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Dwelling P(L)aces – a toolkit for climatic transfers

In collaboration with IT-developer Sindre Sorensen


This is a pilot project, in setting up a technological infrastructure that can transfer atmospheric conditions through collecting, logging and activating sensory data (such as color, light intensity, humidity/rain, temperature, wind, sight, sounds) to be used for future collaborations that will result in diverse immersive installations. We want to explore ideas about experience, mediation and representation. Our intention is to use real time data, connected to real places and allow visitors to experience atmospheric conditions at a distance. The aim is to create shared spaces which could open up for a more empathic thinking and acting and to nudge the audience to reflect upon how our surroundings shape our subject(ivities). Our interest is not in creating virtual experiences but rather the opposite: we want to create experiences which makes visible the frame by which the experience is collected, created, mediated while not losing sight of immersive or seductive qualities. Following Marshal Mcluhan, these kinds of experiences could also be called anti-environments. It distinguishes itself from environments, such as virtual reality or hyper real experiences, by showing its own making. So you also allow the viewer to be self aware and self reflective.

This infrastructure serves the belief that by creating dwelling places, by extending experiences of time and constructing immersive shared spaces, we are asserting the prerequisite for empathic thinking and acting. This hypothesis is grounded in ideas taken from The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin, professor in neuroscience and Place and Space by Geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. As humans we long for place-making which allows us to shift from dwelling states to more focused problem solving or learning states. In dwelling states, we find ourselves in a flow, where we are more able to connect disparate and non linear thoughts, which opens up for creative thinking and solving of complex problems through a particular kind of distraction and presence that occurs during dwelling.

So far we have tested wi-fi controllable light bulbs, steam/fog formation, diffraction of light through very humble means such as milk water and flash lights. The idea is to think of ways how to connect scaled up versions of these tests, in relation to real time collected input. We have just started on this projects, and more updates will follow in 2018.

This pilot phase of the project received support from Kulturr├ądet & Bergen Kommune.