Credit: Gabriela Gordillo, Irene Ródenas Sáinz de Baranda
Faculty: Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau, Masaki Fujihata, Michaela Ortner, Fabrizio Lamoncha
Students in the Interface Cultures master’s program come from diverse countries and cultures across Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, South America and the Middle East. Their previous education includes various fields such as fine arts, media arts, design and engineering. Once in Linz, students spend two to four years at the University of Art and Design and immerse themselves in an international study program that teaches interaction design, interface technologies and the cultural and artistic context of user participation.
Students experiment with the development of interactive prototypes, musical interfaces, conceptual installations and interaction critiques and also broaden their view by encountering and collaborating with other international fellows who are investigating these topics from a different cultural context.
All the artworks, prototypes and various interfaces in this year’s exhibition have been made in Linz. Linz is the UNESCO City of Media Arts, and of course the cultural and socio-political context of Linz also impacts on the students ideas and concepts. It is the cumulative know-how of 37 years of Ars Electronica and the strong history in the electronic arts that enables a profound discourse around media technology and media arts specific to Linz.
But what does Made in Linz actually mean? Is it a proof of quality? When we look at various trade labels such as Made in China or Made in Germany or Made in Italy, we immediately associate certain product qualities, such as low prices, high-precision technology or fashionable design. But what about Made in Linz? What do we expect when we hear this term? At Interface Cultures this year we are proposing this term and leave it up to the visitors of the exhibition to reflect upon this topic. Perhaps it is even possible to establish this new term as a symbol of innovation, analysis and creative investigation of art and technology in our society. We invite everyone to discuss what Made in Linz means in the context of media art.
The Sung Portrait
Alexandre Gomez (FR), Isadora Teles de Castro e Costa (FR)
Come and see what they can do, these little creatures who live in a small screen, waiting for a seductive singer. But be careful, if you scream they run away, and silence makes them sleep. If you sing a little song to make them dance, you will discover a beautiful surprise: a reflection of a thousand colors.
Aesun Kim (KR), Stevie Jonathan Sutanto (ID)
The emergence of digital media has become the tool and study in the field of art. The wearable device is a new tool for works in many performances using these media. Spirit Spaces is the study of a gap between the digital medium and humans, and it proposes the possibility of a new expression that organically interacts through the wearable device. Aesun Kim and Stevie Jonathan Sutanto used a gravity physics model for the organic expression of body. Light can be an energy space to help share their personal air.
Johannes Wernicke (AT)
Polyus is an omnidirectional speaker that allows multiple listeners to perceive different sounds from the same source simultaneously. Using Polyus, sounds can be positioned in specific areas of a room that will be only perceived by the listener in the area that a sound is assigned to. The system consists of three core components: the “Acouspade”, a directional speaker which can focus sound into a narrow beam, a reflector redirecting the sound while spinning at high velocity and a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor tracking the visitor’s position. It allows the creation of nonlinear, spatial compositions through which the audience can move, rather than perceiving it on a timeline. The system is also intended to test our ability to orient ourselves using our hearing.
Or Wolff (IL)
Neiema (Hebrew)—melody, voice, tone. Implicit characterization.
This project was created to get an insight into the world of the artist and to explore how sound can reflect a story with varieties of interaction with different people. This installation presents a connection between visual graphics that transform into sound by the audience touching many kinds of pattern prints. These pattern were created using a microscope lens to produce uniquely detailed graphics. This kind of technique represents transparent looks inside the artist’s most private world. The action of touching allows a more exposed, sensitive and personal connection with the content of the project. Everyone creates different kinds of Neiema (melody), which change according to the way they interact with the graphics.
The Murder of Jo Cox
Supergraph: Thomas Hoch (AT) and Waiwai (HK)
Dazzled by the hyperreality of digital journalism we may find ourselves questioning the possibility of truth among contradictory narratives and sensations. British MP Jo Cox’s death in June 2016 has represented such a scenario most archetypally with an extraordinary display of media bias provided by the so-called left and right, from national newspapers to independent media.
In this work, the artists aim to create a user-experience of robotic journalism. Audiences can map out and generate news using artificial intelligence and data mined from a range of UK media online by using a mixer interface. The result will be displayed in an installation composed of data visualization, a ticker and research material.
Mario Gomez (ES)
mobMess is a social interface project dedicated to revealing the capabilities of mobile technologies for participatory art. Through a simple interaction you can transform your smartphone screen into one pixel in order to synchronize with other participants and create a collective display. Gathering to render a message, showing synergy in a team effort and realizing the cohabitants of the same time and space, a mirror of crowd individuals emerges. The aim of developing this project is to have an interface from which a concept can transform and scale uncanny performances up or down. And further, to make a tool to revindicate the power that underlies technology, communication and art.
Onur Olgaç (TR)
Make-A-Pick is a game of chance with binary selection that plays with the psychological concept of the gambler’s fallacy. It uses a simple form of play that is at the heart of Roger Caillois’ definition of Alea: “All games that are based on a decision independent of the player . . . in which winning is the result of fate rather than triumphing over an adversary. More properly, destiny is the sole artisan of victory, and where there is rivalry, what is meant is that the winner has been more favored by fortune than the loser.” The interactive installation acts as an interface for the visitors to take on the challenge of finishing the game by testing their luck. Presented with two choices to pick from, the visitors make a pick to further improve the current streak. If they make a wrong move, the whole progress is lost and they have to start over. The main question behind the game is asking the visitors whether they fall into the trap as a result of their own intuition or if they are able to figure out a pattern to beat fate and win.
Lost, but not lost forever
Monica Vlad (RO)
The concept of this project is to use old media devices to create a sound performance. Monica Vlad will use a sewing machine, two radios, one tape recorder, a cassette player/Walkman, a turntable and a vintage camera. All the devices are connected to the mixer. Contact microphones are used to take the sound from some devices and amplify it. Piezo elements take the sound from the vibrating surface of some other devices. The other devices are directly connected to the mixer. Vlad has also created a cassette tape loop that serves as an analog loop. Analog effects are applied to most of the devices. The “new” instruments are played sequentially to create the sound for the performance.
Monica Vlad (RO)
Leaves is an installation that consists of real-time rendered graphics in a screen and timeline UI in smartphone displays. It is a monument like a data-visualization to think about mortality caused by mental illness, especially suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. But they can hardly share a grief that they are trying to hide.
This is a real-time simulation based on statistics for worldwide mortality details published by the WHO. This project aims to enable sensing, thinking about, talking about or just feeling each incidence of death.
Gabriela Gordillo (MX), Irene Ródenas Sáinz de Baranda (ES)
Fuzzy_Logic Machine is an instrument designed to control the values of a sound device through analog manipulation. A set of sensors are triggered by light parameters that are arranged in a grid (X,Y,Z position). Each value can be manually accessed, connecting image and sound through a spatial variable. Thus the mechanism reproduces the inner structure of the audible result while it triggers its changes in a feedback relation between the two mediums. The instrument becomes an interface in which performers and spectators share a similar perception about the variables that compose the sound. The motion of the lights guide the cognitive approach of the spectator’s listening experience, as well as the creative experience of the performer, revealing what is behind the interface.
The instrument questions the need for self-made systems that allow a different contact with technology through the understanding of its logic. By doing this, it aims to take complexity and express it through simplicity.
Luis Toledo (ES)
We are constantly being bombed by advertising, news and ideas. Inside the Internet domain, we are able to mute uninteresting topics or even subscribe to new sources. To achieve profit, social media shapes our profiles and distributes content that fits our preferences.
During the exhibition, a database is fed by the active participation of users in the room, who vote real-time news with a thumbs up or thumbs down. Up-voted articles and keywords are used by a Twitter bot to build an almost random opinion, posting a comment every 30 minutes.
By simplifying the internal mechanisms of today’s social networks to customize and deliver information, Echo Chamber highlights topics such as information diversity, manipulation and opinion realms, and how our current use of technology is letting us hear only what we want to hear.
Julia del Río (ES)
Julia del Río explores diverse artistic strategies for interaction within electromagnetic fields, especially in sound performances. Her concerts sonically translate the invisible world of interference and magnetism without musical compromises. Her sound is always a result of an interchange and of various acts of digital communication. She presents Communication Noise, a participatory audiovisual performance where the artist sonifies the electromagnetic waste produced by cellphone interaction.
Martin Nadal (ES)
It is suggested that the future of money is crypto currencies and the most relevant of these is bitcoin. The main difference between fiat money and bitcoin is that money is not created by government regulation or law, but generated by a competitive and decentralized process called mining, and that all transactions are stored publicly in a common ledger called the blockchain.
Bitcoin Traces draws an infographic data-visualization of a transaction from the moment the bitcoins involved were created by a miner. Not focusing on the role of money as a measure of value but rather exploring its history, in which other transactions have participated in the past, depriving the money of materiality. Considering money as a network where each node is a good or a service and each edge a transaction it participates in.
Klimentina Hristova (BG)
Uterus is a three-dimensional light and sound installation, providing the opportunity for sensorial experiences of one’s own emotional habitat. Going beyond concepts of emotionality as “something inner” expressed by “something outer,” encoding and decoding are parts of the emotional process themselves. This raises the question of emotional articulations, the relation between cognition and sensory-motor aspects of habitualized emotions, and their relationship to the imaginary as well as proprioception. Exploring the relationship between body conditions and feelings, considering the simultaneous character of our mental health and being, we reach the idea of safeness. Like the child’s instinct to find a place to hide out, in our grown-up version we should find these in-between points where we can express ourselves freely.