AV-Service Lounge net:art coordination center / Renate Kreil (AT), @POSTCITY photo: vog.photo

aaron’s law–A Tribute to Aaron Swartz

Ars Electronica Garden Vienna: ACOnet | net:art coordination center (AT)

The project aaron’s law is dedicated to Aaron Swartz (* 8 November 1986, Chicago, † 11 January 2013, New York City). The American computer programmer, writer and political Internet activist was a renowned advocate of open and free access to knowledge, and his technical innovations and projects were driven by socio-political issues.

How do issues such as Creative Commons, open access to knowledge, open-source software and ethics in technology influence the production processes of art today?

“Information is power”—so begins the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto written by political activist Aaron Swartz in Italy in 2008. This powerful and true statement is anchored in the AR and VR installation of the Schubert Theater Vienna and processed through exciting audiovisual expressions. The digital transformation and journey of an analog puppet offers you insights from Aaron. You can listen to one of his favorite songs, read excerpts from his blogs, climb a mountain of his treasured books, or learn about the protests he was involved in.

  • AV-Service Lounge

    AV-Service Lounge

    net:art coordination center; Renate Kreil (AT)

    AV-Service Lounge offers podcasts, videos by and about Aaron Swartz, and insights into the aaron’s law project series that began on January 11, 2023. The three parts of the exhibition are closely intertwined to provide visitors with a broad spectrum of artistic-technical content and the scope of Aaron Swartz’s sphere of influence in general.

  • Insight:Aaron


    Schubert Theater Wien (AT)

    INSIGHT:AARON depicts the metamorphosis of an analog work of art into a digital one, and the transformation of the persona of Aaron Swartz and his astounding works. The VR and the AR project evolved through several stages and was repeatedly viewed, questioned, and redirected.

  • Why I Am Not Gay

    Why I Am Not Gay

    Günter Friesinger (AT)

    For this exhibition, Günther Friesinger provides us with four AI-generated portraits of Aaron Swartz that he created for the AARON’s:LAW exhibition at Schloss Wolkersdorf. The images are inspired by a personal encounter with Aaron Swartz at one of the early Arse Elektronika conferences in San Francisco.


The net:art coordination center has evolved from a successful series of interactive multi-site performances called net:art | near in the distance 1-3 and was initiated in 2018 by ACOnet, the Austrian National Research and Education Network (NREN).

This assignment is also a statement. It enables us to raise awareness for artistic-technical framework conditions in interactive net-based work processes – within the NREN community and outside.


aaron’s law is an initiative of the net:art coordination center (ACOnet), a series of artistic-technical projects with dedicated national and international partners as a tribute to the life and spirit of Aaron Swartz.