Robert Darroll, Sean Reed: Oracle
Fri, October 26, 2007 7 pm CEST, Opening
The interactive work »Oracle« investigates the mechanisms and patterns of the generation of meaning and of subjective concepts of reality as they are influenced both by the logic of current digital media and by deeply rooted ‘irrational’ cultural rituals.

The practice of consulting oracles as an example for such an aforementioned practice hereby constitutes the works formal structure: Via a touch screen the user can ask a questions and thus set in motion a process modeled after the dramaturgy of rituals, comparable elements of which are to be found in a great number of cultural traditions. The oracle offers the viewers abstract and very open reflections on the present and the future, which the audience has to interpret according to their own reality.

Offering ‘advice’ per random from a database and referring to irrationality as well as to the belief in technology, the project opens up a debate on the basis and the mechanisms of seeking and finding ‘truths.’


Artistic concept and computer graphics: Robert Darroll
Composition/ sound design: Sean Reed

Speakers: Harald Schwiers (German), Ed Assali (English)

Technical development and production: ZKM | Institute for Visual Media
Project direction ZKM | Institute for Visual Media: Bernd Lintermann
Production: Petra Kaiser, Jan Gerigk, Manfred Hauffen, Silke Sutter, Arne Graesser
Application and user interface software: Joachim Tesch

The PanoramaScreen is based on Jeffrey Shaw’s interactive panoramic cinema research.
The PanoramaScreen was jointly developed by the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media, Karlsruhe [D] and the UNSW iCinema Research Centre, Sydney [AUS].
Screen manufacturing: Huib Nelissen Decor en Constructiewerken, Haarlem [NL].

Panorama Display Software:
Concept and development: Bernd Lintermann, ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

The sound production was supported by the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics.

The project was realized as part of the research association »Information at your fingertips - Interactive Visualization for Gigapixel Displays« funded through the Information Technology Funding Program of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg [BW-FIT]
and supported by the Nagoya University of Art and Science, Nagoya, Japan.

About the authors

Robert Darroll
For over 25 years, Robert Darroll [*1946, UK] has been working in the field of experimental animation.
After having studied Fine Arts at the Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town, Robert Darroll turned to experimental film and abstract animation, and has been working with digital technology in this field since 1990. One of the important sources of inspiration for his abstract works, which are often created in close collaboration with international composers, are visual impressions gathered during his stays abroad, as for example, in Asia. One of the main topics of Darroll’s work is the discussion of the construction of reality and meaning in global media society.
Since 2001, Robert Darroll has been living in Japan where he was professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music in 2001/02 and now teaches at the Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences.
Darroll’s works have been presented worldwide at major museums and in the scope of numerous media art and music festivals [including the Netherlands Film Museum, Amsterdam; the American Film Institute, Los Angeles; the ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; the ISCM World Music Festival, Seoul; Rencontres Internationales Art Cinema, Paris; VIDEOEX, Zurich; the Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA; the Tokyo National University Museum, Tokyo.].

Sean Reed
[*1970, Camden, Maine, USA] studied at the Eastman School of Music [Rochester, USA] and at the Hamburg College of Music and Theater with Manfred Stahnke. Since 2006, he has been pursuing his PhD at the Department of Music at the Trinity College of the University of Dublin.
Sean Reed's work ranges from both compositions for traditional ensembles and for interactive art works to computer/ tape music and space-sound installations.
Reed’s own and collaborative works have been presented internationally as part of, for example,
the »zeitoper«-series of Hanover State Opera, the Munich Biennial, the Dresden »CYNETart« festival,
the »CEAIT-Festival« of CalArts or the »transmediale« festival in Berlin.
He has been awarded several international prizes, including the production prize of the competition »Hören und Sehen« of the Institute for Music and Music Education [INM] [together with Robert Darroll] in 2004, the first prize of the Asolo Art Film Festival [together with Robert Darroll] in 2002 or the prize of the »Next Generation Forum« in 1998.
Organization / Institution
Förderprogramm Informationstechnik des Landes Baden-Württemberg [BW-FIT]; Nagoya University of Art and Science, Nagoya, Japan