When entering the POSTCITY, you have to be careful not to get in the way of the numerous scooters that are buzzing from A to B here. The area of the former mail distribution centre covers an area of 100,000 square metres, equivalent to around 14 football fields. A vehicle is needed here if you have to hurry back and forth every day to receive deliveries, monitor the construction and check the cleaning work. Martin Honzik, festival director of Ars Electronica, driving on a scooter, explains to us which new locations we can expect this year in the POSTCITY, which, as we have already mentioned, is to be used for the last time this year.
1. The Art Thinking House:
“There’s a new house we’ve never set up before, the former customs building. This year it will be the „Art Thinking House“. Looks like people left everything there and hurried out of the building. We maintain this atmosphere and conquer three new floors for ourselves. On one level, in the former canteen, the Animation Festival will take place. Jürgen Hagler and Christine Schöpf curate a special program from the submissions to the Prix Ars Electronica in the animation category. In this area, there is a new stage on which, among other things, the Expanded Animation Symposium will be held. The entire program of the animation section will move from Moviemento and Central to the main festival location in POSTCITY.
Instead of a linear programme as before, we will divide the individual screenings into many different rooms and office situations. Each office is a small cinema for a handful of people. You move from room to room and are presented with the latest animations.
One floor below, on the ground floor, which is accessible via the central entrance at the station, you can join the Art Thinking School and explore new ways of thinking. FIS – the Future Innovators Summit – will also take place here. On the other hand, everyone is invited to linger – there is also coffee, by the way – and participate or watch.
2. The Courtyard
The Art Thinking School is new and it is followed by a new relevance of the courtyard: Previously only used peripherally, this year it will become the central hub from which all areas can be accessed. The usual access past the ABC buffet remains, but we have opened the long, fenced corridor. We have more space available and will use it by setting up a larger stage and enriching the yard with a permanent sound system. In addition, there will not only be a gastronomic offer at the evening events, but also during the day. The structures, used as exhibition architecture on the First Floor, are transformed into a lounge and hang-out area, where you can escape the festival bustle for a short time.
3. The Rooftop / The former Himatsubishi Trail
This year, Ars on the Wire,, an exhibition dedicated to 40 years of Ars Electronica, public space and telecommunications art, is located here. The surface remains the same, the content is different. This top floor can be reached by means of a one-way system and a central staircase. Similar to the courtyard, this location also invites visitors to relax, and we have expanded the seating capacity to make it accessible to more people.
4. The European Platform for Digital Humanism
Where the staircase to Ars on the Wire rises, there is also the newly created area of the European Platform for Digital Humanism.. In recent years, the Art & Science area, the STARTS area, has been located here. All in all, we are creating a new meta-level this year, as we see ourselves more and more as a European platform, now more offensively than ever. This is manifested under the title “European Platform for Digital Humanism”. We are dealing here with the European attitude in comparison to, say, the American or Asian attitude. And Europe has opted for digital humanism. Within this framework, the STARTS exhibition will of course remain the flagship exhibition, supplemented by other European projects, such as the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, , co-financed by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. But it will also be a place where our international partnerships, such as with Hyundai, will be honoured. With Hyundai, for example, we have exhibition projects underway in Russia, China and Seoul itself, in which we also believe that we can contribute our European dimension. So the focus in this area is on Ars Electronica export projects.
5. The CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival
The CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival with more than 40 projects, with a focus on Social Intelligence this year, is again one of the main attractions on the First Floor. It’s all about activism, a culture of collaboration. Youth are not only the kids, the pupils, but also the trainees, the job seekers,… the whole society is peppered with youth. Here one approaches extremely interested, because there is still a little youth in each of us. At the core of the CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival are, of course, the winners of the u19 category of PRIX Ars Electronica.
6. The Open Futurelab
Near the CREATE YOUR WORLD area on the First Floor is the Main Stage of the Futurelab. The Ars Electronica Futurelab will be represented on two different levels, namely here on the First Floor, where the drones have been flying in recent years, where the international collaborations have been presented. What’s new this year is that the Futurelab will also be showcasing a cooperation with the Japanese company NTT one floor below, in the foyer of the train hall, where last year’s Pi-Ton, the giant worm, was located. SwarmOS Research Demo: Swarm Arena is the star of what the Futurelab has developed in recent months in the laboratories in cooperation with the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation. This will be a visually impressive contribution to the festival that symbolizes the vision of the Ars Electronica Futurelab.
7. The AIxMusic Stage
At the newly created AIxMusic Stage in the AIxMusic area, there will be demonstrations and contributions of a technical or philosophical nature dealing with this topic. We are working together with Silent Disco here, and the high quality of the headphones gives us the opportunity to lift the audience onto a different stage in the hustle and bustle of people. The location is also situated in the European part of the festival. Up to 80 people can sit here with headphones in the middle of this island in the festival and listen to someone, isolated from the rest and from the volume of the people. This will make for a bizarre picture.
And after five years it still happens to him, Martin Honzik, the festival director, that he suddenly stands in rooms he has never entered before. “This year I have again found such rooms, but some of them are simply too remote for safety reasons, too far away to be able to use them effectively.” The building seems infinite, he is sure.
Do you want to explore the infinite spaces of POSTCITY one last time? Then visit us from September 5 to 9, 2019 at the Ars Electronica Festival 2019 in Linz. Find out more on our website.