September 2018

It's been an age and I've had to do some housekeeping to just tidy up the litany of things I've been doing this summer and to get them into some semblance of order. Here's what I did and what to expect.

I wrote a chapter for the Robot Love book, expanding on notions of cognition and comprehension between humans and machines. It's a pretty luminary lineup of authors and the only time my name will be in the same sentence as Margaret Atwood in a positive way.

In April, I wrote a short screed and answered some questions for the folks at DUE, mostly focussing on what machines are and what they're for. Natalie Kane and I were also on tour across central Europe where we ran a series of events with Impakt called 'Deep Fake or Rendering the Truth.' I've put up the last of these on the Haunted Machines site. Natalie and I are keeping going with Haunted Machines and are planning a few more events as well as ticking over various things, so keep an eye on it. Also in April, Georgina Voss and I were over in Athens with our Strange Telemetry hats on to run a short workshop for the Tomorrows exhibition. We also wrote a semi-amusing essay on critical design and the city for the publication.

I've been working a bit with Z33 on a their Studio Time project. For Milan Salone in April this year I prepared a table of items, texts and artefacts that were related to the infrastructural construction of time. These were then installed on tables where people could come and get custom books inscribed with the extracts. I didn't get a chance to check it out in person but it was a big hit from what I understand. Z33 now have the open call up for a workshop resulting from some of the research. Go and sign up here.

Back in May I made a quick project for Dirty Furniture - Synthesising Obama. This is the complete python code of the machine learning system used by researchers at Washington University to replicate the facial movements of Barack Obama that they published in quite a famous study. It was part of a project where the folks from Dirty Furniture wanted to get a snapshot of the current state of the world through various artefacts for a time capsule. Of course, I wanted to preserve a piece of software, hence engraving it in sheets of plastic. I think the exhibition is still touring. There's a whole bunch of great work in it. Also in May, I was in Geneva for Mapping Festival and gave a talk after a blistering indictment from Julian Oliver about rendering and visions of utopia. I put the whole thing up here.

In June I gave a talk for Laser London called The Body Interface. I was pretty pleased with it as a breakdown of how the body has been measured, tracked and represented through technological infrastructures over time. It was also one of those events that is quite small but everyone there is really eager to talk. I also went out to Sonar+D with MA IDC for one of their trips. It was hot as hell and I lost a lot of sleep engaging with the sheer scale and intensity of the thing. We've done a writeup and short video here.

Coming Up
In September I'm going to be back at Ars Electronica with MA IDC. We're doing another exhibition but I'm also taking part in a panel with Impakt that's an expansion of earlier work Natalie and I did with them this year - Deep Fake or Rendering the Truth. I know a bunch of folk are around, let's hang out.

Later in September I'm delivering a keynote at NEXT in Hamburg pushing my work on the profound potential of machines for imagination bit further. I've also written a chapter for a publication they're releasing in which I was just annoyed at critical twitterati culture and the crippling lack of imagination and alternatives.

Also in September is the launch of Everything Happens so Much, this year's exhibition at LCC for London Design Festival curated by George Voss. Wesley and I have a new project we're working on with the title 'Augury.' We're basically using planes to predict the future. I also wrote a chapter for the accompanying publication on speedrunning which is a bit of a reworked version of what I blogged about before.

There are almost definitely things I've missed. It's like the beginning of Memento round here.

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