STARTS Day: Artistic Innovation and Musical Visions

What are the highlights of the Friday of the Ars Electronica Festival? We'll give you some interesting insights into the packed program.

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The third day of the Ars Electronica Festival 2022 is dedicated to the STARTS initiative of the European Commission. This initiative aims to promote the interconnection of technology and art as a way of overcoming social, environmental and economic challenges. The STARTS Prize is also part of this initiative. This prize is awarded every year – and this year is no exception – to outstanding projects that contribute to overcoming these challenges. In the course of the Ars Electronica Festival, these projects are then presented to the broad public in the form of the STARTS Prize Exhibition. But the exhibition only serves as a starting point for a full day of lectures and conferences that focus on innovation in the 21st century on STARTS Day, the Friday of the 2022 Ars Electronica Festival.

The themed symposium will take place in Kepler’s Gardens in the Kepler Building, Lecture Hall 1, and will start already at 10:00 with an opening talk by Michael John Gorman. The lineup includes names such as STARTS Prize winner Giulia Foscari and Digital Pioneer of Media Art Laurie Anderson.

Antarctic Resolution; Giulia Foscari; credits: Courtesy of UNLESS , Delfino Sisto Legnan

Of course, all other permanent exhibitions at the JKU and in Linz will continue to be open on STARTS Day and invite visitors on an exciting journey through art, technology and innovative ideas. We would like to draw special attention to the State of the ART(ist) exhibition in Kepler Hall. This initiative was launched together with the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and aims to offer artists from all over the world a place to express themselves freely through art, even if they do not currently have the opportunity to do so in their home countries. The artworks will be presented during this year’s Ars Electronica Festival both online and on-site at Kepler Hall. On STARTS Day, the first day of the State of the ART(ist) Live Session: State of Emergency – Lectures & Talks, held in English, will also take place here at 11:30. In the first live session, on the one hand, there will be a look at the current Ukrainian art scene, and on the other hand, into its past. The talks will be accompanied by screenings of the first segment of the winning artworks by Ivan Svitlychniy (UA), SVITER Art Group (UA), Oleksandr Burlaka (UA), DE NE DE (UA), Daria Pugachova (UA) and Oksana Chepelyk (UA).

Another very special international exhibition we would like to mention is A parallel (r)evolution – digital art in Latin America, created through the cooperation of Ars Electronica and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO). You can visit it at Lentos every day. On Friday from 15:00-16:30., however, there will be a special opportunity to discover the exhibition with the WE GUIDE YOU: Curator & Artist Journey in a guided tour with Sergio Fontanella (Director of Collections CIFO) and Hemma Schmutz (Artistic Director Lentos) and learn details about Latin America as a cultural space with a complex history and the influence of the digital revolution on it. In addition, the tour offers the chance to meet the creators of the artworks – Amor Muñoz, Dora Bartilotti, Thessia Machado, Ana Elena Tejera, Gabriela Lilian Munguia Ortiz and Evelia Guadalupe Chavez Pardo. The tour ends with Dora Bartilotti’s performance Have You Seen Her?.

Now that we’ve already left the JKU campus, let’s take a look at the other side of the Danube from Lentos – right into the Ars Electronica Center. Here, at 10:00 in Deep Space 8K, one of the most famous images in the world will be shown: the Mona Lisa. This performance is an invitation to rediscover Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece through stories and sensory experiences that take place on different levels. Other performances and presentations will follow throughout the day in Deep Space 8K. Also taking place at the Center, after two years of purely digital events, is the Expanded Animation Symposium of the Hagenberg Campus, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, from 11:00 – 17:30. Especially recommended – at 14:00 – is the Keynote by Rashaad Newsome, who received the Golden Nica in the category Computer Animation for his work Being, a non-binary, non-racial artificial intelligence. In his talk, he will share more about his artistic process. This symposium will also be held in English.

The Mona Lisa - an immersive exhibition; Photo: Mardi8 Artisans d’idées, Grand Palais Immersif, Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, Musée du Louvre 2022

But let’s return to the JKU campus, where a very special highlight of the festival will take place for the first time in Kepler’s Gardens on the Festival University Stage: the International Environmental and Climate Court. Never heard of it? This fictional court hearing represents the exciting highlight of Festival University 2022. You can learn more about it in this blog post. In a nutshell, a fictional trial will be held each day from Friday to Sunday on a climate-related topic previously explored in various lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. The first of these trials starts on Friday at 10:00 with the topic of water.

Festival University 2022; photo: JKU

Near this part of the program, the workshop of the day will take place from 13:00 – 14:30. Feminist Futures – Imagining Another Internet is the name of this ongoing participatory art project led by Katrin Fritsch, which aims to initiate and create science fiction stories about a feminist internet. Together with Branch Magazine, it aims to inspire new approaches and awareness of how to dismantle online power structures that delay climate action.

A final focus of the third day of the Ars Electronica Festival 2022 will be music. You won’t be able to listen to Laurie Anderson’s concert on Friday, but we’d like to take this opportunity to once again highlight Laurie Anderson’s Visionary Pioneer Lecture with a laudatory speech by Charles Amirkhanian, which can be followed from 14:45 – 15:45 in the Kepler Building.

Laurie Anderson, Photo: Tim Knox

During the day, you can meet ensembles and soloists of the Bruckner Orchestra at various locations in Kepler’s Gardens. The collaboration between the Bruckner Orchestra and Ars Electronica has been going on for years and is always trying to discover new areas in between art and technology with music. This year, they’re turning their attention to chamber music and creating Musical Paths through Kepler’s Gardens between 13:30 und 17:45, a unique opportunity for special encounters.

In the evening we recommend you to let the day come to an end with Beyond Quantum Music at the Schloss Auhof stage starting at 22:00. The LP Duo will premiere their new self-composed pieces, written for two hybrid pianos. The compositions are based on experiments conducted together with scientists in the laboratories where the new quantum VST synthesizer was created.

LP Duo — Beyond Quantum Music; Sonja Lončar (RS/NL), Andrija Pavlović (RS/NL), Incredible Bob (RS); photo: Laslo Antal

Besides the contributions presented in this post, there are many other elements of the program to discover, both on Friday and on the other days of the festival. More information and recommendations for the other festival days can be found here on the blog or on the official website of the Ars Electronica Festival 2022.