Ars Electronica 2007
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Festival 1979-2007


Events to be Staged in Conjuntion with Campus 2.0

'Mischa Schaub Mischa Schaub

acar2 Gets Down to Work
After having been commissioned by Ars Electronica to curate Campus 2.0,we set out on a promotional tour to leading European design schools. These contacts triggered tremendous interest in an intensive encounter with neoanalog design. In order to get research activities underway, we posed a long series of initial queries to our newly-recruited exhibition partners in February ‘07.

Examples from Our Catalog of Questions
Whatmaterials and surface structures become more beautiful when they’re put into use? Who’s tapping the potential inherent in glass (pressed, blown, cut) used in combination with sensors and LEDs/lasers? What might a Turing Test for haptic forms of interaction look like? Exhibits and Installations in Conjunction with Campus 2.0 From the many different approaches being taken by our highly diverse university associates, we'll be arranging an overarching program of complementary exhibits and installations. Here, a brief rundown of the main elements:

Matrix Clothesline Display
We will be stringing five clotheslines (in a configuration resembling a musical staff) between the two buildings that form the gateway between Linz's Main Square and the riverside drive along the Danube: the local headquarters of the Austrian tax authority and the premises of the University of Art and Design Linz. Approximately rectangular articles of clothing—preferably underpants—shall be hung up here robotically and serve as the individual points of a matrix display.

Goodbye Privacy
The public display of a household’s entire wardrobe of underwear, a practice still common today in Mediterranean countries, indicates an alternative way of dealing with the private sphere and one that provides a refreshing contrast to the rather more northern need to keep the private sphere secluded from public inspection. And personal undergarments aren’t the only elements of the private sphere that southerners make public in a way that could almost be called aggressive (at least as perceived by more northern cultures)—anyone who has ridden in a six-seat compartment in a train to Rome has experienced this phenomenon, which can go as far as suddenly provoking advocacy of an absolute ban on use in public.

Without a Screen
acar2’s series of neoanalog experiments has prompted the organizers of Campus 2.0 to dispense as much as possible with digital output media—that is, monitors and projectors— in mediating visitors’ encounters with the exhibition’s installations, though without thereby diminishing the qualities of the interaction. Thus, in the spirit of a provocation custom-tailored to digital media and also as an homage to the “slightly mad inventors” of a hacker culture that is the driving force behind the research into digitally enhanced handicrafts, this digitally controlled, large-format installation certainly ought to be an unmistakable manifestation of neoanalog tangibility.

Display of the Digital
Our underwear display with its matrix structure blends “textility” and “digitality”; and, after all, it was precisely the revolution in weaving brought about by the Jacquard loom as the world’s first programmable machine which provided the background that made the essential basic principles of computer technology conceivable.

Input via the Output of D’Jeuns2
D’Jeuns2, an unemployment project in Senones, France, is developing a youth fashion label based on wearable computing. Initial research efforts looking into materials and forms of interaction will be presented on a four-meter-long,wall-mounted keyboard that displays this label's first expressive alphabet. The individual letters are etched into the oversize keys and filled up with the tactile textile experiments of D’Jeuns2. Thanks to its integrated motion detector, this keyboard can serve as a textile input medium for the clothing matrix display.

Light Info Wall
On laser-cut info plaques,we display a collage of blueprints, sketches, crate lettering stencils, fingerprints, material samples and raster photos. This is meant to create a richly associative, backlit spatial wallpaper that’s also designed to function as an orientation system providing acar2 information like slogans, titles of works, names of institutions and designations of the various levels of the installation venue. Thus, our concept simultaneously combines three elements: lighting, architectural concealment and information.

Interaction at a Cast-Iron Café Table
acar2’s mission is to nurture the development of sustainable products that combine knowledge from handicrafts and industry in a high-tech context. One approach to bringing this about is to use cast-iron café tables that become interactive experimentation settings and means of communication. Interaction is made possible by sensors in the cast-iron tabletops’ interaction reliefs. In this way, purely informative and play-oriented table models complement each other. This design approach is thus meant to explore a broad range of applications, not the least important of which is the effort to ascertain how the general public reacts to the various models, their information offerings and interaction possibilities. The product spectrum is designed to encompass playful entertainment, helpful mediation and friendly provocation.

The program of complementary installations is being conceived and executed by a team of HyperWerk students: Daniel Schmid, Gabriel Roth, Julian Buchwalder, Felix Bossel, Moritz Schäfer, Claudio Künzler, Thomas Brunner and Daniel Kölliker. This group is completed by Andreas Krach (Head of Team HyperWerk). The production crew from Senones includes François Toussaint, Jean-Claude Vincent, Thierry Sonet, Marjorie Humbert, Sandrine Colin, Maurin Donneaud, Leah Buechley, Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Patricia Horvath, Vincent Roudeaut, Angélique Aptel, Aurélie Douarre, Philippa Favre, Jérémie Greco, Marie Helle, Jonathan Jacquot, Caroline Maton, Christopher Mougeot and Philippe Meyer. Désirée Fleurie, Leander Herzog, Ralf Neubauer, Adrian Keller, Samuel Franklin, Jean Gächter, Susanne Lindau and Oliver Born are supporting us as (more or less) freelance staffers. Project director: Daniel Hug. Thanks to all HyperWerkers and to the GEBERT RÜF FOUNDATION. And thanks to our hosts, Ars Electronica and the University of Art and Design Linz, for the invitation.