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Written by: Fujui Wang (Curator of Digital Art Festival Taipei 2007)
James Powderly/Evan Roth (USA) Graffiti Research Lab L.A.S.E.R. Tag link>

L.A.S.E.R. Tag 101

雷射塗鴉 L.A.S.E.R. Tag

雷射塗鴉 L.A.S.E.R. Tag  Founded in 1996, Eyebeam OpenLab is part of Eyebeam, the non-profit organization for art and technology established with the purpose of incubating artists and developing new media art. Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) is one of several labs under the organization, and is dedicated to outfitting graffiti writers, street artists and members of the public with open source graffiti tools to engage with their surroundings from unique perspectives. The goal of GRL is to empower individuals technologically to creatively alter and reclaim their area from commercial and corporate culture.

The L.A.S.E.R. Tag system uses a camera and laptop setup to track a green laser point across the face of a building and generate graphics based on the laser's position, which are then projected back onto the building with a high power projector. The paint-like effect has running streaks, much like graffiti art, but does not leave any permanent traces, and users can project their ideas onto industrial machinery, hills, towers, bridges, high-rises or other structures of interest. To encourage the creation and sharing of more original designs, the code and executable of the L.A.S.E.R. Tag application is available as open source material for everyone to download, reuse and modify. So far, L.A.S.E.R. Tag has been used in projection graffiti events in New York, Mexico City, Barcelona and Budapest.

Alvaro Cassinelli (Uruguay) Ishikawa-Namiki-Komuro Lab - The University of Tokyo link> 

The Khronos Projector 102

時間投影機 The Khronos Projector 時間投影機 The Khronos Projector

  Alvaro Cassinelli was born in Uruguay in 1972. After obtaining a bachelor's degree there, he continued his studies in France, completing a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Paris-XI in 2000. He is currently an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, and a research associate with the Ishikawa-Namiki-Komuro Laboratory. His 2005 work, The Khronos Projector, won the Grand Prize in the Art Division in the 9th Japan Media Art Festival.

The Khronos Projector is an interactive-art installation that allows people to explore controlling pre-recorded video content in an entirely new way: by actually touching the deformable projection screen, the video images can be played forward or backward simultaneously, as well as shaken or curled, so that separate spatio-temporal units can be created within the visible frame. For example, one can shake, curl or deform the selected image, push it forward or backward, pull it nearer or farther away, or speed up the day image into night time. A two-dimensional spatio-temporal surface that edits the spatio-temporal volume of data generated by the video is interactively reshaped via a tangible and sensual human-machine interface, giving the user a strong feeling of actually sculpting the substance of space-time with his or her own hands.

The Khronos Projector is the first installation art work that enables such interactive, arbitrary manipulation of the spatio-temporal sequence of video images. In this form, the work can be seen as an investigative interface that transforms an image sequence into a spatio-temporal sculpture for people to remold and explore at their own pace and will, or as a machine to produce instant cubist imagery out of ordinary video footage.

Note: Khronos is the personification of Time in Greek mythology.

Stuart Wood/Hannes Koch/Flo Ortkrass (UK) rAndom International  link>

LightRoller 103

光之滾刷 LightRoller 光之滾刷 LightRoller

  rAndom International is a creative collective founded in 2002 by Stuart Wood, Flo Ortkrass and Hannes Koch. They live in London and operate from a studio in Brixton. Projects by rAndom International often focus on the friction between the digital and the analogue. They aim to turn the consumption of anonymous, endlessly re-producible digital information into a tangible, hands-on and one-off experience. In their work, technology is never denied, but often re-contextualized in order to break down the border between the simple and the genuinely new.

LightRoller, derived from the PixelRoller, is the latest work by rAndom International. A seemingly ordinary paint roller can print or roll out digitalized text or imagery via a glowing chemical medium onto different surfaces. Like a magical handheld display, LightRoller allows users to paint any text or image they desire by their own hand, though the graphics formed of light would fade with time. Without the burden of materiality, LightRoller offers infinite creative possibilities.

Carlos Lopez (Spain) Sergi Jorda, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Gunter Geiger, Marcos Alonso The Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra  link> 

ReacTable 104


互動音樂桌 ReacTable 互動音樂桌 ReacTable

  The ReacTable is a tangible interactive electronic musical instrument developed by a team of "digital luthiers" under the direction of Dr. Sergi Jorda at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. The team, called Interactive Sonic Systems, focuses on the design of tangible music instruments and musical applications for mobile devices.

  The tabletop tangible multi-touch interface of the ReacTable allows simultaneous, interactive, collaborative performance by several participants. The objects on the table of various shapes and patterns represent the basic components of a classic synthesizer, such as generator, filter and modulator, and can be moved and related differently to create complex and dynamic sounds. Under the translucent tabletop is an interactive system that tracks the objects as they are manipulated by the performers simply by hand without any external device, and a projector provides visual feedback of the "state" of the sounds as they are produced. The work is intended to be (1) collaborative, as several performers play together locally by the table or remotely; (2) sonically challenging and interesting; (3) intuitive; and (4) suitable for novices and advanced electronic musicians – in other words, even an infant can have fun with the work by an intuitive awareness of sound, and enjoy a strong sense of involvement. The Icelandic singer Bjork incorporated the ReacTable as a key instrument of her 2000 Volta world tour. It can be considered the future of electronic musical instruments.

Max Dean/Raffaello D'Andrea/Matt Donovan (Canada) website>link1.link2

The Robotic Chair 105

Peter Lynch
Film Director:Peter Lynch
Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto
Photos: Nichola Feldman-Kiss

電動椅robotic chair 電動椅robotic chair

   The works of Max Dean, Raffaello D'Andrea and Matt Donovan began making waves in the digital art scene in 2001: The Table appeared at the Venice Biennale, followed by a series of works presented on the Discovery Channel in 2003, and the exhibition of The Robotic Chair at the Ars Electronica in Austria in 2006. Their focus is on mechanical control and automation in the broadest sense.

  The Robotic Chair took 22 years from conception to completion (1984-2006). It grew out of a wooden chair commonly found in school classrooms, and by the amazing powers of mechanical components and automation control, the creators gave it the ability to collapse into a heap and then reassemble itself back into an upright chair.

  As a piece of furniture, the chair has played the part of a solid, trustworthy partner in the history of human society. We rely on the chair to support us and define our place on this earth. The Robotic Chair has both individual and social significance as a work of art – it repeatedly falls apart, reassembles itself and stands up, like what we do in our own lives. It directly and succinctly awakens us to the magical presence of hope.

Valentina Vuksic (Switzerland) link>

Harddisko 106

哈迪斯可 Harddisko哈迪斯可 Harddisko

  Valentina Vuksic studied New Media Art at the Zurich University of the Arts and Information Systems. She injects a novel imaginative quality to recorded machine sounds via digital technology, creating new sparkles between software computation and hardware through strangely produced noises. Vuksic emerged onto the digital art scene in 2006 in Switzerland and Germany, and was invited to participate at this year's Dutch Electronic Art Festival hosted by V2_.

  Her presentation, Harddisko, uses defective hard disks collected from different PC shops, companies and institutions. Each of the 16 hard drives has the casing removed, with a special sound pickup mounted on the drive's read head and connected to a sound mixer. As soon as the drive is powered, an initialization procedure begins with the head moving in a specific pattern and sounds are generated. These patterns vary with the disk's manufacturer, model, production series, firmware version and history. The result can be compared to an orchestra of various instruments, with the artist playing the role of the conductor, but instead of directing the music with a baton, she uses a simple on-off command to supply or stop power, and perform fantastic electronic pieces according to the score-like procedures of the computer program interwoven with the richly textured mechanical movement and rhythm.

Skoltz_Kolgen (Canada) link>

  A participant of the 2006 Venice Biennale, the Montreal-based duo Skoltz_Kolgen has been an active outfit in the world of digital art. They are dedicated to exploring the possibilities between sound and image from numerous angles across film, photography, audio art, and installation, resulting in works that penetrate the ephemeral skin between solid matter and the unsubstantiated, the intimate and the objective, and conjure up bewitched worlds that gestate between accident and intent.

Fluux :/Terminal 107

史考茲及科肯 Skoltz_Kolgen  Fluux:/Terminal is a bipolar performance that further pushes the dialogue between the two elements of sound and image. In a dramatic trajectory fuelled by the panoramic tensions (left/right) between hearing and seeing, the bipolar experience is built by the dissociation, synchrony or symmetry of two independent but related audio and visual worlds, resulting in moments of weightlessness and massive bursts of energy.


Silent Room 

靜默之屋 Silent Room

  Silent Room is an overwhelming and powerfully sensory installation performance developed from a film of the same title using multiple projectors and five gigantic screens. It views 16 people, 16 rooms, and 16 private lives like an x-ray vision of 16 interiors, where one dreams of swimming with the fishes, a bird man carries an empty cage on his back, and the types of a typewriter have illusions of grandeur. The interiors are steeped in discontinuity, as unusual and poetic communications unfold wordlessly through a contamination of the senses, and only a fixed idea, an impulse, a void, a hunger for an ideal can be vaguely grasped. In this film-poem, the most silent and least visible elements violently descend to murmur its presence.

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