|Alan Smart||Curriculum Vitae||Work||Contact|
| Design in
collaboration with Adam Bobbette for an exhibition by Videotage.
Curators: Ellen Pau and Yip Kai Chun. Hong Kong Cultural Center.
Data Gaga is a series of distributed events that focuses on data as
art, network technology and collaborative creativity. Rather than
exhibiting individual works Data Gaga presents a distributed deployment
of concepts, detournements, technologies and collaborations between
Mui Ling Lam
Original concept by Kate Hartman,
Rob Faludi and Kati London
BotaniCalls is an open source technology that - using an Arduino processor and a moisture sensor - enables plants to call and send text messages to people and ask to be watered.
Ten artists created works based on John Cage's piece 4'33". These were displayed virtually on the internet and in an augmented reality installation integrated into the exhibition.
Rui Guerra, David Jonas
unCloud is an application that enables anyone with a laptop to create an open wireless network and distribute their own information in a local context.
Miu Ling Lam
Emergence is a complex system of interacting virtual entities that “perceive” environmental data and respond in a way that mimics the behavior of complex dynamic systems in nature such as the flocking of birds or the schooling of fish.
| Modular Panels,
The basic form of the media in the exhibition is characterized by information and "flowing" continuously thorough systems of networked devices. The display panels are part of the collection of screens and read-out devices that visualize information, and the looping frame serves as a continuous infrastructure providing both structural support and a conduit for cables. Using a simple set of flexible components, varying conditions of enclosure and openness can be created from the transparent introductory display panel to the immersive augmented reality "room".
The curatorial objectives of Data GAGA are full of metaphorical language about mirroring and layering and the relative "transparency" of media that when carried, literally, into the architecture of the exhibition allow the construction and the material effects produced by it to be integrated with the virtual media. Mirrored, colored and translucent panels allow the technical hardware inside the wall to be made visible while still providing a thick screen that "catches" the information projected, reflected or printed on its surface and heightening the contrast between technological "black boxes" and the luminous monitors they drive.
| Data Gardens
[unrealized plan for an expansion of the project]
A number of installations were planned at remote sites where the components of the exhibition would be brought together to create virtual spaces in which cybernetically enhanced/smart-phone-owning city dwellers could interact with plants and access the exhibition content. The remote sites were then to be linked to the central exhibition in ways that would visibly connect the systems of the exhibition with the larger systems of the city.
One set of remote sites was a community of urban farms in the deindustrializing sections of Kowloon and even, as in the case of Slow Experience shown here, in the heart of super-dense, central Hong Kong. The small but growing urban farming movement in Hong Kong is organized by a complex layering of desires and anxieties about the cultural geography and political economy of the city. The direct engagement with production that it provides offers an alternative to the increasingly mystified subjectivity of hyper-consumer culture, and the themes of autonomy and ecological consciousness typical of "slow" or local food movements take on acutely political valences in the context of the Pearl River Delta and the fraught process of Hong Kong's integration with China.
Another "Data Garden" was planned for the site of Hong Kong's Occupy Central encampment in the public ground level of Norman Foster's HSBC building. The garden would provide the occupiers with vegetation and a virtual "gallery" and also foreground the contestation between the iconic representation of systems in the building and the efforts of Occupy Central to manifest or demonstrate political and economic structures. In the data garden the monitoring of the plants—dependent on and connected to their environment—becomes the same as monitoring the status of the political movement. Unfortunately Occupy Central was evicted from the HSBC building before the Data Garden could be realized.