64 Samples: outline proposal
The Emergency Art Lab will be situated in the music room at the Richard Attenborough Centre where four live art events are already scheduled throughout the two days of W&D. Emergency Art Lab artists will gather personal input over the first day from delegates as they enter, witness and leave live art events at W&D, and process this into a mutating virtual object that expresses delegates’ reactions to the event. A challenging attempt will be made to gather biological data (video handprint, vocal sample, hair sample) and personal information (name, age, sex, other personal data) in a process that mirrors the often intrusive aspects of digital technology in a commercial environment. Delegates who decline to offer information will be as significant as those who submit willingly to this impromptu process. Emergency Art Lab artists will all be dressed in lab coats, and the entire process will have a theatrical ‘serious science’ element to it. The response of the delegates to W&D is thereby documented in the transformation of the data used in the work throughout the two days.
On the second day, the gathered data will be processed by the artists in varying ways according to equipment and artists’ methods. For example (likely to change according to on-the-spot demands) one artist may chop up the vocal sample (the delegate’s spoken name) into a sound ‘logo’ codified according to the letters that make up the name. Another may process the video handprint (referencing the Get Wired series publicity material) by opening the image file as a text string instead of a picture and using that string as an algorithm to produce a texture that is mapped onto a virtual entity. In any case, a unique composite entity will be created that represents the state of each participating individual before and after events at W&D. Generic blank objects will represent those who decline to offer information. Delegate’s samples will be combined into a unique dynamic representation. Responses to the conference will be used to transform this dynamic entity. All this personal data will coalesce into a mutating entity in virtual space. This entity will consist only of data gathered directly from individuals at W&D. This will be programmed to match their response to both the artistic process and the live art events in the room.
Two mini-seminars on the first day, one on the second day with a final showing at the end of the conference. Plus post-conference processes to produce web material documenting the entire artistic event.