/// 2007 /// Space- and Time Based Interfaces as Access to Online Archives


Online archives are characterized primarily by their content being distributed across hundreds of single websites; among other things, this makes the power of orientation difficult. In the installation NETZSPANNUNG.ORG – PERFORMING THE ARCHIVE, the dimension and mode of operation of the online archive becomes visible. What is only sequentially perceptible on the websites and in the data bank entries of the media platform is given a new clarity by different space-and time based interfaces. NETZSPANNUNG.ORG – PERFORMING THE ARCHIVE comprises a series of works: the “media stream” stands for thoughts in flux, which the viewer can stop and select.


The “Digital Sparks Matrix” shows a multiplicity of arranged pictures of the student competition which can be enlarged by means of a virtual magnifying glass and easily managed with “PointScreen”.


With the aid of a neural net and mechanical text analysis, the “Semantic Map” orders all the information on the platform and shows information as a mesh of semantic relationships. The viewers are drawn into the events through performative interfaces.


In the interactive installation “media stream” two parallel media streams, one containing pictures and the other containing words, flow through the room as a large format data projection. The flow of words shows keywords, authors and titles of the archived documents. Via a text-to-speech process, the terms are spoken by computer voices. As index for the targeted searches, a touchscreen translates the flowing pictures into scrollable digital text banners. The “media stream” and its pictorial, acoustic spheres generate a knowledge space in movement. The PointScreen technology is based on so-called “Electric Field Sensing” (EFS) and uses the electro-static field of the human being in order to easily manage interactive applications. The interface takes up the motive of the matrix as an infinite ordering system. Every field of the “matrix” represents a media project with a pictorial icon. While the “matrix” supports a surveying browser, the magnifying glass offers detailed dynamic insight. For museums and archives, “media stream” and “matrix” offer a “semantic map”, a possibility to record, in condensed form, a large part of or even the entire itinerary and to provide a tool for detailed observation.

(Text: Monika Fleischmann/Wolfgang Strauss)



Monika Fleischmann (*1950 in Karlsruhe) media artist and director of Media Arts & Research Studies (MARS) and the eCulture Factory of the Fraunhofer Institute IAIS. Co-founder of Art+Com in 1987. Stages interactive visual- sound relations. Studies in fine art and computer graphics in Zurich and Berlin. Exhibitions, awards, publications, lectures and teaching inland and abroad. Winner of the 1992 Goldene Nica of Ars Electronica for interactive art.

Wolfgang Strauss (*1951 in Nuremberg) architect, media artist and scientist. Director of development in human-medium-interaction at the MARS – Exploratory Media Lab at the Fraunhofer IAIS and co-founder of Art+Com. Develops interactive architecture. Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Berlin. Guest Professorships, fellowship, lectures, exhibitions inland and abroad. Awarded the 1992 Golden Nica of Ars Electronica for interactive art.


"Digital Sparks Matrix", Installation view
Photo: Marcus Meyer


Monika Fleischmann/Wolfgang Strauss, NETZSPANNUNG.ORG – PERFORMING THE ARCHIVE, 2007, Space- and Time Based Interfaces as Access to Online Archives, 4 projectors, loaned from the Fraunhofer Institute IAIS – MARS Lab/eCulture Factory