Hotdesk is a programme that supports artistic and critical research processes and values space as a crucial condition of artistic production. We hope to share and open our studio space as a resource to seed more possibilities for thought, conversations and collaborations.

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Presentation #7
Hotdesk ,
10.30.2021

ETH: Exotica, Tropica, Hortica — A Research Showcase by Jake Tan and Ernest Wu

From the real world to the blockchain, the research showcase will explore and dissect the current trends in variegated plant collecting, all the way to buying and selling collectibles in the NFT marketplace and the parallels that exist between the two seemingly separate economies.

The first day of ETH: Exotica, Tropica, Hortica research showcase aligns with Walk Walk Don't Run, an island-wide open studio walk happening over four Saturdays in October 2021. Walk Walk Don’t Run involves over 25 artist and design studios, artist-run spaces and craft spaces across Singapore that will open their doors for public visits. The open studio format gives participating artists and designers a chance to step away from the exhibition and the finished object, and share instead their personal projects, their work-in-progresses, ongoing concerns and ideas, and their research and development.

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Presentation #7
Hotdesk ,

Visiting the Nursery

We visited a few nurseries in Singapore that has a variation of different variegated types —a genetic mutation, and plants showing two different chromosomal make-ups in a single plant, where some tissue is able to produce chlorophyll and other is not.

We consulted Melvin and Yuehan on the unique qualities of these plants and learnt more about the aroid family of plants. We were particularly intrigued by the plant family of Philodendrons because of their unique forms and complexity of variegation.

Through the 3D scanner, we explored different ways of getting information from the plant. The form, the texture, and for this specific exploration, the aesthetics. We are interested in NFT art, or non-fungible tokens that are minted on the blockchain. The network acts as the decentralized ledger that traces the ownership and transaction history of each NFT, which has its own metadata and unique ID, and acts as a certificate of ownership.

This aligns to the qualities and desirability of variegation in the house plant market and we decided we wanted to digitise the plant with focus on the aesthetic characteristics of variegation of a plant in relation to its value.

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Presentation #8
Intermedia ,

Experimentation

Examining the Philodendron Bipennifolium and Re-examining the Digital Philodendron Bipennifolium.

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Presentation #7
Hotdesk ,
Documentation,
Technology,
Experimentation,
Digital,
Visual,
Virtual,
New media,
Collaboration,
4.14.2021

The Road to Interconnected Machines

The work decides to take an alternative approach to peer deeply into plant life. Utilising an array of scientific, technological, and analogous methodologies, the artists allow the observation methods to guide the art-making process. Through this extrospective approach, the work pieces itself together; something like a showcase of a research project, and is similarly presented as such. The methodologies were chosen on their merits of showcasing our senses; tactility, auditory, visual and olfactory. The methodologies shown are ordered from natural to technological observations. In a way, the work explores different methods of archiving a singular living thing.

Questions: How do plants experience time?
1. Can we translate a plant’s reactions and data into something visual?
2. How does a plant communicate and can we augment its ability to do so?
3. How do we experience a plant?
4. What are the observations one can make about a plant?
5. What can we learn about a plant through analogue and digital means?

The experimental film explores the generative aspects of producing visuals with the aid of analogous and digital procedures with nature as the artist and performer. The work focuses and responds to both artists’ desire to understand

Elements of a tree
Movement of Leaves (time) 10mins
Contrasted Black White Imagery (documentation) 10 images?
Sieving Soil (deconstruction) maybe painting with soil
Microscopic Shot of Soil/Bark/Dead Leaves (atomic)
Electrical Signals
Thermal Camera Footage (heat)
Kinect Scanning (translation)
3D Model Floating In Black Space (perception)
Live Shot

Breaking down the experiments
Stretching time (observing movement)
Photography (visual observation)
Physical connection (haptic)
Microscopic exploration (micro-level)
Electrical signals (internal)
Thermal cataloguing (heat signature)
3d Scanning (digital shape and form)
Digital perception (virtual understanding)
Live broadcast (physical re-looking)

What is deep field cinema?
Thinking about image-making and image discovering. Translating a plant’s data into something visual and readable.

How does a plant communicate? Can we observe it and translate its data into visual? Can we understand it? We started with a simple question, if something has no ability to speak or to move, how else can something communicate?

What indicates liveliness and does liveliness also mean consciousness?
For Deep Field Cinema, we broke it down into 9 different elements.

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Jake Tan & Ernest Wu
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