ars electronica 2005 hybrid: day 3

strip one

guys, i am a hybrid! part human – part blog/mysql database.

yeah. no. well. it’s true.

this is how i realised: i met cat mazza in the morning at our hotel, because she wore sort of pink shoes [don’t ask]. later in the day we started to speak at brucknerhaus and as it turns out she is the woman behind, one of the projects that recieved a prix ars electronca honorary mention this year in the digital communities category. is a rad knitting community website with a strong anti-sweatshop message and it is very much a hybrid project – digital patterns transformed into knitted output. as we were talking i had this vague memory that i had blogged her project at some point, but i could not recall it for sure. so i unpacked my unaspirational [you had to be there] laptop and using search i found the blog entry in question. it was in equal parts shocking as it was exhilirating to realise that i rely so heavily on my blog to remember certain things. and in front of someone! it happened a second time shortly after that when i tried to recall something someone had said earlier during the symposium and again i had to rely on my blog to remember it. it was actually cat who pointed this it out to me. and so it is a fact: part of my brain lives on this clunky computer, i knew that, but i also delegate a part of my memory onto some server in switzerland. gotta remember to do the mysql backups more often…
[btw. meeting cat was amazing on another level, it turns out that her uni tutor is nao bustamante, a very close and dear friend i had during my time in SF. small world we live in]

so there. i. am . hybrid. and at the same time i am not hybrid enough. i went to sleep around 11 pm last night. shortly after 1 am my hotel room neighbor got in and woke me up. he or she was not particularly nasty or anything, but i am such a light sleeper that it was enough to wake me. and i have been awake ever since – as i write this it is almost 4 am. if only i was more cyborg the first thing i would re-calibrate would be my sensitivity to noise.

but i try to avoid the real topic. after 2 of 4 sessions we are right at the midpoint of the hybrid symposium, and it usually does take a few days for me to fully sink in. but for some reason i am having a harder time to grasp the topic than in other years. i can’t seem to wrap my head around it.
i trust derrick de kerckhove that in the end they will all make perfect sense, but i am having trouble understanding some of the curational choices so far. i mean, what does aminiata traore’s very emotional and deeply moving rant have to do with the theme hybrid: living in paradox? she of course said all the right things, and i fully and 100% agree with her; africa needs to be left alone to regain its economic independance and to live off it’s own riches. the G8 africa aid gestures where pathetic attempts at veiling the underlying issues.
yet a.) traore is preaching to the already converted here at ars electronica and it could have been much more intersted to look at this same topic in a much more differentiated and less blameful way. and b.) i can’t seem to understand how it adds to the discourse re: hybrid and paradox.

in the evening, the big gala. all kinds of people materialised ties out of thin air. the uninvited [or the too-lazy-to-apply-for-a-ticket] went downstairs to the electrolobby. first we thought they were going to stream the gala ceremonies onto the screens downstairs, which would have been a cool little metaphor for the elite model that was evoked earlier. but as it turns out they only showed this years cyberarts dvd on a loop. the buffet was a riot.

before i run, let me back up a little and speak about delegating parts of my brain/memory onto this blog. please do excuse my sloppy notes from yesterdays symposium. it was an experiment and i am sure it pretty much failed. but i’m afraid there will be more notes today… just skip the gibberish.

ps. ruan will get exhibited again! success.

ps2. still looking for pink and yellow shoes. AND paula le dieu is in the house.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.