Currently on display in Scai the Bathhouse in Tokyo is the Jeon Joonho exhibit, an artist who is known for his projected banknotes with animated scenes in them. The video at the bathhouse is of a helicopter that brings letters to a hillside one by one, to spell out “WELCOME”. Perhaps his more widely recognized work is of the White House where a painter brings his ladder and paints over the windows and doors, until it seems entirely impenetrable.
Archived entries for Art
One of my favorite, Paul De Marinis’ Rain Dance installation on the rooftop of the OK/ Hohen Rausch building, Linz. His installation sends pulsating jets of water rhythmic down onto spectator’s umbrellas. The impact of the water turns the umbrella into a giant overhead speaker.
‘Opera Calling’ is an intervention art project by the Swiss Media group Bitnik. By secretly placing audio-bugs in the Zurich Opera the Swiss public was given access to otherwise quite expensive opera performances through their telephone lines. The recorded phone ‘conversations’ with local listeners show confusion but also approval of the project. I liked the idea of forcing the elitist high culture world of opera into every day life at home.
‘Cala Maris’ is a film and installation project by Austrian multi-media artist Markus Huber. It is part of the permanent exhibition at the Ars Electronica Center.
I especially liked the installation in one of the elevators, which gives the impression of floating in the deep sea surrounded by fluorescent jellyfish. I could have gone up and down that elevator all day long. It reminded me of one of my favourite books ‘The Deep’ by Claire Nouvian.
Roman Signer is an artist who uses a scientific process in amusing ways. Most of his videos deploy explosives to create an absurd cause-effect relationship, as seen in this video where a chair that explodes on one side of a table breaks apart a chair on the other side, after the chair piece has fallen back to the earth.
What makes his work really interesting is the imaginative deconstruction of the scientific process to create a new kind of process. The results are not interesting, but it is the playful method that engages and stimulates your curiosity.
‘Bios (Bible)’ by robotlab addresses the ancient battle between religion and science by letting a robotic arm write down the entire 66 books of the bible. In the course of seven months it places calligraphic letters onto paper rolls with high precision.
I liked the contrast between the cold robotic steel arm and the sensitive tip of the calligraphic pen scratching into the paper. It reminded me of frescos of monks in San Niccolo’s church in Treviso, meticulously re-writing religious texts.
Copying the bible used to be a sacred act and if there was only a slight mistake the whole page, or even scroll would have to be destroyed. The robotic arm doesn’t waste time on details. Half of the pages that were on display had mistakes in them, which made me think about whether robots are really capable of more perfection than we are.
Featured on the Device Art exhibition at the Ars Electronica Center, Touch the Small World from the Japanese artist Hideyuki Ando is a tiny piece with huge potential. At a first glance the work consists in a simple black and white touchscreen, but when the elements in the screen (simple lines, shapes and patterns) are touched the magic happens; they trigger a spot vibration that is able to realize a perceptual illusion of surface on the fingertips.
This piece can be seen as the first practical solution to a real interaction problem introduced by the explosion of the usage of touchscreen devices: the lack of haptic perception. Though the iPhone and other gadgets with the same touch capabilities have created some new and powerful ways of interacting with a system, they completely denied how important the sense of touch is for the human-machine interaction, binding the vision as an obligatory sense for the experience. Touch the Small World is important insight that may lead to relevant improvements in the interface design state of the art.