SASG Residency Week 3

Week 1 | Week 2

July 17th was the birthday of Hakyung, who is in charge of international residency program at SASG. The staffs organized a small party, and also artists, Cleverson, who arrived from Brazil this week, Roland and I, joined the party. Hakyung has been very supportive, such as looking up information about workshops and exhibitions for us (this is extremely helpful since often information is only available in Korean) and everyone loves her. She is also in charge of social media of SASG, promoting these articles and my first event at SASG, which is explained later.

On 18th, I visited Fablab Seoul, a makerspace in Jongno-gu area. Use of the equipment during open hours is free and does not require membership; For CNC, 3D printer and laser cutter, you need to take a tutorial workshop and to pay hourly rate. People are very friendly and comfortable with communicating in English. I needed a soldering station to repair a device from the University of Tsukuba as its solder on an actuator was off.

In the evening, Liza, Julia and I went to Choi & Lager Gallery for the opening of an exhibition by Jan-Ole Schiemann. The Korean-German gallery has two locations and the other one is in Cologne. Jan-Ole’s paintings consist of different layers such as strokes inspired by American comics and simple gradient patterns, which made me think of recent work by Zach Lieberman although the medium is completely different. The gallery is located near Gyeongbokgung palace, and from the rooftop of the gallery, you can see the old Korean houses nearby and mountains in the northern area of Seoul. During the event, I met some artists in residency at MMCA Goyang (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea) and Sema Nanji Residency. I was surprised by the amount of art centers in Seoul that invite international artists (and the number of German artists among them). After the opening, we were invited to a restaurant to have fried chicken, beer and spicy noodles, and we stayed there till midnight (like in Japan, it seems that most bars close soon after midnight).

On 19th, I organized a projection-mapping party at SASG; the aim was for the SASG artists to get together and I performed ephemeral, improvisational projection mapping using alc_freeliner. There were four international artists and a few local artists and staffs from SASG showed up. I did not invite many people outside SASG (besides Youngkak from Nabi Lab — thanks for stopping by) but now I know more artists in other residencies, next time we may scale up the event. And for the next time, I want to collaborate with other artists, especially Roland, who produces videos but was away at the moment for a trip to Japan, so that we can project some videos in addition to geometric patterns that I projected this time.

As for the technical setup, I rented four projectors, each one connected to a computer: Surface Pro tablet, old MacBook, Raspberry Pi and an old Mac mini from SASG. The old MacBook is too old to run Processing 3, so I used dual-boot Ubuntu. Setting up Processing 3 on Raspberry Pi was not straightforward. To use OpenGL without changing the code, full KMS GL driver is needed (which can be selected from raspi-config). Also, since the processor is not powerful enough to render 1080p graphics, I had to set the resolution to 720p. Changing the resolution also took time to figure out since, when full KMS is chosen, config.txt is ignored. Instead, the resolution has to be set by xrandr command. As a quick and dirty fix, I used PM2 to execute xrandr and freeliner when booted. Finally, hostapd creates a Wi-Fi hotspot so that other computers can connect to the freeliner web interface to control presets on the Pi. I am planning to generate and distribute a freeliner-box image for Raspberry Pi.

I also started a “web” residency of Favoriten Festival with choreographer Janine Harrington, and we are posting the dialogue on our Instagram account. I am planning to write an article about the background of the project, but meanwhile, please follow us to check our poetry.

Next week, my collaborator, Evelyne, will arrive in Seoul to join the residency. Meanwhile, I will be gone from Monday to Friday for a project in Dezhou, China. Students from McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal are currently building a house; I will install the house version of Passing Light, which I exhibited last year with Topological Media Lab at Never Apart gallery in Montreal.