Getting Together: Biomorphism and Emergence, an interactive sculptural work by DXArts Minor Kathrine Hardman, alongside an accompanying paper, will be being presented at the 2019 ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Arts), to be held in Gwangju, South Korea.
Getting Together is an interactive electronic sculptural experiment in wireless social interaction, applying biomorphic textures to fabric, and emergence by failure. The work consists of several tentacles, which imitate, both in texture, and motion, living beings. They may coil away, out of reach, as the audience interacts with them. Originally, the work was a negotiation between the sculpture, the audience at large, and one audience member whose body was electronically connected to the sculpture. Touches to the sculpture were transferred to the person. The interface wearer, reacting to the stimulation (both of the interface, and the experience as a whole) could decide how to react to how they were being touched, whether they allowed it, or rejected it. This work changed over time, technical issues giving a new kind of biomorphism to the machine. Breaking free from an audience-driven motion, the tentacles were their own independent consciousness. Now, it was a machine choosing when to allow and disallow touch, and the newfound personhood of this being that most concerned the work.
The series of ISEA symposia is coordinated by ISEA International. Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology. ISEA International Headquarters is supported by the University of Brighton (UK).
This year’s topic is: Lux Aeterna (Eternal Light)
A topic inspired by the literal meaning of the host city Gwangju, “City of Light”, includes subcategories embracing complex themes that allow open interpretations in culture, science, and history. For example, religiously, light implies divinity and immortality. Scientifically, it is an energy collection of particles and wavelength signals. It symbolizes the enlightenment and rationale in humanities. Also, the presence of light creates Umbra and Penumbra. In light of the fact that light is the most specific example of versatility in which various interpretations can occur, it will provide us with the context where cohesion of procedural logic based on the human sensibilities and technology of artistic inspirations is freely presented, which is in line with what ISEA has been pursuing.