KRFTWRK – Global Human Electricity

guest post by Johannes Grenzfurthner


“KRFTWRK” is a socio-political statement and an ironic comment on current problems like the production and waste of electricity in industrial states, as well as the obesity and lack of exercise of their populations.The aim of “KRFTWRK” is to create a consciousness with regard to these topics by artistic measures.

The project consists of actions taking place in real as well as in virtual space. The most important elements are the staging of a company, the internet-based simulation of a global electricity network, and the realisation of power producing sculptures.

“KRFTWRK” is planning and realising a new generation of industrial plants, which produce electricity by means of muscle-power and chemical processes in the human body. For example, special workout devices operate generators and at the same time depict usable sculptures. Additionally, a community will be founded, which communicates and supports the content of the project. “KRFTWRK”, a work in progress since 2006, is situated in the fields of architecture, digital media, and the fine arts.

“KRFTWRK” will be featured at the Paraflows Festival in Vienna, Austria.

photo via “KRFTWRK”

United and Mighty Soviet Jazz Rock Union

guest post by Johannes Grenzfurthner

I’m currently doing lots of research for the 2nd part of our computer game trilogy Soviet Unterzoegersdorf. And I stumbled upon some really great non-traditional versions of the Soviet national anthem.

Here is an early 1990’s improvisational and very jazzrockish take with lots of mullets.

And here is another gem. A rather minimalistic techno version. Feel the beat of the kolchoz.

I wish you a happy dictatorship of the proletariat.

Understanding Software Patents: Hartmut Pilch Interviewed by Transforming Freedom

guest post by Johannes Grenzfurthner

Transforming Freedom is a Vienna-based project that tries to build up an archive of interviews, focusing on digital culture, its technical, political, theoretical and artistic trends and historical backgrounds; like an oral history of the digital age. The team wants to collect significant audios and invites key players, theorists, inventors and originators to tell their story from their own point of view. The interviews are accessible for free as streamed audio files as well as in transcribed form. The whole project is under development — but you can already find a couple of discoursive gems.

No Software Patents

Like an interview with Hartmut Pilch about Software Patents. Hartmut founded the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and gives insights into the history of patent law, the theoretical shortcomings of the concept of software patents and their consequences.

To quote Hartmut: “My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.”

photo by han Soete

Urbantakeover, Claim Spots In Your City & Track Them Online

guest post by Johannes Grenzfurthner

claim golden gate bridge

urbantakeover is a virtual reality game mashup that was started by a couple of smart guys from Vienna. You play it both in the streets or in places of your ‘real’ city — and online.

The task is to put special stickers with your name/tag/signature or even a picture onto buildings or other static stuff around. You can send a text message to urbantakeover with your mobile phone in order to ‘claim’ the spot you marked. On urbantakeover’s website you can see your and your team’s owned territories. But you have to watch out. Others can snatch your spots away by re-claiming the locations. If you are being attacked you get a text message so you can ‘fight back’ immediately.

More games are coming soon (ever wanted to play Go on a ‘board’ the size of your city?)

Get your team ready, go out and reclaim your city…

Here are some photos of claimed spots:

crossed by stereotype @ microsoft
Microsoft, crossed

claim google
Google, crossed

Claimed fat ferret
Ferret, crossed

photos by Florian Hufsky & MyraSuicide

From Vienna with LED Love

I would like to welcome our next guest blogger, Johannes Grenzfurthner of Vienna, Austria, founder of monochrom, talking about the “LED Matrix”. – Scott

My name is Johannes, and I’m writer, artist and founding member of Vienna/Austria based art-tech-philosophy group monochrom. I was quite flattered when Scott asked me if I would be interested to guestblog for Laughing Squid. And what would a first post be without a special message to the host organism?

Here it is:

From Vienna with LED Love

I took this picture at the Viennese hacklab Metalab. It’s a very special open space for free exchange of information, and collaboration between technical-creative enthusiasts, hackers and founders. The Lab is dedicated to providing infrastructure for projects and offers a physical space for interested people from the wide fields of IT, new media, and hacker culture.

One of these projects is a mesmerizing piece called “LED Matrix”. Some great humanoids handcrafted it in over a year’s work. And I’m quite impressed they still can look at a soldering iron without falling in a sinister Lovecraftian madness.

The LED Matrix has a resolution of 72×48 (=3456 octets of pixel data followed by a terminating 0x80 octet). Each pixel data octet represents one pixel’s brightness, ranging from 0 (0x00, off) to 15 (0x0F, brightest).

Now they want to create a database of images and short films. So, please help them!

You can find construction details and some images and video examples on their project page.

image via monochrom