Space of Augmented Suggestion
Organised by Cambridge University in collaboration with Westminster University, Ambika P3
Alanna Heiss, Lauren Kassel, Natalie Kaoukji, Michael Mazière, Jen Kratochvil
Christ walked over the water. We left the surface of Earth and crowds standing in front of a blue screen are rejoicing. Trickery, fiction and suggestions are playing a key role in the history of human cognition and knowledge. It took us thousands of years to understand that a simple colour could be also a form of education and manipulation. Google, Facebook, prehistoric forms and the first conscious augmentation. Support of growth and control in blue consciousness.
Space of Augmented Suggestion takes the form of a trade fair booth, allowing the audience to have a sneak peek at something so present and yet distant at the same time, that only a fracture of its complexity is actually visible. The rest is open to faith, to augmented vision which human beings have yet to discover.
The BIG LIGHT initiative is focusing on a thorough examination of the relationship between the man and the machine with independent artificial intelligence, emerging from rational thinking, merged with a high level of spiritual beliefs and founded on the undivided appreciation of humanity. Not just of the human mind, but also its physical basis and more importantly the abstract idea of the soul. Like the seers of the ancient times, shamans of a long lost tribes or astrologers hundreds of years ago who believed in the power of the distant starts, BIG LIGHT opens up to the powers that are similarly unreachable, but at the same time omnipresent on our own “Spaceship Earth”.
Recent scientific discoveries show us that every living organism is an enormously complex library of its own, communicating in a network structure with every other organism around it and further away from it, storing and cataloguing every moment, every event, every single seemingly insignificant motion in time and space. Utilising this potential of our environment, BIG LIGHT developed a new way of working with information – how to ecologically store it, distribute it, operate it and live through it.
BIG LIGHT doesn’t exist in our present times. / BIG LIGHT is but a shadow of the upcoming future. / BIG LIGHT is strongly grounded in our current here and now. / BIG LIGHT is above time. / BIG LIGHT is our time.
House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic
Pathfinder Jen Kratochvil
The Brno House of Arts hands over its historic International Style galleries to the BIG LIGHT initiative and Czech- Argentine artist Federico Díaz, to create an experimental laboratory and its information centre. For several months, the House of Arts’ exhibition spaces will be transformed into scientific facilities for research into the sociological, psychological and even purely physiological aspects of human interaction with augmented and virtual worlds, worlds that now permeate the everyday life of our society. Accelerating technological developments serve more and more as extensions of the human body’s capabilities, rather than mere instruments we control, and as such cause blurred connection with material reality. It is unclear to what extent we control our environment and to what extent we are, on the other hand, controlled by the achievements of our own inventions.
Among the architects of BIG LIGHT’s House of Arts presentation is the Czech-Argentine artist Federico Díaz, whilst Jen Kratochvil assumed the role of the project’s Pathfinder. The initiative approached Díaz to create a platform for communication and dialogue between BIG LIGHT and the audience.
The Brno House of Arts as a space for presentation of contemporary visual arts is ideal for such an experiment, as nowadays art requires a rather observant and educated audience accepting the specific rules of game that contemporary art works play by. One can even say that art became a question of reposing trust in the work and its message. Similarly, activities of BIG LIGHT, verging on exact science and certain irrational submission of trust to presented results, require profound and open perception. The BIG LIGHT initiative is active in the field of connecting the real material world, its digital variations and their relative intersections achieved through pharmaceutical means. Through these, BIG LIGHT controls the clouds of, the infinite streams of data, until now, impossible to control, lowing into all directions of the Internet.
BIG LIGHT predicts our society will go through a critical moment of possible international conflict , and is active in overcoming it. The initiative looks ahead to the near future. It is utopian, whilst being firmly anchored in the present reality.
THE KEY ENTRY IN BIG LIGHT ENCYCLOPAEDIA IS:
“Since the Great Augmented Reality War, the global initiative Big Light has been responsible for safeguarding, systematising and distributing human knowledge through augmented reality and artificial pharmaceutical stimuli. Through BIG LIGHT we are able to keep in touch with our history, pushing the new frontiers of human abilities forward to understand the past, present and upcoming days and consequently allowing all citizens the right of equal access to all human knowledge. BIG LIGHT was conceived as a behaviour research lab, enlarged by the chemical department during the War, which was then essential for overcoming this conflict. Later on BIG LIGHT emerged as the architect of our present socio-political structure.”
Franco Bifo Berardi, Elias Canetti, and Matteo Pasquinelli
Belvedere of the Prague Castle
Curated by Jérôme Sans, Jen Kratochvil
The history of Prague Castle’s Belvedere Palace dates back to the 16th century, the times of Ferdinand I of Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia, who had the palace built for his coronation ceremony, representing his vision of a new Europe united by peace during his reign. The building was later used as an observatory and as astronomer Tycho de Brahe’s Mathematics House. During the 19th century Czech national revival, Belvedere was to celebrate the Pan-Slavic ideal and Czechness. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it became an exhibition space with a strong connection to the international art scene.
Federico Díaz’s project Eccentric Gravity utilises the architectural features of this exceptional Renaissance building, the first of its kind north of the Alps, as the ground plan for a reflection on this rich history while he executes his own vision on the direction of contemporary society. The building’s regular, symmetrical structure collides with the seeming disorder of the unifying principle of the catenary curve, a system of homogeneous, perfectly firm, flexible fibres hanging in a gravitational field. Antonio Gaudí used the hanging chain to build inverse architectural models of arches. Today, when computer-generated planning can make any sort of complicated structure a reality, Díaz returns to the catenary curve as a tool that is independent of our technology, a tool based solely on the basic laws of nature, and uses it to give rise to a city of the future made of artificial stone and geopolymers. This is no actual, concrete city or place, but rather a model for contemplating our dependence on the laws of nature and our own purely material nature. Humans, animals, sculptures, architecture, rock formations – at their very cores they all contain the same minerals, the same materials (though in a different composition) subject to the gravitational field. Amidst the artificial sunlight that Díaz brings into Belvedere and the creative space of the “architect” of our reality, new forms of material communication are generated. The Mathematics House is once again a study, a gallery, and a space for distributing ideas: not the nationalist ideals espoused by 19th century Czech revivalists or the multinational ideals that Ferdinand I strived for, but ideas that are absolutely universal and respect the unifying elements of existence rather than current social contexts.
You Welded the Ornament of the Times
movable printing plotter, black ink, canvas, rickshaw, camera on tripod, monitor
Cafa Museum, Beijing, China
curated by: Wang Chunchen assisted by: Jen Kratochvil
Long-term project of Federico Díaz is based on observing the mass ornament, a reference to research by German philosopher Sigfried Kracauer, a member of the Frankfurt School – a sort of mapping of the specific characteristics of an individual’s movement within their own social unit in various parts of the world. Díaz believes each space is co-created by the distinctive nature of the individual’s movement, tiny distinctions in everyday activities. We all move through our urban environments, consume food, interact with the people in our surroundings, make phone calls, go shopping, point out things that interest us – but each of us does this in a completely unique character that arises from the characteristics of our space. Through his projects, Díaz creates a gradually expanding database of these tiny distinctions, which in the long run may prove crucial to understanding individual identity in an otherwise increasingly globalized world.
The central point of the composition comprises a space removed from time. A space where a mechanic is repairing a rickshaw. A mode of transportation that was prohibited from the streets of Beijing this year, as was the way in which rickshaws were made: welding conducted in small workshops.
A camera records the mechanic – specifically, six individual segments of his movement, his contact with material, the rickshaw he takes apart and puts back together again as if in an infinite loop.
Walls in the museum acts as a canvases for recording the action; an automated plotter system layers traditional ink on the surface, creating a permanent record of this ephemeral activity. Everything is working at the same time. Man and machine. Layers of the real, the immediate and the recorded blend and merge. Everything extols the only reality of the times.
Consistency represents a model of an ancient human tendency to constantly overcome oneself. Overcoming of body, mind and soul. We build temples and we are looking for answers to complicatedly designed questions, which are employing our mind despite more burdensome real problems. We strengthen our bodies and confront them with others even though we do not need to be stronger for our everyday tasks. We share information about distant lands, which may never even touch our own lives. This and much more may seem to be completely irrational. Nevertheless, it is the very foundation of human existence.
Use of gravity
Catenary is a curve formed by homogenous, perfectly firm and flexible fibre sus-pended on both sides of the gravitational field. The possibility of its use is first de-fined by mathematicians and philosophers in the 17th century. Probably the best known use of this principle in architecture is in the construction of Antonio Gaudí’s cathedral Sagrada Familia. Slacking strings give rise to an inverse model of the sup-porting arches of the building. By the naturalness of gravity, it forms smooth shapes, which would otherwise be impossible to reach by human hand.
Overcoming of gravity
The value of marble is bound by age-old tradition of usage in architecture or in the art of sculpture. Its base, limestone, is at the same time one of the six major building ma- terials of the human body. The body, which mines this stone despite earth’s gravity and its natural compactness.
We perceive the mass around us on the basis of the pre-conventionalized system of notions. The genesis of such systems is anchored outside the time perceptible by humans. There is no space to question it.
The ongoing situation therefore seems to be transparent. An athlete lifts a dumb- bell and he rubs his hands with crushed limestone from a marble slab to prevent the sur-face of dumbbell’s handle from slipping out of his hands. Lifting is stop- ping in time, immediate defying of gravity and at the same time, its confirmation. Human body draws a specific movement’s curve. Blending of everything present on the level of identical structural elements is through the physical exertion sud- denly naturally transparent.
Absence of gravity
Radio waves, as the oldest method of wireless information spreading, pass through the space despite the gravitational field. They carry information and at the same time serve as a system of maintaining the faith in the authenticity of the message.
Things become real when we define and share them.
Commentator in a radio cabin transforms conventionalized perception of material reality and correlatively ongoing storylines. He manipulates the age-long tradition and creates its new image. An image which, however, does not deny the original one. On the contrary, he creates a brand new image, unmarked by previous experi-ence, an image of unexperienced eye and mind. New bonds are formed, a connect-ing line between material and its shape and the geometry of human’s movement.
2013 - 2014
Along with the disharmonic state of man and his original environment – nature, two lines of the flow of time run separately. The harmonic one – exact as the movement of a pendulum or the second hand of a clock, and in contrast to it – the natural time of the movement of the planet and the gradual transformation thereof. Man has a tendency to create simplifying models representing nature, with their own controlled time. A garden is such a model of man-made nature, subject to both natural and influenced development. We walk through the garden environment, outlinig in it simple possibilities of connection, trails crossing from one point to another, thus laying down before us schematized maps of the surrounding world.
The “Subtile” artwork is a site-specific installation reflecting upon a simplified movement in an artificially created space vis-à-vis its natural transformation. A transformation that is ongoing and never-ending. Federico Díaz chooses flames and the smoke thereof as yet another model, on the divide between the natural and the artificial. He molds a sculptural entrance into a garden based upon a recording of the flames movement, thus fixing a single moment of the fire condition, and, at the same time, anchoring it in a time loop. The whole object is made of countless tiny reflective surfaces responding, the same as flames, to the wind strength, with individual facets moving along, reflecting different segments of their neighborhood, thus assuming a kind of authentic mimicry. They engulf their neighborhood and throw it back enriched by the perceptive added value. The relationship between the artificial and the natural thus regains its balance.
Drdova Gallery, Prague
termosensitive color, laser
Personal creates an otherwise impossible connection between the gallery’s interior and exterior. With the help of a laser beam, contours of a shadow that would otherwise be created by sunbeams coming through the windows, is maintained on a thermosensitive surface placed on the wall. A shadow that can never really occur on this wall because the gallery is placed on the ground floor facing a narrow street. Thus an artificial model of a process that would otherwise exist under other circumstances comes into being. The site-specific installation accentuates one of the most common parts of the course of a day, the sun crossing the sky and its reflections from a variety of barriers. This Díaz’ installation is a follow-up of his preceding projects (Adhesion) exploring the relationship between natural and man-made environment.
4k video installation
The only one-channel narrative video by Federic Díaz originated in the wake of his previous project Adhesion/ Survival Manual for the Moving Image Biennial in Sao Paulo. Díaz again considers the relation between the natural and man-made environment, and the position of man at point zero in his relation to nature. The key issue being what principles, what parameters underpin the fundamental orientation of man in an environment rid of all otherwise common social and technological prerequisites of our times? For Díaz the closeness of materials from which both the human being and its environment are made becomes the essential connection. Through it humans contemplate their position in nature not as being in an unknown and unfriendly environment but as in quite a familiar hinterland, which they divide step by step, by means of basal geometry, into a functional grid according to their individual needs. And it is this segmentation of space, its measurements and surveying, which is the essential principle of an individual blending into his environment. Thus an emerging system replaces the original technological dominance and brings about the chance of a new existence.
carbon fiber laminate,18 x 0,18 x 0,07 m
A site-specific installation made for the interior of Unitas Fratrum – Moravian Brethren Chapel in Litomyšl (designed by Czech architect Zdeněk Fránek). The chapel that also serves as an exhibition room was meant to be a co-operation between the architect and other visual artists from the very start. For instance, Díaz’ tutor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Karel Malich, is the author of the altar. In the case of “18.7.” Díaz contemplated the relationship between an individual and his strictly personal conception of spirituality, and the expression given to it in the sacral space. Outside the chapel, he erected an object manifesting the age-old tendency of sacral architecture to reach up to the sky, not from the position of general or institutionalized faith, but a purely concrete and his very own endeavor to overcome the limits of a profane environment. Due to its numeric title, the “18. 7.” object becomes a symbolic figurative sculpture. 18 meters high, 18 cm of base diameter and 7 cm of that of the peak. In addition to the first reading of the object as pointing up and away from the earth, the numbers in its title are the date of Díaz’ birth.
2006 — 2013
rice paper, Japanese ink
2013 Galerie Zdenek Sklenar / Prague / Czech Republic
An ink painting holds a specific position in Díaz’s known work. We are not used to perceive Díaz as an artist using the range of classical media. In particular with regard to his known creative precondition declared in the most expressive manner in so-called Manifesto Negro related to the project Outside Itself at La Biennale di Venezia 2011: ‟The art emerges without hands touching it”. Díaz speaks about his paintings as about mapping the space of thinking, opportunity to experience the classification and formative systemisation of thoughts in the never-ending chaos of the information world. The experience of direct relation between the movement of a hand and creation of artwork, which is atypical for Díaz, serves as means of narrowing the broad spectrum of intentions and motivation that can continue further in various directions. In the case of ink painting, the first and the only option is also the last option. The material – rice paper – that Díaz uses for his paintings does not enable any modifications of the finished painting. Thus, the ink paintings are directly connected to projects Adhesion/Survival Manual or Pulsar. On the basis of target data monitoring, they gradually generate the figure according to the so-called Lindenmayer’s ‟L” systems.
250 000 ABS spheres, Kuka robots KR16/ Loctite
54 th. Biennale di Venezia / Arsenale North / Nappa 90 / Italy
curated by: Alanna Heiss
An installation created for 53-rd. La Biennale di Venezia 2011, particularly for the space of shipyard in Arsenal within the total idea concept Bice Curiger ILLUMInation. Alanna Heiss was the project curator. The installation is composed of thousands of black balls which form a massive cluster based on the transformation of surrounding world while many visitors come. Two particularly tuned robots create and assemble the balls. Each ball represents one photon. Optical sensors monitor the impact of light on the place and thus they create the flow of data and information. The intensity of surrounding world differs according to the time of day, number of visitors in the installation and trajectory of their movement or colour of their clothes. The resulting sculpture is literally ‟an ornament of mass”.
Zdenek Sklenar Gallery
nekuron wall, CNC
A site-specific installation in dialogue with the works of Karel Malich and Evžen Šimera. Díaz perceives the art gallery space as a model and smooth space; landscape at the beginning of its formation, unmarked by time. Using the selected wall segment, he then simulates the process of landscape formation lasting a thousand years and the rise of individual sediments resulting in the procedural status of the grooved space. It is a static capture of the laminar flow of time on the gallery wall, which may turn in real space into a mountain, valley, rock lake, or desert.
Geometric Death Frequency-141
420 000 ABS spheres, Kuka robots KR16/ Loctite, 6000 x 15000 x 400 cm
MASS MoCA / Massachussets Museum of Contemporary Arts / US
curated by: Joseph Thompson
It is a site-specific installation for MASS MoCA in the state of Massachusetts. The monitoring of space in front of the gallery entrance enabled the creation of a model of photon movement of sunshine. Individual photons which are represented by pixels in the simulation are substituted by spatial voxels for the possibility of dynamic simulation through the application Real Flow. Díaz composed animation sequences hinting at the successiveness of individual phases of light movement. Robots then executed the virtual model.
termosensitive display, computer and interactive components, 600 x 300 x 200 cm
Expo 2010/ Shanghai / CHINA
The installation Pulsar was created for EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. It emerges from similar principles as the work Adhesion/Survival Manual – the visualisation and systemisation of formalised energy flows. In this case, it concerns observing the energy flow in a modern city. The sensors react to changes in energy within the city organism, in particular to changing temperature. Thus, and abstract image which develops in front of the viewer on the projection screen of size 6 x 4 meters. Owing to the algorithm based on Lindenmayer system, which was originally used for describing the model of plant growth, rather chaotic input data are transformed in a structured system similar to a complex pattern called Penrose Paving. It is possible to describe the final form as an active ornamental mosaic. Pulsar is one of the next Díaz’s steps towards bridging the definition of artwork and scientific research.
24 k gold /Automatic pipet station / esence, computer and interactive EEG components, 500 x 500 x 300 cm
Expo 2010 / Shanghai / CHINA
LacrimAu is, to a certain extent, a site-specific comment of an exceptionally strong social clash which develops throughout the international encounters. The background of LacrimAu was the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. The installation directly reacts to the emotional state of individual visors. The testing room with a monumental sculpture in the shape of a human tear cast of pure gold serves as a basic interface. The shape of the reference point of the human tear has been selected due to a large scope of connotations in meaning with which it is wrapped up. On the basal level, the tear can represent the dichotomy of joy and sadness. The visitor himself sits in the glass cube and is equipped with EEG sensors registering his brain activity. Experienced emotions, provoked by hectic surroundings are intensified and concentrated through the reference point of the golden tear and through the data flow they become bio signals. Each signal frequency then has actual essence of various plants assigned. The test results then form a material state consisting of individually mixed fragrance. The smell as one of the primary human senses mediates the emotional recording of the moment and fixes it in the memory. Thus, it is much easier to recall the situation when smelling it again.
Carbon fiber composite tube, 2500 x 2500 x 600 cm
Air is a site-specific installation created for the actual space in the gallery of Jan Světlík’s collection. The object composed of carbon fibres is as in the case of most Díaz’s works, formally predetermined by general physical laws while its final form is a visualisation of one of many possible measurable circumstances of the given environment. In this case, it concerns the simulation of airflow in the given space. The work of art thus provokes questions about the autonomy of the artwork against its environment – instead of being an independent sculpture it becomes a materialised analysis of the space that completes, redintegrates and redefines its original effect.
polyamide objects, ink painting, termosensitive display, light, data projectors, 600 x 600 x 200 cm
2009 / Frederieke Taylor / New York / Chelsea / US, 2009 / Galerie Zdenek Sklenar / Prague / Czech Republic
curated by: Frederieke Taylor
Individual objects forming the project Adhesion/Survival Manual seem, at first sight, to be monochrome images of atypical formats. In reality, the illustrations of a process defined by the rules of so-called Lindenmeyer system used for the simulation of a plant growth process are the projection screens. The systems functions on the basis of additive principle that gradually expands the complexity of visualised figures. The defined lines expand into fractal figures which gradually cover the whole surface of the project. The resulting surface is printed in thermo sensitive colour which reacts to the space conditions and viewer’s presence. Therefore, the figure is always an individual and irreproducible record of the actual situation in time and space. Thus it creates a record of possible model situation in which a human contacts the nature and illustrates the radical degree of immediate effect which the human can exert on his environment. Highly aesthetical interface again functions as a communication means of fundamental environmental and social issues.
polyamide, polyethylene, speakers, SLS rapid prototyping objects, lights, data projector, 2500 x 2500 x 600 cm
Art Basel Miami Beach 2008
curated by: Alanna Heiss
Alanna Heis asked Federico Díaz to create the installation Ultra for the presentation P.S.1 at Art Basel Miami in 2008. It represents specific futuristic immersive environment in which the Art Basel visitors can move freely and use it for relaxation or listening to the Art Radio International WPS1 which airs coverage of the fair in this location. The radio, as a typical sound medium, served as a starting ideological point of the installation that converts the sound in material spatial architecture, again on the basis of element transformation. The radio station literally spreads tsunami of materialised sound, so-called white noise, therefore a signal bearing equal share of all frequencies of audible spectrum.
Lambda print, plastic, carbon and composite material, Real Flow software, ink painting – Japanese ink, rice paper, 176 x 100 cm
Resonance, Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2007, Prostor pro intuici / Room for Intuition, City Gallery Prague, House at the Golden Ring, Prague, Czech Republic 2007, Frac Centre Orleans, permanent collection, from 2013
Frac Centre Orléans
curated by: Marie-Ange Brayer, Frédéric Migayrou
The project Resonance represents the fundamental line of Díaz’s thinking about the human’s sense of belonging to his environment which is not perceived on the basic level of seen and felt reality only but as some higher level – an augmented space of existence in which reality positively collides with the illusion and virtuality. This environment which is not possible to perceive with senses is manifested through resonant membranes of the world and the human. According to Díaz, human membranes are body and mind. There is an imprint of deeper levels of matter and energy on these membranes. Through the analysis of resulting vibrations, Díaz penetrates the field of natural sciences examination. The research results are visualised by the Real Flow software and subsequently materialised through the technology of rapid prototyping and ink painting.
PC, Maya software, Japanese ink, rice paper size print 220 x 120 cm, 176 x 200 cm, painting 135 x 65, 43 x 55 cm, 34 x 47 cm
Fluid F1, Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2006
Formula 1 expresses two fundamental characteristics necessary for understanding the western world for Díaz. The principles of co-operation and worshipping. The whole project is built around en ephemeral moment that lasts 6 seconds in which the cooperation of 30 mechanics flawlessly co-operate while changing tyres at the pit stop during the race. There are many entirely ritualised actions which are interconnected in precise harmony in a very short moment. According to Díaz, it concerns the bond of a western person with his ancestors and peers from other cultures maintaining ritual practices. The car and the driver acquire new energy necessary for the completion of the race through a precise scenario. The principle of worshipping appears in the moment of celebration, the united experience of direct or mediated race recording. What is the effect of a second long surge while screaming with happiness or despair regarding the winning in the race on our thinking, information field matrix, resonance and our genetic code? Those are fundamental issues for Díaz and they are materialised, likewise in the project Resonance, in an ink painting, digital visualisation and stereolithographic objects.
PC, C++ software, optical sensor, data projector, semitransparent material, polyamide material, acoustic insulation, steel structure, speakers, glass, projection room 600x600x400 cm
Com.bi.nacion: Science Meets Art, Museum Kampa, Prague, Czech Republic, 2005; Hybrid – living in paradox, Ars Electronica 2005, Linz, Austria, 2005; В межВременье/ V mezičase
/ In the Interim ГЦСИ (NCCA – National Center for Contemporary Art), Moscow, Russia 2006)
curated by: Gerfried Stocker
Sakura is a complex utopian project composed of illustration architecture and a video specifically installed within. A fictitious company Sakura Corporation is presented in the futuristic exhibition booth. There is only a table with seemingly interactive control interface in the booth. In reality, this panel offers only one option – switching on the presentation video. Diaz is represented as a main participant in this narrative recording and for the first time, he is in the role of a performer or actor. Sakura can represent a dystopian vision of the future restrained by advanced manipulative technologies and the only escape is to retreat into one’s own mind and voluntary death – as the video shows in a very technologically impressive shot of a dramatic demise of the main character. What can be today perceived as a spine-chilling vision of own death represents new opportunities when viewed from a different perspective. Sakura offers a range of various interpretations. It is aesthetically specific due to the use of visual means close to luxury goods marketing or manipulative strategies of sectarian organisations.
PC, C++ software, optical sensor, data projector, polyamide material, projection room with flexible dimensions
Objectually Speaking, Galerie Futura, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004
The starting point of Voxel is an empty white projection screen but the interaction of the viewer and the work gradually generates the shapes leading to the abstracted reflection of a human body. When the contact with the work is interrupted, the original state returns. The spatiality of the projection is also its specific. It does not concern a two dimensional image – individual pixels are replaced with spatial voxels and thus it seems that the human body is expanded by other immaterial dimension. This time the installation does not follow the viewer’s movement only but it also reacts to acoustic stimuli. The voice serves as means for making the intended vibration membranes vibrate. The membranes are visualised in the emerging image. Therefore, it is some kind of a visual echo of own sound track.
In the case of project Voxel, all the relevant documents were lost. This issue leads us to questioning the long-term preservation of Díaz’s works and the art of new media, which is strongly bound to current technology that are overcome very soon and with time, there might even occur total incompatibility of the original hardware and software with a new one. Therefore, the possibility of exhibiting the original work of art is lost and it is only possible to reconstruct or remake it.
Muscoxen is a development of social criticism used in the project Sakura and it is still in the conceptual state. Corporate ideological pressure, marketing strategies bordering on the propagation of closed sectarian system and deliberate manipulation of information is represented as starting points. All that is developed on the model of fictitious multinational corporation Muscoxen that produces human emotions or the opportunity to purchase so-called binary seed, a future client’s existence built on the grounds of final client analysis. The individual clients’ seeds would develop not only according to their own gradual programming but also on the basis of interactions with other clients’ seeds and thus a model situation of creating a new artificial level of society would be achieved.
Muscoxen along with the project Sakura is one of the most significant commentaries on politics through art with regard to the possibilities of the evolution of the present society.
PC, C++ software, semantic analyzer, optical sensor, data projector, semitransparent material, polyamide material, acoustic insulation, SLS rapid prototyping objects, data network size projection room of flexible dimensions
Vision, Prague/Tokyo, Critics’ Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004; Vision, Prague/Tokyo,
Gallery Vision, Gallery Toki, Tokyo, Japan, 2004; Die Algorithmische Revolution, ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe), Germany, 2004–2008; Sembion, ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), London, UK, 2005; EXPO 2005: Nature’s Mirror – Contemporary Czech Art, Asahi Sumida River Hall, Tokyo and Aichi, Japan, 2005
curated by: Peter Weibel, Dominika Szope
The objective of the project is to convert speech in visual forms through specially programmed software. The voice recognitions detects the speech of visitors in the installation and does not analyse the meaning but the syntax and conventionalised phrases and converts them in the dictionary of shapes created in advance. Thus, the result is a set of data visualised as metablob systems through the technology of stereolithography and rapid prototyping. The projects was created in co-operation with the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and a distinguished art theorist Jiří Ševčík.
The project was also presented at the exhibition Die Algorithmische Revolution in ZKM, Karlsruhe and in ICA in London.
carbon fiber, LED diodes, PC, software, stainless steel, 40000 x 20000 x 8000 cm
permanent installation of the binary star sculpture in the town of Litomyšl (Czech Republic) at the site of the birthplace of Zdeněk Kopal
One of the few Díaz’s contacts with classical sculptural medium of the monument. His Binary Star in Litomyšl reminds us of a significant Czech astronomer Zdeněk Kopal (1914 – 1993). Díaz used the model of binary star, so-called Roche lobes of which theory Kopal was engaged in, as a basic theme. The monument is located on the plan view of the demolished Kopal’s birthplace. The plan view is delimited with a strip of LED and text field which reminds us of data concerning the astronomer’s life and selected parts of his research. The technological solution of the sculpture is also its specifics. It uses the processes of production of carbon casings for space shuttle motors. The spatial solution also refers to Kopal’s co-operation with NASA on preparing the surface of the Moon for Apollo landing.
PC, C++ software, optical sensor, infrared sensors, data projector, 120 W speakers, low‐frequency subwoofer, semi‐transparent glass, polyamide film, acoustic insulation, projection room, flexible dimensions location of artwork property of the artist
E AREA: Mnemeg, The Moravian Gallery in Brno, The Museum of Decorative Arts, Brno, 2002; Lanterna Magika, Espace EDF Electra, Paris, France, 2002; ...o technice.../...about technology..., Czech Museum of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic, 2003; V mezičase / In time between, Critics’ Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004; Vision, Prague/Tokyo, Critics’ Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004
curated by: Vit Havranek
Mnemeg, with respect to technology, develops previous projects and brings an entirely new aspect of author’s creation. Díaz actually lets an artificial being emerge from the nebula of abstract fields and networks true to the tradition of medieval alchemists. Mnemeg is an artificial woman of fluid vacuum whose gradually developing dance and demonstration of humanity result from the interaction with the visitor passing through the installation. This time there is no mirror set for the viewer but there is an opportunity to communicate with a being which he himself co-creates. Díaz admits that the artificial being does not have to have anthropomorphic characteristics and avoids the model of human in his further art.
PC, C++ software, metablobs, optical sensor, data projector, 120 W speakers, subwoofer, projection room: a cylinder drum with a 6m diameter projection onto an exterior building façade, flexible dimensions
Milano Europa 2000, PAC and Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy, 2001; Možná sdělení / Possible Communications, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Pražák Palace, Brno, Czech Republic, 2001; Corps et traces dans la création tchèque 1962–2002, Musée des Beaux‐Arts de Nancy, Nancy, France, 2002; Jindřich Chalupecký Award, finalists: Markéta Baňková, Federico Díaz, Lenka Klodová, Markéta Othová, the Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic, 2002; Aus Liebe. Die Generation der 90er Jahre in Prag, Landesmuseum Bonn, Galerie der Stadt Remscheid, Bonn, Germany, 2003; Ejhle světlo / Behold the Light, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Governor’s Palace, Brno, Czech Republic, 2003; Ejhle světlo/ Behold the Light, Prague Castle Riding School, Prague, Czech Republic, 2004
In Díaz’s work, Generatrix develops the element interconnecting the acoustic and visual perceptions. The generated visual field reacts to the surrounding sound and movement. The projection in the form of a rather simple blob reacts to intentional and unintentional viewer’s interaction. Originally calm pulsating surface of the blob is rippled by the surrounding stimuli which start playing the form into multiple story lines. The original blob object reflects the viewer’s face and the background gradually starts moving and it multiplies. Generatrix serves as a resonance membrane reflecting the surrounding situation. The project forms a basis for works Mnemeg and Voxel.
and components steel and aluminum construction, ‘Barrisol’ polyamide sheet, acoustic absorbent boards, 63 speakers, three doors operated by a photo‐cell, laser sensors, seven lighting fixtures, special hardware, interactive software,12 x 3 x 2 m
Současné umění: Contemporary Collection – Czech Art in the ‘90s, City Gallery Prague, Dům U Zlatého prstenu (House at the Golden Ring), Prague, Czech Republic, 1998–2000, the partner of the exhibition was the company Andersen Consulting
curated by: Karel Srp
In the installation 7, Díaz develops the main themes of his work used in Dehibernation and Spin. The installation has a shape of a closed space equipped with speakers which create holophonic sound following the viewer’s movement. The numerical designation refers to the installation’s layering into seven individual sound fields. Gradual passage through all seven zones and their cognition then reflects one’s opportunity to reveal things that are otherwise hidden in his soul.
Photon I, II
steel, ‘Barrisol’ polyamide sheet, set of forty polarization filters, carbon rod, polarizer, holophonic sound field, analogue‐digital movement converter, 500 x 30 x 300 cm
500 x 30 x 300 cm
curated by: Karel Srp
Photon I, II indicate the principle of physical materialisation of originally only simulated object and space that Díaz uses the most often. Díaz usually uses stereolithography for these purposes. The basic component of the installation is a five-metre carbon rod slowly rotating along its axis through the space. The rod is equipped with polarisation filters which allow seeing only a certain wavelength of light. The viewer gradually sees the filters from bellow and through the vision slit. The angle determined in such manner so as to observe the process enables to perceive gradual changes of transparency occurring on the surfaces of filters. The architectonic scope of the work, which serves, besides other things, to focusing the eyes on the on-going process, is the allusion of future complex thinking about social and perception role of the architecture in further Díaz’s work. High frequency sound, which is synchronised with the movement of light on the filters, forms an essential component of the artwork again.
metal construction, ‘Barrisol’ polyamide sheet components computer projection, holophonic sound field, laser sensors, mechanism enabling the movement of two spheres shaping the sheet, analogue‐digital converter of movement, hardware and software developed by the artist, laser sensors, sound field technique computer simulation software TDI, Explore, Alias Wavefront hardware Silicon graphics, 4,5 x 5 x 8 m / 13,5 x 3,6 x 1 m
Tacuzcanzcan, City Gallery Prague, Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic, 1997; the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for 1997 – Veronika Bromová, Jiří Černický, Federico Díaz, Roman Franta, Jiří Příhoda, Old Royal Palace, Gothic Level, Prague, Czech Republic, 1997; Lanterne magique, artistes tcheques et nouvelles technologies, Hall des Chars de La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France, 1998; L‘Art du Monde 98, Passage de Retz, Paris, France, 1998
Fermion is a specific architectonic intervention, a construction covered with plastic film. It divides the space and inserts an element which materialises the omnipresent existence of the gravitation field in its natural functioning. The surface of Fermion serves as a projection surface for the animation of an active point. The point is supported with a solid centre from which it expands and contracts. At the same time, the initial and final states of the point pulsation, which move against each other, are captured. Again, the process of the form transformation is a result of scanning visitors’ movements in the installation space. Besides generating visual perceptions, the extent of Ferminon’s communication is strengthened by the sound of which frequency again reacts to the visitor’s closeness.
polyamide, bronze, silver, thermally curved glass, construction made of carbon fibers, 800 x 300 x 120 mm
Collection of the Jana & Milan Jelinek Foundation, Switzerland, Florida, USA
The Jindřich Chalupecký Award for 1997 – Veronika Bromová, Jiří Černický, Federico Díaz, Roman Franta, Jiří Příhoda, Old Royal Palace, Gothic Level, Prague, Czech Republic, 1997; L‘Art du Monde 98, Passage de Retz, Paris, France, 1998; Bolb, Galerie Václava Špály, Prague, Czech Republic, 1998; Neplánované spojení. Stipendisté Jana a Milan Jelínek Foundation 1990–1998, Mánes Exhibition Hall, Prague, Czech Republic, 1999; Aktuální nekonečno / Actual Infinity, City Gallery Prague, Municipal Library, Prague, Czech Republic, 2000
Up is the materialisation of Díaz’s interest in theoretic issues concerning the issues of universe formation and evolution. These issues permeate the humane line of his work, the interest in a human in his natural environment and environment deformed by the current technologic, social and economic reality. Up is a specific vision which directly illustrates the reality of a black hole that is not possible to experience physically. It is a deformation of space caused by the immense concentration of the matter and energy in an extremely small space. Two transparent glass panels are connected by glass tube in two layers. There is an absolute narrowing in its centre. At first sight, this literal materialisation of physical and mathematical theories may again refer to the process of human thinking and opening and closing of one’s soul to one’s natural environment.
duralumin, aluminum, steel, synthetic materials, ‘Barrisol’ polyamide sheet, acoustic absorbent boards and others, software: TDI, Explore, Alias Wavefront, Dynamition, Composer, hardware: Onyx, Realityengine, Silicon Graphics computer system, components: interface for monitoring the movement of the eye, analogue‐digital voice converter, 2 LCD projectors, 16 broadband speakers, 4 low frequency speakers, DCA amplifiers, 1 Bose‐Canonwave, 1 1800 W amplifier, 900 x 400 x 400 cm
Orbis Fictus, National Gallery Prague, Waldstein Riding School, Prague, Czech Republic, 1995
curated by: Ludvík Hlaváček
Spin, named after the unit of motion of elementary particles, develops Dehibernation I and II. The installation consists of an acoustic mirror echoing all the sounds resulting from the visitor’s passage and the sound then literally follows the visitor. The space of echoes is created as an acoustically ‟dead room” so as to create ideal conditions. Therefore, it is an acoustically neutral environment which absorbs all the surrounding undesirable sound interference. The installation follows the visitor’s movement and continuously reacts with holophonic, thus spatial sound system. The tiniest movement, not only in the space but also when holding a position – for example when the visitor turns his head – is reflected by the system which responds to the visitor directly. The installation is completed with a visual component in the form of projection called High Energy Collision. The same as in the case of the sound the projection is generated on the basis of input data acquired through observing the visitor. The visitor becomes the creator of the actual form of artwork. The artist’s contribution is evident in the creation and programming of input parameters but the actual formations are the result of visitor’s interaction with the work of art.
Dehibernation I, II
steel, duralumin, aluminum, steel, synthetic materials, components: 92 broadband speakers and amplifiers, DCA amplifiers, 1 x Bose – Canonwave, 1 x amplifier 1800 W, data projector, software: TDI, Explore, Alias Wavefront, software developed by the artist, 600 x 400 x 300 cm
Netz Europa, Landesgalerie am O. Ö. Landesmuseum Francisco Carolinum, Austria Tabakwerke, Linz, Austria, 1994; Bienále mladého umění (Biennale of Young Art), City Gallery Prague, Dům U Kamenného zvonu (House at the Stone Bell), Prague, Czech Republic, 1994
It is a particularly created space equipped with six interconnected sets of 92 speakers which play abundantly structured sounds of various frequencies and a mix of words in different languages at the same time. Besides the acoustic perceptions, the installation effect is visual and haptic which is caused by the characteristics of the material construction of the artwork. It is the first Díaz’s holophonic space.
Dehibernation has been exhibited at the Biennale of Young Artists in Prague City Gallery in 1994 and the exhibition Netz Europa in Linz, Austria.
CHS – 109 polyester resin, ‘Glasurit’ pearly enamel / other components 120 W speaker,
low frequency sound
National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Academy of Fine Arts, U Hybernů, Prague, Czech Republic, 1993; Prisma Art Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic, 1993; 10 Jahre, Alexander‐Dorner‐ ‐Kreis, Kubus, Hannover, Germany, 1993; Europa 94, Junge Europäische Kunst in München, Munich, Germany, 1994; Hi‐tech / Umění, the Brno House of Arts, Brno, 1996; Crossings, Galerie/Gallery Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic, 1999
Nostalgia is formed by three meters high white shell which invites the visitor to a closer contact through its atypical opening. The name refers to Andrei Tarkovsky movie. The National Gallery in Prague had purchased this work of art when Díaz studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and it is the work of art of the youngest artist in the collection. Although it is an early work it has premised several essential characteristics of Díaz’s work. It shows his interest in nature and its connection with human creativity on which the physical shape draws. The shape interconnects the nature and the ideal of golden section and Fibonacci sequence. However, the form is only a background of a large repertoire of significance. The shell is a model of dwelling or rather space which can a person use in the metaphorical sense. The visitor has an opportunity to merge with the shell so that a specific, virtually non-discernable, reproduced sound can be perceived. This intimate experience, which offers the full experience of the artwork only after the visitor directly participates, is the most fundamental principle of Díaz’s communication.
Suproportion, following the painting experiment Caravaggio, is the earliest documented artwork of Federico Díaz which starts playing the thinking which has been evident in Díaz’s creative style until now. The similarity to the art of Díaz’s mentor Karel Malich associates precisely constructed geometric space system and transpositions between the figurative and abstract on the basis of one work of art. Díaz uses bamboo splinters for the material realisation while Malich uses wires. His primary concern is based on the individual, his relation to the environment and it is composed through the bond of mutual proportional closeness and connection. Humane and social dimensions in general meet in the position of the central existential point, the human mind, which is not only the bearer of rationality for Díaz but also a bearer of emotions.