I went to Vienna for Roboexotica, a festival for cocktail robotics. It’s in its ninth year. The original idea was that there were always conferences to philosophize about technology during the day with parties in the evening, why not combine the two? I stayed with Bre Pettis during the duration of the event. During the month of November he was the artist in residence for monochrom. I think the simplest description I’ve heard of monochrom lately is “art pranksters”. I had met Bre a couple times before, but really got to know him at CCCamp.
monochrom’s offices are in the Museums Quartier, the former royal stables that now house at least 3 art museums plus many publicly funded art organizations. Bre’s apartment was also in one wing. The insides were stark white with a giant cube in the center that housed the bathroom, kitchenette, and a few hidden closets (found another one the night before we left). I spent the two weeks there sleeping on a giant beanbag. It gently twists the spine and creates random pressure points as a reminder that you need better circulation.
Roboexotica was as fun as it sounds. The most fun was had using something very unrobotic: a cement mixer. The insides had been sealed and “The Provider” stirred and served beverages to people laying underneath with a funnel. This was fun and all, but ended with many many liters of screwdriver hitting the floor. You can find my pictures of the event on Flickr and the few posts I did about the event on Hack-A-Day. The talks were interesting as well; I suggest you listen to Cory Doctorow’s. Bre spent most of his robot construction time at Metalab. It’s a local hacker space that recently built metal DDR pads into their floor.