Author Archive for luca barbeni

Interview with Exonemo

Formed in 1996 by Kensuke Sembo and Yae Akaiwa, Exonemo is group devoted to the experimentation of new ways of interaction between art and public.

Exonemo - Object B

LUCA: Object B presents, compared to the consumer society, a different kind of immersion between real and virtual spaces. what do you think about the relationships of virtual and real spaces of contemporary world? And what do you want to communicate trough the hacked interactions of Object B?
EXO: When considering about the “real” and “virtual” space, we feel the border between them has been getting more ambiguous than before. It might be no longer an indivisible concept. But actually, not only “real space to virtual space” but also divided world such as “country to country”, “culture to culture” or “person to person” exist around us and make conflicts between them.

The Object B focuses on “communication” between divided worlds.

By multiple approach to the installation, for example, from the exhibit space (physically) or from the game space (as a nonphysical avatar), you will experience an obvious communication gap between two worlds.
We think that’s the interesting point on communication.

LUCA: Which seeds where the starting point to think this piece?
EXO: Maybe at the moment when I doubted if a person on the other side of the internet was a real human being…or not!?

LUCA: What do you think about game industry today?
EXO: Regading the Half-Life, the game company VALVE opens the developement environment partly to get the scene active and also let expert programmer join the company. It’s intersting that we can touch the structure of the game by modification. Game modification has a potential for expansion but we have a limited feeling about the distribution system STEAM because they tighten controls on license. Meanwhile, game industry in Japan seems different. Japanese game companies almost never open the developement environment to the public, but they activate the game scene by allowing re-creation of game characters such as cosplay, fan fiction and so on.
Each environment is open and closed at different point and we see an interesting difference of game culture there.

LUCA: Open source and free exchange are important vectors of innovation, don’t you think that with all this new and specialized hardware and software instrument, that are quite “closed”,that users will have a little range of creative possibilities?
EXO: Focusing on open source and free exchange in art creation, we think it is different from software development.
For the software development, “function” is absolutely imperative and we can share the function by getting source code. So we think the open source for software development is very important but for the art work, “function” is not important thing so there isn’t much point in sharing the source. To represent the concept through an art work might expect
next creativity like open source and free exchange on software development.

LUCA: Water, what makes you thinkin?

Interview with Peter Horvath

Peter Horvath

Today we talk with Peter Horvath, who has recently inaugurated a retrospective exhibition at the ACA Gallery of the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Atlanta.

Horvath presents a new DVD-installation, called Boulevard, together with other cinematic DVD’s and Internet-based video. He’s a pioneer of the genre, realizing a bridge between the nouvelle vague, the experimental cinema of the 70′s and the new possibilities of the browser-based cinema, the so-called webcinema.

Peter Horvath

LUCA: In this solo exhibition, you will present your new piece “Boulevard”, what is it about?

HORVATH: Boulevard is a 3 channel video installation. It follows two enigmatic, nameless people through their nighttime rendezvous, their drives through California canyons, their secrets, their confessions. I wanted to create a kind of intimate theatre, accessible from the web browser, a dreamlike odyssey that examines multiple states of consciousness within a shadow of family histories.

Filmed in Los Angeles, mostly at night and in the Laurel Canyon/Hollywood Blvd area close to Mullholland Drive, it’s the first work I’ve done that is made for both the web and an installation situation, constructed so that once finished for the web it could be re-constructed into 3 separate DVD’s that are projected simultaneously.

LUCA: What are the influences of the web to cinema, and how has cinema mutated migrating on a network?

HORVATH: I’ve always been interested in fragmenting my narratives, and I’ve done so in past work by having multiple windows open and close within the web-browser environment, playing out various parts of the story. Boulevard is slightly different from past work in that there are no pop-up windows, and instead I’ve divided the screenspace into 3 panels of video. In the web version there are randomly placed texts that appear below the videos that tell a different part of the narrative, fragmenting things further.

Peter Horvath

LUCA: I think webcinema, particularly, is an individual experience, like cinema; how did you manage to install your webcinema pieces in an open space?

HORVATH: I try to create intimate spaces to project the works large scale, but of course the intimacy is different compared to the one on one we have when interacting with the computer. With the ACA show, we constructed 4 rooms, 1 for each work.

LUCA: Talking about cinema, who are your favourite contemporary authors?
HORVATH: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Scorsese, Truffault (can he be considered contemporary?) but my influences lean more toward artists than filmmakers; Bill Viola, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Francis Bacon and the Dadaist Hannah Hoch to name a few.

BIP – building interactive plagrounds

BIP is an event promoted by FAWI (Fondazione Arezzowave Italia) and ARSNOVA, curated by Associazione Culturale NADA and managed by TODO.

The event will be the 20-21st of July in Florence, in collaboration with ElettroWave, the major free event of electronic music.

If you want to play with space, time, people and technology, if you fiddle around with the idea the space can be programmed, if social patterns are your breakfast, if you are not scared by a drunk young audience, if you keep telling your friends that environments are not passive wrappings but active processes, if you dream about pervasive computing, if your perceptions keep shifting, if your projects are about interplay, exploration and humor, if tinkering with technology is your obsession…

Then… this call for works is your unique chance to experiment with interaction design within the context of an electronic music festival.
Nightlife, extreme characters, clubbing freaks, young unrespectuful and challenging audience. You know what we are talking about, don’t you?

They are looking for projects. Not vague ideas or proof of concepts. Real projects that can substantially and meaningfully enrich the Elettrowave event and strengthen involvement. Clubbing is the context and not the object of BIP.
They’re looking for something innovative, passionate and fresh that can make a difference: interactive installations, environments, sound and/or visual projects, etc.

All project proposals must be submitted by May 10th, 2007.
Late entries will not be accepted. By submitting a project, entrant warrants that it is his/her original design.

The submission form is available at
Participants need to provide us with all the information required in the submission form.

DEAF 07: Interact or Die

I’m at the DEAF07 Festival in the city of Rotterdam. First of all from an italian point of view it’s always amazing to realize how a good organizations of the fluxes of a city can generate a better life: less cars and more bicycle means less noise, the appropriation of the pubblic space by art sculpture means a space the citizens care of.


Now about DEAF07 i think it’s really well organized. First of all the exhibtion space at Las Palmas it’s inside a building that will be inaugurated next week, but also if you enter trough dust and working people, you don’t care at all as you get in. The space is really raw and trough cement column you can see a lot of interactive art pieces.
And many of these installation are really beautiful. This exhibition is really interesting particularly for his strong statement about interaction: interact or die. It’s a message to the media art scene, that in the last years floated with no clear direction, now the DEAF 07 exhibiton says it loud: interact or die, that’s the destiny for media art. All the pieces are in singular ways intercactive, from mouse to shadow, from fingers to a, you can interact with all the part the of the body, from playful to amazing sensation, from surprise to emotions of pure fear.

What really interested me was the qualitative differences of the interaction, that floating trough different ranges provide a clear picture of interactive installations at our time.


The same interactive attitude is implemented in the seminars, that rather than a simple conference and discussion model, they’re structured more on different modules that even overlap eachother: for example the seminar Critical Ecosystem today was really interesting both for the content and for the structure of the seminar itself, that startd with a talk of Matthew Fuller about “art for animal”, that said that “what is suggested in this initial sketch of possible field is a myriadic ecology of perceptual cognitive
sets, some of which may overlap or share functions and capacities.”
Then another talk by Jan Willem Dol about the Greenpeace Campaign and after a game about the simulation of life by Rens Kortmann, that continued while Anthony Hall show on another stage his reasearch with wood crafted noise making machines and complex systems to make music with fishes inside a aquarium.
The exhibition is open till the 29th of april, so if you pass by Rotterdam, please go to.

Anthony Hall

Then the place to go is the Un-DEAF festival, where in a open and shared environment there’re talks, music, parties.

Jean Baudrillard passed away on Tuesday, March 6

The French media theorist Jean Baudrillard left his life on this world yesterday. Philosopher and pioneer of the “media theory”, focused his research on the seduction of the media and on the role fo simulation into contemporary society. He died in Paris, he was 77.

Simplicity: John Maeda in Milan

10 laws:

John Maeda talked yesterday night at the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Milan, in a open conference organized by MGM digital communication for his series of meeting Meet the Media Guru.
As John Maeda started to talk he said that he considered himself a mediaguy rather than a mediaguru, and i felt myself immediately better. “The computer is nothing more than a pencil” said April Greinman 20 years ago, and Maeda said that if it’s a pencil, it’s one that broke his tip continously, again and again.

What is semplicity about? semplicity=simplistic? =trend? =more sales? =?
it’s a question with no answer….and we’re at the beginning. So he started to present to the audience how easy it’s possbile to see semplicity and beauty into everyday life, showing photos he did from the complexity of the Dome of Milan to the simplicity of a dead white butterfly on a black asphalt: “the world is a great museum to visit“, you’ve just to open your eyes.

“Capitalism utilize the machine not to further social welfare, but to increase private profit.” Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization, 1934

Design is about merging human sensibility and technological aspects, and the human desires are mutable, sometime you want more, sometime less, usually if it’s about pleasure you want more, if about work less.

He started then to present more deeply the book he just edited for MIT Press, called The Laws of Simplicity. And he said since the beginning he wont show all the principles, he did the book for the pourpose and there everything is clearly explained, so read it!!!
Then a quick talk about four laws, about this part was particularly interesting the “SHE’s alwasy right” paradigm, that present a metodology that is always good for design: Shrink, Hide, Embody. Some clear example of this attitude are the evolution of the interface of the I-pod and the shell phone design. So at the fourth law, Learn, he stopped talking about the laws of simplicity and it started the best part of the conference with Maeda seriously telling to the audience how important is to look with a curious eye to the world and to spend time in relational activities: “Friends are forever, spend life making friends, not money”.

At the beginning of the conference he clearly said he thought about 10 laws, but they can be 3, 2 or more, he don’t knows what can happen, but that are his laws about complexity for now and at the end he said what i think are the real laws of Maeda’s way of life:
“To live is learn to forget
“Everything is already there, so don’t think too much, but keep on doing
“Look for things that gives you hope, life is great”

then the questions, sincerely not so interesting but among them turned out this:
Q: Artists that inspired you?
A: Duchamp, Bruno Munari and Italo Calvino.

Q: is it really important to learn programming to make design today?
A: Programming is quite boring. 5 years ago i would said yes, now… i don’t know.
Programming is sharp, but life is about emotion, so i hope in the future programming can be softer.

Q: How do you see ther future?
A: I don’t the future i see, i can say the future i want: a future as a friendly place.
and i started clapping my hands….

Born Again Ideology: Considerations

At least one week to think about what Arthur Kroker said at the conference in Transmediale the 2th of february. Soon the book “Born against ideologies” will be pubblished, meanwhile some excerpts from that speech.

The canadian researcher point out that after the capitalism it was free to became global, it became an intensive capitalism with no barrier on his multiples trajectories.
But this complex world needs other answers: against the technology and his power structure rise the escatological society.

The escatological society born from the failure of reason. After 500 years dominated by the reason and the technology both the biosphere and the memesphere reacts to the promises not rewarded.
If 20th century was a struggle between the ideologic assolutism and the technological assolutism, the 21th century is about the research of the god killed in the century before. God never died thanx to the failures of reason and technology. Tecnocracy rivitalize faith, science is all about faith, and once it failed, it merged into religion.

The rise of a ideologic compromise between the privatization of religion and the collettivization of science. U.S.A. Represents a unique fusion of the language of technology and the speech of religion: the reason has failed so the technology needs a new light.
The language of will became the fire for the technological research and development. Technology and religion intersects eachother as terrorists and “civilized world” do.

In the era of speed of light the quantic phisycs describe the contemporary politics: oppositions are “galactic singularities” that lives at the same time in the same place. The capitalism became global and the terrorists find a parassistic way of integrating into it.
Are we born again ideology?

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