Re: ZKM online live event

Johannes Birringer (
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 03:17:27 -0500

dear listmembers:

the recent question about William Forsythe's CD-Rom project ("Improvisation
Technologies") has led us to the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and Guy has led us to
ZKM's website:

They can also be reached at:
and via email at:

I wish to share some current developments there/here with you, since the
Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM) in Karlsruhe is just about ready
to celebrate the opening of its new Center facilities, media theatre, and
Museum of Contemporary Art (media museum), its archives (image/audio
files), its new performance labs, its new programs.
As opening event, ZKM is organising the "Multimediale 5" - it starts
Saturday October 18.

Now, as we speak, I just received word from Goethe Institute Houston that
this will be an internationally linked on-line event too, and Goethe
Institutes around the world will help to facilitate the online
teleconferencing, and I was asked to contribute some material too.

Here's the announcement (translated) from Houston Goethe Institute:


The Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM) in Karlsruhe is Germany's
foremost laboratory for new developments in electronic media art and music,
where artists and scientists collaborate on experimental projects. It also
houses a museum for media art and for contemporary art, as well as a

The Center's official opening of its new space on October 18th is
celebrated with a "Salon Digital," a worldwide Internet project.
Interactive installations by the artists Lynn Hershman, Jill Scott, Jeffrey
Shaw, Paul Sermon, Bill Viola, Luc Courchesne, Simon Penny, Tamasz
Bielczky, Larry Cuba, and others will be presented on-line at several
Goethe Institutes around the world.

The live event in Karlsruhe will appear on screen in other locations. [in
Houston it will be at the Liquid Lab]. Karlsruhe will send artists'
messages exposing them to real-time dialog. We will, locally, adapt,
regenerate, modify, and add intuitive Houston-grown input. At the same
time, international participants will watch us through live video, just as
we will be able to participate in the same process.

Houston will go on-line at 4:45 pm (local time, one hour behind east US
Coast, 7 hours behind Germany], the event lasts 2 hours.


I emailed Goethe Institute to get clearer picture of how I would
participate, and what the event-shape will be. Here's the response:

>this event has a lot of room for chance happenings, as we are working
>with the art of surprise.
>yes, the images and sound clips local artists will bring are to be
extremely short: >20 - 30 seconds. unfortunately, ZKM cannot use animated
gif files. until now, we
>have scanned images and will hopefully receive some sound files today. our
>two hour time slot is shared with san francisco, sydney, wellington among

>the input we have from houston so far consists of scanned images from
>carpenter's project opening at the "project row houses"; scanned
>photography from vivian lee, and digital works from jim clarage.
>if you would like to participate, please send your images, etc. directly to
>karlsruhe ( in addition to us before saturday.

>now regarding some of your questions:
>how one is supposed to respond to the installations: it can be in a
>variety of forms: either altering, adding, deleting from the image, or as
>an email or simply audio form. the dialog will take place in a similar
>form- since karlsruhe is the control center, they will determine who is
>"on." karlsruhe has a number of people involved in this event who we are
>in daily contact with.
>we did a dry run yesterday, testing the CUSeeMe and the audio which worked
>fine. See you at Liquid Lab.


So there goes. AlienNation Co. will participate with a video/dance
performance in 6 freeze frames (gif.files), and I will read live on-line
six captions of my film noir. Working title: "membranes."

I have no idea yet how this kind of teleconference will work, with the
"control center" determining what images go up and how long they are up and
how we read/hear them. I am also curious about the "intuitive" local input

The online location of the event should be reached, I suppose, through the
ZKM website.

best regards,

Johannes Birringer
AlienNation Co./DDA Studio
518 Hawthorne #2
Houston, TX 77006 USA