Collaboration between Brice Ammar Khodja, Idun Isdrake isdrake.com, Natalia Balska and Maurice Jones mauricej.me, for the New Materialisms Digital Culture & Research Creation course with Bart Simon, Concordia University.
With planetary accountability and diversity in mind, the artists seek to play with new ways of sensing and interacting with magnetic fields. Combining a transdisciplinary set of skills and research creation practices, the group initiated a dialogue through making and sensing beyond the boundaries of self. Through shifting our sensorial perception of our own planet we also want to extrapolate towards what extraterrestrial places might feel like.
Looking through the NASAs open archive and Aurora Borealis data from ESA, specifically regarding Earth, Uranus and Neptune, as well as different machine learning based systems, like VQGANxCLIP and Open AI API, GPT-3 models, and hardware, we experimented with ways to generate signals, shapes, visuals and stories about sensing magnetic fields. Magnetoreception is common in many animal groups, used to navigate, and magnet implants have been available for years. Language differences regarding perception and physical direction is also a way to learn about it from different human populations.
Our first prototype is based on maps of magnetic fields in Montreal, data from https://mrdata.usgs.gov, and made interactive with Vuo, https://vuo.org/. It will be exhibited at the In the Middle, a Chimera, the Milieux Institute Year-End Exhibition and Symposium during May 2022 https://milieux.concordia.ca/announcement-in-the-middle-a-chimera-official-programming/.