This week we had a seminar in smaller groups to being thinking about our group project for the end of term 1. I partnered with Izzy Mclellan and we began thinking of ideas for the project. We thought initially we wanted to look at the theories of posthumanism and it's relationship to computation but we quickly became interested that in order to define post-human we had to understand what was human or pre-human and how that related to computation. From there we started looking at language and its encoding in writing and other forms. I was interested in Ogham, as I had recently seen a video about the inclusion of a new space character within Unicode. Izzy had seen at article about Quipu, an Inca language which is encode in strands of rope and has never been fully decoded. Quipu sounded really interested and we thought gave more avenues to explore within the context of the research we were planning so we decided to make that the point through which our research would focus as we looked through the aspects of art theory to which it applied.
I'm happy with the initial direction we took with the project. Encoding of ideas in language is a fundamental aspect of computation. Many years ago at a Ruby conference I heard about the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, that the language you use effects the thoughts that you can have or at leas the way that you think.
We did some initial research and the British Museum has a few Quipu artifacts which aren't unfortunately aren't currently on show. It also has a large standing stone with Ogham engravings on it. We're planning to make a field trip to the museum as part of the project.
This week I visited Modern Couples - Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde at the Barbican. The show has a very unusual curation where it focuses on artists and their relationships and then shows their art from that context. It's highly refreshing and eye-opening since I although I was familiar with a good number of the artist, and know of some of the relationships, such as between Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, most I wasn't aware of. The show also has a focus on the sexuality and relationships styles of the artists and I think aims to show that many of the styles of relationship which British mainstream society is now moving to accept have been occurring for many decades and probably millennia. I also listened to an interesting podcast reviewing the show.
I went to see Ladytron play at the Roundhouse. It was a great gig. I saw them once before in NYC, and the audience seemed a little more subdued this time, but then again we're all a bit older now. After the gig I got to speak to Sam Wiehl who was doing the visuals for the show. He used two MacBooks and then a regular video mixer to switch between them, which seemed sensible as that way if once breaks you can easily switch over, luckily he had no issues during the show at all. I find this kind of VJ type work really interesting, but unsure how to do it or get on to that scene.