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The annual Festival for Electronic Art and Technological Freedom.

20.11.09 - 10.01.2010

David Elliot | Susanna Katharina Hertrich | Andreas Muxel, Martin Hesselmeier | Paul Klotz | Michael Day | Marie-Julie Bourgeois |

Wendy Ann Mansilla, Jordi Puig | Arjan Scherpenisse

Piksel is an international network and annual event for electronic art and technological freedom. Part workshop, part festival, it is organised in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects, doing hands-on workshops, evening program of live art performances, interventions in the center of Bergen, and several exhibitions and discussions on the aesthetics and politics of free technologies.

The development, and therefore use, of digital technology today is mainly controlled by multinational corporations. Despite the prospects of technology expanding the means of artistic expression, the commercial demands of the software industries severely limit them instead. Piksel is focusing on the Free/Libre and Open Source movement as a strategy for regaining artistic control of the technology, but also a means to bring attention to the close connections between art, politics, technology and economy.

Piksel is a member of the Pixelache network of electronic art festivals – – and one of the nodes in the Production Network for Electronic Art in Norway – PNEK



Curated by Gisle Frøysland and co-curated by Malin Barth. 

Artists works:

Battle by David Elliott (USA)
Two machines take turns trying to guess each others next guess. Each box is equipped with a matrix of 16 A/C light bulbs that are used as a display. Inside each box there is a micro controller that’s able to control each light bulb discretely and communicate with the other box over serial connection. The two microcontrollers are guessing the future state of the other machine. The game consists of the machines taking turns creating and displaying sequences of patterns. When one of the boxes constructs a sequence that is identical to the input sequence, that box has lost the game. At that point it will flash it’s columns from left to right and then construct a completely random sequence to start the game over. The box that won never knows that it won, it continues with the game as if it never ended.


TL-Display by Paul Klotz (NL)
TL-Display is a low resolution display built up with fluorescent lamps. This second version of the installation is displaying a simply encrypted number referring to the human capability of information storage and the information age. As the digital memory seems to replace our own and new technologies should enhance our lives at the same time diseases like Alzheimer are forming a severe threat.


Capacitive Body by Andreas Muxel (AU), Martin Hesselmeier (AU)
The installation “capacitive body” is a modular light system that reacts to the sound of its environment. The sensors are used to measure vibrations of architectural solids in a range of low frequencies. These oscillations are triggered by surrounding ambient noise, for example traffic noise. The sensor data controls the light wires, which are tensed to a spatial net structure. According to the values of the measurement light flashes are generated.  A dynamic light space is thereby created, which creates a visual feedback of the aural activity around the installation.


Reality Checking Device by Susanna Katharina Hertrich (DE)
Information machine for anxious times
The Reality Checking Device is a poetic information machine that stands in the tradition of the ancient Greek oracle. It confronts people with their own self and their personal anxieties. The Reality Checking Device is a tangible information graphic that reveals the relationship between public outrage and actual danger in common risk scenarios. The latest fear stories and popular danger situations are directly opposed to statistical data. The Reality Checking Device is a made for a society in which anxieties have become a lifestyle choice.

Void Extension by Marie-Julie Bourgeois (FR)
Void Extension offers an extension of our own vision through CCTV video cameras that let us see anyone, anywhere, anytime. Hidden in corners of urban landscape, they patiently wait for a presence. This installation is about the proliferation of those cameras watching (over) us. Supervision is a symbol of contemporary psychosis. The project’s goal is to make the visitor feel observed by a CCTV video camera which is actually not physically present. As if the function of the object is more important than the object itself. The camera’s shadow’s the only evidence of its presence. This work confronts the problem of ambient paranoia, of the fear that takes over the individual vis à vis the society.

Unanchored by Micheal Day (UK)
The shipping forecast is a radio broadcast by the BBC providing a vital set of data about sea conditions in the waters around the UK. To the non-maritime listener, the language used in it is poetic and obscure, often in short, strange sounding but highly structured statements. The broadcasts carry a strong feeling of tradition. Using the text of the most up-to-date shipping forecast, the piece transcribes the forecast into Morse code, and then using a blinking light, transmits the forecast into the land-locked gallery space.


_oneliner by Arjan Scherpenisse (NL)
Platform for massive, character-based communication using VGA monitors. _oneliner is a self-reflexive installation consisting of a long line of interconnected VGA monitors, 24 in total. The texts appearing on the monitors gives an insight into the software that is driving the installation. Texts appear, fragments of code, sometimes with personal comments of the maker. Viewing the installation, the spectator develops an intuitive understanding for the subjective way in which technology is created: doubts, improvisation, sudden insights and moments of doubt are displayed through the choreography and poetical contents of the texts. This way, technology becomes a human activity.

Flick Flock by Wendy Ann Mansilla (DE), Jordi Puig (ES)
Flick Flock defines the meaning of the body and its linkage to the continuous transformation of the urban place. It is reflecting the interconnections of bodies and space, and recreates the digital urban space we are living in to allow us to experience the role of the physical body.
Interacting with Flick Flock:
As soon as the body starts to move in the space, changes in the urban place take place. There are different potential changes that may take place: (1) User is moving freely triggers the camera movement/panning and the lighting or changes of scene in the virtual environment. Within the flickering bubbles displayed in the sky, video captures of previous interactions from different people or the current user him/herself are displayed. These video captures try to play as much similar or opposed movement as possible from the pool of captured video. The panning of the sound is also influenced by the movement of the body.


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