Day 1: The Ars Electronica Festival 2018 has started!

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All hotel rooms in Linz have been fully booked for weeks now, the city is humming with foreign voices: English, French, Japanese, Korean. The whole world meets in Linz in September – for the largest media art festival in the world.

10:00 AM, the gates of POSTCITY Linz open. Here we go: The Ars Electronica Festival 2018, “Error – the Art of Imperfection”, has begun.

Gerfried Stocker at the Opening of Featured Artist 2018: Hidden Alliances – Elisabeth Schimana and the IMAfiction series (Credit: tom mesic)

The evening before, there was already a foretaste of the five days of media art that festival visitors could expect: During the Pre-Opening Tour, Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica, opened several festival locations in the city. The first was LENTOS Art Museum, which traditionally exhibits the Ars Electronica Featured Artist. This year, Elisabeth Schimana, a pioneer of electronic music, is showing portraits of ten visionary artists of electronic acoustics with Hidden Alliances.

Vitra Alexandre Saunier (FR, QC, CA) (Credit: tom mesic)

…closely followed by the Linz University of Art and Design, where the exhibition of guest university Hexagram, Taking Care, is being shown this year…

Turbulence / MELT (PL) (Credit:

The Ars Electronica Center also started the festival on Wednesday evening. The preview into the comprehensive program at Deep Space 8K with media art and audiovisual experiences promised a lot for the next five days.

While some festival locations already opened up, artists and team alike worked tirelessly on the final adjustments for their pieces and exhibitions at POSTCITY Linz. Everything should be ready for the next morning….

Entrance at POSTCITY (Credit:

Finally, on Thursday, the gates of the large ramp that leads up to the old postal distribution center, POSTCITY, in Linz opened: The Ars Electronica Festival 2018 began. There was a huge rush to the ticket counter…

ArchaeaBot / Anna Dumitriu (GB), Alex May (GB) (Credit: Vanessa Graf)

…no surprise there, when there are such impressive installations as ArchaeaBot by Anna Dumitriu (GB) and Alex May (GB) at the festival!

in the rain / Yuki Anai (JP), Hideaki Takahashi (JP) (Credit:

The theme exhibition Error in Progress took festival visitors deep into the bowels of POSTCITY again, into the old bunker. The exhibited projects show an artistic viewpoint of the topic Error…

ObOrO / Ryo Kishi (JP) (Credit: tom mesic)

…while the works in the second part of the theme exhibition, Error, Fake & Failure on the First Floor deal with the topic in a scientific way.

Masha Sergeeva at the Get Inspired Presentations (Credit: Jürgen Grünwald)

A central part of every Ars Electronica Festival are the many conferences, lectures and presentations that dive deeply into the festival’s theme, art, technology and society. This Thursday was marked by the topic of innovation: experts from various fields met at the Innovation Forum Get Inspired of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Ars Electronica for round table discussions and presentations.

Meredith Broussard at the Opening Symposium (Credit:

The Opening Symposium in the afternoon  offered a cross-section of the theoretical part of the festival with speakers from the thematic conferences of the coming days.

A few days before the start of the festival, the winners of this year’s Prix Ars Electronica had already arrived in Linz. They had their first chance to get to know each other at the Welcome Drink at OÖ Kulturquartier.

BitSoil Popup Tax & Hack Campaign / LarbitsSisters (BE) (Credit: tom mesic)

In the evening, the CyberArts Exhibition was finally opened at OÖ Kulturquartier. Year after year, it presents the award-winning works of the Prix Ars Electronica, this year in the categories Interactive Art +, Computer Animation and Digital Communities.

Interferences / Alexis Langevin-Tétrault (CA) (Credit: tom mesic)

At the big Ars Electronica Opening, the festival was also opened musically and performatively. In the old train hall of the POSTCITY Linz the audience could celebrate and dance…

Chicks on Speed / Alexandra Murray-Leslie, Melissa Logan (Credit:

…while the artists turned the postindustrial space into a veritable playground, like Chicks on Speed are doing on the picture.

In the early morning hours, a great first day came to an end, leaving us curious to find out what’s to see during the next four days.

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