April 4, 2017 - A/D/O - Panel discussion: Beyond the Utopia–Dystopia Mindset
e-flux Architecture
April 4, 2017
April 4, 2017

A/D/O

Inaba Williams, MTWTF, Identity, 2017.

Panel discussion: Beyond the Utopia–Dystopia Mindset
With Eva Franch i Gilabert, Storefront for Art and Architecture; Jeffrey Inaba, Inaba Williams; and Glen Cummings, MTWTF
April 6, 2017, 7pm

A/D/O
29 Norman Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
USA

a-d-o.com
Instagram / Twitter / Vimeo / Facebook

Panel discussion: Beyond the Utopia–Dystopia Mindset
With Eva Franch i Gilabert, Storefront for Art and Architecture; Jeffrey Inaba, Inaba Williams; and Glen Cummings, MTWTF
April 6, 2017, 7pm

A/D/O
29 Norman Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
USA

a-d-o.com
Instagram / Twitter / Vimeo / Facebook

The prevailing mindset is that technology is leading us toward either a great human revolution or certain social collapse. But we aren’t tied to one way of seeing the world. Other realities besides this one are possible and designers offer alternative ideas that change our beliefs of how it has to be.

Join Eva Franch i Gilabert, the Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the creators of A/D/O’s current exhibition Utopia—Dystopia for a discussion about designing physical environments that help us look beyond the current Utopian—Dystopian state of mind. The multi-channel video installation is on view as part of A/D/O's inaugural season of programming, "Utopia vs Dystopia: Designing Our Imagined Futures."

The event is free and open to the public. Register here.

The current exhibition, Utopia—Dystopia, by Inaba Williams and MTWTF, consists of 31 suspended video displays presenting new animation works. Highlighting the multitude of hope- and fear-inducing images streaming around us, the exhibition consists of hundreds of photographs compiled into four sets of videos each spanning across multiple video displays with their own distinct narrative, format, and scale. The animations cover four areas of design that will influence our views of technology and the future.

Identity
To be human is to be enhanced by technology. What are the right steps to exceed the limits of the human body in order for people to become their future selves?

Territory
With the help of technology, nature itself can be designed. Can we make nature resilient to the harmful effects of technology, rather than the other way around?

Interface
There is no longer a point of overload. Our processing capacity is limitless. How does this alter the way we design interfaces with technology?

Action
Automation reduces the number of actions we perform. As actions become more frictionless and disconnected from the laws of physics, what kinds of human gestures will designers propose to accomplish physical tasks—from waking up to finding a spouse?

The exhibition
The exhibition aims to prompt discussions about what kinds of environments designers will create in order for us to gain a different perspective about the future uses of technology.

Located closest to the entry are animations showing technology applications to use for our identity, including wearables, body extensions, and life protection, like near death, "condition black" gear.

Further into the exhibition is an animation showing territories where nature and advanced technology coexist. Places like the Cold War missile silos now repurposed as a post-apocalyptic community for the 1% are meant to reveal our belief (valid or not) that nature will endure the most extreme effects of technology.

Compared to the glacial pace of the Territory video, the images of interfaces on the opposite displays appear rapidly to the viewer. Because we can process so much information at one time, interfaces are designed not just at the scale of a screen, but also that of entire rooms.

The final cluster presents a looping video of daily activities that have shortened in time and movement as a result of automation. It proposes an evolutionary timeline of the gestures required for basic human tasks: waking up, eating, getting from A to B, and exchanging goods. By incorporating pixels from one image to the next, the video transitions blend the objects together as they move in smooth conveyor belt-like fashion from left to right across the viewer’s field of vision.

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