Visitors to the Ars Electronica Center this weekend might well wonder why one of our installations is off limits. The reason Kazamidori the weathervane of the internet age, is temporarily unavailable is Culture Shutdown.
Nearly unrestricted access to cultural treasures is something that many people particularly in this part of the world take for granted, and this even goes as far as permitting people to question the significance of art and culture in public life. Culture Shutdown now wants to call attention to the fact that, even in Europe, some cultural institutions and museums are having a rough go of it these days. This initiative was launched in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where, due to administrative obstacles and government budget cuts, the national museum, for example, has had to close its doors after 130 years.
The Day of Museum Solidarity is March 4th. The Ars Electronica Center will be one of more than 160 participating institutions worldwide. Accordingly, h.o’s Kazamidori will be closed to the public. A length of barrier tape will represent the effort to get across what it feels like when works of art are suddenly made inaccessible. Let’s hope that a process of rethinking takes place, and the cultural institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina aren’t the only ones to benefit from this action.