Highlights 2023

TRIPTYCH / Robin Fox (AU), Photo: Lachie Douglas

2023 Ars Electronica Festival

From September 6 to 10, 2023, Ars Electronica once again invited artists, scientists, developers, designers, entrepreneurs and activists from all over the world to Linz, Austria. The central venue was – once again – the legendary POSTCITY.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023


Photo: Ars Electronica / Robert Bauernhansl

From September 6th to 10th, Linz will once again be the hub of the media art world. But the festival actually starts on the evening of September 5th with a pre-opening walk. This will lead from the Mariendom to the OÖ Kunstverein, the Lentos Kunstmuseum, the Kunstuniversität, the Atelierhaus Salzamt, the Ars Electronica Center and the Stadtwerkstatt. With performances and entertaining presentations, it will whet the appetite for art, technology, science and (civil) society – in short, for the future …

We start at 5 pm sharp – in the nave of the largest church in Austria. Built in the neo-Gothic style and inaugurated in 1924, the Cathedral of the Conception of the Virgin Mary, or Mariendom for short, holds 20,000 people and during Ars Electronica – traditionally – becomes an impressive stage for media art. This year, Taiwanese artist Yen-Tzu Chang will stage a dance performance here that traces the generational differences within a family and culture.

6 pm. The second act of the evening takes place in the baroque Ursulinenhof on Linzer Landstraße. This is the home of the OÖ Kunstverein and, as part of Ars Electronica, invites visitors to see the group exhibition by Markus Riebe, Yoichiro Kawaguchi and Sofia Talanti.

Yen Tzu Chang (TW), Photo: vog.photo
Photo: Yoichiro Kawaguchi

7 pm. Director Hemma Schmutz welcomes visitors to the Lentos Kunstmuseum. She will be acting not only as host, but also as a juror for the CIFO x Ars Electronica Awards. These have been announced since 2022 by the Miami-based Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) and Ars Electronica to bring Latin American media art to the forefront. The best works of 2023 can be experienced at the Lentos Kunstmuseum as part of Ars Electronica. 

8.15 pm. The pre-opening walk arrives at the Kunstuniversität on Linz’s Hauptplatz. 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 could not be more centrally located or more beautiful. Rector Brigitte Hütter and her team of curators will welcome the students and will certainly talk 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. 

Vibrant Self / Alba Triana (CO), Photo: Camilo Martín
LumiCore: Light-hearted Touch Interface / Rene Preuer (AT), Mathias Gartner (AT), Ingrid Graz (AT) / Photo: Jeffrey Schuster

8.45 pm. The Atelierhaus Salzamt is located close by the Art University. 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’s Dreams. The New Aesthetic of AI in Artistic Practice is presented by Nanyang Technological University (SG).

9.15 pm. The Ars Electronica Center opens its sliding doors and unceremoniously invites 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 several artists who will tap the full potential of Deep Space 8K. What this means can be experienced on this evening: With THE LAST SUPPER INTERACTIVE – Art and Mathematics in the Renaissance, 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.

10.15 pm. Welcome to the Stadtwerkstatt. For decades a creative, progressive and yes, in the best sense rebellious, nucleus within Linz’s urban fabric, the Stadtwerkstatt has always been part of the festival. On the eve of this Ars Electronica, the last act of the pre-opening walk will be performed starting at 10.15 pm.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Education Day

TRIPTYCH / Robin Fox, Photo: Lachie Douglas

What is true, what is false? Since Hannah Arendt at the latest, we know no one absolute truth can exist for all of us. So although truth is what we think it is at any given time, this does not at all mean that everything is true and nothing is true at the same time. If a community can no longer agree on recognizing basic facts as such (and then arguing about how to interpret them), it breaks apart. The proof is Donald Trump, who accepts only “his” facts and dismisses all others as “fake news”.

Education is indispensable for a broad and critical, yet constructive debate about what is true and what is false, what is real and what is fake. It is therefore both a statement and a demand that this year’s Ars Electronica is declaring Day 1 to be “Education Day”.

missimo / Privatstiftung Kaiserschild, Ars Electronica Futurelab, Photo: Kerstin Blätterbinder

The fact that education, curiosity and openness  should be instilled as early as possible has prompted the University of Arts Linz, the Austrian Association of Research and Development in Education and the Upper Austrian University of Education to initiate an open exchange on innovative teaching methods in the “Forum: Digital Education“. Coinciding with the forum, the Upper Austrian University of Education once again hosts a symposium to encourage reflections on a sustainable design for the future. Both the forum and the symposium will be held in German. In addition, the award ceremony for the education prize “Klasse! Lernen. will take place at 12:00 in the Train Hall at POSTCITY.

It is undisputed that knowledge of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology (MINT) is highly relevant for shaping the future. That enthusiasm for these fields can also be successfully aroused in rural areas is shown by missimo. As a mobile experience space, the two-storied special truck of the non-profit Kaiserschild private foundation will be visiting elementary schools all over Austria starting in the fall, giving school children the opportunity to try out new technologies on 100 square meters of exhibition space. The interactive interior of this unique vehicle was designed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab, and in the future will be operated by experts from the Ars Electronica Center. During the festival, missimo can be explored on Linz’s Hauptplatz.

The “FOUNDING LAB” organized by Ars Electronica and the “Institute for Digital Science Austria” (IDSA) will again focus on what a new university for holistic research into digital transformation should look like: 75 students and 15 fellows from all over the world will be working on a range of topics related to digitization as well as new strategies and formats for creating and communicating knowledge. The students complete the “Summer School” (August 23rd to September 11th), the Fellows the “Forum” (September 6th to 10th) – then it’s off to the Fall Term (October 2023 to January 2024). If you want to get a glimpse of the knowledge transfer of the future, be sure not to miss the accompanying conference for the “FOUNDING LAB” on Wednesday, September 6th in the Conference Hall at POSTCITY. After the “Welcome to the FOUNDING LAB” by Gerfried Stocker (AT), members of the IDSA Founding Convent and IDSA FOUNDING LAB Fellows, the students take over the stage: A joint keynote by the Summer School Students is followed by a discussion between IDSA FOUNDING LAB Students and Fellows, in which the audience can also participate. Finally, the prototype of a pioneering university will be laid out.

Eteron 15 – The Lovers / Eul Lee (KR/MX/US), Photo: Eul Lee
Isala: Citizen-science map of the vaginal microbiome, Photo: Isala Team

Every day, members of the Ars Electronica Futurelab invite visitors to the “Expert Tour: Open Futurelab at POSTCITY” to jointly gather ideas for a diverse and pluralistic future. Also at POSTCITY, beginning at 14:30 at the Meeting Point in Train Hall, the performance Uperqt” by Cod.Act takes place. On the following days of the festival there will be several opportunities to experience this fight performance. Those who prefer to actively develop technologies and skills that will help us address environmental issues should participate in “Planetary Public Stack“, a workshop led by Miha Turšič (SI/NL).

Exciting events take place at the Ars Electronica Center as well: “reconFIGURE” by Immersive Arts Space-ZHdK lets visitors see human bodies the way machines understand them. In addition, the “Data Art & Science Project” by Toyota Coniq Alpha (JP) starts at 13:00 in Deep Space 8K, presenting prototypes that embody the ideas of this new interdisciplinary field.

The content-related focal points and strategic orientations of no less than 56 art universities from all over the world can be studied as part of the “Campus Exhibition“, which stretches across POSTCITY, through the Art University and into the Salzamt. This time, the Taipei National University of the Arts will present itself as the “Featured University 2023”. In addition, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “PRISMA” (a cooperation between three universities from Chile and Argentina), Tokyo University and “Festival X,” which brings three universities from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Linz, will also be taking part.

The potential for cooperation between science and civil society is demonstrated by the Citizen Science Exhibition. The ISALA initiative from Belgium, which promotes women’s health and awareness-raising, and the konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art, which brings together engineers, scientists and artists to develop joint perspectives on the present and the future, are representative of a whole series of inspiring projects, most of which are among the winners of the European Union Prize for Citizen Science.

The grand finale of the first day of the festival is the opening. This time it is not only for the festival, but also the public starting signal for the “FOUNDING LAB” and the IDSA. The celebration, starting at 20:45, will take place in the huge Train Hall and in the courtyard of POSTCITY – with the Swiss artist duo Luc Gut and Rolf Hellat, who create sound installations and performances, with “OSZILOT“, the Japanese artist Kyoka (JP) from the experimental label Raster-Noton, who with “Syntax-2” combines her audiovisual performance with electronic music, the award-winning light and sound artist Robin Fox (AU) with “TRIPTYCH“, as well as Riccardo Giovinetto (IT) with “FE:MI:NA“.

Thursday, September 7, 2023


Credits: Richard Mosse, Broken Spectre, 2022, Film still © Richard Mosse, Jack Shainman and Carlier Gebauer

The triangle of science, technology and art has long become the main driver of sustainable social progress. Why? Because it – and art above all – produces the disruptive innovation we need to become sustainable. Whether it is the brewing climate catastrophe or the rapid triumph of AI systems: To be able to cushion the ecological, social, economic and political shocks that lie ahead of us, we do not need the next product design, but a fundamental change in market logic.

It is precisely these forward-looking approaches and the associated paradigm shifts that the European Commission sets out to promote with its S+T+ARTS initiative – Science, Technology, Arts. Ars Electronica serves as a unique platform for discussing, presenting and forging alliances between science, technology and the arts that are as unusual as they are groundbreaking. Under the title “Next Renaissance,” this year’s STARTS Day will once again be a meeting place for innovators from art, industry and research. In this case, “Next Renaissance” stands for a European initiative of the EIT Culture & Creativity that promotes the fusion of scientific, technological, cultural and artistic knowledge and thus stimulates ideas that are fit for the future.

Credits: Pollinator Pathmaker in Pollinator Vision, 2023. © Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Credits: SphagnumLAB, Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol at the 59th Venice Art Biennale, 2022, photo by Benjamin Echazarreta.

Highlights of the STARTS Prize Winner Exhibition at POSTCITY include the outstanding cinematic work Broken Spectre (Richard Mosse), which brings to life the devastating consequences of the 4,000-kilometer Trans-Amazonian Highway, and Pollinator Pathmaker (Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg), a pollinator artwork created by an AI tool and planted and maintained by humans. As winners of the Grand Prize in two categories, both artists will be awarded the coveted STARTS Trophy on Thursday. In order not to miss the many program points, we recommend our visitors to experience POSTCITY within the framework of the WE GUIDE YOU tours – for example, on Thursday Annick Bureaud (FR) will lead the “Expert Tour: Terraforming Earth – Decolonizing Space” through the Theme Exhibition. Afterwards, you can listen to the theoretical reflections of the STARTS conference or join in the debate themselves. Personalities such as Deb Roy, director of the MIT Center for Constructive Communication as well as visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Hito Steyerl, German filmmaker and author and first woman on the Power100 list as influential player in the international art world, and journalist and data scientist Karen Hao, known for her coverage of AI research, are part of various conversations spread throughout the day about the possibility of a paradigm shift and a responsible innovation structure. Joint discussion also forms the basis for other programs away from the former mail distribution center.

Interested in topics like artistic freedom or art in connection with ecological collapse? – then you should not miss the panel discussions of State of the ART(ist). Part of the talks will be awarded artists, jurors as well as Christoph Thun-Hohenstein from the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs. Or would you rather get active yourself in a workshop? “AIFutures” and “Systemic Change in the Times of Polycrisis” are definitely worth a visit. Visitors may also try out the sound installation of “OSZILOT” after the daily performance at 17:00. In contrast, the performance “Uncanny Valley” raises questions from the field of tension between original and copy by substituting a human-like machine for the author Thomas Melle, with whom Stefan Kaegi (DE) is collaborating for this project, which may also be visited on the following days of the festival.

On the campus of Johannes Kepler University, the Circus of Knowledge stands for the sustainable interweaving of educational innovation and 21st century skills. How does it succeed? The arts amaze people of all ages and thus encourage independent engagement with science. With original productions, workshops and participatory formats, the Circus of Knowledge calls on people to take the plunge into unexplored territory.

Exceptional visual and immersive experiences are promised by the numerous projects in Deep Space 8K on Thursday. At 13:00, renowned expert and chief curator of the Museo del Prado Alejandro Vergara presents a selection of Francisco de Goya’s works in “Goya’s Truth“. This will be followed later by “Faust VR: Making Of“, where the Ars Electronica Futurelab will immerse visitors in the stage design of the new production of Goethe’s Faust during the Salzburger Festspiele, and in the evening during “Deep Stage“, Part I and Part II, audiovisual projects from around the world are on display.

Friday, September 8, 2023

More-than-Planet Day

StellaVerde / Gregor Krpič (SI), Simon Gmajner (SI), Dr. Jan Babič (SI), Dr. Marko Jamšek (SI), Gal Sajko (Jožef Stefan Institute) (SI), Photo: Matjaž Rušt and Katja Goljat

Festival Friday follows on seamlessly from Thursday. Starting with the innovation that we need in and for the 21st century, it is now a matter of fitting these solutions into a Bigger Picture: into holistic thinking about the future. Because even though yesterday we thought we were the crown of creation, today we must face the fact that we are only a small – albeit powerful – part of the planet’s ecosystem. From this in turn follows that the future of our species is inseparably linked with the prosperity and ruin of the great whole. Not out of gratitude because it has produced us, but because we are perfectly adapted to its living conditions and no others, we should protect it.

Massive Binaries / Andy Gracie, Photo: Andy Gracie
ORGAN OF RADICAL CARE: UNA MATRIZ COLABORATIVA / Charlotte Jarvis (GB), Dr. Patricia Saragüeta (AR), Photo: Charlotte Jarvis

The big symposium starts on Friday at 11 am and runs until 5 pm. All contributions of this day will focus on the question “Who owns the planet?” in line with this year’s festival theme “Who owns the truth?” The theme day is organized by the project More-than-Planet, funded by Creative Europe. On Saturday, the discussions about ownership and finding the truth will continue in the same time frame. Experts from different disciplines will meet and focus on central issues of our time: truth, sovereignty of interpretation and sovereignty. Whether you have a professional background or not, everyone is invited to follow the discussions on stage. Together with commercial astronaut, geology professor, artist, author and major in the Civil Air Patrol Sian Proctor, renowned artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, founder Aina Abiodun, the first black woman to lead a venture capital-funded technology company in Germany, and numerous other speakers this Friday truth as an economic object will be discussed under the title “(Un)Earthing the Truth: Ownership and Narratives about the Planet“.

Parallel to this, the theme exhibition takes up the reflections in a creative way: While interdisciplinary artist Andy Gracie draws on scientific exploration of galaxies and media artist Dorotea Dolinšek draws inspiration from space expeditions, Charlotte Jarvis and Patricia Saragüeta explore the artistic interpretation of medical research. The latter realized their artistic research within the framework of the European Media Art Platform (EMAP). Visual artist Christo Riffo shows what drone images and microscopic photographs mean for our perspective on the world, and composer and multifaceted artist David Shongo explores human responsibility for the climate catastrophes of our time. Curator Christl Baur offers a deeper insight into presented projects and also behind the scenes of the exhibition with the Expert Tour “(Co)Owning More-than-Truth”.

Masakhane – pioneering participatory approaches to building African language technologies, for Africans, by Africans / Masakhane (INT), Artwork by Keneilwe Mokoena
Open Futurelab at POSTCITY, Photo: Philipp Greindl

A few steps away are the winners of the Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity, which aims to promote cultural exchange in a digital world. The focus is on the African initiative “Masakhane,” which discusses how algorithmic control and bias (co-)determine social inequality – and won the top prize for it in 2023. Meanwhile, new technical visions are being developed at the Ars Electronica Futurelab – which will once again have a branch in POSTCITY during the festival, as will the Ars Electronica Solutions Division, which is pushing an interactive encounter zone.

Likewise at POSTCITY, the MIT Center for Constructive Communication will host the workshop “Nature of LLMs (Large Language Models)” at 10:00. How well can LLMs represent my values? How, what, and from where do LLMs learn? – join in and find out. On the other hand, the performance “Shadows from the Walls of Death: Remediating Green Shadows” looks at applying dangerous green pigment to a wallpaper reproduction from Dr. Kedzie’s book “Shadows from the Walls of Death”. There will also be a launch event for the European initiative “The Next Renaissance” at the Lecture Stage from 11:00 – 14:00, where those interested in creativity and European collaboration, as well as cultural rebirth and renewal, can learn about future calls and opportunities for participation.

Those who venture out of POSTCITY have the chance to visit the exhibition “Dualities in Equalities: Art, Technology, Society in Latin America” at the LENTOS Kunstmuseum. The exhibition can be viewed until the end of September 2023, but only during the festival is it possible to get to know the award-winning works and their creators on GUIDED tours such as the Expert Tour with Martin Honzik, co-curator of the exhibition.

The future of computer animation can be experienced at the Ars Electronica Center, where the Expanded Animation Symposium and the Ars Electronica Animation Festival will be held. The screening starts at 10:00 in the Seminarraum (Level -1) of the Ars Electronica Center and shows a selection of projects that were submitted for the Prix Ars Electronica in the category “New Animation Art”. Immersion in fantastic virtual worlds has never been so easy – promise!  “AI & Human. Who Owns the Truth” is additionally screened at 13:30 at Deep Space 8K, where “Meet the artist Miwa Matreyek (US/CA)” is also held beforehand. Separate from the Animation Festival, Deep Space 8K also hosts the new mixed reality music performance “Project Humanity – All players welcome, the world meets unexplored possibilities” and “Venice Revealed“, an exhibition by Grand Palais Immersif and Iconem in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. The Expanded Animation Symposium will then follow on Saturday from 11:00 in the Skyloft.

The Bruckner Orchestra rounds out the evening with the Big Concert Night, which turns POSTCITY’s rustic track hall into a hotspot for classical music. With the same passion, but less classical, it continues with the acts of the Ars Electronica Nightline – expect artists Siska (AT), Jessiquoi (CH), Noémi Büchi (CH), Soraya Lutangu (CH/CG), Myriam Bleau (CA), Mika Bankomat (AT) and Kenji Araki (AT).

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Dare-the-Truth Day

Empreintes sonores / Victor Drouin-Trempe (CA), Jean-Philippe Côté (CA), Photo: Victor Drouin Trempe et Jean-Philippe Côté

Again, the festival picks up where it left off the day before, inviting people to dare to tell the truth. Accepting an inconvenient truth – as we all know – is not easy. This is especially true these days for the scientific evidence of the developing climate catastrophe. The measurement results of a globally researching scientific community allow no other conclusion than that we need a radical change of course and that the window of opportunity to do so is closing fast. Accepting this truth is difficult because the consequences will be arduous, uncomfortable, and expensive, but also because it means that a decades-old promise of a better, richer, and easier future is going up in smoke.

This Saturday, Ars Electronica will be focusing on people who have not only accepted this truth, but are already doing everything they can to make the best of it. Under the title “The End of the Truth?“, international speakers such as American political scientist, United States Air Force veteran, and Council on Foreign Relations member Sarah E. Kreps; researcher and writer Nina Jankowicz, who has written, for example, about Russia’s use of disinformation as a geopolitical strategy; and Taiwanese digital minister Audrey Tang come together for the second part of the themed conference – this is implemented through the European Digital Deal program sponsored by Creative Europe.

Also worth seeing or rather hearing is the panel discussion “Not your data? Open relationship between culture and technology” at 16:00 on the POSTCITY Lecture Stage, where Taiwanese artists will address issues surrounding data ownership and creativity. Those who prefer to try to elicit the most surprising, disturbing or beautiful images from a text-to-image program could also pay a visit to “Prompt Battle“.

Create Your World Ceremony, Photo: Jürgen Grünwald
Farmers’ Market / BIO AUSTRIA Oberösterreich (AT), Photo: tom mesic

But the young generation is also thinking about and offering solutions. The Create Your World Exhibition at POSTCITY will once again open up a space for discovery and exploration for visitors from kindergarten age upwards, who will be experimenting together with the latest and further developed inventions. The fun continues as soon as the Prix Ars Electronica’s Golden Nicas awards ceremony in the u19 category takes place from 10:00-12:00 at the Lecture Stage at POSTCITY. The spectrum ranges from homemade robots to animated games, films and handcrafted masterpieces. For a long day at the festival, it is best to get provisions at the Bio-Austria farmers’ market, which opens its market stalls only on this Saturday.

To test out and explore new ideas, visitors can attend workshops such as “Future Impulses – Artificial Intelligence” from the Future Thinking School or “The Anoiksis Experiment“, which explores hallucinations and delusions as logical reactions of central importance to our existence. In addition, those who are interested in nature conservation in the city and would like to walk on the roof of POSTCITY should not miss the “Expert Tour: POSTCITY Rooftop” with Friedrich Schwarz.

Hylozoic² Hotspot / Marlot Meyer (ZA/NL), Photo: Hanneke Wetzer
Anouk Wipprecht, Photo: Florian Voggeneder

The Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition provides an international flair at several POSTCITY venues – this time Rotterdam, New York, Montreal, Bangalore and Hamburg are among them. Among other things, they will show the results of the residency programs of the V2 Lab for Unsustainable Media, the scientific and artistic output of the initiative Hexagram and a live performance of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS).

On the second floor of the brilliant POSTCITY, the focus will be on new developmental leaps in technology, with local and international partners presenting their thinking, prototypes and market-ready products. The projects range from 3D-printed clothing and BCI applications (Anouk Wipprecht, g.tec medical engineering, OnShape & Hewlett Packard), to explorations of labor as a variable in capitalism (IMPAKT – Centre for Media Culture) and an online game against fake news (Escape Fake Polycular (AT)), to the presentations of “Robots in Architecture” from Linz.

As the location of Ars Electronica, the Stadtwerkstatt is a hotspot for exciting art projects that skirt the norm or put it up for discussion: For example, Franz Xaver’s “Endlose Annäherung an Null” visualizations in which he points out glitches – or glitches – or “Minuskunst” by Tanja Brandmayr, a project that approaches quantum theory in an artistic way. What STWST 2023 is all about is the role of artificial intelligence in human decision-making: “AI, tell me what I should want!”. Also taking place here from 22:00-5:00 are the “STWST48x9 COLD HEAVEN Concert Nights: No Trash Nightline” with Mai Mai (IT), Rojin Sharafi (IR/AT), Vomitatrix (US), Ujif_notfound (UA), Puce Mary (DK), Okabre (AT), Shapednoise (IT/DE), Breuer/Kern/Audiobomber (AT).

In the special ambience of the Mariendom the performance “The Mirage Replicas 2.0” by Yen-Tzu Chang (TW) starts already at 21:00. It draws you into the spell of a story, whereby through the symbolism of bats, memories and cultural perspectives of the artist are conveyed and generational differences within a family and culture are explored. Those who prefer to experience the performance in the afternoon still have the opportunity to do so on Sunday at 13:00. Deep Space also awaits visitors once again with an extensive program: At 11:30 you can reflect on the planetary future with “cool earth” – between dystopia and post-fossil world. In the afternoon, the projects of the “5TH VH AWARD” will be shown. Festival visitors will also be able to track down the future of AI and Co at the Futurelab Night in Deep Space/Ars Electronica Center. For those who prefer to look into the future outdoors, the festival Saturday is the right place for Linz’s Klangwolke – and has been since 1979. This time, visitors can experience a post-apocalyptic tale about a young girl that blends video, light and sound design, aerial performance, acrobatic show dance and tap dance into a breathtaking symbiosis.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Prix Ars Electronica Day

Unerasable Characters series / Winnie Soon (HK/UK), Photo: Andrew Curtis

It would not be Ars Electronica if art did not have the last word. Whether it is education (MI), innovation (DO), holistic visions of the future (FR) or the truths of our time (SA), it is art that plays an essential role in all of this. Art it is that may do everything and need not shy away from naivety, subjectivity or radicalism in order to hold up the famous mirror to us, our thoughts and actions. This is especially true on days when there is talk of a new era in many places, and when the new increasingly announces itself not as evolution, but as revolution. 

The last day of the festival belongs to the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica, their visions, ideas and projects. The winners of the Golden Nicas (in the categories Digital Musics, New Animation Art and AI & Life Art) as well as a large number of innovative entrants will be represented on site at the Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition at POSTCITY. Examples are the sound installation by the collective Atractor Estudio (CO) + Semantica Productions (UK), Ayoung Kim (KR) with “Delivery Dancer’s Sphere”, a mix of 3D animation and live-action shooting, and Winnie Soon (HK/UK) with the Unerasable Characters Series”, which problematizes and stages media censorship. Verena Friedrich’s installation “Erbsenzähler is part of the exhibition, as is Nadita Kumar’s “From Paradigm to Paradigm, Into the Biomic Time” and Francois Knoetze et al.’s work “Dzata”, which invites visitors to engage with archiving and its inherent fiction. If you are looking for more interaction, follow the open discussion between the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2023 and the jury at the Prix Forums.

ERBSENZÄHLER Quality Sorter V2 / Verena Friedrich (DE), Photo: Verena Friedrich
Jowhar / Mahsa Aleph (IR), Photo: Soheil Moradian

In addition to the Prix activities, the State of the ART(ist) exhibition brings to Linz all nine of the 2023 winning projects from the competition of the same name from around the world. The focus will be on this year’s winners Mahsa Aleph from Iran and Taiye Ojo from Nigeria, who deal with historiography and counter-histories in their own individual ways. Fittingly, also on Sunday, a panel is scheduled by S+T+ARTS4AFRICA, a project that promotes collaboration with innovation hubs in sub-Saharan Africa. The topic of this panel with the title “Re-build together: digital, human and arts-driven innovation in Africa“: Art-Tech Collaborations in Africa and with African partners. Further, at “FOUNDING LAB: University of the Futures,” IDSA FOUNDING LAB Fellows will speak about the fundamental issues of forward-looking higher education.

And that is not all for the international exchange: a newly formed European network will also come together at Ars Electronica 2023 and will have its grand finale on Sunday at the Digital Deal Summit. Here, representatives of the 14 partner institutions will meet to discuss ideas, possibilities and opportunities for reconciling the digital world with democratic values. 

Of course, there will be more than just talking on the last day of the festival. At the “Build your Own Virtual Avatar” workshop, you can briefly escape reality and create your own virtual avatar using a VR headset and various programs. In addition, “Earth4All: Living Loops” also takes place at POSTCITY and elaborates on the necessary changes for a sustainable future. Many people are already familiar with “Hebocon – Competition of Low-Tech Robots“, which once again takes place at create your world at 15:00. At the Ars Electronica Center, in Deep Space 8K, you can go on an exploration of the Dutch tulip landscape with “Tulpenmania / Domum” through a combination of sound production and live games, or ask whether we can know the deepest truths of our cosmos at all with “The Quest for Cosmic Truth“.

Finally, the track hall in POSTCITY will once again become a stage for music: The Duo Pianographique – consisting of Maki Namekawa (JP), Cori O’Lan (AT) – will perform pianist Keith Jarrett’s “Köln Concert” from 1975 at 14:00 in the Train Hall on the last day of the festival.