Zero: The public calls for urgent rebuilding, an increased food supply and faster infrastructural deployment while high above the suits call for calm and unity. The Left demands the preservation of humane zones amid radioactive fears, while from the Right, a parametric squad scripts a warfare plan for peaceful reconstruction and a prosperous future. Fast-forward two seasons: hackers, drones and wild monkeys equipped with sensors redraw the map of Japan based on radiation levels, while within temporary shelters in debris-filled wastelands portable game consoles and phone apps load the latest update of virtual girlfriends and companions – zero sociability.
One: Based on adaptation and its social implications, Intermediate 3 has studied Japanese landscapes and cultures of time, creation and destruction. Navigating between yesterday’s technological neon wonder and today’s reality of desolation and radiated fall-out, students developed an understanding of adaptive environments by investigating atypical infrastructures, natural disasters and a society in thrall to technology.
Designs were first articulated through adapting ‘creatures’ and prototypes, and further developed into time-based architectures. Ling Leng created a strange artificial/natural botanical/scientific experiment, situated in a primeval forest in the ‘ring of fire’. Radiating encrypted mysteries, Magnus Casselbrant used electromagnetic waves and particles to decrypt and reveal classified information as part of a public event in Tokyo Bay. In her Phantom of Akihabara, Patricia Mato Mora restored Tokyo’s light-polluted night sky to a total black-out moment by a ritualistic float that captures stars, while Xinyue Zhang speculated on how hackers scan Japan’s eastern coast, producing a landscape of new Godzillas and strange tales of fear and entertainment.
One Zero Zero Zero: ‘In terms of the future well-being of our species, does it matter that we are replacing actual nature with technological nature?’ – Peter H Kahn, JrTesting initial ideas, they used time-based prototypes in order to explore different iterations and performance – design, build, test, simulate and design again. Digital and analogue technologies were also explored in order to hack and tinker with a graveyard of daily objects, from electronic toys and musical instruments to outdated mobile phones and computers. From these experiments various ‘creatures’ emerged – behaviour-oriented designs that dreamed, danced and sang, forming strange ecologies of novel energy beings.
Among a whole series of resulting projects that articulated the ordinary, Alexey Marfin designed an interactive DIY building interfaced with mobile phones, located in Mumbai’s notorious thieves’ market, while Basmah Kaki reinterpreted sound and wind energy in the roughness of a quarry. Other projects explored stories of biological exuberance while life-and-death energy cycles were reassembled in fragile bacteria lagoons. Further proposals ranged from a challenge to the digital dreams of the augmented reality of internet-based religious rituals and a study of the sonic landscapes in gigantic Hindu shantytowns, to a narrative that explored Mumbai’s wastelands and its global energy hunters, gathered among the fires of e-wasted Microsoft hills and Intel mountains, unveiling a catalogue of stories of horror and hope.
‘Inhale. Take in as much air as you can. This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath and then just a bit longer.’
– Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted
Thanks to our Workshop Guests
Thanks to our Visiting Critics
Theo Sarantoglou Lalis
Monia De Marchi
Michel da Costa Goncalves
Vesna Petresin Robert
Juan Lago-Novas Domingo