Highlights of Ars Electronica 2023

Program, tips and overview

(Linz, August 28, 2023) It’s a question that doesn’t just concern Ars Electronica. For as long as anyone can remember there has been a dispute about what the truth actually is and whether there is only one. For just as long it has been about the—very political—questions of who claims the truth for themselves, how it is enforced, and what interests are being pursued with it.

It is no coincidence that Ars Electronica 2023 brings these questions to the table. In the midst of war, inflation, disruptive technologies, and climate change, truth and the sovereignty of interpretation are more contested than they have been for a long time. The cause(s) and nature of all these crises are disputed, as are strategies for overcoming them.

Much of this discourse takes place in virtual spaces, most notably the echo chambers of social media, where it is increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. The fact that more and more AI bots are now agreeing to this canon of truths and contributing supposedly objective explanations and recommendations does not make things any easier.

In 2023, Ars Electronica is therefore asking about interpretative authority and sovereignty, the meaning of terms such as “genuine” and “original”, our definition of (intellectual) property and who enjoys the right to its exploitation. The discussion will involve artists, scientists, AI developers, data analysts, entrepreneurs, lawyers and activists from all over the world—and hopefully a broader public that will get involved in this discourse, take on responsibility and help determine the future of us all.

In any case, one thing is certain: Truth has not only been in crisis since Donald Trump, the Russian war of aggression, the Last Generation, or ChatGPT. Truth has always been in crisis—and hopefully it will remain so. For “there can be no absolute truth for us mortals, which would be the same for all human beings and in this respect would have no relation to individuality.” What Hannah Arendt said in her 1954 “Socrates” lecture is timelessly relevant and should make us optimistic. The ongoing—and admittedly sometimes tiresome—debate about what is true and what is false is nothing less than the essence of pluralism and democracy. It is not the many truths that plunge us into the crisis, but the one absolute truth that no longer allows any contradiction, interpretation, or discussion. This truth would be anything but our enlightenment. It would be the end of our democracy.

POSTCITY and festival mile right through the city center

13 locations in Linz will be used in 2023 as part of Ars Electronica. The central location is once again the spectacular POSTCITY, where 80,000 square meters become a stage on which ideas, visions, and projects between art, technology, and society are celebrated. Other venues are: the Mariendom (New Cathedral), the OÖ Kunstverein, the OK Linz, the Francisco Carolinum, the Kulturverein Damen&Herrenstraße DH5, the main square, the University of Arts Linz, the Lentos Kunstmuseum, the Atelierhaus Salzamt, the Ars Electronica Center, the Stadtwerkstatt and Anton Bruckner Private University.

Pre-opening walk and five festival days with different focuses

Five days of Ars Electronica mean an exuberant program. To make orientation a little easier, each festival day focuses on a specific topic. But before things really get going, Tuesday evening, September 5, 2023, you are invited to the pre-opening walk. The route begins at the cathedral Mariendom (5 p.m.) and leads via the OÖ-Kunstverein (6 p.m.), the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz (7 p.m.), the University of Arts (10:15 a.m.) and the Salzamt studio building (20:45 p.m.) to the Ars Electronica Center (9:15 p.m.) and to the Stadtwerkstatt (10:15 p.m.).

Ars Electronica 2023 will then officially start on Wednesday, September 6th. Anyone interested in contemporary education policy, inspiring citizens’ initiatives and promising forms of participation should pay a visit to the festival on the very first day—the EDUCATION DAY. The program includes the FOUNDING LAB Conference, where 75 students and 20 Fellows from all over the world will discuss their vision of a new university. The Symposium Perspectives of political education, which deals with participation opportunities for young people, and the Digital Education Forum, which focuses on innovative teaching methods, are running parallel to this. This year’s Campus Exhibition, to which 56 universities from all over the world are contributing, and the Citizen Science Show, which shows the innovative ways in which science and civil society can work together, are also open. In the evening, the traditional Opening is on the program, which this time not only marks the start of the festival, but also marks the start of the new university—the Institute of Digital Sciences Austria (IDSA).

On Thursday, September 7th, the program continues with the the S+T+ARTS DAY. Everything revolves around innovation in the triangle of science, technology and art. Part I of the top-class Ars Electronica themed symposium entitled “The Next Renaissance” is also on the program, and right next door, award-winning projects from this year’s STARTS Prize will be presented. In the evening, the Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony will take place, with the focus on the award winners and their projects.

Friday, September 8th is MORE-THAN-PLANET-DAY. Part II of the Symposium is dedicated to the topic “(Un)Earthing the Truth: Ownership and Narratives about the Planet”, the thematic exhibition (Co)Owning More-than-Truth” in turn bundles artistic projects that deal with truth(s) and interpretative sovereignty(s) and their effects on the terrestrial ecosystem and its species—including Homo Sapiens. In the evening there will be the Big Concert Night together with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, after which the POSTCITY Nightline will take off.

Saturday, September 9th is DARE-THE-TRUTH. Part III of the themed symposium provocatively asks about the “End of Truth?”. Nevertheless—or perhaps precisely because of this—the young creative people at create your world are rushing forward and taking the future into their own hands. With numerous experiments and hands-on stations, they make people aware that every positive change is initiated from below and the commitment of everyone. The finale will be the Futurelab Night Performances in Deep Space 8K of the Ars Electronica Center.

Art is also the focus on Sunday, September 10th. The PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA DAY not only focuses on the outstanding projects of the exhibition of the same name, but above all on the people behind these works—within the framework of the Prix Forums. The exhibition State of the ART(ist) presents artists who work at risk of life and limb, the panel S+T+ARTS 4 AFRICA provides an insight into innovation hubs in sub-Saharan Africa. At the end of Ars Electronica 2023, Maki Namekawa and Cori O’Lan invite you to Pianographique in the Train Hall of POSTCITY and an interpretation of the legendary Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett.

The Highlights of Ars Electronica 2023

I The Events, Concerts and Performances

Ars Electronica Opening 2023

6. September | POSTCITY | Gleishalle

This year‘s Opening of Ars Electronica is also the starting signal for the Institute of Digital Sciences Austria (IDSA), the new university in Linz. The first part of the event is reserved for invited guests and is all about the new university. The prominent keynote speaker is Jimmy Wales—American-British entrepreneur and co-founder of Wikipedia, which is perhaps the most important website that has ever gone online.

In the second part of the opening, which is open to the public, four live performances are on the program. Robin Fox (AU), winner of this year’s “Isao Tomita Special Prize”, presents Triptych, Luc Gut and Rolf Hellat (both CH), who received recognition in the Prix Ars Electronica’s “Digital Musics & Sound Art” category, perform Oszilot. In addition, Kyoka (JP) and Riccardo Giovinetto (IT) will combine their audiovisual performances with electronic music.

Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony

On Thursday, September 7th, the Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony will take place in the POSTCITY train hall. The spotlight will be on the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica, the STARTS Prize, the European Union Prize for Citizen Science, the Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity, the CultTech x Ars Electronica Award, the State of the ART(ist) competition, and the Isao Tomita Special Prize.

Big Concert Night with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz – from the Torque of the Now

September 8, 2023 | 8:00 – 10:00 pm | POSTCITY, Train Hall

The Big Concert Night is a laboratory for the creation of unheard-of resonant spaces that require openness, the joy of collaboration, boundless joy in programming, and the search for unusual concert venues. In 2023 it will return to the POSTCITY train hall, to the place where the big bang of the partnership between the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and its new chief conductor Markus Poschner happened in 2017. It all started back then with a radical examination of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. In 2023, four scherzi, four dance spaces from symphonies by the traditional avant-gardist Anton Bruckner, who celebrates his 199th birthday on September 4th, will again provide stirring moments that mix and resound with the sound spaces of the Icelandic composer and double bass player Bára Gísladóttir and the Austrian rapper Def Ill.


September 8, 2023 | POSTCITY | Train Hall

Immediately after the concert by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the train hall becomes a stage for innovative artists and their sound experiments. First, producer and performer Jessiquoi takes you to a futuristic Shanghai with her energetic, garish live set, then the curtain goes up for composer and sound artist Noémi Büchi and audiovisual artist Christopher Joergensen and an electronic-symphonic maximalism that traces different realities. The Swiss-Congolese musician and performer Soraya Lutangu aka Bonaventure then deals with questions of displacement and the diasporic imaginary. She contextualizes the poetic notions of blackness, queerness, technology, and spirituality. The Canadian Myriam Bleau performs an audiovisual performance, and at the end producer Kenji Araki celebrates New Minimalism with his live performance.

Sonic Saturday

Sonic Saturday at Anton Bruckner Private University Linz has been part of Ars Electronica since 2016. Under the motto “Manufacturing Audible Truth”, this time it’s all about new developments in digital music production. The program includes workshops, lecture performances, and sound installations designed by artists and students and spread across the entire university campus. Sonic Saturday literally comes to an end with the traditional evening concert in the Sonic Lab.

Futurelab Night Performances

Venue Deep Space 8K: On the Saturday of the festival, the projectors for the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s latest artistic projects will be fired up. Everything revolves around visualized sounds, body signals interpreted with sounds and real-time visuals. Seven performances are on the program and invite you to an immersive excursion into the wonderful world of research, development, and artistic practice.

Maki Namekawa – The Köln Concert with Realtime Visualization by Cori O’lan

Dedicated to the quest for authenticity in artistic creation, the closing concert of this year’s festival features Maki Namekawa playing Keith Jarrett’s legendary Köln Concert, accompanied by Cori O’lan’s realtime visualization. The outstanding pianist not only impresses with her immense loyalty to the work, but also with her unique and virtuosic way of breathing life into the piece.

Uncanny Valley – Rimini Protokoll

In the Project Space of Ars Electronica Futurelab, the theater collective Rimini Protokoll once again demonstrates how the boundary between reality and fiction can blur in the theater. With the performance Uncanny Valley, which features a humanoid robot as a replica of the (theater) author Thomas Melle on stage, Stefan Kaegi (DE) and his ensemble have succeeded in creating a piece that, like no other, questions the right to the original. It can be seen on five dates throughout the duration of the festival.

The Mirage Replicas 2.0  

At the Mariendom (New Cathedral), Taiwanese artist Yen-Tzu Chang’s (TW) work The Mirage Replicas 2.0 conveys personal reflections on generational differences in family and culture through dance. Bats serve as symbolic representations of memories and embody the artist’s inner motivations. The performance includes sound data from the animals, field recordings, projected images, and uses personal stories to call for reflection on the potential homogenization of narratives due to the rise of AI applications.

II The Exhibitions

(Co)Owning More-than-Truth

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

In every human community there are traditional truths that have very different meanings and consequences for different milieus, cultures, or species. While the narrative of progress through optimization and efficiency makes one group of people incredibly wealthy, for other people and species it means the destruction of their livelihood and habitat. The large exhibition on the festival theme, that arises from the Creative Europe funded project More-than-Planet, shows projects that try to find a different truth and a socially and ecologically sustainable way together. A journey to new shores in three stages: Navigating Truths, Mapping Truths, and Shifting Truths.

Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

This year, 3,176 works from 98 countries were submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica, 19 of which will be presented during the festival in the exhibition of the same name. From the “Artificial Intelligence & Life Art” category, projects can be seen that remind us that our supposedly neutral technology carries and reproduces our very human weaknesses and prejudices. From the updated and adapted category “New Animation Art”, works will be shown that leave the classic concept of animation behind through the use of imaging processes, new technologies and forms of communication. The projects in the “Digital Musics & Sound Art” category revolve around our senses and thus the perception and interpretation of our world and its history.

S+T+ARTS Prize Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

Insgesamt 1.637 eingereichte Projekte aus 78 Ländern verzeichnete der STARTS Prize, der jährlich von Ars Electronica im Namen der Europäischen Kommission ausgeschrieben wird, in diesem Jahr, neun davon sind während der Ars Electronica in einer Ausstellung zu erleben. Gezeigt werden wegweisende Strategien und Projekte in den Bereichen Umwelt-Commons, Ökologie, Künstliche Intelligenz, digitales Besitzrecht, Politik sowie Kommunikations- und Medientechnologien. Die Ausstellung umfasst groß angelegte transnationale und multidisziplinäre Kollaborationen, gemeinschaftlich geführte digitale Forschungsprojekte, Partnerschaften zwischen Künstler*innen und Techniker*innen sowie Grassroots-Initiativen. Zu sehen sind sowohl Pollinator Pathmaker von Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (GB) als auch Broken Spectre von Richard Mosse (IE) – beide mit dem diesjährigen STARTS Prize ausgezeichnet.

Citizen Science Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

Citizen Science stands for scientific research that involves laypersons via online platforms, mobile applications, or in person. The advantages are obvious: Scientists gain access to (amounts of) data that would otherwise be denied to them, and citizens gain insight into scientific methods and complex relationships. Because citizen science is based on respect, transparency and innovation, it also contributes to an active civil society. The European Commission’s “European Union Prize for Citizen Science”, which was held for the first time in 2023, wants to promote this and immediately recorded 321 submissions. As part of the festival, a selection of these will be shown in an exhibition that deals with the common perception of and in cities and living spaces, breaking open and breaking through black boxes, mapping the human and non-human, and driving change and the shaping our future together. Part of the exhibition is the initiative Isala: Citizen-science map of the vaginal microbiome, which was awarded the first “European Union Prize for Citizen Science – Grand Prize” in 2023. Also presented will be the Urban Belonging Project, which won the “European Union Prize for Citizen Science – Diversity & Collaboration Award”, and the initiative The Restart Project: The Right to Repair and Reuse your Electronics.

STATE of the ART(ist) Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

In response to the Russian war of aggression, the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and Ars Electronica launched “State of the ART(ist)” last year. The initiative was intended to give those artists a stage and thus attention who stood up against war, persecution, and oppression at risk to life and limb, and who addressed the fatal consequences of Russian aggression. In 2023 “State of the ART(ist)” was continued and further developed. Artists from all over the world were addressed who see themselves exposed to all kinds of existential threats and who deal with oppression and persecution by regimes and warring factions, exploitation by corporations and states, or natural disasters. 564 projects and initiatives between human rights activism and art were submitted to State of the ART(ist) 2023, 11 of which will be presented in an exhibition at the festival, including Jowhar by Mahsa Aleph (IR) and AND IF WE OBSERVE THE PRESENT by Taiye Ojo (NG).

Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | POSTCITY

Once again this year, the Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition sees itself as a platform for the international art and science scene. Joining us this time are FutureFantastic from Bangalore, the Virtual and Physical Media Integration Association of Taiwan from Formosa, Hexagram from Montreal, Hyphen Hub and XR Ensemble from New York, V2_Lab for Unstable Media from Rotterdam, and Civic Creative Base Tokyo—all of them question conventional ways of thinking and the resulting truths and address their effects.

Dualities in Equalities: Art, Technology, Society in Latin America

6th – 10th September 2023 | Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz

Since 2022, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) and Ars Electronica have been honoring and promoting up-and-coming Latin American media artists with the “CIFO x Ars Electronica Awards.” In 2023, 115 artists from 13 countries took part in the competition, and the three winning projects will be presented at Ars Electronica in the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz. Together with six other works honored by CIFO, they form the exhibition “Dualities in Equalities: Art, Technology, Society in Latin America,” which impresses with its methodological and technological diversity and at the same time the thematic similarities of their artistic positions.

Campus Exhibition

6th – 10th September 2023 | University of Arts Linz & POSTCITY

The festival campus of the University of Arts Linz is a presentation platform for students and teachers as well as a place of exchange for—this time 56—universities from all over the world—and of course a celebration zone to which the general public is invited. This time the campus extends from the main station, where young artists are exhibiting in the POSTCITY under the title “Resonating Selves”, to the main square and to Atelierhaus Salzamt. Students from another twelve departments are active there—such as raum&designstrategien with their agency WAAAW, the World Artistic Agency Against War Initiative. In the splace gallery, on the other hand, works by the partner university Taipei National University of Arts can be seen. The Soundcampus in the courtyard of the Kunstuni is curated this year by Gabriela Gordillo and Andreea Vladut—from September 5th to 10th, concerts, performances & DJing are on the program every evening from around 6 p.m., plus there is a bar for collective enjoyment of the sound environment! And right at the opening, a collective of artists headed by Tina Frank, senior professor from the Visual Communication department, let off steam on the facades of the art university with computer-animated projections and film screenings.

III The Conferences & Talks

Ars Electronica Themed Symposium (I-III)

7th – 9th September 2023 | 11:00 am-05.00 pm

The starting point of the symposium on this year’s festival theme is the question “Who owns the truth?”. Over the course of three days, different critical perspectives on the relationship between truth and the sovereignty of interpretation will be brought into focus. Panels and presentations examine how economic systems have created a market for truth, interdisciplinary debates disentangle truth from narratives about our world; Innovators and practitioners present new ideas for maintaining interpretative sovereignty and data sovereignty in a digitized world, and attempt to rethink those digital media that have become our dominant communication channels in the interactive workshops.

The Next Renaissance (Part I)


Increasingly powerful technologies suggest linking scientific, technological, and artistic progress with a humanistic perspective and revolutionizing the way we think, act, and live in this way. Part one of this year’s themed conference is titled “The Next Renaissance” and addresses the conflicting ethics, values, and priorities arising from the acceleration of technological and societal development. In collaboration with EUMETA, Cultech, and the EIT Culture & Creativity, the conference is dedicated to projects that strike a balance between large-scale innovation and the principles of data transparency and sovereignty; it asks about the role that AI plays in changing the European legal and business framework for the creative and cultural sectors and addresses the current European AI structures and their further development. Speakers are Karen Hao (data scientist and journalist at the Wall Street Journal Hong Kong), tech-policy analyst Frederike Kaltheuner (professor of media arts and science Deb Roy at MIT), Meinhard Lukas (lawyer and rector of JKU Linz) or Rachel Armstrong (professor of regenerative architecture at KU Leuven) and many more.

(Un)Earthing the Truth: Ownership and Narratives about the Planet (Part II)

A More-than-Planet Conference

Part two of this year’s themed symposium addresses the question “Who owns the truth?” quite literally, and regards truth as an object of economics. This, in turn, immediately raises the question of whether truth can really be owned. In cooperation with More-than-Planet, a European network that aims to raise social awareness of environmental problems, stimulate creative cooperation to tackle environmental problems and strengthen environmental literacy in Europe, the symposium draws parallels between ownership of nature and the nature of property. Debates and keynotes that reach from the deep sea to the stratosphere are about a new understanding of property and about putting our economic systems and power hierarchies in a different context. Artists, scientists, researchers, and economists question “truths” about our planet, which are shaped by corporations and their marketing campaigns and result in the ever-increasing destruction of the environment. Among others, Sian Proctor (astronaut, geology professor, artist, author and science communicator), Stefan Brunnhuber (author, psychiatrist, and sociologist), Mordecai Ogada (ecologist and author) or Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (artist).


A EU Digital Deal Conference co-hosted by EUMETA — EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF METAVERSE

The third and last day of the theme symposium is dedicated to the democratic-political effects of a constantly accelerating introduction of new technologies. Politicians, monitoring organizations, whistleblowers, activists, and journalists discuss the beginnings and endings of truth and the distinction between fact and fiction over time. Government representatives will then talk about AI and democracy. It is always about a critical look at our relationship to the truth and the many ways in which misinformation reaches and influences us. Speakers include Sarah E. Kreps (political scientist, United States Air Force veteran, and policy analyst), Claudia Chwalisz (author, activist, and entrepreneur), Nina Jankowicz (researcher and writer) or Nandini Jammi (activist and brand safety consultant).

FOUNDING LAB Conference: A new University begins

September 6, 2023 | POSTCITY | Lecture Stage

What should a university look like in the 21st century? What skills do we need to learn and teach in order to survive as a democratic society in the age of AI and to master the challenges of the climate emergency and global economic and political instability? And who actually “owns” the knowledge that is created at universities? The FOUNDING LAB conference of the newly founded Institute of Digital Sciences Austria (IDSA) and Ars Electronica marks the starting point of a new university that is dedicated to all dimensions of digital transformation and is breaking new ground. Inspired by a joint keynote by students from all over the world, scholarship holders, students and experts discuss visions for and expectations of the new university in Linz with the founding rector and the founding convention of the IDSA.

Symposium Perspectives of political education: Gluers. Insurmountable conflicts or social cohesion

September 6, 2023 | POSTCITY | Conference Hall

Finding sustainable solutions to the challenges facing society as a whole requires a culture of participation that involves young people in particular. All too often, however, their right to have a say in political decisions is so limited that only the streets and protest remain. This year’s conference of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer), the Upper Austrian University of Education (PH OÖ) and Ars Electronica is therefore asking how digital infrastructures can be used to promote social participation. The keynotes will be held by Barbara Blaha and Knut Cordsen, followed by workshops, lectures, and a panel discussion, which will give young participants in particular the opportunity to present their ideas. Also part of the symposium is the presentation of the education prize “Klasse! Lernen. Wir sind digital.” Ars Electronica and Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalization (OeAD) carry out on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

Forum: Digital Education

September 6, 2023 | POSTCITY | Conference Hall  

With their first joint forum: Digital Education, the University of Arts Linz, the Austrian Society for Research and Development in Education, and the Upper Austrian University of Education want to promote open exchange on innovative teaching methods. Representatives from didactics, pedagogy, cultural studies and educational policy will explore the central question of the necessity and development of new methods of conveying the content of digital education. Above all, those who are affected first and foremost should have a say: the students themselves.

Expanded Animation Symposium

8th – 10th September | Ars Electronica Center Skyloft

The eleventh and this time 3-day Expanded Animation Symposium is entitled “The Art of Performance” and once again brings together artists, scientists, and developers from all over the world. Panels on the topics of Art & Industry, Artist Position, Performative Acts, Virtual Stages are on the program as well as screenings, exhibitions, and performances. The target group is both experts and newcomers.

The Prix Ars Electronica Forums

September 10, 2023 | POSTCITY | Conference Hall

The Prix Ars Electronica is the most traditional and prestigious media art prize in the world. The competition, created in Linz in 1987, shines neither with stars nor glamour, but exclusively with innovative concepts, new applications, and inspiring initiatives, which are always awarded by a top-class jury. Anyone who wins a Golden Nica here is not necessarily a star of the media art scene, but they usually soon make a name for themselves. The Prix Forums offer the unique opportunity to meet these pioneers in person and learn more about their approaches, methods, and strategies. The artist talks will be moderated by jurors from the Prix Ars Electronica.

In the newly adapted “New Animation Art” category, Ayoung Kim (KR) (Golden Nica for *Delivery Dancer’s Sphere*), Bassam Issa (IE) (Award for IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS), and SANGHEE (KR) (Award for Oneroom-Babel) are expected.

In the “Artificial Intelligence and Life Art” category, Winnie Soon (HK/UK) (Golden Nica for *Unerasable Characters Series*), Adam Brown (US) (Award for Shadows from the Walls of Death), and Oron Catts (AU ) and Steve Berrick (AU) from the 3SDC project (award for *Sunlight, Soil & Shit Cycle) share information about their artistic approaches.

The “Digital Musics & Sound Art” category is well represented with Juan Cortés (CO) (Golden Nica for A Tale of Two Seeds: Sound and Silence in Latin America’s Andean Plains), Alba Triana (CO) (Award for Harmonic Motion), and Julia Jasmin Rommel (DE) (award for Zwischenraum-interspace-acoustic cartography).

Re-build Together: Digital, human and arts-driven innovation in Africa

September 10, 2023 | POSTCITY | Conference Hall

More than 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa, but they are hardly represented in machine translation and communication programs. The conference “Re-build Together: Digital, human and arts-driven innovation in Africa” takes this as an opportunity to reflect on the role innovation plays and could play for Africa. At the same time, the aim is to identify areas in which stronger and equal cooperation between Africa and Europe would promote the sustainable development of both continents.

Bad Ischl Salzkammergut 2024 European Capital of Culture Jour-Fixe

Discussion panels, 7th – 9th September, 2023 | POSTCITY | Lecture Stage

Next year, the European Capital of Culture will span two Austrian provinces: A total of 23 partner communities from Upper Austria and Styria are developing visions for the future of their shared region under the title “Bad Ischl Salzkammergut Capital of Culture 2024.” On the agenda: mobility and digitalization, promotion of local agriculture, sustainable interaction with nature, and the creation of educational spaces for art. The emerging discussions around opportunities and possibilities are open to the public at the festival.

IV Die Specials


With the FOUNDING LAB, the new Institute of Digital Sciences Austria (IDSA) and Ars Electronica have developed a prototype laboratory in which new forms of artistic-scientific research into digital transformation have been outlined since August 23, 2023. 75 PhD and MA students as well as 25 Fellows from all over the world and from different disciplines take part and develop their vision of a university of the 21st century. The Ars Electronica Festival serves as the initial platform that opens up interdisciplinary exchange with experts on the one hand and dialogue with a broad public on the other.

create your world

Truth or Dare? Truth and dare!

We’ve all played this game, and we’ve all considered whether we should choose the—usually uncomfortable—truth or the—usually bold—dare. In 2023, the future festival of the next generation of Ars Electronica thinks that in view of various crises we will probably have no other choice and we have to look the truth in the eye and take action. New technologies, alternative life models and innovative concepts are in demand, which are then also the focus of numerous workshops and open labs. Here, kids and young people can try out AI tools, 3D printers and laser cutters, design recycling robots, and experience extended reality stories. Right in the middle of shaping the future is the motto.

Open Futurelab: Technology as a Social Tool

This time, the Open Futurelab is all about re-experiencing technology as a social tool and discussing the question “What are the Futures? The Ars Electronica Futurelab invites visitors to get active and create new ideas: with a large exhibition and hands-on area in POSTCITY as well as programs in Deep Space 8K. In POSTCITY, Future Teams, in collaboration with Ricoh, will present a future in which humans work together with diverse creatures such as microorganisms, AI and robots. The card game Bridge 2040 builds a bridge between generations, and Deep Sync lets us explore empathy and synchronization with our own heartbeat. Anatomy of Nudging invites us to a social experiment with the help of the AI of our partner Godot.With *Oribotic Instruments* we experience music with origami and electronics in a whole new way. Ori Shelter combines origami with social innovation to create affordable living spaces in extreme situations. Artist in Residence Tom Bogaert, on the other hand, has taken on the logic of war. Data Art & Science, with partner Toyota Coniq Alpha, shows how data art and data science can be combined artistically in Deep Space 8K. Also on view there is Faust VR, where the work of theater magician Max Reinhardt is brought to life in collaboration with the Salzburg Festival. A good insight into the diverse work of the Futurelab is provided by the Futurelab Night Performances on Saturday evening – a unique experience in Deep Space 8K.

Ars Electronica Solutions

As part of the festival, Ars Electronica Solutions is staging an installative and interactive meeting zone in which questions about the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in our society are asked together with partners such as the European Space Agency (ESA) or the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). “Science2Public” is the motto. Strategies, methods and formats of knowledge transfer will be presented using the example of own projects, and “Sustainable Transformation of Climate Data” and “Sensuality of Spaces” will be discussed in salon talks. On Friday, the Ars Electronica Solutions team invites you to Deep Space 8K and presents large-scale projections on the topic.

Search for the truth – milestones in art history

Works by Pablo Picasso and Ángeles Santos in the Ars Electronica Center: In cooperation with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid and the Spanish Embassy in Vienna, two milestones in art history will be turned into a live event in Deep Space 8K using gigapixel technology. The video presentation A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (and as a Young Woman Too) shows the works Mujer en azul by Pablo Picasso and Un mundo by Ángeles Santos. Visitors can also feel GOYA’S TRUTH: In collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid, Ars Electronica is turning masterpieces by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya into a digital experience. With LAST SUPPER INTERACTIVE, media artist Franz Fischnaller ensures that Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper can be experienced again in Deep Space 8K 2023. Together with the Grand Palais Immersif and the Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia, another special feature for history enthusiasts was created: Venice with its canals, districts and secrets can also be discovered in Deep Space 8K during the festival week.

Through deep sea, space, and virtual realms – the Festival line-up in Deep Space 8K

The Ars Electronica Center makes Deep Space 8K a unique stage for innovations in film, animation, and data science. Dan Tell (US), manager of planetarium technology at the California Academy of Sciences, embarks on The Quest for Cosmic Truth and shows how increasingly powerful technologies are changing our perception of the universe. The performance Homodyne turns quantum physics into an experience, documentary filmmaker Patrick Dykstra (US) presents a cinematic story of his dives with whales, and the Ars Electronica Futurelab team invites you with Faust VR to take a virtual tour through a legendary theater set, commissioned by Max Reinhardt at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg the year 1933. The festival line-up at Deep Space 8K includes more than 50 presentations this time.

Transformation Lounge

The Transformation Lounge offers space for dialogue, workshops, and exhibitions in a relaxed atmosphere. Realized for the first time in 2022, Ars Electronica and Hakuhodo, one of the world’s top ten integrated marketing and innovation companies from Japan, want to talk about sustainability here. The “Future Compass” is offered here, which in the first step invites you to self-reflection and in the second step to an exploration of the festival, which is all about a sustainable future. Initiatives such as “Biosmocking”, which uses digital production methods to create not just many of the same garment but to create many unique pieces for everyone, or “DFT Textile”, which uses dry fiber technology from Seiko Epson to turn discarded textiles back into new garments, while “FASHION FRONTIER PROGRAM” aims to educate a new generation of fashion designers who see sustainability and inclusion not as subsequent corrections, but as integral parts of their creative process, and with the “City Intelligence Lab” and “SIMULATE” the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is presenting two projects that focus on the sustainable transformation of urban spaces. And last but not least, the sustainability agenda of Ars Electronica itself will also be discussed in the Transformation Lounge: What are the fields of action and goals? How are they to be reached? What are the biggest challenges and why?


A STEM experience space for elementary school children on four wheels: “missimo” is a two-story truck that will be rolling through the Austrian federal states as a mobile classroom from the 2023/2024 school year. The educational project, which focuses on the accessibility of technical learning content in rural areas, was initiated by the non-profit private foundation Kaiserschild. The Ars Electronica Futurelab was responsible for implementing the installations and creative workshop kits, selecting the devices and preparing the applications graphically. The interactive stations, including the corresponding “missimo” web platform, are aimed at pupils and teachers in the 3rd and 4th grades and want to encourage them to deal with new technologies at an early stage. The 100 square meters of mobile exhibition space can be explored during the entire Ars Electronica Festival on Linz’s main square.


There are many ways to explore Ars Electronica and some of them can be explored together with artists and curators. With the “WE GUIDE YOU” program, interested visitors discover selected exhibition areas in three guided formats. You can choose from Spotlight Tours, Expert Tours and a Highlight Tour in the Ars Electronica Center.

While Christl Baur (Head of Ars Electronica Festival) and Martin Honzik (Managing Director Ars Electronica Festival) will guide you through this year’s themed exhibition “(Co)Owning More-than-Truth”, Masha Zolotova (RU) invites you to a round through the “STARTS Prize Exhibition” and Emiko Ogawa (JP/AT) leads you on a tour of the “Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition”. The “Expert Tour” with the ecologist and botanist Friedrich Schwarz (AT), who explains the biodiversity of the roof landscape of the POSTCITY, provides mountain air. In Lentos Kunstmuseum and the exhibition “Dualities in Equalities: Art, Technology, Society in Latin America” located here, co-curator Sergio Fontanella (CIFO) opens up insights into the Latin American art scene.

Cartographies of the Unseen / Felipe Castelblanco (CO), Lydia Zimmermann (CH)

Credit: Lydia Zimmermann

Inter net / Zi Yin Chen (TW), Hsiang Feng Chuang (TW)

Credit: Zi Yin Chen, Hsiang Feng Chuang

Gentleman Scientist: Microecologies / Jennifer Willet (CA)

Credit: Lauren Silberman

It Could Be You / HsienYu Cheng (TW)

Credit: Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab – CLab

TRIPTYCH / Robin Fox (AU)

Credit: Lachie Douglas