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Starting the 10th of december 2002, digitalcraft will present its new exhibition “origami digital - Demos without Restrictions”. The demo scene, another exciting facet of digital culture, for the first time will be displayed in a museum.

A selection of current and historical milestones of demos will be exhibited on PC´s, Palms and mobile phones. Paralelly, various aspects of the subculture (international organisation, applied techniques, used platforms) will be highlighted. The most important question first:

What is a demo?

In an encyclopaedia, you would find the following explanation: a demo, at first sight, is a non-interactive, computer generated movie sequence. Due to their conceptual combination of graphics, animation and music, demos pretty much contributed to the term “multimedia” as it is known nowadays. Demos are not produced by means of conventional editing software but on the basis of pure programme code. It is mostly written in asm (Assembler), C/ C++ or Pascal. Because of this, some demos are not bigger than 1 Kbit. In fact, demos are produced in order to present new effects, light up audiovisual "fireworks" and to continously revise and broaden the perception of what is technically possible. The message of a demo does rarely go further than “hey, I can do this, and I can do it on this machine” or maybe “greetings to my friends”.

What does a demo look like?

As indicated on the pictures above, the aesthetical range is rather wide. We chose a few demos to give an objective insight in our gallery. Next to screenshots and brief descriptions, you´ll be able to download various objects.

--> go to the gallery

Why “origami digital”?

While researching the demo scene, we tried to find out which other cultural artefact might serve as a comparison. Besides the fact that beyond the visual pleasure there is no other obvious function, we realised that the creation of a demo follows very strict rules. The rejection of modern soft- and hardware finally arose the idea of “digital origami”.

The japanese art of folding papers to complexe figures also underlies various restrictions: contemporary means such as cisors or glue are not used at all. This selfimposed limitation demands an extremely high level of craft skills; furthermore (and due to this) it results in an “outburst” of creativity. This is exactly what draws a connection between origami and demos: the medium of the latter is bits (instead of paper), the virtuosity of treating the programme code equals high skills in folding paper - “origami digital”.

On the following sites, we present “origami digital” on our website A great part of the local exhibition is therefore accesible by internet, opening it up to a worlwide audience. Visitors of the exhibition space can use our web resources to get deeper into the context.

“origami digital” is one of a cycle of in total three exhibitions which started with “I love you”, an exhibition on computer viruses which was opened in may 2002. In march 2003, we will end the series with an exhibition on mp3/peer to peer. Responsible for the coordination of “origami digital” is Jochen Leinberger. Digitalcraft is under the scientific supervision of Franziska Nori.

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