A Museum of the Future? What would that look like?
A talk for the East of West, West of East conference
17 – 19 October 2016
Singapore

Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner once remarked: “We cannot change the present, but we can change the future, through the young people”.

East of West West of East was a conference convened by Para-Limes at NTU that explored barriers and resonances between East and West. Talks explored the limits of Eastern and Western ways of thinking and different concepts of change. The Western scientific way of thinking, which is expressed and conceptualized in high precision words often ignores the context in which it is framed and has hit a wall in explaining the real world. So does the Eastern way of thinking that is expressed in words that carry ambiguity and have meaning only within a context, carrying richness in interpretation but being subject to lack of precision. Both ways of thinking can co-exist in a world with a low population and large resources. But in a crowded and interconnected world, where east and west increasingly move into each other’s resource spaces, a synthesis must be found between both modes of thinking, to make sure that problems facing the whole of humanity can be effectively addressed, and that misunderstandings will not escalate into major conflicts.

I took part in a plenary session of East of West West of East that examined what aspects of “East”, “West” will stand the test of time? Which will prove transient against the tide of history and end up in museums by the time 2050 rolls around?

My talk addressed what museums, which are focused on the future, might be like, using ArtScience Museum, as a case study.

The talk is online here:

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The Power of Long-Term Thinking
A talk for TEDxKL
20 August 2016
http://www.tedxkl.com/

TEDxKL 2016 was organised around the theme, Resonance. Resonance creates a morphic field that strengthens when more energy is added to it. When we resonate with something or someone, we relate to it in a certain, almost harmonious way. It strikes a chord with us. TEDxKL unfolded in front of an audience of over 3500 people. I spoke about the power of long term thinking, and how it helps us not only imagine the future but bring it into being.

This is a quick vox-pop of me after the talk was done:

I referenced:

– The Rosetta mission: http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/ (pictured above)
– Rosetta’s trajectory into space: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/The_long_trek
– Philae: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philae_%28spacecraft%29
– Philae’s nail-biting landing monitored by Stephan Ulamec, Fred Jansen, Andrea Accomazzo, Elsa Montagnon and Paolo Ferri: http://www.airspacemag.com/space/nail-biting-first-landing-comet-180953935/?no-ist
– The “singing comet” – the science behind the signal: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/11/the-singing-comet/
– Soundcloud audio clip of the comet “sound” – sonification by Manuel Senfft: https://soundcloud.com/esaops/a-singing-comet
– Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier quote: http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/news/singing-comet
– Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, recorded by the Plasma Wave Receiver on board the NASA spacecraft, Galileo, and turned into sound by the University of Iowa: https://soundcloud.com/radioqualia/ganymede-callisto-europa
– Radio and Plasma Wave Group at The University of Iowa: http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/
– Cassini-Huygens passing through Saturn’s rings: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Sounds_from_space
– Huygens microphone (ESA Huygens): http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cassini-Huygens/Sounds_of_an_alien_world
– The Sound of Space, BBC Radio 4, broadcast 30 January 2015: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b050bwpp
– Riding Light by Alphonse Swinehart (2015). Soundtrack: Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich: https://vimeo.com/117815404
– Ancient Darkness TV (2009) by Katie Paterson: http://www.katiepaterson.org/
– Quotation by Katie Paterson from “Interview with Katie Paterson on Rhizome” (2010): http://rhizome.org/editorial/2010/jun/16/interview-with-katie-paterson/
– Images of simulations of the Higgs boson, ATLAS group, CERN: https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults
– Images of the Large Hadron Collider, from CERN: http://home.web.cern.ch/about/accelerators/large-hadron-collider
– The LHC Sound Project: http://lhcsound.hep.ucl.ac.uk/
– Quotation by Lily Asquith from “Particle Pings: Sounds Of The Large Hadron Collider” by Andrew Prince, NPR (2011): http://is.gd/asquith
– LHC Sound Project interpretation of how an emerging and decaying Higgs Boson may sound: http://is.gd/lhcsound
– Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons (1964) by Peter Higgs: https://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.508
– Photographs of the 4 July 2012 seminar at CERN where the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tnd8bxDYOs
– Images of Titan, Jupiter, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Voyager 1
– Pale Blue Dot: http://is.gd/OsBy2J
– Voyager 1’s vintage technology: http://www.wired.com/2013/09/vintage-voyager-probes/
– NASA’s planned Orion spacecraft: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/
– Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02): http://www.ams02.org/
– MAVEN Mars Orbiter: http://mars.nasa.gov/maven/
– Alan Kay quote (1971): http://www.smalltalk.org/alankay.html

Science and its Cultures
A talk for Society for the History of Technology 2016 Annual Meeting in Singapore.
22-26 June 2016
http://shot2016.org/

The Society for the History of Technology held their annual conference in Singapore in June 2016 (http://shot2016.org/). SHOT is dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts. Founded in 1958, the society now numbers around 1500 members and meets annually.

My talk for SHOT discussed science and its cultures, by giving examples of artists and scientists I have worked with – mostly women. I began by referencing Bruno Latour keynote, for SHOT, wherein he argued for dialogue between the arts and the sciences. He noted, “the only way to build a sensitivity to [contemporary geopolitics] is to multiply tools from science, with tools from art.” ”I have no disciplinary borders, I can quite calmly say”.

I used this as a starting point, and gave case studies of work we have featured in ArtScience Museum by Semiconductor, Donna Ong (pictured above), Lynette Wallworth and Nguyen Trinh Thi (pictured below).

I also referenced the work of:
Jane Lee & Kumari Nahappan (pictured below)
Anna Dumitriu
Kira O’Reilly
Isabelle Desjeux
Chey Chankethya
Lin Xiaofang
Eisa Jocson
Angie Seah
Angela Chong
Genevieve Chua
Melissa Kwee
Adeline Keuh

ArtScience Museum, 21 May 2016
Marking the launch of Big Bang Data
https://www.facebook.com/events/955895641190344/ 

To launch the exhibition, Big Bang Data (http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/exhibition-archive/big-bang-data.html), at ArtScience Museum in May 2016, we held a conference called, The Data Route.

I began our journey along The Data Route by retracing some of the steps that we took, as a group of curators and organisations, to arrive at the exhibition. I briefly introduced some of the ideas, people and projects which inspired us to bring this exhibition to ArtScience Museum.

The teams at CCCB and ArtScience Museum, and the curators involved in Big Bang Data have been thinking about the way that technology and data is changing the environment for some time. And we have collectively come to understand that the contemporary landscape that we’re situated within, is now information-rich, data-driven and technologised, sometimes to the point that we find it hard to locate ourselves within it.

Big Bang Data introduced us to some of the most important guides we have, for a landscape which is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate using the maps and compasses we’ve grown up with. These guides give us ways of both perceiving this changing landscape, and acting within it. I introduced a few of those guide, who feature in Big Bang Data, before handing over to the other speakers.

There’s an overview of the exhibition here: Big Bang Data

Science is Culture
A talk for TEDxSingapore
6 November 2015
https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/16973

In 2015, I spoke at TEDxSIngapore. It was their 33rd and most significant TEDxSingapore since they were founded six years ago. ‘The Undiscovered Country’ celebrated the rich diversity of ideas, talents and stories from Singapore’s past and present, and explored and asked: What latent potential lie within us and in Singapore? What runs deep within you about our past and future? What undiscovered aspects of yourself and of Singapore shall we express? What possibilities shall we imagine?

I spoke about my belief that science is a form of culture. I showed examples of where science isn’t just influencing culture; art isn’t just illustrating science, but science is actually becoming art.
The talk began with Nobel Prize laureate, Sir Harold Kroto (pictured), who had visited Singapore just a few days before the event, and had given a fantastic talk at ArtScience Museum, where I work. He eloquently said:

“There’s only one difference between art and science.
In science, the Universe is in control.
In art, you are.”

I used that as the starting point of the talk.

The talk is online here:

Something Invisible in the Landscape is Just Landscape
A talk for NUS
24 March 2015

Credits and References

Sincere thanks to: Timo Arnall, Julian Oliver, Adam Rutherford, Trevor Paglen, José Luis de Vicente, Luke Jerram and all the other artists, scientists and technologists cited.

Title Image: Tohoku Japanese Earthquake Sculpture by Luke Jerram: http://www.lukejerram.com/projects/t%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake

Artworks/projects referenced in Introduction:

– ArtScience Museum, Singapore: http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html
From One to Many by Yvette Mattern (2010), shown at transmediale.10, Berlin
data.tron by Ryoji Ikeda (2010) exhibited at transmediale.10, Berlin
Swell by Anthony McCall (2006), exhibited at the Reg Vardy Gallery in Sunderland, as part of AV Festival 2006
Projections of a Perfect Third by Conrad Shawcross, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2015: http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/davinci/shaping-the-future.html Mesopotamian Dramatugies (Su & Mayhem) by Kutlug Ataman (2011), exhibited at Brighton Festival 2011: http://is.gd/kutlugataman
– Nat Buckley photographed during her Happenstance residency for creative technologists (2012): http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/happenstance-residencies-for-technologists
Frequency & Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, as seen at Invisible Fields (2011): http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/invisible-fields
levelHead by Julian Oliver (2008) shown at Suspending Disbelief, Lighthouse, 2010: http://www.lighthouse.co.uk/programme/suspending-disbelief
Laboratory Life produced at Lighthouse, 2011: http://is.gd/laboratory_life
– r a d i o q u a l i a: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioqualia
– Particle Decelerator: http://decelerator.blogspot.co.uk/
data.tron [8K enhanced version] by Ryoji Ikeda (2008-09): http://www.ryojiikeda.com/project/datamatics/#datatron_8k_enhanced_version
Genesis by Eduardo Kac (1999): http://www.ekac.org/transgenicindex.html
– Media art prequels website by Golan Levin: http://www.flong.com/blog/2009/new-media-artworks-prequels-to-everyday-life/

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 1:

– The Boston Shuffler- stock-trading algorithm, courtesy of Kevin Slavin: http://videos.liftconference.com/video/1177435/
– Cloud computing survey commissioned by Citrix, August 2012: http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_2328330.asp
– The proposed Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, New Mexico: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/worlds-first-city-robots
– China Miéville quoted from “Alien Evasion” by China Miéville, published in Arc 1.1, February 2012: The Future Always Wins: http://is.gd/chinam

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 2:

Invisible Fields (2011), co-curated by José Luis de Vicente and Honor Harger and at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/invisible-fields
20Hz by Semiconductor (2011): http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/semiconductor-20-hz
Immaterials by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen, Jack Schulze and Matt Jones, Lighthouse, 2013: http://is.gd/immaterials
Immaterials: Light Painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, and Jørn Knutsen (2011): http://vimeo.com/20412632
– Timo Arnall quoted in No to NoUI by Timo Arnall, March 2013: http://www.elasticspace.com/2013/03/no-to-no-ui
Geographies of Seeing (2012) by Trevor Paglen, co-curated by Honor Harger and Celia Davies, at Lighthouse: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/trevor-paglen-geographies-of-seeing
Paglen works shown:
They Watch the Moon (2010)
– Artifacts (Spacecraft in Perpetual Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km Above Equator) (2010)
KEYHOLE 12-3 (IMPROVED CRYSTAL) Optical Reconnaissance Satellite Near
Scorpio (USA 129) (2007)
PAN (Unknown; USA-207) (2010)
KEYHOLE IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance
Satellite; USA 1860) (2008)
After Galileo (Jupiter and Moons)
– Trevor Paglen quoted in “Secret Moons and Black Worlds”, An Interview with Trevor Paglen by Timothy Moore, Volume #25: http://roryhyde.com/blog/?p=697
– Trevor Paglen quoted in, “Limit Telephotography”, Under Fire research forum, 2006: http://underfire.eyebeam.org/?q=node/469

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 3:

– “Multi-Input RNAi-Based Logic Circuit for Identification of Specific Cancer Cells” by Xie, Wroblewska, Prochazka, Weiss & Benenson, Science, 2 September 2011, Vol. 333: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6047/1307.abstract
– Adam Rutherford, speaking at Lighthouse 7 February 2013: http://is.gd/adamrutherford & http://is.gd/adamrutherfordtalk (discusses RNAi-Based Logic Circuit 50:00 minutes in)
SolarSinter by Markus Kayser (2012): http://www.markuskayser.com/work/solarsinter/
Hostage pt.1 by Frederik de Wilde (2010): http://frederik-de-wilde.com/projects/nano-painting
Bacterial Radio by Joe Davis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Davis_(artist)
Protei by Cesar Harada (2012): http://protei.org/
Environmental Health Clinic by Natalie Jeremijenko:
http://www.environmentalhealthclinic.net/
City CPU by Gordan Savicic (2011): http://www.yugo.at/processing/index.php?what=citycpu
New Mumbai by Tobias Revell (2012): http://www.tobiasrevell.com/New-Mumbai

 

Landing on a Comet
(Or the power of long term thinking)

A talk for Webstock

Wellington, New Zealand

19.02.15

http://www.webstock.org.nz/15/

I spoke at Webstock 2015 and it was an incredible experience.

The talk is here:

Credits and References

Sincere thanks to Florian Cornu and Ariel Muller, plus all the scientists & artists cited.
They inspired this talk.

Shout-outs to Saad Chinoy, Andreas Schiffler and Shayne Carter for the gravity assists.

Artworks/projects referenced in Introduction:

– ArtScience Museum, Singapore: http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html
From One to Many by Yvette Mattern (2010), shown at transmediale.10, Berlin
data.tron by Ryoji Ikeda (2010) exhibited at transmediale.10, Berlin
Swell by Anthony McCall (2006), exhibited at the Reg Vardy Gallery in Sunderland, as part of AV Festival 2006
Projections of a Perfect Third by Conrad Shawcross, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2015: http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/davinci/shaping-the-future.html Mesopotamian Dramatugies (Su & Mayhem) by Kutlug Ataman (2011), exhibited at Brighton Festival 2011: http://is.gd/kutlugataman
– Nat Buckley photographed during her Happenstance residency for creative technologists (2012): http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/happenstance-residencies-for-technologists
Frequency & Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, as seen at Invisible Fields (2011): http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/invisible-fields
levelHead by Julian Oliver (2008) shown at Suspending Disbelief, Lighthouse, 2010: http://www.lighthouse.co.uk/programme/suspending-disbelief
Laboratory Life produced at Lighthouse, 2011: http://is.gd/laboratory_life
– r a d i o q u a l i a: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioqualia
– Particle Decelerator: http://decelerator.blogspot.co.uk/

Projects referenced in Part 1:

– The Rosetta mission: http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/
– Rosetta’s trajectory into space: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/The_long_trek
– Philae: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philae_%28spacecraft%29
– Philae’s nail-biting landing monitored by Stephan Ulamec, Fred Jansen, Andrea Accomazzo, Elsa Montagnon and Paolo Ferri: http://www.airspacemag.com/space/nail-biting-first-landing-comet-180953935/?no-ist
– The “singing comet” – the science behind the signal: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/11/the-singing-comet/
– Soundcloud audio clip of the comet “sound” – sonification by Manuel Senfft: https://soundcloud.com/esaops/a-singing-comet
– Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier quote: http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/news/singing-comet
– Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, recorded by the Plasma Wave Receiver on board the NASA spacecraft, Galileo, and turned into sound by the University of Iowa: https://soundcloud.com/radioqualia/ganymede-callisto-europa
– Radio and Plasma Wave Group at The University of Iowa: http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/
– Cassini-Huygens passing through Saturn’s rings: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Sounds_from_space
– Huygens microphone (ESA Huygens): http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cassini-Huygens/Sounds_of_an_alien_world
– The Sound of Space, BBC Radio 4, broadcast 30 January 2015: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b050bwpp

Projects referenced in Part 2:

Riding Light by Alphonse Swinehart (2015). Soundtrack: Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich: https://vimeo.com/117815404
Ancient Darkness TV (2009) by Katie Paterson: http://www.katiepaterson.org/
– Quotation by Katie Paterson from “Interview with Katie Paterson on Rhizome” (2010): http://rhizome.org/editorial/2010/jun/16/interview-with-katie-paterson/
– Images of simulations of the Higgs boson, ATLAS group, CERN: https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults – Images of the Large Hadron Collider, from CERN: http://home.web.cern.ch/about/accelerators/large-hadron-collider
– The LHC Sound Project: http://lhcsound.hep.ucl.ac.uk/
– Quotation by Lily Asquith from “Particle Pings: Sounds Of The Large Hadron Collider” by Andrew Prince, NPR (2011): http://is.gd/asquith
– LHC Sound Project interpretation of how an emerging and decaying Higgs Boson may sound: http://is.gd/lhcsound
Broken Symmetries and the Masses of Gauge Bosons (1964) by Peter Higgs: https://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.508
– Photographs of the 4 July 2012 seminar at CERN where the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tnd8bxDYOs

Projects referenced in Outro

– Images of Titan, Jupiter, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Voyager 1
Pale Blue Dot: http://is.gd/OsBy2J
– Voyager 1’s vintage technology: http://www.wired.com/2013/09/vintage-voyager-probes/
– NASA’s planned Orion spacecraft: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/
– Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02): http://www.ams02.org/
– MAVEN Mars Orbiter: http://mars.nasa.gov/maven/
– Alan Kay quote (1971): http://www.smalltalk.org/alankay.html