ars electronica 2008 – a new cultural economy – day 2

ars electronica reports logo day 2

A New Cultural Economy Symposium

what can i say about the symposium? not much. yet again. this being the first day of the two day symposium covering the theme of the festival, small hope remains that the second day will be better. but ever since these symposia are guest curated the quality of debate has gone down dramatically. the natural tendency for guest curators seems to be to invite their friends, like-minded thinkers, instead of getting people, who would add controversy into the mix. even joi ito made this mistake. we heard CCC hackers, scholars, authors, coders, but they were all on the same page. as were most of the people attending. which meant that the speakers were preaching to the choir. and that’s just boring. then of course this years theme is not exactly a new debate and so far not much new thought has been added. needless to say i have mostly been playing with my ipod touch between naps. noooo… but i really wish the ars electronica would go back to curating the symposium themselves, because there used to be great debates and processes going on during these symposia.

joi ito introducing the symposium


during lunch break i went to the CyberArts show and saw a few awesome pieces. i am really looking foward to the artist talks on sunday. i especially liked Salat by Johannes Gees, which i described a little more here. i am a sucker for art with such a right-on activist approach. levelHead by Julian Oliver was another great piece. a game, of sorts, the aim of which is to navigate an avatar through a maze of doors and stairs, the interface being small cubes made from paper and glue, that you twist and turn to move the animated figure about. and then of course i liked the work of HEHE, the winners of the golden nica in hybrid art. i might write more about them come sunday, after their artist’s talk.

Salat @ CyberArts, OK Center

Episuero – zusammenfliessen

it was a challenge for me to go see this project at holmes place, the city’s top notch health center/spa; as a well-on-his-way-to-being-pear-shaped man it was a little hard to walk among the bodyperfect normal visitors there. episuero by sebastian neitsch and stefan schwalbe is one of interface cultures student works on show this year. the swimming pool is the interface, the swimmers influence the projections on the ceiling. i like the idea, very much so, however i found the generated images a little bit dissapointing, it was also not very clear, how the swimmer can influence the image.

episuero at ars electronica

episuero at ars electronica

Tosca – no hassle

at night there was an electronic music concert at alter dome, one of the many churches in linz. tosca are richard dorfmeister and rubert huber, they performed a world premiere of their new album no hassle to be released in 2009. the music was fine, their usual blend of relaxed jazzy beats and spacy sounds, goosebumps music for the discerning potsmoker. (lol, bbedit didn’t offer me an auto-completion for that word. potsmoker. now it did! it learns!) which i am neither, potsmoker (weee again) nor discerning. but the music really worked well in the church – as we all know accoustics are excellent in these things. however the video projections ranged from the fantastic to the very mediocre. i especially liked the splitscreen comic style animation that had a great luminosity, but other times it was almost cheap with video effects galore reminding me of that late 90s tv show space nights. my ass had fallen asleep within minutes, church benches really are not designed for comfort, or are they? so i left after about 40 minutes, feeling sorry towards all the people who wanted to get in, and i had snagged a ticket only to leave half-way through.

HEHE CyberArts, OK Center

what’s on today?

10:30 – 18:00 day 2 of the symposium, brucknerhaus
10:00 – 18:00 vernichtungsaktion, hauptplatz, tons of knock-offs of brand-name merchandise get destroyed
19:00 – 20:00 bleu remix by yann marussich @ lentos
austria – france on the box
23:00 – 23:40 paul granjon robot performance @ OK Night, sadly probably past my bed time.

my flickr set: ars electronica 2008

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.