State of the ART(ist)

Photo: I Will Close the Sky So You Could Breathe / Daria Pugachova (UA), Ivan Nikolov

Cultural Diplomacy & the Freedom of Art

State of the ART(ist), a collaborative project between the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ars Electronica, was established in 2022. The State of the ART(ist) Initiative continues in 2023 with a significantly expanded new focus. The starting point of this initiative was Russia’s brutal acts of war on Ukrainian soil, with its complex effects on world affairs and the individual lives of artistically engaged citizens, that provided the impetus for the initiative’s orientation. In 2023, the fundamental question of the prize will be widened and adapted to the conditions that characterise the context of risk and existential insecurity in the current global reality.

Federal Ministry Republic of Austria. European and International Affairs

“With State of the ART(ist), we are creating an instrument for artists around the world that will make visible what their normal circumstances would not otherwise allow to be seen. This is a commitment to the universal right to freedom of speech and creative expression. Together with the leading festival in the field of art, new technologies and society, we are creating an innovative initiative for supporting and showing oppressed art. After all, that is what the work of the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs stands for.”

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, 2022