Plan B Day – The name of the fourth day of the Ars Electronica Festival 2022 not only reminds us of the festival theme Planet B – A different life is possible! But How? but also brims with irony. Because what plan B? We only have this one plan(et). The day will start with a major program item: The award ceremony of u19-create your world and Klasse! Lernen will start at 10:00 on the Schloss Auhof stage in Kepler’s Gardens. The former will honor the Prix winners of the u19-create your world category, first and foremost Mary Mayrhofer, winner of the Golden Nica, with her work Die Schwarze Decke (The Black Blanket), and with her many other young people who reflect on how they deal with the climate crisis and other socially relevant issues with their works. The projects of Klasse! Lernen were developed jointly by teachers and students to promote digital transformation in schools.
Shortly after the start of these ceremonies, another highlight of the day will begin. At 10:30, the Festival University students will once again gather together with judges on the Festival University Stage to open the second day of fictional court hearings of the International Environmental and Climate Court. The case that will be dealt with on this day is migration. The participants of the Festival University have been discussing and working on this topic since mid-August in various workshops, lectures and discussions together with experts from different fields. No idea what we are talking about here? Then you can learn more about the Festival University on the website and in this blog post. The first session of the trial will last until 12:30, then there will be a short break. At 14:00 we will continue until 16:30 when the results will be announced.
During the break of the fictional trial you have, for example, the opportunity to visit the BIO AUSTRIA – Farmers’ Market, which is open from 10:00-15:00 at the Kepler Hall. Because a focus of the day is not only, as always, sustainability, art and technology, but also the exchange with the local population. Very special encounters are to be offered by the treetop talks under the motto Off to New Encounters, a project that could be created together with the Teufelberger company. Interested in unique conversations at a height of 20-30 meters? Then this project is just perfect for you. You can learn more about the treetop talks in this post.
Another option: If you haven’t yet visited the numerous exhibitions on the JKU campus, you can do so on Saturday. From the theme exhibition STUDIO(dys)TOPIA – At the Peak of Humankind to Crossing the Bridge of the Linz University of Art and Design, LIT Exhibition, CyberArts Exhibition, create your world, Sound Park and State of the ART(ist) to the STARTS Exhibition. For the latter, there will even be a tour called WE GUIDE YOU: Journey S+T+ARTS Exhibition, where you can get an even closer look at the story behind the exhibited works. The tour starts at 11:30 at the WE GUIDE YOU meeting point. The tour will be held in English. Those wishing to attend can register here or come directly to the Transformation Lounge to see if there are any spots left.
Of course, there will be numerous other WE GUIDE YOU tours on Plan B Day – including some at the Ars Electronica Center and the Linz University of Art and Design. At the Center, you can visit the exhibition There is no Planet B on your own or with a tour. The focus here is not only on highlighting the urgency of the current climate situation, but also on showing what possible solutions to the crises of our time might look like. You will also find other exhibitions in the center to discover and experience. Deep Space 8K will play an important role as well. From 16:00 to 17:00 you can watch the performance and screening of Project %, Blue Tears and Sandbox – the Taiwan Special. This performance combines the mentioned three Taiwanese projects, the former being a generative artwork used to gather donations. Blue Tears, on the other hand, explores the beautiful bioluminescent phenomenon and marine ecology of Matsu, while Sandbox immerses the viewer in an ironic “safe” information space. Thus, the works reflect on art, science, the environment, and the change of our times.
A bit later, from 19:00-20:00, the screening of the 4th VH Award will also take place in Deep Space 8K. The VH Award encourages emerging artists who deal with Asia and who push the limits of audiovisual arts and challenge our understanding of the past, present and future. So look forward to seeing works by a variety of artists on topics ranging from humans and artificial intelligence to the most pressing social and economic challenges of our time.
Another event at the Ars Electronica Center is the Expanded Animation Symposium, held from 13:00-17:30 in the Sky Loft. We especially recommend that you follow the contribution Games & Art by Margarete Jahrmann and Isabelle Arvers from 14:00 – 15:00.
Conferences will not only take place in the Center, but also in Kepler’s Gardens at the JKU. In the Kepler Building, Lecture Hall 1, various talks will take place in the form of the so-called STUDIOTOPIA Day, Co-creating Sustainable Futures through Culture from 10:00 – 18:45. We would like to highlight the keynote by Carmody Grey from 10:15 – 11:00, but also the Spotlight Free the Future by Audrey Tang from 16:00 – 16:15. Lastly, don’t miss the panel discussion Urgent Crises, Slow Solutions: A Conversation about the Open Movement, Craft Technologies and a Sustainable Internet from 16:15 – 17:45. This panel, curated by Branch Magazine in collaboration with Open Climate and Quicksand India, aims to create a vision of a desirable future concerning the climate.
If you leave the Kepler Building and walk a little further through Kepler’s Gardens, you will surely soon find Kepler Hall, where another important conference of the day will take place at 11:30: Day 2 of the State of the ART(ist) Live Sessions: State of Urgency. Here, artists in crisis, risk, dissidence, or exile point out global challenges. A conversation with Marita Muukkonen (FI) from Artist at Risk puts the focus of the day on global exchange and unity. In between the talks, award-winning artworks by Floating Projects Collective (HK), The Peacock Generation (MM) and Amir Almuarri (SY) will be displayed.
You don’t just want to listen, but also try out and participate? If so, there are two workshops of the day for you on Saturday. On the one hand, the workshop Tools for a Warming Planet from 12:00 – 13:30 in the Transformation Lounge will explore new tools for capturing, representing, engaging and responding to our current and future environment. On the other hand, Water in (post) Anthropocene from 12:00 – 14:00 – not in Kepler’s Gardens but in the Ars Electronica Center’s BioLab – invites you to find out how experimental science and art can be used to explore environmental problems with digital and biological technologies.
If you’re more musically inclined, you might want to pay a visit to the Sonic Saturday at the Anton Bruckner Private University. This year’s Sonic Saturday symposium and concert aims to organize a meeting of research students to promote the exchange of ideas in the field of immersive audio.
But we definitely recommend you all to experience one of the absolute highlights of the festival from 17:00 – 18:30 or 20:00 – 21:30 at the Schloss Auhof Stage: Laurie Anderson in Concert – Songs for Amelia Earhart. In the course of this Ars Electronica Festival, Laurie Anderson receives the Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneers of Media Art. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase one of her more recent musical works. It is a composition for orchestra, voice, electronics, violin and cello performed by the Filharmonie Brno conducted by Dennis Russell Davies with Rubin Kodheli (US) as solo cellist and Laurie Anderson. An exciting interplay that lets us experience music in a new way. However, capacities are limited, tickets can be obtained here.
Yet the presented contributions are only a small part of the program that can be discovered on Saturday as well as on the other days of the festival. You’ll find more information and recommendations for the other festival days here on the blog or on the official website for the Ars Electronica Festival 2022.