The sixth annual Philly Tech Week kicks off Friday. For the physical world, at least. While the gathering will play host to dozens of events peppered throughout the city, one will live completely online.
Belinda Haikes and Gaby Heit, are curators of the online art exhibit, Out of Frame, a collection of 10 pieces of disruptive tech art.
Newsworks Tonight’s Dave Heller spoke with the two collaborators to find out more about the movement.
Art that uses disruptive tech aims to re-examine how users interact with modern technology like computer software or internet apps, but Heit explains that the sentiment behind the style isn’t new at all. “The Dadaists did it in the turn of the 20th century,” she says. “They were playing with poetry and publishing. Let’s add photo montage. Let’s print in a different way. Let’s use crazy typography. Let’s do something experimental.”
What makes disruptive tech art different now is the rise of complex computing systems and how it’s becoming more integrated with offline life. Haikes details a work by Marco de Mutiis, which takes a photograph from 9/11 and uses software to insert the names of those who died in the attacks into the photograph’s code. “It’s disrupting our idea of photography, and also our concepts of memory in the 21st century. A photograph is no longer just a photograph. It becomes data.”
Below is a video demonstration of one of the pieces, called “16 Step Social.” Audience members can participate by posting Instagram videos with a specific hashtag. The performer then downloads the clips, edits them, layers rhythms and effects, and creates visual and auditory feedback loops. The result is a spontaneous and unique performance.