[ZER01NE DAY 2021] The future we face now


<ZER01NE DAY 2021> is a playground where the future can be met in the present through creative collaboration between creators. Creators constantly make creative questions and play by asking. We invite you to the playground, an innovative space and participatory space that anyone can become a player, where you can meet the values conceived by creative talents such as artists, architects, designers, engineers, and developers. zer01neday.com


Homo faber. Simply, it means ‘Man as maker’. It refers to the characteristics of human beings who use tools to create their own culture. This concept, claimed by the French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson long ago, is an expression in point that mankind is a species that cannot stop creating something in a given environment. The term was in the spotlight again due to the ‘Maker Movement’ that originated from IT industry in San Francisco in the mid 2000s. It brought the explosively increasing number of scientists and entrepreneurs who use technologies to create something and enjoy the process as a play, which still has an impact now.

Technologies are becoming much more sophisticated these days. This is the time that the scope of tools used by humans as Homo faber is expanding more than ever. Various technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality, are deeply permeating our daily life as well as contemporary art and are providing new experiences for human perception and senses. “ZER01NE DAY”, which is held for the third time, is a ground where creators, developers, and startups in South-Korea gather to continue their creative experiments using the cutting-edge technologies. The concept for this ZER01NE DAY is “Playground” which can continue its creations like playing. The first ZER01NE DAY with a theme of ‘Create you ( )’ and the second ZER01NE DAY with a theme of ‘Borderless in Everything’ were held at the former site of Hyundai Motor Company’s Wonhyoro Service Center in Yongsan-gu. ‘ZER01NE DAY 2021’ was carried out online unlike previous ones.

The site was organized in virtual space copying from the physical space of the previous site where the exhibition was held. You can navigate the exhibition space by moving the tab bar to the left or right side of the browser, and watch videos of 35 projects created by artists, entrepreneurs, programmers, engineers, designers, architects, and others. There are four themes for this exhibition. The audience can enjoy projects with various themes from ‘Future Mobility’ to imagine the landscape of the future about mobility, ‘Hyper Connected’ where the boundaries between virtual space and reality become blur, ‘Mobility x Player’ where users interact with technology, to ‘New Learning’, which proposes a fresh discourse on reality through technology.


Unfamiliar driving experience, Future Mobility
It is interesting to see the way the two projects in the “Future Mobility” section have expressed the future driving environment where self-driving has already become the part of human life. It presents the future in the form of concrete and visible reality through sensory experiences. ‘IVAAIU CITY’, a group of creators consisting of urban planners, architects, and new media artists, demonstrated the image of the city in 2030 within an architectural space through the <Roadscape MMXXX> project. The pavilion sculpture, which harmonizes a moving kinetic wall and light, immersive sound, and virtual reality animation, gives the audience different views of the environment of future mobility. In the future, all systems in the city will interact with each other through fiber optic systems according to the creators. Since robots will often be encountered on the street, it is quite impressive to see that a shelter is placed for AI and robots to rest. A total of 100 visualized models of the future roads in the landscape are collected into one and projected onto the screen, allowing the audience to reflect their feedback. The project of “CT3K”, <Automatic Sonata>, which reinterprets the experience of facing the scenery outside the car window, is also worth of paying attention. It converts the data of road and environmental information collected in real- time while driving into AI ‘Style Transfer’ technology and displays them in the style of Gogh, Picasso, etc. The driver does not have to worry about driving, so it just makes the driver take everyday moments as art.


Hyper Connected, connecting reality and virtual space
Projects using music under the theme of “Hyper Connected” are also impressive. The audience could get a glimpse of the attempt to consider the equal coexistence of humans and technology beyond the area of the traditional sound art of playing back programmed sounds and experimenting with sound itself. ‘Team Needs’ along with artist Doham Oh and service planner Young-joon Kim completed a music album project <ORACLE 2021 – ‘Hymn from Future> in which humans and AI collaborated with a total of eight songs. They trained language-generating AI ‘GPT-3’ to write texts related to religion and philosophy, re-edited texts for writing lyrics and producing, and then, a choreographer and musician Gi-ppeum Choi taught AI to dance with a singer. The religious messages created by AI are expressed through human voices, gestures, and facial expressions to induce novel approaches and reasons for the process and results of art. Isak Han who works between software programming, physical computing, and sound design invented an electronic instrument that did not exist in the world in his project, <Self-evident music device, A.I: nUFO>. He felt regrettable that conventional electronic music is transmitted with a single touch under an algorithm, so he developed a computer-based instrument that produces sound only when a person moves his body, and the instrument follows the principle of synthesizing and controlling electronic sounds in real-time to produce sound according to body movements. He proposes a “post-human” attitude in which computers and humans can interact without subordinating each other.


Mobility x Player, a new way of collaborative approach to problem solving
In the ‘Mobility x Player’ section, the projects that reflected the collected data into robots or devices, and then added interactive methods or applied the format of the game to the metaverse were the mainstreams. Among them, the project that attracted the most active participation of users was <Mechanimal>, an alternate reality game, created by Loopntale, a game designer and artist duo consisting of Youngju Kim and Hoyoun Cho. Against the backdrop of the future of virtual reality where biological species are in trouble, participants share information on social media (Twitter) every day to solve problems together. The participants collaborate each other in creating stories and change simulations in games. Loopntale said that they developed the project inspired by the phrase from Donna Haraway, an American scholar, “We all exist to live together.”


Education that prepares for the future, New Learning
In the “New Learning” section, which illuminates today’s technologies applied to the real world from a different perspective, the experiments of education professionals are worth of paying attention It made implications for predicting how technologies can play a role in the educational environment of the future. Eunyoung Park, an artist and educational researcher, proposed the possibility of art toys as a convergence educational material that allows students to learn physics and mathematics in real educational environments through the Kinetic Toy “LINKKI 2.0”. E.A.T, a team consisting of system engineers, developers, and UI designers, presented the project, <Don’t Panic>, to push the limits of unilateral online education. The users can communicate with each other, share search results, solve problems, solve missions together, and continue learning without having to associating with each other or participate in class using the game elements through fictional characters. It is quite impressive to follow a collaborative approach that focuses on the unique growth of each character instead of receiving a report card as a ranking.

Technology and art. The two fields will become more inextricably linked in the future, but in our reality, their boundaries are often separated. ZER01NE DAY lays emphasis on breaking down these stereotypes, and brings out new possibilities in the process of asking questions and seeking answers among various creators. That is why ZER01NE DAY is even more expected as a place to experience technologies across intelligence and sensibility and to meet the future in the present.