Whithervane is a new work for the public realm – a network of five headless chickens. These 21st Century weather vanes are controlled by the climate of fear on the Internet. They will be presented within sight of each other on the highest points of five buildings.
The Whithervanes parse newsfeeds looking for predetermined keywords related to fear (e.g. natural disaster, economic collapse, war, etc.) When fear is encountered the chickens respond by rotating away at increasing speeds from fear hotspots and illuminating different colors triggered by specific levels of fear.
The Whithervanes are connected to each other via the internet. They share real time newsfeed data from around the World with each other. On any given day the preoccupations of the World’s media will cause them to be ‘blown’ around according to what is occurring. This will manifest as an emergent group behavior among the ‘flock’. Passersby can influence this group behavior by escalating or calming individual Whithervanes. In turn, this behavior will influence the rest of the array.
An array of 5 Whithervanes that communicate with each other, the cloud and the public. While this work is intentionally humorous, we hope the public become conscious of how much our contemporary media, policy and political frameworks utilize fear as a persuasive method.
The public can influence the individual Whithervanes by interacting with them via a smartphone app. They can add to the escalation of fear or attempt to counteract it by sending the messages “The sky is falling!” or “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Whithervane illumination consists of five color-coded fear levels:
We are currently in pre-production of this work (to debut in 2014).
menotme is a luminous, playful, responsive form activated by squeezing which causes it to purr, giggle, and burp and is designed to provoke public affection as a defense against post‑industrial anxiety. menotme is an urban comfort object; part street toy, part environment. For DLECTRICITY, rootoftwo + daub have created menotme to inspire new types of social behavior, interaction and play. Participation is essential. The more you interact with it, the more it will perform. Organic in form and feel, menotme creates a comfy place to dawdle during the festival where informal social exchanges and a good cuddle with the work are encouraged. rootoftwo + daub are interested in transforming the urban environment in ways that increase socialization and pleasure.
The work will be on public view in the grounds of the Horace H. Rackham Education Memorial Building at the Woodward & Warren Corner, 100 Farnsworth, Detroit, MI, 48202. Friday, October 5, 2012 7:00pm-12:00am and Saturday, October 6, 2012 5:00pm-2:00am.
Plus 300 translucent beach balls.
A single-unit LED test. Only 107 more to go…
Testing the LEDs with the Powermesh skin.
Karl stress-testing the material.
Parametric seating model.
First ring test in the studio (tennis ball for scale).
DLECTRICITY is a free nighttime, outdoor contemporary art festival which will invite emerging and established artists, lighting designers, performers and architects to make site-specific installations of light, sound, performance and projection – transforming the Woodward corridor into an illuminated urban spectacle for thousands of visitors.
DLECTRICITY will be held at night on October 5 & 6, 2012.
unreal-estates and v1b3 have produced an augmented reality application for internet enabled mobile devices that interrogates the meaning of public space using models, images, text, and movies overlaid on locations in Chicago’s Loop. Principal investigators include Annette Barbier, Drew Browning, Conrad Gleber, Mat Rappaport, rootoftwo (that’s us) and Gail Rubini. Invited artists include Celine Browning, Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook.
Our Project: WithervaneAR
Locations: Rookery Building; Chicago Board of Trade; Lurie Gardens; BP Pedestrian Bridge
WithervaneAR is an aesthetic exploration of blended realities that adopts the conventions of corporations that have moved to be part of this new space. In a word we are advertising: this location, this city, ourselves, our work, this group, this funder, this 3rd party platform, this platform, and this context. This is a system that seemingly offers new opportunities for engagement but AR can also been seen as a system that merely acts upon rather than truly responds to user behavior. How can we move beyond merely “smart” environments and objects to synergistic environments and objects? Maybe AR will be part of that evolution as platforms become easier to use and applications become more ubiquitous. But for now – perhaps it is only moving new media art back to the point and click of screen-based interactivity of the mid-late 1990s? While this work attempts to solve some practical and technical considerations, it is also intended to allow for the examination of the social and cultural aspects of machine-mediated interaction and is a first attempt. A flirtation with a format.
We have ‘augmented’ locations in Chicago that are significant to the insurance industry with images from the ‘dustbowl‘ and advertising slogans from the marketing departments of 1930s insurance campaigns. Our WithervaneAR ‘branding’ is a mash-up of various logos. They are a series of adverts for our forthcoming Whithervane project.
Smartphone screengrab from Drew Browning.
Post-Industrial Complex (May 11- July 29, 2012) is an exhibition and source book that celebrates the ingenuity and adaptivity of the Detroit community. This multidisciplinary exhibition, comprised of locally made objects and recorded interviews with makers, proposes a conversation about the meaning and value of personal labor in Detroit. From the half-baked idea to a life’s work, from the janky fix to a potentially world-changing solution, the spirit of invention takes center stage.
Programming includes a trading post, how-to sessions, exhibition tours led by community members and barbeques in the back parking lot. This exhibition is organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Curator of Public Engagement Jon Brumit and Curator of Education Katie McGowan.
Major support for Post-Industrial Complex is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Related programming support is provided by the McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.
For Post-Industrial Complex, we wanted to rework ba-b&l. The original 2001 work focused on the internal interactions between the audience’s auditory and analytic processes, which were engaged in deciphering the babble to make meaning. With the 2012 iteration we wanted to explore the capacity for the audience to now physically interact with the work in a way that triggers the intact texts to be played. As a studio, we work through a process of researching issues, materials, and technologies. We have an interest in the use of new technologies, materials and methods to encourage interaction and engagement with audiences. ba-b&l fuses our interests in art, language, design and our socio-cultural relationship with technology.
The exhibition contributes to the current conversation about the role contemporary institutions play within their communities. Here the museum culls the craft and intellect from surrounding neighborhoods to create an exhibition that is uniquely engaged in its surroundings. Post-Industrial Complex includes work from: Fred Ellison, Evelyn Pinkard, FOUR Colors Productions, Dozer, Aisling Arrington & Jill Bersche, Bill Kozy, James Aquash, Walter Bailey, Angela Kiel, rootoftwo, Mr. Motin, Anthony Reale. The exhibition interrogates the roles and responsibilities of institutions and citizens to their communities, and proposes new possibilities for communicating, organizing and valuing labor.
Whithervane – where are we going and why are we carrying this hand-basket?
“A weather vane is an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. They are typically used as an architectural ornament to the highest point of a building. Although partly functional, weather vanes are generally decorative, often featuring the traditional cockerel design with letters indicating the points of the compass. The word ‘vane’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘fane’ meaning ‘flag’.” (Wikipedia).
“Henny Penny, also known as Chicken Licken or Chicken Little, is a fable in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase The sky is falling! features prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.” (Wikipedia).
“An Apocalypse (Greek: Ἀποκάλυψις Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The term also can refer to the eschatological final battle, the Armageddon, and the idea of an end of the world.” (Wikipedia).
“Paranoia is a thought process heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and/or delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. Historically, this characterization was used to describe any delusional state.” (Wikipedia).
Apocanoia – portmanteau word a blend of apocalyptic and paranoia – a disclosure of the thought process heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and/or delusion. Especially as experienced through contemporary media. Apocanoia explores self-fulfilling prophecies – predictions that directly or indirectly cause them to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.
When someone approaches the tea house they are visually scanned by by the OMRON Smile Scan.
“The system measures the degree of a person’s smile from a camera-recorded facial image based on its original criteria using facial key point movements. The resulting data is displayed onscreen with a percentage reading from 0% to 100%.”
In THR_33 this percentage controls how much the tea-house “eyes” open – so if they are smiling the “eyes” will allow for a direct line of sight between the visitor and the robots.
When TST_003 (the toaster) “sees” someone with its passive infrared sensor it will initiate its toasting cycle – it stops roaming and both its toasting drawers extend. Also, the inside of the robot illuminates.
When RDO_002 (the radio) “sees” someone with its passive infrared sensor it will play a randomly chosen sound sample from a library of samples of robots from science fiction movies.
When MXR_011 (the mixer) “sees” someone with its proximity sensor it will spin away from them (we figured when it is in regular use it would have to mix in one direction only – so in the tea house it would spin whichever way takes its fancy).