Masterpieces of the past and a journey through Venice

La pradera de San Isidro, GOYA Y LUCIENTES, FRANCISCO DE / La pradera de San Isidro © Museo Nacional del Prado

Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center brings art to life in an unprecedented way. Every year, the Ars Electronica Center hosts exciting lectures by renowned scientists and artists, thrilling music, theatre and art performances and spectacular events on socially relevant topics. The huge 16 x 9 metre projection screen, stunning 8K resolution and 3D laser tracking create a visual experience so vivid that audiences sometimes forget the real world around them and immerse themselves in a new digital world – in a world of cultural heritage.

As in previous years, visitors to the Ars Electronica Festival in September will have the opportunity to marvel at world-famous works of art thanks to gigapixel technology. Gigapixel technology is a process that digitally combines hundreds or thousands of individual images. The high-resolution technology reveals a multitude of tiny details that would normally be invisible to the human eye. Last year, for example, visitors to the Deep Space 8K were able to examine every tiny flaw in the Mona Lisa and masterpieces by Pietro Perugino.

Last Supper Interactive; Credit: Ars Electronica / Magdalena Sick-Leitner

In 2023, works by Pablo Picasso, Ángeles Santos, Francisco de Goya, Leonardo da Vinci and an image of the City of a Thousand Bridges will be prepared for Deep Space and presented by the respective experts curators and restorers. Visitors will be able to embark on a virtual journey through time and space to learn more about the impressive history of the artists as well as about the city of Venice.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (and as a Young Woman too)

In collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid we are presenting wonderful works by the two artists Pablo Picasso and Ángeles Santos. The two artists mentioned above are characterized above all by the fact that their careers changed radically before they reached the age of 20. At that time (even more than today), being born a woman or a man had different and, above all, enormous consequences. Pablo Picasso and Ángeles Santos. One of them became one of the most famous artists of the century, while the other was increasingly forgotten in the same century. The answer to the question of who is who can be answered by visitors themselves during a visit to Deep Space 8K.

With the help of gigapixel technology, two of the most important works from the Museo Reina Sofía collection by the artists in question will be presented in Deep Space 8K. Mujer en azul by Pablo Picasso and Un mundo by Ángeles Santos. Presented by Olga Sevillano Pintado (Head of Digital Projects) and Raúl Martínez Arranz (Curator of painting and drawing until 1939), the Ars Electronica Center invites you to a unique video presentation that illustrates the cultural context in which the two artists created their masterpieces at the age of 20. The presentation, part of this year’s Ars Electronica Festival, was realised in cooperation with the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid and the Embassy of Spain in Vienna. We would also like to thank Mabel Tapia, Alicia Pinteño, Belén Benito for making this project happen.

View of the Sabatini Building, Museo Reina Sofía. Photo: Joaquín Cortés/Román Lores


In addition to the works of the Museo Reína Sofia, we introduce another great Spanish artist – Francisco de Goya. In collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid we present stunning digitised masterpieces by the artist. They will be presented by Senior Curator of Flemish and Northern European paintings at Museo del Prado, Alejandro Vergara. The curation for the Deep Space presentation was done by Alejandro Vergara and Javier Pantoja Ferrari (Head of the Prado’s Digital Office).

Goya’s work is characterised by the fact that his art goes back to antiquity and the Renaissance. During his training, he worked as a royal painter and curator, where he acquired and mastered the art of oil painting. The Spanish artist was particularly known for his interpretation of conventional themes in his works, revealing a world full of excitement. Throughout his life, his work also focused on social phenomena such as inequality and various forms of violence. He tried to express this in a personal way in his art. It almost seems as if he wanted to reveal a suppressed reality – but his works leave room for the audience to interpret them freely. Basically, you could say that this is Goya’s truth.

La Romería de san Isidro GOYA Y LUCIENTES, FRANCISCO DE © Museo Nacional del Prado

Most of Goya’s works are on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. For art lovers who cannot make the trip to the Spanish capital, however, they will be on view at the Ars Electronica Festival in Deep Space. Several paintings, a drawing and a print by the artist from the Prado Collection will be on display. Visitors to Deep Space in September will be able to marvel at the unique high resolution of the almost 200-year-old works.

The presentation, part of this year’s Ars Electronica Festival, was realised in cooperation with the Museo del Prado Madrid and the Spanish Embassy in Vienna.


Let’s move on to a work of art that will be familiar to most people – Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Thanks to renowned Italian media artist Franz Fischnaller’s collaboration with a multitude of high-profile institutions, the world-famous painting will not only be available for closer examination in Deep Space 8K from September 2023 onwards, but also for active participation.

The Last Supper Interactive offers an immersive 8K/3D stereo VR narrative in eight scenes that invites viewers to interact with da Vinci’s artwork. Visitors can experience the 21 billion pixel painting zoomed in to one square millimetre. The artist created his masterpiece between 1494 and 1498 for the then Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, depicting the architectural complex of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The public will be able to look behind the 500-year-old work and discover places in the painting that have never been seen before. For example, by looking at the painting from the perspective of Jesus, i.e. from the inside, the historical context becomes almost tangible.

Last Supper Interactive; Credit: Ars Electronica / Magdalena Sick-Leitner

The Last Supper Interactive (LSI) presentation focuses on the cognitive processes of audiovisual perception. Visitors have the unique opportunity to explore the painting beyond its surface and immerse themselves in a virtual 3D representation of the scenario. How often do you get the chance to see Jesus and his 12 apostles from behind as they share their last meal together?

Last Supper Interactive is presented in Deep Space 8K by Franz Fischnaller, the artist behind LSI, and Paola Salvi, renowned scholar on Leonardo da Vinci (Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Department of Visual Arts, Milan, Italy).

Venice Revealed

Venice Revealed is the title of an exhibition created in collaboration with the Grand Palais Immersif, Inconem and the Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia. At this year’s Ars Electronica Festival, the world-famous city of Venice and all its hidden secrets can be discovered in a new way. An excerpt of the exhibition of “ Venice Revealed” will be presented by Yves Uebelmann (President of ICONEM Paris), Chiara Squarcina (Manager at Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia) and Roei Amit (General Director, Grand Palais Immersif Paris).

What makes the city of Venice so special is its unique blend of history, art and tradition. For centuries, the city has enchanted visitors with its unique water canals, stunning neighbourhoods and, above all, its experimental and innovative technology of creating a city out of mud, stones and piles in the water.

Venice Revealed; Credit: Ars Electronica / Magdalena Sick-Leitner

The presentation of the interactive 3D application invites viewers to fly over the Italian city of canals, penetrate the walls of its famous palaces and experience famous places such as St Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal and the Doge’s Palace from a completely new perspective. The secrets of Venice’s past are revealed and the constant challenges of innovation and the environment become apparent. The presentation, which will be part of the Ars Electronica Festival 2023, was realized with the support of the Institut français d’Autriche and the Embassy of Italy in Vienna.

A visit to the Ars Electronica Center from September 6 to 10 will be worthwhile for anyone who wants to experience cultural heritage in a novel, technological and immersive way.

Other programs will also be shown in Deep Space 8K during the festival. Click here for a full list of Deep Space highlights. Want to know more about the general highlights of the Festival? Then check out our Highlights 2023 page!

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