The Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy comprises a range of activities that share the goal of knowledge transfer and exchange with educational institutions and organizations acting at the nexus of art, design and technology.
In one of the academy’s most successful program formats, Futurelab experts act as external mentors for university students in a range of fields from human-computer interaction to media art. This co-supervision of projects, including on-site lectures and workshops as well as teleconference discussions, results in an exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival.
This year, the Futurelab again partnered with its long-time collaborator Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, continuing a series of high-quality works created by QUT students in the Futurelab Academy for the festival in 2013 and 2014. Three student teams from backgrounds such as interactive and visual design and mechatronics have been given the challenge to create original works of interactive art. The students have also been encouraged to use the LinzerSchnitte device in their projects, an FM-radio-based physical computing platform developed in the Futurelab.
Their projects negotiate such different topics as sculptural transformations of public discourse, exploring cultures through sound, and the playful embodiment of involuntary physical expression. But the Futurelab Academy is really all about the process the students develop for themselves, their individual version of a way to work across borders (both metaphorical and literal) that will soon become axiomatic, as the grown-apart disciplines of art, science and engineering are woven back into an elevated “alchemy” of our age—nowhere more so than at forward-thinking universities.
Text: Peter Holzkorn, Artist & Researcher at the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Peter coordinates programs for the Futurelab Academy. Project descriptions by the artists. Technical Services Manager, QUT Precincts: Nigel Oram
Credit: Peter Holzkorn
Joseph Benigno (AU), Joshua Lake (AU)
Is an interactive installation where users record their pulse onto an object and place it on a pool of water. Each chosen object produces a visual representation of the users’ recorded heart beat through synchronized lights and vibrations, causing ripples in the water. Multiple users can embody their heart beat in their own objects to collaboratively interact with one another in the water. Through *Ripples*, people are enabled to experience their core essence of being alive and share a connection with others visually and interactively.
Chloe Jade de Santa-ana (AU), Krishan Rana (AU)
On the Line
Is a participatory project for people to give their opinions about current topics in the media in a safe and positive environment. Participants are asked to respond to a topical question with a “yes” or “no” answer accompanied by a written explanation. These responses become part of an interactive installation where people can see where they stand in relation to others. The aim of this project is to provide a forum where people feel comfortable to speak their mind and share their opinions with their community.
Natasha Lawrence (AU), Dimity Miller (AU)
Is an experiment on world sounds and our perception of cultural diversity. Participants can create their own personal composition by pressing holes in paper sheets or playing pieces composed by previous visitors on a wind-up music box. By generating melodies of sounds from across the world, the exhibit will provoke thought on the differing but complementary nature of varied cultural music.