Eina Idea takes part in the upcoming 2021 edition of SónarCCCB in Barcelona with a twofold project named SYNX, consisting of a VR exhibition-game and a simposium. The project looks at contemporary urban life as an unresolved choreography of sense and movement data, emphasizing the difficulties of organizing collective response and individual action based on algorithmic principles. Social rhythms—kinetic, visual, aural, emotional—and accidents related to their programmability become the point of departure for a reflection on urban complexity in our immediate future.
The SYNX exhibition features art, architecture, and interactive storytelling in a game-like experience. The show presents the current research of the six contemporary artists as part of the MindSpaces residency program, an initiative of S+T+ARTS and the European Commission. SYNX presents digital works by Haseeb Ahmed, Emmanuel Van der Auwera, Sarah Derat x The Radicant x ExperiensS, Emanuel Gollob, Joao Martino Moura, Michael Sedbon, with the special collaboration of Zaha Hadid Architects. The artworks and speculative designs are presented within a VR environment co-created by a Barcelona-based team of designers under the direction of Eina Idea. Students and professors from EINA University Center of Design and Art and ESDi School of Design have also collaborated in the project.
At SónarCCCB on October 27-30, 2021, full access to this experience has been offered in VR thanks to the partnership of Pico Interactive. Meanwhile, an embedded, online version of SYNX has been launched and made available to players worldwide through Sónar’s website and social media, alongside MindSpaces and Eina Idea communication channels.
Blending test models of private homes, offices, streets, crowd control, archaeological sites, and even virtual gallery spaces, artworks in the exhibition address the power of current technologies focused on obtaining experiential data from contemporary urban dwellers—users and performers of the everyday life amidst a web of connected devices. The goal of technologies explored in SYNX, and developed throughout the S+T+ARTS MindSpaces project, is the observation of interactions between built environments and their occupants, aiming at an increase in space adaptability and responsiveness. As a game-like architecture, SYNX presents these questions in a fictional setting where sensing technologies have become autonomous and operate capriciously, challenging the stability and reliability of their own data. In the haunted scenery of SYNX, a legend about technology becomes the narrative for the exhibition visit as an exercise in dystopian archaeology.
SYNX has been co-designed by Ignasi Ayats, Miquel Cardiel, Manuel Cirauqui, Àlex Cordon, MANS O, Marta Pardina, Flor Salatino, and Alexandre Viladrich, with the assistance of Clara Cubo-Gasch, Dani Hernández Palomeque, Júlia Hernández González, Iraida Serlavós, and the special collaboration of Marianna de Nadal.
The virtual exhibition has been accompanied by a symposium streamed live on October 29th, in which the exhibition artists and designers have shared ideas with leading voices in science, urban planning, artistic research, and design fiction to discuss the topics of SYNX. Guest participants in the symposium include Elena Bartomeu, novelist and speculative design professor at EINA; Lluís Nacenta, musician, theorist, and director of HANGAR; Artur Garcia, head of quantum computing at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center; and Mel Slater, neuroscientist and virtual environments expert at the University of Barcelona. The event has been conducted and moderated by Béatrice de Gelder, head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at Univerity of Maastricht, and Manuel Cirauqui, director of Eina Idea.