Another Intelligence is Possible
This year’s Ars Electronica Festival theme exhibition is dealing with the many different forms the relationship between the digital and all scales of life can assume. The artworks demonstrate the links technologies evolve to living things from the tiniest microbial organisms to the methods of examining our bodies and even shows the potential to facilitate the creation of life itself.
The journey through the selected works also present ways in which technology connects us to our surroundings. Beginning at the recreation of sea water from human tears, our artificial children are taken to space to see whether creative imagination can be infused in computational brains, facilitating viewpoints different from the human-centered ones. Emerging technology even enables us to examine processes derived from enormous amounts of data that otherwise cannot be grasped, let alone be observed by the naked eye.
Last but not least another challenge is to regain agency over seemingly overpowering economical entities. Presented are ways in which technology helps gain proficiency in the inner workings of big tech, big data or machine learning and consequently empowers users to ask for a different and potentially more equal kind of distribution, maybe even advocates for data sovereignty. This empowerment at the same time directs the question back at ourselves: how our lives will look like not only with, but also through our technology in the future.
Many of the projects presented within the theme exhibition have been developed in the framework of several residencies within the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab. The selection also includes winning projects of the STARTS Prize and the Prix Ars Electronica as well as works developed in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom and the Johannes Kepler University Linz.
This project is presented in the framework of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
Marina Freccia (DE), Thomas Schneider (AT), Felix Zabel (AT), Tore Minte (DE), Wolfgang Fiel (AT), NANK Co:llaboratory arteq.io
Creative community production needs a fair model of synchronisation, hierarchy and remuneration, and it should also be cool. 1HWork updates the production operating system with the ΚΔ index, which pursues a fairer remuneration of work, and with the currency to go with it-the CO฿IE- machine hours can then be purchased in the Fablab or art in the NFT community arteQ.
Harpreet Sareen (US/IN/JP), Franziska Mack (DE/US), Yasuaki Kakehi (JP)
Algaphon is a hybrid installation where algae bubbles that ring at Minnaert frequency near algal filaments are rendered audible through a hydrophone. Online visitors can leave a voice message that is translated into photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) variations in a remote aquarium. The response of the algae bubble response to human speech is then recorded and sent back to the visitor to engage in a reflective dialog with algal species.
Ugo Dehaes (BE)
In the installation Arena the audience is invited to interact with 8 robots and to help them become better dancers.
Celeste Rojas Mugica (CL/AR)
Ejercicios de aridez (Aridity Exercises), a project developed between 2017 and 2021, is focused on the image of a 2 kilometer long “corvo” knife, a historic emblem of the Chilean Armed Forces, meticulously drawn with chalk on the surface of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth. There is no certainty as to the drawing’s authorship, though the image demonstrates intent, and the persistence of the physical territory where it’s etched.
Ory Yoshifuji (JP)
Avatar Robot Cafe is a social implementation project to develop “OriHime,”an avatar robot that can be operated by people who have limited mobility and help people with disabilities to have jobs. We are presenting questions and solutions for a society where employment of the disabled is not enough. Join us at the demonstration and find out more about our cafe and its cause.
Joe Davis (US), Sarah Khan (PK)
The project is about to keep 2.417 quintillion angels on the head of a pin.
Sustainable and fairer Internet for everybody
Branch is an online magazine written by and for people who dream of a sustainable and just internet for all. The internet is the world’s largest fossil fuel-powered machine. If we continue business-as-usual, the IT sector will be responsible for 14% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2040.
Maja Smrekar (SI), Jonas Jørgensen (DK)
A soft robot with mesh reinforced silicone that morphs and deforms from a flat 2D surface into ever-changing 3-dimensional organic abstract shapes, through the use of pressurized air. Rather than mimicking the abstraction of capital that thrives from all life– through work and force–being directly transformed into (inflated) power, the intercrossing human-dog-AI-robot constellation establishes frames of reference that assert the distributed, networked, and open-ended character of evolution, turning segregation into autonomy and circumventing emergent technologies and their aims.
Codex Virtualis is an artistic research framework oriented towards the generation of an evolving taxonomic collection of hybrid bacterial-AI organisms.
Throughout its history, Ars Electronica has been continuously working to build a vital community. Community Love Projects is a concept that intends to bring together partner gardens from all over the world in different events.
Ahmed Alshenoudy (EG), Nikolaus Hofer (AT), Alexander Maletzky (AT), Bernhard Schenkenfelder (AT), Stefan Thumfart (AT) — all working at RISC Software GmbH
We often blindly trust AI-based systems for traffic sign recognition — but where are the limits of machine perception? In Crash Me If You Can we playfully get to the bottom of this question. Visitors have the opportunity to manipulate traffic signs to make a racing car fly out of the curve on a miniature racetrack.
Anna Ridler (UK), Caroline Sinders (US)
How can AI help us to face the climate crisis and other entwined challenges? This machine-learning-generated moving image piece gives insights into the complexity of data sets and raises questions about deforestation and the politics of climate change, memory and loss. Anna Ridler and Caroline Sinders created a special dataset of the Bald Cypress on the gulf coast of the USA, where both have family ties.
Cyrus Clarke (UK), Monika Seyfried (PL), Jeff Nivala (US)
Working with nature to respond to the threat of Data Warming, Data Garden invites visitors to experience a new materiality around data, and explore a world in which data storage is truly green. This type of organism-based data centre is designed to inspire new models that bring principles of working with nature to data, creating regenerative data ecosystems.
Hannes Hoelzl (IT), Dirk Erdmann (DE), Vinzenz Aubry (DE), Ólafur Arnalds (IS), Robert Schnüll (DE), Alberto de Campo (AT), Jussi Ängeslevä (FI), Andi Ruckel (DE)
Web-based digital condolence and contemplative spatial audio installation reflecting on the personal impact late media artist and designer Joachim Sauter had on many of us.
LIT Robopsychology Lab JKU Linz (AT)
Enabling a more democratic, realistic, critical, and constructive discourse will need a demystification of AI and the promotion of AI literacy among the general public. Against this background, the LIT Robopsychology Lab presents an interactive area consisting of several installations addressing topics such as the explainability of machine learning systems, joint decision-making with a voice assistant, and current media representations of AI.
Mark Hlawitschka (DE/AT), Moritz Simon Geist (DE)
DO YOU FEEL STRESSED is an installation in which rising air bubbles create sounds in water,to form a soothing, mesmerizing soundscape that invites the visitor to watch, listen and relax. The sounds are picked up by underwater microphones and amplified through loudspeakers.
Anastasia Pistofidou, Marion Real and The Remixers from Fab Lab Barcelona, IaaC (INT)
In Catalonia alone, every day, 720,000 kg of food is thrown away. This wasted food, totaling 260,000 tons per year, is equivalent to the food needs of 500,000 people for one year. Remix el Barrio was born with the ambition to propose a learning space to encourage and nurture new practices based on food-waste crafts.
MIKIKO (JP), ELEVENPLAY (JP), Daito Manabe (JP), Motoi Ishibashi (JP), Rhizomatiks (JP), Takayuki Fujimoto (JP), evala (JP)
The dance company, ELEVENPLAY, the director-choreographer, MIKIKO, and the collective led by Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, Rhizomatiks, presented a dance piece border in 2015. We developed and updated our experiment of 2015 to establish a new expression model for both online and on-site experience for the post-COVID-19 era.
Anke Loh (DE)
The Embroidered Touch project aims to reconnect individuals to the physical world through tactile craftsmanship with embedded technology. Anke Loh intends to create a dress that responds to touch through embroidered conductive threads.
Aisen Caro Chacin (US/ES/VE), Christopher Zahner (US)
As a response to the global shortage of ventilators we created Eurus, an emergency ventilator designed for resilience, adaptability, and patient safety, with on-hand hospital medical supplies and common electronic components. It was designed as a low-cost automation device for manual resuscitators, actuated by a blood-pressure cuff, which provides Automated and Assist/Control emergency ventilation to be easily assembled by hospitals in need.
Håkan Lidbo (SE)
A series of projects exploring the outer limits of how we use our face as an interpreter of our environment—or for the surroundings to find out what is going on in our minds.
Daniel Hoeller (AT), Dominic Koll (AT), Alexander Koll (AT), Helmut Rohregger (AT), Robert Sturmlechner (AT), Amir Bastan (IR)
At the Ars Electronica Festival, Spot the Robot Dog will take visitor groups into the world of robotics — or rather, show them around it. For this purpose, he will be trained in his own Training School at JKU. Spot will autonomously guide visitors around the grounds and between the stations, and also react to gestures.
Alice Hulan (AT)
By turning the crank, political quotations from the 1920s and 30s as well as from the present can be heard on the gramophone. Recipients will not find it easy to assign the respective quotes to the correct era.
Sabine Hild (AT), Institute of Polymer Science JKU; Julia Moser (AT), Fashion & Technology, University for Art and Industrial Design Linz; Patrik Radić (AT), Microbiology TU Graz; Laura Holzinger (AT), Chemistry and Chemical Technology JKU
There are qualities to bacteria that we may not be able to experience through our senses only. Our project makes visible the hidden colors of bacteria in our immediate environment. It shows their potential in the dyeing process for textiles, to make the world not merely more colorful — more blue, or yellow, or red—but also “greener“ and more sustainable.
Kasia Molga (UK/PL)
Inquiry into the possibility of using human tears to support and nourish basic marine life, the emotional impact of online information technology on our psyche and whether AI can help us embrace loss and grief and shed some tears in return – so that we can contribute to creating new mini-oceans.
KyungJin Jeong (KR)
In a Small Room focuses on two social issues, the first being the problem of poor living conditions in modern metropolitan areas, such as London and Seoul. The demand for housing in large cities, such as London, has greatly increased, but supply has not caught up with demand, a problem that has given rise to a cramped, prison-like residential environment.
Eli Joteva (BG/US)
What lies within the bounds of being? IntraBeing envisions enigmatic spaces beyond the capacities of medical imaging tools. The project employs MRI-acquired data to reveal alternative time scales inside the human body; digitized flesh, nerve fibers and hydrogen atoms unveil magnetic potentials that augment our material sense of being.
Kaito Sakuma (JP)
With the isolation due to COVID-19, we have become too dependent on what we see on monitors; we have lost the opportunity and the ability to perceive the invisible. People will hear the sounds from the Mirror and may sense the same “kehai (sign).” This mirror may be a new way of communicating. This project will explore the nature of communication that is non-verbal and common to all living things.
IP Group (PL): Jakub Lech, Bogumił Misala, Dominika Kluszczyk & Ania Haudek
Lumen is an interactive, site-specific immersive environment, a cognitive experiment in which light beams trigger a series of perceptual illusions. Interactions in this environment question existing spatial rules, eluding attempts at definition and description. The participants of the experiment discover new elements of a disturbing, new environment in isolation and solitude.
Andres Bosshard (CH)
The architecturally constructed echo reflection space of the library’s inner courtyard becomes an acoustically transformed dream space for flying sound flags in a glass quadrant. Shadowy, recognizable reverberations from Bruckner’s 9th and Lux Eterna are reanimated by a virtual sound mobile into a phatamorgana of space and time.
Group Laokoon (DE): Cosima Terrasse (FR), Moritz Riesewieck (DE), Hans Block (DE)
Is it possible to create a doppelganger of someone using only their personal Google data? The artistic data experiment MADE TO MEASURE allows viewers to tangibly experience what conclusions can be drawn about a person’s character, psychology and future behavior through algorithms. Who determines who we are and who we think we are?
Andreas Stelzer (AT) Institute for Communications Engineering and RF-Systems JKU, Andreas Müller (DE) Institute of Robotics JKU, Reinhard Feger (AT), Hubert Gattringer (AT), Masoud Farhadi (IR), Robert Sturmlechner (AT), Richard Hüttner (AT) all JKU
The perception of the environment under even the harshest external conditions is a prerequisite for autonomous vehicles and machines. Using the example of a millimeter-wave radar in symbiotic connection with a quadruped robot, the principle of the synthetic aperture and the detection of obstacles or hidden objects are shown in a playful context.
Vanessa Graf (AT)
The project Material Internet Field Kit: Linz is a collection of stories and images, a list of GPS coordinates, a map, and above all, an attempt to meet the embodied Internet in Linz.
Theresa Schubert (DE)
As an artistic research project, mEat me applies innovative biotechnological advancement beyond a scientific purpose or monetary intent. For the lab process, a serum, gained out of her own blood, was used to reproduce her muscle cells that had previously been extracted. The resulting cultured human meat shifts normative borders and dissolves the consumerist hierarchy between humans and animals.
Halsey Burgund (US), Francesca Panetta (GB)
In Event of Moon Disaster invites you into this alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect, and obfuscate the truth around us. The project has a physical installation as well as an online component.
Sarah Petkus (US), Mark J. Koch (US)
In a research and development phase lasting several months, Sarah Petkus and Mark J. Koch attempt to teach a suite of artificial intelligences to recognize familiar shapes and objects in images of star clusters, planetary surfaces, and other celestial bodies.
Markus Schedl (AT) Florian Fritzl (AT) Franz Schubert (AT) Alessandro B. Melchiorre (IT) Oleg Lesota (RU) Emilia Parada-Cabaleiro (ES) Vasco B. R. Fragoso (PT) David Penz (AT), Christian Ganhör (AT)
EmoMTB lets you explore large music collections in a novel way by navigating through a virtual city built around your favorite music. Through the use of AI technologies, you will receive song recommendations based on your musical taste and emotional state.
Silke Hofmann (DE)
Silke Hofmann is rethinking the conventional post-mastectomy bra on a structural level to co-create a wearer centric, modular and customizable bra alternative supporting women’s individual needs following breast cancer. In her design practice, Hofmann is interested in the wearer-garment relationship, and in conceptualising garment development processes that advocate consumer participation and co-creation.
Alexander Bello (BE/MX/US/CA)
“NeoBotanical Tailoring” is a co-creation project aiming to explore the intersection of nature, science, craftsmanship and health through a collection of naturally dyed and scented tailored garments.
Sandra Nicoline Nielsen (DK), Tim van der Loo (NL)
New Blue explores new pathways in the circular economy, aesthetics and production. Denim is an ubiquitous material, loved and used by many. It is also a significant source of waste. The challenge, as we see it, is to find a way to recirculate old, worn-out jeans and leftover fibres within the system.
Kyriaki Goni (GR)
Just before being shut down, an Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) exhibits odd behavior. For a brief period of time every day, for seven consecutive days, it goes into a monologue introducing itself, talking about its skills, its ancestors, its anatomy and origins, and about voice and its significance. It reveals data regarding the listening infrastructure, as well as the social dysfunctions and bias on which its programming and training are based. On the last day, it shares a set of tips on how not to be heard.
Territorial Agency – John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (INT)
Oceans in Transformation investigates the impact of human activity on the world ocean. The global ocean is changing its circulations, energies, interactions, and ecologies. It is the most dynamic and sensitive component of our living planet. The ocean is in a new phase of its dynamic history, shaped by intensifications of the impact of human activities on planetary systems—the Anthropocene.
Sammie de Vries – NL Mila Moleman – NL Mathieu Preux – FR Lucia Redondo – ES Zalán Szakács – NL
Oxytocina Machina is a VR project developed by a multidisciplinary and transnational team of 5 young artists: Sammie de Vries, Mila Moleman, Mathieu Preux, Lucia Redondo, Zalán Szakács. It is an extraordinary, shared experience that blurs the lines between reality and VR, exploring a virtual connection between strangers, who are in reality separated by a thousand miles.
Filippo Nassetti (IT), Vincenzo Reale (IT)
Through their collaboration, Filippo Nassetti and Vincenzo Reale are changing the notion of prostheses—from medical devices to customised fashion products — by radically rethinking the relationship between technology in the form of wearable objects and the human body. In the context of the current pandemic, their attention has been drawn to the urgent need for respiratory prostheses.
Re-FREAM CONSORTIUM (INT)
The Re-FREAM Garden shows collaborative research projects where selected artists and designers teamed up with a community of scientists and technologists to rethink the manufacturing process of the fashion industry.
Philipp Blume (AT), Gregor Ladenhauf (AT)
Schrödinger’s Rat is an interactive art sculpture and immersive experience, inspired by the famous thought experiment of Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger. As the first Austrian Burning Man artwork, it was honored with a Black Rock City Honoraria Grant by Burning Man Project in the context of the ”Multiverse” theme of 2020.
Malou Beemer (NL)
Malou Beemer reshapes the relation between us and our clothes by integrating body language and non-verbal behaviour into the design process, making fashion design more interactive and responsive.
Hana Zeqa, Laura Thaçi, Elisabeth Mirnig & Werner Jauk (2021)
Ugo Dehaes (BE)
Simple Machines is a lecture-performance in which we see how robots are born, from slimy cocoons to shiny machines. Through artificial intelligence, these creatures learn how to dance by themselves and create their own show.
Lisa Caligagan (AT)
Much like the aftermath of the past COVID semesters still lingers, the textile data cloud “A Student’s Perspective” hovers above us as a reminder, reflector and guide. Between countable minutes spent on Zoom and distances covered on walks, the visualization of distressing events overshadows the rest of the image.
Loreto Binvignat Streeter (CL/ES)
“Sustainable Evolution” is a co-creation project researching and applying innovative microorganic and plant dyes to help tackle the textile dye industry’s water waste and pollution problem.
Sophia Guggenberger (AT), Eugenia Morpurgo (IT)
In their collaboration, Sophia Guggenberger and Eugenia Morpurgo are working on sustainable shoes made from materials that are harvested in a regenerative field, including digital technologies in the fabrication process of the shoes. They are researching not only the technical aspects of these specific processes but also the wider implications of employing different production methods, industrial strategies and digital fabrication.
María Ignacia Court (CL), Trinidad Piriz (CL)
The Burst of Things is a sound series that tells the history of Chile’s social movements from the perspective of the objects that shaped them: saucepans, yellow vests, metro turnstiles, face masks, retired police weapons, and the Chilean Constitution. Where are we standing? takes as its starting point the final episode of The Burst of Things and continues the journey of this lost Constitution through the production of a film essay/interactive performance accessible online. We want to explore issues of uncertainty, loss, memory and desire.
Matthias Pitscher (DE), Giacomo Piazzi (IT)
The Chiromancer is an AI that mastered the art of palm reading to predict the future. The machine extends the ancient practice of chiromancy by combining biometric data with cloud-based knowledge. Like so many other devices we use today, it collects, stores, and extrapolates user data to generate hopes and wishes with technical prediction systems.
Nova Innova (NL)
There is a ground-breaking technology, called Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology. This technology enables us to generate energy from organic waste: from compost to mud, from urine to plants. All organic waste streams are turned into sustainable energy sources thanks to this innovative technology.
The Museum of Edible Earth is a cross-disciplinary project with a core collection of earth samples which are eaten for various reasons by different people across the globe.
Tomo Kihara (JP/NL)
Theirtube is an open-source web service that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people’s YouTube. Users can experience how the YouTube starting page would look for six different personas: Conspiracist, Climate Denier, Conservative, Liberal, Prepper, and Fruitarian.
Yoichi Ochiai (JP)
In order to mediate between the massive landscapes composed by original nature and the massless landscapes described by digital nature, Yoichi Ochiai continues to create artwork for transforming scenery. Between mass and masslessness, he is searching for a longing for mass and a sentiment for pixels.
PDNB (Postdigital Neobaroque) (AT/DE/IT/GB)
Triopic Spectacle endeavours to flatten the hierarchies between the real and the potential. It challenges the outmoded, myopic, binary thinking of local/global, 1s/0s, individual/collective, real/virtual, analog/digital, natural/artificial by establishing two-way windows, bridges, interfaces, portals and glitches between three ‘triopic’ domains: ‘real reality’, ‘mixed reality’, ‘virtual reality’.
Moritz Simon Geist (DE)
Vibrations is an AI-controlled robotic sound instrument reflecting on minimal music.
Law Lab (AT)
The hearing is a crucial element of administrative and legal proceedings. It cannot be neglected in authorization processes, e.g. for new industrial plants or road construction, or in civil litigation and criminal trials. During the pandemic, video calls became the makeshift solution for hearings. But the question remains: could these new technologies be of further value to the state of law? With “The Virtual Court. Reality” the LIT Law Lab seeks to answer this question by introducing the court of the future in virtual space. Bring VR headsets instead of briefcases!
Kat Mustatea (US), Process Studio (AT)
Voidopolis is a digital performance about loss and memory presented as an AR book with a limited lifespan. A loose retelling of Dante’s Inferno informed by the grim experience of wandering through NYC during a pandemic, the book’s garbled pages can only be deciphered with an AR app which, after enough readings, decays the images and words just as memory would.
Gershon Dublon (US), Xin Liu (CN), with guest artist Xiao Xiao (US/FR)
Shape your dreams with the sounds of our world. The Wandering Mind is an AI-powered micro-sampler that assembles winding soundscapes from thousands of global field recordings found online. In curated performances, group naps and guided mind-wanderings, we convene collective actions of sleeping together. In this special series for Ars, entitled “Field Sketches from Imaginary Travels,” guest performer Xiao Xiao combines the ambient soundscapes of Wandering Mind with improvisational theremin, keyboard, and vocals.
Wanderline is a project to transform the world’s transportation networks (buses, streetcars, trains, roads, routes, walkways, etc.) into a new musical experience. After having experienced profound isolation and travel restrictions, what kind of journeys will we make when we emerge from this pandemic? Wanderline is a location-based, audiovisual application that allows new travelers to enjoy music which can only be heard in a specific place. Wanderline can be experienced by installing the app on a smartphone and physically traveling along the featured “line” in geographic space.