u19 Festival Village is rising!

A lot of things are going on since last week! The u19 Festival Village is built around Ars Electronica Center. We have a lot of pictures about it! In this article you also get to know papplab, the "cardbord-fitters" who are creating u19s furniture. There are also news concerning the ABC-Parade and the dancing on Hauptplatz: Rhen and Sam from Birmingham helped planning a great Show!

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Have you checked out the containers on the riverbank yet? There are now 48 of them, which AEC technicians and a crane operator have been carefully stacking since Monday. They’re currently in the process of getting their colorful coats of red, green, yellow and blue. Out towards the Urfahr parking lot, the saws and paintbrushes are in full swing, kept in motion by the papplab crew constructing their giant cardboard nubs that are going to be placed atop the containers. Can you guess what the point is of decorating the roof of each container with six nubs the same color as the coats? I has something to do with a cool children’s game!


One of the industrious cutters at work on the emerging u19 Festival Village is Wodo Gratt, the initiator of this cardboard furniture collective. papplab was launched in conjunction with Repair, the 2010 Ars Electronica Festival, so it’s almost two years old. In the meantime, it’s been to the Wearfair and provided furniture & fixtures for the Third World handicrafts shop in Gallneukirchen. And it’s become an annual fixture at Ars.

papplab’s mission is to invent everyday objects made from 100% recyclable material, and, in doing so, give the design aspect the attention it deserves. Creations to date include a diverse line of cardboard chairs and tables that are not only stable (which you sure wouldn’t have guessed at first glance); with their ingeniously simple interlock mechanisms, they look sharp too!

One of Wodo’s ultimate objectives is to produce giant perforated sheets for the furniture & fixtures of an entire house, which people can then order and simply take home with them. He mentions that papplab also has some other interesting projects in the development pipeline—for instance, they’ve already come up with a fully functional cardboard drum.

Stories from the Set-up

In preparation for such a big, elaborate Festival Village, problems are bound to crop up. “Dynamic load, sweetie, dynamic load!” Kathrin, head of the set-up crew, shouts to Mayor Georg. “Haven’t you ever heard of dynamic load?” But he still isn’t ready to give in and, despite her objections, continues to advocate setting up a giant catapult on the roof of one of the containers.

Laura, who was occupied with all sorts of organizational tasks in the office until last week, has spent the last five days running around, on top of, and beneath the containers. She’s wearing a long, XXL shirt that boldly contrasts the August sun. Yesterday, we realized that the lovely multicolored nets that are to be hung over all the containers are the wrong size. “Should we staple them?” “Maybe tying would be better.” “Or how about this: We punch in grommets!” The approaches to a solution drifted further and further apart while Laura, Susi and Georg were busy yanking and rearranging the nets. At this point, the container they were working on looked like somebody took a gift-wrapped box and bashed in the sides. Finally, Wodo came to the rescue by summoning seamstress Rosa. And now Rosa is sitting in one of the containers, custom-tailoring one net after another.

Dancing Soundcloud

There’s been some terpsichorean progress too! The matter of who’s going to be dancing on the Main Square after the Klangwolke ABC Parade on Saturday, September 1 at 5 PM (starting point: AEC Maindeck) has been cleared up. The FlyingSushiCrew, “hired” by Maggy Schlesinger (Element of Style) as well as Markus Eggensperger & his people will be showing up with a PVC mat to get a break dance session going.
Alice from AEC put together a group of young dancers who, within only two weeks, came up with a letter choreography for the flashmob as well as a dance of their own to a song by Justice.

A pleasant coincidence made this happen. While constructing a letter in the ABC Workshop, Alice chanced to meet the volunteers from Birmingham, England, two of whom happen to be professional dancers, and they were delighted to have so quickly gotten the opportunity to dance in Linz!

The very next day, Rhenu Bhagotra and Saranjit Birdi of Birmingham’s Dance Sansaar troupe were in Sky, a space on the top floor of the AEC with a spectacular view, collaborating with Alice and the dancers on a new choreography to a song by Justice. Later, they also recorded the video for the flashmob

Both Rhen and Sam are totally committed, and their enthusiasm even further motivated the others. Sisters Yvonne and Michelle have likewise taken advantage of this week to give some thought to choreography. Their performance’s concrete details are still rather vague, which just means there’s that much more opportunity for new ideas and improvements. We’ll see the final version on Saturday. In any case, improvisation is no problem for Rhenu and Saranjit. In addition to their performance with the group, they’ll also create a spontaneous new dance on the Main Square.