:: Session 1: N.E.O. New Esthetic Order

Thu, Oct 7 16:30-18:30 Topics: Media Art and Design, Theory of Technology and Media, Content Iconography In urban public space the media facade might develop into the new urban mass medium. But all kinds of other interfaces with there pending infrastructures and technologies compete for this leading role. How ever that battle might end: the construction of a new urban mass media not only requires the development of context-specific contents, its specific iconography, but a whole new aesthetic. At the moment media content in public spaces is lagging behind the potentials made possible by contemporary technology. It seems that the emerging media still imitates its predecessors, print and TV.
  • Does media architecture start to coin its own specific characteristics or even a style?
  • What would be the catalysator for the media facade to develope into that new urban mass medium?
  • Which elements, themes and representations should be thematized by this emergent iconography?
  • What does an esthetics of interaction encompass?
Session Chair: Kari Jormakka  –  Professorship Architecture Theory  –  Department of Architecture Theory, Vienna University of Technology, Austria Speakers:

Speakers – Abstract and Biography

::: Kari Jormakka Anticipating current debates about the aesthetics of projective practice, Walter Benjamin declared advertising to be the most real gaze into the heart of things: “It abolishes the space where contemplation moved and all but hits us between the eyes with things as a car, growing to gigantic proportions, careens at us out of a film screen. And just as the film does not present furniture and facades in completed forms for critical inspection, their insistent, jerky nearness alone being sensational, the genuine advertisement hurtles things at us with the tempo of a good film.” What matters, according to Benjamin, is “not what the moving red neon sign says … but the fiery pool reflecting it in the asphalt.” This vision may offer some guidelines for the discussion of the new aesthetic order, ushered in by media facades and other urban technologies. Three destabilizing agents can be readily identified: heteronomy which confronts autonomy and critique; immersion which undermines the subject-object dichotomy; and interactivity which precludes the completion and organicity of the aesthetic object.
Kari Jormakka – Biography Kari Jormakka (born Lappeenranta, Finland) is a Finnish architect, historian, critic and pedagogue. He studied architecture at Helsinki University of Technology and Tampere University of Technology, completing his PhD in 1992. He is currently Professor of Architecture Theory at Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. Previously he has taught at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University. His publications include Design Methods, Birkhauser, 2007, Die Kunst Des Stadtebaus : Neue Perspektiven Auf Camillo Sitte, Bohlau, 2005, Genius locomotionis (Wien: Edition Selene. 2005), Geschichte der Architekturtheorie (Wien: Edition Selene, 2003), Flying Dutchmen (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2002), Architektur Und Geschlecht, Edition Selene, 2002, The Use and Abuse of Paper (Tampere: Datutop, 1999), Form & Detail. Henry van de Veldes Bauhaus in Weimar (Weimar: Bauhaus – Universitätsverlag, 1998), Heimlich Maneuvres (Weimar: Verso, 1995) and Constructing Architecture (Tampere: TTKK/Ars Magna, 1991). www.a-theory.tuwien.ac.at/Profiles/Kari en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kari_Jormakk
::: Vera Bühlmann – Cultivating mediality – a time and a space of the city ? I would like to take a media philosophic perspective to the question of this stream, that of a new esthetic order. Regarding any media in particular, regardless of the criteria according to which one might like to distinguish them, will not provide us the means to consider the possibility of an “order” organizing the various renderings of esthetic experience media make possible. Like any order, also this one, if it should be an order at all, would need to be on a different level of abstraction than the “things” organized by it. I would first like to reflect on what distinguishes our media reality today from the modern sense of reality; what might it mean, that today we seem to have entered something like the popularization phase of the analytic revolution? The second episode takes up the often heard claim that we are experiencing the rise of a new rhetorical power, often compared with the sophists in ancient Greece. Characteristic for the situation then was the de-naturalization of speech and the reconception of speaking as something which can be learned, cultivated, crafted more or less well; the phonetic alphabet and its emerging mediality have played a key role that statements could suddenly be constructed to a purpose, a change which transformed the cultural climate at large. The question then will be, if there is any plausibility in regarding our experts in digital analysis, computer simulations and modeling as our new rhetoricians, as our new sophists perhaps, what exactly is being de-naturalized today? I would like to conclude my paper with the perspective that we might perhaps soon come to regard design as a form of urban agriculture based on and bringing about a time and a space of the city. As such, it will be peculiar to our cultivation of mediality as a realm of streaming symbols, symbols conceived of in their deterritorialized form as capsules of symbolic power. Mediality can be domesticated by learning to grow and crop the codes and the informational make-up of the things symbolized.
Vera Bühlmann – Biography Vera Bühlmann holds a PHD in media philosophy from Basle University, in which she approached a philosophical-historical contextualization of mediality as a phenomenon. Since 2008 she is head of the Laboratory of Applied Virtuality at CAAD ETH Zurich, and she is co-author of a forthcoming book on a technologically valid, optimistic and radical path from energy crisis to energy culture. Previously, she has studied English language and literature, philosophy and media studies in Zurich, Switzerland, and she has worked as a researcher and lecturer in the field of media culture at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW in Basel. Recent publications include: “Applied Virtuality. On the Problematics around Theory and Design.” In: Michael Hampe, Silke Lang (Eds.): The Design of Material, Organisms and Minds. Springer Verlag 2010; “Tau, und zwar von den Bermudas. Peter Sloterdijks analytisches Spiel mit der synthetischen Kraft phantastischer Philosophie.” In: Marc Jongen, Sjoerd van Tuinen and Koenrad Hemelsoed (Eds.). Die Vermessung des Ungeheuren. Versuche über Peter Sloterdijk. Fink Verlag, München 2009; co-editor with Martin Wiedmer of pre-specifics. Some comparatistic investigations on research in art and design. JRP|Ringier, Zürich 2008.
::: Jens Geelhaar – From Mosaic, the First Widespread Web Browser to the IPhone, the Cultures and Aesthetics of Communication Changed Drastically Mosaic wasn’t the first Web browser but it had a major impact on the Internet in November 1993 and can be seen as a tremendous puzzle stone in the amazing growth and success of the World Wide Web. Today Apples IPhone and alikes conquer our pockets and handbags. They are another milestone in the 24 hrs / 7 days communication society. The invisible architecture of the digital space, the cyberspaces and virtual realities are coming back to the physical space. Wired magazines recent cover provocatively predicted “The Web is dead” and continued inside “Long live the Internet”. The technologies or services most frequently used in the Internet are changing. All these technologies had a huge influence on the way we communicate. The culture, the content and the aesthetics of our communication changed dramatically in this period of time from 1990 until today. It is always astounding how much we take most of these technologies and the associated communication procedures for granted. It seems as if they had always been around and it’s hard to imagine how life was without those digital companions. In this talk I will refer to mechanisms and patterns in communication, which developed during this period of time from the perspective of a media artist and designer. Jens Geelhaar – Biography Jens Geelhaar works as a media artist and designer since 1993 and is professor for Interface Design at the Bauhaus-University Weimar since 1999. He is a guest professor at Tongji-University in Shanghai. He earned a diploma in chemistry and holds a Ph.D. in Human Sciences of Heidelberg University. He earned a Diploma with distinction in New Media Art from the Art School in Saarbrücken. He was a scholarship holder at the Academy of Art Berlin. His main field of interest is the interaction between humans and digital systems in art and design.

::: Adam Somlai-Fischer – Enabling a Spatial Dialogue – Experiments between 2003 and today for Creating Spaces which Facilitate Exchange and Tangible Expression I always loved stories. From my childhood fairy tales to contemporary fiction, to blog posts about ideas, I truly enjoy being immersed into an imaginary reality. However, it is not really the exact moments of listening, reading that captivate me. It is that repeated re-imagination of the stories that I enjoy the most. Always slightly changing as time goes by, how these stories get remixed and altered by my memory and dreams. Perhaps it is for the same reason, that my son loves to listen to the same story again and again. I have been given a degree in architecture almost a decade ago, about the same time the use of computers for creative work became ubiquitous. And while creating content on computer resembles the openness and remix-ability of stories (just think about youtube), to me, designing buildings did not. Of course in many ways architects do participate in a similar cultural discourse, spend years creating monumental embodiments of ideas, and spend as much time debating about these creations. However, this discourse is limited to professionals mostly. If we think about stories again, many good stories develop over word of mouth, get remixed and altered, and told again. And it is this very remix-ability by the reader, this openness for the user that I find interesting. We have been building experiments from 2003 and on, where we have been mostly trying to find something tangible within these malleable concepts above, trying to create spaces that are accessible to change, that can be used to tell stories. We built volumes of pixels, made spaces of electronic toys, wrote manuals on who to build these spaces, made them reconfigurable by the visitors, created animated walls of electric car mirrors, and most recently, developed Prezi, a computer software to allow non architects to create spatial narratives, stories. Some of these worked better than others, but I think over the years we managed to open up some previously closed domains of creativity. And here is our latest milestone: we just celebrated our millionth user at Prezi. www.aether.hu www.prezi.com Adam Somlai-Fischer – Biography Adam Somlai-Fischer (1976 Budapest) is an artist, entrepreneur and architect. He is interested in the cultural qualities of new technologies, and to explore these he created artistic installations, software products and institutions. A supporter of peer production, Adam collaborates with designers, artists and engineers, where motivations are shared to create projects from conglomerates of thinking cultures.
Examples include: Prezi – a zooming presentation editor, Reconfigurable House and Reorient – spaces made of thousands of electronic toys, Aleph, an outdoor display built from kinetic mirrors, Wifi Camera – a DIY camera taking picture of the Wifi landscape, Ping Genius Loci – a field of outdoor analogue pixels, Brainmirror – a mixed reality experience presenting MRI through a mirror, Low Tech Sensors and Actuators workshop and handbook, and Induction house – a set of experiments for spatial projections.
These projects were shown at the Venice Biennale of Architecture2004, 2006, 2008 (international show) China International New Media Arts Exhibition 2008, NTT ICC Tokyo, ISEA 2004 Helsinki and 2006 San Jose, Ars Electronica 2006, Kiasma Museum Helsinki, Ludwig Museum Budapest. Adam is the cofounder of Prezi.com, director of aether architecture, and senior adviser of Kitchen Budapest medialab. http://www.aether.hu/about-adam-somlai-fischer
::: Els Vermang LAb[au] ( = laboratory for architecture and urbanism) is an art studio found in 1997, based in Brussels, Belgium, and constituted of Els Vermang, Manuel Abendroth and Jerome Decock. LAb[au] is concerned with the construct of ‘space’ and the way it can be planned, experienced and conceptualised in an information age. The group name merges a phonetic and a written meaning; that of the French / Dutch pronunciation ‘labo’ and that of the German word ‘bau’ referring to its projects’ experimental approach (labo) and construct (bau). This double meaning crossing oral and written media, stands for a conceptual, methodological and artistic framework examining the influence of advanced technologies on art; its stands for an artistic thinking of art as media. LAb[au] qualifies its practice as MetaDeSIGN, which is characterised by the setting of systems, among which LAb[au] is today mainly active within the interactive, reactive, generative and performative realm. LAb[au]’s art is part of public (f.e. Itau, Sao Paolo) and private art collections worldwide and has been exhibited in some of ‘s worlds most prestigious art venues, among which BOZAR (Brussels, 2009 + 2010), Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2006), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, 2004 + 2005), New Museum (New York, 2003), Louvre (Paris, 2000) and many more. Their work has been numerously published worldwide. Their monography ‘MetaDeSIGN’ (ISBN: 978-2-84066-404-8) came out in September 2010 on the French art books publishing house ‘Les Presses du Reel’. LAb[au] is currently executing a permanent artwork ‘silo.scope’ foreseen for 2011 on Ile-de-France, Paris, a 24m high light and sound reactive sculpture.

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Posted: August 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm by Gernot Tscherteu