Research, University of Applied Arts, 2019

Data Loam

The current excess of computational capacity begun to bring central questions about the nature of the humanities and natural science to light. Questions that critical artists have started to ask long before: how does science determine social structures, how does it shape our reality? What was important enough to be a subject to further examination, what has been overlooked or deliberately suppressed?

We want to go one step further and use novel computer-assisted research as well as software-based visualization methods to understand how knowledge is organized in world information systems like The Library of Congress or Wikipedia. We want to develop an interface to this "topography of knowledge" in order to see how these powerful systems express a structure to the information they contain over and above the facts themselves, since this is inherent to the ideologies used to catalogue and index them, all of which evolve over time.

The novel view we will pursue, addresses objects and objectivity  but, unlike traditional metrics, the materiality of the objects will be considered in an expanded sense; that is, via  the multiple vectors of meaning (perception, opinion, facticity, truth, semantics) that have been attributed to them over time whilst, simultaneously addressing the ‘radical matter’ of the algorithms as constituted by the flow of zeroes and ones. This "topography of knowledge" will enable a stronger relation to Big Data (or Metadata) as something quite different and far removed from surveillance or invasion of privacy; it will, at least in part, work toward the ability to establish a stronger, profoundly pluralistic democracy of objects and to understand human prejudice as a historical factor that can be calculated and traced.

We want to investigate and explore the possibilities of artistic interaction with these big “bodies” of data and are proposing to transform data into some kind of "matter" that allows us to touch, restructure and re-organize it.

DATA LOAM – the new material we want to introduce with this project – is based on the substance that already is used (and often abused) by institutions, governmental agencies and industries. We want nothing less than to enable everyone to create and shape a true/fictional/absurd variation of the world as we know it: A laboratory of  possible realities. Data Loam will provide a powerful set of metrics that can be used to enable anyone to ‘think outside the box’ whilst simultaneously ushering in a replacement paradigm which encourages all of us to be the philosophers and artists of our time.
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2016

The European Union (Horizon 2020) funded project AXIOM develops the first open source film camera. The project is hosted at Art & Science at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and involves a consortium of four other organisations in three different EU countries: Apertus Association (Austria), antmicro (Poland), af inventions (Germany) and Denz (Germany).
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2018

The Future of the Control Room

The department Art & Science at the  University of Applied Arts Vienna hosts the research project "The Future of the Control Room". The aim of this research project is to question the current state of control rooms and thereby create new concepts for an overall design of how a future control room could look like. The Research includes the fields of history, film, architecture, human-computer interaction, software, GUI-development and the politics of interface design.
Research, 2013

Night of a 1000 Hours

June 2nd to 9th, participation in the workshop "Light Days/Light Nights" by DOP Christian Berger in Ilovic, Croatia.
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2016

Liquid Things

Materials have always been transmitters of messages. Today they have acquired a new relevance as a result of the increasing flows of information that shape our societies. Consequently, many scientific fields are simultaneously developing ways of expanding the potential of matter to handle these flows. On the road to realising concepts like "programmable matter" or "adaptive architecture", research groups on "mediated matter", "transitive materials" and "metamaterials" have recently emerged. However, these young realms are characterised by a mechanistic way of thinking which leaves promising aspects of these novel, active and metamorphic materials unelaborated.
Considering Gaston Bachelard’s poetic essays on the influence of matter on imagination and that fact that our culture has been charged with ideas about transformations since the apparition of Ovid’s "Metamorphoses" two thousand years ago, we propose a practical and critical approach to the genuine advances in this field made by computer and materials sciences, physics and chemistry to face questions regarding issues such as the physical resonance of materials becoming active or their potential to cause a renegotiation of our material reality.
We take both referential contexts, namely the scientific developments and the imagination applied to transformations of matter and combine them to present new ideas, concepts and concrete actions with the intention of expanding artistic perspectives.
The project Liquid Things is organised in three modules: Material/Technology, Theory/Reflection and Art/Process, each including several international invitations for concentrated, time-limited cooperations ending in individual presentations. The first module focuses on experiments with novel materials; the second deepens the context and sets the theoretical framework for our research; and finally, the third consists of the creation of artistic prototypes. The main outcomes are presented in: two workshops on the artistic manipulation of active materials, a symposium that reflects on the theoretical and practical field addressed in the project in relation to art-based research, an exhibition that places the prototypes in a public venue for open discussion and a final published book, which summarizes the processes, collaborations, activities and results of the project. The three modules are deeply intertwined and allow the development of a critical and simultaneously deep and original collaboration with matter.
Roman Kirschner