The Big Crash is an expansive art piece which branches out in many forms, such as painting, electronic art, sound and music, net art, sculpture and installation art. The piece embraces Steiner’s concept of the contemporary interdisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk.
This page is depricated, The Big Crash has its own website with more documentation: http://www.thebigcrash.net
The thematic departure point is the instability of the real estate market as a consequences of extreme gentrification. Something that is actively taking place in all bigger cities around the globe. There is a pending ‘big bubble crash’ as a consequence of this and the piece deals with the growing instability this creates and the effects of it on society.
The Big Crash is intended to grow, and the first three parts will be based on a software that mines the Internet for real estate data, here websites that work as intermediaries of rented properties, rooms and flats. Berlin is here chosen as an example since the market and the city's gentrification has expanded in a such high speed over the last years.
Malte Steiner wrote a software which harvests the data of the websites, e. g. prizes and square-meters, but also the visuals of the advertisements. These are analyzed with a machine learning algorithm, performing an image segmentation and separates objects found in these images into picture fragments. These fragmentations will consequently be used in the art pieces.
The first four parts of The Big Crash are:
piece for modular synthesizer and real estate data
This part of The Big Crash is based on the database of the harvested information, where the data derived from it is controlling a custom software synthesizer and the analogue modular synthesizer. This will be manifested as a concert piece by Steiner’s electro acoustic entity Elektronengehirn, and will be premiered in Berlin on the 18th of September 2019 at ExperimenTik. Real estate data generates music.
the Elektronengehirn setup
The Building Blocks Of The Big Crash
This part of the piece is based on media transfer and created with a Raspberry Pi, which runs the analyzing software harvesting the Internet for images. It performs the image segmentation of the real estate data and shows the results on a small OLED display. The Raspberry Pi and the OLED display are en-capsuled in custom-designed and fabricated 3d printed cases mounted on the wall in the exhibition. Placed around the electronic parts are four miniature paintings in oil of chosen computer generated fragments; showing parts of buildings in Berlin.
The Building Blocks VR: Generative virtual reality fragmentation of live image data
The third part is a generative virtual reality world which is automatically created with the image data. This can be experienced online as a net art piece and additionally in the exhibition with a VR-headset.
The Price Of Berlin
For the forth part Steiner transferred chosen image segments from his ML software back into physical objects by remodelling them with CAD and 3D printing. Four segments are going to be shown, each ca. 20 x 20 cm.
These are the first parts of an ongoing series of artworks that wish to explore gentrification and the instability that comes as a consequence of this process. Gentrification and urban development are not new topics in Steiners art, so for instance he ran the project Urban Units from 2005-2009 with two other Berlin artists.
Keywords: data mining; image segmentation; machine learning; artificial intelligence; virtual reality; gentrification; big bubble.
* The installation as shown on the image has a total wall space of height 42 cm + length 59 cm.
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