An embroidered computer whose circuits are ornate, golden thread

Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak's Embroidered Computer uses historic gold embroidery materials to create relays ("similar to early computers before the invention of semiconductors") that can do computational work according to simple programs; it's installed at the Angewandte Innovation Lab in Vienna. Read the rest

Filmmaker Wes Anderson co-curated a quirky art exhibition of oddball items in Vienna

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna started a program in 2012 that opened its doors for "remarkable creative individuals" to select pieces from their massive historical collection to present in an exhibition. Filmmaker Wes Anderson and his partner Juman Malouf are the most recent curators in this program. So, for the last two years, they have been putting together their offbeat Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures.

Artnet describes the exhibit as "a totally quirky presentation of affectionate misfits":

Perhaps the duo’s penchant for the collection’s oddball items also stems from their own awareness of being outsiders in a prestigious establishment replete with trained art historians, curators, and conservators.

One senior curator said that some of museum staff were skeptical of the project at first. “We would get an email from Wes asking, ‘Do you have a list of green objects? Could you send us a list of everything you have that is yellow?’ Our data system does not have these categories.”

Because of this, the curators and conservators had to manually search their storage, an often painstaking process due climate controls and the condition checks needed, neither of which Anderson or Malouf were aware of.

The extra labor required was taxing, but the duo’s alternative criteria had a welcome side effect: It leveled the usual hierarchies. Several staff members said it resulted in new revelations. They just had to “learn to unlearn” their ways of working.

The exhibit opened November 6 and will be on view through April 28, 2019. Read the rest

Authoritarians used to be scared of social media, now they rule it

A new report from the Institute For the Future on "state-sponsored trolling" documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figures with seemingly endless waves of individuals who bombard their targets with vile vitriol, from racial slurs to rape threats. Read the rest

Experience real Austrian Krampuslaufs this winter in a tour hosted by Al Ridenour

Al Ridenour, co-founder of Krampus LA and host of the Bone & Sickle podcast, has just announced that he'll be hosting an eight-day tour of authentic European Krampuslaufs (the Krampus Runs). This winter, from November 30 to December 7, he'll be taking folks to Austria and southern Germany to catch runs in Salzburg and Graz.

All the details can be found at the Kristmas with Krampus tour's site.

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff Read the rest

Grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs

Austrian artist Martin Roth created an installation of grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs at the UK's Korean Cultural Centre; the grass sprouts, dies, and ruins the rugs. In between, the room looks and (apparently) smells amazing. Read the rest

West coast premiere for nerd culture documentary Traceroute

Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My cinematic tour de farce through nerd culture comes to the West Coast. Upcoming Bay Area and L.A. premieres!" Read the rest

Hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags

Argentine artist Tomás Saracen's installation, Becoming Aerosolar, is a gigantic hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags. Read the rest

Skinner-box rats trained to predict currency market movements

Viennese artist Michael Marcovici's Rat Traders uses reward, punishment and selective breeding to create a strain of lab-rat that can predict the movement of international currency markets. Read the rest

Door based on rotating squares

Klemens Torggler's designed a thoroughly wonderful and mind-melting door system based on rotating, interlocking squares. There are several variations on the theme on his site, but the one above is the most elegant and polished of the lot.

Klemens Torggler`s doors and paintings

(via JWZ) Read the rest

Tom Waits: "A Day in Vienna", Austrian TV documentary

A Day in Vienna is a 1978 (or maybe 1979) 30-minute TV documentary shot for Austrian TV during the tour for his (magnificent) album Blue Valentine. In addition to spectacular concert footage, the video also features Waits slow-dancing with a "Thai prostitute" at a bar in Vienna called the Moulin Rouge. Read the rest

Stop motion meat-puppets

Wolfgang Matzl (creator of 2011's Inception-as-Victorian woodcut video) writes, "This time I made something a little bit different - a stop motion animation with puppets made out of meat."

(Thanks Wolfgang!) Read the rest

Lego robot that strips DRM off Kindle books

Peter Purgathofer, an associate professor at Vienna University of Technology, built a Lego Mindstorms robot that presses "next page" on his Kindle repeatedly while it faces his laptop's webcam. The cam snaps a picture of each screen and saves it to a folder that is automatically processed through an online optical character recognition program. The result is an automated means of redigitizing DRM-crippled ebooks in a clear digital format. It's clunky compared to simply removing the DRM using common software, but unlike those DRM-circumvention tools, this setup does not violate the law. Read the rest

Monochrom: 20 years' worth of Viennese art-weirdness

Johannes from the Austrian art weirdos Monochrom sez, "As we are currently celebrating 20 years of monochrom, we were confronted with the problem of how to (re)present our history. We didn't simply want to show archive material -- so we decided to pick 23 projects, anecdotes and stories out our endless bulk of material and recreated them as dioramas and machines. "23 WORKS" is video series presenting and explaining these installations.

I (personally) really like:"

#20 - How we almost killed the staff of the US Embassy with a "waterboarding"-drinking machine at Roboexotica 2007.

#19 - A Japanese shadow theater machine telling the story of sex machine Fuckzilla's appearance at Arse Elektronika

#11 - The crochet-puppet story of making blood sausage out of our own blood.

#13 - Installation about our gay pride music hit "Could It Be?" about 2 homosexual subroutines.

#8 - A Semi-Analog Hurdy Gurdy Karaoke Machine telling the gruesome story of a Brazilian eco-fascist

monochrom: Die waren früher auch mal besser

(Thanks, Johannes!) Read the rest

Mutant political science fiction movie Sierra Zulu seeks kickstarting

Johannes from Vienna's Monochrom sez, "Sierra Zulu is a dark political sci-fi comedy about the grotesque world we live in. Let's call it the bastard offspring of Catch-22 and Buckaroo Banzai, reborn with the soul of Harun Farocki. It's a feature film for activists and pessimists, historians and makers, diplomats and mercenaries, hot tub lovers and peasants, cell biologists and beer punks. And it has a bloody CREATURE! The movie is doing great and we already have LOIs from great folks like Robert Picardo, Jello Biafra and Amber Benson, but one of the important movie grants here in Austria got declinded. So we have to get the rest of the money the usual way: by begging and ass-kissing our way through the private industry. And as we want to avoid that as much as possible, we created a Kickstarter campaign for July."

Sierra Zulu

(Thanks, Johannes!) Read the rest

Picturesque Austrian town secretly cloned in China

A Chinese property developer called Minmetals Land Inc secretly built a copy of a picturesque Austrian village called Hallstatt, building it in Guangdong province, the white-hot center of the Chinese manufacturing revolution, on a site 60km from Hong Kong. The Austrians are both proud and miffed, though the argument that ancient designs of buildings, or characteristic layout of ancient villages are somehow the property of their temporary residents is a bit odd -- sort of like claiming that because your town has a gothic cathedral, no one else should be able to reproduce its centuries-old design without your permission.

The original is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a housing estate that thrives on China's new rich. In a China famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard.

The Chinese Hallstatt features a church spire, a town square ringed by pastel-colored buildings and angel statues. They're among architectural flourishes inspired by the original, a centuries-old village of 900.

Chinese secretly copy Austrian town

(via /.)

(Image: a downsized, cropped thumbnail from a larger picture on Spiegel.de) Read the rest

House built upside-down in Austria becomes tourist attraction

REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichle

People sit in front of a house built upside-down by Polish architects Irek Glowacki and Marek Rozhanski, in the western Austrian village of Terfens May 5, 2012. The project is meant to serve as a new tourist attraction in the area, and is now open for public viewing. Read the rest

Earthmoving: a prequel to indie sf feature Sierra Zulu

Johannes sez, "Cory was so kind to post my TEDxVienna talk on monochrom's feature film project SIERRA ZULU. I wanted to give you guys an update.

Today we released a short film: EARTHMOVING. It's the prequel to SIERRA ZULU. We thought that's a good way to expand on the backstory and give the folks something to see while we are still working on getting the feature film financed and (hopefully) done. We have a bunch of great actors (e.g. Jeff Ricketts, who was part of Firefly or Star Trek: Enterprise) and our crew at Golden Girls Filmproduktion (Vienna) was absolutely wonderful."

Earthmoving: A Sierra Zulu Prequel

(Thanks, Johannes!) Read the rest

More posts