Archive for the ‘Dreams & Magic in Tech’ Category

Art and Robotics Workshop at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Karlsruhe ICRA 13

Thursday, May 9th, 2013


art and robotics

Just a quick announcement – currently the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation ICRA 2013, organised by the Institute for Anthropomatics at KIT, takes place in Karlsruhe, Germany. On May 10 a full day workshop on Art and Robotics: Freud’s Unheimlich and the Uncanny Valley will be held at the Kongresszentrum. See here for the programme, the list of speakers can be accessed here.

The Web stream of the main conference be accessed here.


photos/source via ICRA Website at and

International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies (IJACDT)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011


For those of you interested in smart textile and low cost wearables as an artistic context to engage young women in technology and engineering in education, feel free to check the International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies (IJACDT), ISSUE ON CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGIES CULTURES edited by Gianluca Mura (2011), p. 12-21. You can access the abstract here, or view a sample PDF here. The Guest Editorial Preface by Gianluca Mura, Politecnico di Milano University, Italy can be accessed here. You might as well like to refer the Journal (IJACDT) to a Librarian via this link.

The International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies (IJACDT) links art, design, science, and culture with emerging technologies. IJACDT provides a forum for exchanging ideas and findings from researchers across the design, arts, and technology disciplines. This journal covers theoretical and practice experiences among industrial design fields, architecture, art, computer science, psychology, cognitive sciences, humanities, cultural heritage, and related fields. IJACDT presents different arguments within project culture from the historical, critical, philosophical, rhetorical, creative, pedagogic, and professional points of view.”



Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Please have a look at the below exhibition on Shared Robotics to take place from August 21th to November 29th 2009 in Odense, DK:

“RoboDays are proud to present the exhibition “Shared Robotics” at Kunsthallen Brandts in Odense from August 21th to November 29th 2009. In “Shared Robotics” two fields: robotics and contemporary art are fused.

Today robot utopias and dystopias have collapsed: Robots are neither slaves nor doomsday machines; on the contrary robots are an increasing part of our everyday lives. The exhibition “Shared Robotics” displays artworks that incorporate custom built robotics and converts industrial robots for new purposes. The exhibition seeks to show, how the actual coexistence between humans and robots can lead to creative developments.

The exhibition presents four very different art installations, each offering their take on, how the fusion of technology and art can create works that speak of our high-tech society and the technological and social implications it brings with it. For the exhibition a website has been developed:, which takes you back in time and show, how robotics in a cultural perspective has been interpreted over time. The site is presented as a multi-touch wall in the exhibition and gives the audience a chance to explore and examine the various works.

Several of the participating artists are working directly from the idea that knowledge should be shared, not locked in copyrights and patents. It allows others to develop new projects based on the artist’s original ideas without restricting their use. At the same time the visitors get the opportunity to recreate and build on the art from the manuals that can be found at the exhibition.

Sabrina Raaf, resides in Chicago and has previously worked with robotics in her art. For this exhibition she cooperates with Danish industrial robot manufacturer Gibotech A/S, based in Odense to create an installation, where one of Gibotech’s robots is reprogrammed to cut corrugated plastic in large patterns. Over time, the patterns will transform into a sculptural installation spilling out on the floor or the exhibition space, evolving through the exhibition period. Sabrina Raaf is a DIVA residency artist supported by The Danish Art Council and is therefore staying in Odense, and working at Gibotech until the opening of the exhibition. Afterwards she will be present and work on the project during the exhibition opening hours. Visit to see when.

The Danish artist collective Illutron,, show their work “N7331227” that brings an old industrial robot back to life. Using computer vision the robot has been equipped with the ability to see and have been programmed to read and reproduce the visitor’s drawings on a big wall consisting of 96 light bulbs.

The German artist Ralf Schreiber, experiments with what he calls minimal robotics. Schreiber’s contribution to the exhibition is called “Living Particles # 58” and consists of a room filled with rows of small robots hanging from the ceiling and creating an impression of life kept in a strict order.

Douglas Repetto, who resides in New York, is participating with the work “Foal”. “Foal” is a very simple mechanical robot, which in shape and movement resembles a newborn foal, staggering around trying to gain control over its legs. In the exhibition several small foals will stagger around on their uncertain legs. The artwork is an open prototype that can be built by anyone who wants to grabble with robotics and simple mechanics. In the exhibition you can also find instructions on, how to build your own foal.

About RoboDays
The exhibition is part of RoboDays Robot Festival from 10 to 12 September in Odense. RoboDays is an organization established in cooperation with RoboCluster at University of Southern Denmark and gathers knowledge about robotics in Denmark:

Shared Robotics is supported by By- og Kulturforvaltningen in the Municipality of Odense, the Arts Council, the European Regional Development Fund and RoboCluster.”

Shared Robotics
August 21th – November 29th 2009

Kunsthallen Brandts
Brandts Torv 1
DK-5000 Odense C

Photos and text via e-flux

Ars Electronica 09

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

human nature image

This year, Ars Electronica celebrates its 30th anniversary and as you might know, the city of Linz is Europe’s 2009 Capital of Culture. However, the invitations for this year’s festival on Human Nature have been disseminated and I’d like to share the following abstract on HUMAN NATURE by Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars:

“We are entering a new age here on Earth: the Anthropocene. An age definitively characterized by humankind’s massive and irreversible influences on our home planet. Population explosion, climate change, the poisoning of the environment and our venturing into outer space have been the most striking symbols of this development so far.
But to a much more enormous extent, the achievements of genetic engineering and biotechnology are the truly indicative markers of this transition to a new epoch. Now, we’re not only changing our environment; we’re revising the fundamentals of life itself—even our own human life.
Humankind has appropriated the mantle of Creator. Though we just barely understand how this functions, we’re already modifying entire genomes, constructing new organisms, cloning, creating and inventing new life.

We’re using innovative high-tech methods to observe the human brain while it thinks, so that we can now look behind the veil of our consciousness and see how our mechanisms of perception and decision-making capacities are reflected in our neurons. The long-established boundaries segregating nature and culture are breaking down, and we are once again confronted by the question of the essence of humanness and the nature of the human being.

Thirty years after its founding, this globally established festival’s mission remains the same—we are steadfastly dedicated to the pursuit of the curiosity that is so deeply rooted in humankind’s nature, and we continue to intrepidly peer far into the future. Our immediate objective: to once again foment a fruitful, fascinating dialog at the interface of art, technology and society.
The new Ars Electronica Center that debuted at the outset of this year plays a key role in this endeavor, in that its extraordinary exhibition concept is totally focused on the question of how scientific findings and methods are changing the way we see the world and our views of humankind.

Linz is Europe’s 2009 Capital of Culture. As a major contribution to our city’s big year, the festival’s first project is already being launched on June 17, the day the 80+1 Base Camp is being set up on Linz’s Main Square as the point of departure of a virtual ‘round-the-world journey that, following completion of its 81-day itinerary, returns to Linz just in time for the festival. There, 80+1 will culminate in a globally-networked symposium on cloud intelligence.

2009 also brings us to a joyous milestone: Ars Electronica’s 30th anniversary! As befitting this occasion, an intense retrospective look at the dynamic development of media art will be a key component of the festival program.

Led, curated and produced by artists and scientists—and inspired by their work—the festival’s jam-packed lineup of fascinating events constitutes, as ever, an expedition into hybrid reality and the future of our world.

So, just what is this going to be like, this new nature that human beings are going about engendering?”

See also for the virtual around the world journey project.

via ARS

Web site:

Concerning LEF: We are about to finalize the program of LEF@Ars, the Leonardo Education Forum, a working group of Leonardo/ISAST, the International Society for Arts, Science and Technology. Soon there will be an update on our LEF@ARS09 panel to take place over 4-5 September, hosted by AEC (Nicoletta Blacher, head) as well as by the Kunstuniversität Linz – university of art and industrial design, Department of Art Education (Prof. Dr. Angelika Plank, head of the Department of Art Education).

Graffiti simulation using the Wiimote

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Last semester we developed a DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) whiteboard misusing the Wiimote control for creative purposes, inspired by Johnny Chung Lee’s Wii remote hacks to create interactive low cost whiteboards (I recommend his impressive presentation at

As you might know, most students as well as pupils love the idea of DIY, as experienced in our previous research projects applied at school, such as ArtDeCom as well as MediaArtLab@School, which aimed to integrate creative processes of arts, design and computer science in interdisciplinary, project based education scenarios. Such projects were driven by the idea of DIY, that is, learning through art making, shaping and programming of interactive installations, worlds and environments in Mixed Reality. The concept of DIY was considered a social process and the idea of shaping technology was applied at the level of artistic concepts, aesthetic contexts as well as programming and the modeling of behavior. Implicitly DIY was seen as an overall didactic approach to teach algorithms, prototyping, artistic strategies, design as well as computational modeling, even at elementary school level.

However, to get back to the Wiimote issue: In spring 2009 I came across the misuse of Wii ™ Balance Board to navigate Google Earth an idea developed by Simon Bergweiler and Matthieu Deru of the “Advanced Tangible Interface Lab” in Saarbruecken which I discovered through Tweakfest. Another example of navigating the Mixed Reality learning space.

Today I discovered just another creative use of the Wiimote to simulate graffiti, embedding the Wiimote in a kind of controler can. The prototype was developed by the students Martin Lihs and Frank Matus at the Media Department at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany supervised by Prof. Dr. Jens Geelharr, Prof. Ursula Damm and Jan Sieber. You can access the project at Photos of the prototype are online at: as well as here (“The Wii meets Hip Hop culture”)

Watch the video here delivered through vimeo

WiiSpray Teaser from Martin Lihs on Vimeo.

Did you get some inspiration for new projects – drop me an email at Daniela dot Reimann at ufg dot ac dot at. Looking forward to creative collaborations.

Roboloco – Festival for Mechatronic Art and Robotics on Call

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009


Roboloco, Festival for Mechatronic Art and Robotics, to take place over 7th to 9th May 2009 in Bern, Switzerland, is on Call:

“Call for participation from artists, engineers and students
Join in with concerts, art show, workshops and talks. Share your
vision and creativity! Thursday 7th May – Saturday 9th May 2009 in the Reitschule Hall, Bern

The Festival will comprise of an exhibition, concerts, talks and
workshops on the theme of the boundaries between humans and machines. Roboloco will address questions surrounding the development of new technologies, such as the role robots play in our everyday life and will play in future changes in society.
The Festival will take place in the large hall of the Reitschule in Bern city center. The organizers are the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society together with the sponsors of the Reitschule Hall and the artists’ collective, Cycle Operant, from the French part of Switzerland.
Roboloco is a spectacle of creative technology which will provide a forum for discussions on, and at, the borders of art, science and society. From these border areas ideas for new systems may emerge. Joint artistic endeavors and the exchange of knowledge about the mechanical, electronic and informatics systems used in mechatronic art are central to the Festival programme. The Festival organizers are interested in working with local artists and engineers and in establishing links with regional and national technical universities and institutions.”

Closing date for submissions is 31st March 2009

via kirsty boyle/SPECTRE

Game Kit 2.0 Workshop by Olaf Val

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Game Kit 2.0

The media artist Olaf Val
will run an additional Game Kit 2.0 workshop at Plug.In, Basel
2 November 2008 to develop minimalistic game boys. Rather than consuming games, the participants are encouraged to develop their on games creatively.
The “Mignon Game Kit 2.0“ can be shaped, constructed and programmed individually. I am looking forward to the report of two 14 year old participants who will attend Sunday 2 November.

Photos via Plug in and

Shift – Festival of Electronic Arts Basel „record, record”

Saturday, October 4th, 2008


„record, record – aufzeichnen – speichern – verarbeiten“ is the motto of this year’s SHIFT festival to take place in Basel 23-26 October 2008. Shift consists of exhibitions, concerts, music, visual art, film, video, Internet and projects crossing the borders of the classic genres. (Blog: here)

A conference entitled “Cultural Storage. Recording Systems in an Age of Digital Archives” and organised in cooperation with the University of Basle’s Institute for Media Studies will consider the festival theme “record, record” in the light of current media discourse. For talks and speakers see here.

ifm Uni Basel

“following its successful launch last autumn, the Shift festival of electronic arts is kicking off for a second edition – as lively and relaxed as when it started, but with a few revisions and additions that experience has taught us are necessary. Shift offers insight into the distinctly dynamic field of international electronic arts: music, visuals, film & video screenings and, above all, ‘cross-over’ projects and productions that break the bounds of established disciplines. We don’t attempt to offer a more or less representative cross-section of contemporary production in the electronic arts spectrum, however. Shift is a festival that gives centre stage to a single theme that resonates throughout the whole programme. Following the theme of “access” last year comes now “record, record: to register, to store, to process”. The era’s obsession with recording and storing data will be explored and challenged in a range of profound and funny, surprising and serious, analytical, discursive, playful artistic positions and conferences and talks with prominent guests.”

Workshops will be held as well, most interesting to me in the context of media art education the Mechatronic art/ Swiss Mechatronic Art Society and the diy festival
(English version) which is currently on call


robot seals and androids

Friday, February 29th, 2008


Animated robots and androids of today are in development. Robotic systems and robotic toys have entered the nursery rooms. Paro, a Mental Commitment Robot , is a therapeutic robot seal designed by Takanori Shibata at the Intelligent System Research Institute in Japan by the state-run National Institute of Advanced Industries and Technology (AIST) beginning in 1993 “in an attempt to reduce cognitive disorders and rising long-term medial costs” (Loving the machine).
(For further reading on Paro see here:

In this context I came across the article entitled “warning of robots” (SZ, 27 Feb. 08 ) which fits nicely into my research. We discussed the issue in the seminar looking at the introduction of the androids developed by Hiroshi Ishigro at the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at the University of Osaka. We discussed the interview with David Levy on his book “Love & Sex with Robots” looking at the question of androids and their impact on everyday life, addressing the issue of relationships between humans and robots and robots becoming partners people cohabit with.

However, watching the videos of the androids like receptionist Sara (who can express 6 emotions via facial expression and respond to questions or comments with “about seven hundred stock phrases in Japanese” (loving the machine) developed by Hiroshi Kobayashi, one gets a feel for how the future might look like – it is not only the Paros, Aibos and other robotic toys we will have to cope with, but the introduction of complex embodied conversational agents and identities.

Here are some of the videos:

(see here for the so called “Cute J-Girl Robot in Tokyo, Japan” and here for the AKIBA ROBOT FESTIVAL 2006 Actroid Female Robot

Clad actroid
Clad actroid via

Hirishi ishigro#s android

Hiroshi Ishigro’s android via

SL presentation & ZKM

Friday, February 1st, 2008

SL seminar presentation

Here are some photos of the SL seminar presentation held at Multiline and in other places all over SL yesterday as well as the real University of Education in Freiburg.

seminar presentation in SL

Today I took the students to ZKM in Karlsruhe which was sort of a final highlight at the end of the semester,sort of a summery, bringing together all the things we discussed and tested at University of Education – in an experiential and tangible way.

It developed as a guided discussion tour, great experience, as I perceived it. I think it is all about those moments in education – rather than teaching I prefer to call it collaborative learning by exploring.

Here are some photos of the works, some of the YOU_SER, century of the consumer exhibition as well as quite a few of what I call the classics.



interactive plant growing