6 November 2020 Virtual Workshops and artists talks

Workshops with Kuai Shen and Sha Xin Wei & Emiddio Vasquez

Workshop 1 with Kuai Shen, 11:00-13:30

RRRR rhythm relations resistance resonance revolution repulsion rotation rebellion reverberation remanence reversion resilience remember remediation resurgence relocation riot revolt reload

Workshop description: The nomadism of army ants (eciton burchellii) enunciates all of the above. Ants’ social movements materialise more-than-human aesthetic relations across species boundaries. Using a transversal practice based on piezoelectric transduction and audiovisual amplification with computer vision, I will show ants as performers of living artworks. The workshop focuses on the artistic exploration of the living nest known as bivouac which army ants weave using their bodies as materials. The bivouac is a choreographic entanglement of ants, parasites, symbionts, chemicals and non-human acoustic resonance. The data and the materials we will be working with are part of my ongoing tactical ant media research at the Sarayaku community, in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This workshop introduces participants into tactics for artistic fieldwork in the Amazon with respect to local indigenous cosmology, natural history of army ants, computer vision for artistic experimentation, and acoustic transduction using piezoelectricity. This workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Kuai Shen, media artist and ant lover from Ecuador, generates techno-ecological installations in cooperation with ants. These performative mediations explore the concept of invertebrate aesthesis and problematise the entanglement between nonhuman subjectivity and scientific objectivity. His research has been published in journals such as Society & Animals and Acoustic Space, and in the book Biologically-Inspired Computing for the Arts. His work has been exhibited at international venues and has received several awards: the Bridge Stipend from Michigan State University, the Cynetart Award of the Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, the Edith-Russ-Haus Media Art Prize, and the honorary mention at Prix Ars Electronica.

Workshop 2 with Sha Xin Wei & Emiddio Vasquez, 14:30-17:00

Indeterminacy, Ontogenesis and Play

Workshop description: As opposed to games that have a finite set of roles, rules, objectives, and scoring that are explicitly defined and fixed in advance of the event, playful activity is open-ended in a profound sense that we will explore. In this workshop we visit many examples of play, in symbol, action, movement, media, material, relation. We will also use simple movement and performance exercises that anyone can do in personal or public space, alone, or in telematically linked ensembles. The purpose of this workshop is to bring people together and prepare the ground for a discussion of ontogenesis, the creative articulation of media, matter, and field in open-ended interrelated processes. This workshop is limited to 30 participants.

Sha Xin Wei, PhD, is Professor at the School of Arts, Media & Engineering at Arizona State University, and directs the Synthesis Center for transversal art, philosophy and technology. He is also professor at the European Graduate School, Fellow of the ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems, and Senior Fellow of Building21 at McGill University. Sha’s core research concerns a topological approach to poiesis, play and process. His art and scholarly work range from gestural media, movement arts, and realtime media installation through interaction design to critical studies and philosophy of technology. He has published in the areas of computer science, human computer interaction, philosophy, media arts, experimental music and performance, science and technology studies, including the book Poiesis and Enchantment in Topological Media (MIT). He is an associate editor for AI & Society, and serves on the Governing Board of Leonardo International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Emiddio Vasquez is a Cypriot-Dominican artist and musician with a formal training in philosophy and mathematics. He is a PhD candidate at ASU’s Arts, Media and Engineering program. His PhD research endeavours to express how digitality informs matter and challenges the “new materialism” revival, both philosophically and in practice.

Artist Talks with Kuai Shen, Sha Xin Wei & Emiddio Vasquez, moderated by Natasha Lushetich & Iain Campbell, 17:30 – 18:30