The Interactive Cologne Festival is an industry event reflecting the latest trends in every sector of the digital world. In view of the fact that our future is digital, which means that it can also be “hacked”, developers and designers got together in developing this app in order to create an unforgettable event. Since the aim also consisted of integrating the city of Cologne into it, one of the most visited tourist attractions, the Cologne Cathedral, was “hacked”. The Hacking Richter app merges the works of three musicians as well as the mobile phones of invited guests to create an interactive composition. Special about the app is that it reads the IP addresses of the smartphones and makes them individually controllable via the musician’s computer – just like the more than 10,000 pipes of the Cathedral’s organ. The live performance consisted of specially composed music pieces as well as corresponding lighting effects that used the 72 colours present in the stained-glass window in Cologne Cathedral designed by Gerhard Richter. During the performance, the mobile phone displays lit up in the colours of the Richter window.
This app is fascinating because it merges technology, music and design in a surprising and visually stunning way. Novel in the approach is that IP addresses are converted into music. Another impressive aspect of the app is the way the design manages to reflect the complexity of the event in the entire artwork.