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11.18.05 - 01.08.06 | SCI-Arc Gallery
Ed Keller and Carla Leitao, a|Um Studio: SUTURE

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SUTURE was an expanded cinema installation by New York-based a|Um Studio. The concept of "suture," a key term in film theory, was reconfigured in this installation to propose a new architectural body created through event, gesture and temporality. Informed by a contemporary reconsideration of cinematic and architectural affect, SUTURE creates new forms of sense and of agency through autonomous feedback loops within a media assemblage, allowing the visitor to actively reshape space and event.

As "mediatic" artificial intelligence, the installation allowed various cinematic moments to confront each other and reassemble. Through its interaction and feedback with visitors, it created an independent set of events which constantly shift, remix and mutate. A landscape of sculpted furniture and pressure sensors embedded in the floor organized circulation flows and points of view, and encourages visitors to create new signal paths and new cycles in the project. By acting as catalysts, the users make new connections between gestures, objects, characters, materials, spaces, and narrative arcs, which ultimately form a new regime of events.

A parallel installation at TELIC gallery, Los Angeles, opened a month into the SCI-Arc Gallery installation, and provided a networked interface to the SUTURE project: An avenue for changing the rules of the game. From TELIC, visitors could remotely alter parameters in the programming environment of SUTURE, observe the results, and embed themselves as video participants in the project, thus opening the work up to a networked "host of spirits" and creating another channel of feedback by which the project became autonomously intelligent.

a|Um Studio is an architecture and new media firm founded by Ed Keller and Carla Leitao. Ed Keller is a designer, professor, writer, and musician/multimedia artist whose work and writing has been published in several journals. He teaches design and theory at Columbia University, SCI-Arc, the University of Pennsylvania, Pratt, and Parsons. Carla Leitao is an architect, designer, and professor who has taught design studios at University of Pennsylvania and Barnard College, NY, Columbia University, and is currently a fellow in the artist-in-residence program of Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. Their current work includes residential projects in Europe and the US; architecture and new media installations; and script, concept and design work for an online multiplayer game, film, and comic project. Recent competitions include UIA Celebration of Cities [National Award], House for Andrei Tarkovsky [first prize], Turku Finland urban planning, and Museum for Nam June Paik.