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<nettime> flashback: European Software Festival, Munich 1991
Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 07:23:43 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> flashback: European Software Festival, Munich 1991

Folks, a historical vignette:

I've been doing some research on Canadian artist David Rokeby where I found reference to one "European Software Festival" which was, at the time, initiated by the US-based business software company Borland (a then competitor of Microsoft - check the interesting Wikipedia entry). Here's a contemporary report:

Klaus Brunnstein, University of Hamburg (March 1, 1991: 5 p.m. GMT)

On February 19-20, 1991, Borland collected, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, a rare collection of gurus, experts, engineers, artists in Munich (Title: European Software Festival). On the program:

   - Niklaus Wirth on his Oberon language concept (lecture, workshop)
- Bjarne Stoustrup (AT&T) with 2 lectures on C++/Object Oriented Programming - Marvin Minsky: Lecture on Personal Software and Programs Who Know You (but he really gave a survey of AI history) plus Lecture on Artificial Animals
   - Philippe Kahn: Back to the Future
   - Joseph Weizenbaum against overestimation in research
   - Izumi Aizu: Hypernetwork Society

Some more could not come (Alan Kay should not use plane), others really did not come (Cyberspace guru Jaron Lanier was only virtually present in a video).

One of the most stimulating (and generally uncomparable) events was a concert of Tod Machover (composer, director MIT Media Lab) who demonstrated his "conductor-aiding handglove" in a new composition, after having demonstrated his concept of "hyperinstruments" with a piece from his opera "Valis".

Also some native German speakers:
   - Computer Art professor Herbert W. Franke on Experimental Esthetics
- Thomas von Randow on Cryptosystems ("If Mary Stewart had applied cryptology...") - my own contribution was on Risky Paradigms in Informatics' Box of Pandora (starting from J.v.Neumann's assumption, that his EDVAC be equivalent to the human brain, with peripheral devices analog to "organs", I analysed risks in misconceptions, errors in realisations, misunderstanding on the users side, and malicious misuse, with examples well known to Risk Forum readers).

<snip ... more "About Risks in Believing AI Gurus (M.Minsky)">

from: The Risks Digest. Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems. ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator. Volume 11: Issue 19, Friday 1 March 1991

archived at: http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/11.19.html

P.S.: I assume that there must have been other artists involved, besides David Rokeby (with the installation "(Perception is) The Master of Space") and Werner Kiera (multimedia performance?).

Rokeby: http://homepage.mac.com/davidrokeby/mos.html
Kiera: http://museum.arch.rwth-aachen.de/Reiff2/Museum2/kiera.html

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