Reality is not always what it seems. Every now and then, we need the input from artists, designers and data crunchers to give us a clearer vision of what is seemingly going on right in front of our eyes.
This curated reality in its many forms, colors and shapes was the topic of noon session in Hall B, where Berndt Lintermann of the Zenter for Kunst & Media, Clemens Weisshaar of KRAM/WEISHAAR, Felix Hallwachs of the Olafur Eliasson Studio and Johannes Fricke Waldthausen of Ways beyond the Internet gathered alongside DLD’s very own Steffi Czerny.
The quartet showed off a highly diverse portfolio of how technology, data and fresh ideas can severely alter how we perceive notions of beauty and functionality.
Take for instance Weishaar’s analysis of everyday objects like a chair. By writing code that can analyze the structures within and then layer that information on the object itself, a gate opens to another reality. A chair is no longer a chair - it is a physical representation of research, data and precise analysis of bearing structures.
Curated reality of this kind, Weishaar said, is “necessary because of all the mess. It offers a chance to focus.”
Lintermann takes a slightly different approach. His Zenter for Kunst and Media works with projects that can take its beholder beyond mere observation. 3D generated maps, interactive full-view browsing and augmented reality visualizations of sound are just a handful of the projects that he believes can create a highly personalized interpretation of the data surrounding us.
It’s a path that has been explored on many levels and with varying results. Already at the DLD12 in Munich earlier this year, the Ways beyond the Internet exhibition showed us how treating information as sculpturing clay can create never-seen-before works of art. The outcomes from this band of young artists - longtime friends of the DLD - can be seen right here in Moscow too - just head for the hallway between the two main halls where a selection of projects are on display.
Finally, Felix Wachshall of the Studio Olafur Eliasson offered a more earthbound but truly inspiring view of how art and technology can interplay to change lives. His “Little Sun” project has resulted in a handheld, solar-powered device, which can bring light to where there was formerly darkness.
The lamp is charged at daytime by the sun, and can bring an evening of study or work light on a single charge. If everything goes well, it be sold for as little as $11 in off-target rural areas, where he hopes it “can change lives.”
Changing lives, indeed, is what curation of our everyday reality is all about. From extracting the data from chairs to coming up with solutions like “Little Sun”, art in its most advanced form holds the potential to skew the world around us.
“The world is not as set as we believe,” Hallwachs said. “And art can help to expose this.”