IAAC LECTURES: ALEJANDRO TAMAYO

Today Alejandro Tamayo took us through his journey of technology between magic and everyday life, presenting us 4 of his more technology orientated projects.
His first approach to technology was through a camera, using the camera to see something that can’t be seen with the naked eye, and using this both as a protection and as a projection tool. For example, the possibility of seeing things from different points of view simultaneously.
This pushed him to move outside of the objects studied, and more in to space, using technology as a poetic telescope to see beyond.

“2.3/seg” is the first project Alejandro showed us, which studies the death and birth rates of the human race around the world. The question posed was how often are people born and how often do they die? Alejandro underlined that he was not so interested in the accuracy, but more in the concept of this.
The results showed that 4 people are born and 2 people die every second, resulting in 2 new people on the planet per second. The data used to generate this project was collected through the World Census Bureau, and conceptually inspired by the work of Jagadish Chandra Bos, and in particular his invention of the Creschograph, a technology that allows a person to see a plant grow in real time.
“The laboratory to explore the birth of ideas” was a complex technology inspired by his father, who taught him how to generate electricity.
Alejandro then went on to explain how another of his projects was inspired by a dream in which fruit communicated…”hello world”. Would it be possible to make a computer out of fruit? An organic computer?
He then started working with ph levels present in fruit to generate a binary system, starting with the use of lemon and tangerine. This makes us reflect on how we create technology, questioning its historical generator, that is for attack or defence mechanisms…this could be a poetic way to create technology!
The fourth and final project showed was inspired by an image of the northern lights, a sort of connection between magic and nature. But what are these northern lights, and how are they created?
These are a consequence of solar explosions, the earth is therefore a natural sensor of these explosions. Alejandro wanted to find a way to get connected with them, a poetic way of depicting these explosions. He created a system that would turn the energy of these explosions into data, and in return transformed this data first into fire (a natural phenomenon becomes data to then rebecome a natural phenomenon), and then in later versions of this projects into explosions using gun powder. This was called “8 minutes (when the sun explodes we explode)”.
Finally, sometime was spent discussing the workshop underway with the MAI students, “white box” that aims to break the concept of technology as a black box, rendering technology more open and accessible, that is white, allowing us to experience the poetic, nature and magic of technology in everyday life.

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