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Last update: July 20, 2011, at 10:43 AM

FUSEBOX 08 ( A Festival as DAW Guest)

Location: Various, See Belowl → parcour map

Exhibition Host: Art Clay → about

Opening: Cargobar, Thrusday, 25th September 2008, starting at 6 pm

Introduction to FuseBox 08

Similar to conceptual art in which the idea involved in the work takes precedence over material concerns, the FUSEBOX 08 event propositions that media art can also be practiced by putting new emphasis on the presentation of the idea, or concept behind media art through a reductionist approach, i.e. “unplugged media art”. The concept of festival is thus reduced to a conceptual artwork that challenges the viewer to see the idea as artwork through the magnifying lens of the senses. The artworks presented still rely on the art object to make an impact, but remain in principal conceptual because they emphasize that the idea behind them is more important the scale of their presentation.

For 2008, the common theme that runs through all of the artworks selected for FUSEBOX 08 is the idea of ‘cultural transfer’, or how shifted identities can be traced back to cultural assimilation as it appears as an artefact in works of art. The exhibition therefore reveals a sympathetic stance toward Asian culture, which acts as a unifying rubric that creates a joint collective identity between both cultures.

Note: Most of the works being presented were developed in the context of cultural exchange between China and Switzerland and more specific between Shanghai and Basel, “Sisters Cities” that are very diverse in terms of landmass and population, but share the common element of being divided by a river into two distinct districts.

Flights of Fancy (2006)

Till G. Bay (CHE)
Location: Basler Ferries "Leu" & "Vogel Gryff" → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursaday to Sunday 9 am to 7 pm; Saturday 9 am am to 10 pm

The vast collection of bird paintings in various cultures reflects a longstanding universal fascination with feathered life. Balanced on two legs, like humans, and able to fly and swim, birds have been viewed as an engineering miracle and have been studied by artists and scientists alike in the East and West. The project turns everyone into an artist and every location into an exhibition space. Having found its origins in streetart, windowzoo has gone further and generated a new, non-destructive kind of urban landscape intervention. The context of an installation is equally important as the installation itself: The work installed might not be from the artist installing it and the photograph that makes it to the website might be from yet another person. A networked digital platform event that connects the installations across continents, time and space. Multiple layers of interaction combined with growing global appearance and disappearance.

Sweet Buddha (2005)

Hans Ludwig Hanau (DEU)
Location: Die Mitte → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursday to Sunday, all hours

Nicht das Stück Metall in Form eines Kopfes ist Buddha, sondern der Honig ist es. Wir sehen es hier also glasklar: Buddha - ein Werk der Bienen.

The piece of metal here in the form of a head is not Buddha, but it is the honey that is. Here, it is crystal clear for all to see: Buddha - a work of the bee.

Lego Cloud Series (2002)

Erik Maldre (USA)
Location: IN VITRO → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursaday to Sunday, all hours

LEGO pieces and clouds are opposites by their form. LEGO pieces are plastic, rigid, geometrically modular standardized units mass produced by man. Clouds are biomorphic, fluid, randomly shaped forms of water and ice produced by nature. However, what makes these extremes similar is their symbolic meaning. LEGO and clouds represent the creative dreams and aspirations of children of all ages. Each LEGO cloud sculpture in the series is titled after the word, "cloud" in a foreign language. This evokes the notion that LEGO is a universal toy and clouds are universal elements. These sculpture is part of an edition. Each sculpture in part of an on going series starting with 01. The edition number is featured on the same brick as the signature. The shape of the clouds created by using LEGO reminds of a pixel effects that were common to early video game graphics, i.e. the clouds in Super Mario.

China/US Drift (2008)

Will Pappenheimer and Chipp Jansen
Location: Vista Point → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursaday to Sunday, all hours

"China/US Drift" extends the concepts of our previous work, "Invisible Influence", to the current emergence of China as subjected to globalized influence. The 2008 Summer Olympics makes apparent an increasingly malleable sense of China's geopolitical borders. The Great Firewall of China becomes spongy and porous. Global identity wiggles and contracts. Trade with the Western World, trade and development in Africa are catalysts.  Friedrich Ratzel, a German geographer and ethnographer, proposed the idea of the state as an organic living being, expanding, contracting, and competing with other states for the worlds resources. China/US Drift represents a symbiotic globalized diaspora of ideas, goods, and people from the Chinese homeland interacting with the global community and the US in particular. Identity and borders drift, and with massive trade comes influence. There is also the backwash of influence as the US visualizes the demise of its seemingly impervious outline.

"Invisible Influenced" is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation. (ZeroK-Version) (2004)

Reinhard Storz, Monica Studer & Christoph van den Berg (
Location: Public Space → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursaday to Sunday, all hours is actually an in international online art project by Pro Helvetia and Xcult. In its original version, bastard channel is a cross between a television and a web project that is presented as a platform in the Internet that takes on the role of a television channel. A main part of the project is the interest in having a visual concept that possesses low-tech character in black and white that also allows for TV-magazine function that can be printed out anywhere. Taking this concept of “print on demand” a bit further (or perhaps even backwards) by making a "ZeroK" adaptation of the 56k-bastard project, it was decided to create a proverbially “unplugged” version of it. The adaptation, themed “” remains true a and presents integral aspects of the 56k version in keeping with its original conception of taking the “opportunity of wagging a cautionary medial forefinger at [not only] the zap & surf attitude" but to reflect on what the points at in terms of art as a time based media that at times appears to be a cross between babbling TV promises and a hesitant web response of a 56k modem [and now even more so].

Off Cloud Nine (2008)

Matthias Schrag
Location: Zum Isaak → more info
Viewing Hours: Saturday, 2pm to 6pm

Some say that new media art had it real roots in the video hacker scene from the 1970’s and 80 when games like Super Mario were hacked and made subject to code modifications to create behaviors that deviated from the program’s expected ones. Looking back at the graphic style of the times, it becomes clear that highly aesthetic graphics were created despite limitations in resolution and color palette. The project >On Cloud Nine< was developed to track players in the work >China Gates> for gong ensemble and satellites by Art Clay in a unique way, so that the elements of a video piece -a work of art on its own- could be controlled dynamically. The visualization, at least in terms of its aesthetics, also adopts the principle that more is less. O The project is in cooperation with the ETH Computer Science Department, who have in part since the time of Nicolas Wirth (Inventor of Pascal) practiced in part a “lean” approach to computer systems design and application development. So, following in this tradtion, a visualization was created using 8-bit motives that interact with google earth -keeping up with the trend of being trend.

Echoes of Shanghai (2007)

Art Clay (USA)
Location: Cargobar → more info
Viewing Hours: Thursday from 4 pm to 1 am; Friday & Saturday from 4 pm to 2.30 am

As a child, I thought if I dug a tunnel through the earth at which I was standing, I would simply pop up in China, because it was on the other side. Fascinated with sound, I thought of a more practical solution: If I put my ear to the ground, I would hear the Chinese talking. Experimenting, I believed it to be true, but instead of Chairman Moa giving speeches, it was my downstairs neighbor’s television. Sound is made up of waves that radiate into infinity and it does not really matter whether one can hear the Chinese or not, because we can imagine that one can hear a very small percent of what they are talking about and discover the world of hidden sounds while doing so. Using “Listening Sticks” that act as acoustic aids, the installation “Echoes of Shanghai” lets one discover the “other side of things”: The wonderful world of daily life in Shanghai streets and how it is so portrayed in sound, even if it might be just a faint echo of it all: The taxi drivers honking, the bicycle peddlers ringing their bells, fake market people, and the endless sounds of all those people talking, shouting and singing.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on July 20, 2011, at 10:43 AM