Scattered Light

@ National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia



Scattered Light visualizes reflections of museum visitors on the concept of ‘freedom’. It uses a selection of videos taken from the museum’s ‘It’s Your Story’ recording booths video database, where visitors are recorded sharing their associations on ‘freedom’.

A machine rides along a 9 meter rail, printing selected sentences and frames from the video collection. The printed faces and texts fade away as time passes, pointing to temporariness and fragility.

The machine writes on a large wall painted with an ultra-violate sensitive pigment. While passing over the surface, it turns on and off 96 UV LEDs in a carefully timed sequence, exposing the surface to UV and temporarily creating dots and dashes on the surface. Those are added into texts and images. Once a visual is printed, the machine turns and prints a new one on it fading memory.

Scattered Light was commissioned by National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia (January 2015)
Curator Dr. Josh Perelman






Read more...

People You May Know | Solo Exhibition @ Hansen House, Jerusalem

Curator Karni Barzilay
6 Dec 2014 - 16 Jan 2015


Curator Text:

Currently, the way we consume knowledge and information about people around us has changed. Our technological reality has created a distanced from the human-personal experience, translated into algorithms, codes, shapes, and is more mediated than ever. This change enables exposure to massive amounts of varied data; it is also a tool through which to study today's human behavior. New Media theorist Lev Manovich sees the emergence of social media in the mid-2000s as an opportunity to study social and cultural processes, through the ability to read and comment on, listen and follow the opinions, ideas and feelings of hundreds of millions of people, where there is no need to ask their permission.

In the past, social and cultural studies relied on two types of data: Surface Data, which is about lots of people, and Deep Data, which deals with few individuals or small groups. The first approach was mainly used in fields and methodologies that adapted quantitative data analysis such as statistics and mathematics. The second approach was typical of humanities and used for the fields of literature, arts and history. With the rise of social media, along with the development of computational tools that can process massive amounts of data, online information has become a data base for social study, in which it is no longer necessary to choose between quantitative and qualitative methods. Today it is possible to learn from knowledge and insights created by a mass of people, which are available via internet, thus to combine the two study approaches and their underlying types of data.

Liat Segal's first solo exhibition deals with the relationship between the human and the technological, as well as the way the self is represented in social media. The exhibition consists of four installations that light up the question of a personal dimension in a technological environment and the relationship between human and mechanical behavior. Segal's works combine components and elements of mechanics, software and electronics, which are influenced by the field of software and big data analysis, her previous fields of occupation. She uses these to examine the tension between the quantitative and content-related approaches, between the general and the unique, between the masses and the individual.

The title of the exhibition – People You May Know is drawn from Facebook's suggestion to its users, to connect with other users in order to expand their circle of friends. As a rhizomatic data mechanism operating by the principle of interpersonal connections expansion, this Facebook suggestion raises questions about the types of relationships and our identity's definition within Facebook. Segal's quest for the possibility of a personal identity, personalization and intimacy to exist on the internet, has led her to use the Facebook platform as a case study as well as a field of study from which she samples data for her works.

The sound installation People You May Know consists of a collection of audio speakers hanging in the gallery space. Each playing monologues taken from personal Facebook profiles of the artist's friends. These sentences that she reads, using the first person form, are personal and revealing. Segal acts as a researcher, processing and categorizing the texts as social data in a pseudo-scientific "experiment" of profiles identities and narratives identification and appropriation. She thus creates a process of a new identity formation which is composed of multiple voices and narratives sampled from Facebook.

The voice moves in space in a way which is determined by an algorithm that chooses the movement course in real time, it creates a sense of a speaker walking in the gallery. Although the voice lacks body or identity, it does have a location in space, which is represented in the work Location 2.0 exhibited in the adjacent space. Using shining objects that are originally used as a survival rescue blanket to maintain body temperature, this work represents a mathematical graph of the voice movement in space. The objects hanging on the wall are inflated in accordance with an x and y axis system while pointing to the location of voice in space. Although she uses a mathematical model that supposedly represents the world, the model's physical expression is very much momentary, made of air.

In the installation Writing Machine, a computerized machine is drawing with a paintbrush and water on the gallery floor. Repeatedly and endlessly, the machine scribbles names taken from the artist's list of virtual friends. One by one, the names are written down and then erased (evaporated). The act of drawing makes some of the individual identities present for a moment within the masses, while revealing an additional layer to Segal's entire process in this exhibition – the destruction and reconstruction of identity representations. The mass of cylinders, installation Placeholder at the Hansen House patio presents a coded image – the well-known Facebook face icon. This image is made of a surface covered with roll shaped bodies, originally used as a cosmetics product packages, dark on one side and silver on the other. Together, they create an entire image, a sort of material translation of pixels, where in one particular moment and location of the spectator's sight, this translation consolidates into a generic face. The well-known face icon represents the moment when we join Facebook, the first step of identity construction in it. That very "determining moment" when we change this generic image into our own profile picture poses a question: Have we turned from an icon into a private person, or are we just another statistic in the virtual space?

Karni Barzilay

Wrote about the exhibition:

Haaretz
Preview

Read more...

Sand Printer | Future Regressive



Future Regressives are futuristic fossils drawn by a mechanical printer on a mixture of sand and salt. These fossils contain many details, as if they were drawn by an extremely accurate and never fatigue hand.
In contrast to the past fossils, the future regressives have a short memory. Once drawn they will be easily erased, allowing new visuals to appear and be forgotten.

Sand Fish stop motion animation | Digital images are physically drawn by the printer. The sand prints are photographed and returned to the digital space in the form of stop-motion animation:



Sand Printer was built for the Venice Biennale 2014 Israeli Pavilion in collaboration with Guy Hoffman.




Read more...

Confession Machine



The Confession Machine prints online texts that fade away as time passes, just like the confession itself. The machine prints on a surface painted with an ultra violate sensitive pigment. While passing over the surface, it turns on and off 16 UV LEDs in a carefully timed sequence, temporarily creating dots and dashes on the surface. Those are added into letters, words and sentences.

The intimate and revealing printed texts are taken from social networks, showing the lightness of confessions via online channels today. People today willingly share personal details of their lives via the digital medium. At the same time the importance people give to online confessions is small and temporary in its nature. One sees a reviling status, may get excited, like, comment, even share, and forget it. That is the life cycle of an online confession.
It is also a paradox as all this personal information now stays on a virtual limbo, forever exposed.

The Confession Machine uses the technology of repeatable writing using light (developed by the Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem) to show the temporary nature and lightheadedness of online confessions. A confession is printed and fades away. A new confession immediately takes our attention. Sometime a confession starts fading ever before the entire sentence was completed.

The Confession machine was commissioned by Artists' Residence Herzelya, January 2014.





Wrote about the Confession Machine:

Gizmodo
Gizmag
Notcot

Read more...

Hatch | Amsterdam Light Festival

by Liat Segal & Hagar Elazari



The Hatch is a peephole to endless inner depths. It's a kinetic light sculpture half buried in the ground. Standing afar, it looks like a transparent cube covering illuminated sticks resembling a ladder. When looking from above, one sees an endless tunnel to the bottom of the earth.
The Hatch is manipulating space, building an infinite chamber through light.

The work was commissioned by the Amsterdam Light Festival, December 2013 and by the Jerusalem Light Festival, June 2014.



The sculpture is placed between a mirror and a half transparent mirror, behind which the viewer stands, seeing endless reflections.




Read more...

Wall To Wall Carpeting

by Liat Segal & Shahar Binyamini
Dancers: Iyar Elezra, Shamel Pitts



Three hundred liters of paint are slowly flowing through the dance studio, changing the space. The change is so slow that it is hard to notice at any single moment. As time goes by, however, one may suddenly realize that the world has completely changed.
The work was presented for the first time as part of Plaza 2013 at Bat Sheva Dance Company.

Read more...

Microfilm

@ Elsewhere Gallery by Adi Dahan | Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art



Elsewhere Gallery is a temporary gallery founded by Adi Dahan under the exhibition "Rising Star" in the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art. The gallery itself operates outside the museum walls and is being broadcasted back to museum through a web video call.

The work is making use of two machines built by Segal; the first (Heart for the tin man, 2012) is a painting machine, dropping acrylic paint on the surface below it at precise amounts and positions. The machine was used for painting in response to voices and music that surrounded it. This work results in a series of paintings, each one originated by a different source of information. While the paintings seem chaotic they actually have structure. As in many cases, the alleged randomness is a result of a sequence of strict choices.
By minor changes to the machine settings and replacing its painting device with a macro lens camera, the painting machine transforms into a scanner, scanning its own former outputs. This second machine results in the video work. The scanner navigates along the paintings as if they were a map and the paint drops were a topographic landscape. The macro lens reveals details that are invisible to the naked eye, some of which look as if they were taken by a lab’s microscope.

The new system works in interaction with museum visitors. Visitor’s motions are captured by video, affecting in real time the scanner’s navigation as a physical-human remote control.
The flow in this work is circular. Digital data gets a physical-mechanical manifestation, then sampled back into the digital world.

The name of the work “Microfilm” implies the analogue data storage mechanism that was in use before today’s digital data storage systems. Segal’s machine gives a strong association to the movements, magnification visuals and sounds of the old school microfilm reader.


Read more...

Heart for the Tin Man | A Show of Robotic Action Painting & Music

by Liat Segal & Assaf Talmudi



Does a machine, any machine, create alienation just by virtue of being a machine? The answer, as far as we are concerned, is negative. The performance Heart for the Tin Man is a celebration of homemade machines, which have nothing to do with usefulness or usability – in the sense we usually attach to these terms.

At the centre of the performance stands a large robot, painting enormous abstract paintings in acrylic. The robot paints on a large canvas in response to the human voices and musical instruments that surround it. The audio and visual structures are open, and only subordinated to the interaction between the robotic parts and the human playing.

Heart for the Tin Man was the opening show at Fresh Paint 5.

During the show Assaf Talmudi (accordion), along with our special guests Shlomi Shaban (piano) and Ronald Boersen (violin), played music which in turn activated the painting machine and twelve robotic drums.

The sound was translated automatically at real time to movements of the painting machine and the release of acrylic paint by four pumps.


Read more...

The Originals Factory




The Originals Factory is a fusing together and questioning digital, mechanic and plastic approaches to art, abstraction and originality. It is basically a DIY robot, built and programmed to create landscape paintings in the style of American abstract expressionism.
The computer system uses real time video input to control motor movement and pump actions to release paint drops on a large canvas. The drops are then drawn downwards courtesy of gravity, leaving thin colorful line marks.

Paintings by the Original Factory

The Originals Factory was first presented at the DLD Tel Aviv conference in November 2011.



The graphical language achieved by this mechanism is a language of lines. Instead of pixels creating the image, we get vertical graphical units, or Vixels.
Our mechanism allows us to control a few parameters for each such Vixel; its Horizontal position, length and color.



Other types of online data were used for prints, such as Google Trends and real time generated surveys.





Wrote about the project:

Make Magazine
Hackaday
Laughing Squid

Read more...

Interactive bus stop for Pepsi Max



An interactive bus stop in Tel Aviv, made for Pepsi Max Isreal with Alenbi Concept House.
Director: Vania Heymann. Producer: Lihu Roter.

Read more...

IOIO-Android based Cellular Wall Printer




What if people would expose and visualize their SMS text messages on buildings? If your Facebook status would be printed on a real, physical wall? What if you really checked in when you check in?
The wall printer takes the wall status concept back to physical dimensions.
Wall Printer
Inspired by old-school pin printers, the wall printer is a manually held device using seven markers to print digital messages on any flat surface. Seven individually controlled servo motors move the markers up and down, drawing dots and dashes.
When you manually slide the printer over a wall, the servo motions are carefully timed to produce text messages.

Connected to a cell phone, the printer can be directly fed by SMS text messages, Facebook statuses, GPS coordinates or practically by any other digital data source.
It uses a IOIO board to connect the physical electronic parts to an Android device and control them from an Android application.




Sweet Tech Studio

Sweet Tech Studio and IOIO





























This project was done with help and advice by Ytai Ben Tsvi, IOIO inventor and friend :)











Wrote about the project:

Make Magazine
Engadget
Neatorama
Next President
Talk Android
Cube Me
Microsiervos (Spanish)
Creep.ru (Russian)
Androidworld.it (Italian)
Semageek (French)

Read more...

Robotic drums party installation


Robotic drumsticks were playing on steel barrels at an abandoned textile factory party, Bar Yochai, Tel Aviv.
Beats were generated automatically, at real time, according to the music played by the DJ.

The system listens to the music played, analyses it and controls the drumstick's beats accordingly.
People choose which drumstick play at any given time by making shadows on them.
Read more...