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Ars Electronica Honorary Mention

Ars Electronica Honorary Mention

We are happy to announce that our fellow Ralf Baecker was awarded an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica 2015 for his project ‘Mirage’ in the category Hybrid Art.

When one understands the causes, all vanished images can easily be found again in the brain through the impression of the cause. This is the true art of memory.” René Descartes, Cogitationes privatae

‘Mirage’ is a projection apparatus that makes uses of principles from optics and artificial neural network research. ‘Mirage’ generates a synthesized landscape based on its perception through a fluxgate magnetometer (Förster Sonde). It registers the magnetic field of the earth, which is dependent on the earth’s geodynamo and its interactions with the activity of the sun, and feeds it into a unsupervised learning algorithm for analysis. At the same time the algorithm, inspired by the principle of a Helmholz Machine, “dreams” variations of the previously analyzed signal. These variations are translated into a two-dimensional matrix that physically transforms a thin mirror sheet by 48 muscle wires. The surface of the mirror sheet changes in analogy to the system’s state. A thin laser line is directed at the mirror surface at an acute angle to generate a landscape depth like projection on the wall. Through the constantly shifting signals the projection resembles a subliminal wandering through a landscape.

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