FOOD FOR THOUGHT: ARS ELECTRONICA 2012

Ars Electronica 2012 just ended but will echo for sure. An incredible amount of events, performances, and happenings along with all the projects on view offered infinitive food for thought and hopefully some food for change.


As we talked about Telecommunications Data Retention (TDR) whose strong presence at Ars Electronica 2012 festival unveils a frightening side of data collecting, it was refreshing to explore THE BIG PICTURE exhibit on the first floor of the Brucknerhaus which confronts visitors with data visualization and its applications. If it is true that an incredible amount of data about us is collected, it is also true that not only negative usage of the data is possible.

For instance, the renowned science and technology portal SEED in collaboration with visualizing.org realized a collection of outstanding examples of how creatively data can be visually processed to generate impressive BIG PICTURES. Also on view, “Everyday Rebellion” created by Arash and Arman Riahi, a project that links up movements and bloggers all over the world who are using civil disobedience and nonviolence as their weapons in the struggle for peace and democracy. Look out for the upcoming movie.

One of the latest performances of the day was Maki Namekawa’s concert at the Deep Space titled Deep Space Music. The performance is a combination of sound and image, music and computer animation in a way that transformed the projection space into a setting for an intimate yet collective experience. Her piano concert musically celebrated the 60th anniversary of Ryuchi Sakamoto and Philip Glass’ 75th, and commemorated the 100th annivaersary of the birth of John Cage. Prix Electronica prizewinner Candas Sisman and a crew from NOHlab/Plato Media Lab contributed on an extraordinary live visualization working in real time.

Finally the very last concert of the festival was held at the Brucknerhaus and featured “#tweetscape: a HEAVYLISTENER experience” by Anselm Venezian Nehls and Tarik Prix (also on view at O.K.’s CyberArts12) which immediately translates all messages on Twitter in German into abstract sounds. Hot topic Lufthansa and Frankfurt, maybe due to the strike! The piece “scape-sequencer” by Cheng Xu opened the performance which ended with Ars Electronica Golden Nica winner Jo Thomas presenting her work “Crystal”, composed directly from frequencies generated by a particle accelerator.

According to the organizers, attendance at this year’s Ars Electronica Festival was 65,000. Almost 500 artists, scientists and scholars from 40 countries contributed their views and perspectives, speeches and installations, performances and interventions to this year’s festival. Opened in occasion of the festival but on view through October 6, 2012 is CyberArts12 exhibit at O.K., Offenes Kulturahaus im ÖÖ Kulturquartier. It features a large number of projects that combine art, biology, physics, engineering and more. Stay tuned for upcoming review!

More info on Ars Electronica // Ars Electronica Archive

 

Edited by Valeria Federici 

 

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