Art, Technology and Society.The Ars Electronica Futurelab promotes various initiatives to inspire culture, education, and innovation based on the Ars Electronica philosophy. These include the lab’s Idea Expedition to envision and challenge new ideas, artist-in-residence programs, and educational programs that leverage the Futurelab’s expertise and platforms to envision the future. The Lab cultivates the methods and know-how of “Art Thinking”, “Future Design” and “Social Implementation”. We open these activities to the public to aim for a community of activists who imagine and practice a better future.
Ongoing initiatives undertaken by the Ars Electronica Futurelab:
The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s initiatives are multifaceted. One of them is the Ars Electronica Futurelab Ideas Expedition: It aims to encourage the lab’s team members to rethink the future and implement their concepts for a coming world. In the internal ideas competition, they use their creativity and expertise independently of the Futurelab’s existing research areas and projects. One initiative that has opened the lab’s work to the public since 2018 is the Open Futurelab. Visitors to the Ars Electronica Festival can immerse themselves in the world of the Futurelab here at exhibitions, prototype demonstrations, talk sessions, workshops and artistic performances. The program, which has featured its own Futurelab Day since the festival’s 25th anniversary in 2021, is also an open platform for partners from all over the world to exchange ideas and devise new scenarios for the future.
The Ars Electronica Futurelab Residencies serve as a venue for international guests and demonstrate a strong responsibility to share fundamental knowledge and innovative ideas. Here, artists and researchers from all over the globe collaborate with the lab members – finding new forms of artistic expression, food for thought and emerging issues. The residencies are funded through networks and cooperations within the Ars Electronica ecosystem as well as external partners. The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s Educational programs are just as diverse – including workshops, lectures and exhibitions such as the Matsudo City International Science Art Festival, the Artistic Journalism series and the collaboration with the Festival University of the Ars Electronica Festival. They encourage people from young to old to think prototypes of the future.
To advance the development of drone art, swarms+art is another initiative of the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Here, it’s not just about the pioneering work and numerous developments of the lab that founded the genre more than a decade ago with the Spaxels – swarms+art sees itself as a future platform for collaboration with artists, industry and educational partners. Ars Electronica’s Japanese counterpart, Ars Electronica Japan, is also led by the Ars Electronica Futurelab. It expands the network across continents: citizens, cultural practitioners, educational institutions as well as industry work together here in Japan on programs and research in the field of media art to shape future society.
The Ars Electronica Futurelab is also a partner institution of AI5production, a project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the EU Commission. It brings together manufacturing companies from Austria with domestic research institutions in order to advance the digital transformation. The lab offers customized feasibility studies on the topics of industrial assistance systems as well as digital design and AI for industry 5.0, financed by AI5production and thus free of charge for companies with up to 3,000 employees.