(Linz, January 16, 2018) 180,654 visits to the Ars Electronica Center, 100,076 at the Ars Electronica Festival, and attendance of 273,792 at the big “Ars Electronica in Berlin” show—Ars Electronica’s three main activities this past year alone drew more than 550,000 visits.
Unprecedented attendance growth highlights the 2017 wrap-up
More than Half a Million at Ars Electronica
(Linz, January 16, 2018) 180,654 visits to the Ars Electronica Center, 100,076 at the Ars Electronica Festival, and attendance of 273,792 at the big “Ars Electronica in Berlin” show—Ars Electronica’s three main activities this past year alone drew more than 550,000 visits. To them can be added a whole series of presentations, talks and workshops worldwide, such as those at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Digital Design Week in London, Rock in Rio, at Tokyo Midtown and Knowledge Capital in Osaka. “Now that digitization can be felt in every facet of everyday life, the interest in Ars Electronica and the expertise it has amassed over the decades has risen exponentially” noted Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH and Co KG. “We have observed this in the form of both increased enthusiasm on the part of the general public as well as the growing number of labs, R&D facilities and private firms from many sectors and countries worldwide seeking to work together with us” added Diethard Schwarzmair and Gerfried Stocker, managing directors of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH and Co KG. “There currently prevails a sense of dynamism that makes us very optimistic about the future.”
+5% – Ars Electronica Center’s Attendance Increases Once Again
The Ars Electronica Center tallied 180,654 visitors in 2017, a 5% increase over the previous year. A high level of satisfaction and the relatively long duration of visitors’ average stay round out this pretty picture. 2017’s top draw was, once again, Deep Space 8K, where a mix of state-of-the-art technology, breathtaking visuals and incisive commentary deliver a one-of-a-kind experience.
There was also strong demand for educational programs last year. 40,700 kindergarten kids (2,200), pupils in all grades and types of schools (33,000), and college students (5,500) attended the Ars Electronica Center last year, and hundreds of apprentices from Wacker Neuson, Fronius, Greiner, KTM, Engel, Rosenbauer and other companies throughout the region visited the Museum of the Future in conjunction with Apprentice Days.
Plus, as an event location, the Ars Electronica Center continues to be a hotspot. Our in-house catering service hosted 180 events with attendance of 27,151 in 2017.
Festival Breaks the 100,000 Mark for the First Time
Year after year, thousands of visitors from throughout the world gather in Linz for the Ars Electronica Festival. Especially large contingents come from China, Japan and South Korea. The 2017 festival logged 100,076 visits, and thus topped the corresponding figure in Linz’s European Capital of Culture year. Among other record-setting facts & figures were the 1,000+ artists and scientists from more than 40 countries who staged approximately 600 individual events at 12 venues throughout the City of Linz. Moreover, a number of the festival program’s highlights were “home-grown” in Linz and Upper Austria—most notably, Markus Poschner’s first stint as curator of the Big Concert Night, which was also his public debut as chief conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra, and the CREATE YOUR WORLD festival for young people.
PostCity, the festival’s prime location, did its part to enable these proceeding to unfold as fully as possible, to serve as a platform for innovation and consideration of matters of great future significance, and to make a growing impact throughout the regional economy.
273,792 at Ars Electronica in Berlin
“Ars Electronica in Berlin” is the title of a huge exhibition commissioned and financed by Volkswagen AG and produced by Ars Electronica EXPORT in DRIVE Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin Mitte. Whereas each of the five previous shows staged at VW’s high-profile venue in Germany’s capital treated a specific theme, this latest collaborative effort—which also included an extensive program of ancillary events to mediate visitors encounters with the exhibits—was conceived to aggressively promote Ars Electronica itself and what it stands for. The show attracted 273,792 visitors from late July to late October.
Ars Electronica EXPORT conceived and produced a wide array of appearances and presentations worldwide last year, often in cooperation with the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
In Demand Worldwide as a Service Provider and R&D Partner
In addition to its hugely successful festivals and international exhibitions, Ars Electronica is also in demand worldwide as a provider of services and research partner.
Among the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s activities was development of a program focusing on digitization and the future of mobility for the Audi Training Center, and creating animated orientation aids especially for urban settings for Japanese telecommunications giant NTT. Since 2014, the Linz-based think-tank has been working together with Hakuhodo, one of Asia’s largest advertising & promotion agencies, to come up with new methods of collective brainstorming and creative prototype development. In 2017, the Ars Electronica Futurelab was also hard at work on an impressive array of research projects financed by the European Union and subsidy funds of the Republic of Austria.
Ars Electronica Solutions, among its many projects, designed the new Palfinger World at that company’s Salzburg headquarters, Silhouette’s most important event of the year, and an eye-catching trade show stand for Fronius. Plus, Solutions carried out major assignments commissioned by three of Vienna’s most prominent landmarks: the Giant Ferris Wheel, Hotel Sacher and the Austrian Parliament. The Linz-based crew is currently at work on an exhibition for the European Space Research Institute in Frascati/Rome.
But the year’s most prominent appearance was by the SPAXELS! Spectacular aerial maneuvers by the Linz-based drone swarm got a hundred thousand fans fired up for each day’s headliner at Rock in Rio, the world’s largest music festival. Justin Timberlake, a high-flying star in his own right, took advantage of the opportunity to post his photo of the SPAXELS.
Austria’s Most Important Advertising Prize and Highest Endowed Art Prize
Ars Electronica doesn’t only make international headlines! The feedback here in Austria has been thoroughly positive as well, and this was underscored in 2017 by three awards: The KFV–Curatorium for Traffic Safety’s Research Prize, the Golden AUSTRIACUS awarded by the Economic Chamber of Austria, and the Bank Austria Art Prize, the country’s highest endowed award of this kind.
Goal for 2018: Expanding International Activities, Strengthening Regional Roots
Ars Electronica intends to stay the course in 2018—in particular, by further expanding international activities and assertively opening up new markets and fields of business. “The focus will be on Asia and Australia,” stated Diethard Schwarzmair. “At present, there’s a tremendous sense of optimism in Japan, where we see a great deal of potential for Ars Electronica.”
Furthermore, the intention is to further cultivate this institution’s regional roots. Continuing to build bridges to the local economy is part of this; so is addressing topics of great future importance and presenting them to the general public in collaboration with partners and associates working in many different fields and sectors.
The game plan also entails integrating both groups even more intensively in the production of the festival. “We want to redouble our efforts to establish the festival as a platform on which the artistic & creative scene, scholarly institutions, R&D facilities, regional firms and start-ups can get involved in a profitable and inspiring process of exchange with our international partners,” Gerfried Stocker said.
(Linz, January 17, 2018) Projects may now be submitted and/or nominated for 2018 Prix Ars Electronica prize consideration. This year’s categories are Computer Animation, Digital Communities, Interactive Art + and u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD. Prizewinners will be honored with a Golden Nica statuette, prize money of up to €10,000 per category, and a featured appearance at the next Ars Electronica Festival in early September. There is no entry fee. The deadline is March 2nd.
The 2018 Competition’s Categories
Computer Animation …
… is open to indie artistic and scientific works as well as commercial high-end productions from the film, advertising and entertainment industries. Artistic originality counts just as much as technical excellence. We expressly encourage the submission of experiments and approaches based on expanded interpretations of computer animation, as well as works that go beyond the confines of the movie screen in both artistic and technical respects.
Digital Communities …
… is the category for political, social, artistic and cultural projects, initiatives, groups and scenes worldwide that employ digital technologies on behalf of social betterment and responsible, sustainable human coexistence. We look forward to hearing from the initiators and administrators of communities as well as the developers of relevant technologies; we endeavor to honor efforts that serve to establish and propagate digital communities, nurture understanding for them, and promote research on them.
Interactive Art + …
… encompasses a broad spectrum of interactive art forms and formats—for instance, installations, performances and network projects. The jury focuses on the artistic quality of the interaction’s development and design, and looks for a meaningful dialog between the content on one hand and the work’s interaction principles and interfaces on the other. Of particular interest are projects with a sociopolitical agenda, works that manifest technological or scientific achievements, as well as those that expand human latitude for action and the spheres in which people can make a positive impact. Additional criteria are innovation and the originality of the submitted work.
In response to the increasing diversity of the artistic works and methods used in this category, a “+” was appended to its title as a way to express Ars Electronica’s openness to novel experiments and expanded interpretations of interactive art.
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD …
… is the category for kids and young people in Austria. We welcome the submission of artistic animated films, sound creations, websites, apps, scientific projects and innovative, futuristic ideas.
Prix Ars Electronica: The World’s Most Time-honored Competition in Media Art
Since 1987, Prix Ars Electronica has been an interdisciplinary platform for all those who use the computer as a universal design medium in their artistic work at the interface of art, technology and society. The annual competition to determine the recipients is an open call in several categories; invariably, the response is several thousand entries from throughout the world. The best are singled out for recognition with a Golden Nica statuette, one of the foremost awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. Each year, the Prix’s highly diversified dramatis personae ranges from internationally renowned artists to creative young trailblazers.
The Prix Ars Electronica is produced by Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG in cooperation with the OK Center for Contemporary Art and Brucknerhaus Linz.
(Linz/Brussels, January 10, 2018) The European Commission cordially invites artists, scientists, engineers, labs, institutions and private-sector firms to submit entries to this year’s STARTS Prize competition launched by Ars Electronica, BOZAR and Waag Society. Prizewinners are honored with a STARTS Trophy, €20,000 in cash, and featured appearances at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, the BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival in Brussels and the Waag Society in Amsterdam. The STARTS organization looks forward to receiving trailblazing projects at the nexus of science, technology and art that contribute to economic and social innovation. Entries for 2018 STARTS Prize consideration may be submitted online beginning today, January 10th; the deadline is March 2nd. There is no entry fee.
(Linz, January 9, 2018) A touching account of dementia is set to premiere at the Hollywood Megaplex in Pasching this Saturday.
Young filmmakers honored by the Prix Ars Electronica stage their first cinema screening
The World’s First Stereo Narrative Film Premieres This Weekend at Pasching Megaplex
(Linz, January 9, 2018) A touching account of dementia is set to premiere at the Hollywood Megaplex in Pasching this Saturday, January 13th at 6 PM. The most remarkable feature of “merk|würdig” is a technique that made its debut at the 2017 Ars Electronica Festival—stereo narrativity, which lets viewers experience this short film from two different perspectives. It was produced by the young staff of Krmpf Krmpf Studios, who are familiar to fans of Ars Electronica; their work entitled “Abenteuer-Arbeitsweg” [Workday Adventure] earned them the 2006 Golden Nica in the Prix Ars Electronica’s u19 – CREATE YOR WORLD category.
Stereo Narrativity – Different Image, Same Sound
Stereo narrativity is the attempt to deploy 3-D technology in an artistic way that directly enhances the film’s narrative technique. Accordingly, the audience views two completely different versions of the plot, whereby the perspective each individual spectator sees depends on which glasses s/he happens to be wearing. Director Alexander Niederklapfer explained: “Although the audience members in the movie theater experience the film together and hear the same soundtrack, two narratives can be related visually. This makes it possible to consider the film’s plot from two different angles. And we found this novel possibility really fascinating”. Thus, not least of all, stereo narrativity places increased importance on a subsequent discussion among spectators about what they’ve witnessed.
The producers of this project were motivated by their own personal experience with the subject of dementia. In this 25-minute-long film, Margarethe, a woman suffering from dementia, encounters her young granddaughter, Diana, but fails to recognize her. One perspective is that from the world of Margarethe; other moviegoers can follow the very same events from Diana’s point of view. The lead roles are played by Lena Berenberg-Goßler and Anita Koplinger; Günther Lainer, a cabaret performer who gained fame in the TV show “Was gibt es Neues?!”, plays Margarethe’s long-suffering son.
Film Premiere on January 13, 2018
This short film makes its public debut on Saturday, January 13th at 6 PM in Hollywood Megaplex at PlusCity in Pasching. The screening will be followed by a gala reception. Tickets are available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Krmpf Krmpf Studios
Krmpf Krmpf is a Linz-based, non-commercial film studio established in 2003. The founders, Alexander Niederklapfer, Ehrentraud Hager and David & Magdalena Wurm, have been acquainted since their earliest childhood and have long collaborated on projects—some of them films. Liesa-Marie Wondrascheck became the fifth core group member in 2015. It all began with work on “Abenteuer-Arbeitsweg”, a Lego animated film that premiered in 2006 and was immediately singled out for recognition by the Prix Ars Electronica with the grand prize in the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category. The producers followed it up in 2008 with “IOCC – The Police in a Race against Time”, their second stop-motion film. Their first short dramatic film, “Verwohnt” [Spoiled], came out in 2012. In the following years, the studio members’ work focused on two major projects: “Ende Mai” [End of May] by Maria Schwab and “Bootstrapping” by Elena Zhivun. The work on “merk|würdig” got underway in 2014.
(Linz, May 22, 2017) This year’s Prix Ars Electronica prizewinners come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Belgium/Germany, Canada, Ireland, Slovenia and Austria. David OReilly (IE) is the recipient of the Golden Nica in the Computer Animation category for his work entitled “Everything”; the Golden Nica in Digital Musics goes to Cedrik Fermont (CD/BE/DE) and Dimitri della Faille (BE/CA) for “Not Your World Music: Noise in South East Asia”; and “K-9_topology” garnered the Golden Nica in Hybrid Art for Maja Smrekar. Lisa Buttinger from Schalchen in Salzburg is this year’s honoree in the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category for young people in Austria. 3,677 entries were submitted from 106 countries for 2017 Prix Ars Electronica prize consideration. The Computer Animation/Film/VFX category led the way (1,157 entries), followed by Hybrid Art (1,063), Digital Musics (792) and u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD (665). The Golden Nica statuettes will be bestowed upon the prizewinners at the Ars Electronica Gala on September 8, 2017 in Linz’s Brucknerhaus.
K-9_topology / Maja Smrekar (SI) http://majasmrekar.org/
“K-9 TOPOLGY is a true hybrid artwork with profound bio-political message and is certain to bring a lot of discussion to the audience from both art and science sides.” – Statement of the Jury
Where do we come from? What are we? And where are we headed? Maja Smrekar’s work of art revolves around issues humankind has been wrestling with since time immemorial. The Slovenian artist is being honored with the Golden Nica in Hybrid Art for “K-9_topology,” a series of works that proceed from a variety of perspectives in their dealings with the essence and the role of human beings—and especially women—in an increasingly bio-political and post-panoptic world. The work entitled “Ecce Canis” focuses on metabolic processes; chemists used serotonin, a tissue hormone and neurotransmitter, provided by the artist and her dog, Byron, to create a fragrance that symbolizes the chemical essence of the relationship between a human being and a dog. “I HUNT NATURE AND CULTURE HUNTS ME,” a performance she created during a residency at JACANA Wildlife Studios in France, has to do with the phylogenetics of the wolf and the interrelationship among wolf, dog and human being. It’s an inquiry into animal ethics. The subject of “Hybrid Family” is the social and ideological instrumentalization of the female body and beast feeding. Over the course of three months, Maja Smrekar stuck to a lactation-enhancing diet and, by systematically pumping fluid from her breasts, stimulated the production of the hormone prolactin. A side-effect of this process was the production of the hormone oxytocin, which plays an important role in interpersonal trust and empathy between mother and child. In the fourth project in this series, “ARTE_mis,” an ovum provided by the artist was denucleated and used as a host for a somatic cell of her dog. The result is a hybrid cell, inherent in which is a dystopian scenario but which also could create a new species whose chances of survival on Planet Earth are better than ours—due in no small part to the probability that this hybrid creature would treat its environment in a more humane way than we do.
Award of Distinction
The America Project / Paul Vanouse (US) http://www.paulvanouse.com/ap/
“Vanouse produces the very icon of the melting pot, the US Flag, as the result of a live scientific experiment (…)”. – Statement of the Jury
At the heart of the bio-art installation “The America Project” is the idea of a shared identity or a feeling of cohesiveness that was once a part of the utopia of America in which the hard living conditions in rural areas tended to even out social differences and were thus conducive to equal rights for all. Installation visitors are requested to rinse their mouth with a saline solution and then to spit it out into a spittoon that thus comingles hundreds of people’s DNA. The DNA of all these people is neither individualized nor stored; it is processed as a mix. By means of so-called DNA fingerprinting, Paul Vanouse uses this material to develop iconic images of power such as crowns, fighter jets and flags that are visualized as live video projections.
Award of Distinction
A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics / Gonçalo Freiria Cardoso (PT), Ruben Pater (NL)
“The Jury recognized and appreciated the project’s critical stand and goal to spread awareness and contribute to the debate in connection to future technologies and their relation to warfare.” – Statement of the Jury http://droneacoustics.org/
Designer Ruben Pater and composer Gonçalo Freiria Cardoso tune in on the auditory dimension of unmanned aerial vehicles in “A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics,” an LP album released in 2016. The A-side features audio recordings of 17 different types of drones, ranging from toy whirlybirds to quadcopters deployed on military missions. The B-side plays a soundscape composed by Gonçalo Freiria Cardoso that was influenced by the misuse and destructive potential of drones, and focuses on the conceptual life and death of a drone in the 21st century.
“Not Your World Music: Noise in South East Asia” is a book about art, politics, identity, gender and global capitalism. And it is one of the very few works about noise & sound art and about electro-acoustic, experimental and industrial music of the past and present in Southeast Asia. This volume contains political, historical and sociological essays and interviews with artists as well as an extensive bibliography on Southeast Asian music and noise & experimental musicians. Its compilers define “Not Your World Music: Noise in South East Asia” as a political, anti-sexist and anti-colonial contribution to a discourse on society, social representation, inequality, marginalization and colonialism.
Award of Distinction
Corpus Nil / Marco Donnarumma (IT/DE) http://marcodonnarumma.com/works/corpus-nil/
“The striking scenography of the performance deconstructs the body, inviting the audience to witness the birth of a sonically augmented cyborg creature.” – Statement of the Jury
“Corpus Nil” is a performance that investigates hybrid forms of identity and musical ability. The crux of this work is the physical body of the performer—partially naked, partially painted black, undergoing incessant metamorphosis. Wearable biosensors send body-related data to a computer program, tiny microphones capture the sounds of the muscles and internal organs, and electrodes register the sounds made by the tensing and relaxing of the muscles. A machine uses special filters to generate a description of the amplitudes and frequencies of all the sounds produced in the performer’s body as well as their changes. By means of a feedback network made up of 20 digital oscillators, all of these noises are formed into new sounds. The outcome is a music that is slow and recursive and consists solely of microtonal variations of a limited number of pitches.
Award of Distinction
Gamelan Wizard / Lucas Abela (AU), Wukir Suryadi (ID) and Rully Shabara (ID) http://dualplover.com/gamelanwizard/
“(…) a skillful piece of interactive design in the public space.” – Statement of the Jury
“Gamelan Wizard” is a musical instrument that resembles a pinball machine. Up to eight players at once can use their flippers to send pinballs darting across this playing surface. The balls’ collisions with the game’s many obstacles produce sounds. Without realizing it at first, “Gamelan Wizard” users aren’t playing a pinball machine at all; it’s a musical instrument.
Computer Animation / Film / VFX
Everything / David OReilly (IE) http://everything-game.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdJk8ROpuEo
“(…) a unique and innovative approach to animation that pushes the boundaries between linear, nonlinear, and interactive experience. (…) also serves a highly educational purpose and includes an important political statement (…)” – Statement of the Jury
This year’s Golden Nica in the Computer Animation / Film / VFX category goes to “Everything” by David OReilly. This nature simulation dispenses with tasks, objectives and point requirements. In this half-game/half-work-of-art, everything that users see they can play too. At the push of a button, players transform themselves from a protozoan into a ladybug, a hot-air balloon or an entire galaxy. “Everything” entails a very special trip, includes commuting back and forth between the microcosm and the macrocosm, and permits observation of the entire universe from the point of view of thousands of subjects as well as objects. What emerge almost instinctively during the course of the game are thoughts about the players own existence, and not only that … players can also read the thoughts of many of the objects in the game, thoughts ranging from the philosophical to the absurd. The voice of the narrator in “Everything” is that of Alan Watts, the philosopher who died in 1973. “Everything” is available for PC, Mac, Linux and the PS4.
“Out of Exile” is an impressive parable dealing with the hostility that many lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people are subjected to. The clip consists of a computer animation sequence and the original audio track that teenager Daniel Ashley Pierce recorded while revealing to his family that he is a homosexual. “Out of Exile” confronts viewers with the emotionally charged and violent scene that ensued after this coming-out, as well as with the fact that Daniel Ashley Pierce ended up getting thrown out of the house and having to live on the streets. Finally, he and other young people talk about their experiences with homelessness. The fact that, despite it all, they were able to become masters of their own fate and triumph over despair is ultimately a source of hope and the courage to remain true to oneself.
Award of Distinction
Light Barrier 3rd Edition / Mimi Son (KR), Elliot Woods (UK) / Kimchi and Chips https://vimeo.com/177651793
“With this prize, the jury would like to encourage others to further technologies and ways we create and experience animation.” – Statement of the Jury
Mimi Son and Elliot Woods can take pleasure in an Award of Distinction in the Computer Animation / Film / VFX category. Their installation consists of eight powerful video projectors that are divided up into 630 sub-projectors and serve a device made up of various concave mirrors. They emit countless calibrated light rays that coalesce into a fog and produce forms. At the same time, 40 audio channels give rise to a field of sound that elicits additional sensory involvement on the part of the audience. “Light Barrier 3rd Edition” engenders a surreal impression that transcends the human feel for time and space.
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD
nonvisual-art / Lisa Buttinger (AT)
“(…) has developed a new medium, a new material that artists can utilize to form images.” – Statement of the Jury
“nonvisual-art” is an image that is simultaneously visible and invisible. Cellophane foils and air bubbles trapped in a layer of adhesive refract in a highly artistic way the light shone onto them. In this way, natural science becomes a tool for graphical depiction. First, a polarizing filter refracts invisible light into visible colors and then forms them into an image. Viewed through 3-D glasses, the image becomes a space. Lisa Buttinger painstakingly constructed this “enchanted world” piece by piece. “nonvisual-art” was created as a design project at HBLA–High School for Artistic Design Linz. Lisa Buttinger gained the necessary theoretical insights in conjunction with her diploma thesis.
Award of Distinction
LARES – A Puzzle Action Adventure Game / Florian Buger, Sonja Futterknecht, Maria Raser, David Holy, Mario Kerndler (all AT)
“(…) video game that could be put on the market in this form without changing a thing. (…) playing this game is quite a sophisticated undertaking.” – Statement of the Jury
LARES is an action-adventure computer game set in a fantasy world. It’s easy to navigate through, has numerous puzzle elements, offers challenging opponents, and contains multiple levels featuring diverse designs, which together guarantee a game experience that’s both enduring and entertaining. LARES is a collaborative project by a group of students, each of whom contributed her/his respective skills.
Award of Distinction
NERVE – Lessons on Demand / Clemens Großberger, Thomas Übellacker (all AT) http://nerve.education
“(…) a fascinating idea for a concrete problem and topic.” – Statement of the Jury
“NERVE – Lessons on Demand” is an up-to-date Web platform developed by Clemens Großberger and Thomas Übelacker. Their aim: Providing online access to previous classroom instruction that a student—for whatever reason: tardiness, absence or to study for an exam—wishes to review. Instructional units are presented in a clearly structured way, and can also be enriched with additional material by the teacher. Furthermore, NERVE makes available a clearly comprehensible, user-friendly application that academic administrators can custom-configure for their particular school.
netidee SPECIAL PRIZE 2017
Big Poop Data / Robert Miller, Nico Rameder, Daniel Wetzelhütter, Max Wolschlager (all AT) https://bigpoopdata.com/
“(…) satirical approach to the subject of online privacy and clean technical implementation.” – Statement of the Jury
The toilet at Metalab in Vienna is the epicenter of the “Big Poop Data” project. Robert Miller, Nico Rameder, Daniel Wetzelhütter and Max Wolschlager equipped their crapper with a shitload of sensors as a means of gathering information about WC-goers’ use of toilet paper and water, as well as the average length of time they take to do their business. The purveyors of “Big Poop Data” intend this as a critical commentary on the increasingly pervasive obsession with digital data-gathering, and as an appeal to safeguard our digital privacy.
(Linz, January 16, 2017) The 2017 Prix Ars Electronica has begun accepting entries. The deadline is March 3rd for submitting works to this year’s four categories: Computer Animation / Film / VFX, Digital Musics & Sound Art, Hybrid Art, and u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD.
2017 Prix Ars Electronica:
The Media Art Competition Is Now Accepting Submissions; Entry Deadline Is March 3rd
(Linz, January 16, 2017) The 2017 Prix Ars Electronica has begun accepting entries. The deadline is March 3rd for submitting works to this year’s four categories: Computer Animation / Film / VFX, Digital Musics & Sound Art, Hybrid Art, and u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD. Winners receive the coveted Golden Nica statuette, prize money of up to €10,000 in each category, and a high-profile showcase at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. The Prix Ars Electronica’s continuity, its global reach and reputation, and the caliber of its jurors have combined to make this one of the world’s foremost arbiters of excellence in the media arts.
Competition in Four Categories
Computer Animation / Film / VFX spotlights outstanding achievement in independent artistic and scientific works as well as in commercial high-end productions from the film, advertising and entertainment industries. In this category, artistic originality counts just as much as technical mastery.
Digital Musics & Sound Art honors contemporary digital sound productions from across the broad spectrum of electronica. These are works that combine sound and media, computer compositions ranging from electro-acoustic to experimental, and sound installations. Regardless of the media employed or the particular genre to which the work can be ascribed, the focus of attention is always on the work’s musical qualities and tonal artistry.
Hybrid Art is dedicated to hybrid and transdisciplinary media art projects. The accent is on interconnecting disparate media and genres into new forms of artistic expression, and violating the boundaries separating art and science, manifestations of social and political commitment, as well as realms of pop culture. Hybrid Art is meant to transcend the limits of all the other Prix categories.
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD invites kids and young people in Austria to have their say about the world of tomorrow. Entries can take the form of artistic animated films, sound creations, websites, apps, scientific projects and innovative ideas.
Prix Ars Electronica: Barometer of Trends in Media Art
Since 1987, Prix Ars Electronica has been an interdisciplinary platform for all those who use the computer as a universal design medium in their artistic work at the interface of art, technology and society. The annual competition to determine the recipients is an open call in several categories; invariably, the response is several thousand entries from throughout the world. The best among them are singled out for recognition with a Golden Nica statuette, one of the foremost awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. The Prix’s highly diversified dramatis personae have included internationally renowned artists (Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roy Ascott, Lynn Hershman, Toshio Iwai / Ryuichi Sakamoto, Chris Cunningham / Aphex Twin), Oscar winners (John Lasseter, Chris Landreth) and creative young trailblazers (Graffiti Research Lab). The Prix Ars Electronica is produced jointly by Ars Electronica Linz GmbH and the ORF – Austrian Broadcasting Company’s Upper Austria Regional Studio in cooperation with the OK Center for Contemporary Art and Brucknerhaus Linz.
(Linz/Brussels, January 11, 2017) The European Commission cordially invites artists, scientists and technicians, teams, collectives and firms to take part in this year’s STARTS Prize competition. Entries are now being accepted. STARTS honors projects that demonstrate the successful interplay of science, technology and art, and that have the potential to contribute to economic and social innovation. The two prizewinners each receive €20,000 and will be prominently featured at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, the BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival in Brussels and at the Waag Society in Amsterdam. An international jury convenes on April 10th to choose the winning projects, which will be presented at a press conference in early May. The official awards ceremony is set for September 8th in conjunction with the Prix Ars Electronica Gala in Linz. Entries for 2017 STARTS Prize consideration may be submitted online beginning today, January 11th; the deadline is March 4th. There is no entry fee.
STARTS Prize: More Innovation for Europe
The European Commission’s STARTS Prize initiative targets projects and people that can make meaningful contributions to mastering the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe now faces. Here, the essential driving forces are sure to emerge, above all, at the nexus of science, technology and the arts—STARTS for short. The competition to determine the recipients of this prestigious award is divided into two categories—one focuses on artistic works that influence the way we look at technology; the other seeks very promising forms of collaboration between the private sector and the world of art and culture. A prizewinning project will be selected in both categories and each will be supported with a €20,000 grant. The projects will then be showcased at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, at the BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival in Brussels, and at the Waag Society in Amsterdam.
Ars Electronica meets STARTS
Since 1979, Ars Electronica has been exploring the multifarious impacts that digitization and networking are making on our world. In going about this, art, technology and society are never scrutinized as discrete domains; instead, they’re considered as interrelated elements of a unified vision. Ars Electronica’s process of artistic reflection on explosive developments, its ongoing inquiry into alternative future scenarios and the framework circumstances, strategies and protagonists necessary for their emergence, as well as the ways and means inherent in all of these activities to encourage people to get actively involved in configuring our shared future are what make Ars Electronica the ideal partner of the STARTS program. In recognition of Ars Electronica’s highly successful launch of the STARTS Prize in 2016, the European Commission has chosen the Linz media art platform to manage the call for entries as well as to conduct the competition for the 2017-20 STARTS Prizes.
(Linz, May 10, 2016) Artists from France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Austria and Great Britain are this year’s recipients of the Prix Ars Electronica’s Golden Nica grand prizes: Boris Labbé in the Computer Animation/Film/VFX category, Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud in Interactive Art +, the P2P Foundation founded by Michel Bauwen in Digital Communities, Jonas Bodingbauer, a 17-year-old native of Linz in u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD, and Jasia Reichardt, the prominent art critic and curator, has been singled out for recognition as a Visionary Pioneer of Media Art. The Prix Ars Electronica received a total of 3,159 entries from 84 countries this year. Submissions by category: Computer Animation/Film/VFX: 1,327; Interactive Art +: 896; u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD: 637; and Digital Communities: 299. The Golden Nica statuettes will be officially presented to the prizewinners at the annual Ars Electronica Gala on September 9, 2016.
„Rhizome is a very complex and complete piece of artwork, blending complementary techniques in a post-digital painting-like visual poem.“ (Statement der Jury)
The Golden Nica in the Computer Animation / Film / VFX category this year goes to France. In his black-and-white animated film, Boris Labbé has created a constantly changing universe of dynamic figures. They appear to be graceful little geometric sculptures whose shapes and component structures undergo incessant metamorphosis, queuing up one after the other to form a never-ending chain. The more of these creatures emerge, the more distant they become from the observer, who ultimately has feeling of peering into a presumably infinite space full of microscopic beings. At the epicenter of this cosmos is a whirlwind sucking everything that moves into its core and thrusting it aloft.
„This work has been awarded for its own subtle but strong way of storytelling, cinematography, artistic direction and technical achievement which are extremely successful in every level and angle.“ (Statement der Jury)
David Coquard Dassault’s dystopian animated film is set in a huge, abandoned high-rise housing project. Off camera, one hears children’s voices and a few conversational fragments; on screen, there’s a roaming pack of dogs that have taken this neighborhood previously inhabited by humans as their turf. Nevertheless, a rosy future doesn’t await them here either—doors slam shut and seal off their only way out; others get trapped in an empty swimming pool and are left to a fate of certain starvation. But suddenly the plot takes an unexpected turn and casts an entirely new light on this entire sequence of events.
Award of Distinction
Nosaj Thing / Cold Stares ft. Chance The Rapper + The O’My’s / Daito Manabe (JP), MIKIKO (JP), TAKCOM (JP), ELEVENPLAY (JP), Rhizomatiks Research (JP)
„An outstanding music video that introduces innovative technologies from 3D scanning, motion capture and drone controlling, adding a layer of sensitive notion with live recorded choreography and augmented reality. Japanese artist Daito Manabe and his creative collective has come up with a complex artistic concept that introduces the switch between the real and the virtual, blurring the line between human and machine interaction and data analyzation.“ (Statement der Jury)
Artist Nosaj Thing and musician Chance the Rapper collaborated on this music video. “Cold Stares” repeatedly switches between reality and illusion as it goes about dealing with the meaning of life and personal remembrance. The two figures on screen are dancers—alternately real-world protagonists and computer-generated figures in an abstract environment.
Interactive Art +
„Can you hear me?“ / Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud (both CH)
Edward Snowden’s disclosures shined the spotlight of public attention on Berlin’s federal government district, revealing it to be the site of extremely intense surveillance and espionage by numerous 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. On the roof of the Akademie der Künste—right between the listening posts in the American and British Embassies—they set up improvised antennas and installed an independent Wifi communications network, the range of which included the Reichstag, the Office of the Federal Chancellor and the Swiss Embassy. Anyone with a Wifi-capable device could join the network and chat, send text messages and share files. Personnel of the embassies and German government agencies were cordially invited to join in too. Plus, anyone who wished could send messages to the intelligence organizations on precisely those frequencies on which the American NSA and the British GCHQ were listening in. Thus, instead of covert surveillance, there emerged a collective conversational sphere in which all participants had the same rights. This anonymous, independent network was used by thousands of people for 33 days, during which more than 15,000 messages were delivered to the NSA and GCHQ. The content even included secret information from a parliamentary commission investigating the internet, material that ended up on Wikileaks.
Award of Distinction
OpenSurgery – a do-it-yourself surgery robot for domestic laparoscopy / Frank Kolkman (NL)
„[…] Frank Kolkman’s surgical robot presents a potentially accessible and cost-effective alternative to the expensive professional healthcare services, particularly relevant to the public in the US where the gap between those who can afford health insurance and those who cannot is rapidly widening. But more significantly, this critical and conceptual work, which creates new conditions for interaction within the highly regulated and controlled sector of health care, raises important questions about inequality, ethics and the lack of access to essential health services for a growing number of people around the world.“ (Statement der Jury)
Frank Kolkmann’s “OpenSurgery Initiative” examines the question of whether do-it-yourself surgical tools are a suitable alternative to professional health services that are far too costly for many people. His idea is based on the great number of YouTube videos showing how US citizens with no health insurance are doctoring themselves. Frank Kolkmann has designed a surgical system for home use, all the components of which can be ordered online and assembled at home. The aim of Frank Kolkmann’s “OpenSurgery Initiative” is not so much to create a fully functional robot that can perform actual operations but rather to initiate a discussion about the tense interrelationship between socio-economic factors and ethical values in the field of medical care.
Award of Distinction
Parasitic Symbiotic / Ann-Katrin Krenz (DE)
„The milling machine, as a technological intervention, appears to invade the tree, much like the often aggressive intervention that humans perpetrate on nature. At the same time, this parasitic machine encodes marks derived from a poem about unity and oneness – a non disturbing act of love – that becomes integrated in nature.“ (Statement der Jury)
Technology’s advance to the point of utterly pervading our world seems to be occurring increasingly at the cost of nature. “Parasitic / Symbiotic” by Ann-Katrin Krenz focuses on precisely this tense interrelationship. In it, she applies milling tools to the trunks of trees, using them to engrave an encoded text—a romantic poem about being at one with nature—into their bark. Like parasites, the equipment clings to the trees and inflicts damage on them, albeit in such a moderate form that it poses no serious threat to them. At the same time, this (parasitic) intervention gives rise to something new, which unfolds as the outcome of a (symbiotic) connection between technology and nature.
„P2P Foundation“ is a new generation of communities that help to build communities. It is dedicated to advocacy and research of peer to peer dynamics in society. Established ten years ago, it evolved into one of the main drivers of the ‚commons transition‘.” (Statement der Jury)
This digital community launched in 2005 by Michel Bauwens is dedicated to advancing the social potential of peer-to-peer technologies. As a decentralized and self-organized non-profit organization, it analyzes, documents and promotes peer-to-peer strategies that seem to be well-suited to facing the challenges and problems of our times in ways that display great future promise. The focus is on three key traits: sustainability, openness and solidarity. Since its inception, the community of the P2P Foundation has input over 30,000 entries that document the history and development of the peer-to-peer movement. One of the very first articles about the crypto-currency Bitcoin was published on the P2P Foundation’s website. The P2P Foundation Wiki has been accessed more than 27 million times, and is thus the platform that has assembled the world’s most massive collection of knowledge about P2P.
„Refugee Phrasebook is an open collaborative project to provide important vocabulary to refugees, helpers, and citizens. Together with a global network of volunteer translators, editors, designers, printers, publishers, lawyers, doctors, etc. and with partner institutions in Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, Refugee Phrasebook develops sustainable communication tools to share useful phrases, icons, links and important information.“ (Statement der Jury)
“Refugee Phrasebook” is an open community project for man and women throughout the world who are refugees, helpers or people interested in them. The book is a collection of relevant information about various everyday activities—that is to say, tasks, errands, stuff to do, etc. Adapted to local needs and facts & circumstances on the ground and distributed with free licenses, the aim of “Refugee Phrasebook” is to foster communication between refugees and helpers. Volunteer translators, graphic artists, physicians, publishers, attorneys, editors and various institutions in Germany, Greece and The Netherlands are involved in this project.
„Is it a crowd that acts as their collective self that is intelligent, or is it the machine that acts like a human? The SAZAE bot asks us questions of the boundary of self and others, and the collective consciousness of a community. SAZAE bot even did a TED talk!“ (Statement der Jury)
A bot (short for robot) is a computer program that can automatically perform certain repetitive tasks without having to rely on instructions from a human user. The SAZAE bot is just such a program. The bot went online in summer 2010 and has been active on Twitter ever since. It presents itself as a parody of a manga figure that’s extremely popular in Japan, Sazae-San, the chief protagonist of the manga series of the same name that’s been running on Japanese TV without interruption since October 5, 1969. (According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the world’s longest-running television series.) The SAZAE bot reacts to tweets and retweets. Its followers appreciate, above all, its witty remarks. Then, in 2014, Hitoyo Nakano was “born” and the anonymous human user behind the SAZAE bot assumed a purported identity. Since then, the SAZAE bot has been controlled via Google Forum, where anyone can post tweets as SAZAE bot completely anonymously. This isn’t just a site for exchanging opinions and jokes; here, people also arrange face-to-face meetings and other activities in the real world—for instance, handing out candy around Christmas, balloon takeoffs, guerilla actions, attending the Ted Talk or making a live appearance at the UN|COMMONS conference in Berlin.
The Golden Nica in the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category goes to Jonas Bodingbauer, a 17-year-old Linzer. He developed “Die Entscheidung” [The Decision], a game for two competitors: one plays a person who’s just found out he has cancer; the other plays the malignant tumor, and has to assemble credits to nurture its growth. Not until the game is well underway does the person playing the tumor find out that the person with cancer has good recovery chances if the illness—the tumor, that is—doesn’t grow. Thus, whether the person with cancer lives or dies depends on the decision of the person playing the tumor. Inspired by the famous Milgram Experiment, Jonas Bodingbauer’s game is designed to be, not least of all, a critique of many computer games, the object of which is massacring virtual figures or even destroying whole countries.
Three young ladies from Vienna, 18-year-old Jasmin Selen Heinz and 17-year-old Tanja Josic, are being honored for their socially critical experimental film. In impressive images, “Blackout” inquires into the meaning of life. The filmmakers have rendered a world in which there’s no longer any place for individuality, the human body has to be perfect, and the most important criterion is how a person “functions.”
Dimitri Teufel, a 13-year-old boy from Salzburg, used Lego figures and the stop-motion technique to make this six-minute film consisting of 2,592 individual shots. “Flucht” (Fleeing) tells the story of a family who had to flee their homeland. Following an eventful sea journey organized by paid human traffickers, they arrive in Austria, where they receive a friendly welcome. Dimitri Teufel put more than 55 hours of work into this film; now, his reward is an Award of Distinction in the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD category.
Netidee Special Prize
kameleon.ws / Ulrich Formann, Kilian Hanappi und Simon Wesp (alle AT)
This is the first time that the Prix Ars Electronica is awarding a special prize. Netidee (Net Idea) is meant to single out for recognition works that take an innovative approach to elaborating on the future of the internet, or showing how it can serve as a driving force contributing to regional development. Netidee is an initiative of Internet Foundation Austria. The 2016 prize goes to “kameleon” (Chameleon), a project by three Viennese schoolboys: Ulrich Formann, Kilian Hanappi and Simon Wesp. They’ve developed a way to imprint T-shirts with an individualized design, and to sell them via a webshop that functions completely autonomously. The motifs are generated by a computer program capable of learning, whereby each design is based on current events. Once a shirt is sold, a new design is created and the previous one is no longer available. Thanks to generative design, each garment is one-of-a-kind, a unique object with its own story to tell. In addition to using sustainably produced fabrics, the on-demand production makes a loud-and-clear statement against glutting the market with mass-produced merchandise. The webshop will be launched on June 15, 2016.
Visionary Pioneer of Media Art / Golden Nica
Jasia Reichardt (PL/UK)
The art critic and exhibition organiser Jasia Reichardt is this year’s Visionary Pioneer of Media Art. Her groundbreaking work and all that she has done in the field of art and technology is being honored with a Golden Nica. The name Jasia Reichardt is, above all, indelibly linked to a trailblazing exhibition that ran in 1968 at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and then at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. “Cybernetic Serendipity” was the title of this much-publicised exhibition in which, the participants included artists, scientists, and composers, with the spotlight on computers, machines and algorithms. Visitors could sing into a microphone and thereby induce a computer to reproduce a variation of the tune, observe a hydraulic flower that turned towards any quiet source of sound directed towards it, watch several drawing machines in action, try to avoid a cybernetic sculpture activated by blue light and deactivated by red light, and experience how the image screened by a conventional TV set could be manipulated and distorted with magnets. This was the first international exhibition featuring works produced with the aid of computers. ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’, was an early involvement with art and technology, to be followed by others: a book on robots, an exhibition called ‘Electronically Yours’, lectures and slide shows, collaboration with Artec in Japan, and the recent exhibition called ‘Nearly Human’. Jasia Reichardt was born in 1933 in Warsaw. She has lived in London since 1946. She attended the Old Vic Theatre School in West Dulwich. She worked as editor, writer, critic, and exhibition organiser. 1963-1971 she was assistant director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and, from 1964 to 1976, director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Her work continues.
(Linz, April 12, 2016) „RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time“ is the title of the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival.
(Linz, April 12, 2016) „RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time“ is the title of the 2106 Ars Electronica Festival. The online-accreditation for media outlet representatives, press releases and the festival-logo can be found in the press area of the RADICAL ATOMS-website.