technology provides opportunities to create and evolve visual culture: we connect with people, encourage discourse and visualize both in realistic and hyperrealistic terms. yet, with new technological tools comes the danger of computational exploitation of our data and lives.

elements.media is a platform for sharing research in the interplay between technology, design and art. it spans over numerous media and is an interdisciplinary initiative. in a rapidly changing world, interdisciplinary research offers the potential to open up new areas of knowledge previously hidden in-between disciplines. the goal is to explore different ways of sharing valuable information online, in a visual, collaborative and open manner.

the website is a never completed project and seeks to include a wide range of contributions. if you’d like to share your research or give feedback: send an email to: contact@elements.media.

initiated and designed by abirami logendran

//sebastian guha skjulhaug

Hastily assembled and painted is the latest product of a continuous photographic investigation of the production of urban space, related to the urban development of Oslo. More specifically, these recent photographs are the results of a desire to explore areas of Oslo that were unfamiliar to me, both peripheral, old industrial areas and central residential areas newly built and under development. Traversing this unknown territory has contributed to a deeper sense of the modern history of the city and the shifting ideologies of urban planning.

The neoliberal city is a city with growing urban conflicts which have structural causes and local expressions. Oslo’s hegemonic neoliberal production of urban space is at the same time a production of marginalisation, gentrification and precarisation. These are of course slow and complex spatial and temporal processes and therefore difficult to experience directly. Only their material and social expressions are visible. They are only made available to experience when damage is already done.

I am interested in making images that make visible this intimate and conflictual relationship between the material, social and ideological in urban space. I am drawn towards a close inspection of the city’s facades and their traces of renewal and resistance, deterioration and reparation. I try to read them as sites where urban conflicts are materialised and made graspable. Images are powerful in shaping conceptions and knowledge of cities and I believe a specific photographic form can contribute to a critical and empathic reading of, and engagement with the city..

//maike statz

//Queering Architecture: A reading list

Queer is a slippery term insofar as it embraces it’s own multiplicity of meanings. It can refer to those who do not correspond to established heterosexual norms of sexuality or gender and something that is strange, odd or olique. It’s a term that has been reappropriated from its originally derogatory use by academics, activists and the LGBTQ+ community.

Queering architecture refers to a process of dismantling normative structures and power dynamics that govern the spaces we inhabit. It is understanding that some spaces are more aligned towards particular actions and particular bodies and do not serve as neutral backgrounds for daily life.

The following reading list is a small collection of texts that rethink architecture and spatial theory from a feminist and/or queer perspective. They are texts that reconsider how we move through space and how these movements are informed not only by the physicality of space but also its history. Specific examples of existing architecture have been interrogated to reveal new narratives, questioning who has the power to design and for whom are they designing.

reading list:
Orientations: Toward a Queer Phenomenology //Sara Ahmed

‘Enactments of Architecture’ in Behind Straight Curtains: Towards a Queer Theory of Architecture //Katarina Bonnevier

Finding a place for empathy in Architecture //An interview with Simona Castricum

The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism //Beatriz Colomina

‘The Spatial Dimensions of Feminism’ in Discrimination //Leslie Kanes Weisman

FujiFilm: Digital Imaging Service

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that James Dean is being resurrected via CGI to play the second lead in the upcoming Vietnam War action-drama Finding Jack.

When asked why they chose James Dean to play the role, Anton Ernst said: "We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean."

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//towards a manifesto for algorithmic access to public galleries and museums
ideas digital forum 2018


Mohammed Salemy begins his speech by saying that most of his career path has been shaped by his activities online. He is one of the co-founders of The New Centre for Research & Practice and the Fixing the Future platform. In this video he speaks about the role of public art institutes in the time of political and technological transformations. Digital, computational and network technologies can transform the technical prosess of exhibiting art _or they can go even further and actually disrupt the functions of art institutions.

Many institutions have indeed embraced new technologies, but they still have the same functions as in the pre-digital age, only with new technological interfaces. The old networks and methods lie underneath these changes - in other words - the same useless bureaucracy is still present in public art institutions. Can technology change the system? Salemy presents three independent initiatives that utilise the internet in a way that public institutions can learn from. These three examples have also been an inspiration for this project, elements.media.

//mina young

mathematics is a powerful tool. a respected discipline but for many a mysterious one… a thick wall of smog clouds our vision of the answer to an important question: what and where and how is the bridge between long division and derivatives and prime numbers and the a2 + b2 = c2 we learnt in school and using mathematics and formal systems to analyze and to say something about the world we live in?

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The very notion of identity is metaphorical. In the contemporary digitalized world, we are transformed into computable objects that have a second virtual identity in addition to the physical, spatial one. I will argue that this identity is in many ways an interpretation of our personae, rather than an accurate projection of us.

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//hamid waheed

A notable link between hand cameras and public surveillance happened in Britain in the 20th century through the Mass-Observation movement. The social research group gathered a large number of untrained volunteers to observe people in public spaces, amassing information on quantities, behaviours, looks, conversations, attitudes and actions; as well as issuing survey and diary requests from their agents.

This large collection of data had an idealist beginning, with the founders proclaiming a search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Yet a common criticism had to do with the voyeuristic aspects of the project, as the size and resource management of Mass-Observation required it to be operated by volunteers who were, in effect, making secret recordings of their friends and neighbours. The activity was sometimes likened to espionage.

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why decolonize design::? a reading list

western society is built on colonising other nations- being aware of how these power structures resulted in appropriation of other cultures and assimilating western values in other countries, is very important for designers. We have to understand that these power relations very much exist today. By revealing how colonialism is affecting the contemporary world and what limitations this imposes on large parts of the world’s population, it’s easy to see why we need to include decolonizing perspectives in all fields.

Imperialism is a direct result of the inherent idea of capitalism that it is okay to exploit another country if it leads to profit. For many years, large parts of the world have accepted this economic and political system, but we now see the need to change this, in many areas. For example, when it comes to the climate crisis; or how machine learning algorithms are misapplied into changing society in a negative way. Even if the need for change is glaring, it’s not possible to make significant changes within existing capitalist frameworks.

This is why decolonizing is necessary. Decolonisation means to disrupt this balance and change it fundamentally. It helps us push out of the capitalist constrictions. By trying to recalibrate our mindset, in the way that decolonizing demands that we do, we will get a better understanding of the world we live in. Especially in design, this can lead to allowing other and new perspectives that will have a positive impact on society - which can makes changes in _why we design and therefore _ what we design.

reading list:
what-a-decolonisation-of-design-involves-by-ahmed-ansari
a decolonizing design reader
what-does-it-mean-to-decolonize-design by Anoushka Khandwala

//emil h. lewe

Ordet meme blei først brukt av den britiske forskaren Richard Dawkins i 1976. Han definerte meme som “a unit of cultural transmission.”, og seier at “Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes.” Slike einheiter som “overfører kultur” kan i starten ha vore det Dick Hebdige snakkar om i Subculture and style; dei uskyldige objekta som på magisk vis kunne bli approprierte; stjelt og gitt hemmeleg meiningar: “meanings which express, in code, a form of resistance to the order which guarantees their continued subordination”.

les hele teksten her

In John Carpenter’s film They Live (1988), the main character John Nada puts on a pair of glasses and can see the world as it is. He can see the invisible, but omnipresent forces that control society. Today, our society is still controlled by unseen forces. The ideology is pretty much the same, but it has taken new forms and has new powers. With new technology, society is widely shaped by algorithms, that not even their owners or creators can fully comprehend.

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