Media Donkeys, Mobile Formats

Experimental tour, mobile formats

Three days experimental tour in the Swiss mountains: Schmitten – Martrüel – Ramozhütte

In this project a form of experimental mobile/moving with artistic formats and practices are developed, with the use of new medias.

Donkeys are transformed into mobile-media stations

Media Donkeys, Mobile Formats deals with unstable work and life forms by showing their impact on our daily life in our reality, driven by media technologies.

Donkeys are equipped with a laptop, speakers, webcam, mini-projectors and a rear projection screen. They will be transformed into mobile-media stations. With this mobile setting, we will walk through streets as a performance. In August 2011, we made the first experiment with a donkey in the Swiss Alps (See picture video).
Background: The donkeys belong to one of the oldest pack animals which were used in ancient times by many cultures and this had a decisive influence on them. With donkeys, nomadic and independent life were possible and they were also used by Arab caravans because of their instinct ability to remember the way of previous routes. Today, the donkey’s skills as a pack animal are no longer required, but instead it’s known to us as a backward and slow animal with religious connotations. At the same time, and contrary to the donkey’s existance, it also stands for self-determination and independence.

In return, in our Western civilization, we combine, the flexible and nomadic. The nomadic is in many industrialized societies positively associated with a required adaptation and flexible service. To change places of work and a place to live mobility belongs to an everyday reality (“rent nomads” or “job nomads”), which is now required by many employers. New communication medias provide ubiquitous presence and accessibility to working and communicating from anywhere. Facebook friends offer a nomadic cohesion. More and more people today have an increasingly pervasive control over exposed functionalization, which covers all areas of life e.g. professional, social and private lives.

In this project, I’m interested in the tension between networked-media communication and control technologies and their possible withdrawal. Issues such as resilience; the ambivalent “backwardness” are both self-determind by these nomadic practices in the form of artistic strategies in focus.

Media Donkeys, Mobile Formats - donkey transformed into a mobile-media station
Donkey transformed into a mobile-media station

Technical requirements per donkey
A webcam (audio/video recording) and an integrated light is fixed to the front foot of the donkey. The webcam transmits signals to the laptop. The laptop then transmits the signals to the speakers and the mini-projector, which in turn projects images onto a rear projection screen.