Actions for Deep Issues

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Ars Electronica Futurelab curated a special Futurelab Day at the Ars Electronica Festival 2021. The event was launched with the Morning Inspirations Session that aimed to engage visitors in a collective dialogue about “Actions for Deep Issues”. The session was opened with the best-of video of a special interview series held by the Futurelab with 14 alumni and collaboration partners from the lab’s history.

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The participants were the transdisciplinary media artists and researchers Maja Smrekar, Christoph Wachter, Mathias Jud, Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Dietmar Offenhuber, Nina Wenhart and Tim Devine. Also interviewed were Maria José Sanchez from Art Thinking Australia, data scientist Mahir Yavuz, social scientist and futurologist Alexander Mankowsky, communication scientist and founder of goolin Daniela Kuka, sociologist and researcher in architecture Bernhard Böhm, as well as Gerda Palmetshofer who works in the fields of research, theory and communication, and Shoko Takahashi, who is responsible for robot interactions at Incubation Inc.

The experts’ task was to answer tricky questions on deep issues such as climate change, migration and digital transformation. The aim was to introduce a fishbowl discussion, in which the visitors of the morning session then became active themselves and jointly philosophized about measures that each of us can take to tackle these wicked problems.

Not only the experts participated in the fishbowl discussion, but above all the 80 students of the first Ars Electronica Festival University. Particularly exciting were the young, fresh opinions on the topics discussed and how the Ars Electronica Center’s Skyloft filled with a very unique energy of emotional solidarity.


Ars Electronica Futurelab:
Maria Pfeifer, Denise Hirtenfelder, Horst Hörtner

Special Thanks: Bernhard Böhm, Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Tim Devine, Daniela Kuka, Alexander Mankowsky, Dietmar Offenhuber, Gerda Palmetshofer, Maria José Sanchez, Maja Smrekar, Shoko Takahashi, Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, Nina Wenhart, Mahir Yavuz