Sam Songailo

T.R.I.M. [Translating and Interfacing Module]

In presenting his ideas in 2013, Songailo proposed a work linking data generated by the building – such as heating/cooling, power usage and security information – to a large scale digital display. The vision of this proposal, to create a fictional device driven by real data, aimed to prompt critical thinking around the question of ‘what is real?’ In this, the work would throw up a challenge to those engaging with it in the same way scientific inquiry demands deep interrogation before the establishment of fact.

Developing the work throughout 2014-15 was a highly complex task presenting architectural challenges as well as significant logistical and technical difficulties. The pioneering and elegant result, displayed on a bank of LED panels set within the structure of the ground floor, is testament to the passion, commitment and collaborative efforts of many.

In particular the close involvement of CSEM staff was critical to the project’s success. Bringing high level computer programming skills to the table, the work of Associate Professor Kenneth Pope, Technical Services Manager Geoff Cottrell and Technical Officer Craig Dawson was fundamental in establishing the functionality of the work.

Beyond its immediate aesthetic appeal and the conceptual rigour which informs it, the beauty of T.R.I.M lies in its dynamic nature and the possibilities this invites. In this regard the work holds great potential as a teaching tool, specifically the future engagement of students and staff in re-shaping the machine’s visuals through the development of new code.

The title of the work pays homage to the supercomputer or artificial intelligence portrayed in science fiction. It is also a playful reference to Matthew Flinders’ cat of the same name.

Sam Songailo is a painter and installation artist whose practice is heavily influenced by science-fiction and electronic music as well as ‘album art’ and video. He studied Visual Communication at the University of South Australia, graduating in 1999 with a graphic design major. Since c2007 he has worked predominantly within the realm of visual art receiving the South Australian critics circle, Emerging Artist of the year award (2010) and the Adelaide Fringe festival award for Best Visual Art (2012).

Sam Songailo, T.R.I.M [Translating and Interfacing Module], 2014, mixed media, 135 x 646 cm, courtesy the artist, Flinders University Art Museum 5215, Photography: Ashton Claridge

Flinders at Tonsley
Ground Floor
1284 South Road
Clovelly Park | SA | 5042