Troiage Aesthetics [ .pdf ]

As the world around us is transformed into digitally enabled forms and processes, aesthetic strategies are necessitated that can serve to articulate the multiple layers of complexity involved. I have developed an approach to this through a number of projects that engage a formal and conceptual vocabulary derived from collage, montage and assemblage. This triple “age” (I’ll call it troiage), renders surprising zones which articulate more then just the edges of a formal transformation of culture, but reveal aspects of social structure itself. One approach to put these mechanisms of articulation into play is by looking at binary relationships such as nature/culture, personal/public, U.S./Mexico, freedom/coercion, mediation/experience. This aesthetic approach is connected to, and develops from, a number of disparate areas of art and cultural history.

The Scalable City [ .pdf ]

The Scalable City is a set of projects that explore the externalization of algorithmic approaches to urbanization that intersect with geographic, political, economic and aesthetic zones of conflict. Version 0.7a of the Scalable City is a multi-media exhibition consisting of various manifestations of landscape demarcation, personal embodiment and domicile transformations. Procedures governing the arrangement and operations of these discrete areas, are interchanged across domains – moving them from a more familiar basis to distorted and exaggerated extremes of patterns and juxtapositions. Through these processes, which reveal the procedural basis of the development of cultural forms, the mechanistic processes of social formation are highlighted. The forum for this version of the work is the US/Mexican border where collisions of cultural forms, political structures, economies and landscape are distinctly overt.

ersatz [ .pdf ]

The developments of digital technology provide opportunities for artists to radically rethink the notion of mediums as entities that are containers to be filled with the content of their artwork. Digital technologies provide the capability for artists to create their own functional mediums along with a particular artwork. However, this technological creativity can create daunting development tasks that obscure the types of creative processes that are inherently a part of many artmaking strategies. Over the past decade, the author has developed a number of large-scale, complex, public art projects that utilize such capabilities as high resolution interactive 3D graphics, multi-site networking, multi-user engagement, computer vision and haptic interfaces in novel architectural frameworks. In creating these works, the author has strived to take advantage of the best in available technological approaches, synthesized into a toolset that allows for cultural and aesthetic innovation facilitated by technological innovation. In doing so, a continuous balance between disciplined software development methodologies and the emergent processes of aesthetic discovery is negotiated. The ersatz framework of tools is a continually extensible approach that balances the opportunities created through discovery based processes and the need to create robust software frameworks to maximize resource capabilities.

Real Art and Virtual Reality [ .html ]

Virtual reality is irrupting all around us. It is coming from a number of directions: popular culture, the military, scientific visualization, entertainment systems, digital cinema, computer networking, fast computers and the economies of technological consumption. So what of art? How should artists respond to virtual reality and how are the developments of virtual reality (VR) responsive to art?

Accelerating The Scalable City [ .pdf ]

Scalable City consists of 5 major components - landscape, roads, lots, architecture and vehicles. The process of developing each of these begins with data captured from networked real-world applications. This raw data, drawn from a real world referent, is transformed by an algorithm that creates a characteristic imprint of its own. In the case of the landscape, the captured data comes from satellite imaging. This visual representation of the landscape is transformed by a simple process of duplication, rotation, copying and pasting; the process creates a new landscape which retains naturalism in its details, but with a high level of algorithmic decoratism in its large scale structure.

Why-fi? [ .pdf ]

The 4K cinema format is another moment in the ongoing negotiation between the realms of the fictive and the real, its lack of apparent pictorial artifact removing another veil of mediation. However, it operates within a culture that has a well-developed history of cinematic perception. This work recognizes that there is enough of a transformation of the image in this configuration that it causes the viewer to re-negotiate their own spectatorship, to re-calibrate the cinematic stance.

"A Scalable Me For Scalable Times" by Geoff Ryman [ .html ]

Like all games, Scalable City practices aspects of life and gets us to ask questions. How, really, do we end up devouring landscape? How really do we want cities to grow? If this process, as automatic as the real process of building suburbia, results in things we don't like, the program invites us to consider others. Would we like a process that built upwards? Or that once a saturation point had been achieved, jumped to a new setting and started building there? If this is in fact how things change, only speeded up, what role do I play, how do I change, in this ever re-scalable world?

"Cutting across somewhere beween in the scalable city" by Bruce Sterling [ .html ]

Sheldon Brown's creative activities are well-considered, and elegant. They're also quite hard to describe in today's language. The streets of his scalable city have no names. The nicknames we might too-hastily give to them - harsh technical acronyms that repel the reader's eye - or that brassy host of prefixes: "neo" this, "hyper" that, super, ultra, virtual, mega, poly, meta, cyber & nano. Do they help us understand? They're jammed onto older terminology as if to knock the dust off it. Those formulas rather badly serve today.s artistic public. Now, Sheldon.s works are very much what they are. Yet, they're not cinema. Nor animation. They're not computer games, or simulated architecture, or urban maps, or even sculpture. They do partake of those things. They are a form of expression that "cuts across somewhere between."

Out of the Box

Chapter for book Euphoria and Dystopia ed. Sarah Cook and Sara Diamond. Banff Centre Press, 2011

Network for sciences, engineering, arts and design [.pdf]

Innovations emerging from the intersection of the sciences, engineering, arts and design are transforming our economy, culture, and learning contexts. This transformation is emerging through development of products, methods, and questions that are fundamentally hybrid, such as software developed for human play, hardware designed for aesthetic elegance, or the plethora of scientific and cultural information requiring new means of interpretation and expression in order to enable greater understanding of complex dynamics.
ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference, SIGGRAPH'12 - LaFayette, C, Rikakis, T, Cox, DJ, Nadarajan, G, Strohecker, C, Jennings, P, Wardrip-Fruin, N, Malina, RF, Brown, S

Being Dazzled: Living in Machinima [ .pdf ]

Consider as an aspect of the avant-garde art cinema movement (as characterized by P. Adams Sitney (1979) and represented by artists such as Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton etc) the denormativizing of cinema. These artists/filmmakers took accruing cinematic sensibilities and built alternative artifices that evaded, glancingly addressed, or completely ignored pluralistic cinema. Works had glaring apparency, enacting their own type of dazzle, such that some were difficult to watch while still commanding attention. Their status as cinematic spectacle could elicit thoughtfulness in an age when one cultural act occurred at a time. Now the focused attention that these avant-garde strategies required might not stand a chance.
Chapter for book. Understanding Machinima, ed. Jenna Ng. Criterium Press, 2012

GrowthTracker: Diagnosing Unbounded Heap Growth in C++ Software [ .pdf ]

Unbounded growth of heap memory degrades performance and eventually causes program failure. Traditional memory leaks are the most commonly recognized, but not the only cause of this issue. Large software systems use many aggregate data structures that can grow arbitrarily, and application behavior that produces unbounded growth of these structures is common. This growth can remain undetected by both memory leak and staleness detection tools. In this paper, we present an approach for reliably identifying aggregate data structures that can grow without bound over the lifetime of a program.
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation. Luxembourg 2012 - Hill, E, Tracy, D., Brown, S.

The Arts of Piranesi: Architect, Etcher, Antiquarian, Vedutista, Designer, Review of exhibition [ .html ]

The advent of digitization has created methods of cultural production that bring new considerations to the relationships between ideas, artifacts, and audiences. Looking at the San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design, conceived by Michele De Lucchi, one can observe the effects of digitization, as the eighteenth-century designer and fabulist’s work is expressed though twenty-first-century opportunities.

Developing a Virtual Assessment Center [ .pdf ]

The assessment center (AC), with its origins in World War II and its steady evolution in the decades since, is 1 way that consulting psychologists can help organizations in their selection and development of effective managers. With the emergence of powerful new technologies and the simultaneous imperative for organizations to globalize, the AC is at a pivotal moment. It can become obsolete, or it can greatly expand its reach and effectiveness. A transformation needs to occur. One way this transformation can occur is through the development of a virtual assessment center (VAC) that takes advantage of emerging technologies to make it possible for participants from all around the world to take part.
Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 6/2015 - Howland A., Rembisz R., Wang T., Heise S., Brown S.