“If I could live with any work of art ever made it would be the print I bought from the artist Johannes P Osterhoff.”
— Cory Arcangel in Art World

Tell 2.0

johannes p osterhoff - Tell 2.0

The long-awaited update of Schiller’s famous piece. Freedom is timeless and so is playful insurrection.
Grab your iPhone and play along at Ars Electronica.

The topic of William Tell is timeless. As with its premiere in 1804, the piece is now more than ever a parable for individual protest against despotic oppression.

And yet many contemporary interpretaions failed. Recently for example Bad Hersfeld Festival tried to give Schiller’s piece a long awaited update. According to the adaptation and the reception of Frankfurter Allgemeine, Tell has become a “cool guy in a leaher jacket”. But a real revival of Wilhelm Tell is not done with dressing the protagonist in different clothes—or let him drive a VW bully through a dusty setting.

Today—when everything is 2.0 and products turn to whole widgets—our rulers have become technology and software manufacturers, but still of importance is everybody’s freedom. Perfectly designed user experience and multi-touch make us forget that the easy-to-use interfaces are designed not only for our benefit. The more beautiful those interfaces are and the more compelling the experience from purchase to consumption, the quicker the Gruen transfer. With the AppStore, Apple has not only created a platform for programs. The back then hardware manufacturer now controls all small programs, books and magazines on its devices, music and videos to a great extent.

How free are authors in the realm of an emerging überpublisher, for example when publisher and topic inevitably collapse? We wanna find out it and try with William Tell 2.0 an indeed political update of the old play.

Wilhelm Tell 2.0 is a simple game for at least two players. Each player wears an iPhone (or an iPod touch or something else with Apple insignia on its back) on his or her head. With balls players try to hit each other’s device. The player (or team) who hits (all) the other player’s (or team’s) iPhone(s) win.

Here you can see the very first actual game of Wilhelm Tell 2.0 with a prototype. Currently we prepare variations with crossbow and paintball ;)

WT2: two players in action, Pt. 2
The first play of Wilhelm Tell 2.0 took place on August 12, 2010 near Bornholmer Brücke.

WT2 Equipment
The prototype of Wil-Helm. A solid construction keeps your iPhone in place and makes clear if the hit was valid or just a grace shot.

No revival without consulting the classics.

Willhelm Tell 2.0
Improvised setup during the many Firewall Ball matches at Ars Electronica 2010.

Willhelm Tell 2.0
Black and white versions of Wil-Helm at Ars.

Frieder Nake playing Tell 2.0
Frieder Nake playing Tell 2.0 during Hyperkult XX.

Tell 2.0 Match Pt. 3

Tell 2.0 Shootout
Other shootouts during Hyperkult XX.