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Hyperdrone – Wysing 2015

The video is of a Field Experiment conducted at Wysing in July 2015. The HyperDrone is a project developed by Rob Smith, Anna Troisi and Neal White for the Office of Experiments.

What is the Hyper Drone?
The HyperDrone is an instrument that generates acoustic waves taken from the data generated by seismic sensors across the surface of the entire globe. The data here is supplied by the Atomic Weapons Establishment Blacknest, Reading UK, which is part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) which monitors the ground for nuclear scale explosions. This data is now contributing to other systems, such as early warning earthquake and tsunami alerts data.

The entire network acts as a ‘hyper’ object, that is, a form which is too large (in scale of space/time etc), or too small in scale (of visibility etc), to be perceived by humans without the use of scientific systems. This network was created for the purposes of maintaining peace through an International Treaty which bans nuclear weapons development and testing, and is an example of what can be achieved through cooperation, even if the positive contributions it now makes to seismic monitoring of natural events are a side effect of its true intention.

How does it work?
Data from a range of seismic stations is available as open source information. This data has been processed through Super Collider by composer, programmer and artist Anna Troisi and is arranged to be played back to generate resonance – a hyper ‘drone’ through the radome panel itself. The panel has been developed to work with a resonating geometric ‘tensegrity’ structure which was designed and made from aluminium and steel by Rob Smith during his artist residency at Wysing, where the Hyper Drone is currently located.

Background and Future
The project was conceived by Neal White of Office of Experiments and developed with Rob Smith and Anna Troisi.
The project extends research undertaken into the global techno-scientific sites, from labs to observatories that support advances in human development; experimentation, scientific instruments, supercomputing advances etc. Using the deep geometry of data, the abstractions of science and other forms of human interpretations of the natural world, a scientific belief system, the work challenges the viewer to consider their own scale and sense of place in relation to unfolding ‘hyper’ events and their ability now and in the future, to understand events such as climate change – events beyond their own temporal register or senses.

Aesthetically speaking, the HyperDrone draws on minimalism and the geometric language of modernism, from Buckminster Fuller to Donald Judd. It reworks the spiritual dimensions of modern experimental sound through the use of audio drones citing the works La Monte Young and John Cage, among others. Conceptually, it intends to keep to no specific language, historic, relational or systemic. However, it is materially and technologically de-centred from its own site and place and in this respect draws from the work of artists concerned with an expanded field of sculpture,such as Robert Smithson, Mary Miss and Richard Long. Thinking of what might happen next experimentally, we are considering the incidental role of artist in the trajectory of science, using art to question the rational thinking of scientists and instead to place temporality, resonance and time in the frame.

This experiment is potentially only one node of a massive scale sensing artwork. The project has therefore been conceived as modular and scalable, and we are exploring the potential for creating multiple nodes. In this scenario, the aim would be to work with artists, architectural, scientific or social groups so we are able to construct hyper drones together as a way of discussing issues in relation to human perception of time, scale and event.

History and Thanks
The Radome Panel was part of a golf ball shaped sphere used to cover military and industrial satellite dishes and radar – used to trace or work with near earth objects such as planes, GPS satellites etc. It was acquired for Steve Rowell (Member of Office of Experiments, 2010- ) for the project ‘Ultimate High Ground’, which was part of ‘Dark Places’, curated by Office of Experiments at John Hansard Gallery with Arts Catalyst and SCAN in 2009. The experiment has been developed so far with thanks to Wysing, Cambridgeshire UK and the Experimental Media Research Group at Bournemouth University.

The Wager

An event by The Office of Experiments featuring work by the artists and incidental persons; Sarah Andrews, Tina O’Connell and Neal White.

Office of Experiments was invited to work at Flat Time House, home of the the British artist John Latham, between 2007-9 following his death in 2006. The Wager and other works were developed during this period. During this period, we worked with Curator Elisa Kay, Archivist – Antony Hudek and the Latham Foundation.

The Wager as a bet is still open, and the terms of the Wager are available as a legal document here, or as a performance  – see below or link here.

Press Release

Adapted from a Press Release by Elisa Kay

By-passing gallery, auction house and market, visitors were able to partake in an evening of live speculation on the value of a theory, on the value of speculation, and on a theory of value.

The evening of events is based around The Wager set in The Hand (former studio of Latham), and is a performance and tribute to John Latham. The Wager, was conceived by John Latham with Neal White in 2005, following the censoring of John’s work at his retrospective at Tate Britain. Drawing on the central ideas in the theory, the wager itself has been executed by legal advisor Sarah Andrews with further assistance from the Noah Latham, in 2009. Although technically a wager based on the notion that Flat Time Theory has been reduced to a legal bet, it welcomes challengers to provide evidence for or against these ideas, and places the intuitive position and the theoretical assertions of Latham and Flat Time against a contemporary backdrop of economic crisis, fiscal turmoil and uncertain futures based on economic projections. As a performance, the format becomes the theory itself, playing on the idea of time as a single moment, causing us to re-evaluate our idea of events andwhat the theory terms as ‘event structures’. Office of Experiments believes that Latham would himself have been very compelled by our contemporary moment, as it draws attention to the way in which his ideas can be used to critique the wider performance of a society based on only one kind of value.

In the Mind, Office of Experiments has worked with the artist Tina O’Connell to re-make a version of her series of works based on In Dublin, originally staged in 1999, during her residency at Irish Museum of Modern Art. The piece was conceived at the beginning of Irelands surge towards its Celtic Tiger status, and through its form and material questioned the permanence and role of sculpture in such times. In the new version, A Quantity of Easing (The Physics and Economics of Sculpture) the work is reduced in scale and a block of bitumen is placed on top of an equally sized block of Frieze magazines that chart the rise and rise of the art market through the 90痴 and early part of this century. Using Lathams own techniques of the destruction of books / text as knowledge, and modern cube forms, the work makes a comment on the art market in 2009, as the bitumen – an oil-based compound- sinks to gravity.

Finally, to the rear of the house in The Office of Experiments space, Even The Odds continues the theme of game playing and gambling, with viewers able to take part in specifically designed dice game that emparts into practice the event/no-event structure of Latham theory. With a soundtrack recorded from casinos of backwater Nevada by Neal White, and an extract of Lathams film showing London Stockmarkets in the 1960’s – Fiona Shoe, the viewer could win a limited edition set of dice, the prize for rolling snake eyes (2X1) An Office of Experiments Limited Edition, the specially made dice have only one number on each die, a one, all other faces left blank can be assumed to be zero.

The Redactor

THE REDACTOR, was launched for ‘The Incidental Person’ at Apexart 2010 in New York.

Antony Hudek on ‘The Incidental Person’.

“The British artist John Latham (1921–2006) coined the expression the “Incidental Person” (IP) to qualify an individual who engages in non-art contexts – industry, politics, education – while avoiding the “for/against”, “you vs. me” disposition typically adopted to resolve differences. The IP, Latham argued, “may be able, given access to matters of public interest ranging from the national economic, through the environmental and departments of the administration to the ethical in social orientation, to ‘put forward answers to questions we have not yet asked’.”… Diagrammatically, the IP transforms the linear, two-dimensional plane of conflict into a three-dimensional, triangular network that fosters the flow of ideas and the interconnections between individual perspectives. Though the IP was Latham’s own term, it was to find practical application within Artist Placement Group, or APG, the “artist consultancy and research organisation” conceived in 1965 by Barbara Steveni and established a year later with Barry Flanagan, Latham and Jeffrey Shaw. (APG’s fluctuating membership would include over the years, among others, Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Garth Evans, David Hall, Anna Ridley, Rolf and Ros Sachse, as well as industrial and political representatives.) Steveni’s role in negotiating invitations (not commissions) from private corporations, non-profit organizations and governmental bodies was instrumental to APG’s success in placing artists in situations where they would be paid and, more importantly, would enjoy – at least during the placements’ initial feasibility period – complete freedom from any contractual obligation to produce a material outcome (be it an object or a report).”

Antony had worked with members of Office of Experiments whilst both were based at John Lathams Flat Time House between 2007-9. The commission followed the event The WAGER which was staged there. The REDACTOR was a manifestation of the commitment of OOE to the legacy of Latham, and the ‘incidental person’, whilst acknowledging the issues raised in the operations of APG and O+I (Members of OOE have had positions on the board of O+I – formerly APG).

THE REDACTOR is a stamped limited edition publication that features an exclusive interview with leading UK secrecy activist, campaigner and journalistic source, Mike Kenner (whose archive is featured in Dark Places) as well as incidental editorials, news and features from our correspondents in the field – Rich Pell (Nature Correspondent – Center for Post Natural History, US), Steve Rowell (US, Real Estate) and visual features by John Latham and Jenny Holzer.

The Launch issue is a stamped limited edition of 500 only, with free insert, and is produced by Office of Experiments. Design – with Design by Sara de Bondt. If you would like to obtain an electronic copy (unlimited as a PDF from late Jan 2010) please contact us.

Editorial from The Redactor.

The art of the redactor embodies the will to create and destroy – it is incidental to life itself.

Redaction is foremost an incidental practice conducted by institutional power, a will to resist the judgement of those to whom it is accountable. Its aim is to control the means through which the intentions of institutional power are uncovered. Openness and freedom of information have thrown light into dark places, and have unwittingly created a deeper pattern of shadows, a new and highly ordered aesthetic based on pre-existing informational and communication structures.

The formal language of the Redactor generates blind spots in the machinery of our democratic will, both in language and its printed forms, systemically and across networks. But in order to anticipate and understand the Redactor’s motivation, we must acknowledge that to explore redaction is more than an effort to undermine open and accountable governance. The Redactor’s remit instead extends from the intention to conceal in the name of a common good (to prevent the enemy from gaining access to the information) to the desire to negate language itself, a method of exploring a fantasy of the void.

Redaction further recognises its own temporal potential, for to redact is not only to remove information from circulation, possibly indefinitely, but also and more crucially to introduce time into language: the redacted information lingers unseen, hampering language’s assumed transparency and spurring the imagination to circumnavigate the occluded areas in order to reconstitute, bit by bit, the voided meaning.

Contrary to its intended institutional aims, redaction attracts attention to the truths that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, delaying judgment and stoking fear and righteous outrage that truth is being withheld. Under the effect of redaction’s cover-up, truth finds itself potentially multiplied, exceeding the apertures which open society considers to be the conduits for truth.

Here at the Redactor, however, we understand the incidental impulse that puts time and events in play, and are drawn to the questions that negate the usability of language. We appreciate that the subversion of meaning into form and back has become a malleable process bound not by physical materiality, but by communication and the social context, and through the flux and dynamics of events, which in turn become the substance and context of the Redactor’s practice.
For more information see The Incidental Person.