We have received the “Kulturlichter” award for our Fabmobil project. The award is given by the Federal Ministry of Culture and honors outstanding and innovative projects in the field of cultural education.
This award highlights a change in our creative practice in recent years. The Constitute started as an internationally active, globally networked new media art studio. With exhibitions at MoMA, performances in South Africa and biennials in China. Working with the Fabmobil and making an impact in decentralized regions of eastern Germany, our focus has shifted heavily to social design since 2017. Sure, we still work on crazy installations, it’s just that this work is currently taking a back seat due to the clearly noticeable impact of socially oriented design processes.
So don’t be surprised that it’s currently a bit quieter here. Sebastian is active in teaching and leads the Fabmobil project and all the related follow-up projects. Christian is heavily involved as a professor at BURG Giebichenstein and produces the Hurra Hurra podcast. In addition, there is the whole Corona madness.
Still, a new work is coming in 2021.
From October 2019 to February 2020 Sebastian Piatza, one of the two founders of The Constitute, held a full term course on digital prototyping technologies at the Design Department of the HTW Dresden. The Course was about ways, attitudes and techniques for quick design processes and heterogenous and highly diversified iterations. For that the students learned different soft and hardware tools and modified a simple little mug into a morphologic series. The results have been 3D printed on the universities own facilities and in our studi
To follow up the discourses on design education that came up during the Hurra Hurra Festival at Burg Giebichenstein Art University in 2019, Christian Zöllner produces a series of interview podcasts. These podcasts will be released every other week and deal with current developments, discussions and issues regarding design studies, design education, design teaching and all design related topics. The first episode was aired, or better: bitted in April 2020 and the whole series is available on all platforms such as spotify, apple pdcasts and podigee
This year we work with bees again. For the Dresden based Staatliche Kunstsammlungen we produce 3 specially designed hives that contain miniature architectural facades from existing buildings. The bees inhabit the hives and build their combworks around the significant architectural features such s windows, doors and ledges. We regularly film this process and edit a 30 minute video out of it, that we project on the original facade. By this, we produce the illusion of having huge bees crawling on the houses and covering it all up with honeycombs. After realising the project in Liverpool, Madrid, Berlin, Helsinki and Jerusalem, we are happy to bring it into rural and decentralized areas in East Germany.
Since 2018 we invite the german / finnish Illustrator Daniel Stolle for a ten day residency into the Fabmobil. Within this period of time and moving space, he sketched, scribbled and drew an impressive amount of illustrations. While it was all digitally made on procreate, 20019 he went back to the roots and relied only on pencil and paper. Because Daniel is such a humble and wonderful person and his drawings catch the mood and feelings of the situation in the Fabmobil, we asked Robert Arnold to shoot a little portrait movie.
This was a blast of a time. As a part of Christians professorship at Burg Giebichenstein Art University he hsoted a larger research project on changes in design education since the bauhaus. The project changed from a strictly conducted research approach towards an open discussion with students and lecturer from various disciplines. Through these discoursed the idea of a festival on design education came up. It had to be intense, deep and joyful at the same time. So it became a 46h long marathon of talks, debates, workshops and party nights. It will lead to a publication and podcasts series. Stay tuned.
Together with the federal center of competence for creative industries we realized a collaborative InnovationCamp to adress social, structural and political challenges in rural areas.
The focus of the Innovation Camp in Görlitz was the specific role of the cultural and creative industries as a driving force for solving acute challenges in decentralized and urban-distant regions. From 12 to 14 September 2019 we discussed with over 100 participants current topics such as structural change, shortage of skilled workers and demands on tourism. Interdisciplinary teams worked out solutions for the existence of rural working and living spaces.
Sebastian is currently teaching strategies in digital prototyping at the design faculty of the University of applied sciences in Dresden. With his students from product and communication he explores and analyses the broad variety of digital tools to create quick and sufficient concept representations. The aim is not to become experts within the mainstream CAD frameworks but to evaluate all the tiny and specialized software tools that are available in the web.
Together with Julian Adenauer from the Berlin based Retune festival we´ve been recording some podcasts episodes on Creative Technoligies. The Podcasts focus on interviews with artists and activists in the media art and design field. The questions on how we work, earn money, develop ourselves as personalities and our artistic practice are core to the episodes. Plus some giggling, weird excursions in totally different topics and some music inbetween. We recorded around 6 episodes and managed to get 3 up online. So there is still some more to come – not only from this Retune podcasts, but also from other channels. So keep your ears and eyes open.
Believe it or not, but Christian Zöllner, partner and founder of The Constitute is now professor for design methods and experimental design at Burg Giebichenstein Art and Design University in Halle. This means The Constitute is proven smart and we will only wear oversized corduroy from now, speak in academic tongues and never touch any practical punk rock project again. Not. This is a great opportunity to share our knowledges and ideas with young and passionate students from the design and art field. And we will learn so much in reverse.
Here we go with another video from our residence at the Royal Porcelain Manufactory. Our beloved friend Jens Beyer shot it over the period of our stay in the manufactory.
Our friends from Retune Festival invited us to contribute our porcelain clay printing project to the Digital Arts Lab. The Lab is a process driven exhibition model, that focuses more on the actual way how ideas evolve than on finished products. We set up our porcelain printer and exhibited works and models from the 5 week cooperation with the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur Berlin.
After working on the ceramic 3D printing for a while now, we now pushed the idea further. The Phase XI project invited us to to a 5 week company residence at the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur Berlin. In this tim we got the chance to work on a functional recipe for just the right clay consistence and explore the boundaries of what is possible within additive clay processings. The collection consists of four morphological arrays that analyse and by this display the great and still challenging aspects of the project.
Our EYEsect project got some late attention at weird TV stations on distant shores faraway. Here just a few examples that got flushed back to us.
Over the last half year Christian was assigned visiting lecturer at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle. The term project was all about design within resillient situations and was succesfully exhibited during the annual summer exhibition. The german/international design magazine Form featured some of the student projects within its last issue on “Designing Protest”. The inflatable riot suit by Tony Beyer and the Inaudible Communication Device by Lukas Keller illustrate a Text by Hans Ulrich Reck
¡Hola los mundos! Here is a crispy feature on our work published by spanish news imprint El Pais. Christian talks about EYEsect, Sketching in Space and Ready to Cloud in fluent and sexy sounding spanish. And there is something written too.
Christian gave a talk on Design Fiction in the Science Fiction track at the re:publica conference 2024. It should have been more on the term project Christian is responsible for at the University of the Arts Burg Giebichenstein in Halle this year. Instead it was more on the future of drugs in the age of bits and bytes in the end. German only… enjoy the ride!
There are a few new publications out there featuring works of The Constitute. First to mention is the current issue of agenda design, a magazine published by the german designers association and directed by Florian Alexander Schmidt. Christian wrote a longer article on the explicit role of experiment in the works of the Constitute and Vr/urban. It also gives insight to our methodical approach in academic teaching.
The Berlin Design Digest features around 100 international projects by 75 designers, studios and collectives from Berlin. Next to our friends from Sonice Development, Studio 7.5, LAMF and More than Shelters we present our EYEsect project as one Example of our international works.
Last year the publication “What urban Media Art and can do” was published at AV Edition and features four of our projects that we realized within the Connecting cities Network. On various pages the projects: Human Beeing, G-frame, SMSlingshot and Ready to Cloud are analysed and reviewed by art critics.
Fakugesi Festival and Goethe Institute South Africa invited the Constitute to host a workshop on experimental interactions with music software. So we teamed up with Ableton and created a micro controller set up to directly create MIDI inputs by analog and digital signals coming from Arduino. So the music producers are libereated from the trackpd, keyboard, mouse dungeon and can express themselves more freely in DAW environments. And it all ended up in a large party. Thanks to the road crew Jens and Robert, Masechaba from Goethe Institute and the Original Swimming Party for the fun and joy during the workshop.
For the Kuopio based Anti Festival we´ve been invited to contribute something along the initial Future Divercities Network meeting. Basically coming with just EYEsect in the luggage and the rough expectation that we will improvise something with other artists was a quite attracting idea. Jens, our beloved Design Engineer created a light spectrum erasing interactive wall open for audience participation. More an open setting for the Kuopio people than an original Artwork.
Christian was on the Road talking about the disaster of HMD Designs at the HAW Hamburg alongside Sara Lisa Vogel and Moritz simon Geist. Was Fun.
We´ve been busy over the past frew months and not able to keep this website section up to date. Now, as things calm down, we put all the news and current project up here. Bit by bit, because it´s a quite a lot. First, we start off with our involvement in this years Retune Festival for creative technologies. Together with Jasmin Grimm and Julian Adenauer we curated the talk and workshop program, hosted panel talks and jumped from right to left during the days keeping the ship sailing. What a truckload of fun and inspiration. This years topics ranged from neural networks, serial production, networked transplants and narrative strategies in VR.
Before the Festival, we had set up a two day event to connect designers and artists with east german small and middle sized companies. The Creative Production Lab, as we named it, was a great succes with many ideas to come ot of uncommon matches, such as a window manufacturer in Saxony meeting a Berlin based designer and solar panel manufacturer.
OK. It´s not that much news anymore. But still it hasn´t been really featured here yet. Yes, we want to build a mobile Fab Lab for rural and decentralized areas in East-Germany. We allready put a lot of work in promoting the idea at various occasions and had now the chance to set up a punky prototype to test the whole thing. We set up a doppeldecker convertible bus at the TINCON festival for digital youth culture in Berlin end of May. We put in 3D scanners, 3D printers, Physical Computing, a library, 360° cameras, computers, VR headsets plus plus plus. Kids were enabled to print there own glasses and to make some 360° movies from scratch. It was a truck load of fun. And it was a good start for bringing this babe onto the streets in the wild east. Nest steps: our own bus, full funding and good times all the way! Keep you updated!
Thanks go out to Benno, Jens and Moritz Simon Geist and the heartwarming TINCON Crew.
We had a good time. A very good time. It was such a pleasure to be part of the Heart of Noise Festival that was taking place beginning of June. Mostly a music festival with top notch line up, it also offers a public and interactive art track. So we brought our EYEsect helmet and the G-frame to Innsbruck / Austria. First we went through the streets and later on the mountains. Having EYEsect 2500m high up in the Alps – boy that´s a thing. In the nights G-frame was linked to a facade in front of the venue and transformed the place into a large interactive lava light installation. And: we saw Deadbeat playing alongside Tikiman, Pole showcasing his forest piece, Jaques Palminger and Lee Scratch Perry. And many more. Great Festival, wonderful Crew, intense days.
Together with our friends from Pfadfinderei, we won the bronze edition in the category “communication in space” at the Art Directors Club Germany Awards. For the interactive exhibition pieces for Porsche Traumwerk. We are happy to be chosen, thankful for the trust in our work and quite irritated about the other winning works. Anyway! Yippie! Next step: world domination.
For this year´s re:publica festival Christian turned into a manic working machine preparing and holding two talks, one meet up and one full day workshop. Not only this: The madness was opened with a Shades of Grain performance in the wonderful Spektrum project space. And a students presentation on monday morning. What a week. It was a great success, lot´s of people in and around the talks, interesting feedback and great participants in the 360° camera workshop.
One lightning talk was about our, not yet really published, plan to set up a rolling fab lab for decentralized rural areas in east germany. Short for now – details soon come!
The workshop was about the possibilities and constraints of 360° cameras. Therefore we´ve been equipped with eight Ricoh Theta S 360° cameras and had the chance to play around with them in a high class team of participants from the performing arts. We talked a lot, we made some 360° videos and streamed them onto an Occulus Rift headset.
There is also Christians talk about VR and Fashion Design online. German only.
The Berlin based design and service agency IXDS invited us to give a talk on Design Fiction. That´s Christians topic (he hold a term project as a guest professor on it) so he gave brief overview on strategies, implications and a slight introduction to critical and speculative design.
We collaborated with our friends from Pfadfinderei again for an audio-visual performance for the ENJOY JAZZ festival. The festivals curatorial team commissioned us to create an intense and physonical drone piece as a support act for the Sirens performnce by The Bug. For that we cnc machined various dubplates and played them as a DJ-set on a huge Soundsystem. We now have the documentation of this project up on this page and are open for further bookings!
The german speaking TV station 3sat is featuring our EYEsect helmet in it´s latest broadcast of Kulturpalast. The overall topic is drugs in art, code, culture and aestehtic production. Well.. yeah. EYEsect is the example for out of bodiment. From around minute 10:15 on we are on show. Enjoy!
Christian was invited to talk about our work at the Spreeblick broadcast on Berlin based FLUX-FM. The conversation was circling about design and art overall and how Christian as designer understands his programming skills as communication tools. Christian also selected some of his favourite records that have been aired aswell. The record of this show (without the tunes) can be re-listened here.
A feature on our works and studio was broadcasted in February on the french/german TV Station Arte. Tracks, a show on popular culture, visited us for one day and we chit-chatted on this and that. Enjoy the show!
Our second Connecting Cities project is the G-frame, a participative and digital drawing frame for public spaces is now also shortly, but well documented. We connected Sao Paulo and Arhus in Denmark with this piece. People on both sites were enabled to draw, sketch and write on the same virtual canvas that has been displayed on a facade. Now we develop this early prototype further to more advanced visuals and a mir sophisticated use.
YEAH! The documentations of our 2014 Connecting Cities projects roll in. First one released is the video about our human beeing project. We really like this video, because it shows and explains the idea and realisation of the whole insane project.
Our Berlin Studio is featured in the first issue of WIRED Germany. Though Sebastian couldn´t be on site in person, his plaster cast was eplacing him for the photo shooting. Because we share our space and field with Julian Adenauer and Sonice Developmentthey are featured in the article aswell!
We had again, as always, a wonderful time in Liverpool, being guest at FACT to show the Human Beeing project there. It was fully participative and nice to see that this concept can work out well. The school kids from the Francis from Assisi school were there and have been our little apprentices throughout the evening, helping to set eveything up. So they learned a lot about how to run a media art project in the public realm and how to be finished on time. The walkie talkies we handed out did their part too. It was wonderful to have so many bee enthusiastics around aswell. Andrew Hubbard offered a tasting of his postcode honeys, honey from different postcode zones in Liverpool and Bioni Samp was playing some serious bee music on Ropewalks Square. Thanks again to FACT, Gareth Jones, Mark Murphy and Nina Edge! A pleasure. As always. Yours.
We are back from Helsinki where we showcases our Human Beeing project the first time. It was overall wonderful to see how the people enjoyed the projection and how great the concept was working. Big bees on big buildings! Thanks to the Connecting Cities network and m-cult. Also the whole project would not be possible without the support from Mikko Fritze and the Goethe Institute in Helsinki!
Our EYEsect had a busy summer. We´ve been putting it on peoples heads at the wonderful Fusion Festival and the smaller Nachtdigital. It`s always refreshing to see people from a more art-distant environments being totally confused and very happy after being eyesected. Another big honour: EYEsect went over the ocean the first time and bugged people at the FILE Festival for digital culture in Sao Paulo. We gave it to the people on Avenida Paulista for five days to explore their urban monster from an out of body view. Alos we´ve been featured quite big in the catalogue.
To get more information in german, the little EYEsect documentation on golem is worth a look. The editors been visiting us in the studio and interviewing Christian who was obviously ill and should had better stayed in bed.
Again we packed our bags and hit the road in the name of teaching. We´ve been invited to give a workshop on experimental and narrative design processed to a group of 40 under graduates in Wuhan, central China. Due to massive workload, only Christian was able to go and was accompanied by our constant partner and good friend Julian Adenauer. Together they hosted 12 days of 3D scanning, laser cutting, story boarding, movie cutting and exhibiting. Was a hard ride, but we´re still happy for that experience. China is great! See the whole report here. Including a video
We kind of have a subscription for the art of engineering award. In 2010 we made the 2nd with the SMSlingshot we created as the VR/urban collective and this year we did it again. Our Ready to Cloud project about a holographic-teleportation prototype on top reaching first rank and EYEsect, the out of body apparatus going third. TAKE OVER! This is incredible! Thanks to the Jury and Ferchau Engineering for their trust and support! There´s also a little article online about the award and our winning pieces at the (only german, but very popular) Spiegel online website.