yesterday was my day of missing things. there is always one of those. can’t split myself in two. oh well.
the presentations of the prix ars electronica nica and award of distinction winners in the categories interactive art, digital musics [yeah plural!] and computer animation / visual effects were on the programm. i caught some of it, but i hear i missed the good bits. the artist lecture by theo jansen, the artist behind strandbeest, who won the special price of the jury. raphael roggenmoser [migros kultur%] later sweared that theo jansen was THE star of this years ars electronica. amazing presentation and standing ovation after his talk. and then in the afternoon i managed to miss john oswald, plunderphonics, who won an award of distinction in digital musics [!] and who of course is one of my all time heroes and the true inventor of cut&paste, mashup, bastard pop, whatever you want to call it, music. i might have to catch these talks online. which is silly. but hey. i also managed to miss parts of paula le dieu speaking at the diy-databasing! conference, because i thought i could swing over to the brucknerhaus in time to catch john oswald. who had already talked. and to then go back to aec was just too nuts. but. that. kind. of. thing. happens. @. ars. electronica. huge program! oh well again.
luckily i did not miss another much more important thing. during the artists presentations in the computer animation / visual effects category [gaelle denis the woman behind city paradise roolz] a woman sitting just in front of me started to choke. something got caught in her air tube, a piece of traubenzucker = dextrose as she later explained when she could again speak. she started to cough and turned to her friend gesturing with her hands that she was no longer able to breathe. her friend somehow did not catch onto the gravity of the situation, all she did was give her some friendly claps on the back to aid her coughing. but the woman was still gasping for air and quite some time had passed. i had observed the whole thing and clearly seen that it was a very grave situation. so i got up and performed my first ever heimlich manoeuvre on her. right there in the middle of the hall. during brad bird of pixar’s talk on the incredibles. we, nina [yup, thats her name] and i, both want to thank chuck palahniuk because his book choke is where i first read about the heimlich manoeuvre, and eddie izzard for doing an in equal parts hilarious and illustrative sketch on it. the interesting bits were of course what happened in our heads. here was this quite beautiful woman and i had to grab her from behind and knock her on her breastbone – hard – in front of a room full of people with puzzled expressions on their faces. at least nobody went “shhhhh”. and for nina what made things worse is that she did not dare to cough too loudly because she was in the hall and did not want to disturb people.
i can also confirm the other interesting fact from chuck’s great book. i do now harbour very protective and almost paternal feelings toward this woman who’s life “i saved”. it is true. she could ask me anything now. let’s hope she does not…