Twinning: Ventulett NEXT Fellowship Research WIP
Category: Exhibition /Installation
Year: 2023-present

Twinning is an exhibition focused on knowledge exchange between economics and architecture. This research traces the history of modeling techniques within the economics profession and how this knowledge was borrowed and used by architects. Through researching the advent of the “digital twin” and its use in architectural design and construction,  this exhibition criticaly interrogates technological methods derived from neoliberal thought, and investigates how these methods uniquely impact the built environment.

Each piece critiques the supposed objectivity of the “digital twin” by disrupting the notion that the physical world can be directly replicated in digital form, and in turn acted upon. In reality, there are always disruptions, mistranslations, or ghosts present in any model, and this exhibition aims to shed light on this fact.

This mock-up of the first installation piece developed for “Twinning” utilizes the concept of “plate reverb”——an analog musical effect created through the use of steel sheets that act as a reverberation mechanism——to create an aural feedback loop that is continually altered through the footsteps of an audience. Above, the four yellow aluminum frames suspend four topologically altered 7-gauge steel sheets. Each sheet has one transducer “input” placed on its back surface, and several contact mic “outputs” placed across the surrounding surface area. The transducer uses surface conduction to transfer sound from a 7-gauge steel plate walking surface in the middle of the installation to the suspended steel plates. Any time an audience member steps on the steel walking surface, a new sound is transferred to the suspended steel sheet, creating an audible percussive sound. The contact mics additionally pick up this sound and transfer it to two amplified speakers placed surrounding the walking surface. This helps amplify the sound made on the suspended steel plates. Finally, the amplified speaker’s output is additionally transferred back into the sound chain in order to create a feedback loop.

This piece utilizes feedback mechanisms to create both a physical reaction and an accompanying representation--in this case through sound. Like the “digital twin”, the plate reverb system depends upon a process of continual exchange between physical and representational systems.