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Explore the Objects
Computer Installation Art

The idea of computer art is not just any art that is made on a computer, like a poem written in Word; rather, it is art in which a computer’s capacities are exploited for achieving artistically distinctive ends. Some computer art is “generative,” that is, once programmed with a model, the computer continues indefinitely to create new patterns or forms of that model. Other computer art is “interactive,” where it is not only the artist, but the visitor, too, who through their own actions, helps determine the shape of the final output. Interactive artworks can take on many different forms, but they share the ability, which in computer art is automated, to adjust and respond to the viewer’s actions. In an era when computers can now automatically “recognize” and encode information about human agents, many computer artworks explore the process of seeing and being seen.

Maurice Benayoun
Hong Kong Escape Views: Panoptical Memories, 2020
Interactive installation, 360 videos, and VR binoculars
Cast: Natis le Renard; project manager: Ann Mak
Production team: Sam Chan, Charlie Yip, Eleanor Benayoun
VR integration ND Lab: Sam Chan, Tony Zhang, Tim Leung Kin Lok; Binocular design: Tobias Klein
360 video shooting, etc.: Eleanor Benayoun, Charlie Yip; production: NeuroDesign Lab, ACIM
Hong Kong Escape Views reveal the unseen. It is no longer about density, verticality, finance, and technology. At a time of global outbreaks, places of seclusion are sought after. But what are people protecting themselves from? Promiscuity? Contamination? Or surveillance? Even the most remote places can’t escape from the World panopticon. And we may be the ones to blame for watching, leaving on the screen evidence of our suspect curiosity.
Bryan Chung
iFaceDQ, 2020
Mixed media
Face recognition is gaining in popularity in the areas of access authentication and public surveillance. Researchers have also studied its controversial use to predict various social behaviors. The artwork, iFaceDQ, is a speculative investigation of and critical reflection on using facial recognition technology to joke about the patriotic view of the participants, based on a pool of known faces of local Legislative Council members. The artwork also assesses the risk of being disqualified should the participants plan to run for the Council election.
Daniel Howe
Radical of the Vertical Heart 忄, 2019
CRT monitors, micro-controllers, bespoke software
Each of the reading machines on display traverses the Chinese lexicon according to its own unique strategy. Unlike alphabetic machines that focus on complete letters, these 'logographic' readers analyse the strokes, radicals, and subcomponents of characters in order to choose their path. When a machine lands on a sensitive word, a warning is issued, and it is forced from traditional to simplified Chinese.
Yuk-Yiu Ip
False Words, 2019
Electronic literature / custom software and prints / b&w / sound / real-time
False Words is a writing machine reiterating the words “I have no enemies”, a quote by the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in an endless cycle of word play. The machine recombines the original words in real-time, forming an imaginary conversation that is absurd, senseless and provocative.
Tomas Laurenzo
Be Water, 2020
Elastic screen, string, metallic frame, stepper motor, custom electronics, digital camera, computer, custom software, wood pedestal
Be Water is an installation that uses a camera and computer vision to estimate the visitor’s heart rate. In turn, a stepper motor vibrates at that frequency and transmits it to the flexible screen via an attached string. The resulting movements of the screen resemble those of a fluid and reflect the accumulated heart rates of the last few visitors. Each time the installation acquires a new heart rate estimate, it stops for a few seconds and then resumes. As in early mechanical installations, the inner functions remain hidden to the viewer.
Miu Ling Lam, Ka Ho Albert Yu
Dis/integration, 2020
Robotic manipulator, digital camera, video projector, custom software
This installation applies long exposure photography and robotics to reconstruct 3D from 2D light patterns. A digital camera attached to a robot arm sweeps through space slowly, with precision, collecting fragments of light which constitute a series of recognizable 3D objects appearing in front of a blurry background.
Can Liu, Alvaro Cassinelli
Viva Voce, 2020
Mixed digital media
This installation invites people to chat over a table. The words, freed from the speakers, begin a life of their own. They intertwine, merge or reproduce, searching for meanings that become alien to the public. The work relies on semantic and sentiment analysis and uses a microphone array to locate the speaker.
Elke Reinhuber
National Flowers [Reflection], 2020
Mixed media with CCTV
The work consists of a surveillance camera at the edge of a mirror-clad triangular prism. The camera observes images of its kind, while the kaleidoscopic effect inside the prism turns the technical equipment into floral ornaments. Users can interact and influence the flowerlike patterns which are projected through a live-stream of the camera.
Hector Rodriguez
Errant: The Kinetic Propensity of Images (version 2), 2020
Algorithmic video installation
Errant: The Kinetic Propensity of Images is a project about the automatic analysis and visualization of motion in cinema. A machine learning algorithm decomposes the movement in every sequence of a movie into a set of elementary motions. These elementary motions are then recombined to produce a reconstruction of the visible movement in the sequence. The analysis and reconstruction are displayed as a two-channel video installation.
Hector Rodriguez, Jeffrey Shaw and Tjebben van Tijen
Latent Embeddings, 2018
Technical advisor: Mike Wong
Programmer: Sam Chan
Algorithmic interactive installation
This project revisits the animated film Continuous Sound and Image Moments, made in 1966 by Jeffrey Shaw, Willem Breuker, and Tjebbe van Tijen. The original film consisted of a sequence of hand drawings, each shown for only a few seconds. In Latent Embeddings, a machine learning algorithm constructs a generative model from digitized versions of those drawings. New images are then produced by exploring the latent space of the model.
Jeffrey Shaw and Sarah Kenderdine
Safe House, 2020
Locker cabinet, photograph, iPad, Augmented Reality software application
Closely related to Kenderdine and Shaw’s previous AR artwork Divine Comedy (2018), and also coded by Leoson Cheong, Safe House takes the form of a locker cabinet whose doors can be virtually opened using an iPad. Each of these lockers displays an individual male or female figure, repetitively performing disparate acts of physical exertion. This scenography evokes the enforced social isolation under the sign of Covid-19, where living is being pataphysically performed within the radius of impounding threat.