[ISEA2016] Artist Statement: BRAD TODD — COLLIMATION

Artist Statement

Installation, 2015–2016

“Collimation” is composed of two microscopes watching and recording each other and a three screen projection which visualizes the process of interpretive analysis occurring within the software. The system acts as a rudimentary form of AI, where the visual stimuli is translated, in a performative act of seeing, in the centre image (which is comprised of the two microscope feeds concatenated into one). The resulting data is then transposed first to the image on the left, taking the form of a neuron and is responsive in both emergent growth and behavior. The data chain continues, flowing to the right hand image of a neuron. In a “mirror neuron” scenario, this image is influenced by the actions of the first and independently reacts and generates its own growth patterns and behaviors. The audio created by the apparatus itself, coupled with a composed score is introduced into the system where it too acts upon the behavior and responsivity of the images. The systems behavior is, in a mimetic sense, reflective of several kinds of processes which operate under acts of translation and analysis. The parsing of information, existing as it does at the very foundations of embodied cognition, is central to our understanding of the bodies, networks and ecosystems in which we exist. In the installation, the visual instantiation of complex notions of being collide with features of surveillance and even further into cartographic renderings of both the microscopic, in the form of neuronal imagery to the macro in terms of alluding to the mapping and visualization of connectivity (through data analytics) within socio-geo-political bodies.

Other Credits: Elie Zananiri, Dix2 & Ian Ilavsky

  • BRAD TODD (Canada)’s current research and work focus on installation and sculptural based explorations of a diverse range of themes which are rooted in an underlying context of philosophical inquiry, embracing natural and synthetic systems, networked and augmented objects and reactive or sensitive spaces. Todd is chiefly interested in the interstices between (“soft”) science (specifically cognition, perception and biology/ psychology) and technology and the tenets of conceptual, critical and poetic art making practices. In an increasingly tech saturated environment, the ubiquity of computing has an unprecedented role in shaping our response to space, object, architecture and the screen. As an artist or designer tasked with both creating and examining these rapid changes, the problematic becomes one of how to use the new material and language this process of nearinvasive technology engenders to enact a meaningful dialogue about the promise and peril of a technophilic culture. The practice of probing our psychological/psychoanalytical relationship to technology is a key factor in Todd’s projects, as is uncovering the latent connections between techne and our biological, social and political selves. In light of this the use of emergent technologies in his work acts as a catalyst for articulating, embodying and critiquing. teleshadow.net

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 266-267