Tech Specific Strikes a Chord

Isabelle Choinière, MUE DE L'ANGE, 2002, image courtesy of Suyama Space. Multi-disciplinary artist Fernanda D’Agostino will collaborate with choreographers, sound and video artists to create an interactive environmental performance installation as the final exhibition of the Suyama Space before it closes at the end of 2016

Our long-running Site Specific program went tech in 2015. We invited artists using all kinds of technological mediums to apply for funding, and encouraged designers, fabricators, engineers, developers, media-producers, and more to see themselves as artists. The deadline was in October, and with a record number of applications, it’s clear that this grant tapped into King County’s emerging fascination with the overlap of art and technology. Many hours of evaluation and discussion from a panel of experts later, we’re proud to announce that 20 projects have been recommended for a total of $150,000 in funding! Here are a few highlights—stay tuned for updates as projects take shape over the coming year:

James Coupe, Exercises in Passivity
Exercises in Passivity throws neuroscience, surveillance technology, and sleep states together to explore concepts of privacy, vulnerability, and trust.. The project uses sleep patterns, monitored by observing brain activity and eye movement on EEG equipment, to control a fleet of remote unmanned aerial vehicles—or, drones. Once REM sleep is detected, a drone will take off from a remote location and follow a flight path determined by fluctuations in the data. Where dream patterns are repeated, the drone’s location will be repeated. Where the EEG readings from different subjects coincide, so will the drones’ flightpaths.

Aashish Gadani, Interactive Installation
Founding artists of the new media company Cold Brew Collective will collaborate with a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute to bring Virtual Reality technology and biosignal measurement system—think FitBit—together to create a virtual experience that is created by one’s own body. The artist will measure brain activity and use that data to alter the virtual world a user is experiencing through the “game.” This experiment will utilize the Virtual Reality experience, which traditionally focuses on removing a human from their real setting and body, to further connect users with their own physical realities.

Robb Kunz, Sound/Performance Installation
Using a house or building slated for redevelopment and currently unused as a setting, Kunzt will create an interior sound installation using powerful sound transducers which transform the walls into speakers, as though the walls are literally talking. This work is a sound exhibition and performance based around the rapid gentrification in Seattle and cities around the world. The artist will engage the neighborhood in contributing their thoughts, feelings, and recorded ephemera for inclusion into the sound design. Using custom performance software and hardware he will weave a sound tapestry with 20 to 30 channels of voices and found sounds emanating from the walls, recounting the memories of the neighborhood before falling quiet.

Here is the full list of Tech Specific grant recipients:

Aktionsart, Black Box 3.0
Bellevue Arts Museum, Atoms+Bytes: Redefining Craft in the Digital Age
City of Auburn, Suzanne Tidwell Interactive Ceiling LED Installation and Workshops
James Coupe, Exercises in Passivity
Thomas Deuel, Encephalophone*Ensemble
Jacob Fennell, Places of Solitude
Aashish Gadani, Interactive Installation
Eunice Kim, Nontoxic Print Making at Cedar River Watershed
Robb Kunz, Sound/Performance Installation
One Reel, Brent Watanabe at Bumbershoot
Barbara Polster, Kodochrome Mirage
Tracy Rector, Clearwater, People of the Salish Sea
Tivon Rice, Drone Photogrammetry
Fritz Rodriguez, Viola Organista
Ann Marie Schneider, Non-native
Tony Stuart, Making Music While the Sun Shines
Suyama Space, Generativity
Third Place Tech, Electric Sky
Velocity Dance, Dance Film Track