Coding System for Reducing Redundancy

Coding System for Reducing Redundancy unpacks the ubiquitous JPEG compression scheme and examines how it works, why it works the way it does, what it means to us as members of a networked society and its implications for artists who work with technology. Staged as three lectures that take on topics of the social and physical shaping of technology, the effects of unscrupulous corporate practices and legal action on technological culture, and the consequences of creating and consuming digital media in the age of software.

Designed as a series of three “TED-like” Lectures, the technofuturist character of Kerstin Hovland (Digital Media Artist and Computer Programmer) takes you on a journey into the heart of a small, often overlooked, but massively important piece of technology: The compression standard known as JPEG. You will learn the mathematics behind it, the story of its creation and attacks on its structure, and why we should care what happens to it, because foundation technologies like that are a bellwether for the entire tech market.

The Difference Between Your Eyes and Your Computer, and What’s to be Done About it.

This is the first piece in the lecture series. Have you ever wondered how image compression works? How do you make picture files smaller without losing visible details? How do you know what information to throw away, and why do heavily compressed and broken JPEG images take on their familiar “blocky” artifact form? Learn how scientists looked at the anatomy of the human eyes and brain to teach the computer to deal with image data more efficiently.

When Bridging Cultural Gaps, Mind the Trolls

The second piece in the series looks at JPEG as a cultural icon; an important piece of the internet age, a public service to the online community, and as prey for legal forays into patent litigation. What happens when someone claims they own a piece of something everyone uses? Who is charged and who pays? How do we keep our open standards open?

Technology is Human, Technology is Magic, Humans are Magic.

The title of this piece is not a tautology. It is three separate and true statements about our both the creation and our perception of the machines we use to create and communicate. As we create our technology, it shapes the way we think, the way we move, and everything we make with it. Beware if being programmed without your consent.

Director: Marina McClure
Vocal Coach: Julianne Just
Costume Design: Angele Ursetta
Style Director: Zoe Chevat

About the Artist:

As an artist with a background in computer engineering, I believe it is vital to present complex technological systems in an accessible and engaging manner. The body of my recent work focuses on the integration of art, performance and technology. These pieces stem from analysis of the way technology is used and viewed and how its presence impacts our daily lives. For each piece, I map these interactions as a series of algorithms and visual systems that I manipulate to create new platforms to express mathematical and scientific concepts as well as the organic connections between digital and physical space. I write custom software, design projection systems, create algorithms for generative animations, compose music, and build interfaces that I fashion into installations, performances, and games.