News

Seminar

October 9, 2019 ―
October 11, 2019

Alter-Eco | Alternative Economies and Ecologies Colloquium and Seminar

9-11 October 2019
Fort St. Elmo, Malta
In MALTA
https://alternateeconomies.weebly.com/

Convened by The European Graduate School and Synthesis@ASU, this colloquium-seminar proposes an intense, multifaceted examination of contemporary developments in finance and economy.  These developments, we feel, demand the kind of cross-disciplinary philosophical and critical reflection for which the EGS constantly strives in its effort to the think the conditions and possibilities of our being in the contemporary world.  It is the latter orientation that leads us to pursue our questioning of phenomena such as computational finance with an eye to the way in which any thought of alternative economic structures must be accompanied by questions about possible alternative ecologies.   As we develop our thinking on contemporary and future economies in the course of the seminar, we hope to make the latter phrase — alternative ecologies — more meaningful and poignant.

Unfolding over 18 hours, with a team of a half-dozen seminar leaders, experts and students alike will examine the axioms scaffolding contemporary finance and computational capitalism, and explore ethico-aesthetic-practical alternatives with ecological concern.

Presentation

October 7, 2019

Alter-Eco | Alternative Economies and Ecologies

7 Oct  2019
4:00-6:00 PM EST
Public Event · Hosted by
Building 21, McGill University, Montreal Canada

What’s the state of the art in contemporary computational capitalism and algorithmic finance, unintended consequences, and alternative economies-ecologies

Presentation

October 3, 2019

Prototyping Social Forms

3 Oct 2019
5:30 – 7:00 PM EST
Public Event · Hosted by
Building 21, McGill University, Montreal Canada

Exploiting a fusion of art, science, conceptual and experiential methods, the ateliers will prototype and assess how people experience technologies, products, services in plausible, thick social settings. We will build a knowledge enterprise: ateliers for prototyping at lifescale, the lived, whole experience of social forms, such as places: home, city, street; events: play, meal, learning; or infrastructures: finance, governance, energy. Scaling our techniques for creating augmented experiences, we will prototype homes, streets, parts of buildings, parks and playgrounds to the degree needed to get a sense of what it would be like to actually live with those forms.

We can kick off discussion with two on-going streams of work at Synthesis@ASU
• Food and the theater of objects
• Participatory steering of complex adaptive systems (e.g. weather, urban heatscapes)

https://www.facebook.com/events/399685117414334/

Presentation

September 18, 2019 ―
September 19, 2019

Prototyping Social Forms: Research-Creation Ateliers with Sha Xin Wei

Director, Sha Xin Wei has been invited to the University of Boulder, CO to give a presentation about Prototyping Social Forms.

September 18 & 19, 2019

More Information

Presentation

September 17, 2019

Haakon Faste

Haakon Faste,

HCI / Interaction Design / Robotics

California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

 

http://www.haakonfaste.com/

Residency

September 16, 2019 ―
September 18, 2019

ILYA 2019 Workshop

ILYA 2019 workshop at Synthesis@ASU, Tempe, Arizona

 

Collaborators:

Julian Stein

Todd Ingalls

Pete Weisman

Connor Rawls

Event

October 9, 2019 ―
September 11, 2019

Alter-Eco | Alternative Economies and Ecologies Colloquium and Seminar

Convened by The European Graduate School and Synthesis@ASU, this colloquium-seminar proposes an intense, multifaceted examination of contemporary developments in finance and economy.  These developments, we feel, demand the kind of cross-disciplinary philosophical and critical reflection for which the EGS constantly strives in its effort to the think the conditions and possibilities of our being in the contemporary world.  It is the latter orientation that leads us to pursue our questioning of phenomena such as computational finance with an eye to the way in which any thought of alternative economic structures must be accompanied by questions about possible alternative ecologies.   As we develop our thinking on contemporary and future economies in the course of the seminar, we hope to make the latter phrase — alternative ecologies — more meaningful and poignant.
Unfolding over 18 hours, with a team of a half-dozen seminar leaders, experts and students alike will examine the axioms scaffolding contemporary finance and computational capitalism, and explore ethico-aesthetic-practical alternatives with ecological concern.

We will work in tandem with a public event in Valletta that will attract distinguished participants from around the world with significant expertise in the areas central to the seminar: cryptocurrency, blockchain, and new technologies of finance and governance.  Some individuals participating in that event may join us, and we plan to join the public event in an evening discussion on a day to be determined at the Mediterranean Conference Center, which adjoins our meeting site: the Fort St. Elmo.​

We adopt the format of a condensed EGS credit-bearing seminar: six sessions of three hours over the course of three days.  We envision the order of topics below, with a provisional assignment of discussion leaders who will offer more or less formal presentations, allowing for thorough discussion.   Following seminar format, we will provide background references or materials recommended for review ahead of time.

A potential outcome is discovering ways to prototype, experience, and assess alternative economies and ecologies.

Accommodations

EGS students may check out EGS Malta Accommodation link.   Malta has many options in Valletta near Fort St. Elmo.

Fees

Email EGS Admissions. and mention your status, e.g.: student not in EGS | non-student | EGS student Masters or PhD

Links

Register for seminar | website

Email: admissions@egs.edu | sha.xin.wei@egs.edu | xinwei.sha@asu.edu
asu.academia.edu/xinweisha | synthesis.ame.asu.edu​ | topologicalmedialab.net

Presentation

June 23, 2019

Evening Talk: Ensemble Gesture, Responsive Media and Enactive Experience

Evening Talk: Ensemble Gesture, Responsive Media and Enactive Experience
23 June 2019, 20:30 CET
Sha Xin Wei

European Graduate School
Saas-Fee, Switzerland

 

 

We will recap a few moments from a stream of experimental collective and relational approaches to gesture as enactive, embodied sense-making.  I’ll introduce how we create our experiential experiments with custom responsive environments and realtime responsive, gesturally modulated media –– and why.  Along the way, this can open into larger discussions about abductive method, radical empiricism, doing vs naming (enacting vs. representing), and technologies of representation >  performance.

 

 

Synthesis references and videos:
• https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/demo
• http://synthesiscenter.net/projects/rhythmanalysis/

Presentation

June 23, 2019 ―
June 29, 2019

Arts of Time, lecture series

Arts of Time, lecture series
23-29 June 2019
Sha Xin Wei
European Graduate School
Saas-Fee, Switzerland
https://arts-of-time-egs.weebly.com

We explore time, or the sense of time, as an effect of event, dynamic, change, rather than an index.  This philosophical seminar accompanies a workshop on composing responsive environments.

Presentation

June 22, 2019

Third Science Colloquium: Nonstandard Times

Third Science Colloquium: Nonstandard Times
22 June 2019
Sha Xin Wei

European Graduate School
Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Third EGS Science Colloquium.  With Elie During (on the formal character of time or logical time) and Jean-Michel Salanskis (time in maths and contemporary philosophy), Chris Fynsk (rhythm), SXW (rhythm and textural temporality: experience without subject and duration as effect)

Presentation

June 11, 2019

Brain on Art / Cancun 2019: Graphonomics and Your Brain on Art, Creativity and Innovation

“Exploring Affective Responsive Engagement by Augmenting Multiple Human Sensations”

June 11, 2019

Yanjun Lyu

https://igs2019-boa.egr.uh.edu/schedule

Seminar

April 23, 2019 ―
April 26, 2019

Lifescale Prototyping and Participatory Steering of Complex Systems

23-26 April 2019

Synthesis Center, Matthews Center 222, ASU

950 Cady Mall, Tempe AZ 85281

MASTER WICKED PROBLEM

How can a group of people with incommensurate epistemic cultures come together to develop a shared, intuitive understanding of a complex bio-social situation by creating, playing, and steering experiential simulations as well as representations? How can a group of people with incommensurate value frameworks decide how to jointly navigate complex bio-social situations?

 

BACKGROUND

In February, Synthesis presented work on steerable simulations at the workshop on New Participatory Approaches to Steering and Evaluation of Complex Adaptive Systems (PSCAS), hosted by the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) at The University of Surrey. Joined by participants from the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand, Mexico, and Japan, several projects emerged from the workshop, including Steerable Urban Systems, aligning with Synthesis’ work in steerable simulations and evolving Life-scale Prototyping stream.

 

PARTICIPANTS

This group will be visiting Synthesis from April 21-28 to discuss potential projects and funding moving forward. Visitors from the PSCAS workshop will include:

 

Prof. Petra Ahrweiler, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, CECAN

Professor of Technology and Innovation Assessment, Institute of Sociology

 

Modeling component interactions between epistemic/cognitive and social aspects of scientific creativity and technological innovation, sociology, economics, political science, theology, journalism, occidental rationalism and typologies of theory-based sense-making, artificial intelligence, network simulations of scientific theories and innovation projects

 

Ryuta Aoki, Co-Founder & CEO Alternative Machines, Inc., Founder & CEO VOLOCITEE Inc., Founder & Curator TEDxKids@Chiyoda, Founder & Director Art Hack Day, Co-founder & Director, TAICOLAB, TEA-ROOM, and ALIFE Lab

Engaging in concept design, creative direction, project production, and business development in art, science, and the cultural field. Established ALife Lab in conjunction with Takashi Ikegami in complexity science and artificial life at the University of Tokyo, and Mizuki Oka in web science at Tsukuba University to apply theories of technology of Artificial Life to benefit society.

Concept design, creative direction, project production, and business development in art, science and the cultural field; community design and management; bio-inspired artificial intelligence and robotics

 

Dr. Beth Cullen, Monsoon Assemblages, University of Westminster

Research Fellow, Monsoon Assemblages: interdisciplinary design-driven inquiry into the impacts of changing monsoon climates and processes of rapid urbanisation in three South Asian cities. Exploring how people conceive of, experience and respond to monsoon weather in the context of three focal cities, Chennai, Dhaka, and Yangon, and the wider region.

 

Human-environment relations, environmental anthropology, participatory video, collaborative ethnographic research, visual methods for communicating tacit, embodied, and sensory knowledge, participatory methods, permaculture, co-design, more-than-human participatory approaches.

 

Demian Frank, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Sociology and political science, sociology and sports, legitimisation of technology in competitive sports, media evaluation, virtual and mixed reality in the museum context, agent-based modeling, long-term effects of participatory interventions on social systems, intuition of complex systems

 

Dr. Alex Penn, CECAN, University of Surrey

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, a collaboration between academics, policy professionals, and the UK government to generate novel, cutting-edge methods for evaluating policy for complex systems.

 

Participatory complexity science methodologies for decision makers and system stakeholders to explore interdependencies between social, ecological, economic, and political factors in their complex adaptive systems – and to design and evaluate complexity appropriate system interventions. Currently working with UK government applying to rapidly changing complex policy spaces; Agriculture, land management and rural economies and energy security. Also working with stakeholders and communities using methods in water catchment issues and “industrial ecosystems”; in particular looking at the transition to bio-based economy in a region of heavy industry and fossil fuel energy generation in the Humber Estuary, UK.

 

Physics, cybernetics / complexity science, evolutionary biology, artificial life, philosophy of biology, microbial ecosystems, permaculture, design approaches for synthetic ecology and hybrid living systems, participatory systems mapping, fuzzy cognitive mapping, network theory, policy appraisal and evaluation for complex systems, participatory steering of complex adaptive systems

 

Dr. Jesus Mario Siqueiros-García, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Researcher at IIMAS and LANCIS, UNAM. Former director Academic Development, National Bioethics Commision of Mexico. Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genomic Medicine at the National Institute for Genomic Medicine of Mexico (INMEGEN).

 

4E: Enactivism and Affordance Theory, Computational social science, social complex systems, sustainability science, ethnology, cultural anthropology, philosophy of biology, transformations to sustainability, relationships between culture and nature, epistemological and ontological bases of sustainability science and anthropology, phenomenological perspectives on complex systems, cognitive maps, complex network analysis, social web mining, ethnography, phenomenological interviews

 

Dr. Alex Smajgl, Mekong Region Futures Institute (MERFI) & Deakin University

Managing Director, Mekong Region Futures institute, in partnership with government and research agencies in Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

 

Developing participatory processes and integrated methodology to assess triple bottom line outcomes in Mekong region, Indonesia, and the Great Barrier Reef region. Multi-scale assessment, using agent-based modeling to simulate disaggregated system behavior. Impacts of energy policy options on poverty and deforestation in Indonesia.

 

Agent-based modeling, water, food, energy nexus, science-policy interface, hydropower, transboundary water management, forest management, protection of coastal zones, fish stock management, food security, poverty alleviation

Presentation

April 12, 2019

Improvising and Prototyping Social Forms in Responsive Environments

cid:169fe96f10482e0609c1Berkeley Institute of Design*, University of California, Berkeley

12pm Friday April 12, 2019

Sha Xin Wei

Professor – Arizona State University

http://schedule.bid-seminar.com/speakers/164

Abstract

Building on the Topological Media Lab’s work on collective, ad hoc gesture and responsive media in enactive, embodied environments, Synthesis has been the home for a new order of responsive environments.

We leverage the state of the art realtime gestural time-based media: sound, audio, video, theatrical / domestic lighting, air, mist, water, or any computationally modulated hybrid material, together with movement-based arts, theater production, computational physics and signal processing. We describe some research streams and applications such as improvisatory environments, place and atmosphere, rhythmanalysis, and the ‘in vivo’ prototyping of social forms.

https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/steerableweather

https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/slsa

https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/openhousefall2018

*The Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) is a research group that fosters a deeply interdisciplinary approach to design for the 21st century, spanning human-computer interaction, mechanical design, education, architecture and art practice. We are located in the Hearst Memorial Mining Building (photos). http://bid.berkeley.edu/

Residency

March 25, 2019 ―
April 7, 2019

John MacCallum & Teoma Naccarato Residency

Synthesis (courtesy of Jessica Rajko) is excited to share the details on Teoma and John’s residency starting next week. Attached you’ll find their portfolio and a recent paper they’ve written. Their bio is below:

Teoma Naccarato and John MacCallum have been collaborating since they met in 2013. Their collective work draws on their disciplinary training in music composition, choreography, creative writing, and computer science, as well as their deep interest in performance art and philosophy. Together they devise performance-installations and publications, and guide workshops on the themes of ‘Relational Listening’ and on the ‘critical appropriation’ of biosensors in artistic practice. Teoma is currently completing her PhD at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University in the UK, and did her MFA at The Ohio State University, and her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, all in dance/choreography. John did his PhD at UC Berkeley, his MM at McGill University in Montreal, and his BM at the University of the Pacific in California, all in music composition. They have each held a variety of research and teaching positions over the years in the US and Europe, and currently live in Berlin. <https://iii-iii-iii.org>

Seminar

March 1, 2019 ―
March 3, 2019

Living Architecture Systems Group

Sha Xin Wei and Brandon Mechtley will present work at the Living Architecture Systems Group Symposium in Toronto.  

The Living Architecture Systems Group is an interdisciplinary partnership of academics, artists, designers and industry partners dedicated to researching and developing built environments with qualities that come close to life— environments that can move, respond and learn, with metabolisms that can exchange and renew their environments, and which are adaptive and empathic towards their inhabitants. The group works on develop­ing innovative technologies, new critical aesthetics and integrative design working methods in an effort to provide a new generation of designers with critical next-generation skills and critical perspectives for working with complex environments.

Sha Xin Wei, director of the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, and Brandon Mechtley, assistant research professor in the school, were invited to present the work being conducted at Synthesis, which includes creating rich responsive environments. Researchers at Synthesis explore how these environments can be used for shelter, sociality or play and how people experience computer- mediated environments that now include not only virtual reality games and experimental theater, but also classrooms, airports and public spaces.

“Synthesis was invited by the group to present our continuous state-based methods for composing rich behavior of complex media environments to support improvisatory activity,” Sha Xin Wei said.

The symposium, held March 1-3 in Toronto, features researchers and artists from ETH Zurich, Central Saint Martins London, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the School of Architecture at Waterloo, the Ontario College of Art and Design University and University of California, Berkeley, as well as design and architecture firms. This international, multi-year partnership is sponsored by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Participants in immerse themselves in the enchanted environments of iStage, featuring projects such as SERRA and Experiential Models of the Atmospheres.

Presentation

April 11, 2019

USF Provost’s Lecture: Matters of Value, Matters of Fact

Speaker: Sha Xin Wei, PhD
Thursday, April 11 | 4:30–6 p.m. in Fromm Hall 115 – Berman Room
Abstract:

In recent years I’ve taken to asking students and colleagues, “Why do you do what you do?” Although that question is not the same as “Why do we live?,” it is not unrelated, because how we live would be part of my own response to the question of why we live. It’s a phenomenological question about the experience of life, but I would like to answer it in a poetic way in the context of contemporary and emerging technologies of performance, where performance is construed generously, beyond the domains of performing and performance arts.

One may aspire to do philosophy in the mode of poetry again, a Laozi multiply transposed. But didn’t Plato throw out the poets from the Republic because they operated in the realm of the fictive imitative, thrice removed from the truth, and therefore were not to be trusted with the proper affairs of the polis?  Emboldened by Felix Guattari’s activist ecosophic call, can we create fresh know-hows in the mode of art, where that it matters not only what we say or do, but how we say or do it. I’m wagering that both truth effects and ethico-aesthetic passions can be accommodated in the same breath, the way mathematicians construct truths via imaginative processes that can be regarded as poetic and poietic art.

It is in this spirit that I describe how adventurous artists, engineers, and scholars have engaged over 20 years the experimental study of experience, in transdisciplinary organizational and institutional experiments such as the Topological Media Lab, FoAM,  and Synthesis.   We will see how questions of craft, under inspection and reflection, can become refined into philosophical questions. Under rigorous reflection, questions how become questions why as well. Questions of philosophy in turn can provide heuristics, though never blueprints or methodologies, for craft.

The most compelling reason for refining technical challenges —  political, economic, engineering, health problems — into philosophical questions is to understand how we produce matters of value as well as matters of fact

And, in the face of the “anthropocene”,  a name which seems to substitute species-centrism for ego-centrism, can we invent a techne (art + engineering) and an ethico-aesthetic experiment for our age  that is humane but not anthropocentric?

Residency

March 16, 2019 ―
March 18, 2019

Vangelis Lympouridis, PhD, VR/AR/MR industry + USC

Vangelis Lympouridis, PhD, VR/AR/MR industry + USC, full-body interaction; guest of Synthesis & AME:

 

March 16-18

 

Vangelis got his PhD from the same program in Edinburgh as Lauren I believe, on “Design Strategies for Whole Body Interactive Performance Systems” (see short bio for his world-leading work on full-body interaction and dance + technology)

In the 6 years since his PhD, Dr. Lympouridis taught at USC Cinema, built the first motion lab at USC, started a very successful VR company (ENOSIS VR), knows the scene from Sundance to the emerging tech world for VR, film and movement tracking.  In fact he started the movement-tracking lab out of his PhD in building his own super high end body tracking —> music system.    He’s also got some major deals with medical applications, knowing the entire pipeline from university-based movement-based research-creation though clinical trails to product…

I got to know Vangelis ca 2010, and since then he’s been one of the cool research affiliates who participated in TML and SC workshops.   I respect Vangelis’ artistic, social and design judgment and his technical acumen.  He can be inspiring counsel for Masters and PhD students in AME, FDT and Design, and  is also a well connected friend in LA world between VR/AR/MR,  movement based research and emerging media industries.

It will be great to welcome Vangelis come out for direct talks vis-a-vis AME’s future development in more public  application domains connecting with a large swath of our research from movement-based research to mobile technologies to experiential systems.  Vangelis is not only deeply versed in the basic research in movement arts and medicine, but also is familiar with the most prominent high end, emerging technologies in motion-tracking, gestural control of media, VR/AR/MR etc.

Presentation

March 25, 2019

TEDxASU: I < WE < WORLD

Speaker: Sha Xin Wei

Professor and Director

School of Arts, Media and Engineering + Synthesis

MARCH 25th, 2019

7pm

Abstract:

1984 ushered in the personal computer, 2004 social media.  But our mediated lives are more complicated and brittle than ever.  Can we turn from designing the internet of things to navigating cities and infrastructures that are centuries deep?  Can media conduct value as well as fact?   How will we create environments that are not complicated, but rich?

Seminar

March 22, 2019 ―
March 26, 2019

Participatory Steering of Complex Adaptive Systems @ ASU Phoenix USA

22-26 April 2019

 Participatory Steering of Complex Adaptive Systems @ ASU Phoenix USA

Workshop Conveners: Brandon Mechtley, Sha Xin Wei, Synthesis@ASU

Bringing partners from the CECAN network working around the world on diverse participatory projects (see list below) –

At Synthesis, we’ve built techniques for composing responsive media spaces for improvisatory events in which people can collectively steer richly structured visual, sonic, or tangible physical media.   Synthesis @ ASU and its predecessor Topological Media Lab @ Concordia / Montreal  have created rich movement-modulated media spaces in which we could freely invent and coordinate sense-making activity via gesture, voice, images, sounds, or generally physical activity in large or intimate spaces.

We have made a kit of theater-grade scenographic technologies with realtime media and are developing techniques for composing not pre-scripted events, but for conditioning live events in which people can act freely without constraint on their intention or mode of expression. The goal is to augment and enrich the range of expression available to the “inhabitants” of these events. It’s important to add that our free-form multi-modal environments include all the usual “off-the-shelf” tools of representation and interaction (web browsers, Skype, Matlab, whiteboards, charcoal and paper, post-its, role-playing games, body- storming, and so-forth.

Some relevant research streams include:
• Embodied / immersive steering of dense complex systems like weather physics or ocean dynamics .  (Also studies of place and atmosphere.)
• Multi-scale rhythmanalysis, from time-based media to cities
and more fundamentally
• Individuation, Emergence, Ontogenesis
Some videos showing some of the wide range of events and activities we have hosted:
https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/openhousefall2018
https://vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/slsa
In collaboration with CECAN’s international partners, we will evolve our techniques and our systems toward meeting different models and scenarios of participatory engagement with social impact around the world.  CECAN participants’ projects include:
  • Humber, a region of heavy industry in the North of the UK, on developing whole systems approaches to understanding their aim of development of a regional bio-based economy;
  • Mekong / Bangkok / Hanoi: hydropower on the Mekong River, transboundary water management, forest management, protection of coastal zones, fish stock management, food security and poverty alleviation;
  • Monsoon Assemblages, environmental humanities with spatial design, in three cities around the Bay of Bengal: Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon
  • Planning, construction and renewable energy sector
  • HIV prevention in Africa
  • Flooding and water scarcity in Megalopolis (such as México City) and the degradation of eco-cultural system of Xochimilco, the last urban wetland in México City, using diverse methods, including  ethnography and phenomenological interviews
  • Mexico´s rural territories and peasant communities: intercrops and of agroforestry and silvopastoral  processes always learning from and with the rural people
  • AI, Blockchain and Machine Learning by the Insurance Financial Services.  Research activities include novel participatory approaches with multiple stakeholders including Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds of London, Compare the Market
  • Indonesia, northern Thailand  and in the atoll of Tarawa

Presentation

February 14, 2019 ―
February 16, 2019

The Third Annual Meeting of the Post-Human Network Symposium: Cybernetics and its Legacies

February 14-16, 2019 @ Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

“Overcoming the Cybernetic worldview while re-envisioning Post-humanism and Sustainability: Insights from Quantum Physics and finance for alternate economies- ecologies”

Speaker: Dr. Niklas Wild-Damiris

Abstract:

Heidegger was prescient arguing that philosophy in the form of metaphysics has culminated and ended in technology understood as cybernetics. Metaphysics is characterized by its generalizing, universalizing concepts. Cybernetics is distinguished by an equally totalizing move: its notions of communication and control applied systematically to animals, humans and machines. “Post-humanism” is one of the many unintended consequences of cybernetics. It does not overcome the paradigm as it claims, but ironically repeats its gesture: it runs roughshod over subtle differences of subject, object, animate, inanimate, nature, culture treating them as dichotomies, instead of as phases in a process of trans-individuation. “Sustainability” is a related concern that emerged as a response to the growing tension between ‘ecology’ and ‘economy’, which it treats ambivalently, leaving us in the dark as to what is sustainable in a world increasingly ‘out of control’.

As Cybernetics became, starting in the 1930’s, both the dominant ideology and meta-science of industrial capitalism, it found an intellectual rival in the then emerging quantum physics. Alas, the latter’s nascent worldview, was counter-intuitive, allowing cybernetics to coopt the new physics’ insights, by enlisting its practitioners to its causes: first to help build an atom bomb, and more recently to design financial derivatives, which Warren Buffett has aptly described as ‘weapons of mass destruction”!

Now well into the second decade of the 21st century, we still find ourselves to be ‘willing slaves of capital’, as F. Lordon has argued; yet inequality is only getting worse as T. Piketty has documented. And to add insult to injury the promise of social media has been hijacked by the companies who currently control the Internet instituting ‘surveillance capitalism’, as S. Zuboff puts it, rather than a knowledge economy.

Given this rather grim state of affairs, I ask: Could insights from the controversial but gaining in acceptance Quantum Physics Worldview help us change our thinking and attitude toward the world? I will answer this question in the affirmative by arguing that the quantum is not weird; it appears so only because we interpret it through entrenched cybernetic categories like ‘information’, ‘feedback’, ‘observation’ ‘data-base’, which become problematic in a world

characterized by indeterminacy, negative probabilities, non-locality and measurement effects. Furthermore, this world is not confined to the small as is often claimed.

I will conclude my talk by proposing we institute a new ecologically attuned economic practice based on finance approached as a quantum phenomenon! Such an endeavor presupposes that those who will participate in it ‘have skin in the game’ and their aim is not to discount the future, but to enable it by facing courageously its indeterminacy and the freedom it affords.

Short Speaker Bio:

Niklas Wild Damiris is a theoretical physicist turned economic theorist. He lived in Silicon Valley for over 25 years working as consulting research scientist to well known think tanks there: Xerox PARC, Apple ATG, IBM Almaden Research Center. He participated in a few start-ups no longer extant: “Pliant”, “Capitalizing Communities” and “Quantum-ly”. He was for a while in the periphery of the group whose members later became known as the “Paypal Mafia”. He also was a visiting scholar and occasional lecturer at Stanford University for many years.

Recently, he left the Bay Area to return to the East Coast where he went to school, and can be closer to Europe where there is growing interest in his work re-envisioning monetary and financialized economies with the help of insights from quantum field theory.

News

December 18, 2018

STRAIGHT TALK: Sha Xin Wei

Director of Synthesis Center discuss with SCIART Magazine about his background and the concept behind Synthesis.

Article can be found here.

Residency

March 17, 2019 ―
March 19, 2019

TEI 2019 Improvisational Environments Workshop

Composing ecosystemically in responsive environments with gestural media, objects and textures

In this workshop, participants will try their hand at a variety of tangible, embodied, and embedded sensing and feedback technologies including vibrotactile instruments, expressive mechatronics, gesturally modulated fields of light, sound, mist, and realtime steerable immersive atmospheres. Working through hands-on experience by theme, participants will be introduced to compositional and experimental methodologies. In the second half of the workshop, participants will compose together some simple “ecosystems” using the Synthesis Center’s hardware- software media choreography architecture (sc), in the iStage experimental theater-scale blackbox space.

https://responsiveenvironments2019.weebly.com/

Brandon Mechtley
Todd Ingalls
Lauren Hayes
Julian Stein
Garrett Johnson
Byron Lahey
Jessica Rajko
Seth Thorn
Emiddio Vasquez
Connor Rawls
Peter Weisman
Assegid Kidane
Sha Xin Wei

Event

November 4, 2018 ―
November 5, 2018

Event

November 9, 2018 ―
November 16, 2018

Serra Vegetal Life Residency Montréal, 9-16 November 2018

We invite you to the Open Studio of the Serra Vegetal Life project, co-produced by Synthesis Canada Council for the Arts, O Vertigo Dance Company. You are welcome to join us Friday the 16th of November to meet the artists at work on the unique responsive environment. We’re excited to share with you our esteemed friends and colleagues our current work for your feedback.

Building on work with choreographer Laurin, media artist / filmmaker Oana Suteu, media artist-researchers Todd Ingalls and Sha Xin Wei have created an ecosystem intertwining plant and human movement via gestural media evoking multi-rhythms of seasons, days and nights, organisms and visitors. We thank School of Arts, Media + Engineering, and Rümker for essential support in the realization of the work.

Serra invite english

Serra invite francaise

Event

October 11, 2018

Synthesis Open House 2018

Come join us for our Open House this October 11, 2018 from 12pm – 4pm

We will showcasing a series of projects for ASU’s Herberger Institute. Some of our major themes such as, Experiential Models of Atmosphere and Rhythm Analysis.

Event

February 14, 2018 ―
March 3, 2018

Atmospheres Workshop Residency 2018

About

In this Synthesis Atmospheres Residency (LRR), researchers and students from University of Potsdam, the Topological Media Lab in Montreal and the Schools of Arts, Media + Engineering, Geography, and Architecture at ASU, come together in the Matthews Center iStage @ ASU (Tempe USA campus) to create environmental conditionings of ensemble experience via varying fields of media and material.

Wind, temperature, clouds, mist – these phenomena have in common that they can hardly be objectified. They have no identifiable parts or clear dimensions, no form and are partly or completely invisible. But we do experience their dynamic presence through our bodies: the body’s sensitivity on cellular, organic, and organismic levels, allows for engagement with phenomena that go beyond subject/object dichotomies. Instead of producing an audience as a mere spectator, we provide liminal experiences, in including the full sensorium such through touch, smell, proprioception (senses we share with non-human animals as well) through engagement with normally invisible – or not primarily visual – phenomena.

When & Where

Visitors will be with us from 14th February – 3rd March 2018. While there will be no demonstrations or shows during this time, we encourage all to come visit us in Matthews Center, iStage (222 + 224) to meet our residents.

For more information, please visit our research site here.

Event

January 1, 1970

SLSA 2017

Join us on November 10th and 11th as we help out SLSA 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The events are as follows:

Friday November 10, 2017, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Synthesis Responsive Environments / Time Out

Matthews Center iStage (MC 222)

We invite you to come to iStage atelier to immerse yourself in a rich media environment, talk with Synthesis’ researchers and artists, or just relax in our playful, poetic atmospheres.

(Synthesis: synthesiscenter.net,   Serra Montreal: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/serra, Experiential Atmospheres: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/clouds )

 

Friday November 10, 2017, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

3G “Game Studies 1: Roundtable with Ian Bogost”

Ian Bogost (GaTech), Alenda Chang (UCSB,  Edmond Y. Chang (Ohio), Heidi Coleman (Chicago), Patrick Jagoda (Chicago), Patrick LeMieux (UC Davis), Timothy Welsh (Loyola)

 

Friday November 10, 2017, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Synthesis Open Atelier: Serra Vegetal Life and Other Scenarios

Oana Suteu, Todd Ingalls, Sha Xin Wei + Synthesis researchers

 

Hosted artist-researchers working in open atelier at Synthesis, will be available to talk with visitors in the iStage.  These include media artist and researcher Todd Ingalls, Montreal filmmaker and installation artist Oana Suteu, media artist and theorist Sha Xin Wei, and other experimentalists.  The Synthesis atelier creates instruments for gesturally responsive time-based media, along with techniques for irreal play.  We host streams of inquiry that course transversally across experimental arts, non-theatrical performance, and speculative engineering.  Current streams include: vegetal life (Serra plant movement), experiential climate, irreal acoustic/lighting ecologies, multi-scale rhythmanalysis, and ontogenesis. 

(Synthesis: synthesiscenter.net,   Serra Montreal: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/serra, Experiential Atmospheres: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/clouds )

 

Saturday November 11, 2017, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Synthesis Responsive Environments / Time Out

Matthews Center iStage (MC 222)

 

We invite you to come to iStage atelier to immerse yourself in a rich media environment, talk with Synthesis’ researchers and artists, or just relax in our playful, poetic atmospheres.

(Synthesis: synthesiscenter.net,   Serra Montreal: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/serra, Experiential Atmospheres: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/clouds )

 

Saturday November 11, 2017, 11:00am-12:30pm

8F “Beyond Plant Blindness: To See the Importance of Plants for a Sustainable World” Chair: Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir

Giovanni Aloi , Dawn Sanders ,  Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir, Mark Wilson

 

Saturday November 11, 2017, 2:00-3:30 PM

Responsive Environments Roundtable

Sha Xin Wei, Tom Lamarre, Todd Ingalls, Oana Khintirian, Stacey Moran, and guests

 

How can we “write” or “compose” in a responsive environment, a physical space thickened by media that co-articulates with unscripted activity?   What speculative events can one create and what questions, propositions can be set in play?

 

(Synthesis: synthesiscenter.net, Serra Montreal: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/serra , Experiential Atmospheres: vimeo.com/synthesiscenter/clouds )

 

Event

October 12, 2017

Synthesis Center Open House 2017

Join us as Synthesis welcomes a new year with several streams of
research creation:

• Serra Vegetal Movement Responsive Environments

• Atmosphere and Place
Experiential Complex Simulations
Radio Etudes
AR City
• Rhythmanalysis
Timelenses
Lanterns Etudes

Event

September 25, 2017

Urban Action Items: Kitchen Conversations on Urgent Issues

Sept 25 2017, “Urban Action Items: Kitchen Conversations on Urgent Issues,” Institute for Urban Futures, Montreal.

Event

September 10, 2017 ―
September 13, 2017

Ateliers for Transdisciplinary Research-creation & Research-creation / Recherche-création: Methods for a Scienza Nuova

Sep 10-13, “Ateliers for Transdisciplinary Research-creation” AND “Research-creation / Recherche-création: Methods for a Scienza Nuova.” 2017 International Conference on Mobile Brain-Body Imaging (MoBI) and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity (http://yourbrainonart2017.egr.uh.edu), Valencia, Spain.

Event

June 18, 2017

Practicing Thought with New Horizons: The Challenges Presented by New Scientific Paradigms and Computation

June 18, EGS Workshop: Practicing Thought with New Horizons: The Challenges Presented by New Scientific Paradigms and Computation, Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought Division, European Graduate School (EGS), Saas-Fee Switzerland

Event

June 14, 2017 ―
June 17, 2017

The Topological and Biosocial Beyond Computation

June 14-17The Topological and Biosocial Beyond Computation, Division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought, European Graduate School (EGS), Saas-Fee Switzerland

Event

June 15, 2017 ―
July 19, 2017

Synthesis Workshop: Serra Vegetal Life

June 15 – July 19, 2017Synthesis WorkshopSerra Vegetal Life, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.  In addition to the research and development of the environment itself, this will be a principal occasion to expose some aspects of Synthesis and AME to former and future partners and potential graduate students / researchers in the most active city for experimental arts, media, film and music in North America.

https://serracreation.weebly.com/

Event

June 14, 2017

Gestures that Matter, Plenary Lecture

June 14Gestures that Matter, Plenary Lecture, Art and Society Conference, American University of Paris

Event

June 7, 2017 ―
June 9, 2017

New Materialisms/Bruno Latour

June 7-9, New Materialisms (keynote Bruno Latour), University of Paris 7 Diderot,

Event

June 7, 2017 ―
June 13, 2017

Design workshop, with Adam Nocek, American University of Paris

 June 7-13. American University of Paris: Summer Institute: IxD Design workshop, with Adam Nocek and faculty from UNSW, Sorbonne, AUP, Goldsmiths, CMU.  Paris.

Event

June 2, 2017 ―
June 3, 2017

SERRA Vegetal Movement

June 2-3, Synthesis research workshop: Serra Vegetal Movement installation / responsive environment, ASU, Phoenix.

https://serracreation.weebly.com/

Event

May 14, 2017 ―
June 12, 2017

Sémiomaths

May 14 & June 12, Sémiomaths seminar on semiotics and philosophy of mathematics, sign and structure, University of Paris 7 Diderot, Paris

Event

May 5, 2017 ―
May 7, 2017

Plenary Speaker, The Idea of Place, Space and Culture 20th Anniversary Conference

May 5-7 2017, Plenary Speaker, The Idea of Place, Space and Culture 20th Anniversary Conference University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

For more information please visit their website,  https://theideaofplace.com

Residency

February 28, 2017 ―
March 19, 2017

Giuseppe Longo: Ontogenesis, phylogenesis and the formation of “sense”

Ontogenesis, phylogenesis and the formation of “sense” ( Feb 27 – March 3, March 13-17 )

In a series of talks, Prof. Longo will survey the construction of our relation to space and time. Both Greek geometry and the space and time of the Scientific Revolution were grounded on strong metaphysical assumptions. More recently, the fundamental dualism separating space (and time) from the objects in them has been extended to another very effective dualism for the construction of machines, the conceptual and practical distinction between software and hardware. But these mathematical “a priori” and the related forms of dualism seem inadequate for the understanding of biological phenomena given their historicity and radical materiality.  Prof. Longo proposes alternatives, focusing on principles that stress first the autonomy of organismal dynamics and the role of historicity, variability and diversity both in phylogenesis and ontogenesis. In this perspective, the material, bodily presence of organisms produce, a posteriori, the space and time of possible life dynamics.

Biography

Giuseppe Longo is Director of Research at the Centre Cavaillès, République des Savoirs, CNRS, Collège de France and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.  He has been Associate Professor of Logic, Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Pisa, and Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon. 

Prof. Longo is founder (1990) of the journal Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, Cambridge U.P.  and (co-)author of more than 100 articles and three books: with A.  Asperti, Categories, Types and Structures (1991); with F.  Bailly, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences: The Physical Singularity of Life  (2011); with M.  Montevil, Perspectives on Organisms: Biological time, Symmetries and Singularities (2013). 

Recently he has extended his interests in the fields of epistemology and theoretical biology.  He directs a project at IEA-Nantes (2014-20) on the concept of “law” in human and natural sciences.   As Adjunct Professor Department of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Prof. Longo is working with on the growth of cancer.   He has written popular and incisive articles on technology and society, ranging from big data and automation to network society.

Prof. Giuseppe Longo and Prof. Teresa Mariano-Longo will be in residence as guests of Synthesis and the School of Arts, Media + Engineering Feb 26 through March 18, excepting Spring Break.    He will give a series of lectures on Time and spaces from physics to biology: Ontogenesis, phylogenesis and the formation of “sense” 

http://www.di.ens.fr/users/longo

http://ame531.weebly.com/syllabus.html

Lectures series can be found here.

Event

December 12, 2016 ―
December 22, 2016

Lanterns Physical/Digital System: Movement and Rhythm Residency

In a residency in the Synthesis Center iStage December 12–22 2016, Britta Joy Peterson (choreography and performance, American University), Evan Anderson (lighting, Seattle) and Garrett Johnson (MAS PhD, Synthesis) explored multi-bodied coordination and entrainment through movement scores and responsive media. They also hosted several reading group sessions in the Lab for Critical Technics.

Britta and Evan rejoined Garrett at the iStage from March 12–18, 2017 to workshop a performance for the 2017 Movement and Computing (MOCO) conference at Goldsmiths in London.

For more information on Lanterns and art project ‘+++’, visit the project website.

Presentation

December 3, 2016 ―
December 4, 2016

Les Corps dessinant: Time Lenses

an exhibition of Time Lenses will be demonstrated in Musée des Art et Métiers on December 3 & 4th in Paris as part of the Corps dessinant performance. Accompanied by Sha Xin Wei, Julian Stein, Todd Ingalls, Oana Suteu Khintirian.

For more information visit the project link and program link.

Presentation

October 6, 2016 ―
January 21, 2017

UC Irvine: Time Lenses

installation of multiple displays and cameras that are carefully placed in a physical location to refract activity into a suite of rhythmically recomposed movements” Time Lenses has been exhibited in Embodied Encounters at UC Irvine (2016-2017) and will be there until January 21, 2017. Todd Ingalls: time instruments, Julian Stein: installations, Sha Xin Wei: concept

http://rhythmanalysis.weebly.com/time-lenses-apparatus.html

Presentation

July 4, 2016

International Workshop in Design and Performance

Sha Xin Wei and synthesis associate, Adam Nocek will be teaching a workshop focusing on the problems of immigration and design at the American University in Paris. For more information, visit this website.

Presentation

November 10, 2015

Reclaim AI – Back-To-The-Humans?

Sha Xin Wei will be giving an invited talk at the CyberSalon in London about the progression of artificial intelligence. For more information, visit this website.

Presentation

October 2, 2015

Complex Systems Conference: iMonsoon

Demo of immersive realtime responsive media techniques for Experiential Climate Simulation platform at CCS 2015, Tempe AZ

Residency

August 24, 2015

Development Residency: Vegetal Life, SERRA

an installation that approaches movement in an entirely new manner, adapting time and space scales to the activity of plants, and placing the human body within this new dimension. Presented by media artist Oana Suteu Khintirian with mathematician, philosopher and new media specialist Sha Xin Wei, his Synthesis team members and the renowned choreographer and artistic director of O Vertigo Dance, Ginette Laurin.

http://serracreation.weebly.com/

Presentation

April 17, 2015

iMonsoon Public Interactive Experience

an interactive demo of iMonsoon, a responsive media environment that facilitates embodiment through atmospheric process and scientific modeling. Presented in the Matthews Center on Tempe Campus at Arizona State University.

For more information, visit the website.

Seminar

April 16, 2015

Experiential Climate Models Workshop

workshop that explores how our experiences of atmosphere and place are mediated by using climate models, architecture, and technology, and how those experiences may be moderated or enhanced through the use of responsive media and experiential computing.

For more information, visit the website.

Seminar

March 28, 2015

Dialogues on Sustainability: Atmosphere for Thought

A series of talks discussing sustainability using iStage as a responsive environment to demonstrate different microclimates.

For more information, visit the website.

Presentation

February 3, 2015

Upcoming: IHR Distinguised Lecturer, Alan Lightman

As a part of a series of reading groups focused on the work and thought of Alan Lightman, Dr. Sha Xin Wei will be leading a discussion of “Einstein’s Dreams” in anticipation of the author’s guest lecture on February 3rd, 2015.