Last week the digital art house GAZELL.iO inaugurated Brendan Dawes’ solo show titled “Moments Spent with Others“. The exhibition explores the beauty behind moments that may initially seem insignificant and how the concept of time and space is connected to the captivating feeling of interacting with others.
For the occasion, Rachel Falconer (independent networked curator and researcher and Head of Digital Arts Computing here at Goldsmiths) joined Brendan Dawes for a very open conversation. This special talk contextualises the artist’s show, sharing space around iterative memory networks, the resistance and agency of galleries in the age of NFT culture and the refusal of algorithmic aesthetic regimes.
Moments Spent with Others consists of algorithmic visuals derived from mundane moments that somehow stick to one’s memory. After the recent lockdown period, human interaction became more precious as we grew used to detaching ourselves from other people. From personal yet universally relatable moments like sitting on a park bench in Soho, New York, whilst eating a slice of pizza, to people-watching in a bustling hub, Dawes embraces these moments by recreating them into datasets algorithms and data visualisations. Dawes draws much of his inspiration from popular culture and nature, often revolving his work around the concept of time and memory – and how these can intertwine. These analytical explorations have been an ongoing theme over Dawes’ career, as he questions our understanding of the surrounding world.
The AI algorithmic visuals will be presented in a unique, site-specific way to recreate the fleeting nature of memories. A new series of NFTs will accompany the exhibition.
Kate Devlin as she is demonstrably a great woman in Computing; doing interesting research, great teaching, is passionately involved in this campaign and is a top woman to boot!
In early 2013 Kate was one of 60 experts selected out of over 2000 applicants for training as an expert contributor and presenter at the BBC as part of the Expert Women campaign. As a feminist, Kate strives towards highlighting the role of women in computer science and addressing sexism and gender imbalance in the IT industry.
Kate Robson Brown is Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Archaeology and Anthropology department at the University of Bristol where I carried out my postdoctoral research. She impresses me in terms of her successful academic career and qualifications, and also in how she values family life and being a mother. She is a great ambassador for STEM academics and a lovely person too.
My nomination is (perhaps unsurprisingly) Daphne Oram.
She founded the BBC radiophonic workshop, invented the first British Electronic music device that featured a computational method for describing pitch (The Oramics Machine), and composed some of the most original and inventive music of the 1950s and 1960’s. She also may have been the first woman to develop her own computer program to make music.
I am nominating Professor Janis Jefferies in the Computing Department at Goldsmiths. Janis trained as a painter, is a big deal in contemporary textiles research, and is Professor of Visual Arts in our department. She has contributed a huge amount to the department and to Goldsmiths. She is a role model for me for her feminism, her professional achievements, and because no matter how busy she is, she always has time to help and encourage others. I remember her finding time in her day to help me prepare for my viva at another university last year and I will always be grateful to her.
Anita Borg, the founding director of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT). Anita Borg died sadly in April of 2003 from brain cancer at the age of 54. Beginning in 1997, the institute was supported and funded by Xerox. Her goals for the institute were threefold:
bring non-technical women into the design process
encourage more women to become scientists
and help the industry, academia, and the government accelerate these changes.
JustineCassell has really influenced my work over the years with her fantastic work on modelling human non-verbal behaviour, work that really integrates computational work with very human behaviour.
Rosalind Picard: also does that in a different way. Her work on “Affective Computing”, i.e. computing and the emotions, applies hard core engineering to the very human problem of emotion.
Finally, I’d like to mention one of Rosalind’s collaborators, Rana El Kaliouby, who did her PhD in the same lab as me and I had to honour once to present some of her fantastic work on emotion recognition at a conference.