With a propensity for lenghty internal monologues, I have come to realize that nothing is new but merely appropriated from something else. There are no new ideas. Although this fact alone may be the source of eternal despair for any creative person, it is both humbling and inspiring. All I can aim to be is a maker - a maker of things; a maker of visual casseroles.
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Category Archives: technology
Mikrokosmos by Bigert & Bergström are Molecular structures lit from inside of spherical photographs documenting space from a new perspective. I love it! Would love to see that kind of exhibition more often…
The Kinetic Sculpture is a metaphorical translation of the from-finding process in design.
The installation consists of 714 metal spheres hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled stepper motors. Covering a six-square-metre area, the spheres enact a seven-minute long mechatronic narrative, creating a representation of the form-finding process in different variations. Moving chaotically at first, the sculpture evolves into several competing forms and eventually resolves as a final shape, which hints at the outlines of well-known BMW automobiles such as the 327, the 1500, the Z4 coupé and the Mille Miglia 2006. The cycle is synchronised with a graphic light strip running around the walls and texts and audio quotes from senior BMW figures on the company’s values and design aims.
Shortly after the opening of the BMW Museum the “Kinetic Sculpture” became the most watched video worldwide in the category “Automotive” on YouTube for a week.
Theory of Surveillance: The PANOPTICON
The PANOPTICON was proposed as a model prison by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), a Utilitarian philosopher and theorist of British legal reform.
The Panopticon (“all-seeing”) functioned as a round-the-clock surveillance machine. Its design ensured that no prisoner could ever see the ‘inspector’ who conducted surveillance from the privileged central location within the radial configuration. The prisoner could never know when he was being surveilled — mental uncertainty that in itself would prove to be a crucial instrument of discipline.
French philosopher Michel Foucault described the implications of ‘Panopticism’ in his 1975 work Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison —
“Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers. To achieve this, it is at once too much and too little that the prisoner should be constantly observed by an inspector: too little, for what matters is that he knows himself to be observed; too much, because he has no need in fact of being so. In view of this, Bentham laid down the principle that power should be visible and unverifiable. Visible: the inmate will constantly have before his eyes the tall outline of the central tower from which he is spied upon. Unverifiable: the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may always be so. In order to make the presence or absence of the inspector unverifiable, so that the prisoners, in their cells, cannot even see a shadow, Bentham envisaged not only Venetian blinds on the windows of the central observation hall, but, on the inside, partitions that intersected the hall at right angles and, in order to pass from one quarter to the other, not doors but zig-zag openings; for the slightest noise, a gleam of light, a brightness in a half-opened door would betray the presence of the guardian. The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen.”
excerpt from ‘Panopticism’ in Foucault, Michel Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison
(NY: Vintage Books 1995) pp. 195-228 translated from the French by Alan Sheridan (translation, 1977)