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Eccentric
Engineering

Orchestrating a more-than-human world

Tega Brain

DEEP SWAMP

2018

Glass tanks, wetlands, plumbing, shade balls, electronics, custom software, 3 channel sound.

As territories flood and melt, dehydrate and erode, paradigms of environmental protection and conservation give way to those of management, engineering and strategic intervention. In this sense, as landscape architects Bradley Cantrell, Laura Martin and Erle Ellis argue, conserving wilderness has become more about maintaining autonomous ecological processes rather than the preservation of historic conditions. If new “wilderness” is the absence of explicit human intervention, what would it mean to have autonomous computational systems sustain wild places?

Launch project

Credits

Concept and spatial design by Tega Brain. Networking by Andy Cavatorta. Software development by Sam Lavigne.

Exhibitions

Asunder

2019

Three channel video-projection, satellite imagery, CESM climate model, multi-processor computer and custom software.

Asunder realizes an AI driven planetary manager that generates proposals for future alternations to Earth’s surface. It uses a state-of-the-art climate model to analyze each proposal by simulating its effects into the future. The work explores how geoengineering risks combining the hubris of Silicon Valley with the unaccountability and malice of the fossil fuel industry. Is this the perfect storm of technosolutionism and disaster capitalism? But at a time when many researchers assert that we can no longer ignore possible climate interventions that could buy us more time to cut emissions and avoid climate tipping points, should these schemes be explored and if so, how?

Launch project

Credits

Tega Brain, Julian Oliver, and Bengt Sjölén.

Exhibitions

Synthetic Messenger

2021

Custom software, 100 virtual servers, a two week long Zoom call, website.

In a post-broadcast media landscape, algorithmic advertising is the primary business model. News organisations generate revenue by selling impressions of ads that run alongside their stories, where the more attention a story receives, the more money it earns. This means automated media systems are reshaping our ecological and climate worldviews, imaginaries and actions. If ecology is shaped by the media, and media systems are automated by algorithms and optimised for attention, what opportunities exist for intervention? Can these platform logics be co-opted for more desirable atmospheric effects?

Launch project

Credits

Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne.

Exhibitions

Solar Protocol

2021-2022

Solar-powered servers, custom software, web platform, sunshine.

Solar Protocol continues to explore how climate thinking could extend beyond the biophysical to also encompass the redesign of our media infrastructures and platforms. As a network of solar-powered servers, it is a fully realised implementation of a distributed, community-owned web hosting platform, powered by renewables. Decisions about network operations are automated by the availability of solar energy (sunshine) between servers and as such, the work envisages a system of digital infrastructure where automation occurs by a kind of “natural” rather than artificial intelligence.

Solar Protocol takes cues from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s analysis of the honourable harvest, a sophisticated Indigenous land management protocol for decentralised ecological governance. Inspired by this set of rules for ensuring that the regenerative capacity of a place is not exceeded, Solar Protocol defines a decentralised protocol to geographically distribute computational work according to the availability of solar energy.

Launch project

Credits

Tega Brain, Alex Nathanson and Benedetta Piantella.

Thanks to all of our stewards Anne Pasek, Caddie Brain, Charlie Freedman, Brendan Phelan, John Samoza, Camilo Rodriguez Beltran, Daniel Ñuñez, Alejandro Rebolledo, Graham Wilfred Jnr, Tim Chatwin, Bridgit Chappell, Baoyang Chen, Denzel J. Wamburu, Cyrus K, Chris Stone, Jesse Li, Zoë Horsten and Jarl Schulp. Thanks to Sam Lavigne, Crystal Chen, Dan Phiffer, Mitchell Whitelaw, Sharon De La Cruz, the staff and fellows at Eyebeam for design support and advice.

Exhibitions and Workshops

Eccentric
Engineering



Is critical:

Is more-than-human:

Supports specific values: