I landed in Vienna today where I am doing an artist in residence for the month of November courtesy of Monochrom. Once I landed I found that Metalab, the local hacker space, was having Metaday 8 which was an open house and presentation followed by 5 minute lightning talks. Metalab is a pretty awesome space and is one of the places that inspired the starting up of NYC Resistor. They also serve Club-Mate, the hacker drink of choice.
Viktor was the main speaker of the evening and gave a great presentation about projects that his Hungarian group Nextlab has put together. They do installations and have done some epic projects like a robot that twists around on 6 different axis to point at 6 different gps satellites. They’ve also done a bunch of stuff for clients making light installation facades that change due to sensors in the environment. Nextlab shares space with an architecture firm and their relationships with architects have supported their projects. Check out the Nextlab site for more info and inspiration! – Link
After Viktor, a metalab member gave a lightning talk about the new system he’s building for knowing who is at the space and who isn’t and he’s put together something special that works with barcodes, twitter, and an open api. It’s rad! I took photos as notes on this and none of them came out so I’ll get a link for this next time I’m there.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how the origin of the word robot is from the Czech word for “serf labor.” Yet we define a robot by it’s ability to be autonomous. We want something to serve us, but the definition expects it to be able to meet our needs without being bossed around. I gave a short lightning talk about robots and my project to work on a reprap robot here in Vienna.
After the talks, I hung out in the hardware lab with the peeps of the Vienna branch of Graffiti Research Labs and got to help out on their installation for a local street art exhibition.