The concept is simple, connecting creators, in this case musicians, and believers, in this case investors. You enter the website, check some interesting stuff (out of 5 bands Iâ€™ve listened to, I liked 2, not necessarily a good statistic but gets you going anyway), and if you like it, you make a contribution for the artists. However, this contribution is not a simple â€œyes my boy, keep the good workâ€ action, but actually it grants you a share of the artistâ€™s stocks. The top goal for each artist is to reach US$ 50.000, so each US$ 10 (the minimum) contribution gets you 0.02% of the contract. I checked the charts for contribution and some artists have already reached US$ 14.000, with a single believer putting US$ 810 out of his own pocket.
It was quite a contrast to step into the IBC salon a week after attending Ars Electronica. The conference boldly calls itself the biggest international broadcasting event, specially since the American NAB has the N instead of an I; itâ€™s national and not international, and itâ€™s 4 times bigger than the biggest international event. Itâ€™s the American way. Anyway, IBC 2006 was quite impressive and reaffirmed how the broadcasting world is excited with new technologies emerging as saviours for the old model of doing things. Moreover, the top-up tradition of doing things seams to be falling in love with some interaction trends.
There I was, at Ars Electronica Centre, checking the permanent collection of the festival. The Centre does appear a little bit "touristy", sort of an amusement park of new media, but it still bears important and impressive pieces, such as the distorted house of Toshio Iwai; that is just mind blowing.
On the last floor, by myself, my performance of Golan Levin and Zab Liebermanâ€™s â€œThe Manual Input Sessionsâ€ began. The piece was created in 2004, and presented Saturday, day when Ars Electronica took place at St. Florian monastery. The piece/performance is â€œa series of audiovisual vignettes which probe the expressive possibilities of hand gestures and finger movements.â€ Check on the website www.tmema.org/mis.
My last night (meaning beers) in Linz was quite surprising. After a good meal, and finally a goulash (something I was long desiring for), Christian Giorgiano, Chris O'Shea and me headed to a last round at O.K Centre.
As all other situations here at Ars Electronica, once you arrive at a "social pole" like O.K Centre, we started to run into people that at least one of us knew. Suddenly, we are seating in a table with an amazing crew, former members of the group Antirom: Andy Cameron, now head of the interaction department at Fabrica, Andy Allenson, now with his studio Pickled Onion, and Joel Baumann, later one of the founders of Tomato Interactive, now teaching at Kassel University, Germany. Summing up, a big, big table.