The Department of Indeterminate Technology is a small enterprise devoted to investigating the vanguard of technological change. For the London College of Communication's show "John" in May 2014, the Department presented its research on artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The Department, however, is not devoted to the progress of these technologies; rather its experiments seek to examine the gap between these idealistic technological advancements and the faulted reality they actually convey. By exposing the comical faults of the machine, the human imperfections that are unknowingly programmed into these new technologies begin to manifest themselves. The department's experiments confirm man's long-standing symbiosis with technology and explore the abstract potential of their continued union.
The experiments exhibited at LCC included a set of computer monitors staring intently at each other. Words snaked across their screens as they were locked in constant debate, desperately trying to grasp a language of their own. As computer "a" read out its text, computer "b" was programmed to listen, when computer "a" was done talking, computer "b" would then read what it understood back to computer "a". The transcript of their entire conversation was printed on a scroll of receipt paper.
(2 computers, Dicthelper program created in collaboration with Daniel Grossman, closed sound loop via mixer, receipt printer, lots of receipt paper)
Across from the computers, researchers bravely probed the limits virtual reality. While traveling through simulated environments, they drafted an account of their experience, en plein pixel, hoping to uncover the actuality of these new digital spaces.
(3D Unity landscape, birdsong soundtrack, Occulus Rift headset, ballpoint pen on paper. Special thanks to Matthew Patrick Dunlop for his work in the Department.)
Along the walls of the Department are hung various photographs that document the Department's previous experiments as well other spaces of technological development in London.
(Digital and handmade C-type prints of various sizes.)
At the far end of the hall visitors could view a series of surveillance videos from the Department's archive.
(4 videos on loop, varying length.)
The Department's research is ongoing and in need of volunteers.