- Press release als PDF
- More about the Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition, zur STARTS Prize Exhibition & the Citizen Science Exhibition
- Images via Flickr
- Pictures from the Press Briefing
(Linz, September 5, 2023) In 2023, Ars Electronica will be dedicated to the burning questions of our time. While new scientific technologies are opening up an ever deeper understanding of our world, they also encourage the spread of fake news, deep fakes, esoteric ideas and conspiracy theories. The fact that chatbots are increasingly able to generate text, images and videos exacerbates the difficulty of distinguishing between true and false, between fact and fiction…
But what is the nature of truth and what about control over its interpretation and our autonomy? Can one claim the truth, possess it, and if so, what are the consequences and responsibilities? Do we have a right to truth?
“Who Owns the Truth? – Wem gehört die Wahrheit?” ask hundreds of artists, scientists, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, activists and students from all over the world at this year’s Ars Electronica. They will present their answers—and their further questions—from September 6th to 10th in numerous exhibitions, concerts, performances, interventions, lectures, and in conferences and workshops at 13 locations in Linz. The prizewinners of the Prix Ars Electronica—and a whole series of other competitions—will also be there.
The Prix Ars Electronica – crossing borders in the best sense
Established in 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has received an unbelievable X number of entries to date. The Linz competition is the most traditional and prestigious media art prize in the world. Its status is not based on stars and glamour, but on the sheer abundance of artistic quality and disruptive innovation of the projects submitted and awarded by a top-class jury. Anyone who wins a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica is not necessarily a star of the media art scene, but they usually soon make a name for themselves.
The importance that the Prix Ars Electronica has developed over the years is not only noticeable in the number of submissions, but also in new collaborations and alliances. The competition has become a platform for institutions and initiatives that—just like Ars Electronica—want to promote and use meaningful crossings between different areas of our society.
Seven years ago, the STARTS Prize was the first major cooperation with the European Commission for the synergy of art and technology, followed this year by another prestigious prize with the European Union Prize for Citizen Science.
Two competitions are now also being held on the Prix Ars Electronica stage with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs: The Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity, which honors projects that have international impact and relevance and are dedicated to the social and cultural problem areas of digital transformation, and State of the ART(ist), an initiative that brings artists in front of the curtain who work at risk of life and limb, whether through war or persecution, exploitation, or the aftermath of natural disasters.
The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, in turn, uses the Prix Ars Electronica stage to present the “Klasse! Lernen. Wir sind digital“ (Super! Learning! We are digital”).
A special prize for musicians and composers is awarded every two years by the family foundation of the legendary Japanese synthesizer pioneer Isao Tomita, and this year, in cooperation with the CultTech Accelerator program, a startup that focuses on promoting culture and creative industries in South Africa awarded.
The Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony
On Thursday, September 7th, the Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony will take place in the POSTCITY train hall and 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 Klasse! Lernen. Wir sind digital education award, the State of the ART(ist) competition and the Isao Tomita Special Prize. An evening of art for art.
The Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition
6th-10th September 2023, POSTCITY (Prix Ars Electronica Building)
In 2023, 3,176 works from 98 countries were submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica. 19 of them will be presented in an exclusive exhibition during the festival. Projects from the “Artificial Intelligence & Life Art” category show that supposedly neutral technology carries and reproduces human weaknesses and prejudices. In the “New Animation Art” category, which was adapted this year, works will be presented that leave the classic concept of animation behind and interweave imaging processes, new technologies and forms of communication in an innovative way. This time, the projects in the “Digital Musics & Sound Art” category revolve around our senses and thus perception, the interpretation of our world and its history. The Prix Ars Electronica exhibition can be seen at POSTCITY from September 6th to 10th.
Delivery Dancer’s Sphere / Ayoung Kim (KR)
Ernst Mo—an anagram of Monster—is a gigworker. She works as a courier for the platform Delivery Dancer, her place of work is a fictional Seoul. Like all the other “Dancers”, Ernst Mo races through the labyrinth of the never sleeping, glittering metropolis on her motorbike. The “Dancemaster” decides where and when to pick up goods, to whom and where to take these goods—an AI that is constantly accepting orders, defining start and end points, calculating the shortest and fastest routes, and allocating drivers and recipients agreed. With Delivery Dancer’s Sphere, Ayoung Kim (KR) addresses the booming gig economy and uses a mix of 3D animation and live-action shooting.
Project Credits: Written and directed by Ayoung Kim / Produced by Heejung Oh / Assistant director: Chae Yu / Project managers: Junyoung Lee, Yoojin Jang / Delivery riding advisor: Yiseul An / Physics advisor: Mankeun Jeong / Mathematics advisor: Seoyeon Kim / Actors: Seokyung Jang, Soojeong Hwang / Director of photography: Syeyoung Park / Music, sound mixing and mastering: Đ.K. (aka Dang Khoa Chau) / Editing: Hyunji Lee, Ayoung Kim, Chae Yu / VFX and motion graphics: Hyunji Lee / Unity level design: B. Paul Sandoval Lopez, Sanghun Heo / Unity animation: Sanghun Heo / Maya Modeling and Animation: Jaehwan Hwang / Lidar Scanning: Jieun Kim
A Tale of Two Seeds: Sound and Silence in Latin America’s Andean Plains / Atractor Estudio (CO) + Semantica Productions (UK)
Latin American agriculture is the scene of conflict over direction. As corporations push to establish large-scale soy monocultures, indigenous people struggle to continue cultivating amaranth, a crop closely linked to their culture and history. The dispute has not yet been settled: Instead of bowing to the use of glyphosate by the big players, the amaranth plant showed resistance and developed resistance to the poison mixture within a few years. The collective Atractor Estudio + Semantica Productions was inspired by this and uses sound and film to draw attention to the agro-industrial colonization of Latin America, especially Colombia. A blockchain application raises the patent regulations for genetically modified plants and the question of (intellectual) property.
Unerasable Characters Series / Winnie Soon (HK/UK)
Using the example of the Weibo platform, which deletes tweets banned by the Chinese government, Winnie Soon (HK/UK) explores how digital infrastructures are used for censorship. With the three-part series Unerasable Characters, more than 50,000 censored tweets find their artistic expression. A long (illegible) book was created from a string of forbidden online messages, a flashing installation that visualizes the number and frequency of deleted tweets, and a text that only shows punctuation, emojis and special characters—just what remains without the forbidden content . In this way, Soon helps “unheard voices” back into the discourse.
3SDC project (Sunlight, Soil & Shit (De)Cycle) /Oron Catts (AU), Ionat Zurr (AU), Steve Berrick (AU)
Sunlight, Soil & Shit (De)Cycle-3SDC explores the future of food production that could do entirely without natural light, soil or fertilizers. Oron Catts (AU), Ionat Zurr (AU) and Steve Berrick (AU) question technical food systems, which tech companies often portray as environmentally friendly. They have designed a facility with four stations: the first is a compost incubator in which muscle cells from mice are kept as laboratory-grown meat. In the alkaline hydrolysis plant, the cultivated tissue is in turn used as fertilizer that nourishes the plants—in soilless cultivation. By using these plants as feed for the compost incubator, the biological growth cycle completes. The only output from 3SDC comes from the control room, where sensors generate large amounts of mostly useless data.
Project Credits. Lead artists: Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr / Lead media artist/tech director: Steve Berrick / This project was researched, developed and produced at SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia. / Promo video for the 3SDC project: Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts in collaboration with Steve Berrick / With support from: DLGSC, Western Australia; The Seed Box, Linköping University Sweden; The Australia Council.
Shadows from the Walls of Death /Adam Brown (US)
Shadows from the Walls of Death examines the historical chemical and physical effects of Paris Green, a highly toxic pigment that was extremely popular in 19th century art and industry due to its luminosity and longevity. As early as 1874, Robert Kedzie wrote about the dangers of the product containing arsenic, which made hundreds of thousands sick when used as an insecticide. Adam Brown’s (US) performance series Shadows from the Walls of Death is inspired by this book. The synthesis, manufacture, and use of “Paris Green” are recreated and important questions are raised about the countless highly toxic works of art that still adorn museum walls today.
Project Credits. Rebekah Blesing, Robert Root-Bernstein / With support from: Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters Fellowship
Interspecies Robot Sex / Miriam Simun (US)
A life without bees? How can humans and their robots ensure fruit reproduction in the future when the valuable pollinator insect is extinct? Interspecies Robot Sex deals with two reactions to the collapse of bee colonies: “Robobee” as a mechanical replacement, and artificial pollination by humans by hand. Miriam Simun (US) designs her project as an investigation into life and death, labor and technology, and sex between species in the late capitalist era and ecological crisis.
Project Credits. A work by Miriam Simun. / This work is supported by Creative Capital with additional support by MIT List Visual Arts Center and La Becque.
ERBSENZÄHLER EZ Quality Sorter V2 / Verena Friedrich (DE)
Who decides what is good and what is bad? And what happens when complex decision-making processes are increasingly automated and delegated to machines? The EZ Quality Sorter V2 looks like an industrial sorting system. It automatically separates, analyzes, and sorts pea seeds into good and bad quality using a feeding mechanism and a conveyor belt. If a pea is classified as “bad”, it goes into the waste bin. If it is found to be “good”, it goes into the container for further processing. Visitors can visually assess the quality of the peas at the push of a button—the machine then continues the process accordingly. With ERBSENZÄHLER, Verena Friedrich (DE) makes it clear that many of our “intelligent” systems are based on invisible human work and very subjective decision-making processes, which become fact through their automation.
The *EZ Quality Sorter V2* is part of the ERBSENZÄHLER (EN: bean counter; lit.: pea counter) project which explores the increasing quantification of life through mathematical-technical procedures and systems— from counting and sorting to statistics, to computer-aided processes—and the worldview that goes along with it.
IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS / Bassam Issa (IE)
Outer worlds merge with inner ones, the body’s self detaches itself from the surface, emotions boil up and cool again—dream eroticism mixes with body horror, scenes of destruction and decay are juxtaposed with scenes of resilience and rebirth. IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS is a 30 minute film and is designed as part of an imaginary video game. The “logic” of computer-animated worlds is reversed and their politicized and constructed nature is questioned. Bassam Issa addresses the exaggerated masculinity of gaming avatars and the associated idealistic connotations of progress, growth, and transformation.
Project Credits. Written, directed, and animated by: Bassam Issa / Commissioned by the Douglas Hyde Gallery. Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Oneroom-Babel /SANGHEE (KR)
With *Oneroom-Babel*, SANGHEE addresses the oppressive reality of life for thousands of young South Koreans who live in “onerooms”—tiny living units consisting of a single room that serves as a bedroom, kitchen, and living room. The VR project invites players to dive into the deep sea and explore a structure that, like so many high-rise buildings in South Korea, consists of countless “one rooms”. These rooms are not filled with belongings, but with texts and sounds from interviews that SANGHEE conducted with young people. SANGHEE stages the experiences of “living in a room” as a collective memory of young people who once left their villages to build a new life in the big city—and ultimately found no home there.
Project Credits. Artist: SANGHEE / Story: SANGHEE, Seonghun / Music: Guinneissik / Sound design: SANGHEE, Guinneissik / Narration: Hyunjung Go / Narration mixer: Yoonkyung Lee / Special thanks to: Jeonghoon Han, Hoonida Kim, the twenty-three people who told me their stories. With support from: Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Unfold X
Lebensraum / Living Space / Sven Windszus (DE)
Overpopulation, the destruction of our habitat, the rise in sea level—with his Lebenraum project, Sven Windszus (DE) reduces the complexity of reality to a simple physical experiment based on pure muscle power. If you press a pump, human heads appear on a screen. If too many heads are pumped up, the available space increases, but the problem of the rising water level worsens. If all heads are inflated, the water almost completely floods the room; the error message “UNEXPECTED ERROR. RESTORE HABITAT” is displayed.
Project Credits. Work and concept: Sven Windszus / Programming: Johannes Deml (https://deml.io/ ) and Alexander Jasper / Engineering support: Ulrich Kwade
Harmonic Motion / Alba Triana (CO)
Harmonic Motion is a musical composition and immersive installation in equal measure. Everything revolves around vibrations, (sound) waves, and resonances. The installation consists of a basin whose movement is triggered by an electrical signal. The sounds that are created are thus generated without any physical contact. Thanks to fourteen spiral reflections created by a laser system, the vibrations of the cymbal are not only audible but also visible. The clocked electric drive never completely controls the sound level, because the cymbal also reacts to changes in humidity, temperature or movements in the room. Harmonic Motion makes processes and relationships tangible that otherwise remain hidden from us.
Project Credits. Harmonic Motion, 2021 / Cymbal, audible and visible cymbal vibrations / Alba Triana
zwischenraum—interspace—acoustic cartography / Julia Jasmin Rommel (DE)
In Julia Jasmin Rommel’s zwischenraum—interspace—acoustic cartography, the perception of spaces becomes an acoustic undertaking. Her audiovisual installation is based on real cartographic documents, i.e. geographical and geopolitical information, and asks how we react mentally when we move from A to B. It’s about transitions, restlessness, continuity, and orientation, in short about things that shape our movement through spaces. Julia Jasmin Rommel does not stop at factual descriptions, but translates movement patterns, especially their changes, into sound worlds. The acoustic processing becomes a tool for spatial orientation, cartography becomes a “cartophony”.
Project Credits. Concept, cartography, sound: Julia Jasmin Rommel / Residency at Hertz Lab at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Temporary Stored / Joseph Kamaru (KE)
Temporary Stored questions the storage of objects in museums against the background of their importance for the cultures that produced them. In African cultures, many of these “objects” are seen as storytellers, spiritual beings, and cultural entities passed down from generation to generation. They reflect past and future stories. Using selected elements from the Sound Archive of the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Joseph Kamaru (KE) has developed a piece that places the sounds in a new context with the cultural heritage of the countries in East and Central Africa. Focusing on narratives about archived sound, field recordings, and synthesizer use, his work demonstrates a path of sonic thinking.
Project Credits. Artist: KMRU / Archive recordings: Royal Museum for Central Africa / Special thanks to: Daisuke Ishida, Jessica Ekomane, Rémy Jordan, Simon Scott, Joe Gilmore, Marcus Gammel / With support from: Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Center for Arts, Design + Social Research, Royal Museum for Central Africa, DEKKMMA, UdK SoundS
“زبانی که خاموش است / A TONGUE THAT IS TURNED OFF” /Rogine Moradi (IR)
A TONGUE THAT IS TURNED OFF is an installation composed of sculptural wall pieces and sound. Materials normally used in construction, fishing, and packaging are used. In the context of this installation, the materials are robbed of their actual purpose and functionality. While the individual substances do nothing else, a sound piece repeats itself in the background—it can be heard quietly in a continuous loop and recites the project title in Farsi in a meditative manner. A TONGUE THAT IS TURNED OFF shows what it’s like to be a stranger in an environment you’re supposed to belong to.
klimaton ARCTIC≈2020 / Adnan Softić and Nina Softić (feat. Thies Mynther & MOSAiC Expedition Team) (INT)
What do you actually do with all the data stored in the huge scientific archives? In the form of a generative sound object, klimaton ARCTIC≈2020 asks about the conveyability of scientific facts in the context of climate change. Together with a group of MOSAiC scientists, the composer Thies Mynther, and a team of technicians, the artist duo Adnan Softić and Nina Softić developed an instrument that converts research data from the Arctic into sounds, thus creating a large-scale sonified portrait of a disappearing landscape.
Project Credits. Concept, artistic direction, production: Adnan Softić, Nina Softić / Sound design, musical interpretation: Thies Mynther / Data management: Dr. Sebastian Mieruch / Technical team: Juan Duarte, Martin Edelmann, Chris von Rautenkranz, Jan Münther / Scientific consulting: MOSAiC team of scientists
SHIFT /Géraldine Honauer (CH)
SHIFT is a process-oriented artwork that addresses the economics of work and bridges the gap between the real world and the increasingly commercialized virtual world. Through her web3-enabled platform, Géraldine Honauer examines new norms of work shared by machines and humans, the socio-economic values derived from them, and the new practices of monetization in the art world. SHIFT presents a reflective and experiential perspective on the connection between the physical and the digital—and how we can navigate and understand it.
Project Credits. 3D Animation: Elen Kimi / Special thanks to: Armin Blasbichler, Tizian Baldinger, Amelie Mckee & Melle Nieling (Plicnik Collective), Raphael Stucky, Toby Üpson, Boris Magrini
Into The Biomic Time / Nandita Kumar (IN)
The installation From Paradigm To Paradigm, Into The Biomic Time is reminiscent of a newspaper press in an endless loop. The project illustrates the constant reporting of false information related to environmental issues, through which individuals and organizations influence public opinion. *From Paradigm To Paradigm, Into The Biomic Time* cautions against mindlessly repeating past mistakes. Nandita Kumar’s sound installation consists of five sound journeys representing the elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Space, culminating in a performance where 91 Haikus (a Japanese poetic form) are performed by a piano player, a collage of found sounds and live foley be set to music with waste and recycled objects.
Project Credits. Pianola Mechanical Engineer: Subhadeep Biswas / Pianola Code: Matt Gingold / Researcher & co-writer: Pooja Das / Haiku co-editor: Priyanka Tagore / Co-graphic designer: Shikha Usgaonker / Book Editors: Tim Rutherford-Johnson / Malcolm Riddoch / Sound production: Merche Blasco & Felicity Mangan / Voices: Christian Kesten, Alex Nowitz, Ute Wassermann / Co-Conception of the realization: Christian Kesten / Sound production: Merche Blasco & Felicity Mangan / Voices: Christian Kesten, Alex Nowitz, Ute Wassermann / With support from: DAAD Artist in Berlin Program; Goa Open Arts: The Catalyst New Media Grant in collaboration with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai
QT.bot – Sitting here with you in the future / Lucas LaRochelle (CA)
QT.bot is an AI system that uses data from the community mapping platform Queering The Map (www.queeringthemap.com) to generate speculative queer and trans narratives and images of the environments in which they could unfold. QT.bot‘s first video output is titled Sitting here with you in the future and shows itself exploring the possibilities of shared futures, blurring the line between the plausible and the fantastic, and emphasizing the queer potential of disorientation in machine learning. In this way, datasets become the bearers of diverse narrative styles and voices.
Project Credits. Project by: Lucas LaRochelle / Sound design: Rouzbeh Shadpey / StyleGAN implementation: Mattie Tesfaldet / Mastering: Philippe Vandal / With support from: Ada X, Social Services Club, Mutek / Mastering: Philippe Vandal / With support from: Ada X, Social Services Club, Mutek
OSZILOT / Luc Gut (CH), Rolf Hellat (CH), OSZILOT (CH) https://oszilot.com
OSZILOT is a mix of sound installation and interactive performance. Everyday objects suspended from cords become vibrating sound objects. The rhythm patterns, soundscapes, and musical structures created transform the hanging objects into living beings, ritual instruments, or futuristic manifestations. The audiovisual pendulum ensemble is a unique form of live electronic music performance in which the generation of sound is understood intuitively.
Project Credits. Sound design, composition, performance: Luc Gut / Performance, dramaturgy: Rolf Hellat / Video: Andri Weidman / With support from: ProHelvetia; Stadt Zürich Kultur; Extrakredit Kanton Zürich; Aargauer Kuratorium; Ernst Göhner Stiftung; Mictic AG / Arendi AG
The Prix Ars Electronica Forums
September 10, 2023, POSTCITY (Conference Hall)
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 new 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).
The S+T+ARTS Exhibition
September 6th – 10th, 2023, POSTCITY
STARTS is a large-scale initiative of the European Commission that promotes innovative collaborative projects in the fields of science, technology, and the arts. Part of this initiative is the S+T+ARTS Prize, which has been run by Ars Electronica since 2016. In 2023, 1,637 projects from 78 countries were submitted to the competition, 10 of which will be presented as part of the Ars Electronica Festival in the S+T+ARTS Prize exhibition. The show opens up insights into groundbreaking concepts and projects in the areas of environmental commons, ecology, artificial intelligence, digital ownership, politics, and communication and media technologies. The projects represent extensive transnational and interdisciplinary collaborations, collaboratively designed digital research projects, partnerships between artists and technicians, and local grassroots initiatives.
Pollinator Pathmaker / Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (GB)
How would insects design their gardens and parks? This question is the starting point of an experiment with which Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg wants to counteract the devastating insect mortality caused by soil sealing, monocultures, use of pesticides, invasive species, and climate change. Pollinator Pathmaker is an online platform that uses a specially developed algorithm to create a planting plan for your own garden. Plants are selected that thrive in the respective location and attract as many pollinator species as possible. Each garden designed in this way looks different and is an algorithmically generated, living work of art for animals and humans.
Project Credits. Artist: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg / Algorithm developer: Dr Przemek Witaszczyk / Designer and Researcher: Iman Datoo / Horticulture: Colin Skelly / Producers: Hannah Andrews, Ruby Dixon / Studio manager: Freire Barnes. Originally commissioned by the Eden Project and funded by Garfield Weston Foundation. / Additional founding supporters: Gaia Art Foundation / Collaborators: Google Arts & Culture. /The International Edition Founding / Commissioners are LAS Art Foundation.
Broken Spectre /Richard Mosse (IE)
Broken Spectre is the portrait of a deliberate environmental disaster occurring along the 4,000-kilometer Trans-Amazonian Highway. Illegal logging, slash and burn, digging, prospecting and panning for gold, damming of rivers and the resulting floods, theft of indigenous land, the creation of huge monocultures and factory farming—Richard Mosse documents the invisible fronts of industrialized ecocide in the Amazon basin and uses special techniques: a multispectral camera for aerial photography, UV microscopy for reflective and fluorescent ultraviolet macro time-lapse images of the forest biome, and S35mm analog infrared film to visualize the infrared light reflected from the chlorophyll of the rainforest over 720 nm. Richard Mosse worked with indigenous communities to film on location.
Project Credits. Director, producer: Richard Mosse / Cinematographer, editor: Trevor Tweeten / Composer, sound design: Ben Frost
VFRAME: Computer Vision for OSINT/OSI Research /Adam Harvey (US), Josh Evans (US), Jules LaPlace (US)
VFRAME develops open source image processing software and neural network models to identify and document human rights violations in conflict zones. New technologies combining 3D photogrammetry, 3D rendering, and 3D printing are helping to generate synthetic data for neural network training. Instead of mining data from online sources, VFRAME uses an artistic approach combining digital fabrication, sculpting, photography, and 3D art to unlock a virtually limitless source of training data. The result is powerful computer vision models that can be used to automatically identify illegal cluster munitions in videos from conflict zones.
Project Credits. Director, founder, computer vision: Adam Harvey / 3D design and emerging 3D technologies: Josh Evans / Information architecture and front-end development: Jules LaPlace / With support from: Prototype Fund (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung); NLNet Foundation and Next Generation Internet (NGI0); NESTA; SIDA; Tech 4 Tracing
It Could Be You / HsienYu Cheng (TW)
Privacy and identity in the clutches of digital technology— It Could Be You stimulates reflection and critical questioning. Using machine learning, pen testing (cyber security exercises), or ethical hacking, the project generates fictitious personal data and raises privacy and protection issues by collecting messages from online forums and chat rooms. It Could Be You asks how technology shapes our lives and what our vision of a fairer world looks like.
Project Credits. With support from: Panasonic Taiwan & Hong’s Foundation, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, Google Colab, Python Jupyter, PaperSpace
Labyrinth Psychotica – The Anoiksis Experiment by Roomforthoughts /Jennifer Kanary (NL) https://www.labyrinthpsychotica.org
Jennifer Kanary (NL) researches psychosis simulations and has developed a mixed reality VR psychosis simulation that puts subjects in a safe interactive waking dream state and simulates a whole series of subjective psychosis experiences for eight minutes. The project aims to improve the treatment of psychosis and the way we deal with psychotic people. The basis is provided by the Anoiksis Theory, which does not describe hallucinations and delusions as brain disorders, but understands them as part of a healing process.
Project Credits. Thanks to: The Doen Foundation, The Creative Industry Funds, The Mondriaan Funds, Jolijn Friederichs, Tim Knoote, Teresa Feldman (EE), Sigrid Bannenberg, Pinar Temiz, Alec Kopyt (USSR), Laura Schuster, Konstantin Leonenko (UKR), Jeanette Groenendaal, Suleika Elfassi, Dora Grootman, Megan Mateer (USA), Jeroen Zwaal, Linda Maissan, Kasia Szmigiero (P), Xiomara Vado Soto, Renana Elran (ISR), Suzanne Meyer, Dr. Wouter Kusters, Dr. Karlijn Roex, Dr. Wim Veling, Alwin Verdonk, Josephine Bosma, Rokus Loopik, Dr. Anna Cornelia Beyer (UK), Sam Gerrits, Angèle De Jong, Lieselotte Nooyen, Christien Oudshoorn, Nina Boas, Iris Jousma, Anneke de Weerd, Fausto, Marie-Anne Soyez (D), Dr. Sabine Wildevuur, Dr. Tycho Hoogland, Marjelle van Hoorn, Selma Steenhuizen, Ewout Stumphius and Nikola Nikolov (BG). TNO, Dutch Police Academy Ossendrecht (Harold + Frans), AMC UMC Academic Hospital (Jacqueline + Franka + Ellen), Zaans Justitieel Centrum (Ingrid + Remco) and all the teachers and students of the University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam and St Joost Avans!
Inside the NYPD’s Surveillance Machine / Amnesty International (INT), Superposition (NL)
Inside the NYPD’s Surveillance Machine is presented as a web app that exposes the racial bias surrounding the New York Police Department’s use of facial recognition technology (FRT). This collaboration between Amnesty International and the design studio Superposition was realized with more than 7,000 volunteers and was published at the same time as a lawsuit against the NYPD. App users can plan a route through New York and see how many sections of that route could be monitored by FRT.
Project Credits. Data & Research: Amnesty International, project lead: Sophie Dyer, Matt Mahmoudi / Design & Development: Superposition: Bram Bogaerts, Casper Schipper, Robin Smits / Amnesty International would like to thank the more than 7,000 digital volunteers from around the world who analyzed every intersection in New York City to find and categorize surveillance cameras and gave invaluable feedback and peer-to-peer support. Without them this project would not have been possible. / Inside the NYPD’s Surveillance Machine was commissioned and paid for by Amnesty International, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that gets the majority of its income from individual donations.
ALL PLAYERS TOOL LAB / Masatane Muto (JP), Dentsu Lab Tokyo (JP)
The ALL PLAYERS TOOL LAB was created to empower people with disabilities through technology and creativity to express themselves. Operating computer applications with the help of eyes is a primary tool, especially for ALS patients who suffer from paralysis of the limbs. The three live performance tools developed in Japan—EYE XY PAD, EYE MIDI PAD and EYE SHOOTING PAD—as well as a remote live performance with eye-gaze input are intended to do away with social clichés.
Project Credits. Creative director: Naoki Tanaka, DENTSU INC. / Art director: Yusuke Koyanagi, DENTSU INC. / Creative technologist: Shintaro Murakami, DENTSU INC. / Creative technologist: Keita Kuki, DENTSU INC. / Copywriter: Tina Toda, DENTSU INC. / Producer: Kohei Ai, DENTSU INC. / Producer: Miyuki Fujishima, DENTSU INC.
FANGØ a Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google Obfuscator / Martin Nadal (ES) http://fango.martinnadal.eu/
FANGØ by Martin Nadal is an art and open do-it-yourself project that sees itself as a weapon of defense against surveillance capitalism. Algorithmic processes that invade people’s privacy and influence their decisions are intended to be disrupted. Disguised as a mobile phone charger, FANGO functions as a microcontroller that takes control of the smartphone. By doing random searches and liking posts on popular social platforms, it creates a kind of noise that disrupts data brokers’ collection of data. The associated code and 3D model will be freely distributed during the festival.
Project Credits / Thanks to: EMAP/Onassis Stegi 2020/2021, Deutscher Künstlerbund NEUSTART Modul D 2022mur.at 2023
Future Materials / Jan van Eyck Academie
The Future Materials workshop program aims to support the transition to ecologically conscious art and design practices. The interaction of the online archive of the Future Materials bank and the offline lab offers artists and designers time, space, and infrastructure to advance their own materials research—theoretically, practically, and above all sustainably. The website democratizes available knowledge and provides inspiration for future research, while the Future Materials lab complements the digital archive with a physical collection of material samples.
Project Credits. Future Materials is a project by the Jan van Eyck Academie. It receives support from Innovationlabs, a program on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Creative Industries Fund NL, and CLICKNL. Previously supported by the DOEN Foundation. Future Materials is part of GALA – Green Art Lab Alliance and collaborates with the MA program Material Futures at Central Saint Martin (UK) and with CHILL – Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs, at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus (NL).
Geo-Llum / Samira Benini Allaouat (IT)
How does the symbiotic relationship between the artificial and the natural world work? Geo-Llum by Samira Benini Allaouat (IT) is a performative, autonomous artwork that redefines the role of public lighting in urban green spaces. The focus is on a bacterium that generates electricity during soil decontamination.
Thanks to: Derek Lovley / Abraham Esteve Nuñez / Bioe Group / Miguel Alegre / Akasha Hub / Green City Lab
The European Union Prize for Citizen Science
Citizen Science stands for scientific research that involves interested laypersons via online platforms, mobile applications, or in person. Scientists gain access to (amounts of) data that would otherwise not be available to them, and citizens in turn gain insights into complex relationships and scientific methods. In order to promote citizen science and bring groundbreaking projects to the fore, the European Commission initiated the “European Union Prize for Citizen Science” in 2023. Ars Electronica was commissioned to launch the competition for the first time as part of the IMPETUS project—which is being carried out in cooperation with King’s College London (GB), the European Science Engagement Association (AT), Zabala Innovation (ES), T6 Ecosystems (IT), Science for Change (ES) ,and Nesta (GB).
From January 10 to March 13, 2023, 321 initiatives were submitted that connect communities in 61 countries. An international jury viewed and checked the submissions and awarded the project Isala: Citizen-science map of the vaginal microbiome with the first “European Union Prize for Citizen Science – Grand Prize”.
Isala: Citizen-science map of the vaginal microbiome
In many areas of medical research, women’s health still receives too little attention; a grievance that triggered the Isala initiative in March 2020. A transdisciplinary team from Belgium decided to scientifically examine the microbiome—bacteria, viruses, and fungi—of the vaginal tract in order to be able to identify clinical pictures at an early stage and initiate appropriate therapeutic measures. The first goal of the research team led by initiator Sarah Lebeer (Laboratory of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Antwerp) was to collect vaginal swabs from women. They relied on the voluntary participation of the population and met with an unexpected response: the team wanted to motivate 200 women to take part, 5,500 women registered within ten days. Most of them then completed an online questionnaire and used the toolset developed by the Isala team to take and submit a swab of their vaginal microbiome. Within a year, all participants received their test results and thus the profile of their vaginal microbiome. Finally, 275 women were selected to participate in a long-term study focused on changes in the microbiome in the vaginal tract. In parallel to its research activities, the Isala team organizes online and offline information events that reach up to 10,000 interested persons every month.
An improved data situation and more effective diagnostic methods on the one hand, and work on raising social awareness of the need for research on the female body and reproductive health on the other hand, the initiative—named after Belgium’s first female doctor and feminist and activist for women’s rights, Isala Van Diest (1842-1916)—impressively shows the positive impact Citizen Science can have both for individuals and for our society as a whole. The project Isala: Citizen-science map of the vaginal microbiome, developed in Antwerp, is awarded the “European Union Prize for Citizen Science – Grand Prize 2023”.
Project Credits. Sarah Lebeer (BE), Sarah Ahannach (BE), Thies Gehrmann (BE), Stijn Wittouck (BE), Tom Eilers (BE), Sandra Condori (BE), Jelle Dillen (BE), Irina Spacova (BE), Leonore Vander Donck (BE), Caroline Masquillier (BE), Camille Allonsius (BE), Isabel Erreygers (BE), Inas Rahou (BE), Caroline Dricot (BE), Charlotte De Backer (BE), Gilbert Donders (BE), Veronique Verhoeven (BE)
Delivery Dancer’s Sphere / Ayoung Kim (KR)
Credit: Courtesy of the Artist / Ayoung Kim
A Tale of Two Seeds: Sound and Silence in Latin America’s Andean Plain / Atractor Estudio (CO) + Semantica Productions (UK)
Bild: Courtesy of the Artists / Atractor Estudio + Semantica Productions
Broken Spectre / Richard Mosse (IE)
Film Still / Credit: Richard Mosse, Jack Shainman and Carlier Gebauer
OSZILOT / Luc Gut (CH), Rolf Hellat (CH), OSZILOT (CH)
Credit: Luc Gut, Rolf Hellat