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day 01 at the ars electronica festival (0 comments)
it is september, so it is time for the annual ars electronica festival
in linz. this year luckily nina and i got a free festival pass, so we decided to go and see what is new on the digital arts sector.
we started at the hoehenrausch[001-071], this year it is hosting the openspace[017,021-037] by voest alpine on the roof of the OK, "Offenes Kulturhaus". from afar it looks like a pretty impressive construction.
to get to this 120 ton steel structure, one has to go through the OK[001-004] itself, where again several exhibitions with the focus on angels and/or wings are displayed.
the openspace is full of steel struts, meshes, and mirrors[021-025,027-030,032-033]. pretty confusing at first, but an interesting and funny concept, once you get used to the optical bauble.
then there was the wooden tower[020,032,045,047] also located on the roof of the OK, which was already here in 2013, the last time we were here at the ars electronica festival. you really get a wonderful view over linz, but we were too lazy to climb all the stairs up again.
there are also loads of music instruments on the roof, such as strings[049-051,058-060] and organ[052-054] like sound machines. fun to play with and make some noise.
the tour then ends in the ursulinen church[005-008,061-071], and via the church's attic[066-069] we got back to ground level and left the fallen angel[006,071], and the church. i liked the crashed celestial being the most.
we decided to visit another church, namely the linzer mariendom[072-088], the biggest (but not the highest) cathedral in austria. the light shining through the huge glass windows in this gothic style church was amazing, turning some of the church floor tiles, walls and pillars into colourful canvasses.
after leaving the cathedral, we circled it once and had a look at the facade[084-088], the windows, spires, and gargoyles. then we took the bus to the main location of the festival. fortunately public transport is for free with a festival pass - how convenient.
we soon arrived at postcity[089-110], the old postal service's letter & parcel distribution centre, that is located not far from where i once lived. the construction itself is not very beautiful as it mainly consists of concrete, but all the special postal equipment, like the huge parcel slides[092-093], conveyor belts and huge halls are impressive - i often wondered what it must have looked like when it was still in operation.
for the interactive part we chose to do some drone flying, which was interesting and fun, as nina and i both had not done this before; takes a while to get the hang of it.
it was already a bit late, and the location was about to be closed soon, so we roamed around the huge exhibition area swiftly.
as every year there was lots of cool, surprising, amazing, and funny stuff around. the first performance we saw at this years festival was "neighbor
"[090-091], a nifty performance playing with the mixture of real and virtual, involving two dancing performers and two participants wearing virtual reality glasses.
then we entered a room to find the "interface I
"[094-098] installation, an ever changing system, triggered by a geiger counter. interesting to watch all the parts constantly moving and being triggered by new measurements.
rather gross was the "terminal sulcus
" exhibit - a fridge lined with over 700 casts of human tongues. brrrr, not my thing.
a fictional work of art was the "(im)possible baby, case 01: asako & moriga
", showing the concept of how it might be for same-sex couples to have children. images of their children can be generated, where the bodies are rendered based on the couples dna samples mixed together. fascinating, but fictional; yet.
although we did not see a live performance for "alive painting
", we had a very nice chat with akiko nakayama, the artist creating beautiful pictures for the performance. she also elaborated on how she produces the colours she uses, all of them made from metals and minerals manually mixed together.
then there was "instruments of the afterlife
", and "a hipster bar
", the latter proving that nina is 99.8% a hipster - who would have guessed? also, who would have guessed i would top that score with an embarrassing 100% hipsterdom? me definitely not.
when we looked at a demonstration of "the physical mind
", where one gets squeezed by two fluffy oversized airbags, loudspeakers announced that the postcity will be closing now, so we moved towards the exit without having a closer look at various other exhibits. like a room fully lined with gold, or little animal roboters that were "ready to crawl
"[107-108]. here we had a short chat with the inventor, hiroshi sugihara, explaining to us his concept to make the cute gecko crawl like a real one.
i tried to get a closer look at "sculpture factory
", but security guards were already urging people to leave, so there is just one picture of that, and no further information.
so we went to the central[112-115], that seemed to be just recently participating in the festival activity as a location; at least i do not remember it being involved the last time. being a former cinema, it was obvious they showed the animation movies handed in for the prix ars electronica there. awesome stuff and really great animations with top-notch techniques, and quite often good humour.
after that, we called it a day. tomorrow is another day, and so far the ars electronica festival was fun to attend. let's see what day two brings.