Ars Electronica 2013 Interim Results:
Significant Increase in Attendance in Linz; Exhibitions in Berlin and Bilbao; Quadcopter Shows in London, Bergen and Ljubljana
(July 7, 2013) At the conclusion of the first half of 2013, Ars Electronica Linz GmbH is pleased to report excellent year-to-date results. Despite the facility being closed a week long for vacation in January and limited operations due to the Danube flooding in early June, attendance at the Ars Electronica Center showed a nice increase. Major exhibitions in Berlin (June 6-July 28) and Bilbao, Spain (July 5-September 8), and appearances by the Quadcopter Swarm in London, Bergen, Norway and Ljubljana, Slovenia made high-profile contributions to Ars Electronica’s brand recognition worldwide. “The first half of 2013 went really well,” is how Ars Electronica Linz GmbH co-CEOs Diethard Schwarzmair and Gerfried Stocker summed it up. They’re also upbeat about prospects for the next six months. “We’re opening a major new exhibition about synthetic biology in the Museum of the Future on August 1st, and the Festival will be staged as usual in early September. We’ve still got a lot of work to do until then, but we’re very confident of excellent outcomes in the Center and at the Festival.”
3% Increase in Attendance at the Ars Electronica Center
Through and including June 30th, the Ars Electronica Center attracted 76,842 visitors, which represents a 3% increase over the same period last year (74,482). The most popular attractions have been Deep Space as well as the “Out of Control – What the Internet Knows about You” exhibition that opened in April 2012 and recently received a tremendous boost in the wake of the PRISM revelations. Another positive trend is the number of visits by school classes to the Museum of the Future. During the 2012-13 school year that just ended, AEC infotrainers welcomed 34,923 pupils, a 4.8% increase over the prior year (33,346). Factoring in the 13,670 customers of the AEC’s event service, the number of visitors to the Ars Electronica Center in the first half of 2013 totaled 90,512.
“Like a Second Nature” in Berlin and “Artists as Catalysts” in Bilbao
Two major Ars Electronica exhibitions are currently running—one in Berlin, one in Bilbao. “Like a Second Nature” is the title of the fourth exhibition staged jointly with Volkswagen AG. Their Automobil Forum Unter den Linden space is the venue of a show featuring 14 interactive works by renowned artists from Australia, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Japan and the USA. Attendance to date is 32,467. “Artists as Catalysts” is hosted by Alhóndiga Bilbao, a cultural & recreational facility that got a Philippe Stark makeover in 2010. This show has three themes—Environment and Sustainable Future, Control and Manipulation of our Mediatized World, and Find Your Voice and Express Yourself—and features 12 works by artists from Great Britain, the USA, Iceland, Russia, New Zealand, Austria, Japan, Spain and Italy.
In early April, Klaus Obermaier and Julia Mach presented Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” in the Béla Bartók Concert Hall in Budapest. In April and June, the Austrian Foreign Ministry sponsored screenings of the Ars Electronica Animation Festival in Mexico, Poland and Kosovo. “These international appearances are not only of artistic and substantive significance; they’re also important to us financially,” Diethard Schwarzmair emphasized. “All of these activities make positive contributions to covering our fixed and variable costs.”
Quadcopters over London, Bergen, Ljubljana and Linz
Since last year’s voestalpine Klangwolke (Cloud of Sound) in Linz, the Ars Electronica Futurelab rates an entry in Guinness World Records. Despite intensive efforts by various universities and labs in Europe, America and Asia, only Linz’s Ars Electronica Futurelab has yet succeeded in flying a computer-controlled swarm of 49 quadcopters outdoors. Rave reviews in the press worldwide and 800,000 views of the YouTube video have been the immediate results. This has also led to appearances commissioned by Paramount Pictures, the Bergen International Festival and the Ljubljana Festival.
AE Solutions and Ars Electronica Futurelab Both Expect Revenues to Top €2 Million
Following key staff additions early in the year, AE Solutions has been focusing its efforts on three areas: Event & Show Design, Brandlands & Exhibitions, and Shop Experience. Billings are way up; current-year revenues are projected at €2.1 million. This frees up the Ars Electronica Futurelab to concentrate totally on R&D, which is estimated to yield revenues of €2.4 million in 2013.