Blowing air from Beijing to Linz


Artist group: 8GG interactive (Fu Yu, Jia Haiqing) [China]
Tech: Shan Yang, Sun Zhongyi [China]
Assistance: Er Mao, Ding Ying [China]
Special thanks to: Gai Yunong, Wang Zhaofang, EON [China]
Topic: Food
Location: Lord of Salt Restaurant, Beijing, China

This project creates the illusion of moving scents from Beijing to Linz. In the Chinese capital, participants blow into a sensor, which will transmit to the electronic fan in Linz, thus releasing scents into the wind. The ensuing breeze will transport smells of the Chinese delicacy, “Spicy Hot Pot”. The installed scents are collected and obtained in advance from Beijing, which are all familiar smells from different foods or tea. Meanwhile, there are real time visual signals transmitting between Beijing and Linz so that people can feel as if the scent travels without boundaries.


Foto: Marianne Schmidt

Foto: Marianne Schmidt

Artist: Marianne Schmidt [Germany]
Software Engineer: André Bernhardt
Topic: Progress
Location: 80+1 basecamp and AEC

Digitie is a real-time communication channel that connects two places. For both sides, it is only a little test of courage to put a hand inside the gadget. The two hands of strangers, from far distant places, meet each other real-time on a screen. Then, they can wave, handshake or arm wrestle — all the possibilities of gesticulation and interaction are open. The interlocutors playfully determine their own form of non-verbal communication. The project illustrates the importance and representation of analog, but technological forms of communication by using human hands. How can we generate and receive information of body language, especially of emotions, using digital media?

Grand Mutual Smiles


Artist: Pierre Proske [Australia]
Tech: Damian Stewart
Software: Arturo Castro
Topic: Happiness
Location: Thimphu, Bhutan


Supported by Michael Rutland OBE, chairman of the British Bhutanese Society, Dr Claus Walter and Franz Leuthner from the Austrian Bhutanese Society, Dorji Wangchuck and Dr. Michael Schneeberger, Voluntary Artists Studio Thimphu (VAST) (Bhutan), Austrian Bhutanese Society (Austria/Bhutan)

In a response to accusations in 1987 by a journalist that the pace of development in Bhutan was slow, the then King of Bhutan replied “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product”. This signaled his commitment to building an economy appropriate to Bhutan’s culture, based on Buddhist spiritual values, and has since served as a unifying vision for the Bhutanese economy. In a survey in 2005, 45 percent of those Bhutanese surveyed reported being very happy, 52 percent reported being happy and only three percent reported not being happy. Grand Mutual Smiles is a two-way interactive installation that communicates between two parties through the transmission of images of smiling faces. Progressively captured pictures of smiling people are displayed on screens at each installation site. The motivation is to encourage users to communicate across the Internet in a non-verbal and humoristic way — by smiling. The project will present two real-time updating sets of people’s faces at each of the locations – Linz, Austria and Thimphu, Bhutan.


Foto: Lila Chitayat & Alon Chitayat

Foto: Lila Chitayat & Alon Chitayat

Artists: Lila Chitayat [Israel] and Alon Chitayat [Israel]
Tech: Tal Chalozin [Israel]
Software: Michael Shynar [Israel]
Topic: Cultural Heritage
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Supported by G.M.B.S – General Management and Business Strategy (Isreal), Garage Geeks (Israel) – , Hewlett-Packard (Israel), Pelephone (Israel). Jerusalem City Hall (Israel), Schreil-Hofer GmbH (Austria)

TaxiLink Project is an interactive installation that enables users to experience a distant, but authentic taxi ride in Jerusalem. While sitting in the static TaxiLink booth, virtual passengers join a real tour in and around the old city of Jerusalem, and can interact with a real-life taxi driver through live video and audio transmitted from across the world.

Driver Time Day
Emil Zofan 13:00 – 19:00 Thu 3.9.
Emil Zofan 13:00 – 19:00 Fri 4.9.
Emil Zofan 15:00 – 19:00 Sat 5.9.
Tamar Hayardeni 11:00 – 14:00 Sun 6.9.
Emil Zofan 15:00 – 19:00
Factor Ilan 13:00 – 19:00 Mon 7.9.


CollageTable is one of the objects to emerge from the Office of Tomorrow R&D project that’s been conducted jointly with voestalpine group-IT and Team 7, and is now being carried on at Austria Research Studio NiCE. The primary objective of this collaborative undertaking is to bring to fruition visions involving team-structured work and modern presentation technology through the comprehensive network linkup of all sorts of hardware. In the future, it’ll be possible to create documents, images and overhead projector slides not only on an individual user’s own laptop but also directly on the team’s shared working table. Via Bluetooth, users can send their drawings to the website, where all collages will be presented.

Thomas Seifried, Jakob Leitner, Daniel Leithinger, Peter Brandl, Michael Frühmann, Michael Haller,
Media Interaction Lab
Department of Digital Media
Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences


Source: Emiko Ogawa

Source: Emiko Ogawa

The Opening Event of the 2009 Ars Electronica Festival


beginning at 10 AM on Hauptplatz

beginning at 7 PM on the Maindeck of the Ars Electronica Center

Since June 17, 2009, Linz’s Main Square has served as the Base Camp of “80+1 A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD,” a project sponsored jointly by Ars Electronica, voestalpine and Linz09. Ars Electronica 2009—“Human Nature”—and 80+1 will encounter one another for the first time on September 3, 2009 at the opening of this year’s 30th anniversary festival in what promises to be a very fortuitous convergence!

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The Three Gorges of the Future

Foto: Handong Zhu

Foto: Handong Zhu

The construction of the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant in the vicinity of China’s Three Gorges was accompanied by some heated discussions concerning energy production as well as the protection of the region’s population, environment and cultural heritage.

Now, you can pay a visit to the idyllic Three Gorges region via the Internet portal “Second Life” and experience a journey through history. Immerse yourself in the past, hike through the landscape as it exists in the present, or soar high above it into the future.

A video documentary complements the presentation and reflects life in and around the villages of the Three Gorges region.

Artist: Zhu Handong
Photographer: Liao Hongbo
Second Life Technician: Zhao Ken
Project Assistant: Zhang Han


Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

Since time immemorial, people have been coming together to make music and sing. As universal means of communication, rhythms, melodies and songs mediate interaction across language barriers, cultures and generations.

The “Arrorró” project invites installation visitors to engage in international understanding by way of music and to sing together with others. The mission is for all sorts of people to mutually exchange their stories, dreams, traditions and languages in a shared setting. Visitors are invited to themselves record lullabies for the project’s homepage and to log on to it to hear the songs of others.

Artist: Gabriela Golder

Realization: Gabriela Golder,
Escuela de Comunicación Multimedial de la Universidad Maimónides [Argentina]
Production: Abel Cassanelli
Design, website and connectivity: Violeta Gau /José Allona
Edition: Santiago Pedroncini
Team: María Fernanda Amenta, Facundo Colantonio, Guido Gardini, Violeta Cassanelli, Tiago Espírito Santo, Valeria Evdemón, Pablo Martín Fernández, Guido Ceratto, Alexis Wurstein, Ars Electronica [Austria]

Supported by:
Universidad Maimónides.

80+1 days around Dhaka: Live bits from Dhakai markets

Fotos: Shahjahan Siraj

Fotos: Shahjahan Siraj

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a vibrant metropolis of 12 million inhabitants. Here, markets, tiny shops and bazaars pack just about every street corner. The merchandise ranges from traditional local products all the way to fast food, coffee to go and luxury goods.

80+1 – A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD immerses you via live video into the hustle and bustle of colorful everyday life in Dhaka. Every day, we’ll be visiting another market and enjoying fascinating experiences—for instance, a ride in a rickshaw or a tomtom (horse-drawn cart). In Dhaka, we’ll be shooting short daily videos that, at the end of the project, will be edited into an 81-minute film.

Artist, Coordinator, Editor: Shahjahan Siraj
Cinematographer: Jahangir Alam
Researcher: Raihath Sohel
Field Assistant: Farhad Hossain
Photographer: Kamrul Hasan
Production Assistant: Junaed Shahriar
Volunteer, Advisor: Matsuzaki Misuzu

WIA < > WIA (Water in Africa < > Water in Austria)

Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

The “80+1 – A Journey around the World” exhibition’s project entitled WIA < > WIA -Water in Africa – Water in Austria, which was purportedly to have linked up Linz via the internet to an African village’s well in order to gather data in real time about African water usage and transmit the data to Linz where it would be used to flush a toilet with the exact same amount of water, was actually completely fabricated. Nor does there exist an artist named Melissa Fatoumata Touré. Both the artist and the entire project are fictions that I invented, and I intentionally did not inform Ars Electronica of this fact. Nevertheless, when doubts began to mount about the reality of this project, it seemed advisable to go public with the truth and state the background facts and circumstances.

In a public call for the tender of ideas in 2008, Ars Electronica invited artists and scholars to submit proposals for a virtual journey around the world, a medial reinterpretation of the trip protagonist Phileas Fogg took in Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days. The aim is to thereby call attention to important issues that affect the population of the whole world.

I took the journey’s belletristic basis (as specified by Ars Electronica itself) as an occasion to consider an installation that would be played out in the realm of fiction just like the novel that gave the whole project its name. The internet as the filter in the communication between Ars Electronica and me played an essential role in this by effectively concealing my true identity for a long time. Inventing and subsequently maintaining a fictional identity by means of digital communication have also simultaneously been the core of my artistic contribution to this exhibition.

The WIA < > WIA installation I proposed via a fictitious person named Melissa Fatoumata Touré unfortunately deals with a very serious issue: the fact that not all people in this world have enough clean drinking water at their disposal. The installation is set up in such a way that it puts forth a real solution to this very real problem: the operation of the installation will help to raise money that will be used to subsidize the building of wells in Africa.

These facts are not changed in the least by the otherwise fictive character of the installation. The data that are being fed to the toilet in Linz don’t come from an African well hooked up to the internet but rather from a random number generator. And the panoramic image of the African village square that adorns the walls of the toilet is actually a Photoshop collage assembled using images freely available online.

An integral part of a fiction, if it’s to be perpetrated in such a way that people will give it credence, is skepticism. What was originally perceived by the project organizer and audiences as a real project by a real person was revealed, at a certain point, to be a deception. From an artistic perspective, I was interested in exploring this borderline. How long does one keep believing in information? At what point does one classify it as false? And how can I, someone who disseminates fictitious information, use my influence to cause it to be believed nevertheless? This is why the way in which the project is set up calls attention to a problem that, although it has always existed in all media, has been significantly exacerbated by the speed and multilayered complexity of global digital communications: the increasing importance of being able to autonomously assess the extent to which information is true. Or to put this in different terms: to be cognizant of ones occasional impotence in this regard. After all, one is not always in the enviable situation of being able to correctly classify the quality of a piece of information or its source.

I custom-tailored both the WIA < > WIA installation as well as the fictional artist Melissa Fatoumata Touré to the wishes expressed by the project organizers in their published call for submissions.

Doing so afforded me the opportunity to very vividly treat the subject of fraudulent identity and falsified information on the basis of a concrete example in an exhibition context since it’s my opinion that 80+1 – A Journey around the World, a project structured precisely in such a way as to take advantage of all modes of electronic data transfer, should also shed light on this dark side of the internet.

I’m pleased that discovery on the part of Ars Electronica has now brought closure to this undertaking.

Since sustainably providing all people with clean drinking water is more important than the subject of misinformation in the media—indeed, is truly a matter of life or death—I’m also happy that the installation will remain in operation until the conclusion of 80+1 – A Journey around the World and will continue to raise donations to finance the construction of actual wells in Africa.

Electronics: Zoumana Habib Tounkara
Programming: Djelimady Samaké
Internet access: Ballaké Touré
Sibiri Touré, Soumano Dieneba Touré
Sponsored by Niklas Roy



“Urbanet” focuses on Johannesburg—and particular on the raw underbelly of the city that remains hidden from the eyes of most tourists. A city that is characterized by problematic social and economic conditions as well as the grueling conflict between the highly motivated democracy movement and the system of apartheid whose legacy is still present in many areas of life.
“Urbanet” presents art as a challenge to discover something new. Hidden among the windows looking out on Linz’s Main Square are numerous projects that you can discover with the installation’s camera. Become an inconspicuous observer; walk through the dense thicket of the cityscape in search of rips and cracks in the surface of pretty appearances.
Then, via live telephone hookup, you can share and discuss your discoveries with inhabitants of Johannesburg.

Artists: Stephen Hobbes, Marcus Neustetter
Supported by:
Österreichische Provinz der Jesuiten, Ignatiuskirche / Alter Dom
Kunstuniversität Linz
Dr. Manfred Lehner
Altes Rathaus, Linz

Movement & Impact

Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

Foto: ARCHIPICTURE Mag. Dietmar Tollerian

Up to six million vehicles a year pass through the Gotthard Road Tunnel, Switzerland’s most important north-south traffic artery. “Movement & Impact” gives you a completely new feeling for the Gotthard Tunnel and the cars and trucks incessantly pouring through it: ground-mounted sensors translate traffic density as well as each vehicle’s size, weight and direction of travel into vibrations of varying intensity, which are then transmitted to the installation’s reclining platform.

So, make yourself comfortable in the wellness area and experience how loud, stinky highway traffic is converted into gently massaging vibrations that transport you far, far away from the unremitting racket of everyday life.

Sabine Haerri and Yvonne Weber (CH); in collaboration with the Ars Electronica Futurelab and commissioned by Ars Electronica Linz.

Extra Europa Schweiz – Kooperation von Linz 2009 und der Schweizer Kulturstiftung Pro Helvetia

Pin Hole – live out of the box


Remember the last time you felt completely surprised opening a box? Whatever was inside, nothing compares with the fun “Pin Hole” brings you.

Imagine now that you don’t need to fly all the way there to see all of it. Simply walk by the Pin Hole and—voila!—here they are, the people, the place, all of it. Everything is possible; a smile, a joke, a gesture, or even a dance.

Simply a laptop and internet connection can already make it happen!

The “Pin Hole” is hooked up just about every day to another one on the face of this planet.


MOCATaipei- Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei

Total Museum of Contemporary Art

Mauj Collective for Open Technology, Art and Culture, Karachi


Cloud Intelligence Symposium

Foto: rubra

Foto: rubra

Sat, 5.9.2009
10:30 AM – 5:50 PM

Brucknerhaus, Mittlerer Saal

Curatorial Statement by the Guest Curators Isaac Mao (CN) & David Sasaki (US)

For 80 days the world will come to Linz. Inspired by Jules Verne’s epic 19th century journey “Around the World in 80 Days”, we too shall take advantage of the latest technologies of our day in order to explore and experience some of the most remote and fascinating locations on our planet; from the ship-wrecking yards of Gadani, Pakistan to the skyscrapers of Dubai to the bustling markets of Bangladesh, and far beyond.  For 80 days, from June 17th until September 4th, digital artists based around the world will take us on a tour of what our world has become. On September 5th, the 81st day of our voyage, we will chart new maps of where our world is heading.

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