Kjærlighet venter meg på de mest fientlige steder/Love waits for me in the most hostile places
Into the second decade of the 21st Century, architecture has found itself deservedly fractured and splintered into a plethora of trajectories attempting to make sense of the post-industrial landscape. Our theoretical Modern environment created the very ills it intended to mitigate in our urban social fabrics a century ago. To exacerbate the splintering, our 21st Century social fabric is morphing into a space that is often completely devoid of embodiment.
Nowhere in our social spheres is this more obvious than in the inception of sexual match making.
With the advent of online dating sites, we have witnessed this proliferation of matching in methods thatare antithetical to the corporeality of syncing of energies, chemical neurotransmitters and physical cues. Love of the 21st Century is increasingly instigated through technological aparti, but furthermore, our modes of connectivity have become dependent on offering up our sexual cues to that of the intellectual, the discursive-erotic, and two-dimensional seduction. An identity is projected before physical encounter, and fantasy of “the other” is left to the devices of imagining. However, as many veteran online daters will attest, the body is not a secondary entity. However the mind is limited in its ability to satiate the needs and desires of the body, or the physiological triggers and responses. Until the bodies are introduced, seduction is only provisional.
According to online dating expert Eli Finkel, encountering potential partners via online dating profiles reduces three-dimensional people to two-dimensional displays of information, and these displays fail to capture those experiential aspects of social interaction that are essential to evaluating one’s compatibility with potential partners. OKCupid™ has long claimed to posit its success in matching based on an elaborate algorithmic sequencing of questions that are designed to weed out less-than-desirable encounters. Critics claim the impossibility of mathematical computations solving the timeless problem of finding and successfully seducing a sexual mate. What these algorithms fail to address are the inquiry into the topographical mapping of embodiment beyond the visual. The connection to senses that provide and complete a three-dimensional experience, are altogether absent.
There are parallels currently at hand in the scales of encountering, whether this be at the scale of an urban center or the scale of an intimate relationship. Architects are increasingly looking to adaptive processes such as algorithmic computation to understand and render three-dimensional space. With less emphasis in meeting placed in the known historical spaces of romantic encountering (i.e. the church, the community gossip chain), spaces to accommodate a greater reliability on topographic mapping via algorithms seems a not-too-distant reality.
The father of modern computer science, Alan Turing, made a lesser-known pivotal discovery linked to biology. Morphogenesis (“beginning of shape”) was a term coined by Turing to describe the beginning formation of cells into form in biological species ranging from plants to animals. In parallel, a new applied theory within architecture examines the model of urban morphogenesis as a sequence of extended computations with a piece of urban fabric arising as the result of many steps, just like the application of an algorithm that computes the solution to a mathematical problem. In essence, interactive computations are responsible for both biological and machine intelligence and perception mechanisms based on communication with the outside world occur during neural computations. This is the basis for animal biology; it is the ability to both perceive and navigate the environment. As technology has recently advanced in parallel to biology, machines embodying pieces of intelligence now shape our daily lives. This project seeks to question this phenomenon with the intimate encounter, and the ability for intelligence to realign with the physical in matchmaking. As within most interactive work, this exhibition opportunity serves as the impetus in a series of installations that will evolve given research and development that extend past the Biennale exhibition.
© 2013 Rori Knudtson
Four Sense Furniture
Four Sense Furniture
Four Sense Furniture