Carlo De Gaetano participates in the VOID debate on the representation of visual methodologies collective

In recent years, THE VOID has been researching and experimenting with audiovisual production and distribution. This also prompted the event “Blurring the format.” This event consisted of two parts. First, there was a presentation of the multimedia research, which was followed by a debate.

Carlo De Gaetano was one of the participants invited to take part in this debate because of his expertise in data visualization for social research. Carlo represented the collective of visual methodologies collective. During this debate, the aim was not to answer as an expert but rather to create new issues and start conversations.

The reason for participating in this debate was that Carlo has, within the context of Climate Imaginaries at Sea, designed two workshops that combine speculative landscaping, climate imaginaries, and AI in a participatory setting.

The first workshop was held at the Festival of Society 5.0. They assembled a unique audiovisual collection from the Sound and Vision archives for the session that depicts people’s interactions with water in the Netherlands. Carlos allowed participants to look through and choose photographs from the collection to use as a visual prompt for visualizing and creating future situations using AI generative models throughout the workshop.

For Dutch high school pupils, the second workshop was conducted as part of a series of classes on sea level rise. They invited them to take a photo of a special area in their lives and consider what it would look like with higher waters 100 years from now. They accomplished this using vivid, provocative graphics jointly created by AI.

Because Carlos designed these workshops, it was valuable that he was able to participate in this debate. This debate was part of the documentation and reflection on the outcomes and experiences of the two workshops.

“We are designing a riso-printed zine. This publication is not a written report or a scientific paper. Through the publication process, we want to give a more-than-textual response to the work done. In doing so, questions emerged about the publication process itself:

  • A question on intent: where is the line between documenting what happened during the workshop, and responding to it?
  • A question on translating: how to convey through riso-print the different outputs (i.e., drawings, dialogues, AI-generated landscapes, soundscapes)? What remains, what gets lost, and what new is discovered through this (visual) translation?
  • A question on perspective and inclusion: how to treat different perspectives and voices that emerged during the workshop with respect while also giving a personal reflection on them?”

Looking back on this, Carlo indicates that it felt like an introduction to how everyone was coping with various publication methods, then a debate.