h.o (HDOTO) (Based in Tokyo & Linz)

Connecting Monsters is an artistic project to create Monsters, which are activated by the words of ordinary people living in Istanbul and Linz, on symbolic media facades in these two cities. These Monsters will act like mediums, conveying the mood of each city to people in both places.

Developments in information technologies such as the Internet and social media have given us previously unimaginable access to and insight into the daily lives of individuals. Traditionally, conveying controlled information via mass media to people influenced their relationships to information and society. Nowadays it is individuals who are voicing and conveying their opinions to the world at large, with no time delay. What collective power do these individuals have?

In the Connecting Monsters Project, Monsters on public screens at Beşiktaş Square in Istanbul and the Ars Electronica Center in Linz will hold up placards bearing words from Twitter tweets for passersby to see. If someone reacts to a word, the Monster interacts with them. The Monster in Linz will also react to virtual visitors accessing to the website of Ars Electronica and real visitors entering into Ars Electronica Center.  Both Monsters regularly visit the façade in the other city, where they communicate the real-time mood—based on the collective words tweeted in each city—to the people.

This project aims to provoke discussions about the collective power of society, and of individuals, as visualized in the Monsters.

Partners: Produced by Ars Electronica in Linz and adapted by Amber Platform in Istanbul

Connecting Monsters by h.o during the Connecting Cities Events in Istanbul 2013 © Amber Platform
Connecting Monsters by h.o during the Connecting Cities Events in Linz 2013 © Ars Electronica


Artist biography

h.o (hdoto) is an artist group around the representative director, Hideaki Ogawa. Winners of the Philip Morris Art Award of “Memory of Media” in 2000, this collective began in a university laboratory and have set up connections between Linz and Tokyo to produce visually impressive, playful installations.

Each member has a specialized field such as sensor technologies, database system, interaction design, hardware design and robotics, and this group practices a unique form of collaboration, changing team members depending on the project, to form a wide network of members and collaborators.

In their earlier work, h.o focused on abstract, universal themes such as time and communication, creating poetic and lighthearted interactive installations. With the addition of new members specializing in database and sensor systems, the collective’s work has developed as they have increased their exploration of the social aspects of this style of artwork. h.o search for witty new ideas which reflect the social context in which they are working, and illustrate the development of new technologies as they emerge.



Tech info

Materials: Urban screen, twitter feed, façade, USB-powered webcamera


5.9.2013 LINZ @ Ars Electronica Center, media facade, 11pm-midnight
6.9.2013 LINZ @ Ars Electronica Center, media facade, 9pm-10pm
6.9.2013 ISTANBUL @ Besiktas Square, 10pm-11pm
2.11.2013 ISTANBUL @ Besiktas Square, 7.30pm-8pm