LiWoLi day three

Workshops at LiWoLithe third day of LiWoLi was as packed as the first two days, but despite distinct signs of tiredness amongst some there was no drop in enthusiasm. i attended servando barreiro’s laser hacking workshop, but i confess to being constantly distracted by the “LiWoLi, do you copy?” workshop quietly continuing at the next table. i couldn’t help but observe that our group was entirely men apart from myself & one other woman, while at the other table it was all women; women doing really interesting things with soldering irons & wire cutters. servando’s dancing lasers were interesting too, but my focus was split. after the break i gave in and went to the girls’ table, asked for some help to get started with the soldering iron, & then proceeded to put togetherMy minipov my miniPOV device which i’d brought with me in the hope that such an opportunity might arise (since i don’t own a soldering iron myself). i became totally absorbed in soldering, & soon had everything stuck together pretty much how it should be – only to realise that it required two AA batteries to make it work, & such things were surprisingly not to be found in a room filled with tools & electronic devices (but i’m happy to be able to report that i’ve now arrived home & put batteries in – & it works!).

meanwhile, back to day 3 of LiWoLi; in the workshop break some of us enjoyed an excursion with martin kaltenbrunner to his office where he demonstrated the reactable – a round “table” on which he positioned and moved cubes, pucks and his fingers to manipulate audio samples & synthesised sounds (later that evening he made a guest appearance with the laptop orchestra). the workshops were followed by the second “plutonium striptease” session of talks, focusing on social networking platforms. an UpStage performance was taking place at 6pm so once again i was covertly multitasking, watching the performance on my laptop & listening with headphones at the same time as listening to the talks. ironically, just as margarita köhl explained why facebook is one of the best spying tools ever invented, the UpStage audience were asked to friend one of the show’s characters on facebook and facilitate communication back to another character in UpStage. it was a curious and interesting position to be in, exposing the layered complexity of networked environments intersecting with the physical in a very tangible way.

the evening programme offered another diverse line-up of performances, beginning with a laptop orchestra who performed what looked like laptop tai chi in combination with spoken word and drums, plus the guest appearance of martin with his reactable. presented a wild audiovisual mash-up of found footage, ensemble labor linz performed an electronic version of a visual score, & the evening finished with Notstandskomitee, which sounded like a 21st century version of Kraftwerk, from one man & a laptop. then there were djs, flashing lights, & a non-stop smoke machine (i’m told ushi had something to do with this … ) which kept me on the dance floor until after 3am (not bad for an old girl with a bionic hip!).

saying goodbye to everyone on sunday felt a little too soon, altho it is much better to be left wanting more at the end of 3 packed days than to wear ourselves out with a longer event. ushi & the other organisers did an incredible job, everything ran very smoothly & the content & people were excellent – thank you very much! now i have 2 days to recover before i’m off to the next 3-day festival – the Live Performers Meeting in rome – which i’m expecting to be quite a different environment as there will be 484 performers …