Ars Electronica

From Monoskop
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ars Electronica is an organization based in Linz, founded in 1979 around a festival for art, technology and society which was part of the International Bruckner Festival. Herbert W. Franke is one of its founders. It became its own festival and a yearly event in 1986. Its Director until 1995 was Peter Weibel. Since 1995 Gerfried Stocker and Christine Schöpf are the Artistic Directors of Ars Electronica. In addition to running the yearly festival, Ars Electronica currently maintains a media center/museum, the Ars Electronica Center, which was opened in 1996 and offers tours and courses and hosts a technology lab. Starting in 1987, it also began hosting the Prix Ars Electronica, awarding prizes and generating publicity for outstanding cyberarts innovations.

With its specific orientation and the long-standing continuity it has displayed since 1979, Ars Electronica is an internationally unique platform for digital art and media culture consisting of the following four divisions:

Ars Electronica – Festival for Art, Technology and Society
Prix Ars Electronica – International Competition for CyberArts
Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future
Ars Electronica Futurelab – Laboratory for Future Innovations


The "Ars Electronica Center - Museum of the future" is located in Linz, Austria, Europe. It is the leading museum of digital art and media art. Opened in 1996, the center presents computer art on a 2000 square meter area.

The Ars Electronica Center opened in 1996 as a prototype of a “Museum of the Future.” Its mission is to utilize interactive forms of mediation to facilitate the general public’s encounter with virtual reality, digital networks and modern media. A focus on issues at the interface of media art, new technologies and social developments characterize the Center’s innovative exhibitions. Beyond this, the Ars Electronica Center is the permanent base and thus the organizational foundation of Ars Electronica’s regional and international activities.


Futurelab is an interdiciplinary research project reuniting art, technology and society. It is a model of a new kind of media art laboratory in which artistic and technological innovations engender reciprocal inspiration. The lab’s teams bring together a wide variety of specialized skills; their approach is characterized by interdisciplinarity and international networking. The Futurelab’s wide-ranging activities include designing and engineering exhibitions, creating artistic installations, as well as pursuing collaborative research with universities and joint ventures with private sector associates.


Chronologically the festival was the starting point of Ars Electronica in 1979. It is the most important festival of digital art world wide. The festival is conducted under a different motto each year. The essence of the internationally renowned Ars Electronica Festival is interdisciplinarity and an open encounter of international experts from the arts and sciences with a broad audience of highly diverse backgrounds and interests. Annually since 1979, the Festival has featured a lineup of symposia, exhibitions, performances and events designed to further an artistic and scientific confrontation with the social and cultural phenomena that are the consequences of technological change.

Year Date Theme Website,.html Catalogue Reviews
1979 18-21 Sep Program, Catalogue
1980 8-13 & 25-29 Sep Elektronik — Kunst — Gesellschaft Program, Catalogue Päch (Leonardo)
1982 24 Sep-1 Oct Sky Art Program, Catalogue
1984 8-14 Sep Program, Catalogue (part 2)
1986 20-27 Jun Program, Catalogue (part 2) Biggs (Mediamatic)
1987 16-19 Sep Free Sound Program, Catalogue
1988 13-17 Sep The Art of Scene Program, Catalogue
1989 13-16 Sep In the Network of Systems Program, Catalogue
1990 Digital Dreams: Virtual Worlds Program, Catalogue (part 2)
1991 Out of Control Program, Catalogue
1992 22-27 Jun Endo & Nano: The World From Within Program, Catalogue (part 2) Polatschek (Leonardo)
1993 Artificial Life: Genetic Art Program, Catalogue
1994 Intelligent Environment Program, Catalogue (part 2)
1995 19-23 Jun Welcome to the Wired World: Mythos Information Website, Catalogue
1996 2-6 Sep Memesis: The Future of Evolution Website, Catalogue
1997 8-12 Sep FleshFactor: Informationsmaschine Mensch Website, Catalogue Höller (Springerin)
1998 7-12 Sep Infowar: information.macht.krieg Website, Catalogue (part 2) Marres (Mediamatic), Nake (Leonardo), Teuthorn (CAP)
1999 4-9 Sep LifeScience Website, Catalogue, Booklet Byrne (Third Text)
2000 2-7 Sep Next Sex: Sex in the Age of its Procreative Superfluousness Website, Catalogue, Booklet O'Brien (Circa)
2001 1-6 Sep Takeover: Who's Doing the Art of Tomorrow Website, Catalogue, Booklet Punt (Leonardo)
2002 7-12 Sep Unplugged: Art as the Scene of Global Conflicts Website, Catalogue, Booklet Medosch (Mute)
2003 6-11 Sep Code: The Language of Out Time Website, Catalogue, Booklet Manovich (Nettime), Engeli (Leonardo)
2004 2-7 Sep Timeshift: The World in 25 Years Website, Catalogue, Booklet Kasprzak (Mute), Blassnigg (Leonardo), Engeli (Leonardo)
2005 1-6 Sep Hybrid: Living in a Paradox Website, Catalogue, Booklet Shintani (CMJ)
2006 31 Aug-5 Sep Simplicity: The Art of Complexity Website, Catalogue, Booklet Engeli (Leonardo)
2007 5-11 Sep Goodbye Privacy Website, Catalogue (2), Booklet
2008 4-9 Sep A New Cultural Economy: The Limits of Intellectual Property Website, Catalogue (2), Booklet Aga (Leonardo)
2009 3-8 Sep Human Nature: The Anthropocene Website, Catalogue, Booklet Spielmann (Leonardo)
2010 2-11 Sep Repair: Ready to Pull the Lifeline Website, Catalogue, Booklet
2011 31 Aug-6 Sep Origin: How It All Begins Website, Catalogue, Booklet
2012 30 Aug-3 Sep The Big Picture: New Concepts for a New World Website, Catalogue, Booklet
2013 5-9 Sep Total Recall: The Evolution of Memory Website, Catalogue, Booklet Medosch (Next Layer)
2014 4-8 Sep C ... What It Takes to Change Website, Catalogue, Timetable
2015 3-7 Sep Post City: Habitats for the 21st Century Website, Catalogue, Timetable
2016 8-12 Sep Radical Atoms: and the Alchemists of our Future Website, Catalogue, Timetable KissMyArs (Furtherfield)


The Prix Ars Electronica is often called the Oscar of computer art. As the world’s premier cyberarts competition, the Prix Ars Electronica has been a forum for artistic creativity and innovation since 1987. It is the trend barometer in an ever-expanding and increasingly diversified world of media art. Thanks to its annually recurring nature, its international scope and the incredible variety of the works submitted for prize consideration, the enormous Prix Ars Electronica Archive provides a detailed look at the development of media art and a feel for its openness and diversity. In 2004 Wikipedia was awarded a Golden Nica in the category "Digital Communities".

Survey publications[edit]