About

Oscar Cass-Darweish is a digital practitioner with skills in web/graphic design, video, sound and creative coding. Practice in these areas extends to artistic inquiry concerned with struggle for autonomy at the limits of digital modes of representation. Aesthetic and critical methods from part of a Critical Technical Practice that aims to figure relationships between humans and the technical in the space of hardware, software and code. Unfamiliar locations and moments at which technical process that is part of everyday existence becomes opaque are re-presented in contexts where alternative modes of understanding are made possible for audiences through performative engagement. Optical and auditory interaction with systems present in surveillance models and automated data collection that part of online and offline spaces can elucidate some computational logics while highlighting the need for non-representational modes of critique for others.

CV

Education

2018
Goldsmiths
MA Digital Culture
Distinction

2009
Birmingham City University (BIAD, Bournville School of Art)
BA Hons Visual Art by Negotiated Study
2:1

Exhibitions & Contributions

2018

A Vigil Strange
Performance with Giant Axe Field
Centrala, Birmingham

≈ Pretty Close ≈
Sound installation and workshop as part of the Late at Tate: Echoes
Tate Britain, London

Last Minute
Part of …we don’t talk anymore 2 curated by Dan Auluk

2017

Art:Work
Workshops as part of the creative interdisciplinary lab
Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, London

Unwanted Variables
3 day residency with Giant Axe Field
NIS, Birmingham

x Λ y
Interactive installation as part of the Super Yonic festival
Copeland Gallery, London

Slimeslimeslimeslime
Online exhibition,
isthisit?, London

Every Dog Has Its Day
Exhibition as part of the Out of Our Hands, Digital Culture Expo
Laurie Grove Baths at Goldsmiths, London

Cryptobar
Interactive installation
Goldsmiths Library, London

Does It Matter?
Exhibition
Out of the Brew, London

Cryptobar
Interactive installation as part of the Friday Late: Data Detox
V&A, London

Play Safe
Exhibition
Out of the Brew, London

2016

Live performance for a-n PD bursary
Bedlam, Clarendon Hotel, Wolverhampton

This frontier so familiar so strange… (group show) curated by Mona Casey
Article Gallery, Birmingham

Video piece in ESP Summer Camp
Eastside Projects, Birmingham

Live performance as part of a-n.co.uk PD bursary project
Bedlam, Clarendon Hotel, Wolverhampton

This frontier so familiar so strange… (group show)
Article Gallery, Birmingham

Video piece for FEATURE 2016
A project by Dan Auluk

Two micro-residencies
Grasslands, Birmingham

2015

Code and Carpentry (response)
BOM
(Work developed within Code and Carpentry installation by OneFiveWest)

SOUP Pt. 2 Residency
(Two month residency at Stryx gallery with 3 exhibitions throughout)

2013

Act 1: Zombie Poverty
Article Gallery, Birmingham
(Interactive touchscreen installation, ‘P.s.s.’)

Light Capture
Stryx, Birmingham
(Video projection of ‘Ending’)

2012

Queer [STATE]
Vaults, Birmingham
(Installation piece ‘Scanner’)

Proposal 2
The Works Gallery
Curated in collaboration with Dan Auluk, 2 part show

Proposal
mac Birmingham
(Curatorial project in collaboration with Dan Auluk

Agora
Brick Box/Tooting Market, London
Supporting Laurence Price

2009

NB
The Custard Factory Gallery, Birmingham
(Curatorial role and artist. Other artists: Gene-George Earle, Karen McLean, Louise Mackuin, Keeley Lowe, Jenni
Dixon, Simon Hope, Lynne Jones, Irene Jonker, Maddy Dickerson and Adam Green)

2008

Psychoacoustic
The Bearwood Collective Gallery, Birmingham
(Including contributions from Raju Mali)

Traversion
The Very Good Room, Shoreditch, London
(Curatorial role and artist, working with Samantha Penn, Laurence Price, Olga Koroleva and Iwona Makuszynska)

2006

…Where The Space Hangs 2
The MAC, Birmingham
(contributed audio-visual piece ‘Stasis’)

Fake Mouse

Open Black Box

Many digital artworks use computer vision techniques that are unable to be appreciated on a technical level by a large portion of their audience. It is unlikely that a human can decipher many of the logics of a computer vision system purely through experience, even if they are interacting with it in real time. Due to the potential to convert and add layers to data from sensors, the output of a digital interactive piece is likely to be visually unrelated to the triggering processes that the user is interacting with. Apprehension towards digital images is reinforced by the ease with which digital images can be manipulated, copied and distributed. That invisible process such as motion detection and facial recognition increasingly extend into our day to day lives, where our most personal interactions with technology occur (cameras, phones and social media), highlights the need for greater depth of understanding of the tools and code that shape our worlds. It is important for us to understand the points at which we are detectable by machines so the we have the potential to navigate the environments we exist in with autonomy.

The visual representation of image-based calculations and smart camera readings close to their simplest form are often aesthetically interesting in themselves. Working with OpenCV and OpenFrameworks allows for interaction with digital images as data to the point that you can see the results of numerical manipulations on them. The opportunity to see the result of subtracting pixel colour values from each other over time, as in frame differencing, visually gives an idea of how machines approach the task of detecting changes. It also shows certain limitations, for example just having one angle with no depth image, as everything is happening on the same 2d plane. The background is only (temporarily) visible when something in front of it moves. Similarly, interacting with the 3d point cloud generated from a depth camera such as the Kinect also quickly helps understand the potential and limits of the technology.

Different parts of the point cloud are revealed as the viewer stands at different distances, as it rotates and zooms in and out accordingly, while the sensor tilt angle is affected to emphasise the effects of frame differencing on the whole frame. The partially transparent and reflective surfaces also have some function in extending possibilities for perceptible interrogation. The structure recalls older forms of technology with related genealogies, while querying the usefulness of smoke and mirrors in technical practice.