ars electronica 1999 - LAb[au]

Ars Electronica
festival 1999 _ Life Science
Linz Austria

LAb[au] invited to participate in the telezone project running from 1999 - 2003
invitation by Erich Berger

about telezone

TelePresence / TeleRobotic
Control a robot via Internet

TELEZONE was a project of the Ars Electronica Center and Telekom Austria AG with support from Wittmann Robotics and Automation. Produced by Ars Electronica Futurelab.

he TeleZone offers you the possibility of having a robot build architectonic structures. Construct a virtual model of your ideas with the ConstructionTool on the TELEZONE website and have your ideas turn to reality. Follow the performance of your actions live from your own terminal.

The robot realises the draft project 1/1 on a platform in the Ars Electronica Center, Linz. From here it can be viewed via WebCams or on location. TeleZone is the crystallisation point for a self-organizing community.

A virtual counterpart exists in the form of a VRML-world. So the structures have two forms: on the one hand in virtual space as a 3D simulation, and on the other in the real exhibition space of the Ars Electronica Center.


TELEZONE was exhibited at the Ars Electronica Center from 1999-2003.

LAb[au]'s statement

0_1:// the inter.textual matrix

The increasing implication of communication and information technologies in the process of production and knowledge leads to the fundamental re-thinking of the organisation and the spatial definition of space. Technology based on the transmission and computation of information influences organisation models (modes of production, of work and of knowledge) and affects the communication process (code, symbol) and the social relations as well as their spatialisation. The affectation of the traditional articulation between information, space and time leads to the augmenting need to flatten the electronic realm into the concrete space.

The increasing condensation of space more and more define urbanity by transforming the social model 'city' from a static and localised state into a temporal dislocated condition - a support of event and information. The deterritorialisation of space and the dematerialization of signs even more erase the local space in its economical, political, social and cultural signification. In this case urban density is a mediated, rather than an architectural device, juggling with attractivity by condensing information, as its major condition.

The 0¬.1 mode of communication flows and computation therefore will no longer only describe an electronic environment but will turn into an important parameter of our conception and understanding of space and in particular of the social model of the city. Urbanism can so no longer be obsessed with material 'appearance' and 'representation', but has to deal with dislocated, disembodied and transmissible systems. The classical question of articulating public and private space, localising


boundaries and identifying build entities, now is a question of being in dynamic space(s)-time(s) matrix of connectivity, interaction and imagination. The comparison between communication modes (the hypertext) and the spatial models (the city) questions the structural and semantic mutation of our environment. Comparing the hypertext (as polysemic support of scattered but interconnected fragments) to the spatial and social structures of a city allows us to ponder on the possible spatial implications of the new information technologies and to extrapolate several various characteristics of the hypertext, based on a new understanding of the city, its coherence and signification. The structuralist thinking turns into a view in system, based on complex interaction modes inside a hybrid and digital medium, restructuring our social and spatial environment.

The hypertext model is understandable as a support collecting apparently conflicting parameters, whose combination produces a new synthesis between communication, technology and space. By substituting the hierarchical conception of relations for a fragmentation into interactive systems (network), it transforms the perception and conception of our environment. The shift from text to hypertext, from analogic to digital technology, replaces the notions of linearity, hierarchy and order with the notion of multilinear structure, combination of fragments, coexistence of difference, generation of interaction and simultaneity of possibilities. Hypertext is an interactive communication model between an environment and the individual, participating in the continuous recentering of information around the individual, his perception and his main concerns.

Hyper(text)ure doesn't operate as a structural articulation tool but as a generator of textured zones and fields formed by interconnected codes and systems. The representative signification of space has shift to the hybrid signification of a translocal matrix, interweaving the specificity of the context as well as the global digital environment. 0_1 therefore turns into the main public code of the social matrix overlaid to the existing urban environment, connectivity and interactivity it's most important parameters.

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