Weather Tunnel” (working title) is envisioned as a translocal, participatory, interventionist component of the international media art exhibition titled “TransLife” to open in late July 2011 at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (a sequel to “Synthetic Times,” now instituted as a triennial), simultaneously it is also projected as an integral part of the ISEA 2011 program to take place in Istanbul in September 2011.
In addition to the physical spaces of the “TransLife” exhibition, this project is conceived as a parallel layer that is temporal and ephemeral based on a wireless, or mobile network originating from nodes that draw environmental data collected via sensors deployed in geographically and geopolitically diverse locals around the world. The goal is to develop idiosyncratic approaches that manifest artists’ alternative strategies and evocative or provocative gestures both conceptually and formally in grappling with environmental and ecological crisis.
“Weather Tunnel” will utilize a long corridor at the National Art Museum of China. The corridor will be architecturally transformed into an amorphous, translucent tunnel / cocoon / bubble to contain multiple artworks in an organic, interactive flow. Inside, the walls will breathe and scents will be released, in addition to other sensations interpreting environmental data such as CO2, CO, NO2, LUX, temp C, rH, PM, tVOC, dB noise.
The result will be a medley of manifestations of realtime global environmental conditions. Instead of a didactic, proselytizing representation, the project acts as a presentation of immediate and intuitive revealing of complex and otherwise incomprehensible scientific data, making a wide audience aware of the living conditions humanity faces. It will collapse multiple worlds and time zones into a single plane and flat time. The tunnel will act as the pathway leading to the main exhibition.
The architecture of the exhibition and the tunnel will be co-designed by Ma Yansong (http://www.i-mad.com), one of the most innovative architects coming out of China today, and Jeffrey Huang of EPFL in Lausanne who specializes in interactive, responsive, and bionic architecture.
The “Weather Tunnel” project will be organized under the auspices of TASML and administrated by SPYLAB, a Parsons -based research unit in New York. Parsons the New School for Design is one of the founding partners of TSAML.
A dozen leading international art and design schools and institutions have joined forces to undertake this ambitious global initiative.