10 Minutes in Detroit

An information visualisation built using the Human Ecosystems will be featured at the Gallery Project, in Detroit, for the Unseen exhibit.

10 Minutes in Detroit captures all the social networking activity in the city of Detroit on June 30th 2014 and visualises it in a series of different ways, using the Human Ecosystems ( http://human-ecosystems.com/home/ ).

The exhibit will be in Detroit from August 1st to August 31st, 2014 (Eastern Market, 1550 Winder, across from Red Bull House of Art, Detroit, MI) and in Ann Arbor from September 12th to October 12th, 2014 (Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI).

Unseen is curated by Rocco DePietro and Gloria Pritschet

The quest to see lies at the heart of human urgency. To breach the barrier between the visible and the invisible is compelling, emotional, informative and even magical. This process of discovery has always driven thinkers and image makers: artists, scientists and philosophers, from astronomers to nanotechnologists, from documentarians and data analysts to planners and prognosticators. As the unseen becomes seeable and seen, a pivot occurs, revealing and demanding irreversible change. No one who has seen is ever the same.

The invisible may be unseen for many reasons. It may be purposely covert for socio-political or military reasons, or to hide corruption or actions contrary to the public good. It may be inadvertently unseen because of the limits of technology or its applications, or the limits of human perception or comprehension. It may be willfully unseen from lack of curiosity, imagination, salience, awareness, or limitations of perceptual processes.

Many contemporary artists and scientists are dedicated to expressing the unseen and to making the invisible visible. They may be motivated to advance their disciplines, or may be fascinated by the prospect of discovery, or the challenge and adventure of harnessing emerging technologies to express ideas. They may believe it is important to uncover secrets, to disclose purposely hidden information, some of which strikes at the heart of democracy, personal privacy, individual well-being, individual freedom, the public’s right to know, and the health and survival of planet Earth. They may seek to awaken consciousness to initiate conversation about outcomes, implications and possibilities.

This exhibition invites the participants to visualize and express the unseen, and to comment on the impacts of the transformed vista.

In Unseen, participants’ work may express a range of conceptual dimensions. For example, they may be disclosing the purposely hidden or the inadvertently unseen. They may seek out significant and impactful information or simply delight in the creative, visually beautiful or surprising. Participants’ work may also express a range of thresholds of visibility. For example, they may be exploring micro, meso or macro levels of invisibility, from microbial and sub-atomic worlds to social, global and universal phenomena. Several examples follow:

The Hubble and Kepler telescopes are discovering evidence of earthlike and superhabitable planets, whose conditions for sustain carbon-based life surpass those of earth. However much of space is unseen by us, for intentional covert reasons or because we lack the means to perceive it.

In his book Dark Skies, Trevor Paglen, uses time-lapse photography with super sensitive equipment to capture images of military spy satellites streaking across the night sky. Photographed over a landscape reminiscent of Ansel Adams, the images are chilling reminder of what’s up there unseen.

Remote sensors and sonar probe deep within the earth and below the ocean floor in places like the arctic (where over 90% of Russia’s natural gas is located) mapping caches of gold, uranium, and rare earth minerals. Private corporations often own the proprietary maps. These same technologies offer crucial information to science, for example, in marine and desert archeology and research.

Environmental pollution related to deep earth mineral and gas extraction, and droughts; ancient aquifers are drained, the land debased, the water supply is poisoned and behind the guise of efficiency and technological advances.

Study of long term-data for natural cycles and systems reveals climate patterns, meteoric and volcanic activity, intense solar storms, and models their relationship to human activity and potential catastrophic impacts.

Disadvantaged individuals and groups that are invisible due to personal attitudes, social policy, and a history of neglect, e.g., the elderly and incarcerated black youth.

Architects and artists are working to reinterpret space in cities. Art is Open Source depicts the layers formed by people who uniquely shape the space through their use of mobile devices, ubiquitous technologies, and social networks.

Data art amasses complex critical information and presents it visually appealing and easily readable formats. Josh Begley, the originator of Dronestream, which documents the increase in drone strikes in the past decade, has created a new Apple App, Metadata, which documents drone strikes in real time.

Genetic research and engineering have enabled modification and selection of traits in foods, opening broad argument about health, safety, the power of chemical companies, and international meddling.

The Human Genome Project has sequenced the chemical base pairs of human DNA, making possible cloning technologies and genetic choice (babies by design). Private companies offer genetic tests for illness predisposition. This new era in genetics opens reconsideration of human identity, illness and morality.

Google Earth Outreach is mapping indigenous people around the world. The project protects 600,000 acres of the Surui of Brazil from exploitation, illegal mining and logging Photographer Martin Schoeller, with National Geographic, is bringing the issues facing lost tribes to global attention. Impact of such projects on their way of life is uncertain.

Animal research has revealed highly differentiated sounds and as yet untranslated complex language among elephants, dolphins, and other mammals. Increased understanding of animal language, emotion and culture challenges narrow preconceptions of animals as lesser beings, as food or objects for our entertainment.

American intelligence gathering is largely covert and secret. Edward Snowden, in revealing the extent of information collected about ordinary citizens, awakened awareness and initiated a change in generally held assumptions.

Cyber warfare, increasing in sophistication and run by rogue and government sanctioned hackers, challenges the security of nuclear facilities, financial systems, and personal data. There are no visual maps for understanding cybercrime.

Secret drone strikes in Yemen or Pakistan are supported by networks of underwater fiber optic cables, military satellites and command centers, remote sensing and vision systems, and superfast computers. Congress’ decision to continue their control in the CIA, rather than to transfer it to the Defense Department insures that they remain secret.

HAARP (The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the Defense Department and private contractors. HAARP analyzes the ionosphere and investigates the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. Some say one of its goals is to transmit electricity wirelessly. Based in Gakona, Alaska, some experts say that HAARP is capable of modifying weather, disabling satellites, causing air crashes, earthquakes, droughts, storms, floods, and even disease.

There is a whole category of contemporary art this is full of technical and creative surprises. These works might involve hidden images, inference of the presence of the objects and content when they are not there, and movement that alters the visual and perceptual field. Some can only be fully realized with the participation and imagination of the viewer.

One Million Dreams

Dreaming on social networks.

One Million Dreams is a generative video that lasts around 200 hours which shows, instant by instant, a whole year of dreams captured from social networks.

This is a short preview.

You had a dream last night, and you published something about it on major social networks? A software captured it and put it on a database.

In the video, dreams are captured and processed using natural language analysis to understand people’s emotions regarding the various dreams, and the topic it deals with.

For the time being, we have isolated a limited number of topics: “job”, “love”, “school”, “money”, “environment”, “relations”, “family”, “memories” and “future”.

The video will be soon implemented as an exhibit, in which dreams will be captured and visualized in real-time.

One Million Dreams Exhibit

One Million Dreams Exhibit

Then they will be archived, to obtain the largest dream archive of the planet: a global library of the dreams of all humanity in which it will be possible to contribute, search for dreams and extract them (the archive of real-time dreams will form a source of real-time Open Data) and research, play, make apps with them.

One Million Dreams has been produced through the Human Ecosystems project.

Incautious Porn at SSN2014 in Barcelona

We’ll be attending SSN2014 (the 6th Biannual Surveillance and Society Conference) in Barcelona to present the outcomes of our Incautious Porn project: an anthropological experiment in blackmail and the perception of private/public space online.

From the conference site:

Contemporary surveillance is characterised by ambiguities and asymmetries. Surveillance results from different desires and rationales: control, governance, security, profit, efficiency but also care, empowerment, resistance and play. Surveillance is never neutral. Surveillance is always about power and that power is increasingly asymmetric. Surveillance practices are also changing and as ‘smart’ surveillance systems proliferate utilising and generating ‘Big Data’ new forms of ambiguity and asymmetry arise.

We will be presenting the Incautious Porn project:

Incautious Porn, an anthropological experiment in blackmail and the perception of private/public space online

 

“We have radically changed our perception of what is public and what is private.

 

While using social networks, search engines and websites determining who has access to our information, our personal details, our habits and preferences is often complex or not easily accessible.

 

Each person‘s information is sold hundreds of times each day, while surfing websites and social media sites, with information passing from one provider to the other in ways that are subtle and non-transparent: data collected on one site may be used on other sited to sell us advertisements or to investigate on our lives.

 

On top of that, most people tend to interpret social media sites as new forms of public spaces, and it is fundamental for service providers‘ strategies that this perception is maintained, to promote our full disclosure, allowing them to collect even more data about ourselves.

 

We used the project Incautious Porn to investigate on this scenario, to explore the shifting and blurring of the boundaries of what we perceive as our privacy and as our private and public spaces.

 

Incautious Porn uses the operations of a fake company systematically invading our privacy (even to the point of performing simulated forms of blackmail) to collect enormous amounts of information which we have used to analyze this scenario.

 

In Incautious Porn art acts both as a sensor on the transformation of human societies and as a tool for analyzing its effects.

 

The effects of the Incautious Porn project and communication campaign have been massive, bringing it to the attention of a large, global, audience and, thus, allowing the research team to benefit from a large data set.

 

Furthermore, the actions of the blackmailing fake-company have been led using an ethical approach: no money was taken from people, and all their personal data has been preserved, also using the initiative as a testing lab for novel privacy and security preservation techniques, and as a campaign for awareness about the transformation of people‘s perception of contemporary private/public spaces.”

On: 25th April 2014, at SSN2014, at the CCCB, street Montalegre 5

Human Ecosystems at the MACRO Museum of Rome for Aperitivi Formativi

What is the Human Ecosystem of the city?

How does it transform with the wide and accessible availability of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies?

How can we capture and visualize the Human Ecosystem of a city?

How can we transform this possibility to represent the Human Ecosystem into the opportunity to perceive its complexity and to perform it, to position ourselves within it and act creating new relations, new opportunities and new, yet unexplored possibilities?

These are some of the themes we will confront with on Tuesday, November 12 2013, at the MACRO Museum of Rome (in via Nizza 138) for a session of Aperitivi Formativi which will revolve around the idea (and project) of the Human Ecosystem.

Here is the Facebook Event of the day: Human Ecosystems at Aperitivi Formativi, at the MACRO Museum

About the Human Ecosystems project:

The Human Ecosystems Project

The Human Ecosystems Project

The main idea driving the philosophy of the project is that with the advent of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies (digital) information has become part of our landscape. The world is wrapped in an everchanging, liquid, emergent membrane of information which people have learned to use to take decisions, express emotions, communicate and, in general, to transform their perception of the world.

It has become, in more than one way, a new sense, a new tactility and a new possibility for performance.

We see this as a “new part of Nature” (or, possibly, an “updated part of Nature”), expressed along the models of the Ecosystem, the whole of the subjects, energies and flows of a certain environment, as described through the relational networks interweaving their lives. A new conception of the Body of the City, to which we will try to operate grabbing inspiration from the idea of Urban Acupuncture, as expressed by Marco Casagrande, and expanded to include the reality of the ubiquitous informational and communicational landscape.

And, thus, we are bringing up a series of projects which deal with both the progressive sedimentation of the ubiquitous infoscape, describing both its ruins, and its emergence. And, with them, the coagulation and continuous evolution/transformation of stories, relationships, emotions. Or, looking to the other direction of the time arrow, to possibility and opportunity.

With these projects we are trying to bring augmented sensibility to the Third Landscape of Information, the Third Infoscape, gathering inspiration from Gilles Clèment.

The project has already started in the city of Rome and, soon, more instances will start in many other cities, establishing conversations with city administrations, organizations and citizens.

Cultur+: an Office for the Ecosystem, for a Smart City and an even Smarter Community

Next steps for the Human Ecosystems project in Rome.

Together with the Council for Culture of the First Municipality of the City of Rome, on November 9th 2013, in Rome at Porta Futuro, from 10am to 5pm, we will be at Cultur+, the second meeting for the Cultural Ecosystem in the city.

Cultur+: the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome

Cultur+: the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome

After the first event, held at the Casa della Cultura in Rome, we have received an enormous amount of feedback, and we have also been doing some thinking on our own, integrating all of the ideas that have been popping up and also designing a set of new concepts.

The day will feature:

  • an official introduction by the the Administration, with Councillor Andrea Valeri that will lead us into the state of the art of the activities and into the discussion (at 10am);
  • Art is Open Source will introduce the recent updates of EC(m1), the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome, with the new ideas that have come up from all the feedbacks, and from the results of different experimentations which we have been doing at local, national and international level; for example with the innovation-centered experiment that we have conducted at the Internet Festival with the Innovation Ecology installation; (at 10:30am)
  • then, at 11am a series of thematic, vertical groups will form around the tables, to explore the opportunities offered by the approach we are following, and by the creation of collaboration practices among all the operators, the citizens and the administration; groups will form on:
    • Performing Arts
    • Communication, Design and Architecture
    • Resources (including funding, European projects, public spaces, and the reuse/recontextualization of existing spaces)
    • Visual Cultures
    • Publishing
    • Multiculturalism
  • this is a first classification we formed for the groups, matching the specific focuses of the administration; we are imagining ways to create additional/different classifications/groupings, and ways in which to allow people to group around their own defined themes and interests, and share the results with the rest of the ecosystem;
  • this activity will go on until 3:45pm, with a break for lunch
  • during this activity a parallel Office for the Ecosystem will be present, through which we will demonstrate one of the possibilities for the Human Ecosystem: what if you city administration offered an Office through which you (or your organization) could position yourself in the Human Ecosystem of your city and learn how navigate, understand and use it to find collaborations, resources, participation and the possibility to confront with common issues? (from 11am to 3:45pm)
  • at 3:50pm a short presentation of the concept of the Office for the Ecosystem will be given by Art is Open Source;
  • at 4pm the groups will take turns in communicating the results they achieved and the objectives which they set forth for the next phases;
  • at 4:30pm the conclusions will be made and the setup for the next meetings will be arranged.

Here is the Facebook Event page for Cultur+

Here is the Facebook Group of the Cultural Ecosystem of Rome