The Book

The Full Story "Alchemists of the Future"
Book Cover "Alchemists of the Future"
Credit: Gerhard Kirchschläger

Alchemists of the future

The first 25 years and beyond

A unique hybrid of a 21st century think and do tank, an artistic renaissance-style atelier and a future research laboratory, the Ars Electronica Futurelab generates innovations and develops narratives crucial for actively and responsibly shaping a desirable future. An essential part of the Ars Electronica ecosystem since 1996, the Futurelab has been cultivating the collaboration of art and science in areas ranging from virtual reality immersion and robot interaction to airborne swarm behaviour and creative artificial intelligence.

„Alchemists of the Future“ is the first book ever written specifically about the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Drawing from numerous conversations with the transdisciplinary team of Futurelab Members and Futurelab Alumni as well as an international network of mentors, partners and clients from academia, industry and art, Andreas J. Hirsch presents insights into the mindset and methods behind the ability of the Futurelab to act as creative catalysts of future innovation.

Active in an ongoing exploration of the future at the crossroads of art, technology and society, the development and prototyping work of the Ars Electronica Futurelab unfolds along seven key areas of research. The book follows the captivating story of crucial moments in the Futurelab’s critical enquiry into the dynamics of those key technologies and their future impact. Reading „Alchemists of the Future“ offers the inside experience of „Art Thinking“ in action – the Futurelab’s creative mindset and process towards innovation.

Book Imprint

Alchemists of the Future
Ars Electronica Futurelab
The First 25 Years and Beyond

Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG
Ars-Electronica-Straße 1
4040 Linz, Austria

CEOs: Gerfried Stocker, Markus Jandl

Editors: Horst Hörtner, Roland Haring, Hideaki Ogawa
Author: Andreas J. Hirsch

Editing, picture editing, and archival research: Maria Pfeifer, Christina Radner, Jutta Schmiederer
Copy editing: Beverley Blaschke, Catherine Lewis, Jutta Schmiederer
Translation: (German—English, p. 4 – 5, 49) Douglas Deitemyer

Graphic Design: Gerhard Kirchschläger
Typeface: IBM Plex Sans
Printed by: Gutenberg Werbering Gesellschaft m.b.H., Linz
Paper: Claro Bulk 275 g/m², Claro Bulk 135 g/m²

Cover: DRONE 100 – Spaxels over Linz
Kaleidoscopic rendering: Kerstin Blätterbinder, Nicolas Naveau
Original photo: Florian Voggeneder

© 2021 Ars Electronica
© 2021 for the main text by Andreas J. Hirsch
© 2021 for the reproduced works by the artists, or their legal successors
© 2021 Hatje Cantz Verlag

Distribution worldwide by
Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH
Mommsenstr. 27
10629 Berlin
A Ganske Publishing Group Company

ISBN 9783775751391
Printed in Austria

Paper from responsible sources
Climate neutral Print Product