Transcribe Bentham @Ars Electronica 2011: Day 1

By Tim Causer, on 1 September 2011

Greetings all from Linz, a beautiful city by the shores of the Danube which is home to the Ars Electronica, whose gleaming home is at the centre of this annual festival of digital art, technology and culture.

The Ars Electronica Centre, Linz

I arrived early this afternoon, somewhat tired after the travelling, but have had a brief look around at what’s going on down at the Brucknerhaus. After collecting my artist’s pass, I came across the Interface Cultures exhibition on the theme of ‘unuselessness’: exhibits include a faux-Russian roulette game which plays random pieces of video, and a ‘squeezer’, which can be attached to a television or any audio device – the harder you squeeze, the higher the pitch of the audio becomes. My personal favourite, however, is QMusiQ, which the artist describes as ‘digital cow music’ played by eight Simmentals.

Just round the corner is the Digital Communities exhibition, featuring all the winning projects and those given an honorary mention in that category of this year’s Prix Ars Electronica. The exhibition takes the form of text and images, describing in detail the diverse range of projects recognised – including our very own Transcribe Bentham! Sadly, photography is not allowed inside the Bruckherhaus, but hopefully some official photographs will appear on the Ars Electronica Flickr feed. There are also four internet-connected computers nearby, so anyone inspired to have a look at the projects can get stuck in.

Tomorrow is set to be very exciting. I’ll have more time to visit the various exhibitions and events, and in the evening is one of the festival highlights: the Ars Electronica Gala, recognising and presenting awards to the winning porjects. I’ll be representing the Bentham Project there, and have been ironing my shirt and polishing my cufflinks in anticipation.

More to follow tomorrow!