mosaics and music, food and the cloud

In my last post, I included video, slides, and the rough transcript from my presentation last weekend in Linz, Austria for Ars Electronica as part of the Cloud Intelligence Symposium.

In curating the symposium, David Sasaki also created “An Outsider’s Guide to Linz.” This post is an extension of his excellent guide with video and a heavy emphasis on food. (You can also find places David marked in Dopplr’s Social Atlas for Linz with geocoordinates.)

My Linz trip began with a burger in Cafe Walker that David didn’t mention would arrive with hidden corn kernels,

and later that night, through the drizzle as I walked out of the Haufplatz (the main square), I spotted my friend Seth Hunter.

Joining him and his fellow MIT artist Noah, we were off to fetch their bags from their installations, then to Italian restaurant Bigoli in nearby OK Platz (order the gnocchi), where Seth taught us how to make origami butterflies and we talked about the food of the future:

Back in the Haufplatz, young dancers in white unitards tucked glow sticks into their hair,

and then the lights went off, darkening the entire square, the better to see the glowing dancers move glowing balls to the other side of the street.

Friday morning, the market bustled in the same square (so much speck!),

and I bought a superlative cream-filled pastry with a hidden meringue layer,

amazing pastry from the market (there's a hidden meringue layer in the front, this is a vanilla cream)

thinking about food photography as I prepped for my talk (video) at the Ars Electronica: Cloud Intelligence Symposium the following day.

me taking a picture of the magic pastry

While the rain continued, I went to see the Ars exhibits for inspiration. A few of my favorites (also see my friend Ethan’s favorites):

a typewriter of images:

open sailing, a project about a floating community that models sustainability,

an LED abacus,

a skeeball marimba installation,

Arthur Ganson’s piece with scraps of paper winging their way,

and my very favorite, the geotextile mesh “Hylozoic Grove” by Philip Beesley,

that sensitively moved as you entered its translucent, shimmering space, brushing against branches.

Later that night, artists shrinkwrapped themselves as part of the Ars Gala,

People shrinkwrapping themselves at #ars09

and David toasted to the following “arscloud” symposium in classic style,

I had a wonderful tagliatelle at Cafe Lentos (highly recommend) with local chanterelles soaked in butter with steak and crunchy bits of sea salt, while Ethan had a Sicilian pasta with a large sardine,

and outside, the Ars Center pulsed with light patterns into the night.

In the clear morning, I could see rooftops and the Danube sparkling,

rooftops in Linz

ars center (look how it's situated near the hills)

before I meandered around the organic grocery to find yogurt and granola to fly through last-minute revisions;

yoghurt with granola from denns grocery in Linz

as part of the day’s proceedings at Ars on cloud intelligence, we asked all the “arscloud” symposium participants to hack their lunch (using fancy fast food as a model), and the winner made a CloudWurst (he explains):

After a full day, I opened my window to watch people mingle next to the river,

linz during ars09 ars electronica

happy and tired from a long day of thinking about clouds and intelligence with this smart group,

I felt exhilarated after the symposium

and I stopped by a few sweets vendors on the way to group dinner,

purchasing a tangy yogurt cream pastry,

cream horn of yogurt filling

before traditional Austrian food (I had a black seafood risotto) at Alte Welt,

and then fireworks

and fire works (listen for Juliana’s take on this particular pile of flames).

The next morning, I wandered Linz, peering through open doorframes,


and admiring the fineness of the pale architecture (that almost has an icy tone to it, heavy on the glass),

architecture in linz

watching those walking,


under crosses,


and past buildings with glittering, embedded religious mosaics,

building with a mosaic

on my way to the park,

dahlia in a linz park

in the garten

flowers in a linz park

and the buildings beyond,

architecture in linz (reid, took this for you)

and the girl on the bike glared at me

On my way back, I found door handles shaped like pretzels,

pretzel door handles in linz

more traditional Austrian for lunch,

austrian lunch here

austria menu linz

and traditional dress to complete the lesson.

traditional Austria dress, I think

Before a trip up the mountain for dinner, I had gelato with David (hear what he discovers his favorite flavor is),

then it was time to meet gnomes,

unironic gnome

follow them on signs,

sure, let's follow this sign, good idea

to this restaurant,


where we all liked the pumpkin seed cheese best,

fresh cheese for the bread (pumpkin seed oil, herbs, plain)

until the first course at the castle arrived,

consuming all our attention until (at least for me), this table sat down,

and there was birthday fire.

The next morning held pastries with Ethan and David,

brandl croissant

very complicated pastry (in taste and in look)

this last is David’s favorite, and he felt it would power a longer morning run in the Austrian hills with Teddy of Project Diaspora (a former Ugandan Olympic hopeful in the decathlon),

David's favorite that guarantees a strong run later in the day

and asking slightly less of other pastry, I purchased the Brandl Bakery version of the famous Linzer torte for the office, heading off to discover shaggy pastel marshmallows,

shaggy pastel marshmallows

glistening jellies,

jellies in Linz

and an exhibition of recovered mosaic pieces from places of worship,

that included twinkling ships.

From the mosaiced currents, I opted for a fish sandwich a few doors down,

salmon sandwich from Nordsee on very good seed bread

and wandering further, like a siren song, organ chords drew me into an old cathedral,

entrace to organ concert

where I watched sunlight fill more and more of the pews as an unseen organist played on into the afternoon, sounds I carried with me back to Brooklyn…

Related posts:

  1. the secret life of foodpaths (my ars electronica presentation)
  2. in the name of food
  3. first Miami food exploration of the new year