About the Workshop
February 25 & 26
9am - 6pm
Understand.nyc is a collaboration between the artist Antoine Catala and the MIT researcher Gabriel Kahan. For the run of Public Art Fund exhibition, Commercial Break, the duo used the citywide network of LinkNYC kiosks to run an open call for members of the public to partake in a two-day workshop. Reaching beyond their immediate circles, their aim was to find a diverse group of random volunteers to work collaboratively towards identifying a situation common to the participants. Through a series of discussions, the group selected the question 'What is Love?', identifying six causal loops: 'Reality', 'Phantom Love', 'Impossibly', 'Live Love', 'The Mirror', and 'Uncoupling'. Through collective making these causal loops were then visualized as physical objects, called ‘tiles’, which were scanned and are displayed as 3D objects on http://www.understand.nyc/,, where where visitors to the site can interact with the tiles. They were also shown on the LinkNYC kiosks network one day after the exhibition closed.
The project and workshop is a methodology—part of Kahan’s on-going research based on finding common ground, in a world where polarity, anxiety, and uncertainty has never been more pervasive—and forms a simple yet powerful tool to better understand our everyday lives.