The Writing on the Wall: Our Liquid Ambient Future
See like a camera / listen like a microphone / track like a satellite. Big beautiful data is everywhere. The sound is constant. The image bank immense. The network sends and receives everything. We capture, post, follow, share and archive. Data becomes us.
This new aesthetic of machine ambiance is at once an embodiment of our private present selves but also an ambient beautification of what lies in our wake. We remix our environment by just being present in it. We bring our own signal noise with us wherever we go. We are fast becoming the sample bank of a dense ambient mix of images, sound and text.
The notion of the liquid electric is embedded in our popular cultural fictions and scientific explorations. It operates at the foundation of our interpretation of the farthermost reaches of space and the inner most structures of matter. But it also colors the wider vistas of our future networked selves and the imaginings of content creators, designers and artists alike.
Additional Supporting Materials
- The Futurist used primary colors to explore the ambiance of light and the wonders of electric light. Google and Microsoft use a similar palette to define their corporate identities and communicate meaning. Film makers and advertisers use liquid electric symbolism to communicate magic and technological achievement. What are the origins of the liquid electric in contemporary film and media?
- Machine thinking, algorithmic affect and Big Data are creeping into our everyday lives. What are the visual signs of this new paradigm?
- You are breaking up, time is fragmenting, space is divided between screen time and real time, the stereoscopic vision may not be enough for our hyperactive enthusiasm for the image. How are artists and designers seeing the world and constructing new ambient futures and what can we learn from these visions?
- We have been here before. The future as seen by those in the past has a rich history of quickly forgotten predictions, questionable technological propositions and questionable social engineering. Why is it different now and what are the new aesthetics of machine assisted image construction?
- The liquid ambient future will be very different to the stratified social spaces that define our present digital experience. My 200x200 pixel avatar seems grim and moribund compared to my cyber dreams. How can I - and my fellow netizens - truly become the colorful peacocks in the garden?
- Mitch Goodwin James Cook University
Mitch Goodwin James Cook University
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