Israeli stall at Buenos Aires Book Fair wins creativity award
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Israeli stall at Buenos Aires Book Fair wins creativity award

Exhibit featuring ‘risometer’ to measure power of visitors’ laughs takes annual prize for ‘originality and creativity’

Visitors to the 42nd annual Buenos Aires International Book Fair have fun at the Israeli booth in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April 2016. (Courtesy Israeli Embassy in Argentina via the Buenos Aires International Book Fair)
Visitors to the 42nd annual Buenos Aires International Book Fair have fun at the Israeli booth in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April 2016. (Courtesy Israeli Embassy in Argentina via the Buenos Aires International Book Fair)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Israel’s booth at the Buenos Aires Book Fair dedicated to humor was awarded a prize for “originality and creativity.”

A jury made up of officials from the Argentine National Culture Ministry and Buenos Aires city Culture Ministry, design, architecture and fairs-management professionals announced the award on Friday. The Israeli ambassador to Argentina, Dorit Shavit, accepted the award at a ceremony that night.

The booth, almost completely devoid of furniture, includes a “factory of laughs” and a “risometer” that measures the power of the visitors’ laughs.

Professors and students at ORT Argentina created a machine for the booth that “transforms the sounds in graphics to measure the power of the laughs,” Dario Mischener, director of Information Technology and Communications at ORT, told JTA. The “factory of laughs” combined the technology with the visitors’ funny experiences and sent them to a Facebook page created as a virtual part of the fair booth.

The idea for the space and facilities was designed by the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the advertising agency BasevichCrea.

“We wanted to show Israeli humor and Israeli associations with joy,” Javier Basevich, CEO of BasevichCrea, told JTA. Basevich also was the creative designer of the booth when Israel won the same prize in 2014. The motto of that fair was “creative energy.”

The Israel booth is just an exhibition space, it does not sell books.

Israeli cartoonist Nir Molad led drawing activities for children and a workshop for Argentine cartoonists on May 3, the Israel Day at the fair.

Hosted in the La Rural exhibition center in Palermo, the 42nd Annual Buenos Aires Book Fair — reportedly the most well-attended book fair in the Spanish-speaking world — will present more than 1,500 events across 19 days and feature 2,500 lectures, book presentations and artistic events until its close on Monday.

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