Slowness, Streams, and Networks in the More-than-human World: Prototyping an Internet of Things for Water.

Just before 2020 wraps, I am pleased to announce that my paper Slowness, Streams, and Networks in the More-than-human World: Prototyping an Internet of Things for Water has been published in the Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts in a special Issue following XCOAX 2020, edited by André Rangel, Luísa Ribas, Mario Verdicchio, Miguel Carvalhais.

Open access at

Open, Seamful and Slow: A More-Than-Human Internet of Things @XCOAX 2020

I was honoured to be part of XCOAX 2020, in a paper session featuring Cornell Cannaerts, Alessandro Ludovico and Rewa Wright, moderated by Andre Rangel.

The session surrounded topics of Architecture, Coding, Critical Posthumanism, Mixed Reality, More-Than-Human, Networked Media, Network Topology, and Network Transparency. Because of the pandemic, the conference was held online, and all paper sessions, as well as the panel discussion, can be watched online.

  • Corneel Cannaerts Allographic Drawing: Agency of Coding in Architectural Design
  • Birgit Bachler Open, Seamful and Slow: A More-Than-Human Internet of Things
  • Alessandro Ludovico Openness and Transparency in Network Topologies
  • Rewa Wright, Simon Howden Augmenting a Human-Plant-Data Assemblage: The Contact Projects

Read my paper here.

Pyramid Power 2019

In May 2019 I showed some of my work as part of the Sound and Light Exploration Society Open Door event during the Pyramid Power festival. I also filmed a bit of the opening night and created a short clip highlighting the happenings at Pyramid Club that night.

Together with Frank Eggleton I interviewed a few participating artists and the organisers and the result are these two podcast episodes. Featuring KING Homeboy, Negative Nancies, Rachel Shearer, IRD (Rory Dalley), Jonny Marks, Daniel Beban and Nell Thomas. Enjoy!

Unwrapping di4lo9s

I am excited about the launch of Hamster 2, featuring my piece Unwrapping di4lo9s in which I reminisce about re-visiting the first artwork I have publicly exhibited in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

di4lo9 is a local anonymous Wi-Fi messaging network for leaving messages in public space. After several public exhibits I decide to re-connect to the piece and to open the message drop containing the voices from the past, now disconnected from original place and context.

The first three issues of HAMSTER engage with the idea of a ‘post-truth world’. We encourage contributors to consider hacking strategies as lenses through which to explore contemporary creative and cultural practices. We feel these strategies provide a productive framework to use when considering the slippages between altruistic and selfish intent in relation to the politics and ethics of truth-telling.

(Physics Room, 2017)

Open Jam Aotearoa

I am organising the inaugural Open Jam Aotearoa together with Chris Wratt and Tristan Bunn at the School of Music and Creative Media Production at Massey University Wellington.

Openjam Aotearoa. Illustration by Nick Holmes.

The idea to create an event like Open Jam Aotearoa was born one night at the artist-run venue Pyramid Club during Chris’ workshop on “Boring Video Games”. Chris and Birgit dreamed of an event that weaves the diversity of the local experimental arts, design and music scene together with the game community, and we are excited to make this dream come true during this weekend in March.

Sonic Acts Academy 2018

I am honored to give an artist talk “Live Streams – Materialising a more-than-human Internet of Things” at this year’s Sonic Acts Academy in Amsterdam (NL):

“How can we learn from the more-than-human world when building networked media? Departing from the concept of an Internet of Things as a means to give voice to non-human ‘things’, her research seeks to develop experimental prototypes for grassroots, community-run digital networks, and DIY electronic devices as artistic interventions. This is done to imagine novel ways of (re-) connecting with disconnected waters and their more-than-human ecosystems. In her doctoral research, she specifically engages with local stream ecologies in Wellington that have largely disappeared from the cityscape and have been piped underground due to urban development. Data collected during fieldwork combines a variety of knowledge through interviews and observations as well as audio and video field recordings and sensor data, such as GPS, humidity, conductivity, and temperature. In this talk, she discusses the challenges and opportunities of creating and evaluating artworks and design artefacts within a more-than-human context.”

ISEA 2017 Manizales

I’ll be presenting my PhD research at ISEA International Symposium on Electronic Art 2017 in Manizales Colombia.

Wednesday June 14, 2017 17:10
Universidad de Caldas Sede Central
Auditorio Humberto Gallego Gamboa Calle 65 # 26 – 10


Data Commodification Workshop at Transmediale

Together with Walter Langelaar I will present a Data Commodification workshop at Transmediale 2015 in Berlin, with this year’s topic “Capture All”.

Transmediale Capture All

Sun 01.02.2015, 3:00 pm
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Foyer Hub 2

Departing from the recent web application (an artist-run Internet startup producing projects to help individuals capitalise on their online monetary potential) this workshop aims to put some of the server-side tools employed by the project back into users’ hands. Participants will have the possibility experiment with personal and/or open Facebook or Google+ profile datasets, quantify and visualise relational data and essentially establish a currency conversion of their online presence, potentially viable for further marketing or for use as creative material and critical reflection.

Big Data Wall Fillers as Screen Saver at Piksel

Piksel is an annual event for artists and developers working with free and open source software, hardware and art. Part workshop, part festival, it is organised in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects, doing workshops, performances and discussions on the aesthetics and politics of free and open source software.

Piksel Logo

The work shown in the PIKSEL SAVERS is a rendition based on an open dataset of nuclear power plants worldwide, and their distance to Bergen, located in the centre of the screen.

Copy Wildy wins NZOSA Art Award

I’m very honoured that my exhibition Copy Wildly won the Open Source Use in Arts award on Wednesday night.

The New Zealand Open Source Awards recognise and promote:

  • the contributions of New Zealanders to free and open source projects and free and open source philosophy
  • exemplary use of free and open source by New Zealand organisations.

Open Art Award

This award recognises use of free and open source for creative endeavours of the arts in New Zealand.


  • Birgit Bachler’s exhibition copy wildly


  • 19 Tory St
  • Douglas Bagnall for the Recur project

Birgit Bachler wins the arts award

Big Data Bastelstunde @ADA Meshcities Auckland 2014

ADA Mesh CIties 2014
Big Data Bastelstunde (“Big Data Craft Hour”) is a one hour workshop exploring the art of generating wall paper patterns from open data sets.

Birgit will bring datasets she has worked with and invites participants to bring their own datasets. During the workshop will introduce ways to use the programming environment Processing to render abstract spreadsheets into nifty patterns for home decor.

More info on the workshop >here<

The ADA Network is New Zealand’s national research network for critical discussion and presentation of digital and media arts.

Arduino Day Wellington, 2014

I’m organizing the New Zealand Arduino Day 2014 at Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.
With presentations by Anne Niemetz, Wyatt Page and Josh Bailey, working demos by Walter Langelaar, Adam Ben-Dror, Mo Zahreei, Ted Apel, Blake Johnson and Henry Dengate Thrush.

Read my guest blog entry about the day on Technology Valley.

Moodbank – a roundtable discussion

I was invited to take part in the roundtable discussion together with Dr Sarah Elsie Baker, Vanessa Crowe, Sophie Jerram, Amanda Levey, Dr. Dan Weijers and Matthew Ellingsen.

Moodbank is a pop-up bank and art project where you can visualise, deposit and exchange mood. 29 Manners Street, Wellington, 13th – 22nd March 2014.
The Moodbank is a collaborative project led by Vanessa Crowe and Dr Sarah Elsie Baker, run with support from Victoria University of Wellington, The Public Art Fund and Urban Dream Brokerage.

The project consciously acknowledges and validates all moods rather than just those that are deemed valuable in consumer culture. We want to provoke debate regarding appropriate/inappropriate emotion and the privileging of happiness. By mimicking and subverting the aesthetics of a bank and by contrasting analogue and digital data we hope to draw attention to the processes in which our feelings become commercially valuable. In our attempt to make the collective mood of the city visible we propose a social rather than an economic form of exchange. Mood is intimate, relational, and contextual; it is complex, contradictory and messy. By visualising how we feel we are recognising the value of the often unseen emotional experiences that make up our collective mood.

Moodbank Image

The discussion surrounded the issues of collecting citizen data and rendering moods through analytic algorithms, giving mood a quantifiable value. In contrast to online data acquisition the moodbank allowed any deposit, the deposit slips are predominantly human-readable and very insightful. I am looking forward to seeing the posters based on people’s mood drawings spread around town and gaining more attention for this intriguing project.

Copy Wildly conclusion

Thanks to all participants of the Copy Wildly finissage and for all the valuable feedback and discussion during the workshop session. I hope to hear back from anyone who is working with the material on the USB-stick, and I’m looking forward to bring this show to more places and expand more on the idea of “art on a stick”.


Copy Wildly Workshop + Finissage

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 15.12.05

The exhibition Copy Wildly is running for one more week and closing with an in-gallery workshop and finissage on Sat 8 March, 2pm. This will also be the last chance to copy the source codes of the exhibition on a USB-stick or buy one from the Limited Edition stack.


We’ll start off with a tour through the show and then have a look together how to rebuild/recreate the artworks with the help of the data on the stick.

We’ll discuss the technical and conceptual aspects of the works. I can give you a peek behind the interfaces, show and explain the hardware and software behind all works. We’ll have a look at some of the code (Python, Bash, Processing), web interfaces (HTML, CSS), hardware (Arduino) and discuss possibilites of rebuilding/modifying the existing works with and without previous coding experience.

RSVP via Facebook or send me an e-mail me {ät} birgitbachler {dot} com.

If you have a specific question already, let me know before Fri 7 March.


Wellington Music Tech Fest Hackathon

Music Tech Fest visited Wellington as part of Sounds Aotearoa Market 26-28 Feb 2014, and hosted the first music hackathon of a big world tour 2014 at Mac’s Function Centre.

Music Tech Fest Logo

I worked on the Baboom challenge and developed a prototype of a music vizualiser. The concept was not to just visualize the music based on audio analysis and metadata drawn from the EchoNest API, but also read from the sensors of the device a song is being played from. The prototype involved reading the 5 most prominent ambient colors in the room through the webcam and have the colors of the vizualisations respond to that. The prototype version has been developed in Processing. Future versions could implement more sensor readings from the device like location, ambient noise plus feeding data from social media.

More amazing hacks developed during the 24 hours can be found on the Hackerleague Site.

Copy Wildly Solo Exhibition

‘Copy Wildly’ is a new exhibition by Austrian artist Birgit Bachler featuring a playful
electronic spectacle of internet culture, media interventions and data appropriation.
The entire content and source code of the show is re-distributed on custom made USB-sticks.’

The show is part of this year’s Fringe Festival and runs from 14 February – 8 March 2014.

The accompanying workshop will be held on Saturday March 8 at 2.00pm in the gallery.

Visual Documentation
Facebook event
Fringe Festival Page
Toi Pōneke Gallery on Google Maps


Like Reality in LEA Vol 19 Issue 4 Without Sin.

I am very proud that my text “Like Reality” is featured in the Lea Electronic Almanac issue titled “Without Sin”. The full article is available in pdf form here, check here for the entire publication.

What is the relationship between contemporary digital media and contemporary society? Is it possible to a„ffirm that digital media are without sin and exist purely in a complex socio-political and economic context within which the users bring with them their ethical and cultural complexities? This issue, through a range of scholarly writings, analyzes the problems of ethics and sin within contemporary digital media frameworks.