Error – The Art of Imperfection, Ars Electronica Berlin
Error – The Art of Imperfection is a joint exhibition of Ars Electronica and Volkswagen AG, shown in Berlin from November 17th, 2018 till March 3rd, 2019.
In and of itself, an error is neither good nor bad. First of all, for us an error is “merely” a deviation from what we expect. And this is exactly where the artists in our exhibition come into play: they are the ones who often purposely challenge deviations and/or errors. What does it mean, if we’re no longer able to recognize the deviation at all? If we just can’t understand any more that this is an error which we could tolerate or not? To what extent can this error be checked at all in the digital world? But aren’t we the ones who ultimately determine the order, rules, values and standards of a society and culture? Proceeding from these central questions, four guiding principles started to crystallize, which will be further illuminated in the context of an error: irritation, order, value and control.
The typeface used for the exhibition graphics as well as in ads is BC Liguria (Briefcase, 2014). With its radical solution for joints of curves and stems, this typeface a perfect choice for a theme centered around the art of imperfection in the digital world.
Letitia Lehner, founder of MOOI Design and director of design for the exhibition:
We took a lot of inspiration from the test pattern that traditionally marked the end of broadcasting on TV. In our work we always approach topics from a very visual standpoint and here the identity of the exhibition space was our priority. So we wanted to generate this test pattern in the space as well. What happens is that after the normal condition of the exhibition there is a moment of error, the test pattern dissolves, the pixel patterns break down, colors dissipate, try to recalibrate themselves, run through the whole color spectrum and produce completely unexpected results, including in the sound system. We tried to think through this moment of error up to the smallest detail. So, for example, our CI colors are there again, red and royal blue – red is the color of error and in the digital world, at least the world of Windows computers, royal blue represents the screen of death. We even work with fragmentation in the typography; the writing comes apart and keeps putting itself back together.
Design concept and exhibition design: MOOI Design
Client: Ars Electronica Export
Curated by Manuela Naveau
Production: Bartneck Print Artists, DesignArtDX e.U., Transparent Design, DIREKTA Druckerei & Direktmarketing GmbH
Light installation “DIN”: Claudia Rohrmoser
Realization outdoor advertising: deluxe neue kommunikation gmbh
Photo documentation for MOOI: Florian Voggeneder
[Editor’s note: This post was first published in November 2018. It was greatly revised with additional info and images in March 2019.]