Day 1: The 2021 Festival is officially open!

, How To Make An Ocean, Kasia Molga, Credit:

This Wednesday, the Ars Electronica Festival offers a wide variety of formats revolving around precisely this theme. Along the way, the different Festival Locations are also warming up to culminate in the official Opening of the Festival…

Of course, there is also a recap of day 1 in moving image:

Right after the last press conference, the Ars Electronica Channel kicks off from the studio on the festival grounds.

The Festival University by Ars Electronica and Johannes Kepler University, which is being offered for the first time this year – thanks to the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the province of Upper Austria – kicked off on August 30.

Credit: JKU

100 young people from 41 countries come together to discuss the challenging issues of our time – such as the future of university education – with international mentors.

Credit: JKU

For those interested in following this summer university, there is a Festival Enrollment, supported by Sparkasse Oberösterreich. Starting Saturday, September 11, there will be an intensive immersion in the festival – be sure to join!

The Symposium Universitas seeks new perspectives on university education and research. Workshops, keynotes and discussions with international experts will explore the potential and challenges of digital technologies in research, higher education and knowledge transfer.

But that’s not all! As part of the Ars Electronica Festival’s youth track – create your world – the Symposium Political Education asks what’s needed in the education sector to implement current social transformation processes beyond populism, conspiracy theories and religious battles.

Symposium Political Education, Credit:

In between in Deep Space: At the World Expo in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, three pavilions are dedicated to the themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity. The Austrian pavilion under the motto “Austria Makes Sense” is co-developed and implemented by Ars Electronica Solutions.

Deep Space 8K, Credit: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl

Federal President Alexander van der Bellen talks with Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, Chairwoman of the Ars Electronica Advisory Board, and Klaus Luger, Mayor of Linz, at the Ars Electronica Center.

Credit: Tom Mesic

Attend a screening at Deep Space 8K – “Transient” by Quayola and Seta, an audiovisual concert of hyper-realistic brushstrokes on a large-scale projection just like a real screen.

Credit: Tom Mesic

Doris Schmidauer also starts her festival stay at the Ars Electronica Center.

Credit: Tom Mesic

The “Initiative Digitalisierung Chancengerecht” (Initiative Digitalization Equal Opportunity), launched by Doris Schmidauer, asks about the causes for the still strongly underrepresented women in the technological world. The talk takes place at the JKU campus.


In “Siri, search female programmers” experts discuss the prerequisites for equal opportunities, Ingrid Brodnig gives a lecture.


Meanwhile, festival-goers enjoy the first day of the festival on the still quiet grounds of the JKU…

… as evening slowly approaches and with it the highlight of the day: the official opening of the Ars Electronica Festival 2021 and inauguration of the Circus of Knowledge in the courtyard of Auhof Palace.


The numerous audience looks forward to high-level welcome.

The artistic highlight of the evening is the concert by Naked Lunch frontman Oliver Welter and pianist Clara Frühstück.

Schubert’s “Winterreise” is performed, the visuals come from Cori O’Lan.

Finally, we return to the Ars Electronica Center’s Deep Space. Wolfgang Fadi Dorninger and Didi Bruckmayr venture into the world of sound with “Is it you, my dear AI or is it me?”. Small, self-soldered sound tools, sound modules and algorithmic sound generators result in highly complex electronic music. Taming as a creative process, the schedule as a score and the reset button as a baton. And whenever things get too wild, Bruckmayr_Dorninger start singing to soothe the circuits. A true bedtime treat…