Exploding Space: Conceptions of Space and Network in Interactive/Dynamic Architectures

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An interactive architecture offers an explicit engagement for the user, a de-emphasizing of the architect; allowing anyone who enters the space to become at minimum a collaborator and in some cases a co-creator. The moment of the aesthetic of the collaborative, the utilitarian, the designed and empowering solution has arrived. In the histories of kinetic sculpture, video, installation, performance, littoral practices, there exist historical antecedents for interactive art practices. To the architectural, participating in the computational data rich experience and the interactive, presents a new escape, a new collaborative attitude, and an antidote to the static, extemporal, and spectacular that has dominated architectural thinking over the last 50 years.

The medium of architecture itself is changing, becoming a combination of spaces, networks, and agents both mechanical and organic. We already experience architecture as a shifting array of mediums. Architecture bloggers Stephen Becker and Rob Holmes winkingly named the iPhone as one of the most important architectural works of the first decade of the new millennium, arguing: “urban systems are defined most fundamentally not by structure and infrastructure, but by practice, action, and thought-process; what act has more significantly altered the practices and thought-processes of urbanites in the past ten years than the mass distribution of smart phones?” The Rhinoscript-ing of Parametric Architecture is most certainly, if nothing else, a demonstration that compelling notions of space can be generated by algorithmic processes. Architecture historian Beatriz Colomina argues in Architecture between spectacle and use that the fame of Mies van der Rohe is largely based on photographs of his work. The medium of architecture is already diffuse and complex. The interactive architectural environment simply extends that diffusion, integrating a dynamic system, an interconnected series of structures, situations, and objects that participate in the myriad ways that we consider and shape urban and living space.

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Required Reading

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Mader, Stublić, Wiermann, Façade, 2007 (Electronic Projection) 2007

The received notion of the public sphere in fact melds an array of narrative and structural elements into a domain of expressive possibility whose center of attention serves both aesthetic and intersubjective concerns. This commingling entails two dynamic affordances that have been especially open to manipulation through new media art: the presence of architecture as sculptural object, and the use of projective strategies for pluralistic communication. The latter works as a new branch of street performance, not for actors, but for media. The sense of novelty here is more than mechanical; it compacts the distance between human and machine, the latter increasingly assuming roles played by the former, but organizes both in a new coordinate space that is neither entirely physical/real nor virtual/technological.

-- EXCERPT FROM "SPATIAL ENGAGEMENT'S CHRONOTOPE IN ELECTRONIC ART AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE" BY FRANCISCO J. RICARDO

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La Maîtresse de la Tour Eiffel (2009) - Michel de Broin

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The spectacular view of the starry sky has long been a source of delight and curiosity, but the abundance of artificial light in urban areas produces a glow that covers the stars in the firmament. The largest mirror ball ever made was suspended from a construction crane 50 meters above the ground to render the starry sky to the citizens of Paris for one night in the Jardin du Luxembourg during the Nuit Blanche event. (photo Émilien Châtelain)

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Cities in Miniature: Ahmet Öğüt's "Exploded City"

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Children love Ahmet Öğüt’s Exploded City. Its miniature edifices are suited to the kid’s-eye-view; youthful height allows the same unobstructed vistas into the cityscape as one of its citizens might have. A further draw for children: there’s a model train underfoot (directly; museum security was busy), albeit stationary. And certain of the city's scaled buildings do resemble dollhouses, although there are no dolls here. Nobody lives in the Exploded City; there are no figurines amidst its reproductions. This vacancy is probably for the best, since Öğüt’s piece—on view at the Berkeley Art Museum until April 11, 2010—is composed entirely of models of buildings that have been damaged or destroyed by terrorist strikes since the 1990s. The structures may be in their inviolate form, but nevertheless, human models placed throughout the doomed buildings would impart a macabre note to the city.

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N Building (2009) - Teradadesign and Qosmo

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N Building from Alexander Reeder on Vimeo.

N Building is a commercial structure located near Tachikawa station amidst a shopping district. Being a commercial building signs or billboards are typically attached to its facade which we feel undermines the structures' identity. As a solution we thought to use a QR Code as the facade itself. By reading the QR Code with your mobile device you will be taken to a site which includes up to date shop information. In this manner we envision a cityscape unhindered by ubiquitous signage and also an improvement to the quality and accuracy of the information itself.

-- PRESS RELEASE FOR "N BUILDING"

Originally via Networked Research

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Until The End (2010) - Nicolas Sassoon

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Orbite Rosse (Red Orbits) (2009) - Grazia Toderi

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Double video projection, sound, loop / Dimensions variable / Installation view - Venice Biennale 2009

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Tender Prey (2002-2008) - Ran Slavin

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synchronized 3-6 single channel video sound installation. dimensions variable. duration: 12:00 minutes/endless loop

Tender Prey is a modular, synchronized 3 to 6 channel video and sound installation expansion of an earlier work "Organic Urbanic" from 2002. Inspired by satellite images, urban plans, kaleidoscopic examinations and signal interceptions. It is a cortex of an imagined city. Aerial videos are joined into science fiction panoramas, in-versed fields of digitalia and disquiet, scenarios of urban out foldings forming metallic robotic ornamentations. Tel Aviv is the dirty digital city behind "Tender Prey". It is featured in ultrasonic transparency, amplified, duplicated and warped.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Airshaft (to Piranesi) (2008) - Ana Maria Tavares

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Still of Airshaft (to Piranesi)

Ana Maria Tavares is known for installations employing materials such as steel, glass and mirrors. Resembling architectural structures, her installations call to mind the artificial, emotionally vacuous atmosphere of airports, office buildings, and other forms of urban architecture. Through her re-deployment of industrial architectural materials, such materials lose their function, and viewers are subtly thrown off balance in their physical experience and sense of time. Recently, Tavares has been creating films in which steel columns connect with stairways running in all directions. By introducing reflections she renders the space in the films all the more complex. Airshaft (to Piranesi) (2008) examines the realities of human circulation through anonymous urban spaces as found all over the world. The video depicts a modern architectural space in the manner of the complex, labyrinthine expanses depicted by the 18th century Italian artist Piranesi, but wavering fluidly like a mirage. The chaos of Brazil’s enormous urban spaces is reflected here. Tavares’s videos produce an encounter with “somewhere” that is not quite “here” and make us aware of how unreal our reality can be.

-- FROM THE ARTIST DESCRIPTION FOR "WHEN LIVES BECOME FORM: CONTEMPORARY BRAZILIAN ART, 1960S TO THE PRESENT"

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Shift (1982) - Toshio Matsumoto

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