2015 Research Event featuring m-a-u-s-e-r

August 3, 2015

Informal review and reception; tacos, discussion, and libations
6-8:00 pm, Thursday, August 13, 2015, Wind Tunnel Gallery
RSVP on Facebook.



Media Design Practices invites you to join us for an informal review and reception celebrating the work of our 2015 researchers-in-residence: m-a-u-s-e-r (Mona Mahall and Asli Serbest). Four summer research projects will be on view including: Natural Wi-Fi by m-a-u-s-e-r; Scenes from the Post-Geographic City by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker, MDP faculty researchers; The Tornado is Staying but the Lightning May Need to be Replaced by Jenny Rodenhouse, MDP Post-Graduate Fellow; and Body, Materials, and Electronics by Ji Won Jun, Art Center Graduate Honors Fellow.

Together with the other designer-researchers, Mona and Asli have spent the last seven weeks in residence in the MDP’s Wind Tunnel studio, working with a team of graduate student research interns. Their project, Natural Wi-Fi, was selected in response to a Call for Proposals for the MDP’s annual Summer Research Residency by a jury that included Marko Tandefelt, Mimi Zeiger, Cher Potter, and Sean Donahue. The results will be on display in the Wind Tunnel Gallery through October for this event and then as part of Now, There, an exhibit for the 2015 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture curated by Mimi Zeiger and Tim Durfee.

Based in Stuttgart and Istanbul, m-a-u-s-e-r is a collaborative studio founded in 2007 to represent the practice and research of the micro architecture unit star energy ray. m-a-u-s-e-r reflects and produces architecture in and through different media which they exhibit and publish internationally, among others at the Biennale di Venezia (2012, 2014), New Museum New York (2009), HKW Berlin (2012), Storefront for Art and Architecture New York (2014, 2015); in e-flux journal, Volume Magazine, Perspecta, AArchitecture. They are authors of How Architecture Learned to Speculate, 2009 and editors of Junk Jet, an independent magazine on art,architecture, and media. Currently, they share the chair of foundations of design and experimental architecture at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art.


If you miss this event, you can see portions of Natural Wi-Fi, Scenes from the Post-geographic City, and The Tornado is Staying in Now, There, an exhibit for the 2015 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture curated by Mimi Zeiger and Tim Durfee. A preview for Now, There will be installed in the Wind Tunnel Gallery September 17-October 30, 2015.


Read on to learn about the research projects on display on August 13:



m-a-u-s-e-r: Natural Wi-Fi


As the Internet has turned into a total environment – technically, but above all, economically – Nature becomes its aesthetic obsession. This obsession materializes in all formats of palm trees, cactus, and pines. It turns headquarters into green landscapes, and domestic spaces into YouTube sets for cats. It produces Feng Shui instructions for the computer desktop, as well as planted techno-ruins – everything to pay with one-click.

Natural Wi-Fi investigates this material culture of the Internet, focusing on the geographical context of California while indicating almost any urban place as a construction site of the constantly evolving techno-landscape. The video installation shows the architecture of Nature’s synthetic presence in this techno-landscape, in which a cell tower transforms into a palm tree, or an artificial stone buries the garden socket. Reciprocally, it also documents the nature of technology’s physical bodies, its mute shells in the desert and remote traces on the beach.

The installation includes levitating stones that not only materialize the digital imagery, but also function as exhibition furniture. Constructed from online purchase objects they multiply into an interior landscape. They are available on eBay.

MDP Research Interns: Nick Meehan, Selwa Sweidan, Erika Katrina Barbosa, Zhihan Ying



Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker: Scenes from the Post-geographic City

Now, There

This summer we are building a city. Not a whole city, exactly – more like a neighborhood. Rather than assuming the usual brief for this city, we are devising a new brief – one that reflects how we actually live now, or may likely live a few years from now. This brief will incorporate elements usually not considered part of a “city”: software augmentation, autonomous objects of all scales, even new social systems. Why? Because those are the city: we believe to delimit the “city” as only buildings, streets, and infrastructure is no longer (and, perhaps, was never) remotely accurate.

Scenes from the Post-geographic City unpacks the “reality” of digital culture as a space, an urbanity of its own through vignettes that respond to the upcoming Now, There exhibition curatorial direction. The exhibition will feature seven curated video works and written materials that comprise a visual essay on the evolving meaning of place, as the limits of our cities become increasingly redefined by media.

Faculty Researchers: Tim Durfee, Ben Hooker, Mimi Zeiger; MDP Research Associates: Jenny Rodenhouse, Project Lead and Ian Besler, Curatorial Researcher; MDP Research Interns: Josh Bookman, Giselle Guo, Joi Li, Xing Lv, Ana Monroe, and Amanda Stojanov, Curatorial Researcher


Jenny Rodenhouse: The Tornado is Staying but the Lightning Will Need to be Replaced: The Weather Modification Neighborhoods of Los Angeles County


Along the southern border of California’s San Gabriel Mountains, amongst the suburbs, are a series of test sites that experiment in increasing precipitation for the region. The Tornado is Staying but the Lightning Will Need to be Replaced utilizes these existing weather modification test sites along with weather simulation software to investigate artificial natures. The project imagines a collection of weather modification neighborhoods and home atmospheric control systems – landscapes, lawn ornaments, and fence lines. Shifting experimental technologies from scientific test sites to domestic spaces, the project explores new neighborhood narratives as individual households gain the ability to join, adjust, or take over the community atmosphere.



Ji Won Jun: Body, Materials, and Electronics


Body, Materials, and Electronics is a series of small-scale projects to explore a playful relationship between human body and an object/device. Through a combination of lifecasting, digital fabrication, and prototyping, the projects investigate a creation of sculptural objects that would interact with a human body.


All events are FREE and open to the public.
Wind Tunnel Gallery, South Campus, Art Center College of Design, 950 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91105
Parking is free or take the Gold Line to Fillmore Station and walk south on Raymond Ave. Enter through the Hixon Courtyard on Raymond Ave.

Wind Tunnel Graduate Center for Critical Practice is an initiative of the graduate programs in Art and Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design. The Wind Tunnel, situated between the two programs in a former supersonic jet testing facility on Art Center’s south campus, is a forum for speakers, conferences, exhibitions, residencies, screenings, and publications.

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