January 31st.; the FET-Observe workshop in Brussels, organized and guided by Philine Warnke and Elna Schirrmeister from Fraunhofer Institute. Some 20 researchers from e.g. computing, art, media, design discussed a series of possible/wishful future technologies within a wide range of topics, including ‘Future Living Spaces’, with the aim to frame topics that need further focused research and funding. Wonderful to experience a critical but constructive discussion from a variety of disciplines as well as a somewhat out-of-line thinking against many current developments.
Yesterday, January 17th., the Humans Issue, the 5th. late afternoon session of Club Imagine in the Theatre Rotterdam. With a focus on humanity and a close link to the arts and imagination we address the relation between art and science, public and collective. Part of the art-images will be presented on the media-wall soon. Next session on March 14th. about utopian futures.
‘When the peaks of our sky
My house will have a roof.’
These three lines, part of the short poem ‘De notre temps’, by the French poet Paul Eluard, can be interpreted as the ultimate metaphor on what constitutes the framework of experiencing a home. Being poetry, it surpasses the traditional ontology of what a house and/or home represents, i.e. protection, privacy, a roof over one’s head. It also, however, tributes to the more abstract issues involved that become all the more relevant when our physical world transforms into a hybrid world, a mix of the real and the virtual, of the analogue and the digital. The emphasis in this tends to focus on the technological issues involved; while the abstract is threatened, causing a breach in what constitutes process and result of building houses. After all; the virtual resides within the real; there is no virtual only.
EC’s Nicole Dewandre presented a fine lecture on human values at the IoT & Built Environment conference on April 9th. 2013 in Rotterdam; on July 2016 she gave a TEDX-ULB-lecture concerning the changing definitions of humanity, ‘talking’ to Descartes and referring to Hannah Arendt’s view of the relational self. A changing world requires a renewed thinking on what it means to be human in a hyperconnected era.
On Friday, November 4th. Performance Group Urland presented the third part of the IoT-trilogy in the Theatre Rotterdam. Afterwards we enjoyed a fine and most interesting discussion with the audience that proved to be very anxious and involved in theme and background. In particular some questions concerning the role of the arts within this topic raised a discussion which really should be continued since Urland’s performance is – alas – one of the very few devoted to other, more important ethical issues than the technology only.
left to right: Jimi Zoet (Urland), Florian Hellwig (Urland, director), Martin Pot (photo: Marijke Stegen)
on November 4/5 the Dutch Performance Group Urland will perform the 3rd. part of their trilogy: the Internet of Things cycle; Prometheus, the Firebringer. in the Theatre Rotterdam. What happens when Artificial Intelligence becomes self-conscious; when objects become addressable, who becomes master and who becomes slave? On November 4th. I will take part in the discussion afterwards: what is the impact of technology on the arts and – above all – our imagination?
architect/urbanist/artist/painter Daniele Cesari (1983, Ferrara, Italy) tries to capture what is unseen – but nevertheless experienced or imagined – within a city and its architecture. The result is a fascinating image of the energy of hidden phenomena; whether the streets are deserted or crowded…..
Alito e Vento
Interesting thoughts by Gordon Stott form Connect Homes on the CORE77 website concerning prefab architecture; his plea for a far more industrial approach in which one can buy a house per m2 fits the current debate on how to give the inhabitant more influence on his future home. This runs parallel with the latest initiative by ARUP on circular housing; their recent project ‘the Circular Building‘ was presented recently on the London Design Festival.
May 2016, York (UK), an upcoming theatrical performance based on the beautiful short story by E.M.Forster: ‘the Machine Stops’, written in 1909. The main character – Yuno – finally escapes from an underground city in a post-apocalyptic world in which all individuals live in standardised cells while technology facilitates and supplies all they ever need. Connectivity to the natural world is impossible; it is the machine that frames and determines one’s daily life and ultimate destiny. Lees verder
May 30th., the Rotterdam Month of Architecture was officially opened with a dense, disruptive, speed-up and above all humorous lecture by Winy Maas from MVRDV Architects. (a.o. Markthal, Boijmans Depot) , pleading for a increased use of the city’s roofs and thus also facilitating a new experience. Although adding staircases to major buildings after the current one to the Groothandelsgebouw will probably remain rather utopian (?); the fundamental thought of adding a layer to the cities and create lived space above street level and thus expand our views is fascinating.