hope you can see this without needing to be a facebook user – its public viewing post of the Apparitions teapot I made with iPhone 8Plus and Facebook special post plugin.. the only reason I still use it !
Recently I discovered that the act of looking back, reviewing a life, or reminiscing was seen by the medical profession as a pathological aspect of ageing, causing or exacerbating depression and disengagement from everyday life. This was right up until the early 1960s when a paper by Robert Butler, a research psychiatrist at the American National Institute of Mental Health, challenged prevailing views, he in fact coined the term ‘ageism’.
Similarly Apparitions art considers & explores the qualia new media art’s role has in augmenting heritage digitally, creating a hauntology, invoking a hyperreal nostalgia and prodding the Hypokeimenon in Heritage (in metaphysics which literally means the “underlying thing”). To search for the hypokeimenon is to search for that substance which persists in a thing going through change, its basic essence.
Glitches are moments of disruption; they represent the exposure of technical process, moving away from the binaries of input and output to consider what comes in-between. The growing ubiquity of interconnected systems prompts a desire to understand such intangible networks around the user, an attempt to try and engage with these digital phenomena as alternate forms of ‘presence’ that cannot help but recourse to anthropocentric terms – virus, cloud, render ghost. The frequent ethereality of such language attempts to visualise, embody, and comprehend the profusion of technical systems that we share the atmosphere with, their very terming gesturing to their spectral protrusion into, ostensibly, ‘our’ reality. The eruption of pixels, voxels, and glitches haunts our peripheral vision, a deceptive representation of a far more intangible sphere.
‘Glitches and Ghosts’ seeks to diagnose and analyse contemporary cultural fascinations with the emergence of these digital artefacts, and how their spectral presence has come to define our current technological moment. This symposium aims to bring together researchers who are enticed by the prospect of re-conceptualising definitions of digital-based ontologies as a paradigm to engage with an era of technophobic anxieties and technophilic domination.
We are delighted to announce Dr. Will Slocombe as our keynote. Will’s research ranges between various aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century literature, focusing primarily on Science Fiction (particularly representations of Artificial Intelligence), Postmodernism, and metafictions of experimental literature. His upcoming book Emergent Patterns: Artificial Intelligence and the Structural Imagination is due out in 2019.
Suggested topics include:
• Digital art – glitch aesthetics, pixels, voxels, drone shadows, distortion etc.
• Détournement and system subversion – e.g. hacker ‘heroes’ and neoliberal dissent.
• Technophobia – network alienation and technological anxieties.
• Glitch and/or ghosts in music – synthwave, sampling, remixes, etc.
• Cloud spectrality, unseen network presences and how we visualise them.
• Ghosts in the machine, electronic voice phenomenon, white noise etc.
• Render ghosts, digital advertising and the disruption of imagined ontologies.
• Doppelgangers, sample image databases and the ‘ownership’ of personal data.
• Unshackled virtual consciousness, e.g. A.I. and the breaking of constraints.
• Disruption of the virtual – glitches, bugs, cheats and other subversions.
• Digital spectres – eternal or lingering existence within the network.
• Viral anxieties and data transmission; conceptualisations of network ‘presence’.
• Secular digitalities, virtual ‘gods’ or spirits and ontological transcendence.
• Permanence and/or ephemerality of data, system collapse and user anxiety.
• Creative practice and the deployment of glitches and/or ghosts within media.
• Remixed ontologies, disruption of identity boundaries and bricolage forms.
• Omnipresent networks, ‘invasive’ devices (i.e. Alexa) and disconnection.
• Machine learning and emergent behaviour from algorithmic structures.
Hyperreality is the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced societies. This video experiment expresses Baudrillard’s description here : “There is not only an implosion of the message in the medium, there is, in the same movement, the implosion of the medium itself in the real, the implosion of the medium and of the real in a sort of hyperreal nebula, in which even the definition and distinct action of the medium can no longer be determined”.
The persistence of a poodle in mixed reality still life, as an Apparition we made in ‘Unity3d’ materialises digitally : the Victorian clocktower of Hastings is conjured in strobe light and manifested shuddering like a phantom as my dog gazed through the whole experiment!
I first used glass cloches for display in my work ‘SleepCycles‘ in Technology is Not Neutral in Brighton, 2016. Burning candles atop each dome for set numbers of hours expressed each one as a different stage of sleep. So the wax-dripped dome shown here is a particularly narrow and tall model that suits containment of the clocktower, if such a public landmark could be put into a protective bubble. Today I explored how to trigger the AR from outside the glass, with different strong natural lighting effects and with sound from the app and the immediate environment.
Mixed reality – the metal teapot survived the Bexhill Beach Huts storm, I can use something from Priory Meadow Cricket ground archives to be the significant enduring element for a new Apparition. This will happen and be distributed across the county for free if you help fund me – please share with organisations that will be interested in work exploring memory, nostalgia, heritage, technology in art.
Before I go further and lay this out in SketchUp3D I thought id show you the lay of the land – I’ve rotated the 1899 map so Devonshire road houses are now at the bottom to match with wonderful aerial photo – those houses now face the rear of the multi storey car park for Priory Meadow shopping centre. It takes time to plan a virtual / digital 3D model of the demolished site .. but this is the imaginative part !
I will recreate ‘Priory Meadow Cricket Ground’ of Hastings ( 1864-1996) in 3D with immersive soundtracks, using augmented reality* triggered when viewing special vintage postcards, the experience will happen on all smartphones & all of it will be distributed free. If you fund this project you will be helping me to preserve amazing lost local heritage in digital art for many other people to continue enjoying nostalgic landmarks, and for many generations to come.