[ISEA2011] Paper: Andreas Kratky & Juri Hwang – The Museum Machine or: A Database Approach to the Representation of Space


We generally think of space as a coherent and continuous extent and the representation of it is dominated by the linear perspective. Even though art movements like cubism or the infinite folding of the baroque, as characterized by Gilles Deleuze, have introduced different ways to conceive of space and its representation, the tools we use to conceive space are still mostly following the invention of perspective as it was devised by Brunelleschi and Alberti. Tied to this concept is the conclusion that the viewer as a single individual can only be in one point at a time as a precondition for the coherence of the space.

In the project “Venture to the Interior” we are formulating a database approach to the representation of space. Devising a method that combines the rendition of computer generated 3-dimensional space with an array of different objects and media such as space-referenced photography, film, documents, taxidermies, and oral accounts we are creating a hybrid mixed-reality environment that integrates multiple points of view and allows to explore a layered structure of parallel spaces.

The proposed paper describes our method and design considerations involved into the creation of the interactive installation “Venture to the Interior”, a real-time 3-d environment that investigates the nature of the museum as an apparatus of collecting and cumulative knowledge construction. With the example of the Natural History Museum in Berlin and its vast collections we are reflecting the nature of the museum as a space that exists outside of time and that entertains simultaneous relationships to a multitude of different places.

  • Andreas Kratky. Born in Berlin, Andreas Kratky lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles. He studied visual communication, fine arts, and philosophy in the Humboldt University, the University of the Arts in Berlin, the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne. Andreas Kratky is a media artist and visiting assistant professor in the Interactive Media Division of the School for Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California. His work comprises several award winning projects like “That’s Kyogen”, the interactive installation and DVD “Bleeding Through – Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986”, the algorithmic cinema system “Soft Cinema”, and the interactive costume projection in the opera “The Jew of Malta”. His work has been shown internationally in Europe, the USA and Japan in institutions like the ICA in London, ICC in Tokyo, HDKW in Berlin, Centre George Pompidou in Paris, or RedCAT in Los Angeles. His current work comprises the interactive installation “The Imaginary Twentieth Century” and “Venture to the Interior”. Previously Andreas Kratky has worked in the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, where he was the head of the Multimedia Studio. He also worked as a member of the research initiative “Labyrinth Project”, an organized research unit of the University of Southern California, where he designed the installation and interactive DVD “Three Winters in the Sun – Einstein in California”. Working with the research initiative “Anarchive”, an organized research unit of the University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne, he designed the interactive DVD “Title TK” in collaboration with the French theorist and video artist Thierry Kuntzel. Besides numerous works published as interactive media on DVD and in art catalogues, Kratky has published various texts on his research work in human computer interaction, interface design, and the didactic use of interactive media. Kratky has won several awards for his work and held residencies in the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Baltic Center for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead, UK. http://www.venture-to-the-interior.com/
  • Juri Hwang. Born in Korea, Juri Hwang lives and works in Los Angeles as an independent filmmaker, media artist, and sound designer. Her work focuses on film and other media projects dealing with cultural issues as she explores the relationship between fiction and documentary. In Korea Hwang was involved into the curation and organization of the Korean Short Film Festival and the Sphinx Film Festival – Feminism Film Fest & Symposium.  Hwang worked as a researcher and independent artist with the research initiative The Labyrinth Project at the University of Southern California, where she was involved into the creation of the interactive project “Bleeding Through – Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986”, as well as “Three Winters in the Sun – Einstein in California”. Her current work comprises the short film “Okja Kim’s Way Home” and the interactive project “Venture to the Interior”. Her work has been screened and exhibited internationally.

Full text (PDF) p. 1420-1425