A Theatrical Weekend at the AEC
Press Release: “A Theatrical Weekend at the Ars Electronica Center” / PDF
An interview with Horst Hörtner on the Ars Electronica Blog
(Linz, January 28, 2015) A theatrical atmosphere will pervade the Ars Electronica Center January 30-31, when the Dramaturgische Gesellschaft (dg, Dramaturgical Society), a network of theater producers and directors throughout German-speaking Europe, stages its annual conference (open to the public) in Linz. One of the venues is the AEC, and one of the chief protagonists is the Futurelab, Ars Electronica’s in-house R&D facility. Among Futurelab staffers’ presentations will be an overview of the current state and future prospects of media art performance, and ways it will soon be possible to deploy robots in performative contexts. The program also includes speeches about the ongoing enhancement of Ars Electronica’s quadcopter, various audience-participation-based games developed especially for Deep Space, and “Anatta,” an innovative dance performance. The host of this year’s gathering is Landestheater Linz; co-hosts are the Ars Electronica Center, Linz Art University and the Anton Bruckner Private University. Additional information about registration fees, the program and event venues is available here.
An overview of the program on Friday, January 30th
Media Art & the Stage
Deep Space / 4:30-5 PM
The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s Kristefan Minski discusses several performances produced by the Futurelab and boldly assesses the future prospects of performative art.
Spaxels: Smart Atoms
Futurelab Studio / 5:10-6 PM
Ars Electronica Futurelab Senior Director Horst Hörtner presents Smart Atoms, the latest version of the Futurelab’s quadcopter. No longer “just” LED-equipped points of light, the quadcopters of the future will be deployed as airborne interconnected building blocks.
Games, Co-located Play & Performance: Interactive Audience Experiences
Deep Space / 6:30-7:30 PM
Jeremiah Diephuis of the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences’ Hagenberg Campus showcases various game prototypes developed especially for the Ars Electronica Center’s Deep Space. The entire audience can have input into the game’s design.
An overview of the program on Saturday, January 31st
Crowd & Art and “The Others” in Art Today
Seminar Room / 3:30-4:20 PM
Participation by disparate individuals as a precondition for an art project is by no means an invention of the 21st century; nevertheless, the internet and, in particular, social media have now made it possible for a large number of highly diverse people to participate in artistic processes. A speech by Manuela Naveau of Ars Electronica’s Export division.
Robots and Performance
Seminar Room / 4:30-5:30 PM
From robotic caregivers to letter carrier drones—in the coming decades, robots will increasingly pervade everyday life, and autonomous machines will be deployed more and more often in artistic and performative contexts too. This speech by Martina Mara, a media psychologist at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, will provide an introduction to the current state of development in the field of robotics, elaborate on exemplary projects produced by members of Ars Electronica’s artistic network, and raise questions about the psychology of human-robot relationships.
Anatta: Media Art Dance Performance
Deep Space / 7-8 PM
“Anatta” by Viktor Delev (MK/AT) is an impressive dance performance that blends interactive technology and performative art in such a way that neither element dominates the other. Via laser-tracking, the predominantly monochrome projections on the wall and floor of the performance space react to the movements of dancer Joanna Gruberska (PL) and vice-versa. The result is reciprocal interaction among the human body, the projections and the physical space, whereby the boundaries between action and reaction become blurred.
Die Dramaturgische Gesellschaft
dg was founded in 1956 in Berlin as an association of theatrical producers and directors from throughout German-speaking Europe. It’s meant to serve as an open platform for exchange about artistic work, developments in aesthetics, modes of production and, not least important, the social function of the theater. dg’s members include theater people working in all genres and affiliated with all types of theatrical organizations—from established institutions to the indie scene—as well as publishers, journalists and students. The 2015 annual conference will be held January 29th to February 1st at multiple locations in Linz. This year’s theme: “What’s of interest to all. Or: What is popular (today)”.