Recent Projects

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Eyebeam Off-The-Grid Exhibition
Governor's Island: House 15
Friday - Sunday, 12:00PM-5:00PM
6 Sep 2014 - 28 Sep 2014


Solar Day
 is a sculptural installation by Torkwase Dyson addressing the intersection of and mutual relationship between sunlight, architecture, space, liminality, time and the body. Site-specifically located inside a mildly sunlit room, Dyson experiments with architecture as a technology to sculpt and compose sunlight for 20 solar days. Each sculptural element is engineered using minimal tectonic forms pulling daylight deeper into the interior space increasing luminosity and evoking serenity and contemplation. 

The installation is inspired by the seminal text Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girlwhere Harriet Jacobs’s [Linda Brents] describes living in her grandmother’s garret before escaping to New York. For seven years Jacob’s hid in the negative space of a pent roof to escape her slaver. She designated the nine feet long, seven feet wide and three feet high non-space within the intended architectural design as place for her emancipation.  With very little admission for either light or air over the years this micro-climate she radicalized as threshold to freedom simultaneously impacted Jocob’s physiological state. Dyson deconstructs the garret, to address spatial and geographic strategies of black resistance while pointing to the critical natural resources needed to support endurance and livability. 

To further explore ideas of light, memory, ritual, the body, space, and materiality, Dyson will collaborate with multi-media artists Bahar Behbahani and Shani Ha.  During a series of interactive engagements through video and performative sculpture, Ha and Behbahani will invite audiences to into the installation to explore sensory relationships to the materiality, touch, and light.

Shani Ha is on the edge of Art and Design.  She creates versatile sculptures by twisting familiar objects to question intimacy and its relationship to others.  Shani emphasizes or diminishes the shapes and materiality of these objects, which are usually related to private contexts.  These pieces are the catalysts photographs, installations, and collaborative performances.  Shani Ha is interested in social behavior in their relationship to comfort and conviviality.  Her sculptures suggest potential functions and tend to become design pieces.  They can be stimulated through performance, experimentation and appropriation, either spontaneously or with a scenario.  These actions engage the viewer and performer directly and provoke co-presence and social interactions inside the piece.  Shani was born in France but now lives and works in Brooklyn NY.

http://shani-ha.com/

Performance Date: Sept 27th @ 3:00

Bahar Behbahani is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn NY.Behbahani’s work addresses her long-term conceptual dialogue with memory and loss, representing her chronic displacement and longing. Through her lyrical videos Behbahani stages a contemporary cultural critique by layering and juxtaposing allusions to past and present socio-political circumstances with a language that she draws from her experience as a painter.   More recently, Behbahani has been working on a multilayered investigation, a collection of collaborative works, which encompasses a group of videos and a participatory installation, centering the role of bread in our contemporary culture through stimulating abandoned memories. 

Over the course of 2 hours, Behbahani takes the role of masseur, offering participants a 5-minute massage, while they are lying down to view a video. Shortenin’ Bread is a response to Torkwase Dyson’s sculptural installation, and examines the blurred line between consolation and discomfort. Shortenin’ Bread experiments with stimulating people’s memory through the process of being massaged while engaging their sense of sight and hearing, and together they experience the role of sensoria in reproducing forgotten memories.

Performance Date: Sept 20th @ 3:00

 

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Visitors play electronic sounds by standing on metal plates and touching each others skin. 

 

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MSHR made this installation for the closing party of Eyebeam's Chelsea location. They constructed all the elements during their residency at Eyebeam. The piece is a light-audio feedback system with sensors housed inside sculptural forms. The system can be modulated by human presence. An undulating, interplay of light and sound unfolds.

 

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Studio South Zero is a social and environmental art practice focused on bringing solar technology, architecture, sculpture, and nomadic place making to small-underutilized urban sites. Torkwase aims to inspire place-based adaptation toward hyper-local renewable energy and develop collaborative art works that access environmental resources based on what each microclimate provides.  As a interdisciplinary artist, her goal is to achieve zero carbon based participatory installations where artist and  audiences collectively use resources from zero energy architecture to support and activate their creative needs.  This project is guided by the philosophy of social sculpture and safe ecology. She aims to bolster civic pride through socially engaged art experiences that improve climate protection and environmental livability for us all.

Habitats for Carbon Free Social Exchange is the next solar installation coming from Studio South Zero.  Located at Surfside Community Garden in Coney Island, this modular solar powered architectural structure will serve as a communal art space for multimedia art collaborations between a wide variety of makers, growers, writers, performers and inventors addressing ideas of geography, climate, architecture, anthropocene, place un-keeping and environmental resources.  

Surfside Community Garden will host Habitats for Carbon Free Social Exchange from September 2014- October 2015

 

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Mashing augmented reality, sculpture, cocktails and opera, The Alices (Walking) is an experimental fashion show about spectacle, looking and looking at others looking. It portrays a culture so addicted to the devices of high technology that it can only bear a world that is filtered through them. 

Using the words of Lewis Carroll's 1865Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a starting point, Hart expands the notion of madness to a live computational network. Steeped in the clichés of data-driven, punk and Romantic aesthetics, the live production is interactive and features five performers wearing "website dresses". 

Crafted from patterned fabrics designed by Hart, the dresses are embedded with visual content that can be read with a networked camera. During the performance, select audience members are invited to launch an augmented-reality application on phones and tablets, which recognize the inscribed patterns. "While the performance investigates breakdowns between the natural and the technological, it is also conceived as a means to create new experiences of human-computer interaction," says Hart. 

The Alices (Walking), crafts an Alice for our time with characters clothed in a cyborgian identity, one welded to the realm of smartphone devices. It is a system vulnerable to glitches and decay, as Carroll's original narrative is spun into text graphics that evoke pop-up banner ads and trashy web design. The novel's text evolves into animations of strobing concrete poetry. Phrases from the novel also form the basis for a libretto, sung and recorded by Claudia Hart with countertenor vocalist Mikey McParlane. 

Edmund Campion's score for the performance treats and adapts this libretto electronically. As each Alice on the runway is plugged into the system, a new code tree is activated. Tags and patterns of animated signage change, signaling the spaces of cloning, duplication, mutation and transformation. Staging an irrational cycle of haptic communication between the human and the machine, Hart's production ultimately channels death, rebirth, and an ambivalent desire for eternal life. 

Text by Laura Blereau, bitforms gallery 

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https://soundcloud.com/eyebeamnyc/one-on-one-conversations-ingrid-burrin...

A series of conversations between Eyebeam residents and fellows exploring how art and new tools can interrogate one another but also converge in creative exploration.

The first in this series features James Bridle and Ingrid Burrington, discussing "The Black Chamber". As technology advances and becomes increasingly networked and integrated with our daily lives, it tends towards a greater invisibility, a seamlessness and an unreadability. From the Cipher Bureau to Room 641A, from the datacenter to the iPhone, from the drone command module to the shipping container, the black boxes of the network litter the contemporary landscape. Unable to see inside them, we construct fantasies about their use, develop new ways of thinking about them, and attempt to probe them through techniques legal, technical, and magical. Eyebeam Residents Ingrid Burrington and James Bridle will explore the aesthetic and imaginative space of the black box, and outline some of their own practices for approaching them.

 

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The Knitted Radio is part of an ongoing investigation towards using traditional textile crafting techniques to create electronic components and devices from scratch. The overall investigation questions whether ‘what’ one makes is really more important than ‘how’ one makes things. The tactile piece manifests how to knit a sweater that is also a FM radio transmitter. By equipping the wearer with the ability to occupy electronic space, the casual knitwear intends to inspire local, free communication structures. The experiment is dedicated to the diverse crowd involved in recent Gezi Park protests in Taksim Square, Istanbul.

The residency at Eyebeam was dedicated to the production of the sweater and the development of the according knitting pattern, the way popular knitting magazines publish their models. That allows the reproduction of the sweater/FM transmitter through manual knitting techniques. The research on the broader topic will continue as arts-based research project at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. The progress can be followed at www.stitchingworlds.net

The Knitted Radio has been supported by the Bundeskanzleramt Österreich, Bundesministerium für Kunst und Kultur, Verfassung und Öffentlicher Dienst, and Land Steiermark, Abteilung 9, Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen.

Consultant: Eric Rosenthal

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The success of today’s booming biometrics industry resides in its promise to rapidly measure an objective, truthful, and core identity from the surface of a human body, often for a mixture of commercial, state, and military interests. Yet, feminist communications scholar Shoshana Amielle Magnet has described this neoliberal enterprise as producing “a cage of information,” a form of policing, surveillance, and structural violence that is ableist, classist, homophobic, racist, sexist, and transphobic.

Biometric machines often fail to recognize non-normative, minoritarian persons, which makes such people vulnerable to discrimination, violence, and criminalization: Asian women’s hands fail to be legible to fingerprint devices; eyes with cataracts hinder iris scans; dark skin continues to be undetectable; and non-normative formations of age, gender, and race frequently fail successful detection. These examples illustrate that the abstract, surface calculations biometrics performs on the body are gross, harmful reductions.

A visual motif in biometric facial recognition is the minimal, colorful diagrams that visualize over the face for authentication, verification, and tracking purposes. These diagrams are a kind of abstraction gone bad, a visualization of the reduction of the human to a standardized, normalized, ideological diagram. When these diagrams are extracted from the humans they cover over, they appear as harsh and sharp incongruous structures; they are, in fact, digital portraits of dehumanization.

Face Cages is a dramatization of the abstract violence of the biometric diagram. Diagrams are fabricated as three-dimensional metal objects, evoking a material resonance with handcuffs, prison bars, and torture devices used during slavery in the US and the Medieval period. The virtual biometric diagram, a supposedly perfect measuring and accounting of the face, once materialized as a physical object, transforms into a cage that does not easily fit the human head, that is extremely painful to wear. These cages exaggerate and perform the irreconcilability of the standardized, neoliberal biometric diagram with the materiality of the human face itself–and the violence that occurs when the two are forced to coincide.

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Facial Weaponization Suite protests against biometric facial recognition–and the inequalities these technologies propagate–by making “collective masks” in community-based workshops that are modeled from the aggregated facial data of participants, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected by biometric facial recognition technologies. The masks are used for public interventions and performances. One mask, the Fag Face Mask, generated from the biometric facial data of many queer men’s faces, is a response to scientific studies that link determining sexual orientation through rapid facial recognition techniques. Another mask explores a tripartite conception of blackness, divided between biometric racism (the inability of biometric technologies to detect dark skin), the favoring of black in militant aesthetics, and black as that which informatically obfuscates. A third mask engages feminism’s relations to concealment and imperceptibility, taking recent veil legislation in France as a troubling site that turns visibility into an oppressive logic of control. These masks intersect with social movements’ use of masking as an opaque tool of collective transformation that refuses dominant forms of political representation.

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- Download the software script in Processing and the examples to make your own HD stencils

This project combines the parodying of celebrity culture and an innovative technique of graffiti art, using high resolution (HD) stencils. The stencils are digitally generated by a simple code, printed with laser cutters, to then be used with regular spray paint.

Tabloid Graffiti mocks popular gossip magazine covers, using derisive words for headlines and original photos from popular celebrity tabloids, such as People, Us Weekly, and OK!. Deploying this misappropriated content against itself, Tabloid Graffiti infiltrates the language that fuels celebrity-obsessed culture as a strategy for subverting its imagination. This undermines the relentless onslaught of celebrity media coverage, while introducing the idea of Celebrity Piracy in art and activism practices through exploiting its economy of popular names and faces.

High Definition Stencils - How It Works
This is a painting technique rendered with special stencils and spray paint, that begins with the use of custom-made software and laser cutters, using four channels as in subtractive color printing. Once printed, the stencils have the potential be used on a range of surfaces, from small pieces of paper to walls of buildings.

Each element of a given image begins as a PSD file so that it can be split into four channels, CMYK, for subtractive color printing. The individual channels are then saved as four JPGs, inverted in negative for each color channel of the image.

A custom-made software script in Processing transforms the JPGs into PDF vector files, ready to be used with the laser cutter. The script in Processing draws a vector grid of tiny holes, which never overlap, and their scale corresponds to the luminance of the pixels from the initial JPG. Through the settings in the script, it is also possible to determine the shape of of the pinholes (circle, triangle, square, star, etc.), regulate the resolution of the grid of the stencil by changing the density, and the maximum and minimum size of the pinholes. Once the PDF is printed through the laser cutter, the resulting stencil is ready to be sprayed. Four stencils will need to be cut from each initial JPG to recreate a full-color painting.

The size of the JPGs, in centimeters or inches, will be the actual final size of the PDFs and of the physical stencil; therefore, size should be taken into consideration for the laser cutter and for printing on various surfaces. The DPI of the source JPGs will only slightly affect the resolution of the stencil, but not the size; so, even low resolution JPGs (72 DPI) will produce a high quality HD stencil. These notes about the DPI should be considered taken from preliminary experiments.

With the four resulting stencils, each layer is applied in order of the abbreviation of the channels, spraying the stencils in order of color: first, Cyan; second Magenta; third, Yellow; and last, Black. White background surfaces yield the best results.

The stencils are keyed so that the layers and the offset align, resulting in a full-color image painted on any surface. This is facilitated through the template of the PDF with alignment holes cut by the laser cutter at the same position for each layer.

The script in Processing as well as the Technique HD Stencils invented and created for this project are released in Open Source with Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially as long as they credit the artist Paolo Cirio and license their new creations under the identical terms.