Factory of digital illusions

The center for art and media technology celebrates from 18.9 to 9.11 The 5. Multimedia. A coarse program has been applied, but also open the new building and museum museum. The gross crowd shows that the ZKM under the direction of Heinrich Klotz in the remote Karlsruhe became an important institution of media art, which has acquired international recognition.

The coach brumb through the landscape. We are on the way from Karlsruhe to Stuttgart, where in the context of the "Multimediale 5" A Cave protein station is shown. For the second time, the bus-internal screens flickers a promotional video of the Japanese Intercommunication Center, where the installation has been produced. There is a lot of talking about the transition of art and science, the exceeding of genres and, of course, the changing of the way, how to think about art. And the need for technically well-deserted facilities is charged — a wink for investors — which should design the wonderful new cultural forms between people and information.

With the ZKM now one of the largest facilities of this kind has been opened in the Federal Republic, as a delay inheritance Spather’s modernization policy. The multimedia-opened building, where in addition to the media museum and the museum for art of the present also the center for art and media technology with connected institutes and a media library, is an old ammunition factory, which has now been converted to a uberdimensioned showroom of modern artists ( A total of 42000 square meters useful. Later, the college for design and other private art collections are added. The front of the building draws over 312 meters; If you enter the interior, the impression of imposing Lichthofen is determined that go over several floors. Architecturally striking the Cube before the building, which houses a music studio. If elsewhere the "End of the museums" is called, one can, of course, ask if such a magnificent construction of art is not overflowed. However, it is also intended to log in to the realm of the virtuality; In the Salon Digital you can virtually commit the media museum, discuss, retrieve more information u.a.

Graphically abstract objects fly past me, to grab close. On a screen in front of me I move a doll as an interface. Suddenly the objects freeze and start expanding, similarly to growing ice crystals. Around me creates a rough room density. Blue flat walking through my field of vision, and I have the feelings to be part of an abstract foremald. If I move the doll, everything comes up again. I am in the Cave, a novel VR interface installed in the laboratory for virtual interactive systems at the Fraunhofer Institute for Working Economics and Organization in Stuttgart.

The presentation "Configuring the Cave" by Jeffrey Shaw, Agnes Hegedus, Bernd Lintermann and Leslie Stuck is an intense asthetic experience and attitude to the strongest impressions of open. The ideal of "Immersion", Immersion in an artificial world that the virtual reality is likely to be attributed by the media theorists, here for the first time is actually form. With high performance video projectors, Silicon Graphics machines are projected in real time rendered images on several windows. The user carries an LCD shutter glasses that are synchronized with the projection of the Sterestopically Calculated Images, so that a really captivating 3D illusion "around a" arises. In the work seven different worlds were presented (my experience comes from the world "Emergence") — If you are using the CAVE installation shown in this-year Ars Electronica "World Skin" by Jean-Baptist Barriere U.a. Comparing, which really went under the skin and a new form with a substantive claim fed — more like a formalistic bauble looks impressive, but without further sense (further pre-guides on the 24.10., 31.10., 7.11. each at 12, 14 and 16 o’clock at the Fraunhofer Institute; Registration via the multimedia).

While hiding in some feuilletons Hamisch, the media museum does not hide behind the museum for contemporary art. However, the installed art is coarse part no more or less irrelevant than what is present as art of the presence. What is one of his lupertz, the other is his Jeffrey Shaw. But if the interactive art already refers a museum, she wants to be categorized accordingly. Hans-Peter Schwarz, the director of the media museum supplies a 77-page text in the catalog, which tries to grasp and reflective from media museums on media technologies to media visions and reflective, which could be considered media art in recent decades. But we read his conclusion: we can not expect more than "An eclectic ensemble of image and sound associations, symbols and signs, action, reaction and interaction that is not a total artwork directed overall work, but the postmodern artwork of the next century". Much further is the theory apparently not. In addition, the CAVE — example shows that the bringing together of different media in an adventure space, whether designed or not designed as a total artwork or not, is fascinating.

That it lacks the substance, ie a handsome number of good work, falls in the exhibition. To be shown "classic" interactive art like Jeffrey Shaw`s "The LEGIBLE CITY" (from 1988) and Agnes Hegedus` "The Fruit Machine" (1991). Maybe the confrontation shows two works in which tension field is the interactive art and what balance she has to look for between spectacle and art out. On some festivals was already "The Interacitive Plant Growing" from Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau from 1992 to see. As a reminder: The user easily strokes the blood of plants and thus loaded by genetic algorithms driven growth of virtual "plants" on a canvas.

In the special exhibition "Current" The ZKM Institute for Picture Media is the work arising this year "The Tree of Knowledge" shown by Bill Viola, which refers to similar programming technology. A visitor goes alone into a corridor that leads into a room with a canvas on which the computer graphic is to be seen on a straight-spelling plant. When you walk along the corridor, the plant develops into a full-blown tree. He dies when you reach the screen. One or another may be too clear this allegory on growing and passing life, but I tend to prefer her to the other work, simply because she has a poetic dimension, for father, thinking, stimulating, does not argue and, by it the "trip" of a single, which ames the tree of knowledge, also makes a auratic experience possible.

But there are also installations to see that do not even reach the at least playful quality of the other mentioned works. The game also looks like a catalyst that connects all works. The main thing, you can print any buttons or otherwise like "to interact". That is usually in the dark. But in a time of the new diversity, it is also too much demands to constitute the question of meaning. There are approaches to a content exploration, for example, in my opinion from the interface of miblight work "Digital Body Automata" by Jill Scott, also a production from this year, where it is about body technology relationships and their cultural importance.

The media museum offers overview of the tendencies of interactive art. In addition, too "A world of games" which — although critically directed — with the order production "Labyrinthos" has a network game as a public attraction, in which different visitors can chase each other — chase, and not slap. You can give altering games like "Pacman" visit and even the indexed "Dome" to play. The player is observed in his zeal by a video camera and his face publicly shown on a monitor, almost as if one was put to the pillory.

Specific "Laboratories" have been set up to travel visitors to the complex installations. At the screens can be short lessons over "digitalization", "interface" etc. to learn. The idea of accompanying the presentation of digital art with didactic tools is usable and acts relevant than similar attempts to illustrate technical processes (such as in the ARS Electronica Center). New also the so-called "Video tryptograms", which are assigned to the installations. Is foreseeable that the ZKM will be an important center for the German media art activities of the future, as it has many opportunities for production.

The interest of the audience is roughly rough. 13000 people got started on the first day. On Sunday they stood over an hour in the snake like otherwise only with the rough exhibitions of classical painting. Open on Saturday had partially folk character. After all, the demand for cultural events of the technoculture seems to be roughly. The concert of the group power plant on Saturday evening had been sold out for weeks. And the sensation! The band recorded new material: KOES TECHNO. Unfortunately, the two new titles rather remembered Simpel-Techno and were taken with little enthusiasm. But power plant is cult. Fans were traveling from all parts of the republic and celebrated the ancient hits like "Radioactivity" and "Highway".

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