THU November 23, 2017 / 7:30 PM

Press Release as PDF

(Linz, November 21, 2017) Disintegrating processes, structures and objects, divesting them of their usual chronology, make-up and characteristics, and then reconstructing them in new sequences, forms and material compositions can open up astounding insights and surprising perspectives. Just what those might be is on display in a show entitled “DE/MATERIALIZE” this coming Thursday at the Ars Electronica Center. The lineup includes a multimedia fashion show, a kinetic light sculpture, an interactive installation, and a fascinating array of VR applications with lots of art, technology and science built in. Things get underway at 7:30 PM; admission is free of charge.

The program:

FAT #2 – DE/MATERIALIZE – Between Body, Clothing and Space

Fibers, fabrics and bodies commute back and forth between real and virtual space; organic plastic and desert plants are the constituent ingredients of new surfaces and materialities; soldering, etching and cooking are done. FAT #2 – DE/MATERIALIZE is a showcase of trailblazing design work being done by students in Linz Art University’s Fashion & Technology bachelor’s degree program. Gigapixel photos, stereo videos and a live performance illuminate interfaces linking body, clothing and space.

Sculpture of Time – How Time Itself Becomes Visible

Movement plays an essential role in our life. Whether it’s physical motion that benefits our health, or mental flexibility we have to train and maintain as we age; whether it’s a movement that we initiate together with like-minded peers or a solo attempt to get things rolling in the right direction—regardless of the form it takes, motion is good because it promises to help us get ahead. But no matter how it goes, movement is embedded in time. And if time stands still, any motion comes to a halt. Akinori Goto is fascinated by the relationship between movement and time. And by the thought that time becomes visible only when it moves. Accordingly, the points of departure of his “Sculpture of Time” are motion sequences—or, to put it more precisely, people walking, running, jumping and dancing. Via motion tracking, Akinori Goto conveys these movements into the digital sphere and stores their traces to memory as three-dimensional configurations. These abstract bodies made up of countless lines are then printed out via 3-D printer. The results are delicate meshwork sculptures with thin beams of white light meandering across their surface. Frame after frame is immersed in light, one snapshot after another—like the riffled pages of a flip book. With this incredible precise and technically elaborate work, Akinori Goto makes the passage of time visible in a very poetic way.

Pool of Fingerprints – How Important Are Our Data?

This work by Masahiko Sato and Takashi Kiriyama is a critical yet playful commentary on the current discourse focused on the private sphere and data security. The installation consists of a large horizontal video monitor and, set up in front of it, a fingerprint scanner. When an installation visitor scans in her/his fingerprint, the digital image of it immediately appears on screen and begins to swim about like a little fish. In fact, it turns out that whole schools of these fingerprints are making their rounds in the pool—set loose by their owners who no longer have control over their fingerprints. However—and this is how “Pool of Fingerprints” sharply differs from the reality of social media like Facebook—it’s simple and convenient for a visitor to reassert control over his/her data here. All you have to do is place your finger on the scanner a second time, and the fingerprint swims over, vanishes from the pool and returns, as it were, to its owner.

Hello Machine – Hello Human – Hallo, Are You a Human or a Machine?

As we communicate ever more frequently with machines and programs, what impact will this have on our interpersonal coexistence? How will we change our forms of comportment—the courtesy and respect we display to others—when we can no longer ascertain whether we’re dealing with a human being or software? The theme of Rachel Hanlon’s “Hello Machine – Hello Human” is the increasing deployment of chatbots and artificial intelligence. The artist considers the social and cultural consequences of these developments. The installation gives the impression of a long-since-obsolete telephone booth in which you’re prompted to ask: Whom am I actually talking to here anyway?

Project INEO – VR for Seniors

Project INEO, a virtual reality experience especially for non-tech-savvy seniors, was developed by Jakob Indra, Silvester Kössler, Miro Kroslin, Johannes Higatzberger and Max Albert Schulz together with members of the Pensioners Club of the City of Vienna. INEO situates players aboard an abandoned space station somewhere in the cosmos. As astronauts, they can explore the space station, and then activate its escape pod for their return flight to Earth. The aim of INEO is to offer a growing target audience—seniors—a playful way to get into the world of modern technology. In the future, INEO plans to offer additional scenarios and make its content available to senior centers in the form of a subscription plan that also provides the necessary hardware.

Journey into the Body – Aboard a Spaceship in the Middle of the Heart

The gaming & entertainment industries aren’t the only fields utilizing virtual reality applications; conveying information is another area of widespread use. For instance, a pilot project entitled “Journey into the Human Body: The Heart” provides innovative teaching material for elementary school pupils, whereby virtual reality lets 4th graders travel via animated spaceship inside the human heart to explore its structures and functions. This project was conceived and designed by Netural (AT) and Responsive Spaces (AT) in cooperation with the Upper Austrian Red Cross and Forte.

Fight – “We see things not as they are, but as we are”

“Fight” is a VR application by artist Memo Akten (TR/UK) that ushers users into a virtual world in which each of their two eyes is presented with a different image. This results in a phenomenon known as binocular rivalry. The conscious mind perceives the images of a VR application alternately from the right and left eye, and this process of switching back and forth gives rise to the impression of animation. Even though each visitor is confronted by exactly the same images, every individual’s visual perception differs. “Fight” plays with people’s inability to see the world from others’ points of view, and shows the social polarization it results in.

Training 2038

Ever since the first Industrial Revolution, human labor has gradually been replaced by machinery. Now, with increasingly pervasive digitization, just about every aspect of life is increasingly driven by this development. Even in our communications—the interlocutors on the other end are more and more often machines and programs. In stark contrast to our high-tech everyday life that increasingly lacks transparency, “Training 2038” juxtaposes a scenario that gives us the possibility to input feedback about current and future developments. In the safe space of a private VR experience, an extensive interrogation is played out in the form of a dialog between an embodied conversation bot and a human user.
Scultpure of Time – Akinori Goto / Fotocredit: Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion
Scultpure of Time – Akinori Goto / Fotocredit: Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion
DE/MATERIALIZE – Fashion & Technology (AT) / Fotocredit: Florian Voggeneder / Printversion
DE/MATERIALIZE – Fashion & Technology (AT) / Fotocredit: Florian Voggeneder / Printversion
VRLab / Fotocredit: Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion / Album
VRLab / Fotocredit: Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion / Album
Hello Machine – Rachel Hanlon / Fotocredit: tom mesic / Printversion
Fight – Memo Akten / Fotocredit: Florian Voggeneder / Printversion