Archive for the ‘Ars Electronica’ Category



When a sequence of images moves slower than 16 frames per second, the human brain can perceive each one separately. If it’s faster than 16 fps, it’ll appear as continuous motion. This effect is what Hans Polterauer takes advantage of in this work of art that becomes an example of hyperkineticism. He positions objects on a spinning disc that are illuminated with a rapidly blinking source of light. This results in a series of images that overtaxes the capacity of the brain relaying an impression that the objects themselves are moving rather than the disc on which they are attached.


(thanks to Hans Polterauer)

Deus cantando

ξ  for computer-controlled piano and screened text  ξ

This installation explores a connecting link where language and music intersect. The brain converts what are initially abstract musical structures into a series of words in a human language – in this case the 2009 Declaration of the International Environmental Criminal Court. Peter Ablinger, along with Winifred Ritsch and Thomas Musil, use software that reconstructs the spectrum of frequencies inherent in speech thru the computer-control of a piano’s gamut of repeating half-tones and variable velocities using eighty-eight “fingers” capable of up to 16 keystrokes per second. Four photos follow showing various angles and close-ups with a short video excerpt of mine followed by the complete video (better sound without extreme extraneous room ambience) provided by Peter Ablinger himself.





(thanks to Peter Ablinger)



ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment)
For ALICE, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will collide lead ions to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang under laboratory conditions. The data obtained will allow physicists to study a state of matter known as quark gluon plasma, which is believed to have existed soon after the Big Bang.

ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the LHC. It will investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. ATLAS will record sets of measurements on the particles created in collisions –
their paths, energies, and their identities.

CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid)
The CMS experiment uses a general-purpose detector to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the ATLAS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and design of its detector magnet system to achieve these.

LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty)
The LHCb experiment will help to understand why we live in a Universe
that appears to be composed almost entirely of matter, but no antimatter.

WLCG (World Wide LHC Computing Grid)
A distributed computing and data storage infrastructure.

device art projects 2


The University of Tsukuba lies 60 km northeast of Tokyo in Tsukuba Science City which represents one of the world’s largest coordinated attempts to accelerate the rate of and improve the quality of scientific discovery. Some of the graduates and/or faculty have been covered here in an earlier post as producing device art projects such as Sachiko Kodama’s Morpho Tower, Ryota Kuwakubo’s LoopScape and Nicodama and Hiroo Iwata’s Media Vehicle. In this second part, I’ll highlight a couple of other creative artists who have been associated with the U. of Tsukuba’s R & D. We can only hope for an interest in device art to blossom in the U.S., but it appears that most American designers see it as too risky an undertaking while the general public seems ready for something new and refreshing in the area of artistic popular culture.


• Let’s introduce another work by Hiroo Awata. Although traveling on foot is the most intuitive style of locomotion, proprioceptive feedback from walking is not provided in most applications of virtual environments. With the Torus Treadmill, a virtual infinite surface is created inside a compact area with twelve sets of treadmills connected and driven in perpendicular directions. One can walk in any virtual direction while your real-world position is fixed. It’s a bit disorientating as you’ll see in these short video snippets. I kept feeling as if I needed to force the mechanism (leaning into it) instead of just relaxing with a nice virtual stroll.

• Here we have the work of Jun Mitani who creates Spherical Origami. The origami aspect is kept – folding a single sheet of paper into an artwork – but there is the added element of the possibility of curved surfaces. Using precise computer aided calculations, each paper surface shows the generated fold lines that are to be used in the process of paper manipulation.


Twilight was one of those works that I could’ve watched for an hour. As the tree branches shake, the fluorescent lights attached to the tops would flicker in erratic patterns. You’ll notice the bottom tips moving along the steel plates motivated by a vibrating motor which creates the on-off irregularity of the light sources. Junya Kataoka [unable to find a website] has provided us with a work that emphasizes contrasts: darkness and light, natural and artificial, as well as the biotic and inorganic.


(thanks to Interactive Design)

(thanks to Paolo Tonon)

Feuerkugeln 亖 Lichtblitze 亖 Musik und Tanz


So this year’s festival starts off with a couple of huge Tesla coils parked back on the Maindeck of the Ars Electronica Quarter. Witnessing 26 kilowatts of power being converted into giant 4-meter long bolts of artificial lightning with almost a million volts of electricity modulated at audio frequencies to produce music is impressive enough, but then you have a masked fellow walk out wearing a 20-kilogram metal suit who starts dancing and interacting (conducting? eh, hem…) with the bolts and you’ve really got a show! This was The Tesla Orchestra. Maybe it was really Elvis…or maybe just a smart ape…’cause everything began with the Strauss tune that we’ve become so familiar with (and I’m not talking about Johann’s “…Danube” – tho we were right there) and just a few seconds into the performance there was a fireball that the performer swiftly and deftly maneuvered his way out of. On closer inspection of the video, it appears that the two fireballs were apparently intentional. A bit of a relief really.  A couple of shaky videos of mine followed by a more professional one from Fabian Mohr:

(thanks to Fabian Mohr)


Computer software analyzes the 12 heartbeats of the members of The Heart Chamber Orchestra in real time with various algorithms turning the data into a living musical score. While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. Computer graphics are also generated from the same heart data that add a narrative and visual layer to the performance, providing the audience with a multi-layered lateral experience. The heartbeats of the musicians and their relation to each other become audible and visible in a transformative way.

(thanks to The Heart Chamber Orchestra)

huff a colorcast genie


Ocean of Light: Surface is a responsive virtual eco-system from Squidsoup that occupies a physical space. It uses a room-sized 3D grid of individually addressable points of light to simulate movement in this physical space. The space is dominated by a surface which is a boundary between two fluid virtual materials. The materials are affected by sound. Nearby noises create waves that ripple across the surface. The surface is unstable. The turbulence caused by noise also triggers luminous blasts.
Two videos follow. The second one I decided to shoot from underneath the installation.




Á Rafsegulsvið Jarðar


For the installation Earth 2010, Finnbogi Pétursson creates an interference wave measuring 7.8Hz in a pool of water. The tone, which can be heard and physically detected, is visible on the surface of the water in the form of waves. The frequency of 7.8 hertz corresponds to the physical phenomenon known as the Schumann Resonance, which is the frequency of the Earth’s electromagnetic field. For Pétursson, this frequency represents the primal pulse of our planet. The first video is Pétursson’s own professional video. The second is my fuzzy hand-held that zooms in on the reflected wave patterns.



(thanks to Finnbogi Pétursson)

True-born, delicious hot stuff


When you’re inside the Fablab of the Ars Electronica Center, you can see, through a glass wall, the Biolab next door where gene technology is demonstrated using synthetically cloned plants. A 3D printer that is used to produce replications through digital fabrication sits conveniently located nearby. Laterally connecting these two areas, we have the folding of proteins in nature meeting the folding of paper and synthetic fabrics in a field of research known as Oribotics. Working in the Futurelab, Matthew Gardiner has furthered his interest in an area where robotics, nature and origami intersect by creating interactive cyber-flowers called “oribots” that are made of a polyester fabric and contain proximity sensors that not only respond to, say, the presence of your hand, but are also networked to each other causing even small interactions to spread sympathetically amongst the other oribots. A blossom opens, causing 1,050 folds to actuate while electro-reflexes do the same to over 50,000 folds across the installation.

After Hours


 (thanks to Matthew Gardiner)




If you’re indoors, even in a tight little apartment, and you have some natural light streaming through your windows, you can grow your own tasty, healthy food by setting up what Britta Riley calls “windowfarms” – vertically growing hydroponic farms that will grow right in your window and won’t use soil that might take up precious living space. It’s a wonderfully compact system that produces healthy food without making a major carbon footprint.

(thanks to Britta Riley)

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biz at stas...

Rod Stasick is a composer in the broad sense of the term. He is interested in the creation of event-systems for various situations. Template scores are often created using a combination of graphic signs and symbols that usually suggests a syncretism of styles and methods of performance. Using these methods, he produces works in diverse disciplines (audio, video, text, mail art, conceptualism, etc.) utilizing assorted influences: Eastern Philosophy, Fluxus, The Situationist International, Oulipo, Semiotics, Discrete Event-Systems, random numbers to revamp Zen planning and forms of Information Theory.

  • Psychoacoustics
  • Generative Music
  • Composition
  • Sound Diffusion
  • Interactive Art
  • Installation
  • Sound Design
  • Radiophonic Art
  • Field Recording
  • Electroacoustics
  • Sound Art
  • Performance
  • Sound & Image

  • His studies with Karlheinz Stockhausen (2001-2007) have renewed his interest in various aspects of compositional integration.

    Extensive number of performances
    of experimental works.

    Archivist for the Jerry Hunt Estate

    Percussion studies:

  • Steve McCall
  • Dennis Charles
  • Charles Hammond
  • Gary Burton

  • Eternally grateful to these folks who had, in person, taken the time to encourage me in my compositional work (chronologically listed):

  • Alan Watts
  • John Cage
  • Joseph Beuys
  • Jerry Hunt
  • Alvin Lucier
  • Robert Rauschenberg
  • Merce Cunningham
  • Buckminster Fuller
  • Nam June Paik
  • Charlotte Moorman
  • Anthony Braxton
  • David Tudor
  • Earle Brown
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • Ben Patterson
  • James Tenney
  • Christian Wolff
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen