Because, because, because, because (variation 1) (2020)
Digital immersive installation
because because because because because is a site-responsive digital installation. It employs digitally simulated spectacle to create what Gouldstone calls a ‘good trap’, a perceptual, architectural and spatial experience capable of catching and holding people. The purpose of this is not to restrain them or extract value. Rather, he sees his traps as a way to create an active sense within the person.
The piece comprises multiple projected live simulations. The viewer sees coloured balls tumble through fields of pivoting platforms that are tinted with each collision. Each projection falls obliquely on the walls, floors and features of the room, and sometimes they overlap. The overall installation feels simultaneously familiar and chaotic, bound yet infinite. It reflects the possibilities of contemporary computation that are hard to categorise and yet increasingly abundant.
Another version of this installation can be seen from March 2021 at Etopia, also within the visionarIAs exhibition. This second montage of the work stresses the machine learning dimension, in which the balls improve little by little at each game, finding more efficient ways to reach their destination. Visitors might only appreciate the changes and improvements of the system if they come to experience the work several times, allowing the system some time to improve.
Ian Gouldstone is a BAFTA winning artist and filmmaker whose work incorporates games, animation and new media. He has shown work and held events internationally at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Ars Electronica Linz, The National Videogame Arcade, Nottingham, The Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, SLEEPCENTER, New York, and Sim Smith, London.
Ian is a founder of the Australian games collective Pachinko Pictures, a former member of the Computational Creativity Group at Goldsmiths, and also the Gesture and Narrative Language Group at the MIT Media Lab. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in mathematics before studying animation at the Royal College of Art, and more recently completed his MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths. Based in southeast London, Ian Gouldstone is also a trustee of Deptford X, London’s longest-running contemporary art festival.
Some artists make software, and then use this software to generate pieces of art. Sometimes, the software changes the pixels in an image which is printed out and exhibited, but it could also control a robot arm that paints or draws in a traditional, physical way. Such generative art often draws on artificial intelligence techniques such as deep learning, or evolving computer programs in a Darwinian fashion, to make novel, beautiful and inspiring artworks.