My name is Stefanie Wuschitz. Many of you might have already met me at HUMlab in the last three months, but I haven’t introduced myself on the blog yet, so here we go:
I’m from Austria, where I did an MFA at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. My thesis was an animated documentary on a group of Palestinian girls in Lebanon.
I had been mainly working with video, animation and conceptual sound projects, when I started a Masters of Interactive Telecommunications at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In this program I worked with new technologies and open source software like Arduino, Processing and Mobile Processing. I got excited about the things that can be done with cutting edge technology when it’s in the hands of people who don’t understand themselves as engineers, but rather as designers, artists or activists.
I now see databases, mobile phones, dynamic websites, sensors or microcontrollers as modules that can be implemented in an art piece. Re-using and re-purposing this kind of media can be a way of reflecting on the impact the very same technologies have on our society when used in the traditional context (like the military, free market or mass communication). But as well changing the impact.
When I came to Umeå for my digital art fellowship here at HUMlab, I planned to work on my own art projects, but to as well give workshops to encourage women to play with new technologies.
MISS BALTAZAR’S LABORATORY
I founded an interactive art studio called “Miss Baltazar’s Laboratory”, a group of artists, designers, engineers, musicians and computer scientists. In the group you get inspiration or technical help from all the participants for your own creative projects.
We hack everyday objects, build and tinker with electronic devices, share our knowledge, skills and equipment. I try to encourage in particular girls and women to try out physical computing for creative expression and new forms of communication.
We meet every Thursday, at 2pm in the room opposite of HUMlab.
Everyone curious is welcome!
For the summer we plan to host a larger event, similar to “Miss Baltazar’s Laboratory”, but with international guests and consisting of several workshops going on for a whole week (Eclectic Tech Carnival).
A different group called “Umeå Flash” meets every Tuesday at 7pm at Café Mekka, discussing new forms to use public space as a platform for creative intervention and art. “Umeå Flash” organizes flash mob like performances and is not connected to the university.
My own project about female body images is coming along well too. I’m using Arduinos with XBees, that will enable three female sculptures to “communicate” with each other and the audience. The result is hopefully on display on January 23rd.
INTERACTIVE MOBILE ANIMATIONS
I’m working on a series of interactive mobile phone animations, that are displayed on 4 mobile screens simultaneously. The animations are targeted to teenage girls and deal with issues around body and self image, giving the user a platform to start a conversation in real space.
WHERE YOU WILL FIND ME
You will find me mostly at HUMlab and the Interaction Lab of Umeå Institute of Design, I’m affiliated to both of them. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions concerning my work or would like to come to one of the mentioned groups: