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 is the Artistic Director 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
- "Ars Electronica stands for the world’s leading media arts festival, a superlative state-of-the-art museum, and an innovative R&D facility. The Ars Electronica Festival, the Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future, and the Ars Electronica Futurelab are big draws that attract visitors, tourists, clients and associates from throughout Upper Austria and around the world." -- from a 2003 Ars Electronica press release.
Parts of Ars Electronica
In the real as well as in the virtual world, Ars Electronica consists of several parts:
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.
- 1987 Free Sound
- 1988 The Art of Scene
- 1989 In the Network of Systems
- 1990 Digital Dreams - Virtual Worlds
- 1991 Out of Control
- 1992 Endo & Nano - The World From Within
- 1993 Genetic Art - Artificial Life
- 1994 Intelligent Environment
- 1995 Welcome to the Wired World - Mythos Information
- 1996 Memesis - The Future of Evolution
- 1997 FleshFactor - Informationsmaschine Mensch
- 1998 Infowar - information.macht.krieg
- 1999 LifeScience
- 2000 NEXT SEX - Sex in the Age of its Procreative Superfluousness
- 2001 Takeover - Who's doing th art of tomorrow
- 2002 Unplugged - Art as the Scene of Global Conflicts
|2006||SIMPLICITY - the art of complexity|
|2005||HYBRID - Living in a paradox|
|2004||Timeshift - The World in 25 Years|
|2003||Code - The Language of Out Time|
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".