Big Data: Designing with the Materials of Life

Ant Ballet is featured in the upcoming exhibition Big Data: Designing with the Materials of Life at Central St Martins. In addition to the static exhibition, I will be working with students to facilitate the design process during the live design-science project.

The exhibition is curated in two parallel formats:

– A static design exhibition which will present biologically-driven design narratives, including work from Ann Kristin Abel, William Bondin, Natsai Chieza, Rob Kesseler, Amy Congdon, Ruairi Glynn and Ollie Palmer

– A live design-science project in collaboration with the Medical Research Council as part of the ‘Fabrics of Life’ series. For three weeks, the Lethaby gallery becomes an incubator studio where emerging designers and architects will create new design proposals in response to the research of leading biological science labs.

Exhibition and Live Project:

23 January – 13 February 2014
Tuesdays to Fridays, 12–5pm
Work In Progress Presentation: Wednesday 5 February 2014, 2-5pm
Final Design Presentation: Wednesday 12 February 2014, 2-5pm

For more information, see the University of the Arts London website.

Thanks to Carole Collet and Ruairi Glynn for the invitation.

Plexus talk

I gave a talk about Ant Ballet at the Bartlett School of Architecture‘s Plexus lecture series.

The entire event was recorded and is available here:

There was an excellent line-up of people who also presented, including:
Manja Van de Worp
Vera-Maria Glahn, director of field.io
Memo Akten – who is one of the best people on Twitter – gave a hilarious, thought-providing talk and run-through of his work to date

Plus the Bartlett’s very own Mollie Claypool as a special guest.

Thank you to Jose Sanchez for the invitation!

New Scientist Christmas Special

Ant Ballet is featured, albeit very briefly, in this weeks’ issue of New Scientist (22 Dec 2012).

Here is the article:

New Scientist, 22 Dec 2012, page 54

It is a side note in an article about Tim Cockerill‘s brand new Flea Circus – which uses real fleas to revive this old tradition. Here’s a video with slightly more information about Tim’s flea circus:

For more information about the Flea Circus, see Tim’s website. For more from New Scientist, visit their website.

Ant Ballet in Manchester Evening News

In anticipation of the FutureEverything art exhibition, Manchester Evening News ran a story about Ant Ballet last week. Unforutnately the only copy I could get my hands on was a bit dog-eared, so you may not be able to decipher it from the above photo, but you can read the article online here.

FutureEverything in not-quite-3D

I know not everyone can make it to Manchester for FutureEverything, so took a couple of panoramic photosynths so that everyone can join in the fun. The exhibition is in the world’s first railway warehouse, so it’s a nice contrast between the peak of 1830’s physical technology and 2012’s (mostly) virtual!

First up is the elevator that takes people from the ground floor to the exhibition:

It’s been designed by Jörn Röder and Jonathan Pimay. Called fbFaces, it is the result of a script that trawled the web for public photos of people from and related to Manchester. There’s something of a Philip K Dick novel/Keiichi Matsuda experience in being surrounded by so many little avatars…

Secondly, here’s my Ant Ballet installation:

It has four screens showing documentary footage and theory about Ant Ballet, and a floating circular screen in the middle of the space with a robotic arm and simulation of ant trail following and disruption.

On the other side of the room is Brendan Oliver and Kasia Molga‘s The…. Based around David Bohm‘s philosophy that no human thought can be original, but rather a result of other thoughts in the world, it presents visitors with poetic (and non-Justin Bieber-related) Twitter feeds that are sent from one viewers’ shadow to another.

Unfortunately I didn’t have exhibition features numerous other works by artists such as Lawrence Epps, Jeremy Hutchison, Daniel Jones + James Bulley and more. It is open from the 18th May – 10th June at the Museum of Science and Industry