance using analog modular synthesizers.
Flack’s dioramas are quite different from his sound-based work and draw inspiration from pre-cinematic “peep-show” devices, early silent film and single panel cartoons, creating the illusion of tiny characters playing out short narratives within the three dimensional space of a small set.
To see more of Antony’s work (music, videos and interactive animations) visit djflack.com
Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden presents the ethereal side of microscopic nanofibers and emphasizes how creativity, beauty and science are truly intertwined. Existing in moments between moments, the fibers inhabit a universe where tiny human bodies drift like caraway seeds are tossed in the wind. These black-and-white images feel like they should be full of movement, but as these minuscule humans float above and beyond an enormous fiber garden, it feels like something is about to happen but hasn’t yet. Perhaps they’re diving headlong into the void, or perhaps they’re ascending. Are they heavenly bodies, or are they damned? It’s not clear, as this in-between moment absolves them of judgment. Artwork was created by spinning nanofiber into tiny “canvases”. Cuttings taken from the fiber canvases were photographed into SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) images and magnified up to 6000 times. Using the SEM images, Ciuffo merges ethereal beings and organic elements to form large format composite photographs mounted to an acrylic medium. Ciuffo also transfers imagery onto the small canvases, and the recycled fiber “fluff” is reconstructed and photographed as sculptural tableaux.
Throughout the day on the 14th, stop by and visit our LEGO play space. All too often in an academic setting creativity is investigated formally through talks and publications. In keeping with the spirit of the Art Technology Psyche II unconference at Arts@29 Garden St., we want to bring a focus on the innovating role of play.
The ArtTechPsyche team issues the following challenge:
– Take ten minutes and ten LEGO blocks and play.
– We will be posting images of everyone’s work on our Instagram feed. Members of the team will be there to join in the fun.