Ars Electronica makes a guest appearance in Spain
MATERIA PRIMA – New Exhibition Opens in Gijon
(Linz, November 24, 2015) Ars Electronica curated MATERIA PRIMA, an exhibition that just opened in Gijón, Spain. 17 works make up this show that focuses on new alliances between art and science, and the materia prima that their protagonists work with: computer code. MATERIA PRIMA runs until May 8, 2016 at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón.
MATERIA PRIMA – Not just an exhibition, a laboratory
Ars Electronica’s work on MATERIA PRIMA by no means involved curating an exhibition in a convention sense; rather, the aim was to design an interactive lab at the interface of art and science. Here, visitors must first arrive at the right questions before they can hope to elicit viable answers. Their route through the exhibition takes them to a series of laboratories: a BioLab, a FabLab, a DataLab, a VizualisationLab, a GeoLab and a PhilosophyLab. Each one conveys the atmosphere of experimentation, observation, analysis and interpretation that characterize how both scientists and artists approach their endeavors. Accordingly, the focus in this search for answers is on the processes and methods employed and not the results obtained. An omnipresent element is code, what can be called the materia prima that our modern-day alchemists—the hackers and do-it-yourself makers—employ to create their output. And like their predecessors in bygone centuries, some of these alchemists too tread prohibited paths—some because they’re engaged in criminal activities; others in fighting the good fight.
New Challenges, New Alliances – Art and Science
MATERIA PRIMA not only demonstrates that code is the quintessential raw material of our times. It also shows that the new alliances between art and science are part of a much broader general development. After all—and this is a point made impressively by the respective thematic focus of the individual labs—just about all the major challenges that we as a society are already confronting now or will have to face in the very near future have one thing in common: broad-based collaboration that transcends conventional boundaries separating disciplines, countries and cultures is indispensible to responding to them. Whether it’s the financial/economic crisis, increasing surveillance and control, climate change, the current waves of migration or any other emerging issue, none can be addressed in a way that has good prospects for success when the approach entails a clique of experts or one state acting unilaterally. And perhaps one of the very best examples of the high potential for innovation inherent in such new forms of cooperation is the one between art and science.
LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial
LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, Spain was established in 2007. The center’s exhibitions and programs emphasize art, science, technology and advanced visual industries. LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial defines itself as both a presentation venue and a production site.
LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial is a multidisciplinary institution that establishes links and supports access to those new cultural forms rooted in creative modes of dealing with information & communication technologies. LABoral’s lineup of programs targets the general public; its mission is to generate and share knowledge. Set up as a resource platform, LABoral strives to enable people to develop sophisticated projects in the visual arts, design and architecture. Ever since its inception, LABoral has collaborated with many other institutions in Spain and abroad for the purpose of expanding its network to other regions.
Ars Electronica EXPORT
For over 10 years now, Ars Electronica’s activities have taken it beyond the borders of the Republic of Austria. Bangkok, Berlin, Bilbao, Brussels, Doha, Florence, Kiev, Madrid, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Osaka, Peking, Regensburg, Sao Paulo, Saragossa, Shanghai, Singapore, Taichung, Tokyo and Venice are only a few of the most prominent nodes in Ars Electronica’s extensive worldwide network. In these cities, Ars Electronica EXPORT has been conceiving and producing exhibitions, workshops, presentations, interventions and events in cooperation with local partners. Ars Electronica’s other divisions also export a whole series of outstanding products and services: the Ars Electronica Center’s wealth of experience in getting across educational material and conveying content, the works singled out for recognition by the world-renowned Prix Ars Electronica, artistic experiments and leading-edge theoretical encounters staged under the auspices of the Ars Electronica Festival, the colorful lineup for young people produced in conjunction with u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD and of course, high-tech developments that emerge from the Ars Electronica Futurelab and Ars Electronica Solutions. But what would Ars Electronica be without the many artists, creative technicians and scientists in its network? Ars Electronica’s broad spectrum of activities is meant to nurture artistic creativity—and just at a time when restrictions in various areas are making artistic and creative work increasingly difficult.