The project examines ecology and geology of media, inquires into the deep time perspective of our contemporary living, explores the visual aspects of our contemporary image culture, from photographic to optics, delves into the technological, first, via bokeh and further below - the sampling rate, techniques.

Visit project's portfolio: http://stratic.net



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The project Strata in general

Imagine if you are travelling and taking just blurry photographs of picturesque landscapes in your journey and documenting the most important venues of your life in an unfocused manner - what kind of memories then do you bring home and collect? Or maybe you do document your entire life just with a blurry camera? How does such technique and technology influence your memories, do you remember them stronger and all in sharp or you start to reimagine them after a while?

The project is researching ways and aspects of memory through visual and photographic language as well as a photographic memory. This project started with photography but now moves toward the film format, exploring time-based media to express the vitality of such an impressive technologic and artistic medium.

The ecology and geology discourses of our unstable times are of crucial importance to perceive the project's aesthetics with its deep focus on time perspectives. The stratigraphic approach tackles layers, vibrations and pulsations, noises and colors, creates a synesthetic experience, opens up for layers of time. Everything is done through a highly synchronized audiovisual performative engagement, via the unique perception qualities of media conditions of temporality and speed as well as highly inclusive technological interventions.

Within this project, the artist is exploring a photographic technique - bokeh (Circles of Confusion), and other properties of visual appearance through the camera. Properties and qualities of the lens, focus, exposure, depth of field, sampling rate pattern, and of course, time, become artistic materials for art practice and research. Other materials like RGB LEDs and technologies as robotic arm, construction crane and drones (quadcopters) will be employed for research purposes.

Here you can find some photographic examples of an ongoing project Strata that started in 2007 but later moved towards a moving image and interaction paradigm. Time-based media provides flickering and thrilling aesthetics adding performativity and choreography of those photographic and new media techniques.

The project is using a location as a primary source and principle for abstracting the surroundings. The artistic practice-based project (and research) focuses on site-specific elements (specific urban and natural resources, as well as societal and historical paradigms, are important for the project) and on levels of abstraction through media device (creating mediated environments). Taking into account social relations and human subjectivity the project asks important questions about media and the relationship between humans and their environments.

Abstraction, post abstraction, media stratigraphy, the geology of media, the geology of time, deep time, ecology of time, media ecology.


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Constitutive parts of Strata project:



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Layers of Abstraction film

A particular focus of this project is shed on the concept of abstraction and layers of abstraction. The artist explores the separation of the content in abstract representation; the relation between real soundscape and humanised view, real sound in contrast to the imaginary image. In the film, the question of aestheticising everything around ourselves is in contrast to a realistic and sometimes noisy sound.

The notion of abstraction relates to the rejection of representation of realistic references in the world. This sends the focus from the content of the message to the sensual experiences and explores the logic of the formal and minimalistic constructs of the audio and the visual. This consolidate minimal appearance relates to synaesthetic experience. The concept of layers of abstraction talks about the sound being recorded from a real source while visual part humanised through a photographic technique, in this case - by bokeh (circles of confusion) phenomenon. In this work, the layers also appear through perspective and in distance, while completely flattening the landscape, transforming it into an image.

The film is filmed while travelling and collecting abstract images around the world, reflecting along the blindfolded travelling metaphor, however, of handling a more humanised eye than natural. The video material was filmed and collected in Chania, Greece; Dubai, UAE; Linz, Austria; Lisbon, Portugal; New York City, US; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; Singapore, Singapore; Stockholm, Sweden; Toronto, Canada; Venice, Italy; and Vilnius, Lithuania, during 2012-2015.

Here is a film format for screening in cinema or installing it, but the artist encourages to install the video in art installation format, preferred two-channel projection, the installation is a synchronised two 20min projections, the video is looped. Two projections are installed alongside to each other, preferably a rear projection in a darkened room.

The short experimental film, 2.23min, HDV, colour, stereo, 2015.


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STRATA film

The idea of the project is based on the exploration and deconstruction of the image, i.e. the paradigms of audio and visual, at the interrelated intersections of those two. By investigating archaeology of audio, we study the architecture of frequencies between the audio and the visual. We do this by employing direct mapping between the audio and the visuals in a continuous flow allowing real-time play.

By transforming the information from one format to another, proceeding the digital with analogue, combining software and hardware, operating off-the-shelf and employing DIY techniques - it is possible to wander through geography and history, while also travelling in time and space. In the process of digging into stratic and geological matters of media and technology, it becomes possible to build a new architecture through the archaeology of the visual and the audible. In this way, media archaeology becomes the study for investigating the phenomenon and the unanalysed artefact and through it expands the discourse of post-media. Here Anthropocene and post-humanism come to a stance to change the established rules and re-imagine the human and its activities. In the project, media ecology thereby examines the flow of information in the realms of chaos and control, while also questioning the interconnections of audio and visual in the discourse of noise. Finally, the media experience becomes the norm for aesthetic experience.

Through the audio-visual project, the artist explores a particular technique the sampling rate, which refers to the visual appearance of line patterns. The connection of the audio and the visual is at the core and the project explores it through the visual-music technique. The project is using hardware, which captures frequencies of the produced sounds and directly generates light. Then the light and a camera compose the responsive colourful line patterns, which appear through the sampling rate phenomenon.

The STRATA project consists of several different proposals of the same project in different formats: one of them is a film (short film for screening), another format is a video installation (looped video projection), and finally a live audio-visual performance (called S T R A T I C, see below). All these formats use the same audio-visual technique and visual appearance – a sampling rate effect.

The short experimental film, 3.52min, HDV, colour, stereo, 2015.



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S T R A T I C live performance project

The continuation of the project Strata is taking off to become an audio-visual performance. The S T R A T I C artist duo (Vegas with Anders Lundström) specializing in interactive and audio-visual narratives.

The S T R A T I C project explores the interplay of the sensed and the actuated in interactive media expressions, and the aesthetic properties of analogue/digital transformations formed by limitations and qualities of various forms of sensing apparatus. This time the result takes the form of a hypnotic soundscape linked with an abstract animation visually controlled by the raw functionality of electronic components.

Through our audio-visual project, S T R A T I C, we explore a particular technique the sampling rate, which refers to the visual appearance of line patterns. The connection of the audio and the visual is at the core and the project explores it through the visual-music technique. The S T R A T I C captures frequencies of the produced sounds and generates light, and then the light and camera compose the responsive colourful line patterns, which appear through the sampling rate phenomenon. The artist duo is playing synthesizers and by visually responding to the produced light patterns they perform live audio-visual performances. So the music is played in responding to the real-time visual appearances.

S T R A T I C - A/V performance.
S T R A T I C - documentation films on the performances.

http://stratic.net

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The Stratascape project is examining the glitch aesthetics in our digitally mediated world, it is made of remixed both Panorama Time and STRATA projects and their derived techniques. It is a continuous work on our everyday technologies, making the use of panorama mode, pulsating light, rolling shutter and sampling rate for achieving artistic pursuits.

A link to Stratascape photography series.



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Exhibitions of Strata

2018
Solo exhibition Interpretative Digitality, vernissage 2018 04 12, at Reactor Hall, Stockholm, Sweden;
FILE - Electronic Language International Festival, exhibition, Sao Paolo, Brazil;
Beyond Convergence, a group exhibition at Kulturhuset / House of Culture Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden;

2017
ISEA 2017, 23rd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Manizales, Colombia, 2017;
16th International Image Festival, Manizales, Colombia, 2017;

2016
Open Fields exhibition, RIXC Art Science festival, Riga, Latvia;
Impulses. The New Sound Days, Architecture and Media Centre H2O_6, Riga, Latvia;
Live Cinema Festival at MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Italy;
"Monitors" exhibition, gallery the Power of Zero art space (_0*), Vilnius Gallery Weekend, Vilnius, Lithuania;
Archmediale starts with the project "S T R A T I C Space" in the Power of Zero art space (_0*) - an independent platform for architectural culture and criticism, Vilnius, Lithuania;
FILE - Electronic Language International Festival, exhibition installation at Fiesp Cultural Center / FIESP Gallery, Sao Paolo, Brazil;
FILE - Electronic Language International Festival, video projection on a skyscraper facade at SESI-SP at FILE LED SHOW 2016, Sao Paolo, Brazil;
Future Identities, International Video Art Festival, Royal Dockyard Church Theatre, Kent, UK;
Cultural R>evolution, audiovisual performance and artist talk, ISEA 2016, 22th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Hong Kong;
Interactivity exhibition, performance and art installation, CHI - SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Interactivity exhibition, San Jose, California, USA, 2016;
Art's Birthday, Södra Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden;
Dome of Visions, exhibition illuminating the dome, Stockholm, Sweden;

2015
Creative Showcase, performance at art showcase, ACE, Medini art space, Iskander, Malaysia;
Reactor Hall / R1, performance, Stockholm, Sweden;
DKTUS art space, Stockholm, Sweden;
Art Cinema, a travelling exhibition at Gävle, Gravendal, Umeå, Göteburg, Malmö and Stockholm, Sweden;


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Publications

- Humanizing Interactive Technology, Vygandas Simbelis, article at Leonardo journal, MIT Press, Vol. 53, No. 5 (October 2020);
- The Leonardo journal Abstracts, LABS 2019, published thesis abstracts online. Humanizing Technology through Post-digital Art, PhD thesis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018;
- "Humanizing Technology through Post-digital Art", PhD thesis, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018. Accompanied by "Interpretative Digitality" exhibition at R1-Reactor Hall, Stockholm, Sweden;
- TEI conference, International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions, "Synesthetic Experience in S T R A T I C", V. Šimbelis and A. Lundström, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018;
- CHI conference - SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Extended Abstract, "Synthesis in the Audiovisual", V. Šimbelis and A. Lundström, ACM Press, San Jose, USA, 2016;
- ACE conference - Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, Extended Abstract, "S T R A T I C: Performing the Sampling Rate", Vygandas Simbelis, Anders Lundström, Iskandar, Malaysia, 2015;


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Images below

Figure 1. Contextual bokeh photographs by Vygandas Simbelis. Stained glassworks in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2013.

Figure 2. Contextual bokeh photographs by Vygandas Simbelis. Stained-glass works in The New Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Linz, Austria. 2014.

Figure 3. Contextual bokeh photographs by Vygandas Simbelis. Photograph of the "Four Red Horizontals" (1963) artwork by Dan Flavin. 2014.

Figure 4. Contextual bokeh. Yayoi Kusama and her “Infinite Obsession”, photography art by Vygandas Simbelis, 2012.

Figure 5. Still, film Layers of Abstraction, 2015.

Figure 6. Still, film Layers of Abstraction, 2015.

Figure 7. Still, film Layers of Abstraction, 2015.

Figure 8. Three stills of sampling rate patterns – moving colour lines. Colours, frequency, flow, and speed could depend on interaction parameters. Experiments in video, 2012.

Figure 9. Still from the film Strata, 2015.

Figure 10. Stratascape image, 2016.

Figure 11. Live A/V performance S T R A T I C at the Reactor Hall / R1, Stockholm, Sweden, 2015.

Figure 12. S T R A T I C Space exhibition at the Power of Zero gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016.

Figure 13. STRATA film at FILE - Electronic Language International Festival - Fiesp Cultural Center, São Paulo, Brazil, 2016.

Figure 14. STRATA film at FILE - Electronic Language International Festival - Fiesp Cultural Center, São Paulo, the projection on the building FIESP / Gallery digital SESI-SP at FILE LED SHOW 2016.



Figure 1. Bokeh technique 


Figure 2. 


Figure 3. 


Figure 4. 


Figure 5. Layers of Abstraction 


Figure 6. Layers of Abstraction 


Figure 7. Layers of Abstraction 


Figure 8. Sampling rate pattern 


Figure 9. Still from the film Strata 


Figure 10. Stratascape 


 


 


Figure 11. S T R A T I C at R1 


 


 


 


STRATA film at FILE 


STRATA @ FILE LED SHOW 2016