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Johnny DiBlasi

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Johnny DiBlasi, an Iowa State University assistant professor of art and visual culture specializing in scientific visualization and digital media, received a research grant from the ISU Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities to begin production on his latest creative project, “Oscillations.” This large-scale, site-specific, interactive installation will investigate the ramifications and aesthetics of the landscape’s electronic infrastructure and data network, such as senors used to gather environmental data to aid the industrial production of agricultural crops.

With this project, DiBlasi will explore the aesthetic possibilities of data gathered by sensors dispersed throughout the landscape’s ecosystem and how these aesthetic experiences can connect users to the landscape they inhabit, providing a deeper awareness and alternative ecological consciousness. A network of sensors and cameras installed in natural areas of vegetation in and around the site will capture biological data emitted by the region’s plants and trees, which will then be translated into a moving sculpture with sound.

The work also will be exhibited at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2019) in Gwangju, South Korea, in June 2019. DiBlasi has been selected for the ISEA2019 global residency program with the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju in May and June; he will explore the symposium’s category of “Symphonia: Harmony of Noise” through production of “Oscillations” using data from biosensors set up throughout urban spaces, gardens, parks and other area ecosystems, which he will process into physical form, light and sound.