Alchemists of Art and Science

Past Exhibition
Begin: 31.08.2016
End: 30.09.2017


Credit: Ghost Cell / Antoine Delacharlery

The huge current interest in forms of interdisciplinary collaboration shines what or many people is a long-overdue spotlight on the multifarious possibilities that can emerge from exchange and cooperation among, on one hand, art and creativity, and, on the other hand, science and technology. Moreover, an increasing number of observers are applauding the fact that, above all, there is finally widespread realization of a paradigm shift having occurred in a world that is  now globalized not only geographically and economically but intellectually as well. Driven by correspondingly wide-ranging motivations, more and more artists are lighting out to explore these territories. They are in search of new sources of inspiration, and they also want their artistic work to make an impact beyond the confines of the art world. In going about this, they often pursue trails that were blazed long ago, and sometimes without knowing too much about that back story.

What is striking is the greatly increased readiness on the part of both individual scientists and a growing number of institutions to make a commitment to these liaisons. Such prestigious research institutions as CERN–European Organization for Nuclear Research, the European Southern Observatory and the European Space Agency now host artist-in-residence programs under the aegis of the European Digital Art and Science Network subsidized by the EU.

As a member of an extensive network of cultural institutions in Europe and other parts of the world, Ars Electronica will be displaying works created in conjunction with these artist-in-residence programs and also staging a series of exhibitions showcasing exciting, innovative projects at the nexus of art and science. New methods of fabrication and of 3-D printing, concepts for rapid prototyping, work in the field of 3-D animation, and artistic strategies for the visualization of scientific data—the exhibitions cover a broad range of approaches, many of which are still in the prototype stage. “The Alchemists of Art and Science,” the second installment in this series, spotlights speculative, futuristic visions that have emerged from the amalgamation of artistic and scientific approaches—for instance, wearables that measure cosmic radiation in their immediate surroundings; clothing grown out of fungi; a 3-D-printed lamp you can create at home with an app and a laser scanner, wearable devices designed to reduce your CO2 output; and concepts for interactive windshields.




Interface I_tom mesic

Interface I documentation

Interface I manifests the essence of a phenomenon that various experts such as biologists and political strategists seek to come to terms with—how complex systems go about reciprocally influencing and adjusting to each other. Ralf Baecker puts this into a physical form in terms of the interaction of two systems consisting of motors, wire and elastic band.

Read More Interface I documentation
Single Stroke Structures_Yasuaki Kakehi und Takahiro Hasegawa_590x350

Single Stroke Structures

Among the facts of life in the Age of Mobility are urban traffic jams and overpopulation. This project’s aim is to improve the quality of life in crowded metropolises by means of a portable tool that city dwellers can use to partition off a space of their own.

Read More Single Stroke Structures


Floraform is a generative design system inspired by the biomechanics of growing leaves and blooming flowers which explores the development of surfaces through differential growth. The artists created a simulation of a differentially growing elastic surface that functions as a digital garden.

Read More Floraform

MycoTex – Neffa

Mycelia are thread-like fungal cells. In nature, they branch out into subterranean networks of filigree fibers that can extend over hundreds of hectares and live for millennia. Textile designer Aniela Hoitink has taken advantage of these extraordinary characteristics in her R&D work on innovative fabrics made of pure mycelium.

Read More MycoTex – Neffa

Beyond Prototyping

A work of light art created with the help of a 3-D printer (Highlight), an encoded ring (Ciphering), and an abstract representation of a network of city streets engraved into a tabletop and depicting a location with a special personal meaning (Locatable)—these three creations can serve as prototypical examples of Industrial Design 4.0.

Read More Beyond Prototyping
Can you hear me_590x350

„Can you hear me?“

Edward Snowden’s disclosures shined the spotlight of public attention on, among other locations, Berlin’s federal government district, revealing it to be the site of extremely intense surveillance and espionage by intelligence agencies. So this is precisely where Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud wanted to set up a temporary installation on the subject of power and powerlessness in the Digital Age.

Read More „Can you hear me?“
Anarchive˚6_Florian Voggeneder_590x350


Anarchive is a series of interactive multimedia projects designed to enable users to explore the work of individual artists. Masaki Fujihata is the sixth artist in this series that began with Antoni Muntada in 1999. Anarchive 6 is a book containing almost all works created by Masaki Fujihata between 1972 and 2016.

Read More Anarchive˚6


Selected works of the CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Read More CIID-Showcase


For Obscurity Paolo Cirio cloned mug shots of over 15 million U.S. prison inmates from various websites and then disguised the photos. An algorithm systematically scrambled the names, while other appurtenant information such as age, race, location, and charges was kept accurate.

Read More Obscurity