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Jens Badura

Interactive walls -an experience catalyst project

"There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives."Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924

 

"There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives."Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924

 

We confine our living environments with walls, we create and stabilize social constellations with walls,we are believing in walls as fundamentally bearing cultural infrastructures - but why should we do that? Walls are much more than brig-assemblings. They are powerful elements of our symbolic order, representing the concept of solidity. Walls are standing for that what remains and resists stormy living environments. In this sense they meet the profoundly conservative desires of contemporary culture: being structured by something that resists materially to all the "fluidity" of the modern condition. However walls have rather ambivalent qualities: they represents not only protection but also block pulsations, walls inhibits insight and look-out, walls disenables passages, they constitute the concept of prisons and frontiers (even if other elements such as the multifaceted digital control-apparatus takes the reins step by step). The wall seems to be the human answer on fugaciousness. And due to our tremendous capacity to forget the contingent character of walls we perceive them mainly as a materialised quasi-nature, emanating a flair of stability in mobilized lifestyles. Modern living environments are masoned living environments, but the mason disappeared - what's left is a structure we mostly take as a given ?

But if walls would become moving entities - what would happen to our set of presuppositions? What kind of crisis of the concept of order and structure could be provoked when walls learn to migrate? To act? To flee or to attack, to dance or to die? When they start to become dynamic and creative factors instead of being our fixed stars and causeys that orient and relief us from the impositions of self-orientation? In a nutshell: What if the concept of wall becomes a spirited concept of developing constellations of world-making - beyond theoretical games but concretely, as a reality?

Interactive walls is an experience catalyst project that aims for the creation of new types of sensibilities towards infrastructural constellations. Operating in the intersection of art, aesthetics and technological development, it is understood as aesthetic research and knowledge-production through art and technology. The underlying motivation is to develop a setting that enables us to

experiment with infrastructural world making. The principal research questions are: How can we stimulate the experience of walls as "actants" - and how can we explore their impact on the establishment of our concepts of "being in the world" ?

 

Development challenge:

The creation of a room scale prototype will be realized through a system of motors and microcontrollers with custom made electronics and software guiding the bricks according to a chaotic algorithm which is by definition something not repeatable. This produces the conceptual impossibility to foresee the behaviourof the chaotic-bricks which can only be experienced in their always different configurations. The wall will be perceived as a quasi-autonomously reacting infrastructure.In the figure a small model of the installation.

 

Process:

a) A prototype of the moving wall is currently developed at SINLAB. A series of experiments will be organised during the DEVELOPMENT of the prototype artists take part as professional space "users" and communicate their experiences that will then be taken into account in the further development of the devices.

b) The working prototype will be presented in Festivals, in the public space etc.; via observations of

and interviews with the public, the various dimensions of the impact initiated by the experiences will be investigated using a concept of "grounded aesthetics", combining elements of grounded theory and practice based philosophy.

Results:

The main result consists first of all in the moving wall itself that can be used and exposed in various

settings. A second type of results consists in the documentation of the analytical process undertaken

during the development of the wall and its experimental use.

 

Contact: Alex Barchiesi - Jens Badura

SINLAB - Lausanne/Zürich/Munich

www.sinlab.ch

alex.barchiesi@epfl.ch- jens.badura@epfl.ch

 

Publisert: 22.06.2013 av Johan Sandborg Oppdatert: 19.03.2015 av admin