Martin Honzik, Gerfried Stocker and Meinhard Lukas: „The festival takes place!”

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020 / 3pm
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(Linz, 2.8.2020) Not in spite of, but because of Corona, Ars Electronica will take place again this year, from September 9 to 13. And not only in Linz, but for the first time at 120 locations around the world. “Why we absolutely want to hold a festival in such a difficult, unstable situation,” Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica, takes up a question that is as justified as it is important. “We’re doing this because right now – not in spite of, but because of Corona – an incredible number of people all over the world are asking themselves what will happen to us? And because just as many people at the moment – not in spite of, but because of Corona – have the hope that this time we will bring about real change. For all these people, for their wishes and ideas about the future, Ars Electronica has for more than 40 years wanted to be a stage, a forum, a laboratory and, last but not least, a supporter and combatant. That’s how we see ourselves and it’s the only reason why Ars Electronica is important – also and especially in such a special year like this. Not despite, but because of Corona.”

Ars Electronica is exploring new territory on the Internet …
For the first time since 1979, the Ars Electronica Festival will be taking place not only in Linz. “For the first time, instead of a Linz festival mile, which last counted more than 100,000 visitors, we’re trying to create a festival that will take place at 120 locations worldwide,” says Martin Honzik, director of the Ars Electronica Festival. “At 120 locations between Tokyo and L.A., universities, museums, galleries, associations, municipalities and companies will be staging hundreds of exhibitions, conferences, performances, concerts and workshops aimed at local audiences.We, in turn, are shaping it into a festival on the web, making all these local activities and perspectives accessible to an international community – we are creating a unique ‘Festival of the 120′”.

… and in Linz
But this year’s Ars Electronica is breaking new ground not only on the Net. In Linz, too, the festival will present itself in a completely different way than in previous years – and for the time being it will have absolutely nothing to do with Corona, as Martin Honzik, Gerfried Stocker and Meinhard Lukas, Rector of the Johannes Kepler University, will tell us in an issue of “Ars Electronica Home Delivery” on August 4, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

New Location, new partner
After 5 years in POSTCITY, on the grounds of Linz’s main train station, Ars Electronica is pitching its tents at a new location. And that’s not all: “Playing at this new location also marks the beginning of our collaboration with a new partner with whom we have a lot in common,” says Gerfried Stocker. “We share the enthusiasm for the future and the will to help shape it. We are committed to promoting creativity and supporting new ideas. And we want to promote even closer cooperation between art and science. The new partner is the Johannes Kepler University, the new location its campus in Linz.

Art and science in “Kepler’s Garden”
In September, the extensive parks and striking new buildings of the university campus will become the stage, forum and laboratory for the diverse and innovative interaction of art and science. The best submissions for this year’s STARTS Prize of the European Commission, the “AI X Music Festival”, the winning projects of an open call of the Linz Institute of Technology for students and teachers of JKU, artistic projects on the festival theme and lots of performances and concerts will be presented. The recently completed Kepler Hall will be the venue for a series of conferences and, as part of the “Big Concert Night”, will become an orchestra pit for Markus Poschner and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz. Last but not least “Kepler’s Garden” becomes also the playground for “create your world”, the future festival of the next generation.

Keyword Corona – ticket sales only in advance & online, minimum distances & mouth and nose protection
“From Friday, September 11 to Sunday, September 13, the ‘Kepler’s Garden’ will be open to the public,” says Martin Honzik. Tickets for the visit cannot be purchased on site this time, but must be purchased online in advance. “In order to protect the health of our visitors, we want to avoid any queuing – whether at a ticket office or at entrances and exits”.
Also new: One ticket entitles the holder to a maximum of three hours’ stay in “Kepler’s Garden”. The reason: This prevents visitors from being unnecessarily asked to be tested or even quarantined – for example, because another visitor is subsequently tested positive for corona. “Thanks to the 3-hour tickets, we know exactly who was there, when, and if the worst comes to the worst, we can narrow down who really needs to be contacted and who doesn’t,” explains Martin Honzik.
With regard to minimum distances and hygiene regulations, all the guidelines of the Ministry of Health valid in September will also have to be observed; wearing a mouth and nose protector will also be mandatory.

Ars Electronica 2020
9. – 13. September
A global journey mapping the ‘new‘ world
In Kepler’s Gardens
at JKU Campus, Linz
and 120 other locations worldwide
Ars Electronica 2020 is a journey to measure the ‘new’ world and a journey through “Kepler’s Gardens”, which are located in Linz at the JKU Campus and at 120 other locations worldwide. In the course of this journey, the important questions of our time will be discussed, questions raised by the global corona crisis, and what we can and must do now will be considered. All the issues touched upon are marked by a general UNCERTAINTY and the question of how the crisis will shape and change us as individuals and as a society, us as HUMANITY. Two tensions in particular are in focus: AUTONOMY and DEMOCRACY as well as TECHNOLOGY and ECOLOGY.

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Kepler Hall, a venue of the Ars Electronica Festival 2020. Fotocredit: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion