Hylozoic Series (Beesley/Gorbet)

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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:21 am

Hylozoic Series (Beesley/Gorbet)

Post by rbgorbet »

Thanks for the suggestion, Paul!

For nearly 4 years, architect Philip Beesley and I have been working with many other collaborators on a series of work investigating the future of interior architecture and interactive spaces. Most recently, the work has been selected to represent Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale of Architecture, Aug 29-Nov 21 2010. The work originally designed and installed in 2007 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts included an RS485 network of 38 BBBs with a custom daughterboard facilitating RS232/RS485 transcription, 12 high-current drivers, 12 addressing/configuration switches, and power distribution from high-current supplies for driving actuators. The sensors in the original installation were SHARP IR prox sensors and the actuation was done by several hundred custom-designed Nitinol actuators. Video and other documentation can be found at http://www.philipbeesleyarchitect.com/s ... ozoic.html or by searching "Beesley Hylozoic" on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet. A more formal introduction to the series of work is given below, including a number of awards it has won.

The Venice installation is an incredible honour but also a huge challenge...the budget for the project is nearly $1M. For anyone wishing to know how they can support the project with a small (or large!) donation, please let me know. We will be launching a fundraising campaign including small gifts in recognition of donations, soon.


P. Beesley, R.B. Gorbet, “Hylozoic Series”. Interactive architectural environment originally commissioned by the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art and Technology, 2007

The Hylozoic Series is an ongoing research exploration at the boundary of art, architecture, and engineering. It is an experimental responsive architectural environment which explores the changing relationship between buildings and their occupants, with a view towards creating a more empathic experience. Relying on a network of dozens of distributed embedded controllers, sensors, and hundreds of specialized, silent shape-memory alloy based actuators distributed among a crystalline meshwork manufactured from laser-cut acrylic, it creates an experience for occupants of the space which is variously described as everything from "gentle and soothing" to "aggressive, creepy and anxiety-making".

2010 – Hylozoic Ground/Hylozoic Series 8 selected by the Canada Council for the Arts in open competition, to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Venice, Italy, Aug 29-Nov 23, 2010.
2010 – Alameda Field/Hylozoic Series 7 installed at Laboratorio Almeda, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 2010
2010 – Meduse Field/Hylozoic Series 6 installed at Mois-Multi Festival, Quebec City, February 2010
2009 – Hylozoic Soil/Hylozoic Series 5 installed at Medialab, Enschede, Holland, Sep 26-Nov 8, 2009
2009 – Hylozoic Soil/Hylozoic Series 4 installed at Siggraph, New Orleans, August 4-6, 2009
The work was featured on the cover of Leonardo, the scientific journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (vol 42, no 4, MIT Press).
2009 – Hylozoic Soil/Hylozoic Series 3 installed at the VIDA11.0 exhibition in the Matadero, Madrid, Spain, February 2009.
The work won first prize in this international VIDA11.0 competition (EUR18k)
2008 – Hylozoic Grove/Hylozoic Series 2 permanently installed in the Ars Electronica Centre’s Museum of the Future, Linz, Austria.
2007 – Hylozoic Soil/Hylozoic Series 1 commissioned by the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art and Technology, 2007 installed at e-art: New Technologies and Contemporary Art—Ten years of accomplishments by the Daniel Langlois Foundation, Jean Gagnon, curator
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal QC, September 20-December 9, 2007

Support for research & creation of Hylozoic Soil comes from SSHRC, NSERC, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Waterloo Integrated Centre for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing.

Hylozoic Soil has been included in Wired! magazine (“A Beastly Building Material That Just Might Bite You”, issue 15.11, Nov 2007), CBC’s The Arts Tonight (Mar 14, 2007), and numerous design & architecture blogs. The work was awarded one of four 2007 Far East International Digital Architecture Design merit awards (from 110 submissions from 23 countries), first prize in the VIDA11.0 international Art + Life competition (value EUR 18000), and was recently chosen to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.