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Forking Room
 
A temporary platform for research, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, talks, focusing on the phenomena around the interface between art, technology, and society
 
“Forking” means “to branch off.”  In open-source culture, "forking" sometimes expresses a process in which codes or technologies diverge into several versions.  Forkingroom is both a temporary platform and an ongoing project where research, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and talks are performed using the common and incompatible branches of such "forking" as models of execution. 


As Forkingroom covers topics of contemporary phenomena that society, technology, and art can face and address in common, it sets research and prototyping as platforms to be significantly dealt with. We think of research as newly recognizing contemporary social, economic, and ecological conditions, dealing with them with autonomous self-theory and methods, and recording and presenting the processes. Based on the individual research processes, Forkingroom aims to become a platform where we address the composition of commonness that can be interchanged between art, technology, and society. 

Launched in 2017, Forkingroom has been annually operated as a form of special programs, invitations, and open-calls, while being participated by activists, researchers, artists, and educators. It has encompassed broad topics including artificial intelligence, algorithms, machine learning, datasets, machine vision, synthetic media, data and computing devices, and smart cities, in its programs of research labs, exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, and tours. 

2022 Forkingroom _ Canary in the Synthetisphere


In 2022, Forkingroom addressed stories of the Synthetisphere that alternates between virtual and synthetic. Synthetics indicate images, sounds, or texts, the results that are not directly extracted from actual phenomena or events but generated from calculations. The Synthetisphere signifies the technological-social phenomena and mechanisms in which such results function efficiently and significantly to loosen the cognitive system of human beings. When the synthetic elements of the Synthetisphere exhibit incredible efficiency going beyond actual reality, it can be called 'the canary in the Synthetisphere.' We entered the Synthetisphere as a being like a canary in a mine of bits. 


2021 Forkingroom _ Absent Dataset


Forkingroom in 2021 focused on datasets, which play a significant role in AI learning. We particularly examined the technical conventions and cultural-political implications of visual datasets that are collected and reclassified for the purpose of machine learning, organizing programs of exhibitions, talks, and archives that allow us to look into what computational properties the world is coordinated with and what is hidden or absent during the process. 

2020 Forkingroom _ Research Lab: Mining Absent Dataset 


Research Labs focusing on online discussion dominated Forkingroom in 2020. Four online/offline meetings were held with the common research topics of both exploring cultural and political semantic networks around the visual datasets that play a major role in AI learning and creating other datasets. 

2019 Forkingroom _ DATA & FRAMER 


Focusing on data, the currently significant technological material, and 'framer' of the data, Forkingroom in 2019 explored the meanings of data and computing devices in the current society where algorithmic thoughts and behaviors are being strengthened, with the theme of 'Data & Framer.’ The exhibitions, workshops, and talks we held regarded data and the various technological-cultural circumstances around them as a ‘zone of non-determination,’ looking into data and computing devices (=framers) as an act of more active interpretation and intervention.

2018 Forkingroom _ Your Smart Neighbors


Under the theme of 'Your Smart Neighbors,' Forkingroom held talks that dug into the details of environments created in our lives by 'the smart things,' which became related to us as close neighbors, as well as lectures, workshops, and exhibitions to more explore such environments from the aspects of non-human. We attempted to fathom one of the layers of 'our smart neighbors,' which not only contribute to the quantitative expansion of sensing and networking but also construct our perceptions and senses with qualitative differences by creating social feedback.

2017 Forkingroom _ Datafied Self
Forkingroom in 2017 examined data as a key element that affects various areas including society, economy, and culture in the era of information technology. We focused on the topic of 'Datafied Self,' scrutinizing self-image, social image and life form, and technological and artistic conditions that could be changed via data in six lectures and talks participated in by activists, researchers, artists, and educators.

 

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