The Alchemy Box

Once again, the Ars Electronica Festival grounds were serving as a playground for young filmmakers. Equipped with camera and microphone, youngsters with physical handicaps were able to work together with mentors from an association named FAB to document what has happened at the festival and the various approaches artists and visitors were taking to the 2016 theme.

Flow: A Sea of Real-time Data

The water comes in; the water goes out. Since time immemorial, human beings have been fascinated by the sea. Artist Mathieu Le Sourd alias maotik has captured its motions and translated them into a walk-through interactive visualization in Deep Space.

Social Communication Technologies towards 2020

For the Japanese enterprise NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) all signs are pointing towards 2020. The giant in telecommunication and Ars Electronica Futurelab as a forray collaboratively developed two pilot projects which were up to guide the visitors of the Ars Electronica Festival 2016 in a stunning fashion.

That was the 2016 u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival

The watchwords: exploration, involvement and inventiveness. This year’s 6th u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival invited young people to Linz September 8-12 to get acquainted with 21st-century tools and to jointly give some consideration to the world of tomorrow—to what will soon be their world! Here’s a retrospective look at a few of the highlights.

Monday Last Day Radical Atoms Festival
Day 5: One last day of festival fever

Even the most amazing festival has to come to a close at some point - the fifth and last day of Ars Electronica 2016 has visitors looking back on an incredible weekend. With the Music Monday Program, the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival comes to a musical end.

Day 4: Recap of Another Eventful Day

In only a few more hours, the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival goes down in history. In the meantime, let’s take a retrospective look at the highlights of Day 4—the Mini Maker Faire Linz, another interesting lineup of speeches and workshops, and, to wrap things up, the musical crescendo of the entire festival, the Big Concert Night.

This was the Ars Electronica Festival 2016

“RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time” was the theme of the Ars Electronica Festival staged September 8-12, 2016 at multiple locations in Linz. The prime venue was, once again, POSTCITY, the former Austrian Postal Service logistics facility adjacent to the train station. It provided 80,000 m2 of exhibition space for conferences and speeches, exhibitions and projects, concerts and performances, animated films and awards ceremonies, guided tours and workshops. Here are some motifs conveying impressions of this year’s festival.

Day 3: From Farmer's Market to Drones Show

The third day of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival continued with conferences and talks by international artists and scientists - but it also offered the opportunity to meet the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica personally. The POSTCITY welcomed the guests on that day with an organic farmers market. In the evening, Intel and Ars Electronica presented the European premiere of DRONE 100.

Scalar Fields – Each step has an Importance

“Scalar Fields” visualizes the pressure field around the soles of shoes. By using the fluid simulation software developed by the artist, the propagation of pressure in air is visualized in 8K video. During the Ars Electronica Festival 2016, the visualization can be seen as floor and wall projection at Deep Space 8K with a marvelous sound experience.

Red Cross Transit Camp Refugees POSTCITY
POSTCITY Linz: From Postal Service Logistics Center to Event Venue to Transit Camp

POSTCITY in Linz debuted as the Ars Electronica Festival venue in 2015, and the former Austrian Postal Service logistics facility is reprising its role as a setting for media art events this year. Between these two deployments, POSTCITY served as a transit camp for refugees. Paul Reinthaler, regional director of the Red Cross, gives an account of the challenges the past year posed.

That Was Day 2 of the Festival!

The second day of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival was dominated by the annual symposia. But the Friday of each Ars Electronica Festival is also traditionally the day of the awards ceremonies of the Prix Ars Electronica. While the kids of the category u19 - Create Your World received their prizes already at noon, the adults became their Golden Nicas in the evening at a festive gala. What else has been going on on Day 2 of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival, you can read in this blog post.

Klangwolke 2016 Ars Electronica Festival
“River of Knowledge” – Klangwolke 2016

The Klangwolke [Cloud of Sound] is an autumn highlight of Linz’s annual calendar of events. Conceived as a blend of music, performance, art and spectacle with a different theme each year, it’s been a crowd-pleaser ever since its launch in 1979. The 2016 edition is entitled “River of Knowledge.” We recently had a chance to talk about the upcoming event with producer Uwe Buhrdorf and Rica Blunck and Tilo Nest of the cast and crew.

Pathfinding in the Human–Computer Medicine

During the last three decades we have witnessed the growing complexity of technology and a flood that is filling our hospitals today—functional imaging, full gene sequencing, automated laboratory medicine and much more. But the role and responsibility sharing in healthcare has remained almost unchanged despite almost complete digitization. In this Deep Space talk Professor Horst Hahn presents possible future role models and the benefits and dangers of the digital revolution.

Radical Atoms Postcity Festival Day One Recap
Day 1: The festival has started!

The first day of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival started with a lot of exhibition openings - from the Alchemists at POSTCITY to the CyberArts opening at OK Center for Contemporary Art, there was lots to see. In the evening, the grand Opening set the musical tone for the coming weekend.

The Finishing Touches before the Festival

It's already dark outside, but the light is still burning in the POSTCITY. All involved artists and the team of the Ars Electronica Festival are to complete their final preparations. Here are some impressions, a few hours before the first festival day.

Express and Press to Discuss the Future, at People Thinking Lab

You get an exchange of creative ideas in advertisement agencies by the day, but not with everyday people or your fellow neighbors. The Future Catalysts (Ars Electronica Futurelab x Hakuhodo) take the fundamental idea of engaging people in a collective brainstorming further. They incorporate the Shadowgram-Project into the “People Thinking Lab” to make us ponder about how we see the future.

Postcity Festival Countdown 24 Hours Opening
Festival Countdown: The Curtain Goes Up in 24 Hours

It’s less than 24 hours until the grand opening of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. Needless to say, the preparations are going full speed ahead. Here, we take one last tour before the exhibitions, conferences and performances begin on September 8, 2016.

POSTCITY: The Countdown is On

It’s only a couple of days until the opening of Ars Electronica 2016! Before POSTCITY, the prime festival venue adjacent to Linz’s main train station, goes into service on September 8th as a setting for exhibitions, conferences and performances, we took a look around this imposing edifice.

Über den Tellerrand Linz Community Festival 2016
Linzers Look beyond Their Own Backyard: Cooking Events by and with Refugees

Immediately after last year's Ars Electronica Festival, the POSTCITY venue was converted into a transit camp for refugees. Since last September, over 50,000 men, women and children have spent a night in Linz during their flight. In remembrance of them, we’re adorning the premises with the same number of flowers, which festivalgoers can buy and take home in return for a donation. The proceeds will go to a local community named Über den Tellerrand [literally: beyond the edge of ones own plate]. To find out who they are, read on!

Habibi Hawara Wien Helferinnenkonferenz Festival 2016
Working Together on Behalf of Refugees: The 2nd Helpers Conference in Linz

This is a conference organized by ZusammenHelfen in Oberösterreich (Helping Together in Upper Austria) to provide support to, show appreciation for and foster networking among the many volunteers working to aid refugees. Volunteer helpers will be gathering on September 10, 2016 at the Ars Electronica Festival. Nicole Sonnleitner of ZusammenHelfen in Oberösterreich told us more.

On Absurd Landscapes and Habitable Exoplanets

The artists collective Quadrature began Part 2 of their art & science residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab a few days ago. The three artists spent the first part at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile in late May. To find out what they experienced, why they found everything there absurd and what they think about habitable exoplanets, read this interview.

WE GUIDE YOU through the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival

Exhibitions, concerts, performances, events, workshops, film screenings and awards ceremonies—there’s a lot happening at the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. But if you’re not so fluent in German or English, it can all get a bit daunting. That’s the reason for WE GUIDE YOU. Three types of guided tours provide insightful overviews in no fewer than 10 languages.

Sonic Saturday: Acoustic Virtual Worlds

September 10th is Sonic Saturday at the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. Anton Bruckner Private University will stage an extensive electronic music program including concerts and speeches, and the Computer Music Studio is hosting an open house in its recently opened Sonic Lab featuring state-of-the-art audio technology and extraordinary acoustics.

Future Innovators Summit 2016: Creating Agendas for Tomorrow

Since its inception at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2014, The Future Innovators Summit (FIS) has grown and developed into a reputable frame and a new model for creative discussions about the future. This year is the culmination of 3 year’s experience and collaborative partnerships which has led to an expanded format and a significant increase of applicants for the open call.

Die Entscheidung: A Matter of Life or Death

“Die Entscheidung” (The Decision), a computer game about life-threatening cancer, greatly impressed this year’s Prix Ars Electronica jury and garnered the Golden Nica in the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category for 17-year-old Jonas Bodingbauer. At the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival he will not only receive the award in POSTCITY during the u19 ceremony - here you will also have the chance to chat personally with him about his computer game. For the blog, he told us about his game.

Explosions Aoife Van Linden Tol Test Festival 2016
Second Story: Old Objects, New Stories

Aoife van Linden Tol takes printed objects that are endowed with emotions and gives them a new start. In her performance “Second Story,” she blows up old photos, passports, love letters, etc. in controlled explosions. Here, she tells us how her first test detonation went, what we can expect in her September performance, and how we can submit stuff to get blown to smithereens!

Campus Exhibition: Media Art from China

China’s history is awesome, full of tales and traditions passed down from time immemorial. How do students at Tsinghua University deal with this monumental cultural heritage when they approach it in terms of media art? In this interview, Prof. Wang of the Academy of Arts and Design tells us about his college. We also get a sneak preview of the Campus exhibition.

Thom Kubli Ars Electronica Festival 2016 Exhibition Alchemists
Black Hole Horizon: Sounds into Soap Bubbles

Thom Kubli’s work “Black Hole Horizon” turns sounds into three-dimensional objects. Big black horns emit deep tones that form soap bubbles. The work can be seen live at the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. We recently had a chance to chat with the artist about his work.

Biomarkt Organic Market BIO AUSTRIA Festival 2016
100% Organic: The Farmers Market at the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival

Saturday is go-to-market day at the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival. A whole day long, festivalgoers in POSTCITY will be able to taste and purchase organic wares produced by regional farmers, all of them members of BIO AUSTRIA. We talked to Marlene Wolfsteiner of BIO AUSTRIA about the farmers market at the festival.

Conference Politics and Participation Festival 2016
Politics meets Social Media: Participation in the Age of New Media

The emergence of Facebook, Twitter & Co. in recent years has opened up new options for the exchange of political views. How these digital platforms are changing the political discourse, what new forms of sociopolitical participation are resulting from them, and which challenges they confront us with will be discussed at “Participation & Political Socialization in the Age of New Media,” a conference being held in conjunction with the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival.