presents a dystopia of future domestic living, in a world where digital technology has pervaded all aspects of daily life. Every action we make is monitored and scrutinized by ubiquitous computing systems embedded in domestic products, furniture and architecture. The lines between public and private, convenience and infantilisation become ever more blurred, as digital sentience and solicitude takes over human agency, out-thinking, out-witting and out-performing us.

Curated by Lian Loke.

Tin Sheds Gallery, International Symposium of Electronic Arts, 11 June – 19 July 2013.

Supported by Design Lab and ATSC Digital Fabrication Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney.



Architecture dissolves into a field of entities, part reef, part spider, part something else. Seeking sentience. Yet trapped in a morphological template, a skeleton without organs. The field hovers as the promise of new life forms, waiting for machinic sensation to free it from the constraints of servile functionality. When the occupants of the house are not around, remnants of the live action are replayed for the amusement of the now sentient furniture. Mischievous technology pokes its tongue at the futile rituals of humans.

Artists: Alex Jung, Lian Loke, Dagmar Reinhardt

Perspex, timber, electronics

Attention Is A Scarce Resource


A dinner party is subject to the whims of invisible forces as electric muscle stimulation technology forcibly controls the movements of guests. The work is an anthropological look at the impact of mediated interruption on the everyday. Mediated interruption creates a compulsion in its users to engage. Systems do not prioritise user needs, nor consider the effects of interrupting a user during a task. Social organisation and the interests of the individual are both compromised as group values and individual accountability break down.

Artist: Michaela Davies

Live performance: Reuben Alexander, Claire Conroy, Michaela Davies, Phil Downing, Sam Pettigrew, Matte Rochford, Lea Simpson, Mark Simpson

Software, EMS equipment, sound, video

Film: Paul Warren

Sleep Economy


The idea of sleep as the last refuge from the world is held up for question. Even during sleep, our bodies become resources for the demands of a global networked data economy. The body in sleep is no longer a rest state, but a site of processing and exchange. From its original purpose of physiological recuperation, it has become another processing unit in the relentless cycle of computational production. The body is the next frontier in the recent emergence of citizen science and parallel computing, where citizens donate their spare computer processing time to large-scale science projects requiring massive amounts of computation that can be distributed over a network. But what exactly, are we connecting to?

Artists: Garth Knight, Lian Loke, Louis Pratt

Live performance: Lian Loke

Epoxy resin, steel, foam, graphite, electrical cabling

Sleep Economy dance

scienceFUTURE: The Cloudlife of X


Can we imagine how the science of today might shape the world of tomorrow? You are invited to help create the world of X, a woman born in 2045, and be a part of the first demonstration of ‘xquisiteFUTURE’, a custom video software by Ollie Bown inspired by the Surrealist drawing game ‘cadavre exquis’ (‘exquisite corpse’). A mobile FUTUREpod will bring xquisiteFUTURE to the University of Sydney campus (11th-14th June) and feature live storyboarding by visual artist Valentin Manz.

scienceFUTURE is a multi-year collaborative documentary experiment that will provide a dreamlike glimpse of the future in the present. By playing with both the good and bad potentials projected into our future, participants will explore the personal joys and dilemmas extrapoloated from our partly unconscious experience of accelerating change. The goal is not so much to predict the future, as to nurture deeper and more complex attitudes towards the eternal ‘becoming’ of the present. scienceFUTURE is in an early research and development phase. Find out more at

Artists: Christine Cynn, Valentin Manz, Ollie Bown

Video, interactive installation