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Interface Cultures at Ars Electronica 2010

2nd to 11th September 2010

Georg Russegger, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Varvara Guljajeva and Michaela Ortner

This year´s exhibition of the Interface Cultures Department is showing emerging artistic ability profiles transformed by heterogeneous sets, tools and methods of creation deriving from interactive media and interface technology. To take advantage of disciplines related to communication technology, bioscience, physical computing, interaction  design, fashionable technology or information visualization, artists are focusing on new ways to combine these complex frameworks within test environments and experimental concepts. This origin is supporting group and project‑based developments and inspires a flexible and multi‑perspective sharing of knowledge and abilities within the process of  artistic creation.

In this way, the ability of playfulness is becoming a powerful tool and mindset for individuals to overcome existing patterns and standards of culture, art, science and technology. This programme can be applied to every person who derives joy from discovering ways to circumvent limitations. Here, the meaning »Play« is quite different to  »Entertainment«. Playful behaviour can be valid even for people who are not very much involved in gaming, giving them a chance to try things out. »Play« thus is a method to deal with reality and to encourage, to look at the world in different ways. »I am playing« means I can do something that I am not otherwise doing. The creation of play experiences may deal with existing resources in new ways, by operating on the intersections of different fields and disciplines.

The presented works have been contributed mainly by members of the master and doctoral programmes at the Interface Cultures department of the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz. In addition to this,  some of the shown projects have emerged from collaborations with networks and communities related to the department. The selected projects and artworks embody the different transformations and approaches of playful interaction with devices, algorithms, fashion, emotions, theories, political issues as well as junk. These different  vectors have been taken into account to show a change‑intensive, mistake‑friendly and by as a result open and flexible environment, to get a closer look at new forms of dealing with creative developments and artistic design and production.

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Exhibition "IC at ars electronica 2010"


Title of the Project: Artificial Stupidity / Bager Akbay, Ana Čigon
Artificial Stupidity is a project loosely defined on multiple levels. We have chosen a flexible context in which we are considering a variety of subjects, such as humans, art and interaction. The pieces and events in the exhibition are presented for the purpose of inviting visitors to collaborate.

Artificial Stupidity ist ein Projekt, das lose auf mehreren Ebenen definiert wird. Wir haben einen flexiblen Kontext gewählt, in dem wir eine Vielzahl an Themen, wie z. B. Menschen, Kunst und Interaktion betrachten. Die Einzelteile und die Events in der Ausstellung sollen die BesucherInnen dazu einladen, mitzuarbeiten.

Title of the Project: Thumb Fu! / Vesela Mihaylova, Tim Devine
Thumb Fu! is super enhanced thumb wrestling. We've used conductive fabric and thread to create thumb suits.  When the characters touch, sound effects are triggered.  If somebody is pinned down a countdown begins, and a winning fanfare is played once a player wins.

Thumb Fu! ist super verbessertes Daumen Wrestling. Wir haben leitfähigen Stoff und Garn benutzt um Daumen Anzüge zu nähen. Wenn die Figuren sich berühren, werden Sounds ausgeöst. Wenn jemand festgehalten wird, beginnt ein Countdown, und eine Gewinner Fanfare ertönt wenn ein Spieler gewinnt.

Title of the Project: The heartbeat pajamas / Vesela Mihaylova, Sotiris Katsimpas, Myrssini Antoniou
Human contact and interaction evolves in multiple ways. People tend to employ their senses in different modes, in order to express their feelings and enhance their relations. Sharing one's heartbeat is often considered a way to offer relaxation and comfort moments: A mother holds her baby across her chest to calm it down, couples hug and lay their heads over each other's hearts. Heartbeats, however, can also imply anxiety, stress or fear if it beats on a high rate and is also an immediate way to detect life or death.

Menschlicher Kontakt und Interaktion entwickelt sich auf verschiedene Art und Weise. Leute tendieren dazu, ihre Sinne auf unterschiedlichst ein zu setzten um ihre Gefühle auszudrücken und ihre Beziehungen zu stärken. Das Teilen eines Herzschlags wird oft mit Entspannung assoziiert und als angenehm wahrgenommen: Eine Mutter hält ihr Kind schräg zur Brust um es zu beruhigen, Paare umarmen sich und legen ihre Köpfe zum Herzen des jeweilig anderen.

Herzschläge können, wenn sie schnell sind, jedoch auch Angst, Stress oder Furcht andeuten, und der Herzschlag ist auch die schnellste Möglichkeit um Leben oder Tod zu ermitteln.

Title of the Project: Silica nanoCup (nanorealism) / Hugo Martinez-Tormo
Glass is made of Silica (SiO2). In this interactive installation, the visitor can interact with a glass object generating a visual and acoustic representation of the Silica components by touch. This representation is based on the colour of light emitted by the Silica atoms on the nanoscale, which is red and violet because the Oxygen and Silicon atoms emit light in that specific wavelength. The sound corresponds to a mathematical equation that relates the wavelength of the light (nm) with the frequency of the sound (Hz). So, the visitor can travel to the world of atomic nanoscale and discover new behaviours of matter. What colour does matter have in the nanoscale, and how does that colour sound like?

Glas besteht aus Quarz (SiO2). In dieser interaktiven Installation können BesucherInnen mit einem Glasgegenstand interagieren und so durch Berührung eine visuelle und akustische Darstellung der Quartzkristalle erzeugen. Diese Darstellung basiert auf der Farbe des Lichtes, das durch die Atome im Nanobereich abgegeben wird, in diesem Fall Rot und Violett, da die Sauerstoff‑ und Siliziumatome Licht in dieser bestimmten Wellenlänge abstrahlen. Der Ton entspricht einer mathematischen Gleichung, die die Wellenlänge des Lichtes (Nanometer) mit der Frequenz des Tones (Hz) verbindet. So kann der/die BesucherIn in die Welt der Atome reisen und neues Verhalten von Materie entdecken. Welche Farbe hat Materie im Nanobereich, und wie klingt diese Farbe?

Open Stage is an interface to present and discuss contemporary ideas and issues related to works, research and projects related to the Interface Cultures Lab.

Open Lab is an experimental set to explore prototypes, to present future visions and to try out things and techniques in a collaborative and cooperative way.

Georg Russegger, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Varvara Guljajeva and Michaela Ortner

Graphic Design: Vesela Mihaylova, Henning Schulze, Onur Sönmez, David Brunnthaler

Exhibition Design: Reinhard Gupfinger

Production: Anika Hirt, Varvara Guljajeva, Gertrude Hörlesberger

Technical Support: Mar Canet Sola, Anika Hirt