Deep Space 8K: Festival Highlights

Transient, Transient, Quayola (IT) / Seta (IT), Photo Credit: Skino Ricci

What brings us humans together? Food, music, art and the Deep Space 8K. With its immersive screen and floor projection, the Deep Space 8K offers an ambitious infrastructure for media artists to take visitors into their imaginative world. For this year’s festival we have prepared a special Deep Space 8K festival program for you. It includes performances, virtual music works, historical artworks and interesting lectures. We have summarized the highlights for you here in this blog, so that you can get an overview.

Futurelab Day: Night Performances

Embedded in an electrifying atmosphere of visualized sound and electric noise, of the render engines of artists, researchers and deep neural networks, the performance program in Deep Space 8K is approaching the highlight of the 25th Anniversary Series and at the same time points the way to a possible future. Join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ars Electronica Futurelab in the Ars Electronica Center’s Deep Space 8K on Futurelab Day, September 9th, or participate in the event online.

Generative Arts

The Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center is not only a place where artistic and educational content is on display, but also an active laboratory for experiments involving interaction and perception. Three student works from the Hagenberg Campus of the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences were developed in this student laboratory context last year. Each work enables an immersive, reactive audiovisual experience that draws the viewer in and captivates him or her with captivating sound and dynamic animation. From the simplest forms, to particle flow, to burning trees, each project aims to transform deep space into an environment of excited reflection.


GUERNICA is one of the most famous paintings by Pablo Picasso. It was painted in 1937 in response to the destruction of the Spanish city of Guernica. Today, the painting is housed in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, along with an extensive collection of sketches. The presentation in Deep Space will be presented by the curator of the Picasso exhibition at the Reina Sofía, Olga Sevillano (Digital Projects Reina Sofía). She will provide insights into the artist’s craft and techniques.

In addition, the deputy director of the Reina Sofía, Mabel Tapia, will give an introduction to the current exhibition in Madrid.

Naked AI

What happens when artificial intelligence (AI) and human creativity intersect? Naked AI, a research project created and launched by Cisco Italia and Logotel, looks at how this encounter can lead to an evolution of human relationships, in companies and in society at large. There have already been encounters, and confrontations, between human creativity and AI. It’s no longer just about technology, but about results that must be understood, and questions that still call for answers. How will they work together? What shape will the interdisciplinary networks we’ll design to share new knowledge take? How will we govern decision-making processes? People, organizations and communities already have access to new elements that are able to transform our idea of society. What are the responsibilities that will emerge from these scenarios? If AI is already helping us overcome some of our limitation, what will still remain unreachable? Naked AI is offering a panel at the Ars Electronica Festival with a live performance, as well as a documentary film.


Nocturne is an artwork that recognizes the new post-global pandemic world while also acknowledging that other challenges lie ahead. It provides the audience with a contemporary artistic interpretation of the current state of affairs and a fresh breath of life in what would otherwise be a sad outlook. The large-scale, immersive installation uses interactive and audio-reactive visuals with emotive-abstraction animation, mapping emotions, and design with the real-time flow of a dance performance. It creates a tribute to ancient rites of spring by appealing to imagery, music and motion that recall the past, and signal hope for the future.

Pianographique 2021

Maki Namekawa has created a new program for this year’s Ars Electronica, bringing music by György Ligeti, Chick Corea and, for the first time, Polish composer Hania Rani to the visual arena of the Deep Space venue. She will be visually accompanied by Cori O’Lan, who will once again connect the Deep Space’s high-end graphics cards with his real time visualization system to provide an immersive visual interpretation of Maki Namekawa’s performance.

Post-Dervish Chant

The process of repetitive whirling in traditional Dervish dance allows the performers to enter a trance state which extends into an experimental, novel and spontaneous movement vocabulary that attempts to embody the relationship between diffraction, memory and vulnerability in post-pandemic, human and non-human materialities. The interactive, laser-tracking system of Deep Space helps unfold new layers of meaning–allowing for the exploration of psychological representations of the inner personal processes of the performers in real time, as they experience trance-inducing states of mind. The processual employment of dance, movement, vocalization or dance-like movement becomes a form of inquiry, rooted in personal documentary approaches done by each participating artist.


Transient – Impermanent paintings is an audiovisual concert performed on a Steinway Spirio D grand piano and conducted in collaboration with generative algorithms. Hyper-realistic digital brushstrokes articulate endlessly on a large-scale projection as if on a real canvas. Each brushstroke is sonified with a piano note, creating polyphonic synesthetic landscapes. As veritable pictorial material, the algorithm becomes the real, tangible subject. Transient marks the beginning of a new direction in Quayola Studio, where experimentation extends to sound through unconventional generative systems. A new software has been developed ad hoc for this project, allowing images and sound to be seamlessly interconnected. The piano, an emblem of musical tradition, synthesize technological and human features: by reproducing hand movements, it acts as a link with the human realm, while at the same time performing non-human virtuosity. This project features Quayola’s studio collaborator and musician Andrea Santicchia, aka Seta. In Transient, he has fused his personal experience into the studio’s research, contributing significantly to the development of new lines of enquiry.

You can read more about the Ars Electronica Festival 2021 on this website, and on our social media channels we’ll be providing ongoing previews and insights into everything you can expect this year. 

The Home Delivery feature ” Deep Space Concerts” is supported by LINZ AG.

, , , ,