Precognition 101: Media Design Practices’ visiting researchers explore the ability to predict the future

"Brainwave Canon" (2011), an earlier project by visiting researcher Sitraka Rakotononiaina.

“Brainwave Canon” (2011), an earlier project by visiting researcher Sitraka Rakotononiaina.

Each summer, Art Center’s Media Design Practices (MDP) graduate program invites outside researchers to join its faculty researchers and post-graduate fellows to run design-driven investigative projects.

As part of this week’s graduation week festivities, MDP is hosting a free event tomorrow from 3–5 p.m. in the Wind Tunnel at South Campus to share with the public the result of this summer’s research.

“Design-driven investigations can generate new approaches to design, culture and technology,” says Anne Burdick, Chair of the department. “They can provide insights into people and their daily practices, and bring new knowledge to life.”

MDP’s summer research projects often result in works that don’t fit neatly into conventional categories, such as Curious Rituals by Nicolas Nova, which studied the gestures, postures and digital rituals that have emerged with the use of current technology, and Suspension of Disbelief (“The Promise”) by Ingrid Hora and Daniel Salomon, which explored the worship of objects through the creation of a fictional cult.

And this summer’s projects—one of which explores human precognitive abilities—promise to be just as unconventional.

This summer’s visiting researchers are Andrew Friend, associate lecturer in the Department of Spatial Practices, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, and Sitraka Rakotoniaina, co-founder of Good One, a speculative design collective with friends coming from computer science and architecture backgrounds.

Together, Friend and Rakotoniaina will discuss their project The Prophecy Program, which is part of their ongoing research into the convergence of art and science through artifacts and experiences that address people’s perception of emerging technologies.

According to the duo, the project “looks at how the power of predicting the future has often been attributed to prophets or people with super capabilities, yet on closer inspection we all have the ability to experience a premonition of future events that cannot be otherwise foreseen. The Prophecy Program proposes that through undergoing the correct, intensive training one may be able to improve their pre-cognitive ability, in turn gaining an ability to project into, and (to a degree) take control of a future.”

Also on hand to discuss their research will be MDP faculty researchers Ben Hooker and Shona Kitchen, whose project Neighborhood Watch Files imagines a world in which drones are as ubiquitous as pets, as well as Art Center Fellow Tanner Teale and MDP Post-Graduate Fellow Jeremy Eichenbaum.

Immediately afterwards, there will be a reception and exhibition featuring work by MDP’s Field track students.

Research Review: 3–5 p.m.; Reception and Exhibition: 5–10 p.m.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Art Center College of Design, South Campus, The Wind Tunnel
950 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105

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