Author Archives: Weronika Kosior

Systems Aesthetics: A Psychogeographical System: Blurring Parochial Domains

IMG_5412 Heimbold Visual Art Center on the Sarah Lawrence College campus is widely criticized by the student body. Its unpopularity is in large part due to the fact that various parochial domains functioning within the space do not intersect. Painters, sculptures, film students, professors, random passers-by and so on, interact and work in separate spatial realities with no reason to leave them. Most of these groups are not familiar with environment and people in other bubbles/zones. As a result, the center is far from being a creative hub and a well-functioning public space desired by the majority of the students. The conference system initiates a series of communitarian derives that lead to playful intersections of Heimbold’s parochial domains. Passers-by are given a choice to continue to walk to their respective spaces or to participate in an adventure that leads them to environments they rarely visit. The journey starts on the bottom of the lower staircase in Heimbold. The participant of the performance walks through 5 stations located around the lower level where they are given materials to build musical instruments/simple art pieces. Each station is marked with cardboard arrows and enables the participant to rediscover the visual arts building. On every station the person is given the option to leave the performance. Created musical instruments have the potential for further communitarian engagement and provide memory of the intersection of parochial domains.   List of requirements -encouraging in changing traffic flows/intersection of parochial domains -social object – engaging with people around -spacial object – engaging with the space -divided into steps/stations -requiring personification/uniqueness -able to to be kept after the performance -easy to construct -cheap to construct -entertaining Plan for stations
  1. Cups
  2. Filling/beans/noise making elements
  3. Personification/decoration – paint
  4. Personification/decoration – stickers,glitter
  5. Top for the cup+tape to close
List of materials: -40 cups + containers -40 tops -few bags of beans, lentils, rice -8 large cardboard arrows -markers -glitter -stickers -paint -paint brushes -duck tape for floor -duck tape for cups IMG_5414 IMG_5424IMG_5432IMG_5439 IMG_5443 IMG_5452 IMG_5457 IMG_5459 IMG_5460

Systems Aesthetics: A Later System Video Glitch

My system glitches live stream video from the computer’s web cam. The project was a direct response to a glitch code developed in class that altered pixels of a given image. Since then I was determined to create a similar effect that could interact with the environment by means of video. Due to my interest in urban design and architecture I saw my system as a potential for sparking interaction in the built environment. IMG_5389 Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.56.39 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.18 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.41 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.58 PM   I consider this project a breakthrough my understanding and experience with systems. The desired outcome was a result of a complete randomness. Since i didn’t know how to achieve the goal of creating a video glitch program, I kept pasting and deleting code from my processing windows. At some point of the journey in loosing control, the system surprised me and presented itself with a result. I created several versions of the system, altering the values of pixel modification in the for loop. As a result, the first system gently mutates the pixels, creating a sort of pulsating grain, as presented in the screen shots. The second version is abstract and multiples the colors of the web cam input and translates it into constantly moving lines. Each line is a response and evolution of the environment. The system evolves this way endlessly. Last version of the system is the most surprising since it builds on the input from the last running of the program before closing. The lower part of the image is the capture of the previous run while the top is similar to the first version of the system. My system demonstrates a list of conditions developed during class. It embodies a set of relationship between the live-stream image and the output of the program. Is a process of constant motion. It is also self-evolving or self-adapting since it makes autonomous decisions and builds on the input to present unexpected results. The system has rules and boundaries defined by the processing code. It exists indecently from the observer and if not stopped, can go on infinitely.

System Aesthetics: An Early System RandomCityTour

Rules of the RandomCityTour system:
  1. Make a cube and label each of the six faces accordingly: RIGHT, LEFT, STRAIGHT, BACK, LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN
  2. Pick a corner or an intersection of streets in a city, this will be your starting point.
  3. Roll the cube on the pavement and note the face that ends up on top. Follow instructions: RIGHT- turn right and walk, LEFT – turn left and walk, STRAIGHT – continue walking straight, BACK- turn back and walk in the opposite direction, LOOK UP – look up for 15 seconds and roll the cube again, LOOK DOWN – look down for 15 seconds and roll the cube again
  4. Keep walking to the next corner and roll the cube.
  5. The performance continues until you hit your starting position.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
    IMG_4034 map of the approximately 40 minute performance starting near Grand Central Terminal in New York City Walking with no purpose allowed me to experience the city in a unique manner. I suddenly felt hypersensitive to all the stimuli of the urban life, bodies, voices, street sounds, smell, light, volumetry of the buildings, irregularities of the sidewalk. In my mind I became an invisible observer, sinking into the lives of people I passed and into the brief moments/encounters we shared. Rolling the cube that decided the direction of my walk accentuated the chance we are led by every day. The lives and the moments we live are a sequence of statistically improbable events. Out of infinite possibilities of reality, our current condition has the probability of . We live in a limit as the moment approaches infinity. The inspiration for this performance came from my ongoing research of psychogeography and especially the concept of the flaneur as described by Walter Benjamin and the concept of the derive as stated by Guy Debord and the Situationists. The path to developing that system was sudden and the impulsive. Some of the challenges that I encountered during the performance was the physicality of the cube and it’s lightness. Sometimes the cube would roll over and it was hard to note it’s initial face. Moreover, as discussed in class the system is not self-evolving enough. Perhaps further investigation on the decision-making of the cube or introducing computer generated decisions that react to the environment or build on previous outcomes would better satisfy the requirement for this system.   Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.12 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.37 PM photos of the cube used during the performance Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.57 PM   link to the excerpts from the performance :  

Blackspace: Urban Obstruction

DSC_0105 The Black Space projects are systems that explore the constraints of darkness. My project plays on the idea of urban obstruction and access to public spaces. The projected video presents the reality of fenced open areas on the New York City Housing Authority properties. What should be accessible public land utilized by the affordable housing occupants turns out to be a long series of barricades wrapping around the buildings. While the video is projected, three lamps shine on the screen, making it invisible to the observer. The audience has to pass between the screen and the lamps and use their body to obstruct the light in order for the video of the urban barriers to be noticeable. In this project I continue to draw from my interest in architecture and urban design. The idea was born during lunch at the Office of Urban Design at the NYC Department of City Planning where I currently intern. A few urban planners were complaining about protected open areas in almost all Public Housing and expressed the difficulty of the ongoing conversation to remove the fences. In addition, I have been heavily influenced by my research on psychogeography and especially the book “The City As Interface” by Martijn de Waal. DSC_0110 DSC_0098 At the beginning my video was played through Processing and responded to mouse pressing. When the mouse was pressed, the program chose a random place of the video and played it from there. In order to challenge myself in developing a more self-evolving system, I altered the code. Once the mouse was pressed, the program chose a moment of the video based on previous input. First, when the mouse was pressed, it generated a random number from 1 to 5. Then it utilized the frame count at that moment to calculate the new start of the video. For example, when the random number generated was 1, the new start was calculated by subtracting the current frame count from the entire length of the movie and then by subtracting 1. Each number had unique operations attributed to them. That way the system has a degree of autonomy and choice as to what to reveal to its viewers. Running the project in front of a small audience in an isolated setting during the rehearsal was very successful. People were enjoying blocking the light and observing the video from that “obstructed” perspective. That position definitely focused their attention and allowed them to meditate on the video more than if it was projected regularly. I feel like the project would have been stronger if I had access to brighter lights. When none was covering the lamps you could still see a little bit of the video. During the show my work was challenging to enjoy. Due to constraints of space I had to constantly switch off my entire setting to allow other students to present their work in total darkness. As a result, my work was often omitted. In addition, there was very little space between the lamp and the video and it was difficult to encourage people to pass by it in a classroom/gallery setting. Moreover, altering the code made the video run very slowly and thus was harder to experience the urgency of the theme. In the future I would like to experiment with various spatial arrangement of the work as well as variety of obstructing lights. Perhaps adding colorful lights would enhance the experience of the work and make it more appealing to play with. Arranging the work in some sort of wide hallway or on the path to other works would also encourage viewers to engage with the system. Similarly, instead of using the laptop and its trackpad for pressing the mouse, it would be interesting to build a separate visually attractive devise of the same function that would invite the audience to influence the video. Lastly, developing a more successful code that could make the video run faster is recommended. Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.58.52 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.59.12 PM