• di8IT Collective

    ACM Creativity& Cognition 2022

    Art Exhibition at the Sala Camino exhibition space of Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa in Venice, Italy

    22.06.2022 - 25.06.2022


Digital-Tropical: Venice of The East

Digital-Tropical: Venice of the East highlights the significance of traditional cultural wisdom in the contemporary context of global warming. Although the Malaysian climate is different from Venice, however, like Venice, houses in Malaysia are traditionally designed to function around water, and in the rise and fall of river levels due to the monsoon and tides. Traditional Malay houses are made with timber using modular design that can be reused for generations. Although the houses are built high on stilts, there are doors which do not have stairs that are only used during flooding to access boats. In this artwork, a LiDAR video of a 300-year-old traditional Malay house, is juxtaposed with visualization of historical ocean wave height data using light projection. The data were collected near Tioman Island for two years for a renewable energy project. Traditional Malay houses ‘work around’ the natural environment to function in the uncertainties of nature unlike many technologies which arose from scientific advancement that ‘subdue’ the natural world by making irreversible and detrimental changes to it. Renew- able energy technology also needs to function in the uncertainties of nature by ‘working around’ it. We need the knowledge of wave patterns to generate electricity. Thus, this artwork juxtaposes the tropical architecture of the old and new technology paradigm, both that ‘work around’ nature, to preserve nature. Malaysia came under Western colonization with the fall of the entrepôt city of Malacca in 1511. The title of this artwork is inspired by Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, who once described Malacca as “Venice of the East.” With this, we would like to highlight that even though Malaysia and Venice are separated by climate, cultural and geo- graphical distance, we are living together in a warming world which will affect Malaysian cities as much as it will affect Venice.

Read the full paper here.