Day 2: A Festival to See, Hear and Marvel


There were lots of amazing things to see and hear on the second day of the 2014 Ars Electronica Festival. The Future Innovators Summit Symposium got things underway at 10 AM in the auditorium of the Akademisches Gymnasiums Linz. Opening remarks by Ars Electronica Artistic Director Gerfried Stocker were followed by the Innovators Breakfast at which members of Working Groups C and D presented their projects and ideas, and received feedback from K. Bradley Paxton, pioneer of numerous technical achievements at Kodak, and Hiroshi Ishii, director of MIT Media Lab’s legendary Tangible Media Group.

Bradley Paxton (US), Photo: Florian Voggeneder

The u19 Ceremony began at 11 AM with the Prix Ars Electronica Walk of Fame honoring the young recipients of Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions in the Prix Ars Electronica’s u19 CREATE YOUR WORLD category this year. The Golden Nica statuette was presented to Sarah Oos by Josef Ostermayer, Austrian Federal Minister of Arts and Culture.

u19-Ceremony, Photo: Tom Mesic

One of the day’s absolute highlights was a speech at the AERN Panel of the Future Innovators Summit by Ryoji Ikeda, one of the current stars of the media art scene. Listeners and viewers gave a very enthusiastic reception to the works he presented.

Ryoji Ikeda, Photo: Florian Voggeneder

Next up was Mirage. Audience members donned data glasses and headphones to experience a dance performance featuring two “real” dancers and, simultaneously, a projection of the dancers that had been filmed in advance. This system offered spectators entrée to undreamt-of dimensions of reality in which the past and future blend into one another.

Mirage, Photo: Tom Mesic

The Future Innovators Summit convened for its afternoon session in the lobby of a bank, a site well suited to discuss economic change. Sanjit Bunker Roy, founder of the so-called Barefoot College, garnered thunderous applause for his intro to the second sessions of the Future Innovators Symposium. He was followed by chemist Zoubida Charrouf.

Sanjit Bunker Roy, Photo: Florian Voggeneder

The Spaxels Concept Demo took off at 5 PM from the Future Playground. The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s crew showed how the quadcopter swarm works, discussed the current state of their spaxels R&D efforts, and presented two newly developed games: Just Fly and Spaxels Pong.

Spaxels Concept Demos, Photo: Florian Voggeneder

Also at 5, actionist/painter Hermann Nitsch presented jumbo-format, ultra-high-definition images of some of his works at Deep Space in the Ars Electronica Center.

Hermann Nitsch, Photo: Tom Mesic

The spotlight was on the international crème de la crème of the digital arts yesterday evening at the 2014 Ars Electronica Gala in the Main Hall of the Brucknerhaus, where the Golden Nicas were presented to this year’s Prix Ars Electronica prizewinners.

Photo: Florian Voggeneder

Photo: Florian Voggeneder

Photo: Florian Voggeneder

That was a brief recap of Day 2 at the 2014 Ars Electronica Festival. There are a lot more impressions available on our Flickr stream. The upcoming lineup is online at