The new net.culture.space under the aegis of Ars Electronica and with the support of Telekom Austria has been open since July 3, 2007 at quartier21 in Vienna’s Museumsquartier. This facility provides an ideal setting for a permanent installation project dedicated to showcasing the art and culture of network-linked communication in all its diverse and dynamic varieties. net.culture.space doesn't present exhibits in a conventional sense; instead, it’s a setting for thematically grouped interactive scenarios that function via direct, hands-on experience—contemporary media art in the form of alternative models, fun experiments, innovative applications and off-beat, ironic critiques. Each focal-point theme will have a four-month run and subsume an array of projects dealing with it that will, in turn, rotate about every four weeks.
net.culture.space is open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Admission is free of charge. Infotrainers will be on hand to provide user-friendly help with the installations as well as to mediate visitors' encounters with artistic forms and contents. Round-table discussions, special guided tours and a blog round out the interdisciplinary process of coming to terms with the respective focal-point themes.
The first one will run from July to October 2007: “Web 2.0—Digital Communities” deals with some of the manifold manifestations of the new networked culture. The first group of works— collectively entitled “net.culture.21”—ranges across a spectrum from amusing immersions into digital spaces to critical assessments of a Brave New World.
G-Player by Jens Brand
The G-Player’s physical appearance isn't the only thing about it that’s reminiscent of a CD player or a turntable; it functions according to a similar principle too.The G-Player can track the position of more than 1,000 satellites and simulate their orbits. The topography of the terrain being overflown is then analyzed and set to music like an audio file. Just like the grooves of a vinyl disc, mountain ranges generate more dynamic structures than flat landscapes. G-Player is an innovative and ironic play on prevailing trends in media art: for one thing, it conceives of digital information as a palpable, analog reality; on the other hand, it undermines the primacy of visual input that is incessantly focused on the quick overview and speedy consumption. In accordance with the G-Player’s logic, the oceans are “mute.” And since 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, the G-Player is “quiet” most of the time. Thus, leisure and patience are called for on the part of those who wish “to hear the Earth.”
Shared Design Space by Hagenberg Technical College, Digital Media Program
Shared Design Space illustrates how an interactive desk might look in the office of the future that get along without keyboard and mouse. Its desktop functions as a high-definition projection surface that's linked up with an interactive presentation wall. The entire desk surface can be used as a digital graphic tablet. Ideas and concepts can be sketched using a wireless stylus and combined with digital content. The final result can then be sent to the digital wall display for viewing.
Noise & Voice by Golan Levin (USA), Zachary Lieberman
Ever seen your own voice? Noise & Voice makes everything audible visible as well. Here, your larynx becomes an instrument that lets you create virtual sculptures. In response to each sound, the computer generates an animated three-dimensional graphic whose form, color and motion correspond to the pitch, tone and intensity of the sound. Special data goggles feed these visuals into the user’s field of vision and thus make them visible right at the location at which they originated.
WikiMap Vienna by Ars Electronica Futurelab
A city map can do a lot more than merely provide an overview of streets and buildings. It can reflect the lives of the people who walk along those streets and live in those buildings.WikiMap Vienna is just such a city map. www.wikimap.at/ncs implements a “location-based multimedia storytelling” feature that lets anybody customize buildings, streets and squares by adding texts, images and sounds to them. WikiMaps are suited to a wide variety of projects and agendas—from artistically inspired encounters with the cityscape to manifestos on future urban planning issues. The result is a map comprised of information, impressions and sounds, though actually not a conventional map at all, but rather an interactive domain of knowledge and communication.
Flick_rBoard by Ars Electronica Futurelab
Whether its photos and greetings,wishes, suggestions or complaints you want to post, you can do it better with Flick_rBoard, an updated version of the blackboard. This media installation thrives on user-contributed content and constitutes a dynamic public communications platform. Tablet PCs register handwritten notes and pictograms, or let you add scribbles to photos you’ve already taken. These communiqués appear as Post-its and Polaroids on digital bulletin boards, and can be sent back and forth between Vienna and Linz or posted to Flickr.
Translated from German by Mel Greenwald
Curators: Gerfried Stocker, Christopher Lindinger; Exhibition design: Scott Ritter, Jakob Illerer net.culture.space created by Telekom Austria and Ars Electronica