Chair Persons: Andy Best & Atau Tanaka
Presenters: Kristina Lindstrom, Åsa Ståhl & Merja Puustinen
This panel will present and discuss methods for creating spontaneous playful physical and social interaction. The focus is on deep user interaction with artworks using physical computing methods with an emphasis on the construction of social interaction within the group of participants. What are the contextual and practical design related thresholds for willingness to interact and how can participants be stimulated to engage with the artwork? Does familiarity with art, toys, computer games or music help to lower thresholds to understanding the interaction? How does age, gender or cultural background affect willingness to participate in a dynamic temporary community of presence? The creation of deep user interaction with and through the artworks maybe instigated via novel approaches to interface or by fresh ways of presenting the art work to the viewer/participants within the context of the art institution or in Public space. As technology becomes ubiquitous in society, artists no longer have to explicitly proclaim their use of computational techniques; rather the social and political context of the artwork takes centre stage. Strategies used include interactive installations such as multi-touch screens, bouncy castles, and physical interfaces, as well as interaction through mobile networks and location based devices. For each of our panelists the presence and inter- relationships of individual humans is the central motivating factor. Each will address these questions from different viewpoints, offering examples from their own work for discussion.
- Andy Best (MFA) is a media artist, sculptor and researcher, specialising in playful and provocative interactions in physical spaces such as galleries and museums, in the public city space, as well as in the online virtual realm of cyberspace. Andy is one half of the artist duo Andy and Merja, a collaboration with his wife and partner Merja Puustinen. Their work is powerful, provocative and often tackles social and political themes in playful, physical ways. Recent projects have utilised “bouncy castle” inflatable techniques to create large, physically interactive sculptures and installations, which also combine sound, video, robotics and the space itself. In 2008 Andy and Merja were commissioned by folly digital to create a new interactive inflatable “Too Much of a Mouthful” for the Portable Pixel Playground, a UK Lottery funded project in the North West of England. Andy Best uses his interest in physical computing and electronics to seek collaboration in other diverse spheres such as data visualisation, live performance, and physical interaction design. Andy has worked as principal lecturer in Digital Arts at Turku University of Applied Sciences since 2002. In 2010 Andy started research into the long lasting sociological effects of collaborative interaction in media environments as a PhD student within the Crucible Studio research group at Media Lab, Aalto University, with a particular emphasis on working with people with disabilities.
- Atau Tanaka bridges the fields of media art, experimental music, and research. He worked at IRCAM, was Artistic Ambassador for Apple France, and was researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris, and was an Artistic Co-Director of STEIM in Amsterdam. Atau creates sensor-based musical instruments for performance, and is known for his work with biosignal interfaces. He seeks to harness collective musical creativity in mobile environments, seeking out the continued place of the artist in democratized digital forms. His work has been presented at Ars Electronica, SFMOMA, Eyebeam, V2, ICC, and ZKM and has been mentor at NESTA.