From September 6 to 10, Linz will once again become the hub of the media art world. But the festival actually starts on the evening of September 5, 2023, with a pre-opening walk that leads from the St. Mary’s Cathedral to the OÖ Kunstverein, the Lentos, the University of Arts Linz, the Atelierhaus Salzamt, the Ars Electronica Center and the Stadtwerkstatt, and with performances and entertaining presentations whets the appetite for art, technology, science, (civil) society – in short, the future.
Free admission! Participation in the pre-opening walk on September 5, 2023, is free.
It starts at 5:00 p.m. sharp, in the nave of Austria’s largest church. Built in the neo-Gothic style and inaugurated in 1924, the St. Mary’s Cathedral holds 20,000 people and becomes – traditionally – an impressive stage for media art during Ars Electronica. This year, Taiwanese artist YEN-TZU CHANG will stage a dance performance here that traces the generational differences within a family and culture.
6:00 pm. The second act of the evening takes place in the baroque Ursulinenhof on Linzer Landstraße. This is the home of the OÖ Kunstverein, which invites you to visit the group exhibition by Markus Riebe, Yoichiro Kawaguchi and Sofia Talanti as part of Ars Electronica.
7:00 p.m., Director Hemma Schmutz welcomes the participants at the LENTOS Art Museum. She will not only act as host, but also as juror of the “CIFO x Ars Electronica Awards,” which have been announced since 2022 by the Miami-based Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) and Ars Electronica to bring Latin American media art before the curtain. The best works of 2023 can be experienced at the LENTOS Art Museum as part of Ars Electronica.
8:15 p.m., the Pre-Opening Walk arrives at the University of Arts Linz on the main square of Linz. The latter was laid out in 1230 and, at 13,140 square meters, is one of the largest enclosed squares in Austria. The “campus” to which Ars Electronica and the Art University have been inviting visitors every year since 2004 couldn’t be more centrally located or more beautiful. Rector Brigitte Hütter and her team of curators will be welcoming the students and will certainly be talking about the 50th anniversary of the Linz Art University (we’d like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere congratulations!). Afterwards, they will ask their students for a first taste of their creative skills.
8:45 p.m., the Atelierhaus Salzamt is located in the immediate vicinity of the University of Arts Linz. Opened in 1706 as the imperial Salzamt, the baroque building was renovated by the City of Linz in 2008 and has since served as a meeting place for young visual artists from all over the world. As part of the Ars Electronica Festival, the exhibition Butterfly Dreams. The New Aesthetic of AI in Artistic Practice by Nanyang Technological University (SG) will be presented.
9:15 pm. The Ars Electronica Center opens its sliding doors and welcomes its guests into Deep Space 8K. This unique space, developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab, invites guests to experience immersive experiences in a class of their own. The festival will once again host a number of artists who will tap the full potential of Deep Space 8K. What this means can be experienced on this evening: With “LAST SUPPER INTERACTIVE” Franz Fischnaller (IT) transforms Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous painting into a three-dimensional, walk-in space where you can stroll around the panel and view Jesus and his apostles from all possible perspectives.
“Der Ruf zum Widerhall” (“The Call to Echo”) is an audiovisual composition developed for the Pühringer Residential AG by Ars Electronica Solutions in which the visualization reacts in real time to an artistically interpreted yodel song recorded especially for the project at the Lucerne Academy of Music. For its part, the Ars Electronica Futurelab will be showing the virtual reality application “Faust VR,” which was created in collaboration with the Salzburger Festspiele.
10:15 pm. Welcome to the Stadtwerkstatt. For decades a creative, progressive and yes, in the best sense rebellious nucleus in Linz’s urban fabric, the Stadtwerkstatt has always been part of the festival. On the eve of this Ars Electronica, they’re putting on the final act of the Pre-Opening Walk.