How much longer?

How much longer can Vienna take this kind of weather? We demand a larger sun-and-dry/rain-and-cloudy ratio. Definitely. Analogue weather forecast for Vienna can be found here (via swissmiss). Light rain, it says. Well, at least it isn’t snow, which was even more annoying. I used past tense intentionally thinking that there won’t be any further blizzards in Vienna. This season.

Light rain is still rain. No way of getting around it.

Light rain is still rain. No way of getting around it.

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Welttag 2009

Somewhere in Neuer Markt

It  is a good day to go for a walk today. That is if you have nothing to do and you don’t know what to do. It is funny to look at the building snow hills in front of your neighbours’ roofs while sipping your tea but perhaps going for a stroll and listening to the Vienna guides is way much better to spend your weekend.

Welttag 2009 offers free guides and lectures about Hofburg and Albertina. The history of the Habsburgs dominate, of course, the event. One of the topics includes a discussion on the plight of the female members of the dynasty. It is an interesting way to find out how the archduchesses and princesses reacted to their fates through historical facts. Some of them rebelled openly. While others went to seek their Christian gods.

And for the first time there will be guides in English, French and Spanish though you need to register first in order to avail this guide in your preferred language.

The program starts at 10. This is another way of learning and re-discovering Vienna don’t you think? You still have two hours to prepare.

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Vapiano II For Viennese Bellies

For all Vienna gourmets – and probably gourmands as well – there is very good and tasty news. A second Vapiano store is about to open its doors to visitors. January 28. Looks like the location is supersekrit. Keepin’ ya posted.

On the one hand I am still praying it’s going to be somewhere in the 7th district (close to my apartment), but one other hand a Vapiano-proximity might have a bad impact on my monthly (limited!) budget. Yet, dining at Vapiano is affordable and most definitely part of my life as a student in Vienna.

This got you all hungry? Looking for ideas where to go in Vienna? Check out tupalo.com!

Update: Wien 2 turns out to be PRATERSTRASSE 24-26 . A-1020 WIEN. And guess what, a third restaurant is on its way.


Roboexotica 2008

This last weekend, Roboexotica – the international festival for cocktail robotics – once again took place in the Freiraum/quartier21 at Museumsquartier Vienna.

Bre stuck inside a robot by Eddie Codel

Organized by Monochrom, SHIFZ and the Bureau for Philosophy, the year 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, which not only centers on the obvious thematics around robots and drinking culture, but also goes along with a series of panel talks, events and shows.

One of the most interesting and current topics the talks were dealing with certainly was the future of technology and DIY culture. Under the title Back to the Future – of Utopias in Cybernetics and Robotics, international artists, theorists, technologists and hackers discussed the importance of gaining more and more knowledge about (reverse-)engineering consumer electronic products and the change our world is currently undergoing.

roboeXotica by SHIFZ

The opening party of Roboexotica 2008 started off in front of the MQ, where the 25 foot tall interactive public sound installation RoboVox by media artist Martin Bricelj, speaking out text messages it receives via SMS, was set up.

roboexotica robovox by Bre Pettis

As for the festival weekend, the exposition involved several recurrent ‘classics’ such as the Robomoji by Robert Martin or the enhanced Chassis by Jon Foote and Al Honig; as well as lots of new, shiny and superb inventions like Liquidator by recurring guest Mikhael a Crest Sator or Sloth by Kal Spelletich, only to name a few.

More Roboexotica! by Bre Pettis
A night of high voltage music at Roboexotica by Bre Pettis
Liquidator shines by Eddie Codel

In the context of Roboexotica, Monochrom’s Taugshow #17 was dedicated to the subject, and held at Vienna’s collaborative technology/new media lab & hackerspace Metalab, featuring Mitch Altman, founder of 3ware and inventor of TV-B-Gone and the Brain Machine; maker/hacker/teacher/artist/podcaster/puppeteer/NYCResistor & Thingiverse co-founder Bre Pettis; SF-based Geek Entertainment TV producer, documentary filmmaker and technologist Eddie Codel, Monochrom’s artist in residence of November; and Krach der Robot, who provided the audience with noisy sounds and self-made attachable mini-antennas.

Taug Show #17 by Eddie Codel
Taug Show #17 by Eddie Codel

The official closing event of the Roboexotica 2008 festival took place at the MQ on Sun, Dec. 07th, and Chris Janka ushered the evening with a very special high voltage music show, performed on a Tesla coil connected to his electric guitar, followed by the awards ceremony.

A night of high voltage music at Roboexotica by Bre Pettis

The winners of Roboexotica 2008’s Annual Cocktail Robot Awards, ACRA v10.0, were announced as follows:

5 ‘CLASSIC’ CATEGORIES:
Serving:
Fairy Juicer (Mitch Heinrich, David Fine) and Sloth (Kal Spelletich)
Mixing: Construction Wanker and K&K Kavalier Klavier (both exhibits by students of the FH Joannum)
Conversation: Chassis (Jon Foote, Al Honig)
Fire & smoke: Temporarily suspended!
Other achievements: Rim Shot Bot (CTP) and RepRap Shotbot (Marius Kintel, Philipp Tiefenbacher, Bre Pettis)

DSC07069 von CTP
CTP & Rim Shot by Eddie Codel
Roboexotica by Bre Pettis

3 SPECIAL CATEGORIES:
Human subjugation:
Gina (students of the FH Joanneum)
Most legally challenging: RoboVox (Martin Bricelj)
Reproducability: Lego Shot Bot (Anthony Fudd)

Roboexotica by Bre Pettis

LIMES:
Most spectacularily breaking robot:
Sloth (Kal Spelletich)
Stickiest, ickiest: Globo (Johannes Grenzfurthner)
Most displaced in cocktail environment: Drill-pro-mill (students of the FH Joanneum)
Most politically and genderifically incorrect: Construction Wanker (students of the FH Joanneum)

Roboexotica continues by Eddie Codel

Some of the exhibits (unfortunately lacking US contestants who already had to leave home) will still be on display until Fri, Dec. 12th (closing at noon) at the MQ, so if you haven’t been there yet, go have a look!

Roboexotica by Edition Mono

Also, on the occasion of the event’s 10th anniversary, the retrospective Roboexotica in the form of a paperback was published by Edition Mono and can be purchased via Amazon.

* * *

More info and useful links:
More photos on Flickr
Pre-Roboexotica 2008 post by Scott Beale on Laughing Squid
Post-Roboexotica 2008 post by Eddie Codel on Laughing Squid
Announcement of the Annual Cocktail Robot Award winners on SuicideBots

* * *

All photos featured above have been taken by Eddie Codel, Bre Pettis, CTP, and SHIFZ, and are released under Creative Commos License AT-NC-SA.


Vienna Calling For A Freeze

With temperatures approaching the sub-zeros, it is an undeniable law of physics that things cool down and result in a freezed state. Due to our ability of thermoregulation largely supported by warm fluids like Punsch and Gluehwein only enjoyable in a narrow time window (The Gluehwein’sche Zeitfenster, I like to call it), we (Wieners that is) fortunately manage to get around, don’t we?

Not so on December 19.  After several actions like Freezes, Midnight Howling(s) and such have already taken place in Vienna, yet another Freeze is planned to happen on Stephansplatz (Plaza in front of Saint Stephen’s Cathedral) in the 1st district. Similar to the Grand Central Frozen initiative our fast paced life is asked to come to a sudden halt for a couple of minutes.

Several groups have been established on social networking pages (Facebook and StudiVZ groups) asking people to join happily and then to show up eventually. Not the most reliable source of information, my journalistic self complains. On discussion boards people are requesting a reschedule and claim it has to be more “of a surprise” and “flexible”. With major media having taken notice, I’m afraid this whole “Let’s have people freeze” thing isn’t going to be much of a surprise, nor is it going to be original. Yet, it might be fun.

So are you attending? Yes? No? Maybe?

Update (posted on Dec 11, 0633pm): There seems to be more information available now. I tried to sum it up for you as follows: There is a slight change of plans… The Freeze will take place on December 19 (FRI) at 0300 pm. In order to freeze at the same time, make sure your watch is in sync with the atomic clock ticking for you on uhrzeit.org. There will be a loud whistle in order to mark the beginning and ending of the Freeze as well.

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Free Books

Ruth Klüger's first book about growing up in an antisemitic society

Ruth Klüger's first book about growing up in an antisemitic society

Who doesn’t want freebies? Most of all, free books?

In this time of high prices and recession one after another it is nice to know that the city of Vienna is going to distribute 100,000 free books for the masses. The program “Eine Stadt, Ein Buch” is on its seventh year, to coincide with the Lesefestwoche and the International Book Fair. I think this is Austria’s way to save one’s sanity during the darker months of November and December, read a book.

Starting today at noon Ruth Kluger’s “Weiter Leben” a story of her girlhood in the Nazi Austria, her deportation, the antisemitism that was the rage then, and the death of the family members falling as victims of the Holocaust. It is also the story of her survival, hence the phrase, “to live continually.”

November also marks the 70th anniversary of the horrible Reichskristallnacht. The actors of this era are slowly dying and a stunning 30 per cent of Austrians today, mostly young people, voted for the rightwing parties, it is time to learn something from the past and think of the future.

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Demonstration Friday Afternoon At the VIC

It’s fun to be sealed inside of one’s work compound because of a demonstration!

Or should I say that UN organization employees in the Vienna International Centre didn’t get to leave as early as they had planned on Friday because security services closed Gate 1 due to a protest.

But the mystery remains: who was out there and what were they protesting?

We’re curious.


The zombies are back

Just a short reminder. Saturday is Day Zero. Be aware. The zombies will be back.

October 18, 2008:
Meeting: 12 noon @ Brut Theater Karlsplatz for getting zombie make-up.
And 3 PM the zombies will hit the streets and walk/crawl over to Stefansplatz.

More info


Edward Hopper in Wien

For a moment let’s forget that yesterday was the Austrian election. Everyone in Austria and, perhaps, the whole world are waiting what’s gonna be the possible outcome. The People’s Party has a new head in the name of Josef Pröll. The right-wingers are praying that they are gonna be in the new government.

I digress.

Automat by Edward Hopper

Automat by Edward Hopper, 1927

Do you know this painting? I bet you do. More than a decade ago I saw it on a page of a book. Then as a part of a film. It was from Cameron Crowe, “Singles,” which many people misconceived as his ode to Seattle and the music revolution that was grunge.

I searched and searched until I forgot that I was searching for the name of the painter and the title of the work.

Finally, and hopefully, this painting is included in the upcoming exhibition of works by Edward Hopper at the Kunsthalle Wien, Halle 1 in the 7th District starting on Oct. 3.

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The Mustache (Part 3)

He is back!

He is back!

Seen along the Margaretengürtel, Fifth District, the last of the series. The Jörgi is back. He has promised he would only go to Vienna if the Austrians made him their chancellor. Your choice.

Tomorrow is Election Day. So go out and vote my dear Austrian friends.


The Mustache (Part 2)

Somewhere in the 22nd District, the mustache touch on the Socialist Party.

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Time Travel On 8 Bits A Day

Jason Scott will talk about time travel. A special kind of time travel: “8 Bits A Day”!

Computer History, once a somewhat strange idea, has now taken the world by storm; a magazine or newsletter merely has to dip their ladle into the piles of nostalgia and older images of computing technology to guarantee readership, commentary and links. But what is it like to live in this just-past world of unusual keyboards, cartridge slots and 256 colors?
Jason Scott describes the process by which he became a collect of online artifacts, the strange twists and turns his journey has taken (both legal and financial) and the lessons he has learned towards the goal of “saving everything”.

Jason Scott is a digital historian and documentary filmmaker based out of the Northeastern US, focusing on bulletin board system culture of the 1970s and 1980s. He often finds himself well outside of that realm and has collected many archives of general computer and software history, which he makes available on various parts of his online archive, TEXTFILES.COM.

– When: Thursday, September 18 2008, 8:30 PM
– Where: Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna

http://www.metalab.at
http://www.paraflows.at

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A Personal Journey Towards Datameaningfulness

Rachel Lovinger will give a talk at metalab about a “Personal Journey Towards Datameaningfulness”.

Everything you could possibly want is out there, and soon it will all be digitized. The problem isn’t whether it exists, it’s how you find it. This is the challenge that has plagued the speaker and motivated her to pursue an ambiguous occupation called “Content Strategy.” Her idealized vision of the future of the Internet is the Semantic Web, with its promise of smarter sites that actually understand what content means. In an attempt to answer the question “How did you become interested in datameaningfulness?” Rachel will take a very personal look at the formation of that dream, exposing the cultural, environmental, and historic factors that put her on this path.

Rachel Lovinger works at Avenue A | Razorfish as a Senior Content Strategist, developing ways for global clients to help connect users to the quality content they want and need. She’s particularly interested in relevance, findability, signification, and inherently funny words.

– When: Thursday, September 18 2008, 7:30 PM
– Where: Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna

http://www.metalab.at
http://www.paraflows.at

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The Mustache (Part 1)

The world's stereotype view of Austria

The world's stereotype view of Austria, along the Gürtel

The Mustache and the Freedom Party leader HC Strache

Once there was Hitler, an Austrian-born naturalised German who tried to rule the world, and his (in) famous mustache. That everything evil embodies him and his facial hair. That if they put this particular mustache on someone else’s face it is a way of offending that person. Little did the people know that it was a trend sometime in the 1920s. Or they might be aware of it but it doesn’t matter anyway. What is important is that they showed their anger or disagreement by allowing themselves to manipulate or vandalize the face.

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Taugshow #16!

++TAUGSHOW #16++

Divine Special (Paraflows 08 festival special)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 / 8:00 PM @ Metalab, Vienna

We are not allowed to talk about the special guest hosts… yet!

But who are our guests?

/// TREVOR PAGLEN
Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His work involves deliberately blurring the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us.

/// JASON SCOTT
Jason Scott is a digital historian and documentary filmmaker based out of the Northeastern US, focusing on bulletin board system culture of the 1970s and 1980s. He often finds himself well outside of that realm and has collected many archives of general computer and software history, which he makes available on various parts of his online archive, TEXTFILES.COM.

/// RACHEL LOVINGER
Rachel Lovinger works at Avenue A | Razorfish as a Senior Content Strategist, developing ways for global clients to help connect users to the quality content they want and need. She’s particularly interested in relevance, findability, signification, and inherently funny words.

/// Regulars:
EVELYN FÜRLINGER, MA.
Evelyn presents “Wicked Wordz”, our regular column about lingustics.

/// Showband
THE INCOHERENT DEITIES
Oh yes.

Link

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