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Brilliant Ideas Episode # 44: Random International

New World of Human-Centered Technology

Random International puts itself apart from all other artists who were introduced previously. It is not one artist or duo, but a collaborative studio of artists. Random International is centered around Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, the founders and directors, and a group of 19 members including Héloïse Reynolds, Dramaturge, Dev Joshi, Head of Technology, Becky Sedgwick, Head of Operations and Tom Stacey, Head of Design and Engineering.

This large group of artists values harmony and cooperation, and explores the aesthetics of the relationship between machines and humans. Brilliant Ideas Episode #44, presented by Bloomberg and Hyundai Motor, features Random International, a collective who continue to discover the relationships between the two.

Machines in Pursuit of Human Interactions

<Rain Room> (2012) put Random International in the brightest spotlight. This magically staged work of a perpetual rain shower that doesn’t leave the audiences even a tiny bit wet and looks more like advanced technology than artwork. Therefore, is it to be categorized as art merely because it was installed in a white cube? We should refer to what Ortkrass and Koch, the founders and directors of the group, mentioned in one interview: “Since forming the group, we really haven’t been able to do anything but art.”

The core philosophy of Random International revolves around human beings. Naturally, their works do not merely put forward advanced technology; it is only a mere component of them. The most important element of their works is the active engagement of the audience, as most of their works are actualized only by their participation. <Temporary Printing Machine> (2007) captures an image of the audience which then quickly fades away, and in <Audience> (2008), viewers are able to appreciate their body in the space through the dense collection of mirrors. <Future Self> (2012) presents viewers with their full-length body image converted into light points. Audience participation is also the key element in their masterpiece, <Rain Room>.
Works of Random International present collaborations between art and advanced technology, yet they always center on human beings with whom they aspire to communicate with. After <Rain Room>, Random International is asserted with confidence and conviction for more innovative projects in the coming years.

Team of 19 Contemporary Artists

Random International was formed when founders, Ortkrass and Koch, first met. At an art college in the UK, Ortkrass and Koch learned and shared the same creative direction. They started conceptualizing the idea “Random,” which is the current founding notion of Random International, and established the studio, 'Random,' in 2005. Many artists were drawn to their enthusiasm and commitment in exploring the relationship between machines and humans. Random International started with three artists, including Stuart Wood, one of the founding members, and is now a larger team of sixteen artists.

Artist groups operate on a collaboration basis even when there is only one ongoing project. Certainly, collaboration is not a mandatory way of creating. They have been continuously asked whether they strictly pursue collaborative works under the rule against individual work, and their simple response is that they create better and shine more when they work together. Random International, founded on trust, is convinced that it will bring greater synergy in a collaborative atmosphere.
They hold numerous conversations and discussions for one project and develop it with the individual artist’s interest, site visits, and endless curiosity of various contents. Through this process, Random International ultimately frames a clear idea of why “something” it seeks to create should exist in the world and how it should evolve. Its symbiotic and creative process seems to be the key to how Random International has been phenomenal for the past thirteen years. ■ with ARTINPOST

  • <Aspect (white)> 2015

    Interactive installation, computer, two projectors, no sound Photography by Random International

    <Aspect (white)> 2015 Interactive installation, computer, two projectors, no sound Photography by Random International
  • <Aspect (white)> 2015

    Interactive installation, computer, two projectors, no sound Photography by Random International

    <Aspect (white)> 2015 Interactive installation, computer, two projectors, no sound Photography by Random International
  • <Blur Mirror> 2016

    Glass, custom electronics, motors, aluminium frame, cameras, computer, custom software 2,360mmx1,140mm x115mm Photography by Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace London

    <Blur Mirror> 2016 Glass, custom electronics, motors, aluminium frame, cameras, computer, custom software 2,360mmx1,140mm x115mm Photography by Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace London
  • Exhibition view of <On The Body> at Pace Gallery, New York

    Exhibition view of <On The Body> at Pace Gallery, New York
  • <Fragments> 2016

    © Random International

    <Fragments> 2016 © Random International
  • <Rain Room> 2012

    Photo: Random International

    <Rain Room> 2012 Photo: Random International
  • <Swarm Study / IX> 2016

    © Random International All photography by Jan Bitter

    <Swarm Study / IX> 2016 © Random International All photography by Jan Bitter
  • Exhibition view of <On the Body> at Pace Gallery, New York

    Exhibition view of <On the Body> at Pace Gallery, New York
  • <Blur Mirror> 2016

    Glass, custom electronics, motors, aluminium frame, cameras, computer, custom software 2,360mmx1,140mm x115mm Photography by Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace London

    <Blur Mirror> 2016 Glass, custom electronics, motors, aluminium frame, cameras, computer, custom software 2,360mmx1,140mm x115mm Photography by Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace London
  • <Rain Room> 2012

    Photo: Random International

    <Rain Room> 2012 Photo: Random International

Profile

‘Rain Room’ offers a space that allows you to not get wet even when it rains. The sound, smell and humidity in this space which has been created by the contemporary artist group Random International provides an immersive experience one can have walking through rain while not having a drop of rain fall on you. Random International hoped to remind visitors of the terms ‘identity’ and ‘autonomy’ of the post-digital era through the unique experience of the ‘Rain Room’.
Founded in 2005, by Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, Random International is based in U.K. and Berlin. Now this artist studio group is run by 19 people; Héloïse Reynolds, Dev Joshi, Becky Sedwick, Tom Stacey and many specialists of various fields work together. The studio has shown works at the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, MoMA(Museum of Modern Art, New York), Lunds konsthall, Sweden and many venues across the world. Random International were also the artist of the first exhibition of ‘The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA’, part of the partnership between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Hyundai Motor.

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