PIKSEL is an annual festival for artists and developers working with free/open source software, hardware and art in Bergen. The theme of the 13th edition of the Piksel Festival held in 2015 was: Get A-Life! This year Piksel showed series of artistic works, performances, workshops and presentations dealing with DIY A-Life (artificial life), DIY electronic and audiovisual artworks and concerts. Piksel15 brought to Bergen works of more than 70 artists dealing with these topics.


Personal Zone
by marek sitko (PL)

Every living creature has a personal space, crossing of which causes discomfort, anxiety and an impulse to move away, defend oneself or escape. Personal space is characteristic for humans and animals, but the results of the study of the nature of plants revealed that they also exhibit the possession of such a space. The research shows that plants feel violations of their comfort zone and react to it in a negative way, which is however unnoticeable to us or perceptible only after a longer period of time. Is it possible that machines also have a personal zone?

Is it possible that machines
also have a personal zone?

Personal Zone is an interactive sculpture-machine (an artificial being) and has a certain level of intelligence. It can control space surrounding it. While not disturbed, it lives its own life. It is anxious when it senses human presence nearby. If an intruder comes too close to it, its personal space is violated – and the sculpture leans to avoid contact.

Tim Shaw (UK) & Sébastien Piquemal (Fi) 

FIelds is a networked system exploring new areas of musical performance and spatialised sound through the use of audience’s mobile devices as a medium for sound diffusion. Offering both a new technological approach to sound diffusion and an alternative way for audiences to participate in performances, Fields opens up unique forms of engagement within live musical events. The system is available over Wi-Fi and participants can easily join through a web browser. 

Rob Canning (UK), Antonios Galanopoulos (GR), Barbara Kukovec (SI)

Trustless is a work reflecting on issues surrounding encrypted network communication technologies. It is a data driven, audio visual installation/performance which responds to real-time data from the Bitmessage service. Bitmessage is a decentralised, peer-to-peer, trustless communications protocol that became particularly popular after the 2013 Snowden revelations exposing the widespread collection and analysis of communications metadata. Ciphersongs respond to the threat to our “right to a private life” posed by the planned amendments in the UK to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (aka The Snoopers Charter). 

Rob Canning - www.rob.kiben.net
Antonios Galanopoulos - www.ag.kiben.net
Barbara Kukovec - www.bk.kiben.net

Blood Music
Külli Roosna (EE) & Kenneth Flak (NO)

Using dance and interactive technology, Roosna & Flak fill the stage with interdependent sound and movement. In the process they are dealing with the question: How to amplify and expand the body’s movements through sound, so that the body literally becomes an instrument, turning the dancer into the musician of her own soundtrack.

Nicolas Maigret (FR) & Brendan Howell (UK/DE)

The Pirate Cinema is a live performance that reveals the hidden activity and geography of real-time peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent. Each act of this live work produces an arbitrary mash-up of the BitTorrent files being exchanged, in real time, in a specific media category, including music, audio books, movies, porn, documentaries, video games and more. These fragmentary contents in transit are browsed by the artist, transforming BitTorrent network users (unknown to them) into contributors to an endless audio-visual composition.
Nicolas Maigret - www.peripheriques.free.fr/blog

∆V high voltage, pressure and sparks
Kasia Justka (PL /DE)

The smell of electric potential difference. Signal tensions oscillating between 9000 or 3 volts as well as thousands of Hertz…. In order to see, to hear the physical aspects of electricity. Spark ionization, electric discharge, pulses and voltage breakdown. Oscillating tension with lights, sounds and electrified atmosphere. The heart of audio-visual synchronization // SIGNAL, Flow of electricity.

High bitch
Dr. Nexus and Greta Christensen (DK)

High Bitch is a spatial sculptural sound scenario. Dr. Nexus is world wide well known for his punk ass attitude which pretty much already there describes his approach on “music”. DIY electronic stuff such “ass” devises and modules and synths works wonders in the hands of mr. Nexus and fills the space with noises and rythms in improvised formations. The project focuses on the relationship between object and sound. The sculptural work includes amounts of various materials where the live concert focuses exclusively on LP-records and turntables. She performs in rare occasions solo under the name “vinyl HORROR” with the aim at making the unseen hear-able….hmmm…. and the other way around.

a collaboration between Dr. Nexus and Greta Christensen

Pikslo_deep_diving / underwater interception of the nordic sea
by Robertina Šebjanič (SI), Kat Austen (UK/D), Slavko Glamočanin (SI), Gjino Šutić (CRO)

During the 5 day work-intensive interdisciplinary research, the four main mentors and collaborators opened the process of the exploration of the context of DIYbiology, DIY chemistry and sound. A DIY laboratory in the context of the Pikselfestival was the main environment of the development of the workshop. Through the field trips to the fjords and surroundings in Bergen the team collected data and material to be used in the DIY laboratory during the festival.


/ Photos: Zane Cerpina, EE

Dark Ecology 2015

Dark Ecology 2015