27 Apr 2015 – 3 May 2015
Mousonturm & Naxoshalle
The Augmented Hand Series by Golan Levin (US), Chris Sugrue (US) and Kyle McDonald (US) functions like a funhouse mirror suggesting alternative shapes for our hand. We may be given several more thumbs, longer ones or twisting tentacles. Like a plastic surgery preview device we are offered the opportunity to switch between options of style. We can train our new hand and to accept the link between our mind and the imaginary sixth thumb.
As playful a device it is, the installation causes a subliminal irritation that questions the potential for letting new applications, transformations and maybe even technological enhancements in. In times of increasing ‘information of the body’, are we able to adapt to any alternative, even virtual bodily shape?
The installation consists of a box into which the visitor inserts their hand, and a touchscreen interface which displays their ‘reimagined’ hand, altered by various dynamic and structural transformations. The kiosk is accompanied by a large rear-projection. The touchscreen allows participants to select among the different transformations.
Critically the project’s morphological transformations operate within the logical space of the hand itself. That is to say: The artwork performs “hand-aware” visualisations that alter the deep structure of how the hand appears unlike, say, a funhouse mirror, which simply distorts the entire field of view.
Golan Levin explores the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Blending equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of media, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, expand the vocabulary of human action, and awaken participants to their own potential as creative actors.
At Carnegie Mellon University, he is Associate Professor of Electronic Art and serves as Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a laboratory dedicated to supporting atypical, anti-disciplinary and inter-institutional research projects across the arts, science, technology and culture.
Chris Sugrue (US) is an artist and engineer, who develops interactive installations, audio-visual performances and experimental interfaces. Her works experiment with technology in playful and curious ways and investigate topics such as artificial life, gestural performance and optical illusions. She has exhibited internationally in such festivals and galleries as Ars Electronica, Sónar Festival, Pixel Gallery, Medialab-Prado, Matadero Madrid, and La Noche En Blanco Madrid. She teaches new media arts at The Parsons School of Design in Paris.
Kyle McDonald is an artist who works in the open with code. He is a contributor to arts-engineering toolkits like openFrameworks, and builds tools that allow artists to use new algorithms in creative ways. His work is very process-oriented, and he has made a habit of sharing ideas and projects in public before they’re completed.