Cybercity Ruhr offers local and international culture & media-art projects and video documentaries in the field of “transforming cities“ and projects with a main focus on Interactivity, Art & Technology. We work in co-operation with universities, art-schools, schools, urban-planners, cultural institutions and freelance artists. With these projects we are engaged in finding solutions for burning social issues by creative means. We support people and institutions in finding ways to actively create human-based every day environments. We give the impetus for artistic work on central present and future topics such as identity and integration, globalization, influence of modern technology, demographic changes and life in virtual worlds. We impart knowledge in a holistic way, which reaches children and young people as well as adults.
>The art collective "Cybercity Ruhr" was formed in 2006. It includes Canadian media artist, Graham Smith (www.telepresenceart.com) as well as culture manager Christina Smith and freelance journalist/documentary filmmaker Anja Bardey. Graham Smith has been creating artworks using robotic, virtual reality, photographic and telepresence media for over 25 years and has exhibited his work internationally. He holds five patents and teaches among other things "Industrial Design and Robotics" at the Utrecht School of the Arts and "Interaction and Multimedia" at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Christina Smith has fifteen years of experience as a culture and event manager. She worked among other things in the administration of the „Theater an der Ruhr GmbH“in Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the „ Theater und Philharmonie GmbH“ in Essen and organize Live Music Events („Roxy club “, Essen and „The Middle East “ (Cambridge Mass., USA).). Since 2003 she has been assisting Graham Smith. In 2006 Christina Smith started doing her own media-art projects. Anja Bardey has been working for film and television since 1995, amongst others for the Teamwork GmbH and the Tiamat AV in Dortmund and the Filmproduktion Loeken-Franke in Cologne. Since 2005 she has been working as a freelance journalist for the German Goethe-Institute. Anja Bardey started doing media-art projects in 2006.Cybercity Ruhr works closely with Edda Gerusel, sculptress and culture educator, (www.eddagerusel.de), Mirko Reinecke, architect and installation artist and Bettina Steinacker, photographer (www.fotografie-steinacker.de).
A CYBERCITY always consists of miniature models and at least one video robot. The video robot, whose camera serves as a remote controlled "third eye" of the viewer, makes it possible to explore the rooms from the perspective of a pedestrian. The video pictures are projected onto a large screen. The robot can be steered – locally - over a "game step pad" or – world wide - over an Internet platform. CYBERCITY plays with distance and perspective and can link far away places creating a „Global village“
The "CYBERCITY concept” was developed and became internationally recognized by Graham Smith. Smith has been experimenting since 1982 with "virtual reality“ technology even before this expression existed and co-operated from 1987 to 1991 with the American Jaron Lanier, who coined the term "Virtual reality". The Cybercity concept was a direct result of these early interactions as a way to make virtual technologies more accessible to the general public and young people. The first CYBERCITY was exhibited in 1993 at the Venice Biennale. In 2006 the art collective Cybercity Ruhr started to develop the CYBERCITY concept further into a versatile instrument of the artistic/educational program with the topic "City with no Limits/of the Future".