Synthetic Cognisphere, as an immersive audiovisual environment, autonomously and unpredictably transforms its form by weaving the moving images and sounds of memories with nonconscious activities of humans and nonhumans in real time and makes the distinction between them ambiguous.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 11 am – 5 pm on weekends
- August 27 – October 30, 2022
- Artist Day: TBD
The Harvestworks Art and Technology Program Building 10a, Nolan Park, Governors Island
Synthetic Cognisphere, embodies a speculated cognitive system in which fragments of human memories are entangled with cognitive activities of nonhumans. The artist feeds daily images, which she has taken nonconsciously with her mobile devices, into neural networks to repurpose them and envision how a machine would process its own memories of her experiences.
In technological societies, machines engage in human’s memories, ideas, and even decisions while providing faster, lighter, and more affordable devices that make us generate a stream of data everyday. A huge part of our experiences and movements are digitized and streamed to somewhere unreachable for us.
According to Katherine Hayleys, we live in the Cognisphere, where”In highly developed and networked societies such as the US, human awareness comprises the tip of a huge pyramid of data flows, most of which occur between machines”. Synthetic Cognisphere envisions invisible yet dynamic interplay of human-nonhuman cognition on the nonconscious level.
Synthetic Cognisphere is an immersive installation that embodies a speculated cognitive system in which fragments of human memories are entangled with cognitive activities of nonhumans. As a human living in the technological society, the artist generates various and numerous forms of data on her mobile device, and such actions are almost nonconscious. In this project, she repurposes those data, especially images, by feeding them into neural networks to envision how a machine would process its own memories of her experiences.
Synthetic Cognisphere composes an immersive audiovisual environment that autonomously and unpredictably transforms its form by weaving the moving images and sounds of memories with nonconscious activities of both humans and nonhumans and blurs the boundary between them. Audiences are invited to interact with the system but soon they will realize that the cognitive ecosystem is not under their control.
Su Hyun Nam, based in New York and Seoul, works as an interdisciplinary media artist and researcher at the intersection of art, technology, science, and philosophy to investigate relationships with diverse nonhumans. She is an artist-in-residence at the Harvestworks Media Art Center and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Art Center. Her work, including experimental video, interactive media, 3D game art, and media performance, has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues from Spain, UAE, Greece, and Singapore to South Korea.
Su Hyun Nam earned an MFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Media Study from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Contemporary Arts at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Hans Tammen (Sound Engineer)
PAST INTERVIEWS AND PRESS COVERAGE:
K-Art at Home: Su Hyun Nam | 2020 Korean Media Art Series
Nam’s artwork presents a digitally woven landscape in which the coexistence of people and complex artificial environments is revealed through recompiled observations of city life. The abstracted scenes she portrays appear vaguely familiar at first, even pedestrian—quaint neighborhoods, urban skylines, and solitary trees—yet are distorted by swaths of manipulated pixels or shifting views spliced together. At times these fluctuations recall errors of digital imaging or stream buffering, other times the playful motion of rippling water or a kaleidoscope. Their effect, however, is the same regardless: these visual incongruities reflect our own real conflict with unnatural surroundings and social settings, as well as the challenge of interpreting what we see, particularly for immigrants such as the artist herself. Nam thus visualizes the true nature of an unstable symbiotic relationship between evolving technology, nature, and the identity of human beings living in modern society.
As physical installations, several of Nam’s multifaceted technology works integrate elements of motion capture and view tracking with feedback displays to produce live interactive art that viewers help create; for this virtual exhibition, viewers can experience recorded examples of these processes while Nam demonstrates the interactive components and their artistic significance in her artist talk.