“Artificial Intelligence – the Other I”, or the connection between AI and humans was the main topic at the 2017 Ars Electronica Festival, which turned POSTCITY Linz into a hotspot of media arts for the third time in a row this year. There were over 100.000 visits to over 600 different events, conferences and lectures, exhibitions and projects, concerts and performances, animations and award ceremonies, guided tours and workshops between September 7 and 11, 2017. More than 1000 artists presented their works for five days straight at 12 different festival locations – a festival which was really filled to the very brim with media arts. 

-Ars Electronica

The long awaited exhibition at Ars Electronica was a really good platform for showing Rainmaking on Mars as well as for me to get an insight into the top designers and artists working in the field. Through watching people interact with my project, I’ve learned a few things about how it’s perceived by the public and how to continue it in future shows.

Here are some notes:

  • I started to change the sounds on each day to test different sounds and its sustainability throughout the day. Mainly because some sounds became really  high pitch by end of day but also to see how different sounds work with the piece, how people react to the piece.
  • The sounds are a bit indistinguishable so changing some of the sounds or mixing the sounds more during interaction is important for immediate feedback
  • Squeeze sounds are delayed in reaction
  • When the background rain sound was clear and affected by touching the leaves, people really enjoyed it.
  • During no interaction, I turned up the volume of the rain background sound to attract attention.
  • Not many people could create a steady rhythm or music yet, could be more interesting if they could, maybe they would also stay longer.
  • Many people didn’t know to squeeze the blue squishy part and press the 2 sensors together. More affordance needed.
  • Pressing the 2 sensors together to make background ambient music is enjoyable as a movement and as a sound. Make this into performance.
  • Have performers play with the piece at certain times. People can watch and then know more about how to play with it after.
  • The piece started conversation amongst strangers sometimes, I really like this aspect.
  • Try having multiple balls hanging in a room and if you move around a room, it will be experienced throughout.
  • People will swing/hit/pick-up ball and not handle with delicate care sometimes. Make this into a feedback. For example, sound changes when ball is picked up.
  • 1st thing people touch tend to be the 2 hanging leaves which don’t work without squeezing the blue ball. This sometimes made people walk away as there was no immediate feedback.