The Supertask

Project
2011–ongoing

In collaboration with Sascha Pohflepp. Ongoing project with Professor George Attard, Dr. Ali Tavassoli at the University of Southampton.

Yesterday’s Today. Installation view at LEAP, Berlin. Photograph: Daniel Franke.

The Supertask is a paradoxical goal that we have set ourselves: creating a model of the world. Named after British philosopher James F. Thomson's term for an impossible or infinite endeavor, our model will serve both as an artistic exploration of the nature of models and their role in our view of the world, within both science and society.

Our ongoing research focuses on specific aspects of models and we aim to create a range of pieces and experiments which each reflect on a particular question raised by contemporary modelling of the world.

Yesterday’s Today is the first instance of The Supertask and was commissioned by curators Sarah Cook and Jean Gagnon for Q.E.D: Quod Erat Demonstrandum at Liverpool’s LJMU Gallery, September 2011. It focuses on one of the most common examples of modelling: the weather forecast. The product of a highly sophisticated, yet reductionist computational model of the climate, the forecast results in a representation of a slice of reality: a number on the scale of degrees Celsius.

To explore the deviation between model and reality we created an installation that would serve both as experiment in the scientific sense and experiential space in the artistic sense. It simulates the temperature for that moment and location, predicted on the previous day. The visitor can thus experience the computational model and can compare any deviation from the reality surrounding it. This artificially-created alternate present—or rather any fluctuation between it and the actual outside environment—embodies the space between the model and reality.

For the second iteration of Yesterday’s Today, at Abstrakte Welten Realisieren at LEAP in Berlin in January 2013, we created an isolation chamber. The space was constantly monitored and adjusted to reflect the hourly weather forecast published on the previous day. The temperature of the air in the isolation chamber diverged and converged from the gallery temperature, embodying the dynamic space between the model and reality.

Yesterday’s Today. Installation view at LJMU Gallery, Liverpool.

The space between the model and reality was tracked during the course of the exhibition.

Making physical the space between the model and reality: the model and real atmosphere mix at the open door.

At LEAP, the visitor experiences any fluctuation between 'yesterday's today'—yesterday's forecast, an artificial alternate present—and today's reality. Constantly monitored, the temperature of the air in the isolation chamber at times diverges from the gallery temperature, embodying the dynamic space between the model and reality.

Appearances:

LJMU Gallery, Liverpool
LEAP, Transmediale & CTM Festival, Berlin, Germany

 

 

Yesterday’s Today. Installation view at LEAP, Berlin. Photograph: Daniel Franke.

Yesterday’s Today. Installation view at LJMU Gallery, Liverpool.

The space between the model and reality was tracked during the course of the exhibition.

Making physical the space between the model and reality: the model and real atmosphere mix at the open door.