THE BIG PICTURE – Exhibition

Do/Thu 30. 8. 10:00 – 19:00
Fr/Fri 31. 8. 10:00 – 17:30
Sa/Sat 1. 9. 10:00 – 16:30
So/Sun 2. 9. – Mo/Mon 3. 9. 10:00 – 19:00

Datenvisualisierungsworkshop/Data Visualization Workshop with/mit SEED (US)
Fr/Fri 31. 8. 14:00 – 17:00

Führung/Guided Tour Japan Media Arts in THE BIG PICTURE mit/by Tomoe Moriyama (JP)
So/Sun 2. 9. 14:00 – 15:00

All the multifarious possibilities of visually representing people’s “Big Pictures” of the world—old ones long ago cast onto the junk heap of history and their hopeful young successors—are the subject of the featured exhibition in the Brucknerhaus that takes a wide array of conceptual approaches to the 2012 Ars Electronica Festival theme.

The earthquake in March 2011 and subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima atomic power plant fatefully changed the worldview of many Japanese. In the BIG PICTURE Exhibition, the Japan Media Arts Festival presents four prizewinning works that are more or less closely connected to the catastrophe. “micro sievert” by Jun Yoshihara, Yukihiro Ogawa, Kaoru Chono (JP) and Junko & Richard Holbrook (US) is an online visualization of the degree of radioactive contamination in the Kanto Region rendered in a way that laypeople can easily grasp.

One of the key variables on which public attention was riveted as the atomic radiation leaked into the atmosphere was the weather. “Tunagaru-TENKI” by Yoshiyuki Katayama (JP) makes its incessant change comprehensible via a monumental video that portrays the shift in the weather from August 2010 to July 2011.

Koichiro Tanaka, Eiji Tanigawa, Seiichi Saito, Masanori Sakamoto and Ken Murayama (JP) created the “Museum of Me” to depict in the form of an exhibition the fascinating dynamics of networks of personal relationships such as those on Facebook.

Nightmare or reality? “Ano-hi kara no Manga/Manga after 3.11.” are highly ambivalent cartoons by Manga artist Kotobuki Shiriagari (JP) who, as a volunteer helper in the disaster area, faced the full brunt of the deadly threat, and as a professional cartoonist for a newspaper still had to deliver chuckles galore on a daily basis.

“Syrian people know their way” (SY) is a coalition of men and women actively involved in cultural life in Syria who are using artistic means in various social media sites to support the efforts of their countrymen and -women to bring democracy to Syria. The group was honored with the Golden Nica in the Prix Ars Electronica’s Digital Communities category.

Cartoonist Hexie Farm (CN) was singled out for recognition with an Award of Distinction in the Prix Ars Electronica’s Digital Communities category for “Dark Glasses.Portrait,” a worldwide online campaign to support blind civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who was arrested for protesting against the brutal measures being used by government authorities to implement China’s one-child policy.

Another BIG PICTURE feature that’s also a Prix Ars Electronica prizewinner is the “Apertus Open Source Cinema” project dedicated to developing a high-performance open-source film camera.

The legendary Man in Black occupies the spotlight of the “Johnny Cash Project” by Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk (US). To realize it, hundreds of people each created their own personal Johnny Cash portrait and contributed it to this collectively produced animated music video.

Everyday Rebellion is an online platform set up by Arash and Arman Riahi (AT) to link up movements and bloggers all over the world who are using civil disobedience and nonviolence as their weapons in the struggle for peace and democracy. There are many examples to inspire site visitors to follow suit.

“Buckminster Fuller’s World Game Lab” by Enrique Guitart (AR), Thomas Thurner, Ronald Strasser and Günther Friesinger (AT) takes up the Dymaxion World Map, one of Fuller’s many ingenious inventions. It makes it possible to depict all sorts of global movements—migrations of people, shipments of goods, and other flows. Estimates and expert opinions of visitors to the BIG PICTURE Exhibition will be fed into this model to produce an hourly simulation of the development of the world.

The renowned science & technology portal Seed (US) is collaborating with on a collection of outstanding examples of how creatively data can be visually processed to generate really impressive BIG PICTURES.
The GeoPulse Beijing information platform developed by Michael Badics (AT), Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber (AT) and Yang Lei (CN) at the Ars Electronica Futurelab and at Tsinghua University (CN) together with cMoDA utilizes visually configured data, maps, statistics and videos to impressively get across what mobility means in Asian megalopolises.

The internet browser Global-Mind-Spirit by Manfred Litzlbauer (AT) can depict globally extant spiritual consciousness in relation to user-input search terms in the form of a map that resembles a radar screen.

Tsu-Na-Ga-Ri (Japanese: relationship), a complex, multi-part project by the Miraikan Museum (JP), fosters a new way of understanding the interrelationships at work within Earth’s ecosystems. Geo-Palette is an online tool that enables users to create world maps custom-tailored to their personal interests, and makes hundreds of themes and parameters available to do so.

Brain Art showcases prizewinners in the 2012 Brain-Art Competition that honors outstanding visualizations of brain research data. The works are by John Van Horn (US), Neda Jahanshad (US), Betty Lee (US), Daniel Margulies (US) and Alexander Schäfer (DE).

Google Street View images and Google Earth maps show the sunny side of life and the seamier side too: a pristine tropical beach and an oil spill, drug-addicted prostitutes plying their trade as well as lovers kissing amidst chaotic city life. Viewers have a big selection from which to choose.

Mishka Henner (BE) uses Google Street View photos in his artistic works. “No Man’s Land” shows street prostitutes in Italy; “Oil Fields” and “Cattle Farms” are composed of high-resolution individual images that testify to environmental exploitation and destruction.

“Paris Street View” evokes a more hopeful mood. To create it, Michael Wolf (DE) used Google to find images that capture intensely personal moments.

The Ars Electronica Archive is unveiling a new look and multimedia content online at this year’s festival. ExplorARS invites festivalgoers to take a seat at a multi-touch table and take a tour through the history of Ars Electronica via videos, stills and other material.