Process Log

11 May 2009 | by | In process

[here][now] is a traveling installation that sets up transient portals into a persistent online world.
Click “about” for a description of the project.
Below is a log of the project’s development. The newest entries are at the top.

issue theme

5 February 2010 | by | In process


We are changing the website from a strictly linear log, which offers little other than a set of non-contextual facts, into a magazine-style layout. Each layout will be an ‘issue’, with a central idea and various related concepts, themes, drawings, theories around it. A kind of ‘gestalt’ that situates the project.


2 February 2010 | by | In process

Rory and Marek are giving a talk at Dorkbot in New York at location One.

Panoramic Montalvo

20 January 2010 | by | In process


Composite images of a typical installation – each image showing left, center, right and back projection screens. In an installation with four projectors, the scene moves depending on how people are positioned in the space.

Plan showing installation with four projectors – as we had at Indaf in Korea. This arrangement however is not essential, there are many other possible layouts.

more Montalvo

18 January 2010 | by | In process

A few days later we have added forms to the project.. compare to the first screens below.

Montalvo Screens

15 January 2010 | by | In process

First screenshots of [here][now] based on the Montalvo residency.


15 January 2010 | by | In Uncategorized

This is our new description of the project:

The city is to society as the body is to the mind.

[here][now] is a process that puts creativity into the hands of participants, a toolkit where any group in any location can create their perception of place, of how they map themselves, and then find ways to manifest that creativity.

In his book The Image of the City (1960), Kevin Lynch discussed people creating mental maps of their perception of place. These maps focused urban planners on how people understood their spaces, maps being the first stage of empowerment.

Constant Nieuwenhuys’ “New Babylon” (1959-74) imagined a society consisting purely of artists who engage in the world, their lives themselves being works of art.

We take these two concepts, of mental maps and self-actualization, and research different modalities, ways in which current technologies can facilitate group creativity. The focus is the real and the virtual, of the connections that tie them, where the virtual is seen as community and communications, as something intrinsic in our physical experience.


Workshops: Starting with individual’s understanding of their spatial environment, or their path through a typical day, we then move to the more abstract, and as small groups analyze the highly subjective to create common ‘elements’ of the world around us, structures that people share between them.

Installations: We translate the abstract elements created in the workshops into 3D forms. These consist of projections in an installation, screens scattered in a city to be updated at home, or external projections on the city itself – portals into a virtual world.

Toolkit: Currently we create the 3D generative forms by manually transcribing workshop data. These are trials to eventually create an open system where workshop participants can program their own forms, and people could even arrange their own workshops. Each of our teaching practices (computer programming and architecture) factor into this component.

Exhibitions: Each of the many strategies, influences, installations, etc are turned into ‘posters’ or exhibitions, each consisting of screenshots, photographs, sketches from workshops, videos, etc, all about a specific space. These are then available either on the website or at discrete installations.

The Manifesto of Unintended Consequences

10 January 2010 | by | In Uncategorized

Reading ‘Manifestos for the Future’ by H.U.Obrist in e-flux magazine, and in general what constitutes contemporary in art, such as ‘New Species of Spaces’ by H.Fang. With the growth and variety of contemporary art, manifestos seem silly, they posit notions of the future – and all we know is that the future will hold unintended consequences.

The field of endeavor then is to create a set of conditions, like the format of  ‘haiku‘ poetry, that both limit and set free possibilities.

I’ve been in love with New Babylon for at least 3 decades, a society consisting purely of artists who engage in the world, their lives themselves being works of art.

The architecture of New Babylon is created by the artist Constant Nieuwenhuyst. This fact alone contradicts and negates the project.

[here][now] is a process to put all creativity in the hands of the participants,  a toolkit where any group in any location can create their perception of place, of how they map themselves.

Merely a baby step, but maps are a precondition to empowerment.

The Real and Virtual Association

10 January 2010 | by | In Uncategorized

We’ve been discussing the project and its extension. The workshops divide into three sets:
- Individuals drawing from their subjective experience, then as groups finding common elements.
- Analyzing and testing common elements, or shared ‘abstractions’.
- Creating tools, programmable architectures, for individuals to ‘express’ these common abstractions.

The workshops can take any space and any group of people and, using this toolkit, create various real and virtual installations. The installations can be in a public indoor space, or projected outside on buildings. People can access the data at home on their computer or collectively on monitors in public spaces.

We have created workshops in New York (with friends), in Seoul, Korea (with designers), and currently at Montalvo, California (with artists and cooks!). Future workshops will be in a small village in Sweden, in New York again, can be with teenagers, the retired, with a group from any agency or other organization.

In order to explain these contexts, we are creating “The Real and Virtual Association”, which takes the various components of [here][now] and extends them for use by others or to include others in the discussion.

This website will be transformed into a series of ‘Posters’. The idea here is to gather various data on a specific subject and collect them into one page. So for instance, one screen can show video from the Seoul, Korea, together with an introduction, screenshots, context, theories, links, installation shots, etc. Every subject we have discussed or location presented can become a ‘poster’ that is a ‘gestalt’, in one glance showing a range of theories and actions taken.

The edge of VR

9 January 2010 | by | In Uncategorized

As we were discussing ways in which the virtual is physically manifested, I remembered going to Ars Electronica in 2002 and visiting their virtual reality lab. The space was filled with various projections using game engines to create virtual ‘caves’. You put on goggles, gloves, and went into these cubes to experience an imaginary world.

The worlds themselves were unmemorable, unimportant. The entire time I was singly conscious of the gloves, the weight of the goggles, footsteps, the conversation of people around me, the fabric of the screens, the darkness of the space.. perhaps over time these would be less noticeable, but this edge between the virtual and real was interesting, a consciousness of the ‘other’, which it seems most virtual worlders try to erase.

Montalvo workshop

8 January 2010 | by | In process

Last night we held a workshop at our residency at the Montalvo Art Center with the resident artists, staff and culinary experts. We started by asking people to create a diagram of the space they navigate when in their neighborhood at home. We then split everyone up into groups of 4 and asked each group to identify common ways to understand these personal diagrams. Finally, we met together, 12 of us, and tried to limit these common understandings, or ‘elements’, into 7 groupings.

The text for the workshop: MontalvoWorkshop1


Here are the individual diagrams:

The center box is the location space, between Houston & 14th Street, NYC. The boxes contained are the apartment, communal (bars?) and a view from outside. Across the river is Brooklyn, made up of a number of locii, each merely strung to each other, with no real reference points to connect them. Top left are two people connected by a phone. A plan/elevation of the bedroom. On the bed is a laptop, some pillows, around the room are various boxes, all with equal value, each containing the resident's effects.At the bottom is a bowl that represents warmth, from which originates a tree that connects to the world. The home is inline with the bowl, and the tree appears to have waves coming out of it above the home.Life revolves around walking, talking and typing, with a triangle set up between the blowing tree and the spot with tea and coffee...An apartment in NYC bound by 6th Avenue above it. On the other side of the avenue are a library, supermarket and landmark. In the apartment the artist's studio is shown empty.4 quadrants divide the page from local to other, from subjective to objective. Top left pane shows the desk and the bed (feet), the window separates the right pane with a view of Manhattan. Bottom left is a view of the East Village, with numerous local spots, on the bottom right is the 'yearly' journey to Sweden, and the unknown space in-betweenA person newly arrived in Brooklyn. There is their house, perhaps a place for coffee, but all the main arteries are as yet disconnected.Here the day is divided between home and the tree-lined journey to work. One of the few images showing the person, in this case drawn twice with her dog.The home is placed in the center, with a clock of locations to go to. The house is crying, with tears draining into the ocean, as there is no studio to go to.This is an energy/mood map, full of electrical discharge and resistence.The home, shown cocooned in the lower left, with a more established representation on the right. The workspace has a center, but is more abstract, with some landscape elements around it.


We then split into groups of four and asked each group to come up with 7 ‘elements’ that their drawings shared. Then all 12 people met, we put up all the elements, and tried to find a way to distill them. Here are the seven final ‘elements’ condensed from the individual maps:

ELEMENT 1: obstacles, distance, roads, framing and boundariesELEMENT 1: creativity, production, distractions & dream researchELEMENT 3: natureELEMENT 4: historyELEMENT 5: base & home treeELEMENT 6: communication, person there/not there and communityELEMENT 7: zoom, scale, vista, birds-eye & perspective view

We will use the seven elements created at the workshop to generate the forms for the studio installation at Montalvo on January 12th.

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© Walczak & Solomon