Gerfried Stocker, the artistic director of Ars Electronica, saw climate change and artificial intelligence (AI) as the two outstanding thematic blocks in the presentation of the program highlights on Monday – in the tried and tested network of art, technology and society.
At the end of the very streamlined presentation of the extensive program, Stocker gave the guests a “We guide you”-Guided tour of the PostCity and planning your visit to the festival in advance. The ass be “specifically a role model for interdisciplinarity”said the founding president of IDSA (Institute for Digital Sciences Austria) Stefanie Lindstaedt. “The challenge of the IDSA is to establish this interdisciplinarity academically.” The Founding Lab is represented at the festival; Stocker announced that Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales would give a keynote speech at the joint opening.
In addition to the opening on Wednesday, he highlighted the award ceremony on Thursday, at which the Prix Ars Electronica, the EU Commission’s StartsPrize and the European Union Prize for Citizen Science will be presented. On Friday, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz will play in the Gleishalle in the 20th Big Concert Night and “continue the investigation into Bruckner with five Scherzi”as the artistic director Norbert Trawöger announced, “in resonance with rapper Def Ill and Icelandic double bass player Bára Gísladóttir”.
“Art embarks on a future-seeking path to which we contribute”, Rector Martin Rummel outlined the collaboration of the Anton Bruckner private university, including a dance performance in Deep Space. For Saturday Stocker presented the Futurelab Night and on Sunday the exceptional pianist Maki Namekawa “in search of authenticity, what is real”interpreting Keith Jarrett’s legendary Cologne concerto.
Festival organizer Christl Baur gave an overview of the exhibitions, including the themed exhibition “(Co)Owning More Than Truth”, the presentation of the many award-winning works, the Gardens Exhibition of the international partners as well as the exhibitions of Lentos and Kunstuni. Lentos director Hemma Schmutz is looking forward to nine positions from the Cifo Award, from which Latin American artists receive money to realize their work. Art university rector Brigitte Hütter pointed out the Interface Cultures show in PostCity, but also a large-scale installation on the main square and the Soundcampus. Stocker added that 56 universities will take part in the program.
the conference program, “dense and diverse”presented Veronika Liebl, Managing Director of the festival, starting with the three-day themed symposium, which approaches the truth from a technological, ecological and democratic-political point of view, through education in the conferences of the Founding Lab and the Forum Digitale Bildung to computer animation in the Expanded Animation Symposium.
As specials, Stocker highlighted the Transformation Lounge, the youth festival Create Your World and the contributions from Futurelab and Solutions, the research and project department of the Ars. “We show ten projects that we are currently working on or have worked on this year”, announced technical director Roland Haring, among other things, what role AI robots could play in everyday office life in the future. Solutions CEO Michael Mondria promised one “interactive meeting zone from projects with the economy”which show how science transformation can look like, among other things, there is an insight into the Climate Office of the Space Agency ESA.
Mayor Klaus Luger (SPÖ) saw the festival theme “one of the central questions in a nutshell”and emphasized that for him as an empiricist, “truth is something one calculates”but in a time “in which fact-orientation is not en vogue”this question is a long-term process that shakes the foundations of previous scientific work”. City Councilor for Culture Doris Lang-Mayerhofer (ÖVP) saw Ars Electronica as a pioneer for the defining issues of our future and wished “that we can put the togetherness more in the foreground again”.