Tag Archive for ‘Marnix-de-Nijs’


To quote another artist exhibiting at Sonar, ‘I hate crowds, but I’ve never hated a crowd this big.’ SonarMatica (the multimedia exhibition inside Sonar Complex) turned out to be a nice place to escape from the relentless chaos and irreparable ear damage. Be warned, there is nothing in this blog about music and only very partial coverage of one multimedia exhibition. I managed to miss SonarCinema, Sonarama and Arte Digital A La Carta, having spent all my time in the dark vault where Sonarmatica took place nursing my piece.


The theme at Sonarmatica this year is future-past cinema. Beautiful pieces of pre-cinematic technology are resurrected and displayed side by side with some very slick new media art. This really brings an interesting historical perspective to the exhibition. I think it’s a good idea to be humbled by the old timers now and then. For example, Alvaro Cassinelli’s ‘Boxed Ego’ which exploits stereoscopic lenses faces a large 18th century stereoscope. Two centuries can be traversed by a few steps. ‘Boxed Ego’ invites the audience to peer into a box to see a tiny three dimensional video of him/her self in the act of peeping. The video is deliberately delayed which creates an interesting awareness of time. The theme of self-voyeurism is unsurprisingly very popular with the festival goers.


Marnix de Nijs’s “The Beijing Accelerator” is quite an experience. A joy stick is used to synchronize the movement of the chair with the movement of the city scape on screen. Giddy, disorienting and fun, it’s tempting to ignore what the artist intends and just spin as fast as possible while trying not to fall off.


Stage Fright” uses the simple mechanism of a swing to make a simple narrative unfold. The participant must swing as high as possible in order to see what happens next. The project is developed at the Medialab-Prado during the Interativos workshop with a team of awesome collaborators. I especially want to thank Valeria Marraco, Sytse Wierenga and Emanuel Andel for creating the video.

One of my favorite pieces at SonarMatica is Julien Maire’s performance “DemiPas”. It features a converted projector that uses slides which are intricate little machines in themselves. The complicated mechanical movement of the ‘slides’ animate different scenes and push the story forward. It was whimsical and moving, I strongly recommend seeing it. It worked nicely with Takashi Kawashima’s shadow puppetry performance “Takashi’s Seasons” which mixes the traditional and the new.

Other cool pieces…

FLIPBOOK! – Juan Carlos Ospina Gonzalez / Fabrica

Andy Cameron, Oriol Ferrer Mesià, David McDougall, Joel Gethin Lewis, Hansi Raber – FABRICA – We Are The Time. We Are The Famous

Julian Oliver – levelHead
Paola Guimerans, Horacio González e Igor González – Biophionitos

A zoetrope!

STRP festival part I

After a slightly complicated trainsurfingtrip i arrived in Eindhoven, a small beautiful city in the south of Netherlands… if you go to Eindhoven Beukenlaan by train , you’ll see an old Philips Factory… and inside you find STRP, the Festival for Art, Technology and Music. already surprised at the entrance because of the metal-gates guiding the people in lines i was even more puzzled when entering the first zaal, called the brainport zaal… loads of people and sounds and action everywhere… was like entering at a luna park… ok, aaahhh, to much for the beginning… so, what to see first ? i took the festival program and looked for special lectures or performances which i might miss. oh, it’s dutch… do you have a english version ? …no, but look at the overview, it’s international ;-) ok, it wasn’t supposed to be an international festival… at least on the web-page you find all the info in english. even the lectures are in dutch. alright, i know german, so i could get some info’s out of “paradise bij the laptoplight”, a lecture with the topic “next nature“. how nature becomes culture and culture becomes nature. with international speed lectures (english ;-) , so i could understand better). quite informational and critic view about how we try to copy the nature, commercialise it and how all this is becoming nature again. on a broadsheet we got, you could read : “our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own” or “second life is not sustainable”.
after that i started to check out the exhibition… wandering around and had lots of fun… in the beginning i was sceptic about the dimension of the festival and the luna park approach, but actually i liked a lot how the people used the interactive works. it was no such shy distance like in other art exhibitions, where people just look, or maybe very carefully touch. the people really use it and even start to invent new ways of playing around. so it’s a hardcore-test for all interactive works here… after a very interesting and intensive exhibition and my exhausting travelling i was to tired to see the music-program, which was a pity, because there was a very good international lineup ! … so i missed modeselektor :-(
check out some works from the exhibition >>>

seminar interrupting realities @ deaf07

The Seminar interrupting realities was about artistic approaches to mixed reality. About possibilities, visions and the borders between virtual and real, 2nd life and 1st life.

A very interesting project in the virtual world of art is common grounds from workspace unlimited (founded by Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke) Startet in Belgium it has 3 terminals (Ghent, Montreal and Rotterdam) This Terminals are in the physical environment of the virtual space you can explore. So you walk virtualy through the building you are in – you are doublepresent, physical and virtual. Your virtual representation is not only your avatar walking around, it´s also your image is transported into the world of workspace unlimited. In different rooms you have different possibilities of interaction. e.g. in a conferenceroom, you can comunicate with other users – their webcamimages are projected virtualy on the walls of the conferenceroom.

EI 4 (Exercise in Immersion 4) from Marnix de Nijs also connects physical with simulated world, a game starting on the border to reality. Wearing a special designed crashsuit with camera and HMD you start in the electronic reproduction of your surrounding physical world. But starting to move around – an unknown virtual environment is taking over. You should be familiar with his work Run Motherfucker Run.

Another very interesting speaker was Armando Menicacci (F), director of Laboratoire Médiadanse, Anomos He talked about the complexity of movement and gestures of a body, problems of tracking and analysing the data… It´s like dancing and sports, while sports has objective measureable datas, dance is based on subjective expression. Out of a tracked movement you will not get an expression or meaning of the movement, just datas like direction, position & duration. to get an idea of what he was talking about you can check the video of the tracking workshop, which he hold together with Christian Delecluse, Cyrille Henry (pmpd-library), Sher Doruff (Waag Society, Amsterdam), Stan Wijnans Cliff Randell from the University of Bristol, UK

After a livechat in 2nd life the seminar closed with a realtimeperformance in 2nd life from David “DC” Spensley (US), a.k.a. DanCoyote Antonelli (Second Life), cultural producer and artist.

2nd life – either u like it or not. more boring than 1st life ? or is it getting your real life allready ? as a somehow copy of existing physical world it´s not a 2nd life i am interested in. why does it need gravity ? even the architecture looks like in our known physical world, and the avatars have human bodies. i better stay in 1st life ! where i don´t need a mouse to move around ! and just integrate my virtual presence in 1st life, but not in realtime !

but have a look at the performance from David “DC” Spensley – skydancer. at least he disconnects gravity

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