Considerations of This Future. This Future. This Future.

It is easy to look back into the past and imagine a single moment, that if only changed slightly, would result in a present that is drastically different in some way. This is a thought process in line with the Butterfly Effect, where a tiny change results in drastically new outcomes.

While I believe that it is possible for small changes to echo and bang off of the boundaries of time -- sprinting forward to become ubiquitous in all that there is to observe -- I think that we, as people, do not change with small influences of our environment. I think we try to pawn off who we hope to be onto actions that could or could not have taken place.

"If only I had given that woman my number..."

"If only I had decided to visit the ocean last weekend..."

"If only..."

In these single actions we create a narrative of a turning point that could have caused us to become someone different. But these moments are not turning points. They are small deviations that lead us back to the exact same present (with possibly some better stories sprinkled in). We crash and bounce in a wave towards the future, with opportunity after opportunity presented to define who we are, and it is through The Self that makes the decisions, not the individual decisions themselves, that bring us to the present. It is not mastery to look back and consider who we could have been, but mastery to look forward with an understanding of the past deciding who we will be.

All posted photos of this project are credited to Joe Iano. You can visit more of his work at www.ianophotography.com. I encourage you to do so.

 
 
 
 
 
 

details of a perfect story

What makes a good story?

It is not a static endevor to tell a story that is immersive to the listener. There is an underlaying topology -- structure -- that remains constant through each telling (alhtough even this wears over time like rain water on hills), and then there is the path through this topology that changes dramatically to impart the emotion and reason for fragmenting a certain piece of time from the total experience of onese life.

This path has maximums and minimums created by the topology itself, but it undulates and flows, pauses and rushes forwrd, in order to capture in specific dimensions (words, text, visual images, or even cups), the content of the space of the story. The volume that a story fills, because it is in good stories that we find ourselves witness to a new space.

This piece plays on the content and structure of a story. A topology of wood and fans, with a path of air creating dimensionslity in the cups it interacts with; nine simultaneous points speaking to a path across the space.

 
 
 
 
 

Remember This (version 2013)

Our memories constantly fade. Our synapses create proteins that cause neural networks in our brains to light up and recall a childhood dog or our trip home from work a few weeks ago. Each time we call on a memory, a protein is created again, sometimes different, sometimes maybe not at all, and the memory shifts. It begins to take on a softer hue or maybe attach parts of the current context to what was. Parts that were once important become less so -- the past blends with our current context and setting, taking cues from the us that is in the present.

Remember This is about experiencing this process in an external way. It's a project about realizing the parts of this process that are human alone; the forgetting and damping effects of context. When the machine is turned on it takes an image of the space in front of it, compresses the image to a set of points that best represent that image's composition, and then draws this representation. After finishing this set of points, it takes another image, compresses it, combines that with what it thinks it previously drew, and then draws this new set of points. This process of combing the previous and current point sets is done using a function that has a learning curve to it: over time the function weights variations in the scene (new people or objects) as being less significant if the variations do not alter the scene in a statistically dramatic way. Impact of the machine's memory is dependent on the time since it captured the initial memory (when it was turned on) and how dramatic the variation is of what it is currently looking at compared to what it believes it first looked at.

As the viewer watches, he and the machine are both linked by the process of memory. As the machine draws, the viewer by default will think of previous experiences of watching the drawing take place (whether long ago or just moments before), while his brain feeds him experiences that relate to his current context. As the machine externalizes and tries to mimic in a clinical and objective way the memory of the space between it and viewer, the drawing that is created belongs not to the machine (as it has no way to look at the piece as a whole) or the viewer. It is a memory set aside: external and detached. Maybe this is what we hope our process of memory could achieve, to expel and allow others to fully see and understand our view and experience. But maybe memory that isn't bounded and confined, fading and picking up false facets through new experience and context, isn't memory at all.

 
 
 
 
 

I Want All of This. All of This I Want.

Truth should always be thought of with a lowercase "t". Our knowledge bases -- spiritual, scientific, or other -- are foundations that require from us a continual process. No knowledge base is ever a method for definitively attaining truth, but a vehicle that uses practice or method to continually touch Truth, for a discrete moment of time. It is not in the starting point or the end that Truth is found, but in the process: in the beautiful and agonizingly complex middle.

The statement "I want to be a better person" is empty without reflection on the process to reach the goal. Unless I look at the steps I can take to reach this point, the statement has zero weight or possibility of being realized. The larger and more demanding statement, "I Want All of This. All of This I Want.", speaks to wanting a truth and understanding of the entirety of ones environment. It, like the previous statement, requires a reflection on process to become something other than an ambiguous, empty statement. The machine which writes this continually on the floor is a mirror to us as we get stuck in a place of only focusing on the goals of our lives and not the process: checking items from a list and removing ourselves from the process involved; removing ourselves from the ability to find truth through our actions.

We walk into a room to find this machine continually writing this phrase; this large machine striking awe in us, as its scale dwarfs us and we feel as if we are entering a temple of some other entity. What we are seeing, though, is a mirror of ourselves. And as our feet scuff the chalk writing on the floor, and the machine's process suddenly becomes the point of focus because of our interaction with it, we come to find truth in this place. We see that the shadow that this machine casts, which engulfs us, is a shadow of ourselves. That we maintain this ability to find truth through our attention to process and a desire to fill the space in which we stand. This room with this machine becomes a shrine for the process of finding Truth and a testament to our ability to create Truth from within.

< p> This project is in collaboration with Olson Kundig Architects. All renderings, photos, and mockups were completed by Olson Kundig Architects. Visit them here: http://www.olsonkundigarchitects.com/. There are some very nice, talented people there.

All posted photos of this project are credited to Joe Iano. You can visit more of his work at www.ianophotography.com. I encourage you to do so.

 
 
 
 
 

this time we see, this time we feel

The sensation of time is an intrinsic part of any place, but it is a piece of a place that is impossible to take with you when you leave and almost equally as hard to explain to someone who has never been. When I think of what creates this divide, I see the events that we use to delineate our day and the subtlety with which we choose these events. These events are markers for the passage of time and yet the knowledge we have of what these events are for ourselves is sometimes very limited, if known at all.

Time passes when we become aware of the afternoon sun on our skin or pick our child up from school. Or maybe time passes with morning prayer or southern winds that we hear as they blossom in the evening.

What is interesting about these events is how they are shared and perceived by people living in the same place. My neighbor and I may share a segment of events that we delineate our day with, but there are entire spectrums of our lives that get encompassed in time in much different ways. These are due to our lifestyles not being entirely identical as well as the way we have positioned ourselves to perceive our surroundings, whether through beliefs or aesthetics.

“this time we see, this time we feel”, allow us to see time in its entirety as perceived in one place. Gathering information from webcams throughout Bangkok, the machine learns to mark video with what it perceives to be significant events occurring within the different feeds. The way it chooses to mark and differentiate significant events in each feed is self-learned and entirely based on the raw video data. The machine then divides the wall into drifting segments which it draws geometric representations showing the relationship of these events occurring across all the different video feeds. Given that each pass along the wall is drawn within a bounded segment of the wall, a single line from left to right (or right to left) can be seen as being analogous to a heartbeat monitor.

A final aspect of the piece is the roll of the viewer themselves in feedback with the piece. One of the video feeds comes from within the gallery itself. In this way the viewer is able to embed themselves in this mechanized process of capturing a complete sense of time across the many lives and nuances of a single place. And just as they have been woven into the machines sensation of time by entering the space, the machine itself has been woven into the viewers sense of time by their awareness and intent of having entered the space.

 
 
 
 
 

we turn our heads towards the light (or wander aimlessly in the dark)

This piece was created to take advantage of the physical space where it was installed as well as mimic the way the space was used as an architecture firm. The wall itself was constantly bathed in light from an overhead skylight, creating a shifting pattern of light and shadow. By using a series of light sensors positioned around the stylus, the machine can determine where locally around it the wall is brightest. At each drawing interval it locates the two brightest areas around it and then moves in a direction weighted between these two areas. The length of line it draws is based on the brightness differential of where it currently is compared to the average of the area around it. In areas that are overall bright the machine draws short line segments, while in darker or more varied areas it ends up drawing longer line segments in an attempt to end up in consistently bright areas.

The machine, in a sense, basks in the light of the wall, content and lethargic, while becoming anxious and restless when faced with being in shadows. In this way the machine not only is interacting with the physical environment of the space -- the cycle of light -- but is mimicking aspects of the creative process that take place around it as well; we feel the bliss of finding creative solutions, yet these moments are always followed by a time where clarity seems to allude us persistently.

All posted photos of this project are credited to Joe Iano. You can visit more of his work at www.ianophotography.com. I encourage you to do so.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Talk to me.

Drop me a line if you want to talk about anything: mark@markvonrosenstiel.com. You can also find me on Skype (mvonrose) if you're a voice sort of person.