Science and Technology in Cultural Context
Hybrid Highlights

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- science with fancy and art with facts

Exhibition Opening: Wednesday 8 October, 16:00 - 19:00
Exhibition Dates: Thursday 9 October to Monday 8 December, 10:00 - 18:00

About the Exhibition

Although long under way, the hybridization of art and science presents itself as the most significant challenge for society today. The boundaries between the sciences are poorly delineated and those between art and science are as well. However, these poorly delineated boundaries form commonly shared areas where the stull unknown can be explored and where points of suture between disciplines can be made. It is here that artistic and scientific forms of knowledge begin to merge and are allowed to develop into hybrid formations which bear new knowledge and offer unique experience. And if hybridity is the landmark of artistic and scientific practice, the exhibition “Hybrid Highlights” is indicative of such hybridized territory that goes beyond art and science while exploring and expanding through the possibilities offered from the still “unknown” of the poorly delineated


Arthur Clay (USA/CHE)

Artists & Researchers

Raffaello D’Andrea (CAN/CHE)
Art Clay (USA/CHE)
Noxious Sector (CAN)
Esri R&D Zurich, Simon Schubiger, Stefan Müller Arisona (CHE)
Dirk Hebel & Felix Heise (CHE)
Art Clay (USA/CHE)
Enrico Costanza (ITL/GBR)
The Human Brain Project (CHE)
K-Soul (CHE)
The Curious Minded (CHE)
Davide Angheleddu (ITL)
Catherine Young (PHL)

MOA SNU → more info


(Artistic view of Higgs Boson event from ATLAS experiments data*)

Davide Angheleddu

CERN scientists generated a 3D model of a Higgs candidate event, resulting in a signature composed of 2 muons and 2 electrons. It is the same event that has been used for the animation of a ATLAS proton collision event to show a Higgs candidate event in 2011: Proton Collision Event with 2 electrons & 2 muons. The artwork curves are the same tracks of the 3D CERN file. Blue segments are the electrons and muons released during the collision: muons are represented as two long tracks, while electrons as two short tracks. The azure smooth volume is obtained by a computer graphic process called “Remeshing”. The original 3D file is composed by a lot of 3D objects (the tracks). Remeshing algorithm is a way to create a new single object by combining several existing objects. The used algorithm analyzes the proximity between different elements (red tracks) in order to build a unified skin, an organic surface representing the proximity relationship. The purpose of this process is to change the event visualization, pointing out the presence of muons and electrons, important elements for the experiment.
*Courtesy of CERN


Art Clay (CHE)

The installation concept of >HoerRoom< is a “point and line to plane” sculpture, which uses points and lines to define an interactive plane that becomes a playable virtual space as visitors interact with it. The installation makes space “variable” by using a series of newly developed interactive light and sound objects that when mounted on elastic cables function as “media pendulums”. To create the installation, a low-resolution matrix of points is mapped onto the space. Then, odd groups of vertically related points are selected and paired. These points are extended into lines using elastic cables upon which the media-pendulums are mounted at varying heights. Together the lines of the elastic cables mark the passive form of the space and when the cables are “plucked” into motion by the visitors, the lines swing back and fourth in harmonic motion, emit sound and light and delimit the active form of the space. A space within a space.


Noxious Sector (CAN)

Game of Drones is a simple game. Teams throw video cameras at each other as they run around the city. The cameras are networked with GPS, which maps and registers the trajectories drawn by the flight of the cameras during the game. The video cameras and sensors capture all the activity and provide a visualization of the game as it takes place in Seoul. The documented results form a multi-channel, video panorama installation in the gallery. This video content features the results of the game¬–our experiments conducted locally in-and-around Seoul in collaboration with Dr. Jin-Kyu Jung (from the University of Washington Bothell), a geo-visualization expert from Korea. Dr. Jung’s documentation and data visualizations collected during the game are also presented as overlapping projections in the video environment. The project utilizes MaxMSP to integrate multiple video streams, including didactic information describing the "game" and the conceptual framework for the project, as well as the analytic data synthesized by Dr. Jung. The game and it’s use of video cameras as drones is as much a metaphor for technological living as it is a playful way to engage the concept of militarized vision in a highly regulated social and political world.


Esri R&D Center Zurich, Simon Schubiger & Stefan Müller Arisona (CHE)

The Finger Print City project employs Esri R&D Center Zurich's „CityEngine“ technology to create a personalised digital world of a fictive city. The digital world on view is a qualitative representation of geographical, statistical and topological data, such as terrain, population densities, and even street network. The representation can be combined with biometrical information from a visitor in order to create a unique, personal representation of a city to each visitor. In contrast to other similar approaches, we do not attempt to create a "virtual" version of an actual city that simply copies and augments artefacts from the physical world but create a possible city out of the vistor’s features. Thanks to its generative nature, the project is extremely content rich, can be interactively explored and makes the invisible visible.


Art Clay (CHE) & Enrico Costanza (ITL/GBR)

The « Book of Stamps » is a travel guide between sonic landscapes from cities to urban cultures. The sheets of the book provide a “recording surface” and the ink stamps with their various patterns provide the ability to place sounds into the book. Together they act as an interactive tangible interface for a variety of time based musical tasks that form a collaborative composition by its users. There are two sets of ink stamps: The stamps that look like natural things like trees, bushes or stone paths belong to the “Country Sounds” category; Those that look like buildings belong to the “City Sounds” category. By stamping a book page with a combination from both categories, a soundscape is created that will either tend to sound like a city, a country or an urban sonic mix of both. In this manner, sonic spaces are created for each of the pages and when the user turns the pages to other already stamped pages, it lends him or her the impression that they are actually “traveling” between places sonically.


Raffello D’Andrea (CAN/CHE)

A Blind Juggler is a robot that can keep a ball bouncing on a paddle without any sensory input. That is, it does not use cameras, microphones, or any other sensors that tell the robot where the ball is. All of the Blind Juggling Machines can juggle balls without seeing them, and without catching them. Most of them, in fact, can juggle balls without any sensory feedback, such as sound or contact; this is achieved by exploiting the dynamics of these machines to achieve stable ball trajectories. This is very much in contrast to how most human beings would perform the same task: we would use our eyes to determine where to put our hands, for example. The Cloverleaf Juggler on exhibit here features four separate concave areas that have the same parabolic shape as the Blind Juggler, allowing the simultaneous juggling of 4 balls. Unlike the other juggling machines, the Cloverleaf Juggler has contact sensors on each paddle. This information is used to generate complex trajectories that would otherwise be impossible to realize without feedback.

BRAINS OUT! (The Human Brain Project)

Diverse Artists with EPFL Switzerland (CHE)

The Brains Out Project is an exhibition project that integrates graphics images of the human brain cells that were generated as cloons using algorithms developed at the EPFL in Switzerland. by the Human Brain Project, which is a research project which aims to simulate the human brain with supercomputers to better understand how it functions. The objective of the Brains Out project is therefore to present a few of the “moving parts” in the form of computer visualizations, which are presented as an immersive Augmented Reality project that lets visitors “click into” the Brain and experience the presentation of the visualizations in an immersive 3D environment using their own mobile device.


K-Soul (CHE)

Over the past centuries, painters have sought to integrate the light and movement into their pictorial work. After more than fifteen years of research, K-soul realized by means of new technologies the first living light painting in art history : the high-tech canvas "Jardin Cosmique Dynagram". The Holokinetic painting is entirely handmade. It integrates traditional techniques with modern technology. An electronic screen serves as a canvas. By this way, this high-tech canvas allows the artist to paint directly with the light ; all the movements of the brush are recorded and integrated into the canvas. The high-tech canvas "Jardin Cosmique Dynagram" contains 20 holokinetic light paintings of more than 5 hours and a half. To achieve 10 minutes of holokinetic painting, over 500 hours of work are needed. This twenty-first century canvas becomes an art gallery. It incorporates all the creations of the artist.


Catherine Young (PHL)

Climate Change Couture explores the future of fashion as climate change continues to impact our lifestyle and necessity converges with extravagance. The first volume began during a residency at the Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory where the artist develop designs based on the research that was being done by a select group of researchers at the lab. The artist was interested in and inspired by specific research projects, which included such areas as “cooling systems in the tropics”, “water quality, waste, and low exergy building systems”. Combining these concepts with her sensory, interactive, and human-centric practice, the artist was able to pose speculative narratives through fashion which posed the important question as to what could we would be wearing if such research projects bore no results or were never even implemented? Placing such a collection on view is for the artists a way to connect the audience with how not art and science can converge, but also how fate and fashion might combine.


The Curious Minds (CHE) with An Jae Yoon (KOR) & Sebastian Kozak (PLN)

Is an Augmented Reality (AR) artwork that is used as a “viewing filter” by the audience to view a collection of screen shots of AR artworks. Although the screen shots are works in themselves, the viewing filter couples the experience of virtual art with viewing experience itself. In terms of Diamonds are ForNever as an artwork, the title is play on the fact that diamonds have been on the one hand a symbol of eternal love, or “the forever” because of their unmatched hardness and clarity, and on the other hand the work exist in completely in virtual space which hints at more at the idea that diamonds that diamonds are believed to be the tears of the gods or the splinters of fallen stars. The colors chosen for each the diamonds are traditional Korean colors and whether real or virtual, the structure of the diamond used in the work reflects the quality and quantity of light possible in worlds beyond the real.

The Human Brain Project

Human Brain Lab of EPFL Switzerland (CHE)

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a research project which aims to simulate the human brain with supercomputers to better understand how it functions. The end hopes of the HBP include being able to mimic the human brain using computers and being able to better diagnose different brain problems. The project is directed by the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and co-directed by Heidelberg University, the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne. It is supported by the European Union as a 'FET Flagship' project and the 86 institutions involved will receive one billion euro in funding over ten years. Neural networks expert Geoffrey Hinton has expressed his doubts that the Human Brain Project will succeed, because it depends on "too many moving parts that no one yet understands"

Simulating SICU

Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel, Stefan Müller Arisona, Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore ETH-Centre, ETH Zürich, with Sheer Industries Group, Singapore

Can a social housing program only provide a structural frame? Will inhabitants start to activate their own skills and financial means to fill this structure according to their needs and desires? And how could this look like? The experimental research project Sus¬tainable Incremental Construction Unit (SICU) is following these questions by implementing a proto-typology of such a structure in a developing settlement in the heart of Addis Ababa’s no-in¬come zones. The simulation tool allows to speculate on different materials and construction methods how such a structure could be populated and used by its inhabitants.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on August 31, 2015, at 11:33 PM