Transhuman Expression Human-machine interaction as a neutral base for a New artistic practice

Oct 25, 2018

Transhuman Expression investigate the relation between the physical actions and the visual representation with the goal to create a new artistic toll to teach kids concepts of arithmetic and geometry. This is achieved by exploring behavioural and decision-making patterns through extracting them from the underlining logic of our physical behaviour, revealing mathematical and geometrical components. The work assist in the understanding and discovery of patterns, and the creation of rules when repeating a certain act— making the act itself the subject matter of the work.

By translating data from different sources into an abstract visual representation, we can track and follow patterns in the process of decision making— this could be rewarding for a child in her learning path, and at the same time, helpful for the teacher not to evaluate the work as “good” or “bad”, but rather to understand the structure of thoughts behind it. The painting will become the space to explore the world through the use of materials. Furthermore, The work reflecting on pedagogical aspects of how we learn things and how we play with information, pushing us to rethink again on our own learning process, and the way we would like the system (working for example with a visual feedback) to react and learn patterns according to our own actions.

November 2018

first run

The first step in the creation of the work incorporate a designated group of children from weDRAW’s pedagogical department. We used movement analysis to structured basic visual concepts: a line (trajectory) and a form (grouping). Thereby, we created a reduced link between the physical acts (movement) in a specific time and place, to a visual representation (at the moment digital) as a platform to explore and understand structural elements in controlled environment.

How it works:

Each participate is identified by the software as a trajectory with a unique colour, and the whole of the participants are being captured as different geometrical shapes (at this stage only triangle). The software is extracting the movement of the kids in relation to the space and number of participants, the data is being projected live on a large screen behind them as one or many geometrical forms. At the current developing stage ( mid-November 2018) the analysis is responding to the following parameters: proximity, direction of movement and speed. However, this could be changed and adjusted for multi-sensory needs too, as voice, or particular movement of each player.

This conceptual and physical constellation has the importance of linking visual and mathematical language to underline social awareness via physical and social interaction: there is a dependency of the individual person in the space and the movement of other participants. Namely the relation of the self to a group. There is no pre-giving tasks or goals to achieve at this stage, but rather to see what the curiosity and playfulness of the kid’s forms in the visual elements.

I used depiction of human movement captured live with a camera, observing the relation of an individual person to a space and to the movement of other participants. Namely the relation of the self to the group, of a part to its whole

Returning to the discussion of painting, it is this affinity or consanguinity which fascinates me: the relation of each brushstroke to the surface of paint it creates, and the location of each stroke in relation to the others. Namely, how each of a number of individuals is reflected as a structural element in relation to their sum.

The programme is developed during my Vertigo STARTS residency in Casa Paganini’s InfoMus Lab (Genova, Italy) using EyesWeb, an open-source platform that supports real-time multimodal systems, developed since 1997 by InfoMus.

Pedagogical Aspects:

I find it highly important to create new platform to assist children in their learning process, giving more attention to the individual needs. As a child, I was diagnosed with dyslexia, and at the time it was considered to be a very negative label and in fact a handicap, rather than an opportunity to research and develop alternative methods to fit the broader, emerging understanding of creativity and learning methods in children. The natural place that provided me with the freedom to learn on my own way was the art department; the unfortunate outcome was that I started then to distance myself from the science-oriented departments. Over the past years, throughout my artistic practice, I have rediscovered the use of science and technology as a tool for human expression. Furthermore, when reflecting on pedagogical aspects of how we learn things and how we play with information, pushing me to rethink again on my own learning process, and the way I would like the system (working for example with a visual feedback) to react and learn patterns according to my actions.

October 2018

Preliminary artistic investigation

As a preliminary work before arriving at the Casa Paganini InfoMus Lab (Genova, Italy), I used a video of two dancers provided by Casa Paganini to extract and reduce motion data into visual representation as a means to investigate movement as a medium. In collaboration with the computer scientist Antonín Šulc (University of Konstanz), we created three different motion analysis programmes that track simple parameters such as velocity, distance and direction. Each programme describes a different interpretation of the time-based perspective on the changing situation. Translation of movement (dancers) into trajectories (left), geometric forms (centre) and pixels (right). These can be used as models or masks for forms and structures. (Video, 0:30)

Location - the historical building of the Casa Paganini, Genova Italy.

The important of the time and the place for creation of a social based work

The æsthetical reduction to black and white, along with the use of geometric shapes and pixels, creates out-of-context situations: the specific historical location of the Casa Paganini theatre and the dancers are shown as a tendency in structural and social movement, opening the discussion around contemporary society: for example, when does a collection of individuals form a group, or at what point can the group again be perceived as a collection of individuals? It is the use of abstraction as a medium in this work that leads into a larger debate around methods for contemporary perception and depiction.

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.