Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy @ QUT 2017 2017

The Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy was created to support students and educators from international partner universities to engage in transdisciplinary practice. Futurelab researchers act as mentors and collaborators, supporting creative exchange with the Academy participants. Participants come from a range of backgrounds; art and design through to science, engineering and technology. Since 2012, collaborations with renowned universities in China, Japan and Australia have resulted in a diversity of exhibits and performances being presented at the Ars Electronica Festival. Some of these project outcomes have gone on to win prestigious awards and accelerated the artists’ research and practice trajectories.


Collective Brainstorming. Greg Jenkins


In 2017, the Futurelab partnered with Brisbane’s Queensland University of Technology for a fourth Academy. Drawing on the success of the previous years’ the 2017 format took an adventurous leap into unchartered curricular territory and brought together leading QUT educators and researchers, an independent international curator and a host of Ars Electronica Futurelab members to create a first-of-a-kind education experience.



Development of the project “Teaching City” Credit: Greg Jenkins


More than 50 participants from across the creative industries, greater university faculties and external local leading creative practitioners engaged in a unique collaborative process.  The Academy took them through discipline decontamination and into a journey of collective brainstorming and eventually new enquiry-driven research models and creative visions, the Academy enabled participants to both uncover their discipline-specific ontology sphere and paradigm, whilst supporting them in discovering new emergent methodologies of practice and creative outcome possibilities.


Development of the project “Synapsense” Credit: Greg Jenkins


This year’s Academy developed several creative projects, ranging from technically augmented performances to site-specific intervention prototypes. It also provided the platform for the Guerrilla Knowledge Unit (GKU) initiative that introduces pre-service teachers to Art Thinking as a basis for the development of curriculum-linked learning outcomes that push current pedagogical norms. GKU is presenting education workshops as part of this year’s u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD program.


Those are the Participants in the Ars Electronica Festival 2017:



Credit: Jacob Watton


The 1:1 project is about the relationship between a human and a robot camera – how they grow to be able to imagine each other complexly; seeing each other on a 1:1 scale. Incorporating elements of dance, theatre, and new technology, this work resides at an interstice between human and Other.

Team: Artists: Jacob Watton, Briony Law, Jaymis Loveday Cinema Swarm Inventor: Jaymis Loveday Programmer: Charles Hendon Producer: Lincoln Savage Associate Producer: Quinty Pinxit-Gregg Researcher: Nicole Robinson Dramaturg: Kathryn Kelly Roboticists: Marisa Bucolo, David Hedger and Paco Sanchez-Ray Project consultant (dramaturg & choreographic development): Dr Stephanine Hutchinson. The 1:1 project was realized through the generous support of QUT Creative Lab, Robotronica and QUT Robotics Lab.


Teaching City


Credit: Jessica Cheers



Teaching City

Teaching City is an experiential learning framework, highlighting urban issues through playful interactions. It offers an antidote to the industrial-age pedagogy of the classroom, subverting the preconceptions of citizens through ‘knowledge interventions’ embedded in urban spaces –  The city is the teacher.


Team: Artists: Jessica Cheers, Leah Gustafson, Samantha Glennie Associate Producer: Quinty Pinxit-Gregg Technical Support: Matthew Strachan



Credit: James Dillon



SynapSense: a performative installation heightening our bodily awareness. Sensorial understanding through enactment is revealed via 3 modes: Explore, Calibrate and Create. Interaction creates the soundscape – touch enables investigation and sound reflects exploration.

Team: Choreography: Felix Palmerson Dance: Georgia Pierce, Felix Palmerson, Sophie Barendse, Jayden Grogan, Oscar Connor, Isabella Hood, Matilda Skelhorn, Phillipa Chapman Visual Design: Peter Lloyd Music and Sound: Yanto Browning, Cameron Whelan, Greg Jenkins Tech: Matthew Strachan Lighting Design: Glen Hughes Artistic Direction: Stephanie Hutchison Producer: Quinty Pinxit-Gregg



Ars Electronica Futurelab: Peter Holzkorn, Horst Hörtner, Kristefan Minski QUT: Yanto Browning, Stephanie Hutchison, Greg Jenkins, Matthew Strachan,  Independent Artist and Curator: Lubi Thomas