Last year, I was at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. Unfortunately, I was too busy with beyond vision to post my impressions immediately, but now I’m going to make up for it. In the months that have passed, my memory of the event has faded a bit, but I’ll do my best to convey an adequate overview, with the help of tons of pictures.
All in all I was not as impressed by the festival in 2008 as I was in 2007. In part, this is because I visited the Ars Electronica Center exhebition for the first time in 2007. That exhibition is one of the greatest, but it did not change a lot from 2007 to 2008, so it was kinda “old news” for me this time.
By the way, visiting the Ars Electronica Festival on a saturday turned out not to be a problem. At first I was worried that the exhibitions would be overcrowded on the weekend, but it wasn’t much different than on the weekday the year before. The decision not to buy a day ticket was also right. I spent much less on single exhebition fees than a day ticket would have cost.
Artist Dylan Kehde Roelofs responds to the „soulless glow of low-energy bulbs“ with a series of self-made light bulbs and lamps.
These artworks are fully fledged lamps which indeed do give off light. Dylan doesn’t specify the life span of such a bulb, but he claims that his testing lamps are already glowing for 2500 hours. The price of these art lamps ranges from about 130 Euros to 870 Euros. Once burnt out, the filament can be replaced – for a fee.
I like these incandescent lamps. The style is beautifully steampunk’ish They would also fit very well in a Firefly set. ^_^
Victoria Reynolds chooses rather uncommon subjects for her paintings: Raw shreds of meat.
Pictured left is Flight of the Reindeer (2003, 81,25×111,12cm ). Most of Victoria’s painting in that size cost about 3000 Euros.
Somehow, the paintings have a fascinating morbid flair. I only wonder what the buyers are going to do with them. I can hardly imagine that someone decorates his or her living room with art like that – although I would be positively surprised if someone did. :)
The installation called Of the Now by Nick Bednarz gives wings to anyone who steps into the human outline in the center. If you move on, the wings disappear again. There isn’t much hi tech involved (apparently flash and a light barrier), but the idea is still enchanting. Especially if you don’t know the installation yet and step unsuspectingly into the outline, the effect is probably verrry cool. :)
I think it would be even cooler if the wings could follow you around. ^_^
An interactive installation by Daan Roosegaarde is called Dune 4.0. It consists of hundred of black fibers with LED-lighted tops, which react on the movements and sounds of passing visitors. It kinda reminds one of futuristic techno reed. :) Daan Roosegaarde refers to his installation as an interactive landscape.
I like this beautiful, slightly eerie atmosphere.
In the video, Dune 4.0 is installed in an interior space. The artist later installed it in a pedestrian pass underground. I think the atmosphere is better in this video, though.
Judging from the video, the installation’s reactions to the visitors are a little delayed, which would be a pity. But maybe I misjudge it or maybe it has already been improved.
This installation by Pablo Valbuena is called Augmented Sculpture v1.0. I don’t think words can convey the fascinating effect of this installation of light, so better watch the video above. :)
This is one of my favorite installations. I have seen it in reality (at Ars Electronica 2007) and it was at least equally fascinating and beautiful there as in the video. The setup at the Ars Electronica Festival had a more mysterious atmosphere, because it was placed in a very dark, old, room which had the feeling of a ruin.
At the website of Pablo there are more beautiful pictures of the installation, the same video in better quality, as well as the artist’s description:
This project is focused on the temporary quality of space, investigating space-time not only as a three dimensional environment, but as space in transformation.