Roundup: ADD METAPHYSICS project launch
“Copying as a Media Form,” the ADD METAPHYSICS project launch, was themed after architect Ines Weizman’s lecture by the same name (see previous post). Drawing from the topics discussed in the publication, the program of the evening at Design Museum in Helsinki on March 14, 2013 explored copying and biomimicry in design, artistic practice, and material science.
After Weizman’s meditations on architectural copies, material scientist Olli Ikkala presented his work on molecular architecture. Ikkala runs the Molecular Materials research group as part of the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University. Together with his colleagues, he produced synthetic mother of pearl, or nacre, for the cover of ADD METAPHYSICS. His presentation, "Biomimetics—What does nature teach for materials science?“ sheds light on on the practice of studying and simulating nature’s elaborate materials.
The evening also included a screening of Harun Farocki’s video work ‘Parallel’ (2012). The piece explores the mimetic paradigm of digital “realism” where generative algorithms, and the resulting technologies, are increasingly capable of calculating, predicting, and controlling complex processes. Farocki asks: In appropriating the dynamics of social and natural reality, does computer-generated hyperrealism seek to outdo reality itself?
Conversations were had between editor Jenna Sutela, text editor Leah Whitman-Salkin and other contributors to the ADD METAPHYSICS publication.
Copying as a Media Form, a presentation by Ines Weizman
Based on Ines Weizman’s contribution to ADD METAPHYSICS, an essay and assignment titled “Copying as a Media Form,” her presentation in Helsinki on March 14, 2013 meditated on the idea of a copy at a time when reproduction technologies operate in three dimensions and things are haunted by their potential doubles, replicas, or simulacra. Under these circumstances, as she suggests, the copy should be treated as a media form, referring both to itself and to its original. Instead of viewing copies as fakes, or focusing on copyright laws in a traditional sense, Weizman considers copying as a force that creates a common architectural language and is the site within which radical invention occurs. She proposes that copyrights be defined as the rights of things over and above the rights of their authors. The presentation is followed by a selection of questions and answers from the audience.
Ines Weizman is an architect and theorist based in London. She completed her PhD in History and Theory at the Architectural Association, and is currently Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University.
Helsinki project launch
A celebration of the ADD METAPHYSICS publication takes place at Design Museum Helsinki on Thursday 14 March from 18:00 pm onward. The evening’s programme explores copying and biomimicry in design, artistic practice, and material science. It includes presentations by architect Ines Weizman (London Metropolitan University) and material scientist Olli Ikkala (Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University), a screening of Harun Farocki’s video work ‘Parallel’ (2012), and a discussion between editor Jenna Sutela and contributors to the publication, as moderated by text editor Leah Whitman-Salkin. Join us by RSVPing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother of pearl lines abalone shells and the ADD METAPHYSICS publication
Mother of pearl, or nacre, is made of nanostructures calcium carbonate. It consists of half a micrometer-thick slates meticulously organized one on top of another. These layers allow light to shine through the material. Many are taken by the beauty of mother of pearl, how it shimmers in different colors, others appreciate its mechanical qualities: its toughness and strength, but also its lightness, slipperiness, and smoothness. The video shows the making of synthetic nacre for the cover of the ADD METAPHYSICS publication. The scientists of the Molecular Materials group at the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University mixed hard clay particles and a soft, binding synthetic polymer to concoct a paper-like composite that mimics the basic architecture of nature’s mother of pearl. The material is a result of their ongoing research. For further information, see Olli Ikkala et al., “Large-Area, Lightweight and Thick Biomimetic Composites with Superior Material Properties via Fast, Economic, and Green Pathways,” Nano Letters 10, no. 8 (2010): 2742–48.
A view through printed translucency
A translucent circle on page 33 of the ADD METAPHYSICS publication provides a view to essays and assignments by select practitioners and researchers who have been invited to probe into the interrelations between information and material. The printed translucency is produced by a technology developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It enables the fabrication of low-cost translucent effects on various papers and other fiber-based products.
The publication is out
The ADD METAPHYSICS publication is back from the printer! From today, it is available through Aalto ARTS Bookshop.