Festival for Art, Technology & Society

FestivalSeptember 9 through September 13 20209 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Linz - JKU Campus and at 120 other locations worldwide + The Net

“In Kepler’s Gardens: A global journey mapping the ‘new’ world”

Ars Electronica Festival 2020 will be a journey to measure the “new” world and a journey through “Kepler’s Gardens”, which are located in Linz at the JKU Campus and at 120 other locations worldwide. In the course of this journey, the important questions of our time will be discussed, questions raised by the global corona crisis, and what we can and must do now will be considered. All the issues touched upon are marked by a general UNCERTAINTY and the question of how the crisis will shape and change us as individuals and as a society, us as HUMANITY. Two tensions in particular are in focus: AUTONOMY and DEMOCRACY as well as TECHNOLOGY and ECOLOGY.

Ars Electronica 2020 – a picnic in Linz

This year, Ars Electronica will be particularly benefiting from the extensive parks and large, new buildings on the JKU campus in Linz. They offer the best possible conditions for ensuring the necessary “physical distance” between visitors. In thematically oriented areas, visitors can sit down at a safe distance from one another and have the festival program served up here, so to speak. On a total of three stages the programme will include lectures and presentations, performances and concerts. In the university buildings located around the park, conferences will be held and exhibitions shown, which this year can only be visited as part of guided tours.

A fixed point of this year’s festival will again be “CREATE YOUR WORLD”. Set in the midst of Linz’s “Kepler’s Garden”, a spacious area will present itself as an inspiring and naturally corona-compatible playground for children and parents who like to experiment. The “AIxMUSIC FESTIVAL” can also be experienced in “Kepler’s Garden” on the JKU campus. The format, first held in 2019 with the European Commission and a great success, will thus be continued in 2020. It is entirely dedicated to the networking of those innumerable centers that work on the applications and effects of AI research for the cultural sector and thus play an important role in communication and dialogue between research and society. Artistic projects and performances are also contributed by the Anton Bruckner Private University of Music, Drama and Dance. This time, the “AIxMusic Festival” will be closely linked with the STARTS PROGRAM and the exhibition of the winners of the “STARTS PRIZE 2020”. Without a doubt, one of the festival’s highlights will be the “BIG CONCERT NIGHT”, which will be characterized more than ever by Markus Poschner and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz’s joy of experimentation.

Watch a recent STARTS Talk with Andrea Ling, the the STARTS Prize 2020 winner for the category Artistic Exploration:

In addition to the festival center on the JKU campus, the festival will also take place in the city center of Linz. In the OK IM OÖ KULTURQUARTIER the Cyberarts exhibition will be shown as usual. A selection of the best media art works of the year 2020 will be presented and there will also be a focus on VALIE EXPORT. At this year’s Prix Ars Electronica, the Linz-born artist was honored as “Visionary Pioneer of Feminist Media Art” with a Golden Nica; at the festival, her formative artistic and feminist life’s work will be traced: There will be a “Special Lecture” at the OK as part of the Prix Ars Electronica Forum, Crossing Europe will show its own film program “Tribute VALIE EXPORT” and guided tours and lectures will be offered in the archive of the VALIE EXPORT Center in the Tabakfabrik. The Francisco Carolinum in the Upper Austrian Provincial Museum will host the exhibition “VALIE EXPORT. COLLECTION CARE” will be on display. Young, unconventional and provocative, this year’s campus format is presented at the UNIVERSITY OF ART LINZ. Under the motto “THE WILD STATE”, a team of around 50 teachers, artists and students is working intensively on the development of various projects and exhibition formats. In addition to the traditional exhibition of “Interface Cultures”, a large show with various international partner universities will be part of the program. There will also be a façade projection on the main square, a symposium entitled “Unheimliche Freunde”, an Internet flea market – a discussion and bring-your-own-art format. US artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, winner of a Prix Ars Electronica 2020 Distinction in the “Interactive Art +” category, will be contributing a keynote address. Of course, the ARS ELECTRONICA CENTER and, in particular, Deep Space will also be a central festival venue. As at the OK and the University of the Arts, guided tours will be offered daily and must be booked in advance.

STARTS Prize Exhibition: Design by Decay, Decay by Design. Andrea Ling (CA)
STARTS Prize Exhibition: Design by Decay, Decay by Design. Andrea Ling (CA). Credit: Andrea Schmaling.

Ars Electronica 2020 – A journey around the world

This time, however, Ars Electronica is not only taking place in Linz, but in 120 “Kepler’s Gardens” around the globe. For the first time, the festival is testing itself as a digital travel agency that brings visitors from all over the world to “gardens between art, technology and society” that are as fascinating as they are inspiring. Destinations are in abundance; there are “Ars Electronica Gardens” in Barcelona (Institut Ramon Llull, Hangar, UOC – ISEA Barcelona, NewArtFoundation – BEEP Collection, OFFF Barcelona, Espronceda – Institute of Art & Culture), in Brussels (BOZAR), in Tokyo (Japan Media Arts Festival), in Boston (MIT Media Lab), in Buenos Aires (National University of Tres de Febrero, Muntref Centro de Arte y Ciencia), in Seoul (K’ARTS Korea National University of Arts), in Basel (HeK Haus der elektronischen Künste), in Athens (Onassis Stegi), in Silicon Valley (Open Austria), in Johannesburg (Fakugesi Festival), in Los Angeles (UCLA), in Auckland (University of Auckland), in Vilnius (Vilnius Academy of Arts) and in Amsterdam (Waag). At all these locations, artists, scientists, developers, entrepreneurs and activists will be addressing the question of how the “new” world is to – or with? – Corona should look like.

Ars Electronica 2020 – A journey around the world

Ars Electronica 2020 – on the Net

The Net is also a central venue at this year’s Ars Electronica. This means not merely depicting or transmitting real events, but designing virtual events and programs as well as creating opportunities for exchange and interaction that conform to the laws of the Internet and the habits and preferences of the communities gathered here. The FESTIVAL WEBSITE serves as a central directory of all local and virtual events, from which the gates and windows to “Kepler’s Gardens” around the globe open. Structured according to themes, places, times, languages and formats, the entire Ars Electronica program is displayed here, and daily streams-not only from Linz, but from many other “Kepler’s Gardens”-will be shown and commented on. This website is closely interlinked with a number of SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube will reflect the social dimension of the online festival and will be supporting pillars of this Ars Electronica even before, but of course especially during the festival. News, photos, videos and streams will be posted here, keynotes, prototypes, artworks and research projects will be reported and discussed. In addition, MOZILLA HUBS, which will be specially designed for the festival, will be a separate “Kepler’s Garden” in their own right. Together with its partners, Ars Electronica will open up a multitude of these virtual, three-dimensional spaces that anyone and everyone can explore together with like-minded people.

Ars Electronica 2020, Festival for Art, Technology & Society