At a time when our senses are becoming ever more networked, so do our bodies scatter amid new technologies. Our patterns of behaviour and the environments we inhabit interact with technologies envisioned by global markets. Subsequent generations awaken as natives to new technological normalities being disjunct to realities of their predecessors. Digital natives wander in fields of wild bits to explore and expand what was already there. The exhibition “Wild Bits” takes place on the frontier of these overlapping normalities, inviting to contemplate, question and explore aspects of technological society, its influence on our behaviour, perception and thinking.
Artists selected through an international open call spent ten days working at the residency in MAAJAAM and presented their works to the public on the 21st and 22nd of July 2018 with audience buses coming from Tallinn, Tartu and Riga.
“Wild Bits” was part of Estonia 100 art programme. The project was also supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment and Nordic Council of Ministers.
Suvine agro-tech meeleolu Maajaamas in Kunst.ee by Marika Agu and Francisco Martínez (in Estonian).
Metsikud äärealad in SIRP by Raivo Kelomees (in Estonian).
Sound installation Mixed Forest by Aivar Tõnso
The old path in the woods beside MAAJAAM is a wonderful example of how places shaped by human hands but now taken over by nature are particularly magical. These gloomy areas of hidden civilizations with hidden meanings are highly explosive. “Mixed Forest” is an attempt to interfere in its own way with the process of counteracting and reconciling man and nature in a timeless spiral process.
Untitled from the series of Broken Landscapes by Antti Laitinen
Random Access Farm by Brian House
In computer science, “random access” is the logic that says any piece of information should be accessible in roughly the same amount of time. Hard disks are random access, computer memory is random access, and the internet itself is (almost) random access. This imparts a sense of arbitrariness to the digital systems we use every day. But this is at odds with how the human body relates to geography — our everyday spaces are assembled relationally, as they are lived.
As a durational performance, I organized all aspects of my daily life at MAAJAAM so that traveling between any two sites of activity takes the same amount of time. A manual wheel-chart indicates the necessary re-routing and allows visitors to the farm to live in the same way. Doing this highlights the tension and poetry when human-centered ways of living meet machinic ones.
Smart Old Mole by Hannah Harkes
The character of Mutivana is exploring the digital world, social media and new technology with visitors through interactive installations:
Mutivana’s Band Camp — A large tent containing musical instruments and audio equipment, open for the public to play. Music is recorded live for immediate release on cassette tape and will be uploaded a little later to mutivana.bandcamp.com.
Mutivana’s Twitter Knitter — Tweets sent to Mutivana’s twitter account (@mutivana) are knitted into a woollen picnic blanket with the help of a hacked knitting machine. Mutivana’s favourite picnic food is mudcake topped with tasty worms!
Mutivana’s Photo Shop — Visitors can try out physical photo editing using glue, paint, scissors and old photographs.
Bug-water Listener by Paula Vītola
A device that lets you hear the environment through shadows and light reflections.
Overhead by Steve Maher
Overhead is a real-time cartographical perspective device, which allows for an instantaneous shift from ground level “first person” perspective to that of an over-head “out of body” view. The user views them self from an out of body perspective.
(Out) In the Field by Taavi Suisalu
A field can be seen as a physical space but also as a technological network between things. The object in this field functions as a bate, being open to automated processes, to bots — to communication between machines that happens inevitably upon entering the field. Each act of communication from these robots, and the motives are mostly unknown, acts as a touch of the network triggering the object to orient itself towards the physical location where the request originated from.
Random Forest Creek by Theun Karelse
Scientists are discovering that forests and rivers are so complex that they may be fundamentally unknowable. Does this mean we should focus a better understanding of what we don’t know? Refine our questions rather than our answers? During Wild Bits Theun Karelse explored the creek as an entity, in ways that try to go beyond quantitative environmental data. This has resulted in a circular observation raft built in collaboration with Timo Toots and a booklet with Theun’s Wild Bits field-notes.
Flight Announcer by Timo Toots
The installation announces the commercial aircrafts that are above the air. Computerized voice announces the origin and destination of the planes. Their distance from MAAJAAM is expressed with beeping sounds.
Sunday Painter by Varvara & Mar
The idea of the project is to rethink what is a romantic vision of countryside in the post-digital age. A plotter is painting a landscape on a perfect Sunday. Like the modern times require, our eyes stop seeing without a computer vision and artificial intelligence. Hence, the landscape is conformed by artificial intelligence image classification algorithm. In other words, on the canvas is appearing the machine’s romantic vision of a landscape.
Photos by Gabriela Liivamägi