Science and Technology in Cultural Context
Trans-Art Exhibition DAW 2010


Committee & Contact

Overview & Schedule


Innovations Forum


Expanding Cities


Tangible Spiritualities

Digital Screenings

Digitally Asian

ReXpanding Cinema


Scores & Screens

Volumes & Visions

Piano Pataphysics



About Xi'an


Press Reports

Sponsor Infos


Last update: July 14, 2011, at 08:17 PM


Location: Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts → more info
Exhibition Host: Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts
Acting Curator: Steve Gibson

Exhibition Times: Friday, 2 July to Friday 16 July, 2010

About the TRANS-ART Exhibition
The Trans-art exhibition explores practice that transitions through forms, genres, styles, and disciplines. Navigating terrain both familiar and unfamiliar to artistic traditions, Trans-art is not limited to a simple form. Psychology, science, technology, biology are integrated into the practice of art, creating hybrid forms that require intimate knowledge of “the other” from practitioners. Enhanced by technologies of integration, Trans-art revels in its uncertain limits. The Trans-art exhibition at DAW 2010 involves pieces that cannot easily be tied down to a single discipline. Often taking multiple forms of presentation and always crossing boundaries, these works illustrate the unique attraction of taking expertise from one discipline into others, ultimately creating new and original work where the tropes and clichés of the single discipline are broken down by new knowledge.

Participating Artists & Scientists

Bret Battey (USA/GBR)
Art Clay (CHE)
Terry Flaxton (GBR)
Anna Dumitriu (GBR)
Steve Gibson (CAN/GBR)
Margarete Jahrmann (CHE/AUS)
Justin Love (CAN)
Jim Olson (CAN)
Martin Rieser (GBR)
Vienna Underground (UK, EIRE, CHE, AUT, GER, USA, FIN)


The Third Woman

Vienna Underground (INT)

The project scripts an interactive Mobile Video narrative related to urban spaces, using mobile phone code reading, that presents thematic content by progressively revealing the layers of a contemporary film drama. An interactive film-game and installation and performance based on Viennese locations. Bio-terrorism, gender roles and the ubiquity of coding in Hertzian space are woven into the narrative, which updates the immediate post-war themes of the black market that inform the original film of The Third Man.


Art Clay (CHE)

The installation concept of >HoerRoom< is a “point and line to plane” sculpture, which uses points and lines to define an interactive plane that becomes a playable virtual space as visitors interact with it. The installation makes space “variable” by using a series of newly developed interactive light and sound objects that when mounted on elastic cables function as “media pendulums”. To create the installation, a low-resolution matrix of points is mapped onto the space. Then, odd groups of vertically related points are selected and paired. These points are extended into lines using elastic cables upon which the media-pendulums are mounted at varying heights. Together the lines of the elastic cables mark the passive form of the space and when the cables are “plucked” into motion by the visitors, the lines swing back and fourth in harmonic motion, emit sound and light and delimit the active form of the space. A space within a space.

Sinus Aestum

Bret Battey (USA/GBR)

Sinus Aestum (Bay of Billows) is a smooth, dark lunar plain articulated by threads of white dust, like the tips of flowing and silent waves. Drawing from this image, the sound and image composition Sinus Aestum presents one sound-synthesis process and nearly 12,000 individual points, which are continually transformed and warped, restrained and released, without cuts, to form compound, multi-dimensional waves of activity moving through unstable states between plateaus of pitch and noise. Mathematical processes are transformed into a contemplation of the continual ebb and flow of human experience. Sinus Aestum is the third in my Luna Series of video-music works, which explore the potentials of editless composition with a specific custom audio technique (Compressed Feedback Synthesis) and animation algorithm (which involves 2D and 3D rotational algorithms and Brownian noise displacement applied to masses of individual points). These works also reflect a sensibility formed by the experience of Vipassana Mediation practices.

Grand Theft Bicycle

Steve Gibson (CAN/GBR), Justin Love (CAN), Jim Olson (CAN)

Grand Theft Bicycle (GTB) is an interactive and immersive installation that uses a bicycle interface (the Borgcycle) to play a modified (modded/mod) version of the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Borgcycle is an inexpensive 1950s style bicycle with a step-through frame. It is painted drab army-green. The back wheel is attached to a stationary bike stand and the front wheel rests on a “Lazy Susan”. The bicycle is equipped with sensors, control buttons and an analog-to-digital interface that essentially transform it into a joystick.The Borgcycle faces a large projection screen and is set up so that users can “pedal into” a 3D gaming environment, a recreation of a desert city (Baghdad). The characters of the original version of Grand Theft Auto have been modded into familiar political figures who form warring gangs. The invaders include George Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. The insurgents include Saddam Hussein, Yassar Arafat, Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong-il.

In Other People's Skins

Terry Flaxton (GBR)

In Other People’s Skins is a high-definition video art installation, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper. This digital work consists of a table covered in a white tablecloth and surrounded by 12 chairs. The visitor sees life-size moving images of 12 pairs of hands and arms take food, break bread, drink wine – 4 different groups of people are represented Asian, Indian, African and Western. Visitors to the installation may sit at one of the 12 chairs and interact with the virtual guests and inhabit ‘other people’s skins’, as they imitate the virtual guests movements. The virtual meal metamorphoses from layering, through eating, into clearing the dishes and then looping back again, as the dishes are once more laid, through a variety of meals shared by different cultures.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on July 14, 2011, at 08:17 PM