Virtual Reality
FeatureFestivalRADICAL ATOMS

“RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time” was the theme of the Ars Electronica Festival staged September 8-12, 2016 at multiple locations in Linz. Conferences and speeches, exhibitions and projects, concerts and performances, animated films and awards ceremonies, guided tours and workshops. 85,000 visits and 534 events on five days, 842 participating artists & scientists from 50 countries. Here are some motifs conveying impressions of this year’s festival.

Klangwolke 2016 Ars Electronica Festival
FestivalRADICAL ATOMS

The Klangwolke [Cloud of Sound] is an autumn highlight of Linz’s annual calendar of events. Conceived as a blend of music, performance, art and spectacle with a different theme each year, it’s been a crowd-pleaser ever since its launch in 1979. The 2016 edition is entitled “River of Knowledge.” We recently had a chance to talk about the upcoming event with producer Uwe Buhrdorf and Rica Blunck and Tilo Nest of the cast and crew.

VOG_0064 - Kopie
FeatureFestivalFuturelabRADICAL ATOMS

Before the 100 Spaxels make their European public debut above the Danube on Saturday, September 10, 2016 just before the opening act of the Klangwolke, they’ll be subjected to a rigorous physical exam. The first two test flights already took place this week—the quadcopters lifted off from a secluded field in Mühlviertel, the rural area north of Linz, and put on quite a show (that not too many people got to see).

Conference Politics and Participation Festival 2016
FestivalRADICAL ATOMS

The emergence of Facebook, Twitter & Co. in recent years has opened up new options for the exchange of political views. How these digital platforms are changing the political discourse, what new forms of sociopolitical participation are resulting from them, and which challenges they confront us with will be discussed at “Participation & Political Socialization in the Age of New Media,” a conference being held in conjunction with the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival.

Spaxels Drone100 Intel Festival Linz 2016
FestivalFuturelabRADICAL ATOMS

A spectacular Spaxels show will be the lead-in to the 2016 Klangwolke, Linz’s annual outdoor extravaganza. The DRONE 100 crew has already made a name for itself worldwide; now, the record-setting quadcopter formation of the Ars Electronica Futurelab and Intel™ Corporation is making its European debut. Here, Chris Bruckmayr and Andreas Jalsovec talk about some of the exotic airspaces they’ve flown through over the course of their Spaxels career.

drone100_886x590
FestivalFuturelabRADICAL ATOMS

This will be the first public appearance in Europe of the world’s largest autonomous drone swarm. Just before the Visualisierte Klangwolke in September 2016, the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s 100 Spaxels will display their aerial artistry in Linz. Here, Chris Bruckmayr and Andreas Jalsovec of the Spaxels crew talk about all the preparations and work that goes into such a performance.

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FestivalPrixRADICAL ATOMS

One of the highlights of each year’s Ars Electronica Festival is always the CyberArts exhibition, a showcase of the works singled out for recognition by the Prix Ars Electronica, one of the most important awards honoring creativity and pioneering spirit in the digital media genre. Here, Genoveva Rückert, the curator of CyberArts 2016, tells us about this year’s show.

Ciphering Beyond Prototypes Ars Electronica Festival 2016
FestivalRADICAL ATOMSSTARTS

The theme of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival is RADICAL ATOMS – and the alchemists of our time. But who are these people, actually? In the theme exhibition, you’ll find out all about the artists, scientists, activists and entrepreneurs whose unorthodox approaches and inspiring projects are bound to make an impact on our future. In so-called Artist Labs, 12 of them are each presenting several of their works. Learn what awaits you here.

Stadtgärten Linz Ars Electronica Festival 2016
FestivalRADICAL ATOMS

The 2016 Ars Electronica Festival doesn’t kick off until September 8th but the preparations are already running at full speed. Not only does our in-house production crew have their hands full; our associates have been busy too. The staff of Linz City Gardens, for instance, has been cultivating thousands of flowers to adorn the festival’s prime venue. In our photo story, you can watch the plants grow … before beholding them in all their glory on site at Post City.

Post City Ars Electronica Festival 2016 Tour
FestivalRADICAL ATOMS

The former Austrian Postal Service logistics center at Linz’s main train station is scheduled for demolition. But before it’s taken down, it will serve, one more time, as an extraordinary event location—POSTCITY, the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival’s prime venue. Martin Honzik, director of the festival, recently took us on a little preview tour of the (still) vacant premises.

u19 Create Your World Festival Workshop
FestivalRADICAL ATOMSu19

The Prix Ars Electronica’s u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category is an annual opportunity for young people to garner recognition for their creative projects with great future promise. And once again this year, the prizewinning works are being honored and exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival September 8-12, 2016. The new wrinkle this year: the young participants themselves are determining what the exhibition looks like and how it works.

Sculpture Factory DRIVE Volkswagen Berlin Ars Electronica Export
Export

Ars Electronica Export is making another guest appearance in Berlin. The “HUMAN FACTOR – endless prototyping” exhibition running until August 27, 2016 at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum Berlin displays art and industry’s common denominator—the human being, the human factor that’s constantly trying out prototypes for existential models in humankind’s ongoing struggle to resist extinction. Here are a few impressions of the exhibition.

ESO Chile
FeatureResidencies

“We won’t soon be taking another trip so close to outer space!” Now, that sure hits the nail on the head as a succinct description of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this Residency provides. An artists’ collective—Jan Bernstein, Juliane Götz and Sebastian Neitsch—got the nod from the European Digital Art & Science Network’s jury and departed for Chile in late May 2016 to get a close-up look at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) locations there and get acquainted with scientists on site. We accompanied them on their trip.

Octopus Mandala
Prix

What does interactive actually mean? We touch something and then experience the upshot of that act? Or does interactivity already come about when we view an image? Victoria Vesna, a 2016 Prix Ars Electronica juror, talked to us about defining interactive art, and elaborated on something she learned about it from media artist Roy Ascott.

La Silla
FuturelabResidencies

Night after night, the European Southern Observatory’s huge telescopes in Chile peer deeply into the unknown expanses of the universe. Fernando Comerón, the ESO’s on-site chief-of-staff, recently talked to us about possible ways in which art and science can engage in mutual inspiration at these locations and what this postulated ninth planet in our solar system is all about.

My Connect project
STARTS

Two €20,000 prizes honoring innovative projects at the nexus of science, technology and art! What’s this very generously endowed competition all about, and what’s the European Commission’s take on the increasing digitization of our world? We recently had a chance to chat with the initiator of the STARTS program, Ralph Dum.