Following last year’s brilliant 40-year festival, which brought more artists, exhibitors and international experts to Linz than ever before, this year Ars Electronica is going on a journey, or rather the festival itself is becoming a journey – a journey through “Kepler’s Gardens”, which are not just located in Linz at the JKU Campus but also 120 other locations worldwide.
With Home Delivery we are exploring gardens across the world in this special Inside Festival segment that reaches from Japan to the Iberian Peninsula.
In Japan, the Tokyo Garden is an online place where we all can explore the origin of Japanese Media Art. As William Gibson describes in his novels, “Tokyo is a city of cyber, high-tech and a uniquely wired culture. Why?” We will try to find an answer, tracing where, how and from whom our media artists’ roots originate. For this challenge, we are planning to present contents such as talks with different artists and curators, virtual studio tours, a sharing archive, and current artists’ work, including winners of the Japan Media Arts Festival 2020. Of course, we will also have many entertainment programs with DJs and artists. We hope you can virtually visit Tokyo, enjoy it and think together about the future of media art. Tokyo Garden is hosting a portal website for various Japanese creators and organizations who have played an important role in Japan’s media art scene such as ICC and Dommune, with their original exhibitions and performances in association with ARS Electronica 2020. Dommune, for example, was founded in 2010 by artist Naohiro Ukawa, and was Japan’s first live streaming studio and channel. Monday through Thursday, it has been streaming for five hours a day for ten years, experimenting with live video delivery in an era where the traditional concepts of broadcasting, publishing and advertising are going bankrupt. In collaboration with Tokyo Garden, Dommune will showcase new possibilities for visual communication at Ars Electronica Festival.
The Tokyo Garden speaker will be Seiichi Saito (Director of Art and Entertainment division, Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion).
As an additional conference space for the international community, FEMeeting: Women in Art, Science and Technology has been created in MozillaHubs: FEMeeting 2020 Garden in Lisbon. Inspired by the 2018 and 2019 conferences in Portugal and the structure of FEMeeting WEB 2020, the digital architecture of this new venue reflects the wide range of interests and experiences of FEMeeting members. Launched in 2017, FEMeeting: Women in Art, Science and Technology was driven by the desire to develop and promote more direct collaboration between individuals who identify as women, independently of their sex. It was orchestrated by Portuguese artist Marta de Menezes and scholar Dalila Honorato, upon realizing that women in the fields of Art and Science have an unquestionable presence worldwide. Among the project’s distinguishable objectives are a strong personal support through instant internet communication between women doing research (in the broadest sense of the term) in art, science and technology and the encouragement towards the formation of local nodes to support research and artistic creation in a way that enables a wide network of direct communication and trust-building among them.
FEMeeting 2020 Garden is supported by Cultivamos Cultura.
Curiosity and Complexity defines Solar Orchard Garden in Barcelona on the basis of two concepts: quintessence, the fifth element described by alchemy, and the Gaia Hypothesis formulated in the seventies. Humans have always looked up to the skies for otherness and origin – god, knowledge, destination, life. At the same time, Earth a self-regulating complex system, organic and inorganic at once, orchestrates the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere. The on-site and online visitors/participants of the Solar Orchard Garden are invited to participate in two complex experiences: Stargazer and Amazonia. In Stargazer, the virtual environment draws its audio-visual inspiration from a pre-scientific understanding of the cosmos, where the essence of the universe is spiritual, divine, mysterious and full of wonder. It functions as a radio telescope observatory and laboratory environment that inspects, manipulates and experiments with the virtual world. Physical activity, like intensity of movement and gestures near the walls of the projection site, translate into visible celestial phenomena in the virtual world. The Amazonia experience shows earth as a continuous ecological equilibrium with the sun, its source of energy and an extreme danger to life, from COVID-19 spreading across the globe to ritualistic performances that demonstrate to contemporary, Anthropocenic humans, how nature always calls the shots.
The speakers from Solar Orchard Garden will be Alejandro Martín (Head of Innovation and EU projects at Espronceda, Institute of Art & Culture, Co-founder and Artistic Director of IMMENSIVA) and Kris Pilcher (XR Artist, Immensiva Resident, Espronceda).
Uncertainty and ecology are two of the keywords in this year’s edition that pose two big questions that haunt us at this time of global pandemic. These interconnected concepts have become the sword of Damocles as we make decisions about our future. The Ars Electronica Garden in Barcelona aims to account for the diversity of ways in which the arts, sciences, technologies and thought are facing the endless possibilities that hover over our times. Going from the unexpected changes to all aspects of life with its accidents and catastrophes, to ecology and its systemic interaction between biotic and abiotic factors, we need to address all human and non-human agents that populate and construct the environment. Nature, as constituent of all gardens, far from being an obvious domain of reality, is a way of assembling political order without due process. In this will to interconnect politics with technology and nature, the city of Barcelona, within Catalonia, is here presented through a network of heterogeneous agents made of individuals, nodes, clusters or hubs connecting with each other and the world.
The speakers from Ars Electronica Garden in Barcelona will be Dr Pau Alsina (Director of the Art and Technology Program, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya).