In the sixth and final workshop of our Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives worked with artist and writer Erica Scourti.
Erica shared her practice with the group and explored Optical Character Recognition software and speech to text translation processes, to interrogate how identity and human understandings are influenced by these now everyday filters.
Cosima Cobley Carr worked with fellow member and composer Pietro Bardini on a soundscape using a sax line shared by Nayla Chouaib. The video shows us phone portraits of Vangelis Trichias along with Cosima, lip-syncing along with text to speech software. Pietro Bardini created the backing soundscape by taking Nayla Chouaib’s saxaphone recording and taking it through several layers of resonators, reverbs and distortions.
In the fifth workshop of our Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives worked with New Movement Collective and Fenyce Workspace who led a practical workshop introducing the group to their prototype project XO.
Through exploring how machines can control and aid human movement through choreography, the group looked at and interacted with project XO, a participatory dance experience. During the session they discussed power control, agency and empathy in the context of robotic interactions and imagined how to push the boundaries of interactivity in multi-user digital experiences. As a response to the workshop artists Pietro Bardini and Tice Cin worked with Antonio Roberts to create Party for the end of the world.
In the fourth workshop of our Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives worked with Yoke Collective in a workshop focused on the implications of facial recognition technology.
The group used Yoke Collective’s method of harnessing make up and hair extensions to avoid detection from facial recognition technologies. Combined with the creation of digital masks via SPARK AR as the cornerstone for our video, they explored the dynamics of power and privacy in the digital age. As a response to the workshop, artists Pietro Bardini and Vangelis Trichias worked with Antonio Roberts to create Evasive Techniques.
In the third workshop of the Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives worked with artist Matthew DF Evans in a workshop that turned the Barbican into a composition using pixel sonification.
Using Matthew Evan’s pixel sonification method to turn the Barbican into a composition, we considered the physics of sound and how it passes through you. We are active gestural instruments, technologically enhancing sounds without even noticing. Our mouths filter sound: through every obstructive piece of biomatter, we create resonance and sound decay. We have suppressors in our ears that dampen sound as a means to protect ourselves. In this way, humans are substractive sythesisers.
In the second workshop of our Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives worked with artist Laurie Ramsell who led a practical workshop exploring the concept of ‘human’.
Through exploring trans-human and post-human philosophies, the group looked at examples of Laurie’s work which examine construct of personhood and how it has been imbued into our culture. Together they created new work that explores the notion of what makes us human and imagined how the label of ‘human’ could be applied in an increasingly digital future. As a response to the workshop artists Pietro Bardini, Tice Cin and Hector Dyer worked with Antonio Roberts to create This home was not built to last.
In the first session of our Life Rewired inspired Design Yourself project, the Young Creatives explored how people are augmenting their bodies with technology.
We looked at examples in science fiction and current day of people augmenting their bodies with technology. Currently a lot of this exists as wearable devices that read our bodily functions, present us data and affect our bodies on an external level. Before we started to look at technology implants I invited each participant to create a mask that would act as a piece of wearable technology that would change them somehow.
Throughout 2019 and the early part of 2020 I led a programme for Barbican’s Young Creatives called Design Yourself.
What does it mean to be human?
Can technology be used to replicate the pheromone communication of ant colonies?
Can we use technology to mimic the camouflage abilities of chameleons?
Can movement be used as a language, similar to the waggle dance of honey bees?
Inspired by Life Rewired, a collection of young creatives from our Barbican Young Creatives and BA Performance and Creative Enterprise will respond to these questions to explore what it means to be human when technology is changing everything.
Mentored by visual artist Antonio Roberts and in collaboration with four guest artists, the group will create new digital work that explores how scientific and technological advances could allow artists to become ‘more human’ by heightening our natural and creative instincts. As a group they will explore technological impact on sound, movement, language and aesthetics and share their findings through new imaginative works.
The eight participants from Barbican’s Young Creatives were Tice Cin, Zack Haplin, Cosima Cobley Carr, Pietro Bardini, Nayla Chouaib, Evangelos Trichias, Hector Dyer, and Cleo Thomas.
Over the next few days I’ll be sharing the videos we made over the year and some photos from each session.
Congrats to all of the participants on creating such great work, thanks to the invited artists for delivering engaging workshops, and thanks to Chris Webb for inviting me to Barbican again to work with their Young Creatives 🙂