Mons, Belgium and Pilsen, Czech Republic are the 2015 European Capitals of Culture. Mons invited Ars Electronica to stage Project Beehive in conjunction with its art & culture program. The aim: to enable user-generated videos of diverse cultural events to be conveniently uploaded to a platform, linked with geodata, and then displayed on a specially constructed wall of screens. Beehive is set up in Mons’ Café Europa, a hub where visitors can get in contact with various European cities.
Project Beehive was launched as an experiment at the 2013 Ars Electronica Festival. Its objective is to capture and document a major event from the audience’s point of view. Like a swarm of bees—thus the project’s name—the participants fan out and, with the help of their smartphones running a customized app, collect images of what they consider significant, interesting, and exciting stuff, tag their shots, and add them to a pool of pictures. At a central meeting point—here, Beehive Mons 2015 in Café Europa—all the collected images are presented to the public. GeoPulse, an interactive visualization tool also developed by Ars Electronica, provides visitors to the Beehive with a very user-friendly way to navigate through the photographs and locations. Plus, Beehive offers the possibility to get in contact with Mons’ partner cities. There’ll also be a live remote hookup to Linz and, in particular, to the Ars Electronica Festival September 3-7, 2015 as part of Austrian Week in Mons.
Café Europa is one of the top attractions at Mons 2015 European Capital of Culture. This is a venue at which visitors can get in touch with people all over the world, a place to meet & greet and engage in intercultural exchange. The thematic focus is on the past, present and future. But it’s not only a 21st-century café. It’s simultaneously a training center, a FabLab and a communications hub featuring a wall of screens that connect Mons to 10 European cities.
Mons – 2015 European Capital of Culture
The 2015 European Capitals of Culture are Mons, Belgium and Pilsen, Czech Republic. The Mons 2015 lineup encompasses over 300 major events, five new museums and thousands of cultural activities. Linked up in a wide-ranging network of 17 partner cities, Mons is pursuing an ambitious strategy of development and regeneration—of the city proper as well as the entire region. The mission: to become a “Creative Valley.” Mons 2015 also offers visitors a great opportunity to discover one of the most charming spots in Walloon Belgium, a city that self-confidently looks to the future while cultivating roots that go all the way back to the Stone Age.