The S+T+ARTS = STARTS initiative is a program of the European Commission launched in 2016 to encourage synergies between the arts and technology to support innovation in industry and society.
STARTS promotes the inclusion of artists in research and innovation activities in Europe and funds projects to encourage collaborations of engineers, scientists and artists. As one of these projects, Ars Electronica in collaboration with BOZAR and Waag has launched a prize to select the most pioneering collaborations and results in the field of creativity and innovation where science and technology intersect with the arts. At the festival, Ars Electronica presents the STARTS initiative and a selection of the prizewinning and nominated works of STARTS Prize 2019.
Mathias Foot (DE), Franziska Rast (DE), Stephan Schakulat (DE)
Covering 71% of the Earth’s surface, water is an important part of the global ecosystem. Every development and change in the sea also affect life on earth. Datasets help us to understand conditions and ecological processes such as changes in salinity or temperature. 30° is a data visualization of marine data in the form of an installation.
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
We humans think, dream and imagine in 2D, but with this game we can practice using our zero gravity minds. 3D Chess is seemingly simple but not easy to master.
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
Alterplex is a strategic board game where the board is invisible, except seen through the pieces. The moving properties of the pieces are decided by the animations of the board, constantly changing, following a hidden pattern. The game is synchronized with a musical structure that guides the players with timing and strategy. As the players have to predict many possible futures, the game becomes a training tool for non-linear thinking.
Kate Crawford (AU), Vladan Joler (RS)
Anatomy of an AI System is a large-scale map and long-form essay investigating the human labor, data, and planetary resources required to build and operate an Amazon Echo. The exploded view diagram combines and visualizes three central, extractive processes that are required to run a large-scale artificial intelligence system: material resources, human labor, and data. The map and essay consider these three elements across time—represented as a visual description of the birth, life, and death of a single Amazon Echo unit.
The Arte Electrônica Indígena (AEI) project was designed and executed by the NGO Thydêwá. It consisted of a series of ten short artistic residencies in indigenous communities in the Brazilian Northeast in order to co-create works of electronic art. These were exhibited to the public at the Museum of Modern Art, Salvador da Bahia, in August 2018 and have since toured the indigenous communities themselves.
United Visual Artists (UK)
Beholder continues UVA’s investigations into time perception and the relativity of our experiences. It centers around the wonder of everyday phenomena as seen through autistic perspectives, inviting us to re-evaluate our perception of beauty.
BCL – Georg Tremmel (AT), Shiho Fukuhara (JP)
DNA Synthesisers or ‘DNA Printers’ are devices that chemically synthesise or ‘print’ DNA sequences. Currently, the synthesis of long DNA sequences is still an expensive process, therefore DNA Synthesisers are centralised and offered as a service to universities and research institutions. When a specific DNA sequence is ordered, the DNA information is sent to the company, the DNA is synthesised and returned in its physical form, ready to be used for biological experiments. This centralisation also has an intended side-effect: the companies act as censors, controlling which DNA is to be synthesised—and which not. An unofficial ‘Black List’ of potentially harmful and forbidden DNA Sequences has been created and is shared amongst the companies—officially for bio-security reasons. Because of the expensive chemicals involved in the process, it was not really feasible to create a DIY DNA Synthesiser—until now. DIY microfluidics make the process possible and more affordable. But it is still error-prone and creates mutations in the physical DNA sequences. BLP-2000 creates prototype DNA Synthesisers that only print the ‘forbidden,’ black-listed DNA Sequences. The process of printing black-listed DNA Sequences also creates a moral and societal dilemma.
Studio 7.5 (DE)
This project investigates the communicative potential of reactive surfaces and focuses on the collaboration between humans and autonomous vehicles. The membrane perceives and reacts to the environment like a sea anemone. The aim of the project is to use these expressive possibilities to transmit processes and intentions of an autonomous system to the environment.
Jen Keane (US)
This is grown. was motivated by a frustration with plastics and a visible disparity between scientific research and design manifestations around natural materials. Taking an organism-driven approach to material design, the project began under the premise that a greater understanding of nature could help us not just replace the petrochemical based materials of today with more sustainable ones, but perhaps allow us to devise entirely new systems of making and categories of materials previously unimagined. After all, nature has had 3.8 billion years to perfect the ultimate circular economy: Life. Maybe we can still learn something.
Vladan Joler (RS)
Governments, political actors and companies are now experimenting with more sophisticated ways (harder to detect and document) of exerting internet control and disturbance in the information flow. The aim of this analysis was to explore (and visualize) some of the forms and methods of interventions that various political actors or power structures have been using to control and conquer various online spheres. Here we mostly focused on hidden, indirect actions, interventions by unknown actors, companies without visible ties to government officials, political troll armies and troll lords and “artificial” entities. This map is based on a 5-year internet monitoring process and over 400 different cases of violations documented and analyzed by the Share Foundation. Though different methods represented in this map are observed in our local context, we believe that they are also being used worldwide in similar forms. This map is an attempt to interconnect most of those issues into one map, one possible narrative, one possible reading of those processes.
Yuki Moriyama (JP), Eiji Kawata (JP), Ryohei Fukushi (JP)
In collaboration with Japanese animation studio Polygon Pictures, Mercedes-Benz has designed animations of different scenarios in which autonomous vehicles could build informed trust with humans. The basic idea when designing animes is that a lot of emotion is expressed in a few strokes. The key issue that this project concerns itself with is therefore: How can these basic principles be used for intuitive communication between human and machine?
Ayako Suwa (JP), Evala (JP), Yasuaki Kakehi (JP)
Journey on the Tongue is a totally new taste and sound installation which invites you on a spectacular multi-sensory journey. Realized by the three artists Ayako Suwa, the pursuer of “Expressive food,” sound artist Evala, the founder of “See by Your Ears,” and media artist Yasuaki Kakehi, who explores new haptic experiences. This work is a new perception of sound and taste.
300.000 Km/s (ES)
Big Data, KDD and Citizen Participation to Ensure Coexistence between Economic Activity and Citizens’ Quality of Life The project embodies a new way of making urban planning. Fueled by massive information (open data and big data) and complemented with qualitative data arising from citizen participation, the project applies novel methodologies of spatial analysis based on machine learning and artificial intelligence to inform, simulate, and draft a public policy that puts the focus on preserving liveability in cities.
onformative (DE), kling klang klong (DE)
Meandering River is an audiovisual art installation comprised of real-time visuals and music composed by an A.I. through machine learning. The piece reinterprets the shifting behavior of rivers in the landscape, regarded from a bird’s eye view. Minor changes of riverbeds are not visible for the bare eye, as they are gradually happening over time. Spanning over multiple screens Meandering River visualizes these altering landscapes and makes the changes visible. It leaves the observer with a unique perception of time.
Jie Qi (US), Carol Lin (US), May Qi (US), Ira Winder (US)
PatentPandas.org is a resource built to explain (scary!) patent law using (not-scary!) panda comics. The website has three core parts: Resources: information pages that explain the patent system (like prior art, what is patentable, infringement, etc.) using friendly language and humorous panda comics. Stories: accounts by everyday inventors who had adventures (or misadventures) involving patents and highlights what they learned from their experiences. Get Help: for innovators who are in need of legal support, we compiled a list of pro bono law clinics that offer to help innovators referred from patentpandas.org
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
*Proelium* is a board game with a space-folding board, developed for people with enhanced ability to see patterns.
Bjørn Karmann (DK), Tore Knudsen (DK)
Our relationship with technology is formed by how we interact with it. However, commercial smart products for the home tend to treat the user as passive consumers. Especially smart home assistance has shown design patterns that limit the possibilities of interaction and agency from the user perspective, even in the most private and personal sphere—the home. Our interaction patterns are highly determined by the designers of these products, and with Alias, we are interested in how this power relation can be redefined, especially when it comes to privacy. The exciting future that “smart” technologies can give us often comes with conditions that diminish our privacy and the feeling of being in control. With Alias we want to challenge this condition and ask what kind of “smart” we actually want in the future.
Aruma – Sandra de Berduccy (BO), Maria Selma Batista Ferreira (BR), Camacã Imboré/Tupinambá Indigenous community, Bahia (BR)
The three textile works that comprise *Pulsation* combine traditional knowledge, processes and materials such as reeds, thread and feathers, with unusual materials such as fiber-optic cable and LEDs to offer a poetic approach to Indigenous culture.
Re-FREAM is an invitation to artists and designers to re-think the future of fashion with state-of-the-art production technologies. Re-FREAM gives artists and designers access to new production technology, new materials, and know-how to co-create innovative fashion concepts in collaboration with scientists. Apply to the second call, opened on July 1, 2020.
Fernando Bello (MX), ICCESS & Salomé Bazin (FR), Cellule studio
How do surgeons prepare for an operation, when they know that the smallest mistake could be the line between life and death? That was the question Cellule faced when developing SimCath, a cardiology suite for simulation training. By training in a simulation environment, future surgeons have an opportunity to rehearse for complex surgery, performing common interactions between patients and clinicians in a low risk environment. Developing SimCath was reminiscent of building a theatre set, a stage which mimics the real surgical environment in such a way that the surgeons acting through their roles are immersed in the performance of surgery and the relationship between patients and clinicians.
Sabine Engelhardt (DE)
With SLAP I want to make robotics not only understandable but truly approachable. Clifford Nass drew the comparison of robots with domesticated animals. They are useful, but also dangerous. But, how do we communicate with animals? Can we feel them? How does it work?
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
This game is a collaboration between one of our planet’s most simple forms of intelligence and the most advanced. Slime mold and humans.
Idalene Rapp (DE), Natascha Unger (DE)
In Stone Web, Basalt is transformed into a light, stable modular system that can be used for small scale applications such as furnishing or combined to create large, spatial structures or urban furniture. Due to its scalability and production optimization, for example using robotics, future applicability ranges from landscape design to architecture. *Stone Web*, seen equally as an art object and product, finds its place between space, urban object, furniture, architecture, boundary, and installation.
Bruno Gomes (BR), Karapotó Plak-ô Indigenous community, Alagoas (BR)
An extension of the concept of body painting with the use of technology that opens the door to new experiences and new conversations. Participants drew the elements present in their natural environment which were then animated and projected onto their bodies.
Forensic Architecture (UK)
Shortly after midnight on 18 September 2013, Pavlos Fyssas, a young Greek anti-fascist rapper, was murdered in his home neighbourhood of Keratsini, Athens. Both the killer and others who participated in the attack were members of the neo-Nazi organization Golden Dawn. Forensic Architecture was commissioned by the Fyssas family and their legal representatives to reconstruct the events of the night from the audio and video material made available to the court. The resulting video investigation and accompanying report, presented to the Athens courtroom on 10 and 11 September 2018, brings together CCTV footage, recordings of communications between police and emergency services, and witness testimony. We established a precise timeline and reconstruction of the events that led to the murder. The investigation established that members of Golden Dawn, including senior officials, acted in a co-ordinated manner in relation to the murder, and that members of Greece’s elite special forces police, known as DIAS, were present at the scene before, during and after the murder, and failed to intervene.
Óscar Octavio “Ukumari” (BO), Pataxó de Barra Velha Indigenous community, Porto Seguro, Bahia (BR)
An interactive sonic landscape. By means of a contact-sensitive fishing net, visitors are transported to the seashore where they can compose music with the nature and stories of the Pataxó Indigenous community.
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
The roll of a dice determines the board and the pieces in the complex strategic game *X-or*.
Hakan Lidbo (SE)
*X+N* is a board game where pieces and board re-build, split, morph, change size, shape and properties throughout the game.
STARTS Prize has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732019.