idca update

i am having an overdose of architects presenting their work accompanied by techno tracks, and offhand remarks about beautiful women. also there is too much work about illuminating the façade of buildings, at first i thought it was interesting and cool, but literally four people have presented similar ideas.

the one talk i really liked this morning was from the folks over at graft

up until today though, i had been extreemly happy with the conference. there have been some fresh presentations.

reverse chronological summary of the conference so far:

friday morning there were:
wolfram putz, hernan diaz-alonso, and jan edler.

wolfram’s talk was probably the most intersting, their company graft seems like a groovy intersection of hippy commune and ultra-chique charge you lots of money archetecture brand. their work was quite exciting, and was presented quite well.

stepping back to thursday:

Thomas Levin Princeton media professor. Spoke amazingly well about the era of surveillance, and more interestingly how media is picking up and becoming more invigorated by surveillance. It used to be the case that photographs were used to present reality, or index reality. This is no longer the case, clearly, as demonstrated by photoshop, and amazing cg imagery. This has been replaced with the notion that ‘live’ surveillance type video is ‘reality’. Also spoke about panoptical prisons, and how it does not matter in the psychology of surveillance whether or not some one is actually watching you, so much as it matters if you believe someone has the power to observe you without your knowledge. Mentioned Jimmy Vosch as an artist who works with the language of surveillance as installation work.

Christian Moeller: an artist who is all over the map. Perhaps my favorite example of his work was something he did in LA. He posted an advertisement for six news anchors. He then interviewed candidates, having them be judge on how long they could keep a pose of a believable smile. Computers mediated the judging. When the actresses could no longer hold a smile, the computer would buzz, and doc points from them. They were able to hold fake smiles for upwards of 1.5 hours.

Christian also introduced me to the music of Oscar Sala

Drew schnurr concert: infinite pianos. I might have just been impressed with the sound of five concurrent grand pianos on the stage at once. The pianists were great. Schnurrs electronic resynthesised sounds were less interesting maybe. I really enjoyed the concert. The man behind me did not, and kept sighing very loudly, and crumpling papers in his hand, and yawning, and twitching and generally made a fuss. I have a message for the world: if you are not enjoying a movie, a show, performance, or event, do yourself and the rest of the audience a favor, and leave. It made it difficult for me to focus on the music occasionally because he was such a fussy child. I had fantasies of writing ‘leave if you don’t like it’ on the back of the program guide, and handing it to mr. Twitchy. But I refrained

now way back to wed. pm:

introduction by Benjamin Bratton. I loved the way this dude stringed words together. His talk was inspiring, not because I necessarily believed that he was making sense, but because he was deriving interesting phrases at a remarkable rate. He was a comfortable speaker, who was totally into saying implausible things with alliteration. Some of my favorite benjiminisms:

The main feature, function, and product of a city is proximity.
Software is architecture.
Cities are software.
Mobile phones mean that cities are mobile.
Interface is the mediation of points of contact.

He said a lot of other cool random inspiring things that reminded me of Nicholas Negroponte.

Joachim Sauter: first of all this guy presented using the OS X finder instead of something like powerpoint. His presentation was really nice looking, and well choreographed.

* films in space. For example, took 3d model of berlin, and superimposed old movies in the locations where they were shot. Placed movie frames in the location where they were taken. Results were pixel volumes which were highly seductive.

• installations with hackers, where abandond buildings would have lights placed inside each room (sort of infront of each window). The lights were computer controlled. People could interact with buildings by dialing a phone number, entering some text.
• Some sculptural things I have forgotten.
• Theatrical piece using projectors to control the costumes of the actors. (patterns of the costumes, and colors of the costumes could change.. nothing else on the stage was affected by the costume projectors. The stage itself was animated archeological study of a WWII era bunker.

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