YOU ARE HERE is one of the most important signs at this year's Ars Electronica Festival. The former tobacco factory is a great event venue but due to the big amount of spaces, stairways and events it's easy to get lost. So far, we didn't see any breadcrumb trails but visitors need to keep track not to miss out one of the many highlights.
One of this year's highlights is ROBOT-ISM, an exhibition with selected content from the yearly Japan Media Arts Festival. If you love animations such as Fujiyama vs. Knight Cobra and know what "Gundam" means then this is the place to be.
At the Pixelspaces Conference Anthony Dunne (Head of the Design Interactions Department at the RCA) lectures about the robots from the Technological Dreams Series and questions which roles robots will have in our lives and which kind of (distant? intimate?) relationships could develop between man and machine.
See more robots after the jump.
The Future Factory is also the home of Telenoid, an android robot developed by the Osaka University in collaboration with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International. In spite of its unusual appearance Telenoid is not meant to frighten us but should transport the humanlike presence of meeting a new friend which is able to talk and give a real hug.
Human-like robots are great but for a real human touch one should visit the Body & Soul Factory which is part of the Repair Yourself program. This one-stop-shop for alternative healing methods including Yoga exercises, Shiatsu therapy and sound healings (located at the top floor but worth the walk).
Not far from the spiritual healings PROBEN (an exhibition by the design students from the HFBK Hamburg) brings us back on the ground with an impressive range of proven vehicles for land, air and water transportation.
More highlights tomorrow. This Saturday was a public day with lots of visitors and during the night lots of music performances to get us move our feet. As you can see, even websites can dance as demonstrated by Akiko Hino's Dancing Information.
Aart van Bezooijen is a Dutch optimist and motivator for materials in design. He lives and works in Hamburg where he founded Material Stories (2005) to inspire and enable the best use of materials to make design more competitive, creative and sustainable.
2011 he explored sustainable solutions from around the world during the "It's Not Easy Being Green" project with graphic designer Paula Raché. He co-organized the Materials Café exhibitions at the Hannover Messe in Germany, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology. Since 2012, he works as Professor for Material and Technology Transfer at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle growing a new materials library.