Second City at Ars Electronica 2007
Ars Electronica invited me as main artist of “Second City” which is part of the festival this year (4.-11.9.07). I am developing a concept and design involving other artists in collaboration. Besides some solo pieces like the “Tree” installation or “Chat” intervention there will be a series of workshops and installations. Most of them are especially developed for 2nd city, some like “WoW” are already known. As the title “Second City” implies metaverses like Second Life are the main topic of this part of the festival. Second City takes place in a deserted shopping street in the center of Linz. Shopping, trading and creating stuff in workshops is one of the undelaying themes in 2nd City. Beside Meatvers related pieces there will be also the the theme exhibtion and more stuff in Marienstrasse.
Artists in collaboration are: Linda Kostowski & Sascha Pohflepp, Eva & Franco Mattes, Joachim Stein, Walter Langelaar, Andreas Lange as well as Jan Northof & Tobias Neiseke and Jürgen Höbarth in the workshop and Second Life support team.
More detailed infos to come….
This year’s festival is “going public” too before the backdrop of our (involuntary) digital transparency and the (voluntary) relinquishment of our privacy. “We are very intentionally running this “public sphere risk” because this step—going public, going into the public realm—is the only logical and consistent way to approach GOODBYE PRIVACY,” said Ars Electronica Artistic Director Gerfried Stocker. In going about this, urban spaces and infrastructure serve not only as a stage but also as a medium that blends with artistic interventions and, in turn, becomes a message. The epicenter of this “infiltration” is Marienstraße, a street that seems to be a dead zone in the middle of downtown Linz. The prevalence of vacant retail spaces here strongly evokes the atmosphere of a stage set and makes pedestrians feel like they’re walking past the artificial buildings of a virtual city. Ars Electronica will put these premises to use and transform Marienstraße into Second City, into the portal between reality and artificiality. What will be staged here during the week of September 5-11 is not some sort of urban renewal program; rather, this initiative has a strictly transient, virtual character. It is real artificiality and, conversely, artificial reality. The festival’s traditional propagation is thus endowed with a new quality—not just out into the city but throughout the cityscape.