March 2021: Doorstep Delivery

With "Ars Electronica Home Delivery Services," we've taken another step forward in expanding our range of online workshops. Here's what else happened.

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Whether for schools, universities, companies, public organizations or artists and cultural institutions: With the new “Ars Electronica Home Delivery Services” we once again rolled out our broad range of online workshops and themed tours.

New offers for students and teachers

Our expanded digital school program addressed all school types and levels with a whole range of new virtual and interactive programs. Included were topics such as Artificial Intelligence and also Planet Earth: Where can Artificial Intelligence systems provide us with valuable services and where is it rather problematic to use them? How can technology help us learn more about the state of our Blue Planet and what can we derive from it?

In its role as ESA’s Austria-wide “European Space Education Resource Office” (aka ESERO Austria), the Ars Electronica Center delivered additional exciting online workshops and also contests to beam the fascination of the universe into the classroom or frame it on the home-schooling screen.

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Further prizes at the Prix Ars Electronica

Mid-March was once again the deadline for submissions to the Prix Ars Electronica, the most traditional and important competition in the global media art scene, which has been held annually since 1987. The pandemic has not made it easy for the world’s artists to pursue and complete their projects. By expanding the prize money at the Prix Ars Electronica 2021, we’ve tried to counteract this dramatic situation to some degree.

„On the one hand, Open Calls promise prize money, and on the other, they open up access to stages that are so rare. That’s why we decided on short notice to endow the Prix Ars Electronica with even more money and to pay out an additional 3,000 euros for a total of six “Awards of Distinction” in addition to the 10,000 euros for the Golden Nica.“

Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica

In search of young creatives and young professionals

In addition to the categories “Computer Animation”, “Artificial Intelligence & Life Art” and “Digital Musics & Sound Art” we addressed the many young and creative talents here in Austria with “u19 – create your world“. This year, they also had to struggle with many changes – as good as digital media made it possible to stay “in school” from afar, it was also tough and difficult to stay in contact with classmates of the same age despite home schooling and to implement projects together.

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Many other competitions: Isao Tomita, Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity and STARTS Prize

Furthermore, there were also three additional competitions this year, whose submission deadline also ended in March. In memory of the Japanese music pioneer Isao Tomita, an additional 5,000 euros were offered in the form of the special prize of the same name. Together with the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the “Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity” held out the prospect of an additional 10,000 euros. In June 2021, we finally announced all the award winners at a press conference.

Finally, the two winning projects of the STARTS Prize of the European Union, which we organized together with other European cultural institutions, each received 20,000 euros. The STARTS initiative has since grown into a small “universe” that we also took a closer look at on the Ars Electronica blog.

A spectrum of 33 million pixels

The ultra-high definition format with an aspect ratio of 16:9 allows an unimaginably high number of pixels. That’s over 33 million square pixels that can change their color and brightness 60 times a second, for example, depending on the refresh rate. As early as 2018, NHK, Japan’s largest public broadcaster, and the Ars Electronica Futurelab had been exploring the new possibilities of this visual technology. In 2021, the project partners provided insight into the current status of their collaboration, spoke with artists about the use of 8K and opened the exhibition “Resonant Media – Possibilities of 8K Visualization” in Tokyo.

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Knowledge expansion in Deep Space 8K

The collaboration with NHK also resulted in a production that has since been on view at the Ars Electronica Center’s Deep Space 8K: “Beyond the Frame – Living Numbers” playfully illustrates the many comparisons to living creatures in this world.

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Another form of knowledge enhancement was once again an edition of “Deep Space LIVE,” which was gratefully supported by Linz AG and broadcasted live to the Web via “Ars Electronica Home Delivery. Jens Meier from Linz’s Kepler University Hospital presented how and where artificial intelligence is now being used in medicine (in Germany language only).

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With musical accompaniment towards the reopening

Before the Ars Electronica Center reopened its doors at the beginning of the Easter vacations after many weeks of closure, we were delighted by the piano duo Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies as well as visual artist Cori O’Lan with more performances of their live concert series. Works by Franz Schubert were as much a part of the program as Philip Glass, Claude Debussy and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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Find out how things went in April 2021 and the other months of this year in our 2021 Year in Review playlist!