Decennial environmental observations in art focusing on a global informational network's polar areas
This exhibition showcased the work of Carsten Nicolai and Marko Peljhan, both of whom are continuously engaging in interdisciplinary artistic work crossing over to the realms of technology, science and environmental research since the 1990s. Here they continue their "polar" project exploring the environment as an uncharted polar area by way of decennial observations of earth and informational environments from an artistic perspective.
The work raises the question how the mechanisms of no longer clearly definable human existence work in this age of massively progressing information technology. And what does all the innovation and exploration of technology, and the advanced interaction beyond our imagination aim to get closer to? The artists address this fundamental question by interpreting earth and informational environments as "electromagnetic ecosystems", and unveiled an installation that focuses on the existence of invisible natural radiation also in our direct physical surroundings. Through this work, they exhibited a new awareness and perception of the microscopic and at once macroscopic process of environmental creation.
polarm [mirrored] (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Carsten Nicolai + Marko Peljhan
Microscopic and macroscopic human relations with the environment, highlighted by radioactive rays
Composed of two large structures, this large-scale installation piece illustrated "electromagnetic ecosystems" through a constantly changing mix of imagery and sound in a setting of various objects and devices for measuring radioactive and electromagnetic rays.
Set up in the front part of the work is an array of devices monitoring radioactive and electromagnetic rays inside and around the venue, including a cloud chamber, a robotic arm equipped with a digital Geiger counter, analogue Geiger counters devised for military purposes, and a high-frequency receivers. After analyzing the results with a computer, the measured data are translated into imagery and sounds in two large structures in the back.
By perceiving the visualized generation process of sounds and visuals with all parts of the body, the visitor can explore new perspectives on the relationship between informational and earth environments.
- Concept / Structure / Systems: Carsten Nicolai, Marko Peljhan
Sound programming and systems display: nibo, Carsten Nicolai
Robot and sensor systems: Danny Bazo (MAT, UC Santa Barbara)
Visuals programming: Wesley Smith (MAT, UC Santa Barbara)
Architecture and hardware: Rob Feigel Office, Vorschub, Zavod Projekt Atol, C-Astral Ltd.
Production support and assistance: Daniel Klemm, nibo
International symposium - 150 Jahre Freundschaft Deutschland–Japan “Decennial environmental observations in art”
As a special event held as part of the festivities commemorating 150 Years of Friendship between Germany and Japan, this symposium is led by the artists and curators involved in this exhibition, together with a number of invited intellectuals from Germany and Japan. The artists discussed via a scientific standpoint supposed future developments and possibilities of modeling invisible data into visual or acoustic works of media technology-based art, and explored new ways of perceiving the environment while referencing Nikola Tesla's and other historical achievements, as well as current endeavors in the field.
Through the tours, participants discovered together with YCAM educational staff, most attractive features of the exhibition. (17 times during the event period)
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi City Board of Education
- Ministry of Culture Republic of Slovenia
- University of California Insitute for Research in the Arts
- Media Arts and Technology program UCSB
- ZAVOD PROJEKT ATOL
- Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI)
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]