[ISEA2019] Artist Statement: Johnny DiBlasi — hidden layer (2019)

Artist Statement

ISEA2019 Residency Programme. With the Asian Culture Institute and as ACT Showcase – ISEA2019 X Creators in Lab.

In the United States “precision farming” is the term used to describe the processes of using technologies and sensors to gather data to target resources to crop production. These technologies are tools understand, monitor, and control organic systems. Johnny DiBlasi’s work is an ongoing inquiry into these invisible data structures within the landscape. He creates public interfaces where all these various inputs—specifically data signals, the public, and the broader ecology—are connected, and a tension with and awareness of the invisible digital architecture is explored through the public’s experience.

hidden layer is a site-specific and interactive installation that utilizes sensors to gather data from various spaces both in the natural environment and the constructed urban spaces around the site of the artwork. Various biosensors are setup within the space that capture organic and environmental information and transcode this data into physical form and light. This data will drive the representation of a large physical grid or mesh comprised of strands of light emitting diodes while live sound waves create a sonic representation at the site. Codec explores how can this bio-data can be captured and its potential to generate a new interactive aesthetic experience of the local ecosystems.

  • Johnny DiBlasi, USA. Johnny DiBlasi’s creative practice sits at the intersection of art and technology and explores various computational processes and forms. He works with data and code to create large-scale, interactive installations that fuse site-specific data structures into a physical architecture. Through this work, DiBlasi is interested in the complex relationships between our landscape and its networked technologies. DiBlasi is Assistant Professor of Scientific Visualization and Digital Media in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State University. He earned an MFA from the Photographic and Electronic Media program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. Prior to that he received a BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston. DiBlasi teaches studio courses in video and computational media courses, and he explores topics in data visualization, biosensors, and machine learning through his research-based practice. Along with a few other engineers and artists, DiBlasi co-founded the artist collective {exurb whose practice spans a range various media.