Artistic Program (15.30 – 17.00)
Friday AUG 25th Saturday AUG 26th
Classroom 110
George Themistokleous: The Digital Punctum

Responding to Nicosia’s ‘borderland‘, the operating table uses a ‘live’ photographic apparatus to re-construct imagery along Nicosia’s Buffer Zone. The device digitally records, processes and projects three-dimensional simulated imagery of its participants. These ‘live’ images are composited with other contextual background of the border, producing unexpected hybrid relations between viewer and context. The three-dimensional reconstruction of the surrounding territory is re-produced in a way that synthesizes body-image and actual context in a strangely simulated way as the visitor’s body becomes an object in a shifting field of vegetation, dilapidated buildings, cats, clouds and so on. The operating table offers a simulated experience whereby the participant’s sensory body is displaced from their self-image and the contextual background. For a few seconds, one loses their orientation, as the image uproots oneself from their surroundings. One becomes alien to oneself. The table as surface “where texts had been written by men or inspired by God – never inspired or written by nonhumans” (Latour 1993, 23), is here subverted. Nonhuman technologies undercut the traditional role of the table. Through this live ‘imaging’ device, the operating table reveals how bodies are malleable to an othering. Taking its cue from a postcolonial aspiration of becoming Linobambakoi – a lost ‚minor‘ Cypriot race – , the operating table seeks to problematize the bi-ethnic imposed border identities that have been constructed by colonial and postcolonial regimes of power. The device thus aims at re-activating a ‘minor’ race that remains alien to imposed social identity constructs.

George Tzortzidis and Tatyana Nozdrachova: Internal and External Form

This collection of artworks will explore mark making through two different artistic processes. Tatyana’s work uses a practice of mindful observation to translate the external realm into the internal realm. George’s work relies on motor creativity to translate the internal realm into the external realm. When considering how artworks translate between these two reams, we must first take into account the scale shift that occurs. Form in the external realm, particularly apprehended through mediated observation, as when we look through a microscope, has infinite geometric complexity. In contrast, form observed through the human eye is blind to the intricacies of the micro world, and involves only the useful macrostructure that our mind has evolved to deal with. When we engage in the act of transcribing external forms onto a surface, through a given medium and vehicle of expression, we further depart from form in its natural state, to a representation of that form mediated through the mind of the maker / artist. This new, resultant form is ostensibly a representation of the natural form, but just as much, it represents the mind of the artist who produced it. Tatyana’s work can be described as representational forms which simplify and rationalize the complex, infinite nature of forms found in the external realm. Starting with a process of mindful observation, she embarks on a mark making journey that distills complex, organic forms into recognizable symbols that are easily understood and digested by the observer. George’s work begins through the process of motor creativity, a blind approach to mark making, and results in complex compositions which draw a parallel between the mind of the artist (internal realm), and the infinite, universal forms of nature (external realm).

Kalliopi Ioumpa: You Through Me

“You Through Me” is an interactive project that employs Virtual Reality technology to facilitate a body swap experience, enabling participants to see the world from each other’s perspectives. The creation of the work was driven as an invitation to consider our personal perspective and biases, re-relate with ourselves, each other and the world. The project brings forward different aspects of empathy, embodied knowledge, and experiential understanding. Instructions for reproducing a version of the project using software that is freely available will be handed out. In this way the work becomes accessible to the wider community, inviting individuals to reconsider their relationship with technology and explore alternative creative applications.

Julia Ongchoco: Grid

Look at a regular grid of squares — like on a piece of graph paper, or your bathroom tiles. What do you see? This documentary short film features a female cognitive scientist at Yale and a female artist at the University of Pennsylvania who have been independently exploring the gap between hallucination and reality, in a series of experiments that use the rudimentary form of a grid. To one, the grid is “a ‘scaffold’ for people to experience everyday hallucinations”. To another, the grid “is art, it’s a framework for art, it’s order but also chaos”. In the course of their work, both women somehow encountered Agnes Martin, who herself suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and whose canvases of grids are featured in leading museums around the world, from the Guggenheim to the Museum of Modern Art. Altogether, the work of these women show how a simple grid can challenge our conceptions of who experiences hallucinations (when they are otherwise too often considered ‘atypical’, or occurring only in clinical populations), what counts as an object (when these are otherwise often the everyday objects around us), and what is art (and the ways art must be an interaction between artist and viewer).

Poster Session
Paul Wiersbinski: Mortal Toys

In the workshop Mortal Toys participants were invited to join a performative game, in which they tried out prototypes of video glasses connected to wireless surveillance cameras. Strangers met in a semi-public situation and were willing to play, while they were watched by the other participants. They experimented with transmitted body movements, improvised choreographies, were “controlled” and took “control” of others. A hybrid space is created, in which the ideas behind science fiction films are combined with a playful approach. The aim was to experiment with a scenario in which haptic and virtual reality existed next to each other, allowing controlled as well as unrestricted symbolic overlapping areas of language and image. This possibility mirrors the limitless contemporary play with money, power and resources. Ultimately participants will explore the violence of a society focused on algorithmic speed, which constantly pushes for the destruction of haptic and public space through an accelerated concept of time and efficiency.
The resulting discussion reflected on notions of immaterialness and intimacy, surveillance as a perverted form of care-taking, technology pointing inwards and the crucial role it plays in the here and now and its future role in social interaction. The workshop confronted these stories of self-dissolvement, our submerging, drowning and diving into the illusions we create, as we explore the origins of illusions. The word itself deriving from “in-lusio”, meaning to enter a game.

@Poster Session Pepe Ballesteros: Dialectics of Light

Dialectics of light proposes computational models as another layer in the multidimensional space of meaning to further understand depicted light. Description of subtle changes in light features is a challenge not only for language but also for human perception. In the words of Leonardo: “Light cannot be measured or evaluated […] it is a definite manifestation of artistic talent which, unlike rules, cannot be learned”. Dialectics of light strives to highlight the synthesis and contradictions that emerge from the confrontation between machine and human perception through the quantitative encoding of light features.