!Linear (2012)

This is one of the first, possibly the first interactive media art piece for e-reader. I am fascinated by the esthetics of the electronic ink which is different from the usual backlit color screens. After several years working with projections this is first of my artworks which needs a proper lighting. It is also interesting to work with and around the inherent limitations like the latency in the response and switching of the screen, complex animations are not possible without flickering.

!Linear (pronaunced nonlinear) is about interactive storytelling from user generated content, a mashup. Pictures are taken and processed from Flickr and their tags are displayed, user can choose from the provided tags how the next image will be searched. The selected tags combined form a sentence and creates with the images a non linear story.

The video can be seen also on Youtube and Vimeo.

To create this it was necessary to find an e-ink e-reader which is rather accessable. Amazon provides a SDK for Kindle but its necessary to write them an email and ask them. The Sony e-reader runs on Android and needs only to be rooted to access the underlying operating system. It provides a usual Android system with multitouch screen, Wifi connectivity and sound output, unfortunately no speech synthesis which was one part of the concept but it seems not to be possible. The software could be programmed as a normal Android Java application.The e-reader is meant to hang on a wall during exhibtion, together with small speaker for the sound because it didn't have builtin ones.

This is a free artwork, by no means it is endorsed or supported by any of the mentioned companys nor brands.

The texture of the e-ink screen. My animation on top of the image leaves (mechanical) traces and alters the picture.

While testing, suddenly this picture popped up in my software. Wondering who the lady on this obvious mugshot is I checked out and discoverd a story which I dont want to withhold, the story of Dorothy Mort and Claude Tozer.

recording the synthetic sound for !Linear at Block4 media lab when it was in Kreuzberg, Berlin