Words: Philippa Pires
Place: ISEA 2000, Paris
Time: December 7 - 10, 00
Images: Marc Boon
Web: ISEA
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ISEA2000 undertakes the monumental task of discussing the impact of emerging technologies by bringing together more than 150 experts from a variety of disciplines. Given the time frame, this approach was overly ambitious but somehow fitting. Much like technology, ISEA2000 had me struggling to keep up with it. With artistic events all over Paris, and 4 days of presentations and discussions, it was clearly impossible to see everything being offered. The following is a mere sample of the ISEA2000 experience.

Batofar: Friday December 8

ISEA's 10th year celebration took place in the light boat/nightclub Batofar on the Seine river. On the outside was Mark Fell's interactive installation, Wall of Midi. Using a flashlight, one could activate various sensors which would in turn produce sounds. The inside of the boat was fully equipped with projection screens, video monitors, and an awesome sound system, that was no doubt augmented by the acoustics of the boat. During the performances, there were times when the vibrations were so intense that I could feel the hairs on my arms and in my nose tingle. What impressed me most is that we weren't merely watching the performance - we were immersed in it.

It started out with Oil Frenzy, a fluid combination of sights and sounds that started off minimal and progressed into something more complex and chaotic. In contrast, FAUSTechnology also started off slow but turned into a well structured assault on the senses that was not for the faint of heart. Luckily, anyone in need of a break could head to a smaller lounge like room, where the resident DJ's from Breakfast is Back offered a more eclectic mix of laid back tunes. The night was rounded out with a mix of techno and house by DJ Neurom. Within the context of ISEA, this experience actually was a revelation because it seemed to sum up what the symposium was about: celebrating electronic art.

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TOP: Batofar
BOTTOM: DJ's Breakfast is Back