i am not a constant ae (ars electronica) visitor, so this was my first visit since i guess 10 years or so? unfortunately i only had one day to spend so i decided to visit post city. i’ve seen a lot and tried some things, so here you go, some pictures and subjective comments 🙂

science, art, error and imperfection

“error” was written on the ae-teams t-shirt, “imperfect vegetables” and a marquee led-wall reading “error humanity” welcomed the visitor.

space art

day4 promised to be interesting for scientists. i visited the “Space Art – Trial and Error in Art&Science” conference.

Space Art Speakers

the speakers talked a lot about examples of space art – including the ArtSat project. imho they did not explain the aspect of trial and error, or i did not understand it.

u19 area

i really liked the u19 area where the “zusammen kommen lab” and the “future lab” were located. kids learned how to build and program robots (they had a robo-challenge which was very funny), sew, try virtual reality, control a fire truck with from brain EMG and much more.

another interesting project was Verner, a robot that looked – to me – like the mars rover. it was awesome, because it was built with cheap technology available to everybody. they even wrote a software to verify the steering-algorithm. impressive!

interesting exhibits

i was shocked by an artificial uterus, not because it could rescue babies born below 24 weeks, but because – in an improved version – it could possibly be used to “breed” humans or animals without any “real” father or mother.. welcome thx 1138!

the archae bot showed a concept robot that could survive singularity and climate change. to me it showed that what humans often describe as the “meaning of life” can be reduced to computation of information – the archae bot does nothing else and therefore does not need any limbs. it communicates wireless and does not need a mouth. it consumes electricity and could potentially charge itself and does not need food or a stomach.

some wearable projects have been interesting as well. Deep Wear showed that machine learning algorithms can design clothes. Future Flora suggests that – as our body is symbiotically dependent on microbes – we could start wearing cloths that keep our body healthy – in this case prevent or treat vaginal infections.

other interesting exhibits

  • VFrame is a software that can help scan huge amounts of video and photo footage and help identify unlit grenades (relevant e.g. in syria)
  • if you would have the information a self-driving car has to operate, would you trust yourself? Who wants to be a self-driving car explored exactly that: put on vr glasses and go drive – you only see what a potential self-driving car could see.
  • the seer moved his eyes and head exactly like i was moving evoking emotions – i was very curious and it felt as if the shaman really showed emotions.
  • i was again shocked by the smile to vote project. it does not only use face recognition to sense yes or no, it also detects what i want to vote! unfortunately i did not try it because the queue was too long… 🙁
  • the fluid solids project was innovative and gave hope: it showed that we could get rid of plastic and that would be awesome!
  • i don’t know how many open (and closed) global data-collection-projects are running in parallel, but Making Sense showed the concept and explained nicely how having evidence from the environment can change the discussions of people.
  • the neurospeculative afrofeminism showed a speculative world in which a person can get bionic upgrades to hide from cameras, enhance your abilities and much more just by visiting a location very similar to a hair dresser.

good or bad?

i liked a lot of exhibits, the lectures and conferences i attended were much to artsy for me, not even scientific enough imho.

i did not quite get, why the 3d printed bridge of amsterdam won versus the fluid solids. getting rid of plastic has much more impact to the world imho that being able to print bridges – however i love bridges as they connect people, but wouldn’t it be better to credit projects that potentially help everybody? well, i guess i just don’t understand art 🙂

IT WAS GREAT visiting ae and i have to be there next year.

but more than one day. and maybe a little bit better prepared 🙂