Museum Recap 2014
With 157,000 Visitors, the Ars Electronica Center is the #1 Museum in Upper Austria
(Linz, December 29, 2014) “Attendance of 157,000 at the Ars Electronica Center exceeded our projection for 2014 by 12.1%,” noted Ars Electronica Linz GmbH CEOs Diethard Schwarzmair and Gerfried Stocker in their very upbeat year-end recap. “And it also means that in 2014 the Ars Electronica Center once again had the highest attendance of any museum in the Province of Upper Austria” added Bernhard Baier, Linz deputy mayor and chairman of the board of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH. Average daily attendance also rose to 464 visitors. The Center’s total revenues in 2014 (€4.6 million) and the percentage of funding generated by the facility’s own operations (34%) likewise increased. Among the Museum’s most popular offerings have been the program for school classes, the “Device Art” exhibition that premiered in conjunction with the 2014 Festival and, of course, Deep Space, the ultimate venue for viewing 3-D applications and gigapixel images & videos that is, as ever, the public’s uncontested favorite. Another feature that makes the AEC so popular is authoritative guidance provided in a user-friendly way—specially qualified Infotrainers accompany visitors on their way through the exhibits and provide explanations custom-tailored to guests’ age, interests and level of familiarity with the content. The AEC’s staff produced a total of 4,064 guided tours and other offerings attended by approximately 62,000 participants in 2014. “In addition to the attendance figures and the level of visitor satisfaction, the average amount of time guests spend in our facility is a key evaluation criterion,” stated Diethard Schwarzmair. “And a visitor survey that’s still in progress shows we’re receiving high marks.” By the way, the Ars Electronica Center isn’t only in demand as the Museum of the Future; it’s also a popular event location. In the current year, the in-house event service has planned and staged 218 company events, conferences, meetings, etc.
2014 in Review
Once again in 2014, the Ars Electronica Center hosted a broad spectrum of activities.
Topping this list is the extensive school program featuring a variety of fascinating workshops and themed tours geared to all grades. This year, 2,000 school groups visited the AEC to get an exciting introduction to robotics, prosthetics, neuroscience and biotechnology. Plus, the “Out of Control – What the Internet Knows about You” exhibition was the point of departure for a special educational program dealing with the tense interplay of public and private spheres online and how internet users can take a (more) sensible approach to safeguarding their personal information.
A new series of exhibitions staged jointly with Linz Art University was launched in January 2014. TIME OUT showcases selected works by undergrads in the school’s Time-based and Interactive Media program—thus enriching the AECs offerings and providing another effective form of motivation for up-and-coming young artists. And the AEC’s Deep Space has also established itself in Linz Art University’s curriculum. With the support of the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s staff, students are developing art projects that take full advantage of Deep Space’s extraordinary technical capabilities.
And speaking of Deep Space—the state-of-the-art screening room continues to be AEC’s top attraction by far. 16×9-meter, ultra high-definition, gigapixel images are projected onto the wall and floor to make the viewing of incredible videos and one-of-a-kind 3-D applications a truly unforgettable experience. In addition to serving as the setting for presentations in conjunction with the AEC’s regular operations, Deep Space LIVE every Thursday evening hosts a dual program: a speech on an interesting topic by an expert in media art, art history, sports or astronomy, and illustrated by breathtaking, jumbo-format imagery.
Outlook for 2015
To kick off 2015, two new exhibitions will open in January: “technē – What Connects Art and Technology” and the ORF – Austrian Broadcasting Company’s show entitled “35 Years of ORF TELETEXT.” A new R&D lab designed especially for kids will go into operation in January too. The TIME OUT series of exhibitions staged with Linz Art University will also resume. The most important investment in new infrastructure in 2015 will be the technical enhancement & upgrading of Deep Space. Staff experts are currently at work selecting the most suitable technology.