Liam Young, 23 01 14
Keep reading for the full list of speakers (more…)
Keep reading for the full list of speakers (more…)
For the March 2013 issue of the Architectural Review Liam Young has written a review of ScanLab’s ‘Frozen Relics’ exhibition in London. On display is a laser scan of Arne’s Floe, an iceberg that once existed at 17:01:07hrs on the 16 September at 79 22.558 N, 003 04.611 W on the Arctic Ocean. It has since been torn apart by undersea currents and dissolved by a warming climate but in a time when everything is digitized nothing really has to disappear. An excerpt follows but you can see the full article behind a paywall here.
Frozen Relics is an exhibition full of artifacts like this that no longer exist. They are drifting across a data landscape in which we can still see every minute crack, every ragged edge, every blemish and fissure. They are high resolution laser scans generated on site in the Fram Strait northwest of Svalbard by ScanLAB, Greenpeace and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. The memories of these seasonal islands have been frozen in a ghostly coordinate cloud of XYZ and RGB values.
We are presented with the possibilities of an extraordinarily accurate digital doppelganger, a 1:1 avatar of our world, A curated collection of replica landscapes wrought from the tool paths of herds of CNC machines, 3d printed layer by layer, a carved duplicate at extreme resolution, a theme park of synthetic copies, and like plastic tits on an ageing celebrity, timeless, as everything around them continues to decay.
Our digital lives are accumulating in endless fields of super cooled server farms, containing tweets, check ins, instagrams, porn banks, pokes and now a menagerie of floating ice bergs. In sprawling warehouses browser searches sit beside glaciers, emails beside Mayan temples. Server Farms are something between filing cabinets and cathedrals. If they are the new repositories of all knowledge and ephemera then how is the data stored, how do we access it, and is anything ever forgotten. Can some data be designed to decay, could pixels erode with time, like a portrait of Dorian Gray, slowly ageing with our sins?
What we choose to remember, what we chose to keep, defines who we are. The permanence of a point cloud iceberg, drifting endlessly in a digital sea, is an eternal reminder of how much we have to loose.
KERB 20 is out now and features new projects by Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today and his nomadic design Studio the Unknown Fields Division. Other contributers include Factory Fifteen, Philip Beesely, Future Cities Lab, Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLG) and many more. You can purchase your copy here http://www.melbournebooks.com.au/kerb-20.html. Kerb Edition 20 examines ways in which speculative narrative discourse can be applied to landscape architecture. Through exploring Fabricated foundations, Fossilisation of information, and Contemporary unfoldings, we can navigate new horizons for the narratives of landscape architecture that propel beyond responsive tracings, and position new navigations; forms of resistance to the existing knowledge. It is through this view in landscape architecture that exploration is facilitated of both new possibilities and of their implications.
The first glimpses of our new project Under Tomorrows Sky can be seen at 8pm on August 10th at MU in Eindhoven. On show will be a room sized movie miniature model of our imaginary city and behind the scenes work from the think tank.
Under Tomorrows Sky is a fictional, future city. Speculative architect Liam Young of the London based Tomorrows Thoughts Today has assembled a think tank of scientists, technologists, futurists, illustrators, science fiction authors and special effects artists to collectively develop this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains.
In online and live discussions held during the past months the think tank came together to design this future city and discuss the possibilities of emerging biologies and technologies. This time there are no dystopian visions of the future, we’ve seen enough of those. Under Tomorrows Sky imagines a post-capitalist urbanity full of optimism and joy, full of life and aspiration.
It is a city of extraordinary technology but at first glance appears indistinguishable from nature. It is an artificial reef that grows and decays and grows again as the city becomes a cyclic ecosystem. A city as a geological formation of caves and grottos covered by a thick layer of soil and slime, a biological soup of human and non-human inhabitants. The city and us are one, a symbiotic life form. The city grows and we grow with it. Together we form a giant complex organism of which ecology and technology are inseparable parts.
At this moment the phase of creation has begun. An intricately detailed miniature model of this future city will rise under tomorrows sky and come into being at MU in the upcoming weeks. Between August 10 and October 28 all involved with the creation of the model will develop a collection of fictions based in the city. The model will be the backdrop for animated films and a stage set for a collection of stories and illustrations. The audience will also be invited to contribute their own narratives to the city through a series of workshops. Under Tomorrows Sky will be the starting point of a new ecological urban vision. The city of the future is not of a fixed time or place but it will emerge through the help of many.
Opening on Friday August 10 from 8 pm onwards.
On view till October 28.
image credit-Under Tomorrows Sky Concept Art by Factory Fifteen
Join Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young and Liquid Factory’s Kate Davies and their nomadic design group Unknown Fields Division as they take up temporary residence at Headlands Centre for the Arts, an ex military base just across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Employing contemporary surveillance technology to map the post-militarized Marin Headlands, the group will hack the landscape to imagine extraordinary futures.
Collaborators assembled from the worlds of art, architecture, and technology will guide sorties across diverse local terrains. Laser-scan forests using hi-res, long range optics; deploy infrared night vision cameras to peer through the mist; and build a fleet of drones to map from above. In these shifting fields of nature and artifice, participants will re-examine preservationist attitudes toward the natural world, the ecologically fragile, and the technologically obsolete.
Joining us will be collaborators including ScanLab, Geoff Manuagh, Nicola Twilley and many more. The program runs from September 7-September 12, 2012. The deadline for applications is July 17th. See the website for more details.
Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young has contributed to a BBC Click segment titled “How Buildings Come to Life”. Liam discusses, new forms of infrastructure, sensor networks and the future of cities. Also in the episode is biotechnologist Rachel Armstong and Cloud 9 Architects.
Coal miners once hammered rock with twittering canaries living beside them, their changing song a warning alarm for a dangerous gas leak. These living sensors watched over us and kept us safe. For the fifth New Order show, London-based architect Liam Young explores a future scenario where bio-engineered birds once again monitor the air for us. 80 live birds will be introduced into the gallery as an ecological warning system, living in the space and providing audible feedback on the state of the atmosphere. Across the course of the exhibition pollution DJs will alter the air of the gallery in line with the predicted atmospheric composition of the post-carbon world. You will experience an accelerated atmospheric change and listen to the canary song subtly shift, as they sing an elegy for a changing planet. You can watch a film of one of the performances here.
Come and wander the augmented aviary of new order. With binoculars and your Birdwatchers Guidebook to Toxicity Sentinels you will be able to spot these specimens of unnatural history. Spy, high up on the rafters the green throated coal gull, bioengineered to be sensitive to increased levels of CO2. Track the infrared canaries of the Amsterdam Archaeology Institute as they scan the ground for the echoes of lost cities, see the luminescent plumage of the Roseshift Canaries as they fan their tails and sing sharply in the presence of dangerous Nitrous Oxide. Sit in the engineered ecology, watch the birds fly past and listen to their live song, a requiem for the new world order.
As a spinoff from the exhibition a new book “The Field Guide to the Singing Sentinels: A Birdwatcher’s Companion” is now availible. Co written by Liam Young, Geoff Manuagh and Tim Maly and with illustrations by comic artist Paul Duffield the field guide is a catalogue of these specimens of unnatural history including descriptions, behaviours and helpful tips for future sightings. You can see an excerpt and purchase your copy of the limited edition book online here.
[Illustration of the Red Radar by Paul Duffield]
TTT’s Liam Young will be speaking at the 2011 Art and Environments Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art. He will be a part of the panel ‘Designing Architecture for environmental change’ with Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG), David Benjamin (The Living), Mark Smout (SmoutAllen) and moderated by Bruce Sterling. The panel brings together contributors from the acompanying exhibition curated by Geoff manaugh titled ‘Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions.’ Other speakers at the conference include Edward Burtynsky, DJ Spooky, Leo Villareal and Fritz Haeg. (more…)
Liam Young, of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, will be giving a lecture at the MU gallery in Eindhoven to accompany our Circus Babylon exhibition curated by Lukas Feireiss. Entrance is free and the event will kick off at 8:00pm 15th September in the gallery space. Details are here. Liam will also be on hand earlier in the afternoon to talk through the Landscapes of Unnatural History installation (see fast thoughts). The event will be titled ‘A field Guide to the Landscapes of technology’ and will be a virtual walking tour through a stranger than truth history of Nature, touring roman mythology, medieval bestiaries, zoological hoaxes, travelling menageries, imaginary plants, Galapagonian invasive species, Australian supermines, japanese anime and fictional biotechnological mutants.
image credit- Nausicaa dir. Hayao Miyazaki
This year, on the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight and the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, we will pack our Geiger counters and space Suits and chart a course from the atomic to the cosmic to investigate the strange natures that stretch from the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor in the Ukraine and Gagarin’s launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Before we leave on our research trip we will be joined in London by an ensemble of artists, authors, scientists and designers to present a series of projects and thoughts motivated by the sites we will be visiting. Through the lens of these 2 events we will re-examine our contemporary attitudes toward the natural world and discuss our cross section through the haunting landscapes of the ecologically fragile and the technologically obsolete. We will explore the ‘Unknown Fields’ between cultivation and nature, between utopian projections and dystopian ruins as we spin cautionary tales of a new kind of wilderness.
“To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature-could one dream of anything more!”
T H E A T O M I C
MICHAEL MADSEN [FILM MAKER]
Film maker Michael Madsen will be traveling with the Unknown Fields Division on our Chenobyl to Baikonur project. Michael is the Director of the recent documentary Into Eternity. The film tells the story of the Onkolo Nuclear Waste Repository in Finland, a facility that must remain intact for 100,000 years even though no structure in human history has even stood for such a long period of time. The film addresses an audience in the remote future and questions Onkolo’s eternal existence and its legacy as a reminder of this toxic energy source.
MARIO PETRUCCI [POET]
Originally a Natural Sciences graduate with a PhD in optoelectronics, Mario Petrucci works as a freelance creative writing tutor, broadcaster and educator. Mario has publishes a book length poem on the Chernobyl didaster titled Heavy Water. Petrucci takes up the challenge confronting society in every age: to attempt the difficult task of exploring its most terrible events. His poem unites the concerns of artist, humanitarian and historian at a common source: the desire not to forget. Heavy Water stands to remind us that those who have been exposed to the invisible should never become so.
CORNELIA HESSE HONEGGER [SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATOR]
Cornelia Hesse Honegger is a scientific illustrator and science artist. For 25 years she worked as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich. Her watercolors are exhibited internationally at museums and galleries. Her work is an interface between art and science; it plays witness to a beautiful but endangered nature. Since the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied and painted morphologically disturbed insects, which she finds in the fallout areas of Chernobyl as well as near nuclear installations.
PETER WYNN KIRBY [ENVIRONMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGIST]
Peter Wynn Kirby is an ‘environmental anthropologist’ and researcher with the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford. His latest book is “Troubled Natures: Waste, Environment, Japan.“ In it he considers experiences of nuclear risk and national/cultural constructions of energy, power, pollution, and waste in Japan and in France – the two major nations that depend most on nuclear power, yet where the risks and benefits of nuclear power play out over vastly different sociocultural topographies.
WILL WILES [AUTHOR/JOURNALIST]
Will WIles is deputy editor of the architecture and design journal Icon and has recently completed his debut novel ‘Care of Wooden Floors’ a black comedy about a man being driven insane by minimalist interior decoration. Through the Unknown Fields project Will’s is developing a new book titled ‘Toxic Tourism’ which be published by Haperpress in mid 2012
OLIVIER GOODHALL [Designer]
Oliver’s background, interests and practice is in architecture. He holds a Masters Degree from the Royal College of Art in Design Interactions, having previously graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture in 2005, and co-founded the architecture practice We Made That. He is interested in developing projects that expand engagement between strategic thinking and creative practice in the public realm. His express intent is to be logically utopian and playfully analytical; project outcomes may be informative, revealing, outlandish – or hopefully all of these. Recent projects include the provocative ‘Nuclear is Good. What will it take to convince you?’, a series of speculative urban newspapers commissioned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, a collaboration with UCL Urban Laboratory’s Creative City Limits programme, and an upcoming project on synthetic gemology due to be published this autumn.
PHILIPS DESIGN PROBES [TECHNOLOGY DESIGNERS]
Philips Design Probes is a dedicated ‘far-future’ research initiative to track trends and developments across the realms of politics, economics, culture, environments and technology.With the aim of understanding ‘lifestyle’ post 2020, the program aims to identify probable systemic shifts and challenges conventional ways of thinking about technology to come up with concepts, products and narratives to stimulate debate. Phillips is a primary project sponsor and has provided a number of scholarships for emerging artists to join the Unknown Fields Chernobyl to Baikonur Cosmodrome studio.
T H E C O S M I C
ALICIA FRAMIS [ARTIST]
Director of Moon Life Foundation, Alicia Framis speculates on the possibility that humans will live in space in the future. The project acts as a stimulus for artists, designers, architects to create futuristic radical political but humane concepts for an extreme lunar environment. Alicia Framis is also exploring the potentialities of living on the moon through the ironical activities and fictional character of a woman astronaut. Left on earth like all women who were never part of the moon race, she settles in to BaseCamp, in which she lived for the two weeks in a customized astronaut suit, among drawings and prototypes that aim to both parody and demand women’s presence on the moon.
REGINA PLEDSZUS [SPACE HUMAN FACTORS DESIGNER]
Regina’s research investigates the emotional and environmental implications of manned spaceflight and particularly the psychological challenges of isolation and monotony for crew during extended exploration missions to Mars or Near Earth Asteroids. Her research has developed into conceptual and applied input into the habitability design aspects of ground-based mission simulations like the Mars 500 experiment and the generation of mission ideas with the European Space Agency’s Advanced Concepts Team. Recently Regina has recently been based in the Stanley Kubrick archive exploring speculative design in science fiction and the real-world applicability of sci-fi film sets as scenarios for psychological habitability.
PAUL DUFFIELD [COMIC CREATOR/ILLUSTRATOR]
Paul Duffield is a comic book creator, animator and illustrator. He collaborates wit hauthor Warren Ellis on the webcomic Freakangels and the visual poem ‘Signal’. Signal is an experiment in visual storytelling that attempts to use comicbook visual language to explore the the theme of the human search for knowledge and other life, inspired by SETI, and Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos. After countless decades scanning the skies, listening to the beep beep beep from alien worlds there is just one man left in the SETI institute, still waiting…
LOUISE K WILSON [SOUND ARTIST]
Louise K Wilson is a visual artist who makes installations, live works, sound works and single channel videos. Her current research uses the medium of sound to ask philosophical and material questions about the spatio-temporal physicality of certain sites and our perceptions of them. She has travelled to numerous military and scientific sites including the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training facility, nuclear submarines, US listening stations, university halls, rocket launch sites and disused RAF bases in pursuit of the acoustics of resonant spaces. She has explored the ways in which technologies of the audible create new ways of engaging with the lost traces of institutional places.
NELLY BEN HAYOUN [EXPERIENCE DESIGNER]
Nelly Ben Hayoun has designed experiences for you to become an astronaut in the living room, generating dark energy from pigeons’ eggs in the kitchen and colliding atoms in the bathroom. She is interested in how we can use design and science in our everyday lives to make them more thrilling, creative and passionate.. Often science seems to be reserved for scientists – expert practitioners who alone have the privilege of experiencing the fringes of human knowledge and the extremes of nature. Her work aims to combat this aspect of science, by enlisting willing scientists in experiences that mix the creativity with technology, science with fiction, factual with artistic and amateur with expert.
MARK PILKINGTON [UFO FOLKLORIST]
Mark Pilkington is a writer, publisher, curator and musician with particular interest in the fringes of knowledge, culture and belief. On a journey through the badlands and backwaters of America, Mark Pilkington uncovered a 60 year-old story stranger than any conspiracy thriller. Through the fascinating account of his travels Pilkington reveals the long history of UFOria and its origins in the murky worlds of espionage, psychological warfare and UFO hunters, Pilkington soon discovers that the truth about flying saucers is stranger and more complex than either the ufologists or debunkers would have us believe: instead of covering-up stories of crashed spacecraft, alien contacts and secret underground bases, the US intelligence agencies
THE UNKNOWN FIELDS DIVISION IS SUPPORTED BY
ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION [VISITING SCHOOL PROGRAMME]
PHILIPS DESIGN PROBES [TECHNOLOGY DESIGNERS]
KUMUKA WORLDWIDE [ADVENTURE TRAVEL CONSULTANTS]
UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES [PROJECT CARRIER]
VOLUME [RESEARCH LAB]
NEASDEN CONTROL CENTRE [GRAPHIC ARTIST]
The smaller travelling version of ‘The Imaginarium: A Theatre For Constructed Ecologies’ has been reviewed by Arbitare Magazine. You can see the full exhibition from its Berlin opening in the Fast thoughts column. The Imaginarium is co-curated by Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and Studio Lukas Feireiss with design by Luis Berrios-Negron. The exhibition brings together a group of architects, artists and scientists including TTT’s Liam Young, Francois Roche/R&Sie(n), Greg Lynn, Philip Beesley, Rachel Armstrong, Theo Jansen, Terunobu Fujimori, Triptyque Architecture, Ilkka Halso, Lucy McRae, Cero9, Mas Yendo, and many more to engage the prescient subject of ecological change and adaptations caused by artificial interventions into existing ecosystems.
The Imaginarium is curated as an unnatural history museum of archaeological fragments, botanical samples, exhibits, evidence and curiosities. Archived in the accompanying Catalogue of Speculative Specimens we see a jump in the fossil record, an evolutionary leap, as the interbreeding of biology and technology has given birth to a strange new nature.
Liam Young of TTT has a new project apprearing in the landscapes journal KERB issue 19 Paradigms of Nature: Post Natural Futures published by RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. Other contributors include TTT pals R&Sie, Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Daisy Ginsberg and Sacha Pohflepp, David Gissen et al. Have a look through the full list of contributors here. It should be an interesting issue. Go buy one.
Last month Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young was invited to be a part of BLDGBLOG’s Landscape Futures Super Workshop in LA. Foreshadowing further collaborations the event brought together the protagonists in Geoff Manuagh’s upcoming exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art titled Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices, and Architectural Inventions. Through the Super Workshop the typically insulated curatorial process has been exploded into an organised series of landscape reconnaissance expeditions, recorded conversations, lectures and student presentations. The workshop and its themes have been explored in two interesting articles here in Domus and Wired magazine and feature illustrations by Liam Young and Tomorrows Thoughts Today.
This thursday is the opening of the Imaginarium: A Theatre For Constructed Ecologies in Berlin. Co-curated by Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and Studio Lukas Feireiss with Luis Berrios-Negron, this special exhibit is devoted to the prescient subject of ecological change and adaptations caused by artificial interventions into existing ecosystems. The Imaginarium forms part of the exhibition Examples to Follow: Expeditions in Aesthetics and Sustainability curated by Adrienne Gohler.
The work from the students of Liam Young (Tomorrows Thoughts Today) and Kate Davies’ (liquidfactory) design unit 7 ‘Necessary Monsters’ is being exhibited at the Architectural Associations projects review , 36 Bedford Sq London until July 25th. (We are the glowing room just beyond the terrace) Those of you not in London can see the work by following the links to intermediate 7 in the online exhibition. Read on for a full studio and project description.
Liam Young from Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s project “Make Me A Mountain!” has won the D3 Natural Systems Design Innovation Award for Sustainable New York City. You can view the project in the slow thoughts column or on the competition website. The work will be exhibited at the D3′s Brooklyn gallery in in Autumn.
An Exhibition of the work of Intermediate Studio 7 run by Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young and Kate Davies from Liquid Factory will be opening Friday 26th February in the Architectural Association’s Back members room. The exhibition titled ‘Where the Wild Things Are…’ will run until the 27th March. Update: Exhibition photos have been added below. (more…)
A selection of pieces from the Specimens of Un Natural History project will be on show in the Spaces and Narrations exhibition in the Triangle Gallery at 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU. The exhibition will run from 9th March until the 13th March. For those of you not in London you can follow the work in the Slow Thoughts column. Update: More photos added below. (more…)
We have been invited to exhibit The Specimens of Un Natural Histories project at the upcoming DesignCinema Exhibition in Istanbul. The exhibition and accompanying conference will run from the mid till the end of November. On display will be drawings and photographs of a range of specimens. If you cant make it to istanbul then cast your eyes across to the slow thoughts column where you can see the project immortalised in blog form.