This facet of the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s work focuses on conception, planning and execution of dramaturgical and design approaches to mediating the public’s encounter with content or to supporting mediation processes through the use of media art. The designs of corresponding scenarios are derived from the content supplied by the commissioning client and the resulting demands that the content places on the mediation process. The design is then implemented in the form of interactive exhibition and experience situations at the interface of physical and virtual realms. This implies a particular conception of space: in the atelier-lab’s interaction concepts, space - whether an exhibition or an event space or a hybrid of the two - is a component of the scenography - as an interface, as a transporter of information, as an intelligent ambience. Ultimately, the interfaces between human beings and content and between human beings and spaces as transporters of content are created and implemented in response to the technical, aesthetic and conceptual challenges that arise thereby.
Exhibitions and Interactive Installations
The atelier-lab’s approaches to the design of exhibitions and interactive installations describe prototypes from the fields of hands-on experiences, interactive storytelling and collaborative environments. Their aim is to make possible an intuitive approach to content via the indirect path of personal and/or shared experience. The many different forms of media technology employed to achieve this are used as “tools” in order “to tell stories better” (Bruno Giussani). The characteristics of the scenography and the interaction design that bring about optimal design and mediation processes are determined by intuitive parameters and metaphors meant to encourage orientation, exploration and a process of exchange between content and those partaking of it.
The atelier-lab’s expertise in this field is the result of many years of experience producing interactive installations for the Ars Electronica Center, the Museum of the Future. “Gulliver’s World“, one of the facility’s longest running and most multifaceted installations, is based on a non-linear mediation concept. On the basis of intuitive interfaces, it enables visitors of all age groups to create their own narratives set at the nexus of material and virtual worlds. The job of mediation entails enabling the origination of computer games and getting across digital media content via learning-by-doing on the part of users assuming the roles of prop master, stage set designer and director. Gulliver’s World has been enhanced by the addition of the “City Puzzle“ application that turns it into an urban planning simulator, and, since its initial installation, has been repeatedly adapted to serve as an interactive presentation platform for product launch events involving a wide variety of client-supplied content.
For the redesign of the “Technology and the Future of Work” exhibit at the “Museum Arbeitswelt Steyr“, Austria, an interaction metaphor borrowed from the domain of the research laboratory - a microscope, its functions and uses - was implemented to convey to visitors the interconnections that will prevail in the future among work, technology and everyday life. At several different stations, visitors can also combine different areas of interest through the use of haptic interfaces and thereby navigate among the different levels of content.
The “Console” was developed as a prototype installation to impart complex content in the Ars Electronica Center, and has been in serial production and distribution since 2007 thanks to a joint venture with Kraftwerk. The interaction design is a spin-off of the classic principle of collector’s cards and allows for a very flexible way of dealing with topics since users simply arrange and rotate the cards on a platform animated with content.
The atelier-lab’s approaches to the staging of events range from purely artistic concepts to structuring themes and discourses and preparing the content that they deal with. Various different modes of depiction and interpretation of, for example, visual information or language make it possible to influence the movements and activities of participants, and to enable them to see complex or spontaneous events from perspectives that would otherwise be impossible, or to intensify their effects.
Following this approach, there are two types of multimedial features installed at the EU’s "The Sound of Europe" conference: First of all, there’s the custom-designed, nine-screen media display with a total projection area of about 160 m² in the Europasaal, the main hall of Salzburg’s Congress Center; secondly, there are interactive media installations in front of and inside the conference venue, as well as several media art interventions that are an integral part of the conference’s scheduled program and directly relate to the issues on which the proceedings will focus. The media installations and infrastructure designed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab react to the program of events being held at the conference but do not intervene in or comment upon them; rather, these features support the discussions by providing recapitulations and analytical visualizations. The entire conference is endowed with a visual as well as a musical identity that is derived directly from the panels’ topics and content rather than merely providing a decorative embellishment of them.
|© Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, email@example.com|