Synthesis Residency on Atmospheres
In this Synthesis Atmospheres Residency (LRR), researchers and students from University of Potsdam, the Topological Media Lab in Montreal and the Schools of Arts, Media + Engineering, Geography, and Architecture at ASU, come together in the Matthews Center iStage @ ASU (Tempe USA campus) to create environmental conditionings of ensemble experience via varying fields of media and material.
Wind, temperature, clouds, mist – these phenomena have in common that they can hardly be objectified. They have no identifiable parts or clear dimensions, no form and are partly or completely invisible. But we do experience their dynamic presence through our bodies: the body’s sensitivity on cellular, organic, and organismic levels, allows for engagement with phenomena that go beyond subject/object dichotomies.
In this interdisciplinary workshop that encompasses readings and discussion of relevant and uncommon texts, as well as experiments with synthetic cloud formations and atmospheric scenography, the aim is to develop a long-term investigation of atmospheric media and their potential meaning for the development of new ways of life.
The Experimental Platform
The aim is first to design an infrastructure to relate to the diffusive components of the space, that react among themselves, and are in constant exchange.
“Caustic Scenography + Responsive Cloud Formations”, created by Nima Navab in collaboration with Thierry Dumont (Topological Media Lab), is an atmospheric milieu that explores ephemeral fields of light, water, air, and temperature as a trigger of pre-reflective, embodied ways of relating to environments. At the center of the exploratory platform are responsive cloud formations: A bed of ultrasonic atomizers submersed in a pool of water, converting variable ultrasonic power to high frequencies driving piezoelectric transducers. Through distributed continuous modulation of frequencies, atomizers vibrate particles at rapid pace, in effect,
allowing for creation of low to high density cloud structures, while spreading water droplets around its periphery. For humidification purposes the droplets are considered a nuisance, but in the installation, they become instrumentalized, orchestrating subtle to dramatic undulations within the bounds of this reflective pool. Multi-directional embedded light design, projects these wave patterns through reflection and refraction; creating a caustic scenography around the installation.
The exploratory platform serves as an example for multi-layered and correlated conditions that create a temporally driven textural pallet. In working with transformative states of matter amplified through caustics experimentations and fused with respiration, airflow and bending of scales of interactions around, atmospheric conditions can be experienced. In upcoming workshops, the affordances and performances will be explored, using the potential of dynamic behavior of the clouds, ranging from stand-still to undulating waves and its complete diffusion and magnification of processes onto surrounding environment providing a rhythmic pallet made more palpable through shadow play and embedded structured light.
It is a first step to further explore:
This fundamental research will continue from Feb 14 through Mar 3, 2018. Although there will be no “performance” or “demo,” visitors are welcome to drop by the Matthews Center iStage (MC222) to casually witness this research-creation process. The studio-lab will typicaly be in session during weekday afternoons. Please contact Megan Patzem for more information.
Sha Xin Wei, Experiential sciences and nonanthropocentric design
Brandon Mechtley, Atmosphere models
Emiddio Vasquez, Media Arts and Sciences PhD, AME
Nima Navab, Topological Media Lab researcher
Desiree Foerster, Philosophy PhD, U. Potsdam
Thierry Dumont, Topological Media Lab researcher