Sha Xin Wei

� Topological Media and Softwear�

May 7, 2003, 6:00 pm   » 

The Topological Media Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology studies gesture and embodied use of hybrid computational-physical materials at multiple scales. We are investigating how to build, inhabit and use sensate or active matter, combinations of computational systems and physical materials that are sensitive to environmental features or to our activities, and respond by changing their form or appearance. Our experimental design uses continuous media such as cloth and non-woven materials, video projection, radio and sound fields. The experimental aspect of this work proceeds at two scales. The micro scale concerns topological responsive media, which includes time-based media and computationally-augmented fabrics. The macro scale concerns the architecture of responsive media spaces, which includes augmented reality, sensor-based interactive environments, projected and ubiquitous media. We describe the Topological Media Lab's recent work in gesture and performance, realtime media choreography, responsive media and softwear instruments or wearable media. Sha Xin Wei's practice ranges from complex, collaboratively built installations to realtime video and wearable sound textures that respond to gesture. These works explore the relations people create with one another in the presence of dense, continuously evolving responsive media. Since 1997, Sha has worked with the art research group, sponge, which he co-founded in San Francisco to produce public phenomenological experiments. Major series of projects include the TGarden play spaces, Hubbub public speech-painting, and the Sauna urban immersion installations. Sha is now embarking on the Softwear Instruments project which explores gesture and subject fields using sensate, gestural, media-saturated fabrics. Sha has degrees in mathematics from Harvard and Stanford Universities. Sha teaches computational media and critical studies of techno-science as an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Sha's research in the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center and the New Media Center concerns gesture and agency in the presence of hybrid material, and how we shape, inhabit, design sensate or active matter.

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