Chris Sugrue: Memory of Form and Matter

15 September - 30 October 2013
Chris Sugrue: Memory of Form and Matter
Research and Production Residency

Chris was in residency at iMAL through the Summer Sessions Talent Development Network, an international network of art centers organising an exchange programme of residencies for artists. Chris' residency at iMAL was supported by LABoral.

Memory of Form and Matter is a sculpture series exploring hybrid digital-physical forms. It combines algorithmically generated structures with digital simulations and animation. The digital fabrications are the static, solid output of a digital system. The simulations on the other hand seem alive with motion, but are ethereal and made of light. It is believed that at the dawn of the universe all matter was on top of itself in a point of singularity. Over billions of years matter changes state, re-shuffles, and spreads out never destroyed nor created. An atom's once neighbors become distant memories millenniums past. The sculptures consider the object as having multiple forms some more easily perceived than others.

In the first work-in-progress exploration, the design of the objects are created through programmed movement using physics simulations. The same basic algorithms are seen in the digital half of the sculpture each a version of the other. The two spaces are physically separate but are united through a looking glass. If viewed from a precise position the two worlds are seen together.

Chris Sugrue will present her work-in-progress developed during her residency at iMal and discuss her ongoing practice in the field of art and technology

Technical Description

The sculpture is built of laser-cut pieces fabricated from the output of software developed with the open source toolkit openFrameworks. The real-time algorithmic animations are displayed on an lcd screen opposite the sculpture. Between the two is a piece of transparent plexi-glass so that when viewed from one side, the reflection of the lcd screen can be seen in it and is aligned so that it falls precisely in the space of the object. This effect (commonly known as Pepper's Ghost) was first used to create illusions in theaters.

About Chris Sugrue

Chris Sugrue is an artist and programmer developing interactive installations, audio-visual performances and experimental interfaces. Her works experiment with technology in playful and curious ways and investigate topics such as artificial life, eye-tracking and optical illusions. She has exhibited internationally in such festivals and galleries as Ars Electronica, Sónar Festival, Pixel Gallery, Medialab-Prado, Matadero Madrid, and La Noche En Blanco Madrid. Sugrue holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. She has worked as a creative engineer at the Ars Electronica Futurelab where she was the lead interaction developer for a stereoscopic interactive dance performance with artist and choreographer Klaus Obermaier. She was the recipient of a year-long fellowship at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York, and has taught courses in the Design and Technology department at Parsons School of Design, the Interface Culture program at the KunstUniversität in Linz, Austria, and numerous workshops on visual and creative programming.

Media Gallery


This work was developed during the Summer Sessions residency with the support of LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (Gijón, Spain) and iMal, Centre for Digital Cultures and Technologies (Brussels, Belgium).