At this last HyperKult, Andreas Otto and I had the opportunity to exhibit our noisecabin installation from 2006 again. Originally commissioned for the “5 Days Off” festival at the Melkweg club in Amsterdam, the installation is designed to add artificial sound reflections to spaces in which bustling activity is contrasted with times of almost silence. This is true for both club events and conferences, of course, and so the installation was placed in the back of the lecture room and the hall outside. Parts of the lectures were sampled, mashed up, and then replayed in the hall later when the sonic activity level started to decrease.
This year’s HyperKult at Leuphana University in Lüneburg was the last instance in a string of 25 extraordinary conferences. They were extraordinary because they provided room for discussions around the computability of cultural practice away from the bustling struggle for impact and ratings that we experience in the CHI community, for example. With the historic town of Lüneburg as the backdrop, discussions were usually able to slow down and get more thorough as they could be continued over beers by the river. However, this is over now, at least in the form of HyperKult. Aptly named “Shutdown”, this year’s conference was focused on the notion of closure, of endings, in the context of technology that is designed for always-on operation. At the same time, it also provided an opportunity to look back and reflect on the topics that had been in the focus over the years. I was invited to participate in a panel discussion moderated by Rolf Grossmann, and we were joined by Michael Harenberg from HKB Bern. My part concentrated on aspects of interfaces in audio production and performance as they changed over the course of the years, and how this was reflected in scientific and artistic contributions at the HyperKult conferences. The videos of the talks and the panel will be available soon in the HyperKult archive.