Horst Hörtner (AT) is a media artist and researcher. He is an expert in the design of human-computer interaction and holds several patents in this field. Hörtner was a founding member of the Ars Electronica Futurelab in 1996 and since then he has been the director of this atelier/laboratory. He started work in the field of media art in the 1980s and co-founded the ‘media-art group x-space’ in Graz, Austria, in 1990. Horst Hörtner works at the nexus of art and science and gives lectures and talks at numerous international conferences and universities.
Spaxels, Pixels in Space
Visual media has undergone countless evolutionary transformations through innovations in technology, from the first primitive though enduring methods of aboriginal cave paintings, to oil painting, still photography, celluloid film, video, holography, to current day large LED displays, transparent displays, and stereoscopic displays.
Ars Electronica’s Future Lab now introduce a novel visual display paradigm through the use of controllable moving visible objects in physical space. Spaxels is a conjugation of “space” and “pixels”. It takes the notion of a pixel, and frees it from the confines of a static two-dimensional matrix of a screen or projection surface to move three dimensionally in space. Spaxels extend the notion of Voxels, volumetric pixels, in that a Spaxel can physically move, as well as transition in colour and shape. Future Lab’s current applied research is based on the control of a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with RGB lighting and a positioning system that can be coordinated in three dimensions to create a morphing floating display. The lecture introduces Future Lab and its work on Spaxels as a novel concept and paradigm as a new kind of spatial display.