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Circulation: Extraction and (Earth) Return workshop with Martin Howse

November 17, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

- Free

The Speculative Life Cluster at the Milieux Institute @ Concordia will be hosting a workshop with artist Martin Howse.

Let the waters above the heavens fall, and the earth will yield its fruit.

Circulation explores the material bases of contemporary media, intervening within cycles of earth-extraction-earth-return in which the minerals which form the material basis of digital technology are pulled from the ground using large-scale industrial processes, eventually to be re-absorbed in the form of e-waste and pollution. The workshop will cross and leak across disciplines of computational culture, logic, geology, alchemy, chemistry and literature.

During the workshop we will discuss, research and conduct practical experiments focussing on material processes involved in extraction (of precious metals for technology) and the dissolution (of technology back into the earth). These experimental situations ask questions about the links between (the) earth and communications/computational technologies. Amongst other actions, participants will: refine silicon and other computational materials from sand obtained from mining sites, culture bacteria involved in processes of acid mine drainage and undertake simple analysis of such matters, undertake the speculative assembly of dissolution-inspired Turing Machines and fluid logic devices.

Circulation forms part of Dissolutions, an artistic research residency and exhibition project initiated by Berlin-based artist Martin Howse, curated by Peter Flemming in collaboration with OBORO and Perte de Signal, with support from the Goethe-Institut Montréal.



About Martin Howse:

The interdisciplinary work of Martin Howse is pre-occupied with a broad questioning of the exact location of execution and of code within the world (psychogeophysics). Through the construction of experimental situations (within process-driven performance, laboratories, walks, and workshops), material art works and texts, Martin Howse explores the rich links between substance or materials and execution or protocol, excavating issues of visibility and of hiding within the world. Since 1998, Martin Howse has published, workshopped, performed and exhibited worldwide.

This event should be of interest to a range of people interested in geology, media, computation, science, waste, and magic…

Workshop update from Martin Howse:

Dear All,
It would be great if you can bring the following (although not essential) for the workshop on Thursday:
– A small spoonful of dried earth (you can dry it slowly in a low oven or microwave!)
– Any to-be-discarded phones and small digital data devices (desktops, screens, ipads, ipods, hard drives), preferably with some personal connection. These will be dissolved (slowly).
– Warm clothes as we will conduct some parts of the workshop outside.
It would also be ideal for each participant to have a vague understanding of both fluid Boolean logic gates (see for example, http://www.blikstein.com/paulo/projects/project_water.html) and abstract Turing machines (eg. https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/projects/raspberrypi/tutorials/turing-machine/one.html)
best wishes….



November 17, 2016
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Speculative Life
Goethe Institut


Perte de Signal
5445 avenue De Gaspé, local #107
Montreal, QC H2T 3B2 Canada
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