Interview with Above&Below

April 2021

A series of interviews with SPACE Art + Technology artists in residence

What were you doing in the year leading up to the residency?
Over the last year and throughout the SPACE art + tech residency, we have been exploring invisible data existing in our atmosphere. We are interested in how we use augmentation technologies to move or behave differently in cities, eg. though the sculptural visualisation of air pollution in our latest piece Digital Atmosphere. What if we change our navigation behaviour based on living augmented sculptures that surround us in the everyday?

As a starting point for the SPACE Art + Tech residency, we received an enormous NO2 data set from different cities, which plots NO2 levels up to 50km above us and 60km squared. Fascinated by the fact that we are travelling through those and even more (atmospheric) data points in the everyday, we have created an interactive immersive installation ‘Atmospheric Seeing’, which makes this enormous voxel cloud walkable and playfully understandable.

In addition, this residency gave us the freedom and space to extend our research around the topics of atmospheres and technology. Hence we explored different layers of atmospheres and how technology plays, interferes and creates artificial atmospheres. Following the principle of the power of ten, we defined 6 different layered atmospheres. The film essays start in the exosphere  expressing how aircrafts impact the sky – ending on a personal layer which manifest the impact of our current streaming behaviour on the environment. The result is an ongoing video essay ‘Navigating Atmospheres’, which leads the viewer through those layers through playful speculative text and CGI.

What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently working on more augmented reality installations, exhibiting internationally a body of work and producing short films. This year we are particularly interested in combining Machine Learning and Augmented Reality and how this combination can be used through the city and outdoor environments in more meaningful and artistic ways. ‘Aquateque’, commissioned by ECCE will be a new shortfilm combining Machine Learning and CGI exploring the entire length of a river in Germany through Machine Vision and Machine Learning tools.

How have you found the residency?
We were super happy and lucky to be among so many critical digital artists and exchange thoughts and artistic feedback throughout this time. It was inspiring and gave us a lot of freedom to continue and develop ambitious projects.

How has the pandemic affected your artistic work?
We used the period of the pandemic to learn to use new tools, challenge our artistic practice conceptually and practically and connect to new people remotely. Overall, as digital artists, we feel lucky to be able to use in diverse and parametric ways.

What’s coming next?
We are about to start a new project which is part of the  ‘City of the Future’ open call  with Nesta Italia and STARTS, where we will explore spatial AR, AI and brain data in the city of Torino.