“And then, fortunately, the birds didn’t fall out of the sky,” said Michael Treml in a terse summary of the outcome of work over many months by an Ars Electronica Futurelab team at Rock in Rio 2017, the first public SPAXELS® drone show using Swarm3D software developed in-house in Linz. We were interested in finding out what this program can actually do and why this Futurelab custom creation is now also available as a plug-in for 3ds Max?

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).

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.

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.


The spaxels’ world tour continues. In “Clusters of Light,” an extravaganza just staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s crew took their prodigious show design talents to the next level of excellence, and their choreographed formation of LED-equipped quadcopters thrilled audiences of thousands. Here, Chris Bruckmayr gives us a behind-the-scenes account.


In London, the spaxels were used for promotional purposes. The Ars Electronica Futurelab received a specific assignment and successfully carried it out. But as the voestalpine Klangwolke brilliantly demonstrated, the quadcopters can take to the air in an artistic role too. We recently had a chance to chat with Sven Beyer, artistic director of phase 7, an indie artists’ collective in Berlin. Our subject: “Murmuration,” a multimedia piece conceived especially for the opening of the Bergen International Festival in Norway May 22-23, 2013. In our interview, Sven gave us some background.


The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s quadrocopter formation that debuted at the 2012 voestalpine Klangwolke has created a sensation, one that commenced on site during the extravaganza itself and has continued online ever since. Internet für recht ordentliche Wellen gesorgt. But since, as we all know, laurels aren’t for resting on, Futurelab staffers are already hard at work taking their Spaxel concept to the next level of development.