Conserving Energy for the Fun of It and the World’s Largest Group Photo

September 29-October 7, 2012 / Urfahr Autumn Fair
Conserving Energy for the Fun of It and the World’s Largest Group Photo
LINZ CHANGES Exhibition Space
A Project of Unternehmensgruppe Stadt Linz

(Linz, September 28 2012) The City of Linz’s municipal services division will present its fourth LINZ CHANGES exhibition at the Urfahr Autumn Fair running September 29 to October 7. The show spotlights the historical development of Upper Austria’s capital city, highlights what makes it such a great place to live, work and play, and brings out what it takes to keep things running smoothly on a daily basis and moving forward. The floor of the 700-m2 exhibition space features a giant print of the Linz cityscape. The 11 interactive installations conceived and implemented by the Ars Electronica Futurelab get across lots of fascinating aspects of life in this community—and visitors just might learn a thing or two as well! The focus this time around is on the responsible use of energy. This is an enjoyable way to find out about how anyone can reduce their energy footprint, and thereby lower their utility bills and take some of the heat off the environment too. An Energy Workshop will convincingly demonstrate that conservation can be fun—for instance, how to make tiny solar modules out of toothbrush heads, or turn decorative materials into Solar Bugs that can then race one another. Another featured attraction in the LINZ CHANGES exhibition space is the world’s largest group photo made by audience members and the cast & crew at the voestalpine Klangwolke on September 1.

LINZ CHANGES – A Prototype Space for Experiences

The setting of this presentation of Linz is a 20×37-meter pavilion, a striking venue designed by ANY:TIME. On the exterior, a 6½-meter-tall cube is completely surrounded by a strip of artificial turf, a green band meant to symbolize the successful environmental protection measures that have so tremendously enhanced the quality of life in Linz. On both sides of the entrance, this façade seems to have been rolled away to open up a view of the mirrored metal interior. This material transition from green artificial turf to polished metal alludes to the numerous layers on which the so-called “Linz System” is based. Plus, it reflects each individual visitor, who thus becomes a part of the whole.

Linz in Numbers

Linz in Numbers presents different facts about the city and the work of “Unternehmensgruppe Linz” (UGL). The slide shows displayed on the screens can be selected by topic: Future Linz, Social Aspects, Life, Education, Traffic, Infrastructure, Health, Sports & Leisure, Culture. The visitors can skim through the facts, according to their interests.

Linz from Above

As soon as visitors step inside, they get a one-of-a-kind look at Linz—a high-definition, 150-m2 print spread out across the floor showing the entire city from a bird’s-eye view. One is immediately struck by the tremendous area covered by green acres and forest, the lush strip of parkland extending along the riverbank, and the Danube itself. Then there are the stately historic structures nestled together in the Old City, the spacious boulevards and narrow lanes branching off from the Main Square and radiating out into modern residential neighborhoods.

We Are Linz

“We Are Linz” was inspired by a beloved children’s book. A picture is taken of every visitor inside an illuminated photography cube. Then a computer divides each image into three horizontal segments—head, trunk and legs—and displays them on a projection screen. But here, they’re randomly combined with segments from other installation visitors to create a seemingly infinite series of variations.


This installation takes visitors on a fascinating excursion into Linz’s past. Postcards featuring pictures of Linz in bygone days are arrayed on an interactive table that also displays the contemporary view corresponding to each historical image. Old and new perspectives create interesting contrasts and bring out the city’s tremendously dynamic development. Some older guests will recall the Linz of their childhood; the city’s younger residents will be able to discover elements of the cityscape that seem familiar and strange at the same time. Visitors to the Urfahr Spring Fair are sure to enjoy a fascinating array of picture postcards from bygone days.

Linz and the World

Linz is Austria’s third largest city and the center of this country’s most robust regional economy. But Linz is also integrated into a tightly woven and highly diverse network of international relationships. Here, visitors can see, for example, some of the many celebrities who have visited Linz over the years, how many tourists come to Linz, where Linz’s most important business partners are located, and the many countries that are home to the artists who submit their work for prize consideration to the annual Prix Ars Electronica.


An extremely high-definition panorama wall measuring about 16 meters in length invites visitors to embark on a most extraordinary tour of Linz. This trip around town literally takes in the entire area within the city limits. At every destination you choose, you can zoom right in and examine the minutest details. The panorama wall also features the world’s largest group photo made by audience members and the cast & crew at the voestalpine Klangwolke on September 1.

Vital Signs

Linz is the nerve center of Upper Austria’s medical infrastructure. First and foremost is Linz General Hospital with its state-of-the-art technology in such departments as radiology and nuclear medicine, and a highly advanced diagnostics laboratory. This installation lets visitors take a fascinating look at everyday life in a major metropolitan hospital. In doing so, it embeds a medical-technological interface into an artistic-experimental context: a visitor’s pulse is measured and, via a special interface, linked to statistical data from the daily operations of Linz GH.

Finger Marathon

The Borealis Linz Donau Marathon has really made a name for itself in recent years as an annual conclave of top European runners. The “Finger Marathon” installation invites individuals or groups of up to 4 persons equipped with mobile tablet computers to cover a part of the Linz Marathon route by moving their fingers across the display. The action figures on screen are personalized with the player’s own photo. They can be seen in profile during the race, while Linz landmarks whiz by in the background. After crossing the finish line, there’s an awards ceremony, and the player’s photo and score take their place on the ranking list.

Engergy Missions

A responsible handling and an efficient use of our available energy is a key factor for our future quality of life. The installation “Energy Missions” at the “Linz Changes” tent conveys in a playful way how each one of us can save energy and money in addition to reducing environmental impact. Energy saving tips are communicated in the form of energy missions connected to power saving, heating, and mobility, which are carried out by the participants.

Energy Workshop

The energy workshop demonstrates that efficient use of energy can also be a lot of fun: With nothing more than a toothbrush head, a small solar cell, a vibration motor and some decoration material you can build one of these fabulous toy robots.


“SimLinz” is an interactive data pool that interlinks historical and current maps of the city, statistical data and photos. Users can analyze Linz’s key utility networks—electrical grid, district heating pipes, public transportation lines—as well as photovoltaic locations and planned public housing developments.

24 Hours Linz.Living.Together

About 10,000 men and women work for the City of Linz’s municipal services & enterprises to insure the high quality of life here. Some of these employees weren’t born in Austria. The video installation of the IMPORT/EXPORT project ( features portraits of them.

Futuristic Linz – Shadowgram

There is probably no other city in Austria where a focus on the future exerts a more powerful influence on political and cultural life than in Linz. “Shadowgram” spotlights Linzers’ plans, hopes and aspirations for the future. First of all, each visitor poses behind a wall of light and is photographed—the result is a shadow image showing a human silhouette. This shot is then printed out as a miniature sticker that is applied to a map of Linz. There, it is augmented by a speech balloon in which the individual depicted can make a statement expressing what’s on his/her mind.
This is also the place for arts & crafts enthusiasts to work on an illuminated letter that will be part of a giant alphabet featured at this year’s voestalpine Klangwolke being produced by the Brucknerhaus and Ars Electronica. The first step is to create a Shadowgram on which your own body serves as the silhouette of a particular letter. This image is then applied to a transparent paper bag that contains a tiny LED lamp. A brief rundown about the voestalpine Klangwolke is imprinted on the back side of the bag.

A Joint Project of the City of Linz Municipal Enterprises

The LINZ CHANGES exhibition is being produced jointly by the City of Linz and its municipal services & enterprises: local government agencies, the utilities, the general hospital, the senior center, the concert hall, Ars Electronica, the real estate development corporation, the information & communications technology provider, the Tobacco Processing Plant development corporation, the security patrol, the municipal housing authority, the Design Center management company, the local light railway and the airport. The exhibition’s interactive installations were created by the Ars Electronica Futurelab; the exhibition architecture is the work of ANY:TIME, a Linz firm; Messemanagement Linz GmbH set up the exhibition tent.

Conserving Energy for the Fun of It and the World’s Largest Group Photo / PDF


Finger Marathon / Robertba / Printversion / Album


Ansichten / Robertba / Printversion / Album


Panorama / Robertba / Printversion / Album


Das größte Gruppenfoto der Welt / Ars Electronica / Printversion / Album


Solarkäfer / Ars Electronica / Printversion / Album


Solarkäfer / Ars Electronica / Printversion / Album