This happened – Utrecht #8, coming up

I have to say, num­ber sev­en is still fresh in my mind. Even so, we’ve announced num­ber eight. You’ll find the line­up below. I hope to see you in four weeks, on Novem­ber 22 at the HKU Akademiethe­ater.

Theseus

Rain­er Kohlberg­er is an inde­pen­dent visu­al artist based in Berlin. The con­cept and instal­la­tion design for the THESEUS Inno­va­tion Cen­ter Inter­net of Things was done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Thomas Schrott and is the basis for the visu­al iden­ti­ty of the tech­nol­o­gy plat­form. The instal­la­tion con­nects and visu­al­ly cre­ates hier­ar­chy between knowl­edge, prod­ucts and ser­vices with a com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­cal poly­gon objects and vir­tu­al­ly pro­ject­ed infor­ma­tion lay­ers. This atmos­pher­ic piece trans­fer knowl­edge and guid­ance to the vis­i­tor but also leaves room for inter­pre­ta­tion.

De Klessebessers

Hel­ma van Rijn is an Indus­tri­al Design Engi­neer­ing PhD can­di­date at the TU Delft ID-Stu­di­o­Lab, spe­cial­ized in ‘dif­fi­cult to reach’ user groups. De Klessebessers is an activ­i­ty for peo­ple with demen­tia to active­ly recall mem­o­ries togeth­er. The design won the first prize in design com­pe­ti­tion Vergeethen­ni­et and was on show dur­ing the Dutch Design Week 2007. De Klessebessers is cur­rent­ly in use at De Lan­dri­jt in Eind­hoven.

Wip 'n' Kip

Fource­Labs talk about Wip ‘n’ Kip, a play­ful instal­la­tion for Stekker Fest, an annu­al elec­tron­ic music fes­ti­val based in Utrecht. Play­ers of Wip ‘n’ Kip use adult-sized spring rid­ers to con­trol a chick­en on a large screen. They race each oth­er to the fin­ish while at the same time try­ing to stay ahead of a horde of pur­su­ing mon­sters. Wip ‘n’ Kip is a strange but effec­tive mashup of video game, car­ni­val ride and per­for­mance. It is part of the PLAY Pilots project, com­mis­sioned by the city and province of Utrecht, which explore the appli­ca­tions of play in the cul­tur­al indus­try.

Smarthistory

Lotte Mei­jer talks about Smarthis­to­ry, an online art his­to­ry resource. It aims to be an addi­tion to, or even replace­ment of, tra­di­tion­al text books through the use of dif­fer­ent media to dis­cuss hun­dreds of West­ern art pieces from antiq­ui­ty to the cur­rent day. Dif­fer­ent brows­ing styles are sup­port­ed by a num­ber of nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems. Art works are con­tex­tu­al­ized using maps and time­lines. The site’s com­mu­ni­ty is engaged using a num­ber of social media. Smarthis­to­ry won a Web­by Award in 2009 in the edu­ca­tion cat­e­go­ry. Lotte has gone on to work as an inde­pen­dent design­er on many inter­est­ing and inno­v­a­tive projects in the art world.

Week 165

So week 165. One of those old-fash­ioned frag­ment­ed weeks that reminds me of why I decid­ed a while ago that I should stop hav­ing more than two meet­ings on one day. Any­way.

Fol­low­ing the week­end of Stekker Fest crazi­ness I had a bit of an off day on Mon­day. Tues­day I sat down with Ianus and Alexan­der to make plans for the next This hap­pened — Utrecht. We’ve had a bit of trou­ble find­ing a venue, get­ting financ­ing and every­thing but it looks like we’re all set. Mon­day 4 Octo­ber at The­ater Kikker in Utrecht, NL. Save the date.

From Ams­ter­dam I trav­eled on to Rot­ter­dam and spent some time at Simon’s sketch­ing out the addi­tions to PLAY Pilots for the Wip ‘n’ Kip game data. I also dropped by BUROPONY. They might make some­thing cool for This hap­pened atten­dees…

Wednes­day I had cof­fee with Thieu and Godelieve at the West­er­gas­fab­riek in Ams­ter­dam to talk about a new project which I’ve dubbed Fugu. It deals with exper­i­men­tal (game-like) new forms of high­er edu­ca­tion. I am tak­ing on board two interns to help me out with that. That’ll be an inter­est­ing new expe­ri­ence. I also hooked up with Peter, who is now at Adap­tive Path Ams­ter­dam. Cool build­ing, they seem to be doing well. Nice.

In the after­noon on Wednes­day I was back in Utrecht to talk to Ezra, who is involved with some inter­est­ing research into cycling. He’s based in Copen­hagen. We dis­cussed ways in which we might use low-tech per­va­sive urban games to shape cycle use. Who knows, Hub­bub might ven­ture there to do some exper­i­ments in future.

I fin­ished that day off with a review of a stu­dent pre­sen­ta­tion. Final exams is next week; that’ll eat up a lot of my time.

Ah what’s more? Thurs­day, more edu­ca­tion­al work, I attend­ed a kick-off of the new aca­d­e­m­ic year at the HKU’s school of art and tech­nol­o­gy. I liked the fact that all teach­ers were there and sat down to sync their class­es and assign­ments in such a way that they all con­nect­ed to projects stu­dents would be doing. Prop­er project-based art edu­ca­tion. Good to see that hap­pen.

And today I am review­ing one more stu­dent pre­sen­ta­tion and am spend­ing some time with Alper on PLAY Pilots and relat­ed bits.

Look­ing ahead, next week will be about the afore­men­tioned final exams and also the kick-off of project Maguro. I have to say I am run­ning on fumes a bit and can’t wait for next week because on fri­day I will head to Ter­schelling for a week and unplug com­plete­ly.

Almost for­got about Boc­ce Drift this Sun­day. Come along and play.