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Humanizing Technology Through Post-Digital Art
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

I draw upon the idea of the post digital to create (1) art for humanization of technology and (2) art as manifestations of digital qualities in the physical world, e.g., through digital-analog convergence, or through enriching our experiences with hybrid constellations of techniques, concepts and aesthetics.

My work consists of two parts: practice-based research in the arts and conceptualizations arising from my practice. Four art projects are presented in this thesis: Metaphone, Delete By Haiku, S T R A T I C, and Panorama Time. My post-digital approach is manifest through the hacking activities, disruptive techniques and aesthetic approaches I apply. These thrive on a set of constitutive concepts: machine aesthetics, digital upcycling, aleatoricism and chance, deletion, repetition, fault aesthetics and glitch aesthetics. My post-digital aesthetic principles depend on machinic, systematic behaviors in the technologies I explore. Machine aesthetics expose operational and mechanical principles and behaviors. Digital upcycling is a repurposing design process wherein function follows form to add value to old defunct objects. I deploy chance in the design process through a “rolling a dice” approach. I use both deletion and insertion repetitively as design principles. In my work, I also induce technical faults and take deliberate control of machine glitches. These are all aesthetic approaches that help transform the “cold” appearance of information technologies and bring them closer to people, thereby humanizing technology. Some of the aesthetic principles (e.g., machine aesthetics or glitch aesthetics) might not seem “natural” or “human” but I use them to explore digital materiality analogously to how steel, iron and other materials were approached from the early phases of the industrial revolution and Modernism. As such these aesthetic principles are ways of interrogating the digital thriving o a cultural-historical point of view. 

Abstract [sv]

Jag bygger på idén om det post-digitala för att skapa (1) konst för human- isering av teknik och (2) konst som manifestationer av digitala kvaliteter i den fysiska världen, t.ex. genom digital-analog konvergens eller genom att berika våra upplevelser med hybridkonstellationer av tekniker, be- grepp och estetik.

Mitt arbete har två delar - praktikbaserad forskning inom konst och kon- ceptualiseringar som uppstår genom min konstnärliga praktik. Fyra konst- projekt presenteras i denna avhandling: Metaphone, Delete By Haiku, S T R A T I C, och Panorama Time. Mitt post-digitala tillvägagångssätt består av hackningsaktiviteter, disruptiva tekniker och olika estetiska tillvä- gagångssätt. Dessa kan beskrivas med följande begrepp: maskinestetik, digital ”upcycling”, ”aleatoricism” och chans, radering, repetition, feleste- tik och “glitch”-estetik. Mina post-digitala estetiska principer bygger på maskinella, systematiska beteenden i tekniken jag utforskar. Maskineste- tik exponerar operativa och mekaniska principer och beteenden i maskin- en. Digital ”upcycling” är en återanvändande designprocess där funktion följer form för att lägga till värde till gamla objekt. Jag använder chans

i designprocessen genom en “rullande tärning” -strategi. Jag använder både radering och upprepning som designprinciper. I mitt arbete inducer- ar jag också tekniska fel och tar medvetet kontroll över maskin-”glitches”. Dessa är alla estetiska tillvägagångssätt för att omvandla informationste- knologins “kalla” utseende och ta den närmare människor och därigenom humanisera tekniken. Några av de estetiska principerna (t.ex. maskineste- tik eller “glitch”-estetik) kanske inte verkar “naturliga” eller “mänskliga” men jag använder dem för att undersöka digital materialitet analogt till hur stål, järn och andra material utforskades under industriella revolu- tionen och modernismen. Som sådana är dessa estetiska principer sätt att utforska det digitala genom ett kulturhistorisk perspektiv. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. , p. 160
Series
TRITA-EECS-AVL ; 2018:20
Keywords [en]
Humanization of technology, post-digital aesthetics, abstraction, materiality, immateriality, interpretative digitality, hacking, disruption, accelerationism, interactive art, interaction design, human-computer interaction.
National Category
Engineering and Technology Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Art, Technology and Design; Human-computer Interaction; Media Technology; Computer Science; Electrical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224618ISBN: 978-91-7729-712-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-224618DiVA, id: diva2:1191754
Public defence
2018-04-12, Reactor Hall (R1), Huvudentré Drottning Kristinas väg 51, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20180321

Available from: 2018-03-21 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Metaphone: Machine aesthetics meets interaction design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Metaphone: Machine aesthetics meets interaction design
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2014 (English)In: CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2014, p. 1-10Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Through our art project, Metaphone, we explored a particular form of aesthetics referred to in the arts tradition as machine aesthetics. The Metaphone machine collects the participant's bio-data, Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Heart Rate (HR), creating a process of movement, painting and sound. The machine behaves in machine-like, aesthetically evocative ways: A shaft on two large wheels rotates on the floor, carrying paint that is dripped onto a large sheet of aquarelle paper on the floor according to bio-sensor data. A soundscape rhythmically follows the bio-sensor data, but also has its own machine-like sounds. Six commentators were invited to interact with the machine. They reported a strangely relaxing atmosphere induced by the machine. Based on these experiences we discuss how different art styles can help to describe aesthetics in interaction design generally, and how machine aesthetics in particular can be used to create interesting, sustained, stylistically coherent interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2014
Keywords
Affective Computing, Bodily Interaction, Interaction Design, Interactive Arts, Machine Aesthetics, Media Arts
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-146798 (URN)10.1145/2556288.2557152 (DOI)2-s2.0-84900433599 (Scopus ID)978-145032473-1 (ISBN)
Conference
32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014; Toronto, ON; Canada; 26 April 2014 through 1 May 2014
Note

QC 20140616

Available from: 2014-06-16 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved
2. Repurposing Bits and Pieces of the Digital
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Repurposing Bits and Pieces of the Digital
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2015 (English)In: 34TH ANNUAL CHI CONFERENCE ON HUMAN FACTORS IN COMPUTING SYSTEMS, CHI 2016, ACM Digital Library, 2015, p. 840-851Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Repurposing refers to a broad set of practices, such as recycling or upcycling, all aiming to make better use of or give new life to physical materials and artefacts. While these practices have an obvious interest regarding sustainability issues, they also bring about unique aesthetics and values that may inspire design beyond sustainability concerns. What if we can harness these qualities in digital materials? We introduce Delete by Haiku, an application that transforms old mobile text messages into haiku poems. We elaborate on how the principles of repurposing - working on a low budget, introducing chance and combining the original values with the new ones - can inform interaction design in evoking some of these aesthetic values. This approach changes our views on what constitutes "digital materials" and the opportunities they offer. We also connect recent debates concerning ownership of data with discussions in the arts on the "Death of the Author."

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Digital Library, 2015
Keywords
Repurposing, Reuse, Recycling, Upcycling Design, Digital Upcycling, Aesthetics of Deletion, Interaction Design, Interactive Arts
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192797 (URN)10.1145/2858036.2858297 (DOI)000380532900073 ()2-s2.0-85015043535 (Scopus ID)978-1-4503-3362-7 (ISBN)
Conference
34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI4GOOD), MAY 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA
Note

QC 20160926

Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-20 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved
3. Synesthetic Experience in S T R A T I C
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synesthetic Experience in S T R A T I C
2018 (English)Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

How do we humanize digital interactive technology? One way is through our experience with technology. With S T R A T I C we present several post-digital concepts to discuss the relationship of the digital in regard to our human lives. We emphasize the synesthetic experience along with other aesthetic experiences and materiality issues with manifestations of the digital in the physical world, tangible approaches to sonic performances, or exposure of internal logics of technological processes.

In this paper, we propose both exhibiting our work as an art installation and via a live performance. We regard it as being highly relevant to the topic of the TEI Arts Track exhibition: post-digital materiality at the intersection of the analog and the digital, and to its tangible aspects. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Press, 2018. p. 7
Keywords
Synesthetic experience; post digital; post-digital aesthetics; interactive art; interaction design; audio- visual performance; sampling rate.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Art, Technology and Design; Human-computer Interaction; Machine Design; Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224617 (URN)
Conference
Arts Session: TEI ArtsTEI 2018, Tangible, Embedded Interactions, March 18–21, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden
Note

QC 20180321

Available from: 2018-03-20 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved
4. Time and Space in Panoramic Photography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time and Space in Panoramic Photography
2017 (English)In: Acoustic Space, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 233-245Article in journal (Refereed) [Artistic work] Published
Abstract [en]

This article intends to show a usage-hacking case of everyday technology for creating visual narratives. The photographic art project “Panorama Time” is discussed through a techno-cultural perspective and examines the spatial-temporal dimension in panoramic photography, which, in this case, is a digital camera in a mobile phone. The post-media condition and its characteristic of embracing the fusion of different media in one device without specifying any single one is examined in our project through the combination of photographic and cinematographic processes combined in the mobile device. The rolling shutter feature, which is the technological core of digital cameras, enables the strip-photography technique, in our case used in a panoramic technique to deliver a set of concepts: glitch, repetition, frozen frames, and similar. Through deliberate navigation and control, the user breaks the panoramic view, and thus the project’s technique presents the distinction between fault and glitch aesthetics. We show examples and demonstrate the process of creating our digital photography art project “Panorama Time”. By showing how we hacked the digital artifact, we also discuss insights from several experiments in connection to broader photographic concepts in relation to time and space. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Riga, Latvia: , 2017
Keywords
Digital photography, panorama camera, glitch aesthetics, fault aesthetics, spatial- temporal dimension, post-media condition
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Art, Technology and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224616 (URN)
Conference
Renewable Futures. Art, Science and Society in the Post-Media Age, RIXC, Riga, Latvia
Note

QC 20180321

Available from: 2018-03-20 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved
5. Time and space in broken panorama
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time and space in broken panorama
2017 (English)In: DIS 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc , 2017, p. 1369-1381Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This pictorial intends to show a usage-hacking case of everyday technology for creating visual narratives. Storytelling through visual appearance could be significantly relevant and inspirational to design and HCI. This technique is also a design approach in itself; by deliberate navigation and control, the user breaks the panorama view. In this pictorial, we demonstrate examples and show the process of creating our digital photography art project "Panorama Time". In this project, a mobile phone camera's panorama mode is used to tweak time and space. By showing how we hacked the digital artefact, we also discuss insights from several experiments, thereby considering possibilities of establishing such digital experiments in their own right. A presented technique could also be a method for sketching ideas through the photographic medium.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2017
Keywords
Digital photography, Fault aesthetics, Glitch aesthetics, Panorama camera, Panoramic image, Air navigation, Cameras, Personal computing, Photography, Design approaches, Mobile phone cameras, Navigation and control, Panoramic images, Visual appearance, Digital cameras
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-216463 (URN)10.1145/3064663.3064793 (DOI)2-s2.0-85023180649 (Scopus ID)9781450349222 (ISBN)
Conference
12th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2017, 10 June 2017 through 14 June 2017
Note

QC 20171205

Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved

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