In cooperation with the Art Museum of Aarhus, the IoT Week will organize a residency for artists over 4 weeks that will conclude by presenting the developed pieces of art at the IoT Week.
Concept: The aim of Sleep in the City is to sensitize people to the profound importance of regenerative sleep through performances, IOT, data, and interactive art. This experience proposes a new way to use networks and IOT objects that is participatory in real time. The project links the intimate and the collective. It enquires on how the intimate reads the collective and how it can invest the collective space using digital technology.
Synopsis: Sleep in the city is an artistic project that uses digital and IoT technology to invite the public to reflect upon the importance of sleep in urban life. The idea is to connect participants’ sleep brainwaves through the network in order to create interactive poetic videos projected around the city in real time.
When the light bulb was invented, the entrepreneur-inventor Thomas Edison claimed that sleep had become an obsolete thing. The streaming entertainment company Netflix apparently considers sleep as an obstacle to its growing business. Insomnia and sleep disorders are a 21st century problem. We know however that scientifically sleep is one of the states of consciousness that is most healing, creative, and productive.
On the other hand, Information and Communication technology has modified our experience of time and space. The Internet has brought about new potentialities of sharing and of experiencing duration and distance.
At a time when certain data is used to manipulate people through the network we want to use data as a sharing experience between citizens. We would like to transmit their intimate but discrete experience, sleep, by streaming it through the network in conjunction with city public data to create poetic dream videos projected all around the city in real time. Also, the original videos, metamorphosed and recreated at night, are filmed by the citizens of Aarhus and sent to us to be screened.
By using the brainwaves of people sleeping in their homes to recreate videos on public screens, we invert the sense of the Internet traffic by a sort of collective “mindnet” that becomes the creator of the artwork. Usually information travels from administrative and commercial spaces to individuals in their homes or work areas, whereas here we are sending data through the Internet from group of individuals (sleepers in their homes) to public areas (public screens), creating an empowered participative sense of shared spaces.
Technical Synopsis: On one end of the installation, videos taken by the citizens of Aarhus and edited by us are shown on public screens of the city during the night.
Whereas on the other end of the installation, we have five sleepers, (Virgile and 4 volunteers) wearing headband sensors during their sleep. The volunteers will sleep in their homes and Virgile will sleep in different public locations in Aarhus (see sleep location list). The headband sensors measure the EEG brainwaves of the sleepers and transmit them to SmartPhones connected to our network Sleep in the City. We measure the five main brainwaves which are Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. The Smarphones send the data to a server that receives also noise and pollution data measured by the City. This datum (sleep brainwave data and city sensor data) will control the aesthetic of the videos in real time.
The levels of noise and pollution, and the variation of the amplitude of the brainwaves delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma, control the tonal value of the video image as well as the choice of colors and the degree of abstraction. Each range of brainwaves has its effects ranging from warm tones to cool tones or from pure colors to degraded colors, going through broken, folded, or deep tones.
The viewers walking in the streets of the city and watching the screens will see videos of their city taken during the day, transformed at night by their sleeping co-citizens.
When: From the 15th of June till the 21st of June 2019
The name of each performance night: Vaskenat, Lokenat, Månenight, Mellemnat, Oldnat, Frydensnat, Syvnat
Screens: Screens at DOKK1 (the main library placed next to the City Lab and 8 smaller vertical external screens), the big Smart City Lab screen 23 m2 LED Screen, some IOT screens, as well as citizen home screens or computer screens if they connect to our YouTube channel in real time.
Sleeping Locations: Dokk1, the Botanical Garden, the Wooden Shelter, Dome of Vision, Rundhøj, Kirkens Korshær, Mobile Hotel, and Solid Men shop.
Bio -Walid Breidi is a multinational, multicultural digital artist whose work is mainly concentrated with the question of artist-spectator relationship, empowerment, and narrativity through interactivity. He combines multiple artistic representations based on digital techniques.
He uses dimensions like time, space, and performance to allow the artwork to unfold in a participatory way, so that the state or gesture of the participants become the source of a visual, sound and narrative world. The act of participation itself determines and is determined by the aesthetic result.
Walid’s performances and installations have been shown internationally in, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
Bio – Virgile Novarina: After studying Mathematics and Physics, Virgile Novarina (born in France in 1976) devoted himself to the artistic exploration of his own sleep through writings and drawings, and the sleep of others through photographs and films. He has published seven books of Night’s Writings and Drawings, and has exhibited his work in Europe and the United States. Since 2006 the very act of sleeping has become an integral part of his work with the “En Somme” series of performances, during which he sleeps publicly in shop windows, galleries or museums.
The STARTS Residencies programme aims to support and fund artistic residencies that bring original artistic contributions to technology-based projects.
Michelle Bach Lindstrom: Project manager
Carsten Michael Kaa: Technical project manager
Dennis Borup Jacobsen: IT consultant and designer
Marianne Krogbæk: Designer
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