Creative Question Challenge: Human being and "soft" technologies
Christiaan Zwanikken (NL), DM Hoyt (US), Emmanuel Grimaud (FR)

"Lasst uns beenden, was wir begonnen haben." Auf diese Weise stellt die UNO ihr erstes Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung vor - das Ende der Armut in allen Formen und Dimensionen bis 2030. Die 17 Ziele der Nachhaltigen Entwicklung und ihre 169 Teilziele wurden als ein ausuferndes, missverständliches Durcheinander großer Absichten beschrieben. Allein der Titel der Entwicklungsagenda - "Unsere Welt umgestalten" - verströmt utopische Ambitionen. Er wurde 2015 von 193 Nationen angenommen. Fünf Jahre später und mit zehn verbleibenden Jahren: Wie wird sich unsere Welt verändern?

Creative Question Challenge: Between scientific discovery and perceptual expansion
Dmitry Gelfand & Evelina Domnitch (NL/BY), Guillaume Schweicher (BE/LU), Florian Schreck (DE)

Let us finish what we started'. This is how the UN introduces its first Sustainable Development Goal - to end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets have been described as a sprawling, misconceived mess of grandiose intentions. The title of the development agenda itself - 'Transforming our World' - oozes utopian ambition. It was adopted by 193 nations in 2015. Five years later and with ten years left, how do you think our world will transform?

Addressing Ethics, Bias and Colonial Legacies in Emerging Media 
Courtney D. Cogburn (US),  Moderator: Jesse Damiani (US) 

In this talk, we will examine the relationship that emerging technologies have with the past, ranging from biased algorithms to the unequal degree of access that has been granted to different communities—and by extension how they have been respectively represented in media and technology. As art created with these technologies increasingly enters the public discourse, how can artists thoughtfully engage these media as tools to subvert the legacies of colonialism rather than unwittingly reinforce them? 

Digital Drag 
Jeremy Bailey (US) 

Face filters are widely used. In the last months we have been online in front of the camera more than ever. The question is what face-filter to wear. Choose fabulous looks using the latest tools tips and tricks to augment reality Transgress and queer your identity, become a digital drag unicorn or whatever Nxt you can imagine. Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey will fly you through step by step to create and perfect your own AR look, so you can stand out from the crowd at your upcoming zoom party or corporate webinar. Let’s all become famous new media artists! 

Heleen Blanken (NL)

The environmental crisis and the destruction of habitats forces us to imagine a future in which nature can be remembered in digital form. Natural history museums seek to preserve nature physically by fixing it in time and space. How might the archiving of nature evolve in a digital context? Could it bring us even closer to nature?  Habitat is a data-driven installation that uses 3D scans of organic artefacts such as stones, corals and fossils from Leiden’s Naturalis Biodiversity Center and transforms them into a game-like, meditative environment. You are invited to reconnect with the wonder of nature as you navigate through a series of ever-evolving digital worlds, each accompanied by its own soundscape. Original installation is on display at Nxt Museum. 

Within a Latent Space

Entirely realized though AI systems, "Within a Latent Space" is an AV performance about exploring past, present and future as it relates to our constant journey between our transpersonal psyches and non-human unconscious. A Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) was trained on an original plot based on a dataset composed by multiple transcriptions of dreams.  AI-generated images and sound interpret than those words, disclosing an eerie, uncanny journey into our common deepest.

Kathy Steppe (BE), Thijs Biersteker (NL). Moderation: Bogomir Doringer (RS/NL) 

We do not acknowledge that collaboration with plants is paramount to our existence.  Econtinuum is a new installation by ecological artist Thijs Biersteker, in partnership with different scientists and commissioned by Nxt Museum. It visualises the latest pioneering research into plant-to-plant communication. In discussion with the artist and bio-engineer in environmental technology, we will uncover how trees work together, how to learn from each other, warn each other and share nutrients, but also how we can learn from it to improve our own communication and relationships. We can again connect with nature by using the latest technology.

Autonomy & AI: Who is using Who?
Sari Depreeuw (BE), Francesco D’Abbraccio aka LOREM (IT)

Creative Artificial Intelligence and Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are by now daily used in the production of images, videos and art. This creative relationship is exciting yet not very clear. Largest part of production feeds into popular deep fakes and face swapping tendencies. We do feel a layer of suspense and concern when it comes to ownership of AI produced artworks. For this reason, we are meeting an expert in digital law, AI media artist, to discuss the role of AI in society today and tomorrow.

Observing the Microscopic Gardens
Saša Spačal (SI), Toby Kiers (NL/US), Esmee Geerken (NL), De Onkruidenier (NL), Spela Petric (SI), Nicola Triscott (UK)

The nocturnal roundtable “Observing the Microscopic Gardens” features three events: 1. Artist Saša Spačal and microbiologist professor Toby Kiers discuss microbial trade agreements 2. Artist/chemist Esmee Geerken and De Onkruideniers present their microscopic garden houses 3. Artist Spela Petric and curator Nicola Triscott discuss what opinions plants and animals might have about human activity on their/our planet.

Observing the Macroscopic Gardens
Christiaan Zwanikken (NL), Raoul Frese (NL), Angelo Vermeulen (BE), Remco Daalder (NL)

The nocturnal roundtable “Observing the Macroscopic Gardens” features two talks: 1. Artist Christaan Zwanikken will talk about city-dwelling plant robots with astrophysicist Raoul Frese 2. Artist-biologist Angelo Vermeulen will talk about socializing Mars-gardens with Remco Daalder, municipal ecologist of Amsterdam

Hybrid Forms
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL)

The Hybrid Forms Lab at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a horizontal research platform where scientists and artists/designers collaborate to explore environmental science, automation, laser and optics based art, living systems and biophysics. The lab is coordinated by Dr. Raoul Frese with the assistance of Dr. Sandrine D’Haene, and seeks to seek to blur the lines between disciplines and to connect the sciences and the humanities through art.

Shifting Proximities
Nxt Museum (NL)

The Shifting Proximities garden at Ars Electronica hosted by Nxt Musem captures elements of its inaugural exhibition that explores how new global events and social and technological change continually shifts the proximities between us. Perception of space, and our place within it, is called into question in the collected collaborations of artists, designers, technologists, scientists and musicians.

Kepler's Expedition to the Garden of Planet B. A Nocturnal Roundtable
Waag – Technology & Society (NL)

When humanity’s disruptive power over the environment was momentarily silenced due to Covid-19, our understanding of the garden began to shift in terms of how we have compartmentalized human activity around gardening, and our relationship to the companion species found therein. How will we perceive the garden and gardening once we take a closer look at what we may have overlooked about them, yet urgently need to consider?