Art Thinking Day

Sunday, September 12, 2021

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End and beginning

The last day of an Ars Electronica is never the end. Rather, it is (we hope again and again) only the beginning of a series of new initiatives and projects that, inspired by the Festival for Art, Technology and Society, inspire and motivate people in their turn and elsewhere and turn them into comrades-in-arms for a better future. People like the youngsters of create your world, the volunteers in the network of the die ziwi association, the participants in the Festival University, the winners of the STARTS Prize, the Award for Digital Humanity and the Prix Ars Electronica, who are all doing something here and now because they are tired of waiting for politics, industry or anyone else.

That’s why the Ars Electronica Festival 2021 is deliberately focusing once again on the artists, their thinking and, above all, their actions. It’s the day of the Prix Ars Electronica, on which the winners of the Golden Nicas will talk – and not only – about their prize-winning projects (the latter, by the way, can be seen in the CyberArts show).

The open discussions between a member of the renowned Prix jury and the winners of the various competition categories do not shy away from big questions: How do we imagine the future interaction of humans and machines? What role do technologies like AI play in creative processes and how do they affect art itself?

  • In the Prix Forum “Computer Animation” Helen Starr and Guangli Liu (Golden Nica/ When the Sea Sends Forth a Forest), Veneta Androva (Award of Distinction / AIVA) and Erick Oh (Award of Distinction / Opera) talk about “The Re-enchantment of Humanism”.
  • In the Prix Forum “Digital Musics & Sound Art” Cedrik Fermont and Alexander Schubert (Golden Nica/ Convergence) will speak, Rashin Fahandej (Award of Distinction / A Father’s Lullaby) and Douglas McCausland (Award of Distinction / Convergence) on “A Pandemic Didn’t Stop the Sound
  • And in the Prix Forum “AI & LifeArt” Jens Hauser and Samaneh Moafi / Forensic Architecture (Golden Nica/ Cloud Studies) deal with, masharu (Award of Distinction / The Museum of Edible Earth) and tranxxeno lab / Adriana Knouf (Award of Distinction / TX-1) with “Im/Material Infrastructures“.
Year after year, the Ars Electronica Animation Festival demonstrates the virtuosity with which artists tell stories about our (living) world and, in doing so, put their proverbial finger in our wound(s). The best example is Guangli Liu, this year’s winner of the Prix Ars Electronica in the “Animations” category: with “When the Sea Sends Forth a Forest,” he devotes himself to the forgotten history of Cambodia’s Chinese community, which was persecuted, expelled and killed by the Khmer Rouge and abandoned by China in all of this. Guangli Liu virtuously interweaves Khmer Rouge propaganda videos with the horror images that went around the world after their fall and 3D representations of a game engine. The result is not a judgment on history, but a virtual space where past and present enter into a dialogue: The ocean of forgetting is to give way to a forest of personal memories of the Khmer Rouge era and the tragic fate of its countless victims.

How can the thinking and methods of art contribute to innovation and change in very different areas of our society? This question is ultimately the starting point of the “Art Thinking Forum” that Ars Electronica and Hakuhodo are co-hosting as part of the festival.

Without exception, outstanding artists from the international media art scene will once again demonstrate on this Sunday of the festival the virtuoso way in which they can touch, seduce, provoke and shake us up. And who knows, maybe in the end it will be the artists who motivate the “sensible person” to do what rationality suggests to him or her anyway – to finally tackle the “New Digital Deal”.

More info…

The Festival Days at a Glance