At DiNaCon, Parker and Farinella will collaborate on a playful drawing project in which image recognition software will be (mis)used to interpret the natural world. Inspired by William Beebe’s historical team at the Department of Tropical Research, we’ll employ the new technologies at our disposal as a means for exploration and artistic discovery. In a digital game of ‘telephone’ we will use only computer-generated descriptions of the island’s flora and fauna to communicate with each other the as a basis for illustrations. The results of feeding natural observations through multiple human and computer interpretations will create the basis for game of natural discovery with surreal and potentially revealing results. We will display the final drawings along with their AI descriptions as part of a small exhibition.
Matteo Farinella is an interdisciplinary scientist, illustrator and science communicator. He combines his background in neuroscience with a lifelong passion for art and storytelling to make science more fun and accessible for everyone. He is the author of the graphic novels Neurocomic and The Senses. He is currently a presidential scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia University, New York.
Pamela Parker is a designer and artist interested in drawing connections and telling stories. She makes environmental graphic design work for exhibitions, installations for public spaces and urban play projects for fun. She spends a lot of time thinking about what makes a space into a place.
]Maggie Kane (http://www.streetcat.media/) is an experimental artist that specializes in the design and development of sustainable social systems via technology and accessible educational programming.
Streetcat is ~ A free knowledge + education advocate. Founder of feminist/ trans/ non-binary friendly makerspace. Recycled materials artist. Aspiring anime character.
Dinacon 2 Project:
Plastics Hacking! Let’s demystify plastics recycling on a micro-scale and explore various methods of creating new objects out of recycled plastic with various open-source + easily accessible tools.
Maggie is currently focused on developing sustainable educational and income-generating programming for community organizations in the Atlanta area. She serves as a Director and Chair of Activities and Culture for Freeside Atlanta, famously known as Atlanta’s original hackerspace. There, she develops and manages the weekly educational programming that provides free or low-cost classes and events for the community to learn about robotics, electronics, knitting, DIY arcade building, and more.
Alex Rogers is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford where his research focuses on developing and applying artificial intelligence and machine learning within physical sensor systems to address real-world problems around sustainability. Recent work has addressed future energy systems, such as the smart grid, citizen science platforms, and environmental monitoring. Much of his current work is exploring how to use the tools of open-source hardware and software, the ethos of online maker communities, and emerging low-cost lost-volume manufacturing, to develop open tools for environmental scientists. With two PhD students he is developing the AudioMoth acoustic sensor (www.openacousticdevices.info) and using it to search for a rare insect in the UK and to monitor tropical forests in Belize for illegal hunting and logging.
Alex is a computer scientist and engineer at the University of Oxford exploring how to use the tools of open-source hardware and software, the ethos of online maker communities, and emerging low-cost lost-volume manufacturing (such as 3D printing and laser cutting), to develop open tools for environmental scientists. One example is AudioMoth (www.openacousticdevices.info); a low-cost acoustic sensor that can be manufactured for $25, compared to $1000 for commercial devices, that is being used to monitor animal species and human activities, such as illegal hunting and logging, in tropical forests.
At the conference, Alex will deploy these devices to perform an acoustic survey of the island, capturing the sounds of native bird and insect species, and will explore a variety of designs for low-cost submersible waterproof housings to extend the range of AudioMoth to the littoral zone.
Elizabeth and Luis together operate Datable LLC [http://datable.net], a design and technology studio and consultancy based in Barcelona, Spain. Their work combines Elizabeth’s expertise in technical theater, tailoring and wearable electronics with Luis’ expertise in programming, 3d modelling, and interaction.
During the conference they have proposed to develop a general toolkit for contextual wearable devices. The project processes signals from the environment through computer vision and other sensors in order to produce a feedback in series of actuators resulting in expressions of illumination and perhaps other human perceivable media. The wearable will be an interface to both the environment and to the cache of data collected throughout its operation. The process of creating the project can involve a group of people committed to wearing and evolving the wearable throughout the course of the conference.
Irene Laochaisri & Hermes Huang of InsightPact will be coming from Bangkok to conduct research on the conference’s openness in the frame of “situated openness” with inspiration from “decolonizing methodologies” of research. This means that we will critically examine the openness of the conference’s intentions, participants, activities, and geography in regards to contemporary and historical Thai society, culture, and context. We will invite participants to partake in Thai culture and history discussions, ecological empathy-building & awareness exercises, and conduct research alongside our team.
Our research will incorporate elements of a technique known as systemic constellations, which is designed to draw out intuitive and emotional data from participants as it pertains to particular questions, objects, environments, and avatars – this will allow us to examine the participants’ embodied and situated awareness of their place in Koh Lan through another lens (as opposed to through ‘just’ a cognitive lens). We are also curious to build open tools that allow us to engage the environment to stimulate and engage the physical human body to enhance systemic constellations and evoke other forms of intuitive and emotional data.
Deke Weaver (http://www.unreliablebestiary.org/ ) is an award winning performance artist and trans-media storyteller. He currently runs a life-long project called the “Unreliable Bestiary” exploring our “precarious moment in natural history.” Through a series of performances, websites, and books, he creates an ark of stories about animals and our relationships with them.
Theme: During his stay at the Digital Natural Conference Deke will be available to discuss creating engaging performance art concerning natural creatures.
Madeline Schwartzman (www.madelineschwartzman.com, @seeyourselfsensing) is a New York City writer, filmmaker, and architect whose work explores human narratives and the human sensorium through social art, book writing, curating, and experimental video making. Her book, See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception (Black Dog Publishing, London, 2011), is a collection of futuristic proposals for the body and the senses. Her forthcoming book, titled See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded (Black Dog Publishing, London), looks at the future of the human head. At DiNaCon, Madeline will make fun head prosthetics using the island’s natural treasures, Arduino and the human sensorium.
Kitty Kelly (Quitmeyer) (wellreadpanda.com) is a librarian turned professional yarn-crafter. Her interests lie in sustainability, knitting and crochet, books, and red pandas. She has volunteered to teach some of her amazing skills during the conference. Perhaps you will be able to become a mobile knitter / hiker like her!
She has also offered to lead daily yoga and meditation classes at dinacon. (Though she has a disclaimer that she is not a professional in any of these.)
During the conference he proposes to lead mini-expeditions around the island while carrying a bunch of sensors to do 360 camera + GPS mapping + fruit/plant identification of trails on the island, and producing videos, imagery, and maps of things we find in the island.