Performative Apparatus and Diffractive Practices: An Account of Artificial Life Art. Jane Prophet and Helen Pritchard
Drawing on our own art/science practices and a series of interviews with artificial life practitioners, we explore the entanglement of developments at the artistic edges of artificial life. We start by defining key terms from Karen Baradʼs agential realism. We then diffractively read artificial life together with agential realism to discuss the potential for interventions in the field. Through a discussion of artificial life computer simulations, ideas of agency are problematized, and artificial lifeʼs single purposeful actor, the agent, is replaced by agential, an adjective denoting a relationship rather than a subject-object duality. We then seek to reinterpret the difficult-to-define term “emergence.” Agency in artificial life emerges through what Barad calls entanglement, in this case between observers and their apparatus, a perpetual engagement between observations of a system and their interpretations. The article explores the differences that this diffractive perspective makes to artificial life and accounts of its materialization.
Citation: Jane Prophet and Helen Pritchard. Performative Apparatus and Diffractive Practices: An Account of Artificial Life Art. Artificial Life 2015 21:3, 332-343
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(Projection) mapping the brain: a critical cartographic approach to the artist’s use of fMRI to study the contemplation of death.
This paper discusses the author’s artwork, Neuro Memento Mori, a self-portrait comprising digital animations and live action video projection-mapped onto a 3D print. The life-sized sculpture of the head and neck, dissected to reveal the artist’s brain, was produced from MRI data gathered as the artist viewed memento mori paintings and meditated on death. The production of the artwork, made with neuroscientists, explores the relationship between the so-called frontier of neuroscience, data and the map. The use of computation to produce neuroimages, 3D prints and projected video is discussed from the perspective of critical cartography.
Citation: Prophet, J. 2015. (Projection) mapping the brain: a critical cartographic approach to the artist’s use of fMRI to study the contemplation of death. Art Paper, SIGGRAPH Asia, Kobe, Japan,2015
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Catalogue for Modelling Psychosis. Artist’s eBook PDF of exhibition with images, artist’s statement and essay by Ron Broglio
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Recognizing Patterns By Touch
Based on the Heart and Swab Drawings projects this short paper discusses collaborative work, observing and discussing different individuals’ everyday creativity can provoke insights and awareness and promote transdisciplinary research. This is an illustrated account of one collaborative project and seeks to show that there may be advantages to recognizing patterns that others’ see when engaged in their everyday activities. View and download PDF.
SE Asian Ubicomp and ALife: Roaming and Homing with TechnoSphere 2.0 Computational Companions
Remember Jane’s artificial life project from the 1990s made with Gordon Selley? This paper offers some ideas for a new version using augmented reality and 3D printing and is influenced by Jane’s experience of living in Hong Kong.We consider the increasingly blurred boundaries between what has been termed the online/offline binary through a discussion of the design and first stage implementation of a ubiquitous ALife project, TechnoSphere 2.0. This series of Android applications (apps) use augmented reality, GPS, 2D and 3D printing to create mixed reality environments in which the lives, artificial and otherwise, of people and online creatures, as well as online and offline spaces, are blended. The design of these apps is situated in the specific ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) environment, the milieu, of Hong Kong and South East Asia. View and download PDF.
Jane has been interested in ideas relating to the ‹model›for many years
and this has been expressed in her explorations of model (‹scaled-down› and ‹ideal›) landscapes. Here she writes about Psychosis and compulsive writing. Over the course of 25 years she has been the unwilling recipient of hundreds of letters, ranging in length from two words, to almost a hundred pages long. All have been written to, and about, Jane by a delusional stalker diagnosed as suffering from psychosis. Her interest in ‹modeling› psychosis is driven by this experience – she feels compelled to understand his state of mind, the better to protect herself and as a way of facing her fear. To induce a psychotic episode in herself is to close the gap between them, to resist the urge to make the man who stalks her ‹other›, to immerse herself in my own unconscious, however uncomfortable. What ‹rules› might define that behaviour – how might she make a model of compulsive writing? She experimented by conducting her own compulsive writing projects, ‹modelling› herself on one compulsive writer (Emma Hauck) in order to understand another. She also analysed the components of some compulsively written texts (the form of the handwriting, the objects described in the texts) to gain insights about the author. This paper forms the background to a series of her artworks: Bad Hand, Second Skin, Manifestations and Taking Your Hand View and download PDF.
The Artist in the Laboratory: Co-operating (T)reasonably
This was based on a presentation Jane did responding to the challenge of whether the differences between cultures of new media art and mainstream contemporary art could be bridged. This was a panel called “New Media, Art-Science and Contemporary Art: Towards a Hybrid Discourse?” at the College Arts association, New York in 2011. The title uses collaborator in its less popular sense: “To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one’s country”. The notion of the collaborator is immediately problematized and I will briefly introduce ways in which art-science collaborations can be seen as treasonable co-operations, by arbiters of taste from both the arts and the sciences. In brief, I will suggest that before rapprochement can take place, we need a more nuanced understanding of the gaps between art made with new media, mainstream contemporary art and sciart. My paper, drawing on my own experiences as an artist who has exhibited in all three circuits (with greater and lesser success) will seek to map this no man’s land, this gap. My intention is to explore the nature of the gap between the discourses of mainstream contemporary art, new media, and sciart in order that we might better traverse it. View and download PDF.
More papers are located on Jane’s academic listing at Academia.Edu