140909: O.K. Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich: Cyberarts 2009 – Prix Ars Electronica Exhibtion

O.K. Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich: Cyberarts 2009 – Prix Ars Electronica Exhibtion In the normality of real-time world High tech goes low tech. Welcome to the world of experiments and handicraft, of hobby gardening and weaving. Who would have ever expected that the digital art exhibit Cyberart, would present itself so casually - at least on the level of analogue, not at all computer-like materializations. This world of cool surfaces now only partially manifests itself at the O.K. in Linz, something which had a statement character in the early days of the ars electronica. This year, the ars electronica jury put forth social and ecological aspects. Among the works shown is an installation, which was already presented at the Manifesta in Bozen: ‘Tantalum Memorial Residue’ by Graham Harwood, Richard Wright (UK) and Matsuko Yokokoji (UK/JP). It is based on old analogous telephone circuits and enables setting up a complex social network through recorded language, which is dedicated to the refugees from the Congo as a communicative sculpture. Content wise, the installation, which was created in England and resembles a fragment of an archaic switchboard, refers to the exploitation of coltan ore in the Congo. The metal tantalum, which is extracted from coltan, is used in the production of cell phones. Yuri Suzuki’s “The Physical Value of Sound,” presents a series of interactive sound installations based on the good old vinyl records. And a similar re-translation is displayed in Matthias Gommel’s, Martina Haitz’s and Jan Zappe’s installation ‘robotlab’, in which an industrial robot transcribes all 66 books of the Bible onto paper roles over a period of many months. Large parts of this year’s Cyberart can be summarized at the level of recording systems in the sense of representation automats, which function through their immanent technological time jumps in a media reflective way. Of course the creaking and cracking of these old appliances is accompanied by the more current processing of classics at the interface into an uncertain future. Topics such as hybrid architecture or biotechnology are presented: Eduardo Kac’s decoded DNS, which leaves its traces in an herbal blossom or Shiho Fukohara and Georg Tremmel’s genetically altered carnation “Moondust”. Unfortunately some of the works are only presented as documentations or as implemented trace elements. Now, especially through the opening of the extended ars electronica centre, the question arises, how the ars electronica will succeed to offensively develop and discuss new art terms in the future. This would be connected to the acknowledgement of more costly presentations - and possibly productions. The extent of the efforts the festival has made in the last 30 years to establish electronic and digital culture is presented in the retrospective part of the Brucknerhaus in Linz. Here you will find a documentation how the “ars” gradually developed into an independent event and emerged from the Linzer Brucknerfest. And here, in the world of a past future, one encounters the media art pioneer Zelko Wiener, who died in 2006. Already during the mid 80s he anticipated the concept of today’s Internet on the basis of the telephone BTX technology. To a certain degree, this is where the other end of the parabola is located. By Roland Schöny O.K. offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich 4020 Linz, Dametzstrasse 30, until 04.10.09 www.ok-centrum.at

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