SASG Residency Week 4

Naoto Hieda
Jul 29, 2018 · 4 min read

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

This week I flew to China for installing Passing Light, an interactive video piece, for Solar Decathlon China competition. As a member of Topological Media Lab (TML) in Montreal, I have been working with Team Montreal, a collaborative project between Concordia University and McGill University that is building a house in Dezhou, China. The architect students designed and are building the house, and TML was responsible for the media installations of the house.

Dezhou is located 300 km south of Beijing. Thanks to the bullet train, access from Beijing takes about 1 hour. The city is newly developed to promote solar energy and this competition is part of their campaign; the houses will harvest energy to charge an electric car and they compete the distance driven by the car. Team Montreal’s house has a unique aspect that there are 4 media installations: Liquid Light (a lamp with a water surface controlled by solenoids and drips), Shadow Play (an array of light sources surrounding a plant to compose a sequence of shadows), Air Quality Indicator (an LED light box that react to air quality), and Passing Light, which I was responsible for. Last year we have exhibited Passing Light at Never Apart Gallery for MAPP_MTL. The original piece consists of interactive video projection showing a simulated fluid that flows on a mechanical sculpture, but for Solar Decathlon, we redesigned the piece without the sculpture and added a shadow that will be burnt on the floor. Simulated water drops on the table and reacts on the movement of human, which is a playful aspect of the piece. The shadow is for both aesthetic and practical purpose; a shadow, or a silhouette, of a person casts on the floor and the body, and if the person stays long enough, the shadow will stay for a while after the person left. It can be used as a nightlight when someone is reading on a couch, for example. Since the interior was not finished as seen in the photo, I could not document the piece, but I am looking forward to receiving photos and videos after the construction finishes at the end of July.

Testing “Passing Light” at Solar Decathlon China

The piece is built with vvvv for generative graphics and openFrameworks for camera acquisition (since we used 2 Asus Xtion cameras, I could not use vvvv to acquire images for the both cameras). Although I only spent 3 days working on site, it was an amazing experience to see and work with TML members again since I left Montreal in April.

On Friday, I came back to Seoul and in the afternoon I visited the opening of MMCA Goyang residency exhibition “The Art of Travel”. I met some of the residency artists at the opening of Choi & Lager Gallery 2 weeks ago. MMCA Goyang is located outside Seoul, and it takes about 1 hour from Seoul by car. There was a shuttle bus from MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), which is next to Gyeongbokgung Palace. Because I was travelling from Beijing to Seoul in the afternoon and the shuttle bus schedule was limited, I literally needed to run from a metro station to catch the bus. The exhibition definitely worth the effort.

Left: Philippe Allard, right: Kenji Makizono
Left: Daniel Stubenvoll, right: Luo Jr-shin

The artists are Luo Jr-shin, Daniel Stubenvoll, Ruth Hutter, Kenji Makizono and Philippe Allard. Jr-shin’s work uses various material such as egg yolk on the floor; but what I was most interested was the slippery floor (as in the photo) that is not only the transformation of the material but how it affects the behavior of the people entering the room. Kenji, a Japanese media artist, had a performance about electricity generation by the artist using a bicycle to harvest energy for the band’s amplifiers. Electricity generation has become controversial in Japan after the 3.11 earthquake, and he questions it in a creative way.

On Tuesday, Evelyne, my collaborator, has arrived in Seoul and we are going to start creation together. I am also continuing the web residency with Janine, which can be found on our Instagram account.

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