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Our featured artist this month is Niklas Roy and hes the coolest. His art consists of ‘useless’ inventions that are not only thought provoking but usually hilarious. In his workshop in Berlin you can find a classic instilation at work in his front window called My Little Piece of Privacy. His goal was to install a small but smart curtain. Basically surveillance cameras and and old lap top spot a passing pedestrian and a motor moves the dinky curtain to block only where that pedestrian is. It does the opposite of diverting attention but is awesome.
Probably my favorite invention of his so far is the International Dance Party. What appears to be a plain old flight box turns into a full fledge party machine when it detects dancing in the room. It uses radar to detect dancers and the more dancing it detects the more of a party it turns into with lights, fog machine and custom music. You can buy one, rent one, or even get a biggner set at internationaldanceparty.com.
In an interview with we-make-money-not-art.com, Niklas explained that engineers and designers which usually invent machines and devices do so in order to solve a problem or make an existing process more efficient. These efficiency-driven goals for creating exclude a vast field of possible inventions and that is where Niklas explores. He has learned that to be successful as a new media artist you need to:
1st: Don’t be an artist. You should be an architect or have a background in biology, or something else more or less unrelated.
2nd: No matter what you’re really up to, I can recommend you to also make some experimental electronic music.
3rd: Buzzwords and -topics are your friends and your source of inspiration.
And when asked directly how and artist can break into the field and not end up as a ‘creative’ doing websites for an ‘interactive design’ company he first pointed back to the 3 ideas above but also went on about the importance of free time. He explained that you need to organize your life in a way that you have enough time to work on what you find interesting, and how working in a company just takes too much of that time.
But how? Unemployment checks? Crime? Find a sugar daddy/moma? Good luck kids, if you find the solution make sure you fill us all in at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see a bunch of other wild inventions and to keep up with Niklas Roy check out his site niklasroy.com. Oh yea and download his pong game that you play with your face for free.