Happy Robots Showcase (2018)

An interdepartmental pilot project with students

Happy Robots was a pilot project of Zurich University of the Arts  in cooperation with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Design & Art (study field Animation). It was showcased with presentations and an exhibition, on September 22nd, 2018.

VR game by Chris Elvis Leisi and Oliver Sahli

ALAN is an interactive virtual reality experience in which you spend your first day in the Toni-Areal of the future. In a future world full of artificial intelligence, you can learn about the history and development of AI rights in the Museum of Design.  [more]

Animation short by Samantha Leung and Wesllen Gschwind

Is the life of a human being more important than the life of an artificial intelligence? And if so, why? Chased by these questions the robot KAI tries to find answers, which lead him deeper and deeper into his own consciousness.
The beginning of a journey into the mind of KAI. A game of cat-and-mouse. A decision of life or death – And the question, who is he to decide?  [more]

Human Resources 
Short film by David Oesch and Ennio Ruschetti

Dave is the last human working at Ugago. The hip, creative company offers a unique working atmosphere and a motivated A.I community. Whereas Dave despises all the group activities like free Yoga classes or finger painting, his co-workers desperately try to encourage him.   [more]

Blow Off Your Steam
An augmented reality installation by Jonas Shriqui


This augmented reality installation was based on a holographic office dummy designed to reduce stress and frustration in companies. It allows its users to bend, move or exert other forces on digital images of employees. In this way, employees can let off steam without disturbing other employees. [more]

Mirror Mirr0r
Dance performance by Luca Magni, Luca Signoretti and Marion Täschler

Mirror, MirrOr is a dance performance across borders. During the performance the three dancers will learn to free themselves from their limits and the security of a rehearsed choreography and to free their inner selves through improvisation.

The dancer, a diva within his profession (Antonio Moio), enters the room together with the talented young dancer (Giorgia D’Amico). Antonio tries to impart his futuristic choreographic style to Girogia, but she cannot identify with it. Their rehearsal is interrupted by a robot (Sophie Bertschy). After some hesitation, the interactions between the dancers and the robot enable an embarkation into new worlds. Boundaries seem to be dissolved. Inner feelings are projected outwards, visible and audible to all, and the protagonists lose themselves in new dimensions.  [more]

TwinLab Performance (2018)

The TwinLab performance took place on 25 October 2018 as part of the Swiss Digital Day and was broadcast live in the hall of Zurich’s Central Station. (Photo by Regula Bearth ZHdK ©2018)

The Hidden Formula &The Heavenly Palace: Simultaneous performances in Zurich and Hong Kong

The pilot project of the Immersive Arts Space was based on an international cooperation. In a live-transmitted event, two performances in Zurich and Hong Kong were united and could be seen simultaneously in both cities. The movements of the dancers were tracked by motion capture technology and transformed into live visuals. At the same time, the recorded motion data was sent across the globe, where it was used to establish a dialogue of the performers, separated by 9’000 kilometers and 6 hours of time difference.

With reference to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the performance of the Zurich University of the Arts explored mechanisms of restriction as well as the human willpower to break free. The performance of the theatre group Zuni Icosahedron in Hong Kong, referred to the 16th century Chinese novel A Journey to the West and embraced elements of imprisonment and liberation.

Zurich performers and their virtual avatars can be seen on the left screen, whereas the right screens displays the video live feed of the simultanenous performance in Hong Kong.  (Photo by Regula Bearth ZHdK ©2018)

TwinLab is a cooperation of the Immersive Arts Space of the Zurich University of the Arts with institutions in Hong Kong. Having the same infrastructure at both locations, the cooperation is primarily based on data exchange. It is used for simultaneous live productions and experiments.

For data transmission, the TwinLab project relies on the findings and on technological developments of the SNSF research project Telematic Performance of the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology ICST.

Video recording
The video below is based on recordings made on 25 October 2018 in Concert Hall 1 of the Zurich University of the Arts and in the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong.
(© ZHdK/Zuni/Digitaltag 2018)

For more information about the performance, artists and crew, please refer to this page.