Hence, the book brings together topics of artistic and scientific exploration, generative and audiovisual media, autonomous installations, and novel materials and sensors. The invited artists and researchers come from cutting-edge fields of art production that focuses on creating aesthetic experiences and performative situations. Artists that heavily rely on technology but with their creative production also pioneer and shape the way technology looks like or functions. They contribute to society by visualizing ideas and tools for a future world and challenge our understanding of ubiquitous computing technology and information processing.
The majority of chapters deal with physical and natural computation. How do physical systems process information? What are novel sensing and computing materials in an artistic context? How do artists employ principles of information processing in physical, chemical and living substrates to create artefacts and installations? Ralf Baecker builds large-scale installations with machines that refer to the very origin of computers or rather “protocomputers” – as Mitchell Whitelaw calls them – such as with “Rechnender Raum” or “Irrational Computing”, where Baecker critically re-engineers individual components of a computer. In “The Crystal World” Jonathan Kemp immerses deeply into the bare raw materials that make up our digital devices. He decrystallizes and recrystallizes electronic junk in his workshops and installations. Frederik de Wilde is “Hacking the Universe” and explores the meaning of randomness from a quantum perspective to translate the noise of vacuum into sound and quantum foam to sculptures. Under the title “Mesoscopic Ripples in the Neural Sea” the behaviour and manipulation of fluids are the research focus of Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand. In their performance “Mucilaginous Omniverse”, for example, droplets of silicon oil levitate above a liquid surface and are made audible. Turning to the biological, Saša Spacal is contemplating aspects of existence with an emphasis on microorganisms. Hence, she creates with “Mycophone” a musical instrument from fungi mycelium or in “Myconnect” a symbiotic interspecies connector for humans and organisms.