A Talk with Brian Mayton

ACT at MIT

Who: Brian Mayton, experimental designer and technologist
What: Presentation and discussion.
When: Wednesday, 03/04 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: E15-001

Brian Mayton joined the MIT Media Lab in 2010 and is currently working towards his PhD. His research interests include connecting ubiquitous computer technology to the physical world through sensing and actuation, and how networked sensors can change the way we interact with and experience the world around us. He completed his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering with a hardware specialization at the University of Washington in 2008. He spent two years as a research assistant at Intel Labs Seattle where he designed and constructed novel sensors for improving robotic manipulation. After joining the MIT Media Lab in 2010, he explored the use of wearable devices for personalized control of networked buildings. In his current research project, he has networked and instrumented a large outdoor site with wireless sensor nodes to capture and document the transformation as the site is restored from a former cranberry farm to natural wetland. The network, which streams live sensor data, audio, and images to the internet, has potential applications ranging from improving the science of wetland restoration to exploring the ways that people can experience large amounts of sensory information.

In his presentation Brian Mayton will examine the Living Observatory (LO) as a research, ecological, and techno-aesthetic pursuit. Offering his perspective as a researcher and as designer in this learning collaborative of scientists, artists, Brain will discuss a model of wetland where practitioners are engaged in the documenting, interpreting, and revealing aspects of change as it occurs prior to, during, and following the Tidmarsh Farms Restoration Project, the largest freshwater wetland restoration project to date in Massachusetts. Brian will explore the sensorial aspects of this project, how artists and scientists work in complementary ways, and the role and possibilities of pedagogy in this environment.

This talk is part of 4.369/8 | Studio Seminar in Art & the Public Sphere taught by prof. Gediminas Urbonas and TA Nathaniel Elberfeld, SMArchS’20 with support from CAMIT.

4.368/9 | Studio Seminar in Art and the Public Sphere: Swamp Observatory
This course conceptually deals with new modes of public and environmental art production, programming, and publication that shifts the discussion on public space towards anthropocene public space. By focusing on the new environmentalisms this course inquires ontologies of scientific instrumentarium developed for sensing and viewing of an environment, including devices that produce and construct nature. Suggesting exploration and design of artistic sensorial devices the class encourages to tinker with experimental, artistic, and ethnographic devices, as a way to destabilize the scientific regimes of governmentality aiming at a production of alternatives in times of new climatic regime. Projects developed in this class will grapple with communication beyond humans, understanding and mapping of holobiontic relations, and other ways of knowing and doing the world.

venue

  • act cube
    Wiesner Building
    MIT Building E15-001
    20 Ames Street
    Cambridge, MA 02412

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