What does the world look like from the inside out? After a couple of trials, Berkeley undergrad researcher Christine Zheng and Greg Niemeyer settled on a VR rendering of Earth with an inverse image map of the globe mapped on the inside of a globe, not the typical outside. Surprisingly, everything is where you'd expect it to be, and any global data can be mapped on top while keeping spatial relations intact. We have sample data in the video demo below, and we're about to visualize cyberattacks across the globe. The video is a screen capture from the Samsung Gear VR device.
gif animations are the street art of the internet and the twitchings of our collective subconsious. Archive.org stores such gif animations in the millions so that future generations won't miss a single frame of the history of human consciousness as it emerged on the backlit glow of the browser nation. gifCollider, A public show of Niemeyer's attempt to digest this history ran from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28, 2016, at BAMPFA. The project is a collaboration with Olya Dubatova, Brewster Kahle, archive.org and many others. It now continues at the Magnes Museum for Jewish Art and Life exhibition "The Power of Attention" , Berkeley CA, with "Night Vision", a version of gifCollider based on Zechariah 4.1. It will be on display through 2017.
Click above to see and hear gifCollider Chapter 06, with music by Paz Lenchantin.
Our star, the sun, rotates around its own axis in a cycle of about 27 days. This rotation produces solar weather. What does it sound like? Together with Carrillon rock star Tiffany Ng and Chris Chafe, Niemeyer created an interactive sonification of A Day in the Sun for the University of Michigan from this data. Click the solar bells in time to play the composition alone, together, or in sync with a Carillon.
The largest bell in the world, the Russian Tsar Bell of 1732, cracked before it ever rang. But what would it have sounded like?
Working with DJ Spooky is always exciting, but even more so if we produce a new work for a museum. For ZKM, we are making a portrait of Alan Turing's Morphogenesis theory, which essentially describes how complex forms emerge from simple rules, especially waves colliding. The opening is on May 3, 2017 at Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe is on the way from Kassel documenta to the Venice Biennale, if you're doing that circuit.
I've been researching ways in which natives and scientists cope with change, and now I am looking forward to share photographs, data visualizations and immersive media about the impact of the thawing permafrost on soil and soul in Barrow, AK. The first full talk was on Dec 9, 2016 at B01 Gates Hall, Stanford. Slides of this talk are linked here and a full video is shared below.The northernmost town in the United States, Barrow is home to about 8000 people, predominantly the Iñupiat tribe, contractors and arctic researchers. What ideas and media do Iñupiat and Scientists have in place to communicate the uncertainties and dynamics of climate change, and how can these ideas be leveraged for a broader understanding of climate change?
Spectacle fuels the Trump Era, because spectacle fuels Trump. To balance the spectacle, Niemeyer proposes, we must not lean into opposition spectacle, but keep calm and maintain a civil discourse. Civil discourse is based on mutual respect, admiration, and honesty. Instead of curating ourselves into ideological silos, we need to build cultures and tools which allow us to feel safe being our true selves, even in the context of political contest. Once we have our feet on the ground mentally, some new and old tools for online communication can help us maintain that space of civil discourse. Here's a link to the full pdf text.
supraliminal is a project in development with DJ Spooky about things so vast, they are beyond the scope of perception. An example is the constant expansion of the universe. An audiovisual portrait of the Expansion makes the topic more approachable and serves as the beginning of further explorations.