Photo: Nicolas Ferrando, Lois Lammerhuber
Ars Electronica Futurelab
The powerhouse behind future innovations and scenarios
Horst Hörtner, Senior Director Ars Electronica Futurelab
Claudia Schnugg, Senior Curator Ars Electronica Residency Network
Situated just next to the Ars Electronica Center, the Futurelab complements the unique place of Linz, where visitors can explore the future from various angles and directions. Whereas the exhibition ground is setting the stage for an outlook on tomorrow, the adjacent project laboratories is developing the scenarios. As every single staff member is a qualified expert in another scientific or artistic field, the lab’s transdisciplinary methods to explore society’s future is peerless. Either for educational purposes, scientific assignments or private business – the mixed team of international media artists, architects, designers and social researchers has been making drafts and developed solutions for various clients, always in the nexus of technology and art.
The vivid exchange of those assorted experts is a fertile ground for artists in residence with out-of-the box thinking. Having been inspired and having developed an idea for their stay, they’ll get further input and invaluable insight in the unorthodox workflow and collaborations of the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s innovative staff-members. Thus, it’s no isolated occurrence that an artist in residence has been nurtured by thought exchange to a certain point when he or she has altered plans to an advanced result. The lab is also the place where artists find an ideal studio equipped with state of the art technology and enough space to expand ideas. Having brilliant artists in residence on the other hand means also a reflux, so that the Futurelab is profiting from an outside perspective. The think tank tackles various research topics that have added up to a bold list of applied future science, such as creative catalyst, functional aesthetics, information aesthetics, interaction ecology, robo psychology, media art in architecture among others.
The joint residencies at within the framework of the EU funded program European Digital Art & Science Network are part of Ars Electronica’s extensive residency activities that are subsumed into the Ars Electronica Residency Network. In its multifaceted programs the Ars Electronica Residency Network supports artists to develop their practice through access to one-of-a-kind scientific institutions, research facilities, as well as latest technological developments. The Ars Electronica Residency Network facilitates interdisciplinary artistic research and enables interdisciplinary collaboration in a worldwide network of scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators and artists. Moreover, based in Ars Electroncia’s core interest, artists are also encouraged to embed their work in a wider context of society.
Ars Electronica (AT): Since 1979, Ars Electronica (AT) has sought out interlinkages and congruities, causes and effects between art, technology and society. The ideas circulating here are innovative, radical, eccentric in the best sense of that term. They influence our everyday life—our lifestyle, our way of life, every single day. The Festival as proving ground, the Prix as competition honoring excellence, the Center as a year-‘round setting for presentation & interaction, and the Futurelab as in-house R&D facility extend their feelers throughout the realms of science and research, art and technology. Ars Electronica’s four divisions inspire one another and put futuristic visions to the test in a unique, creative feedback loop. It’s an integrated organism continuously reinventing itself.