The best festival tips for: Art Enthusiasts

More than 540 events with more than 1400 artists at 16 locations in and around Linz will be taking place at the Ars Electronica Festival 2019. To make it a little easier for you to choose, we have summarized the best festival tips for art enthusiasts.

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You call yourself an art enthusiast, have an annual subscription to all Austrian museums, know the epochs of art history by heart or are simply interested in aesthetic and exciting works of art? Then the Ars Electronica Festival is the right place for you to get to know new and established media art projects. We have the best tips for you on how to get started with our complex program.

First of all, we’d like to introduce a new concept here: With the Ars Electronica Art Thinking School, we’re presenting a new festival program that conveys a creative attitude and a questioning of the world. The Art Thinking Tours serve as an entry-point to experience the festival with a kind of thinking attitude. They have been carefully curated and designed to facilitate navigation through the multitude of exhibitions and events. The Art Thinking Tours focus on five different core themes of Ars Electronica and aim to empower visitors to create their own compass to explore the festival on their own. The tour brochures are available for free at the Art Thinking School .

CyberArts Exhibition in the OÖ Kulturquartier

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In 2019, 3,256 entries from 82 countries in the categories “Computer Animation”, “Digital Musics & Sound Art”, “Artificial Intelligence & Life Art” and “u19-CREATE YOUR WORLD” were entered for the Prix Ars Electronica. A selection of these can be seen at the CyberArts exhibition at OK in the OÖ Kulturquartier until September 15. The presentation will address the development of digital art as well as current discourses and related issues.

APPARATUM / Pan Generator (PL)

We would especially like to recommend the new WE GUIDE YOU guided tour through this very exhibition. On the Experts Tour “Prix Ars Electronica: Life’s intelligence, beyond human cognition”, jury member, curator and media theorist Jens Hauser will reveal the criteria of the jury process and present selected positions from the 15 award-winning artworks.

Gallery Spaces

Gallery Spaces Säulenhalle, photo: Tom Mesic

The “Gallery Spaces Program”, initiated in 2017, once again brings numerous international galleries and collections to Linz, and with them various positions on digital art. The POSTCITY, the St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Salzamt will present media artists who have already been successfully represented by galleries on the art market. A series of panels will also focus on the changing conditions of art creation and art marketing.

The WE GUIDE YOU offer is also worth mentioning here: The Art Market Initiative Tours are once again offering the opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of New Media Art Market. This year, the art professional Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, who also curated and will moderate two Gallery Spaces Panels, is invited to take a tour of this kind.

YAIR im Mariendom

bitTOWER, 2019, Wu Juehui (CN), photo: Today Art Museum

Everyone should own art and be able to access it from anywhere. That’s the vision of YAIR,, a Berlin-based startup around Leonardo Lüpertz, which wants to bring media art and the art market together while relying on Blockchain: The Art is the Token. The Token is the Product. The Product is the Art. In the St. Mary’s Cathedral, YAIR presents works of art by Julius von Bismarck (DE), Wu Juehui (CN), Yan Lei (DE), Maria Marshall (CH/UK) and Robert Montgomery (UK), who explore the question of human supremacy. Title of the show: “Unleash”. The spectacular backdrop of the St. Mary’s Cathedral makes this a special highlight at Ars Electronica.

Human Limitations – Limited Humanity

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In the large exhibition on the festival’s theme, humans are going to their limits this time – and beyond. In the spectacular POSTCITY bunker, the show „Human Limitations –Limited Humanity“ focuses on our current relationship with our environment and poses the question which social and ethical obligations arise from it. “Human Limitations” aims at the individual level and focuses on the ongoing optimization of our body by means of microchip implants or by gene scissors and related questions. “Limited Humanity”, on the other hand, deals with social boundaries that have recently become clearly visible in the course of the migration debate, climate catastrophe or mass surveillance. And the show also demonstrates that technology is neither our friend nor our enemy in all these questions, but only what we make of it.

To name just two of the many impressive media art projects in the POSTCITY bunker: Ralf Baecker’s “Putting the Pieces Back Together Again” is not only aesthetically a very appealing work. It is also an artistic examination and meditation with contemporary scientific methods. The kinetic installation is a complex system with self-organizing and emergent behavior.

Another interesting artwork, which fits well to the theme “Human Limitations – Limited Humanity”, is Humanity (Fall of the Damned) by Scott Eaton (US/UK): A thousand hand-drawn figures, “painted” with Eaton’s neuronal network “Bodies”. The composition of falling, entangled figures embodies the visceral human experience and the ongoing struggle of humanity with its own nature and its consequences. The work has clear references to Ruben’s “The Fall of the Damned,” Dante’s “Inferno,” and Rodin’s “Gates of Hell,” but replaces the ubiquitous fear of religious damnation with the contemporary preoccupations with the impending climatic tipping point and the rise of the AI.

Humanity (Fall of the Damned) /Scott Eaton (US/UK)

LightWing II

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LightWing II generates a mysterious experience from tactile data. In the interactive installation, a kinetic construction is superimposed with stereoscopic 3D projections and spatial sound. Flexible carbon rods hold a large transparent membrane in tension. A light touch sets the filigree wing structure vibrating and allows visitors to navigate through holographic spaces and virtual events.

This wasn’t enough and you are looking for more events and exhibitions? You can find the whole program on our website.

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