Saturday, April 14, 2007

You wish

fully web 2.0 enhanced daily life. You get. - Supermarket 2.0

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

If I was...

... a manga character

...drawn by Mucha

... reborn (creepy)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Critical Space, Joshua Tree and my Mom

Some people pointed out that I am neglecting my blog. I could come up with a bunch of lame excuses, but then decided to stick to the truth - I simply wasn't in the mood. Yes, I said it! At the same time I felt bad about it and then felt stupid about feeling bad not to post on my blog which resulted in me stubbornly refusing to post at all. Well, it seems like I finally got out of the vicious circle - after a long day that kept me busy doing things like driving to and from Irvine, teaching and being taught, AND getting in shape during 2 hours of Yoga my mood felt right enough to produce something that only requires to make sense in my head.
The highlights of the past weeks can be summarized in: surviving the winter quarter, working on papers,
field research and prototypes related to playfulness, surveillance, and performative spaces... However, in between we had something called "spring break". A week of "break" used to spend time preparing for the next quarter is better than continuous pursuit of pre-established coffin addictions. I was told. Aeh right, umm so I decided to take terms like "taking a break" literally (as we German speaking people would say - we MAKE BREAKS! genau! ), invited my Mom over to spend a few days of relaxation and discovered "critical":

and "open" spaces:

The first picture shows art work by Andrea Zittel. I am a big fan of her work, which is exhibited in the MOCA right next to WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution March through July - also awesome! Zittel's engagement with livable and unlivable spaces and how to create space to go on distance to hectic life but to become closer to oneself through a being in and feeling of the world around us certainly drew me in. Even more after visiting Joshua Tree National Park, where she lives and works. Seeing her work right next to the feminist approaches evidences that being and performing a mobile and "by herself" female is still considered outside the norm and outside the "female" space (hence in a museum space), but also that there has been made room for it - right next to the pink razr.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Need a friend? - virtual friends for sale!

just go to and for 99 cent there are all yours. The service launched only a few days ago offers an illusion of popularity mostly not for oneself but for one's own image created to represent the virtual self. One can rent some "fake" cyberbuddies and for 99 cents per month they leave weekly messages on your page. It's nothing new that people buy friendship, it suddenly appears even easier and very cheap. Would one eventually gain more "real" friends because of a faked virtual popularity, or is this just another cyberian illusion that seems so apart from our lives while simulatenously shaping our behavior within it significantly? Apart from Second Life another interesting venue of how to make money of the belief in a virtual identity (sometimes more than in the physical one).

Monday, November 13, 2006


Yes they still exist: pop up books! Stories in 3D Art but exceptionally not in virtual immersive multi-player somethings.. Pop up books like this from Maurice Sendak are playful but in a sensitive way. Childrens' fantasies become tangible and overcome is the border between the big and small humans one more time: "Based on a play by Arthur Yorinks, “Mommy?” follows a toddler lost in a mad scientist’s lab as he searches for his missing mother. Anything Sendak touches becomes his own, however. As the boy explores the lab, the opening coffin lids and unwrapping mummies function as a tribute to classic movie monsters like Nosferatu, Frankenstein and the Wolfman. As a group, they’re not so much scary as Sendakian: they’re moody, melancholy beasts." (link)
I must have this one! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

One day in history

One day in British history: November 1st. History Matters invited people living in Britain to post a blog entry on a "nationwide" blog. The idea behind it, is to leave a trace for future generations. We don't know what historians in future will find interesting, strange or fascinating about us and our times nowadays, says BBC. The upload process of the diary entries is still in process, more than 8000 people contributed to the collective one-day blog. Looking through the first blog entries, I found a lot of insights into adolescents' lives. This is one of my favourites: "My favourite food is tuna, Chicken and quiche. I am nine years old and i have brown eyes and blonde hair. Our prime minister is Tony blaire. And our queen is called Qeen Elizabeth." Some of the blog entries seem a little bit "forced" and written under the pressure of describing one's daily routines in a list arrangement (7am alarm woke me up, 8am going to work,....). I guess the whole blog would get a very different notion if it randomly collected blog entries from regular bloggers who are not writing under the assumption of contribution to history and hence not trying to describe what might be interesting for our descendents, but rather whatever is currently on their mind, what interests them, what they are fascinated of, disgusted by, etc. Stories of thoughts, insights in how we think.
However, I like the idea of a collective blog and of letting people tell stories "gemeinschaftlich". I attended a talk about communities in Irvine yesterday. The speaker researched on how (and if) the former notion of "Gemeinschaft" (community) transforms and provokes that we can't speak of "Gemeinschaft" anymore. Individuals rather strive for their own goals and principles, form "communities" based on their individualistic mindset and plans. Blogging on first glance truly seems like one of these individualistic activities. Especially the communication forms such as blogs transport a new collective experience. When claiming that the term community might not work in former terms anymore (did we really ever live what it stands for?), we have to consider that not just the community itself but also the individual changed. We live with several identities, no matter if in role-playing games, through our self-representation in blogs, or networking sites such as Facebook. Humans always played with multiple identities (acting, performing arts, writers), however it seems that a broader group of people is now getting the chance to let the own self "play". It hence becomes an everyday activity and part of ourselves. Instead of acting through various identities, I argue, that we just found another way of exploring our "self" in more collective experiences.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Schnitzel and Noodles - Panierte Heimat

My home country is not just place for funny food creations such as "panierts zeigs", even funnier costumes we wear when we are "mia" (a notion for differentation of those ibelonging to the Austrian culture from the others "ia"), but also a place for sentimental but critical reflection on our idiosynchrasies we sell so well into the rest of the world: In a live video performance Claudia Rohrmoser and Marcel Schobel artistically combine various kitchy elements of Austrian film history into a spectacle of patriotism and Austrian mentality. Dealing with the conflict of our self-created image in the outside world of "ia" and our own self-perception (is it actually really that different? ;) they draw attention on the typical Austrian behavior of repression.
"I simply remember my favourite things. And then I don't feel so bad" (quote from the famous sound of music) - something that seems not just inherit into Austrian culture, but reflects in behavior of diasporic societies in general. That the Austrian is proud of its Schnitzel and Strudel is not a secret. For the longest time I couldn't deal with this sometimes to me appearing simple-minded mentality... Until I realized another intrisic quality: we are strange, and we know it and we love to make fun of it in this so unique Austrian way - a conclomerate of humour, sentimentality and a little bit of pride.
"We are friendly Austrian people...".