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  • Writer's pictureRob George

Week 10 Research: School For Poetic Computation (SFPC)

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

SFPC 2019 Showcase

Link: Creative Applications Network

For my final research post of the semester I chose an artist from the 2019 School for Poetic Computation showcase. The SFPC is an art school located in New York City that hosts "10 week sessions, workshops, and events that explore code, design, hardware, and theory with a focus on artistic intervention." After each 10 week session there is a student showcase where they share the work that they have been creating.

How To Be Seen (6/21/2019)

By Joseph Wilk


The work I chose to write about from the 2019 showcase is called "How to be seen" by Joseph Wilk who is a disabled programmer and live coding performer from London who uses his experience of disconnection to the world as a drive for his work. Wilk says "Performance is a key part of my practice as it fulfils a need to be seen physically and creatively, but in a form I control." This is reflected in his work from this 2019 SFPC showcase where he live coded a graphic image of himself on a screen and interacted with the user who approached him.

With the use of "Webcams, computer, screen, tablet, OBS & OpenFrameworks," he projects a distorted image of his face onto a screen in the showcase room. The viewer at first may not know that it is a live stream until they wear the headphones and hear him speaking to them. He programs the code for the projection live and has the viewer navigate him around the showcase to bring him into the showcase space without actually being there.

I feel this piece could relate to most people now in 2020, including myself. We all can now fully understand why he has created a piece like this as this entire year has disabled our connection to each other in many ways like he has been disconnected from many places in the world. But it has also created new norms of interaction through a digital space such as video chat.

Related: Wooden Mirror (2014)

By Daniel Rozin

This piece also reminds me of Daniel Rozin's Wooden Mirror sculpture from 2014. Just the way Wilk's face is structured in the coded program looks similar to how images appear in Rozin's mirror. Rozin also used software and video but with wood blocks, motors, and microcontrollers to combine the digital and analogue worlds in a virtual and physical experience. Much like what Wilk's did with his project.

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