Volume 17 - April 28, 2008 - Letter from Brussels

Dorkbot - Doing "Strange Things with Electricity" from New York to Linz

bridges vol. 21, April 2009 / Noteworthy Information

By Jonathan David Farley

ice_cube_tattoo_small.jpgImage by Fabiana Shizue
Inventor Hansi Raber (above) presents his invention, "Ice Cube Tattoo" (below).           
ice_cube_tattoo_machine_small.jpgImage by Hansi Raber

The Danube is again blue at night, with the lights from Linz's famed Ars Electronica Center on the north bank and the sister lights of the Lentos Museum on the south.  Sometimes the river is green, sometimes red.  Tonight it was going to get redder.

I got off the tram at Hauptplatz, not far from Kepler's house - for years a wreck, but recently renovated for the science communication series "The Kepler Salon" - and wandered into the Altstadt.  I was looking for a place called "Roter Krebs."  As one would expect from an artists' enclave, there was in fact no sign.  I saw what appeared to be a manikin on the first floor and figured this must be the place.

Inside, I went up the stairs and saw a group of people drinking.  I looked for Tim Boykett, an Australian with an easygoing (an American might say "Californian") attitude who had gotten his Ph.D. where I now work, at Johannes Kepler Universität's Institut für Algebra, and stayed in Linz to do math and strange art.  Strange electronic art.

While "Dorkbot" started in New York City in 2000, Tim's art group, Time's Up, started Dorkbot in Linz in 2003.  After a long hiatus, it was time for another Dorkbot.


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