Minusplusplus: SVRL


Fictional Research Lab

2016-20??

"The SVRL (Silicon Valley Research Lab) is the driving force behind Minusplusplus' innovative products and our demanding company philosophy. We have artists, scientists and thinkers work among designers, programmers and engineers to analyse the cultural, historical, social and political significance of Silicon Valley and critically examine international tech-culture at large.

In an open and progressive environment, we run experiments and develop prototypes that continuously shape and reevaluate our product and company philosophies. Minusplusplus strongly believes in the synergy of technology, society and art. The SVRL is our commitment to stay aware and critical of the futures our technologies enable. It fosters the reflecting, utopian spirit that is at the heart of all our operations."


- SVRL on Minusplusplus Official Website


The fictional research laboratory acts as a conceptual framework to freely explore the history, present and future of Silicon Valley and its international periphery of tech-hubs through a wide variety of approaches and media. Philosophy and cultural studies intersect with art production, hacking and design prototyping in an experimental process of research and discovery that feeds back into Minusplusplus' operations.

Part of Minusplusplus.


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Silicon Valley: Relics of an Investigation


Keynote Presentation with Presenter Notes (Lecture Performance), Digital Print on PVC

2016-20??

Silicon Valley is a symptom of a contemporary condition.

When observed closely, a never-ending series of interconnected micronarratives emerges from the infrastructure, the people and the products of Silicon Valley and is reaching into the realm of the historical, scientific, philosophical, cultural and political.

The lecture format covers only a few of those narratives, from the settlement of the American West, neuroscience and theories of knowledge to facial recognition algorithms, digital utopianism and the Arab Spring. A keynote that Steve Jobs should have given.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.

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Bold Question (1)


Digital Print on PVC

2016

UPDATE CYBERUTOPIA?

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.

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Constant Achievement


Fitbit Flex Activity Tracker, 3D-Printed Porcelain, Mac Mini, LG Screen, Custom Electronics, Java Application, APIs, Spray Painted and Coated Wood, Readymade Table Legs, Artist's Movement

2016

A prototype device that accesses and displays data streams of different scales in realtime.

Data from the artists personal fitness profile is shown next to data from the US financial market and global greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in those data streams are made visible by hacking the same activity trackers used by the artist during the time of the exhibition.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.


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Among the Silicon Valley, California


Video Loop 10" and .PNGs on LG Screen, Samsung TV and Apple Macbook

2016

"Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 - February 18, 1902) was a German-born American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century. [...] His exhibition pieces were brilliantly crafted images that glorified the American West as a land of promise." 1

GOOGLE STREETVIEW Images of Silicon Valley ARE COLLAGED TO MIMIC BIERSTADT'S PAINTING AMONG THE SIERRA NEVADA, CALIFORNIA. The collage and original painting ARE displayed as they SLOWLY FADe INTO EACH OTHER, SET INTO CONTEXT WITH ADDITIONAL RESEARCH MATERIAL ON two OVERLAPPING SCREENS.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.


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Ada/Progress

Inkjet Prints and Hewlett Packard Inkjet Ink on paper, Acrylic Glass Frames

2017

"Margaret Cushing "Meg" Whitman (born August 4, 1956) is an American business executive and political activist and donor. Whitman is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, as well as the Chairwoman of HP Inc. [...] In February 2009, Whitman announced her candidacy for Governor of California, becoming the third woman in a 20-year period to run for the office. Whitman won the Republican primary in June 2010. The fourth-wealthiest woman in the state of California with a net worth of $1.3 billion in 2010, she spent more of her own money on the race than any other political candidate spent on a single election in American history [...] Whitman said that if elected, on her first day she would have suspended AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, for a year to study its potential economic implications. [...] On water issues, Whitman opposed further restrictions on water supply in the Central Valley, and she suggested that President Obama should overturn a federal judge's ruling under provisions in the Endangered Species Act which reduced water supplies another 5% to 7%. [...] During the 2010 California gubernatorial election, Whitman supported California's Proposition 8, which reversed In re Marriage Cases and defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman in the state." 1

"Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 - 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer." 2


A Series of reproduced Portraits under layers of acrylic glass using Hewlett Packard Printer Ink on various paper. The ink is applied manually or with functioning and mis-functioning printers.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.




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Pattern Recognition


Digital Print and Oil on Canvas, Facial Recognition Software

2016

"The once federally recognized Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area has fought for more than two decades to regain its rights to sovereignty and resources. It has cost the tribe dearly, even forcing them to abandon their tribal headquarters, but this fight could soon be coming to an end. The Native American tribe, which has more than 500 members, is currently unrecognized by both the state of California and the federal government." 1

"Similarly, a study conducted in 2012 that used a collection of mug shots from Pinellas County, Florida to test the algorithms of three commercial vendors also uncovered evidence of racial bias. Among the companies evaluated was Cognitec, whose algorithms are used by police in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. The study, co-authored by a senior FBI technologist, found that all three algorithms consistently performed 5-to-10 percent worse on African Americans than on Caucasians. One algorithm, which failed to identify the right person in 1 out of 10 encounters with Caucasian subjects, failed nearly twice as often when the photo was of an African American." 2

IN A COMPARATIVE EXPERIMENT IMAGES AND ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE MUWEKMA OHLONE ARE ANALYSED FOR FACES. A HUMAN FOUND ALL OF THEM. FACEBOOK'S DEEP FACE, THE MOST POWERFUL FACIAL RECOGNITION ALGORITHM, FOUND ONLY TWO, ONE OF THEM IS NOT A FACE.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.




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Whole Earth CEO


Interactive Video

2016

"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."1

-Steve Jobs

Quotes from the Whole Earth Catalog and Apple CEO Tim Cook are randomly combined in an interactive video application.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.


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This is a Technology Company! (SVRL)


Print Graphic

2017

[...] Facebook's Analog Research Lab, the nerve center for the internal evangelism that shapes the company's soul and a playground where Facebook's employees can get offline and get messy with silkscreens, saws and soldering tools. Wired dubbed it Facebook's "secret propaganda arm."1

One of the first posters produced by the Lab asked, provocatively, "Is this a technology company?" This deliberately disingenuous question ruffled some feathers. The slogan came from the weekly companywide Q&A with Zuckerberg. "Facebook's mission is to connect everyone, and nowhere in there is the word 'technology.' But Facebook cannot exist without technology. So there you are."2

Design to be screenprinted.

Developed for the Silicon Valley Research Laboratory.


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