[ISEA2023] Paper: Wolfgang Strauss & Monika Fleischmann — Exploring the Digital Archive as a Thinking Space – AI Aspects on Documentation, Access and Knowledge Discovery


Third Summit on New Media Art Archiving

Keywords: Audio, data performer, knowledge discovery, living data, performative interface, semantic mapping, thinking space, visual interface, walk-through

Most digital archives still offer access through phonebook-like lists. However, the digital archive is a living (data) culture. An Artificial Intelligence chatbot predicts that the digital archives of the future will enhance the user experience. However, the authors developed the archive platform netzspannung.org more than 20 years ago with Knowledge Discovery interfaces such as Semantic Map that allow people to engage with the archive in an interactive and performative way. This approach enables visitors to become active participants and co-creators of the archive’s content, rather than passive viewers. It is not primarily about finding familiar information, but about searching and browsing in unfamiliar contexts. The goal is to create a participatory experience that encourages visitors to become data performers in a walk-through thinking space and to acquire new knowledge. http://netzspannung.org/index_en_static.html

  • Monika Fleischmann (*1950 in Karlsruhe) and Wolfgang Strauss (*1951 near Nuremberg) are a German artist duo who have been working with digital media as a combination of art and technology since the mid-1980s. They founded their ARTWORK studio in 1987 and co-founded the ART+COM Institute for interdisciplinary research in Berlin; established the MARS – Media Art & Research Studies Lab at GMD Institute for Media Communication and Fraunhofer Institute for AI and Robotics. Their pioneering work began with “Berlin-Cyber City” (1989) and working with maps of the city as part of the research project “New Media in Urban Space” was the impetus for further ART+COM projects, that led to the dispute with Google Earth depicted (not entirely accurate) in the Netflix series “The Billion Dollar Code”. They have received numerous awards for their pioneering work, including the Golden Nica of Ars Electronica (1992) and the SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award in Digital Art (2018). Their focus is on the “Virtual Denkraum” and the power of images in shaping our perception of the world, with a specific interest on ‘performative interface’ as a tool for knowledge discovery and creation through interactivity.