This is getting international play.

The short of it: the Secession has been turned into a swinging sex club for the sake of art.

Personally, this is one of the most perfectly Viennese things I’ve ever seen… from the concept to the responses, which are both for and against in numerous ways. But what does everybody else think?

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Roboexotica 2009!

Today is the opening of Roboexotica 2009, the world’s leading festival for cocktail robotics.

New location for this year’s Roboexotica! We found a really awesome space! 600 square meters of lofty pleasure: the former factory of “Drinkomat” (@ Missindorfstraße, just beside Okto TV)! Pretty close to “Sargfabrik” (@ Goldschlaggasse).

Opening: Dec 3, 2009; 7 PM.
Taugshow: Dec 4, 2009; 9 PM.
Symposion: Dec 5, 2009; 3 PM – 6 PM
ACRA awards: Dec 6, 2009; 8 PM

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ZARA needs our help



Sad but true.  The NGO ZARA (Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit), which is famous for its fight against racism in Austria, is also fighting for its survival.

The org just celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. Unfortunately, the 1000 or more people who attended the party couldn’t save the org as 200 people supporting members are missing. There’s also lack of donations coming in. Due to lack of funds several projects have been turned down or simply cancelled.

Can we blame it on the recent financial crisis where many workers either lost their jobs or businesspeople losing faith in the economy. For many of us who earn the minimum wage it is pretty hard to part our hard-earned money. But somehow it is strange and dreadful to think that the Austrian government tried to save banks and reluctant to punish large firms that made a fool out of the people. Non-government organisations like ZARA and co. don’t receive any penny nor other means of support from the establishment except from the Greens and the socialists and other groups and individuals that promote the same ideals like ZARA. Because of the org’s mission to eradicate racism and help the victims of racist attacks in the country, the conservative politicians don’t see it as useful to their aims.

A huge bulk of ZARA staff is made up of volunteers. If we want ZARA to continue its work we must help the org to survive. If not now, then when? Or else it would be all too late.

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Paraflows 2009 / Check it out

paraflows 09 – Festival for Digital Art and Cultures
10. – 20. September 2009

The city of Vienna has a long tradition of interventions and actions in the public space. With this year’s topic URBAN HACKING, the fourth paraflows festival continues this artistic investigation of the public and urban space of living. What is more, paraflows 09 will shed light on the role played by digital media when it comes to exploring, questioning, and shaping the urban infrastructure.


Symposium URBAN HACKING: Cultural Jamming Strategies in the Risky Spaces of Modernity
Paraflows at Metalab

And yesterday happend a really great MP3 experiment… check out the full recording

Michael Jackson tribute event in Vienna: Cancelled!

Michael Jackson tribute is not going to happen in Vienna

MJ tribute is not going to happen in Vienna and he probably wouldn't care

I pity all those guys who bought tickets, which cost from 63 to 518 euros, to see the Michael Jackson tribute in Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna. After it was announced, big names in music biz started to came up. Madonna, U2, Stevie Wonder. Guess what? It won’t happen anytime soon.

On Tuesday the producer George Kindel and Jermaine Jackson initially presented “some of the artists” (13 so far). Michael’s brother and initiator, Jermaine, felt insulted that the Austrian media dubbed these artists as B-listers. On the other hand, Mr. Kindel claimed that he and his business partner didn’t name any names and it was the Austrian media that invented the famous musicians. Grammy winner Mary J. Blige huge in Vienna? In the US, perhaps. And Chris Brown? Isn’t this guy in trouble now after he has been accused of punching his girlfriend Rihanna a few months ago? Natalie Cole found the whole thing iffy.

In fact, it is indeed iffy. On the first day it was conceptualised, commerce and pure marketing were clearly plastered on this event. It was a vehicle for Michael’s brother and some people to make money. It was not love and respect that drove them to do this. And I wonder why Vienna? “Michael loves castles and his music is majestic” was the reason they gave. And I thought of massice traffic, and thousands of promotion for the city. But does Vienna really need this?

It turns out it is already cancelled. The place might not be anymore in Vienna, but Jermaine determined to push it through in London: “We will hold the concert in the city that he himself chose for his comeback concerts but, due to his tragic death, he was not able to do.”

Vice Mayor Renate Brauner pledged to finance the event 600,000 euros, yes, that’s your and my money. Though today she and her people from the Wiener Tourismus stated that not a single cent flowed into the event.

Are you disappointed that the MJ tribute is not going to transpire in Vienna on Sept. 26?

A Journey to the End of the Night

While I’m feverishly preparing the last bits and bytes for the upcoming PlumberCon conference this weekend at WerkzeugH, I’m just as much looking forward to one of the starting events on 0day (some might call it Friday the 07th), the Journey to the End of the Night!

Out of their announcement:

The city spreads out before you. Rushing from point to point, lit by the slow strobe of fluorescent buses in dark streets. Stumbling into situations for a stranger’s signature. Fleeing unknown pursuers, breathing hard, admiring the landscape and the multitude of worlds hidden in it.

For one night, drop your relations, your work and leisure activities, and all your usual motives for movement and action, and let yourself be drawn by the attractions of the chase and the encounters you find there.

Try to make it through a series of checkpoints as quickly and as stealthily as possible, while avoiding being caught by chasers. Should you be captured, you become a chaser yourself and have to pursue your former friends and allies. No skates, no bikes, no cars — just your feet and public transport.

Starting point for the Journey will be a shallow pit in Prater, near the tram 1 stop Prater Hauptallee and U2 station Stadion (GPS: 48.20673 / 16.40878; see map).

Join in a free street game of epic proportion; a pursuit across the city in multiple parts – and be sure to wear comfortable shoes & bring water =)

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Ladies’ Day at the KHM

For all of you gratis fans out there. The Kunsthistorisches Museum is exclusively inviting all women on August 6. Throughout the day the women are privileged to pay only half of the ticket price, that’s 5 euros, starting at 10 am. And beginning at 6 pm, everyone can enter for free! The museum is open until 9 pm. Flowers will be given away for the female visitors.

This is to coincide the exhibit “sinnlich, weiblich, flämisch – Frauenbilder rund um Rubens” under the Intermezzo project held at Hall VIII. A special tour concerning the exhibit is also slated, for free.

At 6:30 pm a podium discussion will tackle the theme “Das Bild von einer Frau–was ist das Prinzip Weiblichkeit?” with the prominent guest, the Secretary on Women Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek.

Programm-Highlights im Überblick:

ab 10 Uhr halber Eintrittspreis für alle Besucherinnen des Kunsthistorischen Museums

13 Uhr Führung durch die Ausstellung „… sinnlich, weiblich, flämisch“ (Saal VIII)

15 Uhr Sonderführung durch die Ausstellung „… sinnlich, weiblich, flämisch“ (Saal VIII) mit Kuratorin Gerlinde Gruber

16 Uhr Performative Installation mit Fanni Futterknecht und Valerie Oberleithner (Saal VIII) mit Unterstützung von Impulstanz

17 Uhr Führung durch die Ausstellung „… sinnlich, weiblich, flämisch“ (Saal VIII)

ab 18 Uhr freier Eintritt für alle Besucherinnen und Besucher

18.30 Uhr Talk-Runde „Das Bild von einer Frau – was ist das Prinzip Weiblichkeit?“ (Saal VIII)

Teilnehmer: Generaldirektorin Sabine Haag, Frauenministerin Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Tänzer Michael Birkmeyer
Moderation: Erna Cuesta

Natalia Ushakova, Opernsängerin
Inge Kuhn, Flötistin

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Dorkbot Vienna #9: Martin Kaltenbrunner (reacTIVision, TUIO, reactable)

I’m hosting Dorkbot Vienna #9… and our guest will be Martin Kaltenbrunner. (Thanks to the Metalab!)

Martin Kaltenbrunner is a Human Computer Interaction Designer, currently finalizing his Ph.D. at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. Recently he has been mainly working on the interaction design of the reacTable – a tangible modular synthesizer based on a multi-touch surface. He is author of the open source tangible interaction framework reacTIVision and the related TUIO protocol, which has been widely adopted for open source multi-touch applications. He is co-founder of reactable systems SL, dedicated to the development of novel HCI concepts and products, while he is teaching classes and workshops on tangible interaction at the Kunstuniversität Linz and at the UCP Porto.

reacTIVision is an open source, cross-platform computer vision tool for the fast and robust tracking of fiducial markers attached onto physical objects, as well as for multi-touch finger tracking.

TUIO is an open framework that defines a common protocol and API for tangible multi-touch surfaces. The TUIO protocol allows the transmission of an abstract description of interactive surfaces, including touch events and tangible object states. There exists a growing number of TUIO enabled tracker applications and TUIO client libraries for various programming environments, as well as applications that support the protocol. This combination of TUIO trackers, protocol and client implementations allows the rapid development of table based tangible multitouch interfaces.

The reactable is a collaborative electronic music instrument with a tabletop tangible multi-touch interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving and rotating physical objects on a luminous round table surface. By moving and relating these objects, representing components of a classic modular synthesizer, users can create complex and dynamic sonic topologies, with generators, filters and modulators, in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.

The instrument has been developed by a team of digital luthiers, the two Austrian researchers Martin Kaltenbrunner and Günter Geiger and their Spanish colleagues Marcos Alonso and Sergi Jord, working at the Music Technology Group within the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. This multidisciplinary team of researchers, musicians and designers  has been awarded with various international prizes such as the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, two D&AD Yellow Pencils and the prize if the city of Barcelona.

After its overwhelming success on Youtube and since the Icelandic singer Björk has incorporated the instrument during her last Volta world tour, the reacTable has become widely known to the general public.

Sunday, June 28, 2009.
7 PM @ Metalab Vienna (Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna)


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Chain of Lights or Lichterkette

Lichterkette am 18 Juni, 19 Uhr

Lichterkette am 18 Juni, 19 Uhr

If you live in Vienna, or if you happen to be in the city on June 18, perhaps you would like to drop by and join. There will be a protest against the growing problem of racist activities in the city, or Austria, for that matter–from the politics, the media and the society.

Two students initiated this event. From their website, it says:

Austria 2009: Election campaigns with rabble-rousing posters at every turn.
Selective misinformation by political parties and several media. Extrem right-wing fraternity members in important functions and institutions.Assaults on victims of concentration camps… all this is ordinary
… Ordinary? It doesn’t help to worry about.
We don’t think that contempt for mankind and discrimination would be ordinary. Let us point the way:
PRO respectful coexistence
PRO humane treatment for all
PRO joy at diversity instead of isolation in simplicity
PRO civil courage instead of averting our eyes
PRO fair discussion instead of mendacious propaganda
with a PROtest campaign followed by a chain of lights round the parliament on
June 18th at 7 p.m. There will be a programme with music groups and speeches, followed by the encirclement of the parliament. We will provide torches.

If you have a Facebook account, visit their Events page and be counted as one of the protesters.

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Bier und das MQ

Wir wollen eine Bring-Your-Own-Beer Trinkaktion im Hof des Museumsquartiers
veranstalten. Dazu müssen wir Leute und die Presse mobilisieren.

­ ORT/ZEIT: Samstag, 20. Juni 2009, 18.00-18.05 Uhr. Innenhof des
Museumsquartiers (Museumsplatz 1/5, 1070 Wien).

­ VORGEHENSWEISE: Ab 18 Uhr wird 5 Minuten lang während des Trinkens
regelmäßig laut zugeprostet!

­ ZIELGRUPPE: Alle, die ein Interesse daran haben, ihre mitgebrachten
Getränke weiterhin im MQ trinken zu dürfen.

­ GRUND: Das MQ ist ein öffentlicher Platz und wird mit unseren
Steuergeldern finanziert, im Jahr 2005 mit ca. 11 Mio. Euro. Wir sehen
nicht ein, wieso wir dazu gezwungen werden sollten, das Bier vor Ort zu

Es haben sich schon mindestens 2 facebook-gruppen gegründet und es gibt ein
geplantes protestereignis:

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3 Years of Metalab

3 years of Metalab

Vienna’s hackerspace, the Metalab, is celebrating it’s 3rd anniversary – and of course, a birthday like this mustn’t pass unnoticed and uncelebrated!

Therefore, the Metalab is inviting to their party on Sat, May 23rd, starting 08 PM, under the motto ‘Stream Punk’ with a live alternative music performance of Pandora’s Hope and a DJ set by the fabulous Drum’n’Bass kids from Gaswerk, accompanied by the finest visuals in town. A midnight special and the meanwhile semi-famous Guitar Hero contest will top the event off.

Three days before this, from Wed 20th (starting at 07 PM – open end) to Fri 22nd respectively, the First Viennese Hackathon will take place at the hackerspace: It’s THE chance to finally focus on that project you wanted to start ages ago and never found the time to finish. More motivation and productivity through the Hackathon group challenge! A more detailed schedule & participants list can be found on Metalab’s Hackathon page.

Additionally, Metalab members will present some of their work and projects at the upcoming exhibition ‘Was bisher geschah’ (What happened so far) from June 11th – 13th.
Opening party: Thursday, June 11th, 06 PM

The address:
Rathausstrasse 6
1010 Wien

Have fun! ^^

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Opening: KRYOT @ street art passage MQ

In September 2008 the “Street Art Passage Vienna“ was opened on the initiative of quartier21 as a continuation of an already existing series of thematic passageways in the MuseumsQuartier Wien. The passageways are exhibition venues in public space which are each dedicated to specific cultural forms of expression (comic, sound art, etc). Moreover, the “Street Art Passage Vienna“ has a site-specific setting: the bridge from the Spittelberg – a center of the Vienna street art scene – to the 60,000 m2 cultural area of the MuseumsQuartier is accessible from the Breite Gasse.
Beside the permanent design of the passageway by french artist “Invader” this public venue benefits from its alternating program of exhibitions of both international and local street art and graffiti artists plus an accompanying series of publications. Each issue of the street art magazine “betonblumen” (“concrete blossoms”), designed by the artist who is currently exhibiting, is published by Schlebrügge.Editor, and is available at an integrated floral vending machine directly on site. Signed copies of limited artists’ editions of the magazine are up for grabs at the publishing house, at the SUBOTRON shop in the quartier21, at the INOPERAbLE gallery and at THE HOT DOGS in the 7th district. Once per year the works of art can be purchased by auction.

KRYOT @ street art passage MQ
Host: subotron
Friday, April 17, 2009, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
street art passage @ MQ / Übergang Breite Gasse
Museumsplatz 1, Vienna, Austria

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Yuri’s Night Vienna 2009

1961, on the 12th of April, the first human – Juri Gagarin – orbited the Earth. This event is celebrated every year in a world-wide event. The Schikaneder cinema shows two exclusive movies, experts will present a show discussing the influences on society, politics or law which arose from this first flight. Current space flight will also be presented. These events are embedded in the “YURI’S NIGHT PARTY” which takes place at the bar.

(Sebastian Voltmer, D 2008, 58 Min)
The director and amateur astronomer Sebastian Voltmer graduated from the art school Kassel with distinction with this movie.

Space Show, duration: approximately 60 min (hosted by Johannes Grenzfurthner/monochrom)

(David Sington, GB/USA 2007, 99 Min)
Astronauts from the Apollo programme talk about their experiences – 40 years after flying to the moon. The documentary has won several awards and will be shown fort he first time in Austria!


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Soviet Unterzoegersdorf: Sector II / Public Walkthrough

Attention, comrades! Our favorite Soviet republic (surrounded by Lower Austria) is showing off their newest piece of techno-propaganda: Soviet Unterzoegersdorf: Sector II. There will be a public walkthrough for the adventure game on April 9, 8 PM at Raum D (Museumsquartier).


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Just another victim

As the story of Mike Brennan unfolds, which I am pretty sure you know very well by now, I have the strangest feeling that if you are  a foreigner in this country who is not from the USA, the UK, etc.,  you are f*cked. Seriously.

Just by looking at the number of victims before Mr. Brennan, they shared the same thing–they were all black and all of them came from Africa. Their voices were too low for the whole society to hear. Though Mr. Brennan’s case has created a buzz surrounding this awful incident, the Viennese Police’s “apology” is half-hearted.

The simple question “Is there racism in Viennese Police” from last week’s “Club 2” was left unanswered by the head of the police. Instead we heard propaganda and beating-around-the bush declarations that they are doing their best to combat it. True, they are doing their job but why they cannot accept is that there are bad apples in the force and somehow racism exists in the structure.

Someone told me I would have a difficulty if I were an African woman. Hearing it was not easy to digest but I understood where he was coming from.  I believed him. It is not easy to be a black person in Austria. It is not easy to be a black person in the US. It is not easy to be a black person in Asia.

But over the years, I’ve been seeing a pattern on how Blacks and Latinos are portrayed in the world of videogames and Japanese animation.

The pattern that I had noticed where how Blacks were portrayed and it carried onto other fighting games. Blacks were usually portrayed as brainless boxers and wrestlers. To add a bit of diversity there were Blacks portrayed as kickboxers and capioerists. But that got pretty old after awhile, yet the Japanese still continued to portray Blacks in that fashion. That was how they stereotyped Blacks.

And if we believe the Biber article that came out weeks ago, the blacks belong at the bottom  of the ethnic hierarchy of Ausländer in Vienna.

Wieder mal die beliebte „Neger raus“-Schmiererei in der U-Bahn entdeckt? Wenn ja,  muss der „Autor“ dieser Kritzelei nicht unbedingt ein „echter“ Österreicher sein. Bei den Jugos und Türken sind die Schwarzen in der „ethnischen Hierarchie“ ganz unten angesiedelt. „Der Schwarze“ lebt ohne Papiere hier, Asylstatus abgelaufen. Er dealt mit Drogen aller Art, am Urban Loritz Platz, vorm Flex und am Karlsplatz. Sonst sitzt ist er mit seiner Gang im Volksgarten, raucht einen Ofen und macht fette Schwaboweiber an. Aufenthaltsvisum gegen Riesenschwanz, da kriegt jeder was er will.

Could it happen to Barack Obama too? Haderer has the answer. (Link via Biber)

Police brutality and Barack Obama

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