SIMPLICITY - the art of complexity - ARS ELECTRONICA 2006 - Festival für Kunst, Technologie und Gesellschaft - Linz, Do 31. August – Di 5. September






Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 18:30:00

Media lab thanks!

From the monastery..© Miikka Junnila

The show is getting closer to it's end, only half an hour to go. All in all, it's been a good week, the Beta Lounge Exhibition has had lots of visitors and some people have even given feedback on the works and shown interest in general. It's also always interesting to observe people using the interactive works, one learns much about usability issues and about how people think in different ways.

Also the Ars Electronica as a whole has been very interesting, with lots of things to see and still maintaining a very high quality. At times it felt that there is almost too much to see, as it always takes some time to process all new things one sees. The day in the countryside was very nice, taking a bit of distance to the city and the exhibitions, but still somehow combining Ars Electronica themes to the old monastery setting.

Soon we start packing our machines and preparing to fly back to Helsinki. We're a bunch of tired but happy people. A big thanks for all the visitors of our exhibition, and Ars Electronica organizers for taking us here. It was a joy!

-Miikka Junnila


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 16:00:00

Ars Electronica Center

It might be obvious to some, but with all the activities all around the city, one still should not forget to visit the Ars Electronica Centre. Very cool stuff there, one (at least kids) can try flying over a city much like a bird for example. And there are every nice virtual avatars in boxes that you can plug to different machines and transfer the creatures there. Go check it, if you haven't already.


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 23:13:00

Up and running!

We're here, and Ars Electronica has been given birth to already. This message is almost straight from the harbor of Linz, where the party is still going, but the short nights needed for building up the Beta Lounge exhibition forced some people like me to come to the hotel a bit earlier.

I'm in a serious need of sleep, but as a short report, the opening of our exhibition went well. Thanks for all the people interested who showed up, and for those who haven't been there yet, welcome! In the center of Linz, on the side of the Hauptplatz, check out the big banners of the Beta Lounge Exhibition..

-Miikka Junnila


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 20:00:00

Already in Austria

© Ilpo Kari

Well, we who already are in Austria haven't had time to make blog entries but instead, you can find some pictures at Blogging there doesn't require writing...

Anyway, everything is going smoothly, so far. See you in Austria!


Media Lab Helsinki's photos


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 15:40:00

Almost in Austria

© Miikka Junnila

A couple of days more. We are ready. Suddenly everyone is saying "See you in Austria" instead of "See you tomorrow", and the exitement over the whole happening is rising. The brochure of our exhibition got out of print last week, and is also coming there soon. But for everyone interested in the Beta Lounge Exhibition, see the old messages of this blog, as our projects have their descriptions there. But the best way is naturally to actually come to the exhibition and experience it all...So see you there next week!

-Miikka Junnila


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 15:25:00

Be part of the Global Dignity Project. Join the Dignity Nation!

Dignity Nation is a virtual nation that will be officially revealed in Ars Electronica. But you can apply your passport already.

Goto and sign the Dignity Principles to get the citizenship.

Shortly about the project:
Dignity Nation is a community of people who have joined Global Dignity Project by signing the Dignity Principles. The idea of Dignity Nation is to show just how important the values of Dignity are and that they are commonly shared by all people in all cultures. Join the ever growing movement, give your voice also a face and be part of the change!

Dignity Nation is the movement of the 21st century. It uses the power of the web to bring like minded people into one ongoing virtual demonstration for Dignity!

The mission of the Dignity Project is to implement globally the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life. This is a paradigm shift in thinking about our global challenges, a new language and a mindset to approach issues of poverty, peace, and progress.

Largely, we know the main problems of global development. The issue is to be able to phrase them in a language and with metaphors that inspire action. The formulation of this new language is the task of the Dignity Project. It is formulating a globally shared dream to unite the development, joining the forces of public, private, and citizen sectors.

Kalle Määttä

Global Dignity Project


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 11:45:00

There's a kind of hush...

Media lab full of boxes.© Miikka JunnilaHeavy machinery coming up.© Miikka Junnila

Still one and a half week before leaving Helsinki. But something is happening, alright...Computers are disappearing from Media lab, and there are weird boxes all around. And some people walk around and look quite busy. Now there may be a connection to Ars Electronica.

The last tweakings of the projects are going on. But always, always there have to be some things that are done in the last minute. Because of the difficult transportability of modeling clay statues our game project Snowman in Hell has to be ready to perfect its nondigital exhibition pieces right on location. But knowing that the game itself is ready already makes one feel quite safe anyway.

I hope there will be some more game related stuff at Ars Electronica this year in general. I'm sure the new media arts could have things to give to the growing games industry, where new approaches and fresh point of view would be needed. There are for example some nice multimodal interfaces to games also at the Campus Exhibition, and the possibilities of this kind of new interaction should be further researched. It's a pity if the experiments of the art world are not known to game developers, and also the other way around.

Well, whatever the impact of Ars Electronica and our Campus exhibition to the global game development scene or any other – we are coming there soon.

-Miikka Junnila


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 20:49:00

The Beer Exchange Stand on the road

© Kati Åberg

The Beer Exchange Stand (powered by Consumer Gadget) got finished way before the deadline and is now on it's way to foreign land. Special thanks to Toni Lemberg and Ville Repo who know about wood and paint and stuff, not just about hyped mobile technologies.

The Beer Exchange Stand comes to help with people having difficulties choosing the (morally) right beer. I think it's nicer to tell about Consumer Gadget (the actual work) via beer.

Wesa Aapro / Consumer Gadget


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 11:35:00

The Finnish road show

Mikko at his work room with the Animaatiokone boxes<br>© Kati ÅbergThe fully grown Animaatiokone has come out of its case©

So the great Finnish road show is gearing up - ready to hit the road soon! Last Friday we picked up bits and pieces from around Helsinki in preparation for packing them onto a truck this week - headed for Linz. 25 cubic meters of media art coming right up!

One stop was to pick up the Animaatiokone -machine. Three travel-worn cases out of which Mikko and Perttu will hatch the futuristic animation machine Animaatiokone in Linz... How do you explain these things to custom officers and insurance agents anyway... Or how do you explain an art project in words to anyone? Better just come and have a go at it when the show opens! Step right up ladies and gentlemen, step righ up!

Kati Åberg


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 17:00:00


Molly asking herself: PAL or NTSC? <br>Picture from the interactive short film <br>Molly | Case<br><br>© Molly | Case

There are days when you get e-mails saying: Is it PAL or is it NTSC? What about square pixels? And so on...I don't know about you, but I consider those days bad. I have a faint memory that PAL was the standard we used for the Molly | Case -project, but now that was already some time ago – like two years – and I'm really not sure.

The technical problems bring other memories too. Especially the last two nights in the editing room, when the deadline was so near and there was no escape. A sweet sense of sharing that desperation with the others in that little room was somehow beautiful. At three o'clock the first night we started singing, good night and good morning, don't give up yet...And there was the midi guitar we brought from audio edit room too, only the camp fire with the flames reaching for the starlit sky and shadows dancing everywhere missing from the scene.

That was the first of the two nights, and weren't really tired yet. But now that was a long time ago. Now the final results will be available for all of you at Ars Electronica Campus Exhibition. This was the first advertisement of our interactive film and also a part of the commentary track about the film, if one is ever made. All these memories brough up by the familiar but always as unpleasant question: PAL or NTSC?

Well, while trying to sort this out to get a finalized version of the DVD ready for Linz, I hope Ars Electronica won't be about PAL or NTSC, but about those magical moments that happen in life somehow, sometimes.

-Miikka Junnila

PS. Good luck with Rio de Janeiro, Noora...How did you end up there? :)


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 09:15:00

Ola, Hello from Rio de Janeiro!

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro!
Hope Molly and Case presentation works well
and peoples finds some love inside the enormous amount of pixels
around the Campus.
Here I will soon walk to my temporary home from
the campus of PUC-University. I see the beautiful lights
of the city in Lagoa and it is warm evening as always.
Here I dont carry my mac to university and back every day,
becouse too meny has lost their property here.
write some experience or feedback, what you get there from the works!

Noora Ojala
exchanging Molly&Case artist


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 18:15:00


On the behalf of our headquarter team I want to say moi moi to everyone. Can't wait to come to Linz...wunderbahn...mahtavaa...

I am very much wondering all ready how are the elevators in Austria... can't wait to test them.

Up and down,

Helena H.


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 09:15:00

The Finns prepare for the Danube

Tommi and Michihito discuss the placement of Michihito's work at the Media Lab Campus command centre<br>© Kati Åberg

And suddenly it’s August! In less than three weeks the “first wave” from Finland will hit the shores of the Danube and the building and setting up of “the Beta Lounge”, the Campus exhibition of Ars Electronica will start at the University of Arts Linz.

As the time draws nearer, activity here in Finland increases. The exhibition architect Tuomas Toivonen finalizes the plans for setting up the exhibitioin, our graphic designer Nene Tsuboi and I make final alterations to the Campus Exhibition catalogue and send it to the printers, and at the Media Lab Helsinki command centre for the Ars Electronica Campus Exhibition (in the image), artist Michihito Mizutani discusses the set-up of his work with Campus Exhibition technical coordinator Tommi Jauhiainen.

So I'm wondering, what does a girl pack along for a 3 week trip to Austria anyway? Apart from 20 computers and screens and about 2km:s of wires...

Kati Åberg


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 09:15:00

Greetings from Interferenze in Italy!

Interferenze festival site© Richard Widerberg

The IMPROVe team is today running a workshop in the mountains of southern Italy at the nice festival Interferenze. And we are performing tomorrow with the same setup that we will have in a few weeks in Linz!
/Richard & Zeenath

Interferenze new arts festival
IMPROVe website


Campus  |  posted by  Beta Lounge Artists   |  at 16:30:00

Hello world!

The styrofoam models of the exhibition space.© Some thoughtful artists at the meeting.©

It's Media lab calling, and the official blogmaster. ;) And still a couple
of weeks to go to actually getting to Austria. I just got to know that one
friend has been studying in Linz for a year,and she told it's a nice place.
She mentioned that a bar called Josef is a good place to visit, so I know much
about Linz already.

In Finland things are flowing quite smoothly, it's good to
know that the works coming to the Campus exhibition are more or less ready
already, so there should not be any big problems. Just some planning
about the whole exhibition things and lots of organizing for Kati and rest
of the crew.

A couple of weeks ago was the latest bigger meeting between
people attending, the exhibition architect Tuomas, and Kati our main organizer,
and we got some information about the building where the exhibition will be
held, and there were even some fancy styrofoam models of the space. :) It
seems everything should fit in well.

I'm looking forward to the big show to start already, but it will still be a
couple of weeks before we get there. But we'll try to keep in touch by
writing some thoughts here, as there are many people, many projects, and lots
of thoughts (unless the hot summer has paralyzed our minds).

I hope we'll meet in Linz, whoever you are, reader. Until that, stay tuned to
our blog.

-Miikka Junnila


Campus  |  posted by  Maria Hieslmayr  |  at 11:21:00

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006© Sommerer

5. Cluster Robotic Interfaces:

In a special course by Time’s Up (Tim Boykett and Marc9), students get an introduction to the basics of artistic robotics and present a performance by their robots.

“It’s Alive” – Robotic Performance von Andreas Zingerle (auch Metakom Projekt), Tobias Zucali, Harald Moser, Timm-Oliver Wilks, Bernhard Pusch, Mika Satomi, Hannah Perner-Wilson, Gustavo Morant Garcia

This exhibition of student works thus documents how interactive technologies are coming into increasing use in creative applications and hybrid art projects, and, via innovative recombination of technology and art, are giving rise to interesting prototypes at the nexus of media art, design research and application.

Laurent Mignonneau (FR)
Christa Sommerer (AT)


Campus  |  posted by  Maria Hieslmayr  |  at 16:34:00

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006© Sommerer

4. Cluster Intelligent Environments, Tangible Interfaces and Auditory Interfaces:

This field (teachers: Martin Kaltenbrunner, Andreas Weixler and Christopher Lindinger) has given rise to projects such as “iShaker” which makes it possible to generate beats and sounds with three iPods, “Atem Raum,” an interactive environment that reacts to breathing, “Title: Shape, Color & Sound,” a tangible interface that combines the worlds of Ittens and Schönberg, and “Scream Point,” an ironic work about interactive photography.

“AtemRaum” - Thomas Wagner, Andreas Zingerle
“ Shape, Color & Sound” - Penesta Dika, Tomor Elezkurtaj.
„serial_killer“ – Timm-Oliver Wilks
„Kein Gedankenloser Transport“ - Hannah Perner-Wilson
“Scream Point” - Sebastian Dietrich, Harald Moser
“iShaker” – iShaker, Gustavo Morant Garcia, Franziska Parschau

Laurent Mignonneau (FR)
Christa Sommerer (AT)


Campus  |  posted by  Maria Hieslmayr  |  at 09:15:00

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006© Sommerer

3. Cluster Fashionable Technology:

Additional areas of emphasis of the Interface Culture program are fashionable technologies (taught by Sabine Seymour) and the development of sensor technologies (taught by Laurent Mignonneau). In a project entitled *No more under cover*, for instance, overdue library books gradually change color. Other works include “Enlightened Collection” and “Clothing that arranges the body.”

“No more under cover” - Angela-Maria Holzer, Harald Moser
“Enlightened Collection” – Irmgard Falkinger-Reiter
“Clothing that arrange the body”- Hannah Perner-Wilson

Laurent Mignonneau (FR)
Christa Sommerer (AT)


Campus  |  posted by  Maria Hieslmayr  |  at 17:07:00

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006© Sommerer

2. Cluster Interactive Artificial Life Projects:

Programming courses (taught by Christine Sugrue, Robert Praxmarer and Friedrich Kirschner) familiarize students with generative processes. The results include several interactive installations that deal with the ‘game of life’ theme and computer-generated nature: “Life,” “Nature,” “ebenda no.1 - coinciding entities” and “Mikrokosmos.”

“Life()” – Mika Satomi
“ebenda no.1 - coinciding entities” – Cassandra Mehlhorn
“Nature” - Timm-OliverWilks, Harald Moser, Thorsten Kiesl, David Purviance
“COWSinTHEfield” - Hannah Perner-Wilson
“Mikrokosmos”- Susanne Posegga

Laurent Mignonneau (FR)
Christa Sommerer (AT)


Campus  |  posted by  Maria Hieslmayr  |  at 09:22:00

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006

Tangible, Audible, Playable, Wearable: Interface Culture Student Works at Ars Electronica 2006© Sommerer

A year after its establishment, the Interface Culture masters program (registration info: was already able to present works by its students at the 2005 Ars Electronica Festival. This exhibition included examples of interactive art, tangible interfaces, intuitive instruments for playing and composing music, acoustic and object-based interfaces, CAVE applications and interactive games. This year as well, we’ll have the opportunity to show projects by Interface Culture students at the 2006 Ars Electronica. These projects can be divided more or less into five thematic clusters.

1. Cluster Interactive Media Archeology:

These works deal with media archeology (taught by Gebhart Sengmüller). For example, the interactive installation “re:call phone” shows how new sensor technology and a picture screen can be added to a telephone from the 1920s to make it an interactive tool that lets users experience the history of telecommunications in a playful way. “The Digital Barrel-Organ” combines an old barrel-organ with digital MP3 sounds to deliver a satiric commentary on the current music scene. Other works are “FLOP,” “The Knight of the Coconut” and “Metascope.”

“ re:call phone” - Doris Diensthuber, Christan Meixner
“Die digitale Drehorgel” – Bernhard Pusch
“FLOP” – Christina Heidecker
“Der Ritter von der Kokosnuss” – Taife Smetschka
“sCANNED OBJECTs” - Irmgard Falkinger-Reiter
“ Metaskop” - Bernhard Schorner

Laurent Mignonneau (FR)
Christa Sommerer (AT)



© Ars Electronica Center Linz Museumsgesellschaft mbH, Impressum,