ars electronica

The Telegarden

Between the years of 1995 and 2004 the University of South Carolina, and subsequently the Ars Electronica Centre in Austria, were home to an innovative project called “The Telegarden”. This garden featured an area of dirt and plants inside a planter, which also held an industrial robot arm, which could be controlled through the internet.

How the garden worked, was that people from all over the world were able to observe the garden through a camera in the robot arm, but also, have the power to water and tend to the plants. If there was a free space the robot arm even allowed an individual, through the internet, the ability to plant a seed and take care of it. 

Professor Ken Goldberg explained that the decision to use a garden for this interactive project was that it is “very human, very immediate, very tactile”, a stark contrast to the idea of the internet and anything associated with it as complex, mathematical and machine-like. The internet is fast-paced, connecting us to other people and information in milliseconds, but the garden cannot be rushed, it must be cared for carefully,

As Randall Packer states:

The Telegarden creates a physical garden as an environment to stage social interaction and community in virtual space. The Telegarden is a metaphor for the care and feeding of the delicate social ecology of the net." — San Jose Museum of Art, April 1998.

-Anna Paluch


From an interview with Matthew Gardiner about Ars Electronica’s Project Genesis: Synthetic Biology, Life from the Lab exhibit.

We invited artists to propose works through an open call, as part of an EU project called Studiolab that aims to bring art and science together to make new discoveries and offer new perspectives and ways of working creatively. We selected a series of works that critically addressed the topic, some in challenging ways, and others that employed novel methods in collaboration with scientists. The exhibition will show many different artistic angles with very critical views and it will also show us some things we have not yet seen.

For example, the artist Sonja Bäumel (AT/NL) is doing a residency here and is interested in the bacteria that live with us. In each human body there is something like two kilograms of bacteria. A massive amount of genetic information living in our bodies and each has its own independent genome, we are not only living with our own DNA but also with the bacteria’s. There’s a special kind of sensing that takes place in bacteria called quorum sensing. She is working with Dr Manuel Selg, a biologist at FH Wels. He is a consultant for the Biolab at the Ars Electronica Center. They put the focus on quorum sensing where bacteria cells send small pieces of chemical information to each other and communicate. It’s quite a new topic in science and biology and they try to make use of this feature and to make bacteria that glow a little bit when this sensing takes place. She has done full body imprints, lies down in the jelly and the bacteria from her body goes on to the jelly and then grows. The bacteria are put on a medium where they love to grow; they are kept warm and wet.

The first experiments were followed by a project where she visualizes the bacteria of human hands from people with different backgrounds and working environments. She wants to see how the bacteria from people of different backgrounds look like, not the genetic difference but the bacterial difference. Where they live, how they live, what they have just done, did they just go for a run, did they just have sex, did they do something else, do they working in a factory, do they work with animals? For this quite interesting project she builds a new organism that can glow just for this artwork. We have another perspective: How do artists use these current forms of technology to examine and understand nature, it’s a duality of science and art.

(via We shape our world | Ars Electronica Blog)

A slight deviation in focus but another topic near and dear to my heart & research: art + science collaborations.


From SciArts producer Annie Minoff, who was in Linz last week for Ars Electronica:

Korean computer scientist Shin Seung Back and artist Kim Yong Hun collaborate on art projects that explore how computers “read” faces. 

For “Cat or Human,” they collected human faces recognized as cat faces by a human face-detection algorithm, and cat faces recognized as human faces by a cat face-detection algorithm.

Credit: Shinseungback Kimyonghun


The Third & The Seventh by Alex Roman

This past Friday, May 27, Alex Roman’s The Third & The Seventh was named winner of the coveted Prix Ars Electronica 2011.  This film is a must see for architecture and motion graphics fans alike.  Although it is a short piece it demands your complete attention and the elimination of all other distractions.  The pacing is deliberate and meditative and can seem slow if you are in the midst of multi-tasking. So make sure to set aside 10 minutes, watch it on full screen and hang in there until the end because is an architectural odyssey of monumental proportions, with some surprising

(via ARS Electronica | Presse)

  • Live at The Brücknerhaus
  • Philip Jeck

philip jeck's weapons of choice are old turntables and old vinyl records. even though this statement suggests he's a dj, this conclusion cannot be further from the truth. he actually does play turntables and records as musical instruments, sampling, looping, speeding up/slowing down records to a degree, where the source material is likely to become unidentifiable. what he does has nothing to do with tracks and breaks, it's all about sound and texture, or even: the aura of the recordings.

"philip jeck in performance was recorded on 6th september 2011 at the brücknerhaus, linz, austria for prix ars electronica. the multi-channel recording (2 channels off the desk, two in the room) was mixed for touchradio by bjnilsen.”

own it.


青木竜太氏率いる Art Hack Day での成果をまとめて,Ars Electronica のストッカー氏,小川氏にプレゼンさせて頂いた.

発表では大尊敬する友人で陶芸家の金理有氏をフィーチャーさせて頂いた.ちなみに本作品の空間設計は佐野文彦氏,ダンサーは Ayaka Kanda 氏(出演作)だ.他に多数の若き才能とご一緒させて頂くなど,本作品の制作には贅沢な時間を過ごさせていただいた.