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Selected research projects and production grants secured by Jeffrey Shaw

Web of Life, 2001-2003
Production grant from the Aventis Foundation

The three year project "Web of Life" was conceived as a multi-disciplinary project that conjoins art and science to give form and expression to this fundamentally important new realm of understanding.

The core of the "Web of Life" is an interactive audio-visual installation at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. The artwork deals with the meaning, dynamics, and interdependencies of networks in nature and society. From scanner stations around the world, individual observers can play a role in the installation by scanning the lines of their palms. The project also consists of the book "The New Web of Life: the Art of Networked Living" by Michael Gleich and a web site.

Room with a View, 1999-2000
Production grant from the Volkswagen AG and SKODA

This commission was for a large interactive installation with full dome projection for the newly established theme park 'Volkswagen Autostadt' in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Working with the Czech artist Michael Bielicky, and the German artist/computer scientist Bernd Linterman, a unique entertainment environment was created for a mass public, which at the same time embodied qualitative artistic and cultural values. Custom application software was developed at the ZKM to enable seamless; geometry corrected full dome projection with four LCD projectors driven by a four-channel graphics super-computer. Another innovation was the 360 degree rotatable touch screen interface, enabling the public to effect changes at locations of their choice within the surrounding spherical image.

That's Kyogen, 1999-2001
Production grant from the Waseda University Network Center, Tokyo

The DVD production "That's Kyogen" opens up new possibilities of becoming acquainted with and studying an important style of traditional Japanese theatre. It was the first large-scale project conducted by the Waseda University Network Center (MNC), which was founded in 1998 with the aim of bringing over to a wider audience the research findings of the Waseda University Tokyo. TMC-Tokyo Media Connections Co Ltd., a member of the MNC, initiated the DVD production in collaboration with Mansaku Co. The production was realized in the Multimedia Studio at the Institute for Visual Media in the ZKM-Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe

The DVD-ROM enables users to select various chapters on theory and practice conveying in direct and vivid form the entire range of kyogen theatre, and to call up videotapes with abridged versions of pivotal kyogen plays, chosen and performed by Nomura Mansaku, the grand master of kyogen and best-known performer in his field. In short workshop sequences, the expert's son Nomura Mansai demonstrates and explains such aspects as stage, characters, costumes and masks, instruments, motional sequences and series of steps, vocal expressive means, and so forth.

The DVD-ROM is supplemented by four DVD videos documenting at full length thirteen of the most important kyogen performances.

eRENA and eSCAPE, 1998-2000
Two research grants from the European Commission

These projects were located within the ESPRIT i3 program for long term information-technology research, and involved co-operation with many of the leading European scientific research establishments (a first for a cultural institution like the ZKM). The projects consciously linked IT and science with art, and the overall concern was the exploration of innovative cultural strategies for the new media that would also have consequences for industrial applications

eRENA (Electronic Arenas for Culture, Performance, Arts and Entertainment)
In this project, the ZKM cooperated with British Telecom, EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne), the MIRALab run by Geneva University, the GMD (Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung/Society of Mathematics and Data Processing), Illuminations Television Ltd., London, the Royal Technical University, Stockholm, and Nottingham University. eRENA concentrated on research into new forms of cultural experience, ranging from the entertainment sector to the visual and performing arts. The main research areas were the variegated new planes of participation; interaction, accessibility and social involvement opened up by online worlds. Foreseen as platforms are primarily virtual environments that should be able to be used by a large number of participants, The aim was to provide a space where new artistic content and forms of expression can be tried out, and social interaction understood.

eSCAPE (Electronic Landscapes)
In this project, ZKM was joined by the following partners: Lancaster University, Manchester University, and SICS (Swedish Institute of Computer Science). The main focus of this project was to devise and develop heterogeneous electronic landscapes as virtual environments into which the existing diverse range of three- and two-dimensional information spaces can be integrated and linked up with each other. The eSCAPE framework was concerned with creating a connective - as distinct from collective - environment at the digital level, and to develop subjectivization tools that heighten individual efficiency by permitting interactors to move between digital spaces, or even to be simultaneously present in more than one space at once.