Ars Electronica 2022: The Highlights

by paradoxig

From September 7 to 11, 2022, Linz will once again host a “Festival for Art, Technology and Society” where participants from science, business, the creative and art scenes come for exhibitions, showcases, debates, concerts. If you never been to Art Electronica, here is a little bit of the vibe.

And here is our short recommendation for the program:

”Songs for Amelia Earhart” — Laurie Anderson in Concert – Saturday, Sept. 10 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the stage in front of Auhof Palace.

Filharmonie Brno (CZ), Dennis Russell Davies (US/AT), Rubin Kodheli (US)
Laurie Anderson has been a fixture on the international media art scene for decades. The work of the musician, composer, filmmaker, author and media artist revolves around the relationship between people and technology and is characterized by a high degree of sociopolitical commitment. Laurie Anderson was honored as a “Visionary Pioneer of Media Arts” at this year’s Prix Ars Electronica.

In the course of his exceptional career, Dennis Russell Davies has already implemented a whole series of extraordinary projects, staged memorable concerts and initiated groundbreaking initiatives. As conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, he was responsible for initiating the Ars Electronica’s “Big Concert Night” in 2003, and in 2022 he is instrumental in bringing his longtime friend and artistic companion Laurie Anderson to Linz.

Together with Dennis Russell Davies, the Filharmonie Brno (CZ) and Rubin Kodheli (US), Laurie Anderson invites you to a concert evening at Ars Electronica 2022 that is all about another great woman. With “Songs for Amelia,” Laurie Anderson tells the story of Amelia Earhart, a passionate pioneer of early aviation who in 1932 became the first woman to cross the Atlantic and five years later disappeared without a trace in her plane. LAURIE

ARS ELECTRONICA GARDEN TAIPEI: Humanity Island — Data to be Continued

TAICCA If you are interested in VR experiences, the TAICA pavilion is a Must-Visit. The program of TAICCA for this year, is curated by the award-winner director Hsin-Chien Huang, alongside Co-Curator: Hsiao-Yue Tsao, Wen-Chun Chen. And between the VR creators are Hsin-Chien Huang, Hsiao-Yue Tsao, Wen-Chieh Chang, Chin-Hsiang Hu, Tzu- Liang Chen, Yu-Hao Lee.

The theme Humanity Island — Data to be Continued reflects Taiwan’s island characteristics and cultural heritage and uses the common language of art to speak to the world. Samsara compares political prisoners in the era of white terror to the pressures on human nature in the digital age. Blue Tears examines Matsu’s beautiful bioluminescent phenomenon and marine ecology. Childhood Revisited reproduces a Hakka community from the 1960s. Sandbox, inspired by computer security testing, immerses viewers in an ironic “safe” information space. The works include profound reflections on art, humanities, the environment, and the changes of our times. In these times, conflicts of interest between countries are often seen as “data.” The output or extraction of data affects the public’s interpretation of the truth which goes on to influence the overall situation. This process teaches artists to be cautious and fearful when creating and to reflect on their work with empathy. It encourages us to face these issues and make substantial changes for a sustainable future.

4D box / SH4D0W – An AI Performance in 3D

AI The play can be experienced in Kepler’s Garden (Kepler Hall) on Sept. 7 and 8 from 3 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and on Sept. 9 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. It is the first theater production in which an artificial intelligence plays the leading role. The play by Mikael Fock (DK) is inspired by the wise scholar and his shadow in the fairy tale of the same name by H.C. Andersen. It focuses on the encounter of a human being with his virtual shadow, represented by data-driven artificial AI systems.

The performance is an immersive experience — an immersion in a three-dimensional universe of sound, light and the visual representation of an “intelligent” machine interacting with its environment and a human actor. AI

CultTech Space, 10 Sept , 13:00-19:00

The CultTech Space, organized by Immaterial Future Association, will present alumni startups from the CultTech Accelerator, alongside established startups who will demonstrate their products. You will be able to meet:

Enote — an app with digital sheet music
Wail — social media for gig-goers
Embodme — French startup that makes sensor-based music instruments
KLOOV — NFT-based platform for supporting musicians
Artivive — augmented reality platform for art
vrisch — virtual reality agency & production company

The showcase will be followed by a discussion about impact investments in the creative economy. And if you are curious about Investing in CultTech and/or the Future of Work and Leisure in Sustainable Economies, the guest speaker who will try to decipher the topic are Craig Callhoun, former director of LSE, University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University and Andrea Vetter, (Germany) Interim Professor at Institute for Design Research, Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Braunschweig, Co-founder at “Haus des Wandels”, Shalini Randeria, President and Rector, Central European University, and Dmitry Aksenov, Founding member of Immaterial Future Association.

CyberArts Exhibition 2022 – September 7 to 11 in “Kepler’s Garden” (Mensa Building)

Exactly 2,338 artistic projects by artists from 88 countries were submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica 2022 — a small but excellent selection of them will be shown in the CyberArts exhibition. Here, AI systems, game engines and 3D animations form CG avatars that radically question our identities (Being / Rashaad Newsome (US)); robots become our physical representatives and give us new opportunities for social participation (DAWN Avatar Robot Cafe ver.β / Ory Yoshifuji / Ory Lab (JP)), and citizens committed to freedom use new technologies to “resist like bacteria” ( Resist like bacteria / Jung Hsu (TW), Natalia Rivera (CO)). In addition, musician, composer, filmmaker, writer, and media artist Laurie Anderson (US) demonstrates the virtuosity of walking between genres while bringing “stories into things.” 

LIT Exhibition – The LIT exhibition can be seen from September 7 to 11 in “Kepler’s Garden” (Learning Center).

To interweave art and science more closely and, above all, sustainably, to initiate an open transfer of knowledge and to establish a concept of technology that places us humans at the center — these are the core concerns of the collaboration between the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) and Ars Electronica. This becomes visible in the form of the exhibition that the LIT is contributing to the festival again this year, making visible “Black Holes” whose algorithms unleash a gravitation that engulfs everything else (Black Holes of Popularity / A. B. Melchiorre (IT), O. Lesota (RU), M. Schedl (AT), F. Schubert (AT), M. Moscati (IT), D. Penz (AT), E. Dobetsberger (AT), J. Usorac (BA), A. Hausberger (AT), S. Pile (RU), A. Ebner (AT)), makes art no longer for people but for the omnipresent technology (Ars for Nons / Lea Luka Sikau (DE), Denisa Pubalova (CZ), Michael Artner (AT), Julia Wurm (AT)) or promotes the circular economy and invites all visitors to creatively recycle plastic (Re-wasted / Martin Reiter (AT), Jörg Fischer (AT), Johannes Braumann (AT), Florian Nimmervoll (AT)).

Festival Line-Up at Deep Space 8K – Sept. 7-11.

It’s a crowd-puller all year round and especially exciting during the festival — we’re talking about Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center, which was upgraded to the next level in late 2021/early 2022 with a whole series of new technical components and software upgrades.

As part of the festival, the immersive space will be the setting for a tête-à-tête with the high-resolution Mona Lisa (The Mona Lisa / Vincent Delieuvin (FR), Christelle Terrier (FR), Roei Amit (FR)) and puts frescoes of the Sistine Chapel in the limelight on a huge scale, opening up insights into the work and life of the great Pietro Perugino (Gigapixel Images from the Vatican Museums — The Frescoes by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel: Beauty Leading to Faith / Dr. Barbara Jatta (IT), Dr. Rosanna Di Pinto (IT)).

But Deep Space 8K also becomes an observatory from which we can gaze into the infinite expanses of space, becoming aware of the uniqueness and vulnerability of our tiny little Earth (Searching for Planet B: How Astronomy Visualization and Remote Sensing Guide Us to Humanity’s Future / Dan Tell (US)). And it becomes a stage on which a musician, a dancer and a visual artist put their thoroughly contradictory relationship to control and chaos to the test — and ours too (un ctrl – a tilt into chaos / Daniel Kohlmeigner (AT), Martin Retschitzegger (AT), Cat Jimenez (AT)).

S+T+ARTS Day – September 9, 10:00-18:00, Kepler’s Garden

Science, technology and the arts determine the content and the name of the European Commission’s STARTS initiative, which aims to promote contemporary innovations in and for Europe.

The STARTS Prize is a high-profile instrument for bringing best-practice examples to the public’s attention, and STARTS Day at Ars Electronica is an annual format that serves as a forum for network partners from all over Europe. The day-long program includes lectures, panel discussions, guided tours and workshops. With Selina Neirok Leem (MH), Laurie Anderson (US), Charles Amirkhanian (US), Giulia Foscari (IT) and Aimee Van Wynsberghe (CA), top-class innovators will once again be guests in Linz this year.


The Ars Electronica Festival premiered on September 18, 1979. This pilot project was designed to take the Digital Revolution’s emergence as an occasion to scrutinize potential futures and to focus these inquiries on the nexus of art, technology and society. With this philosophy, which remains Ars Electronica’s watchwords to this day, the Festival’s founders— cyberneticist/physicist Herbert W. Franke, electronic musician Hubert Bognermayr, music producer Ulli A. Rützel and Hannes Leopoldseder, then director of the ORF—Austrian Broadcasting Company’s Upper Austria regional studio—laid the foundation for Ars Electronica’s ongoing success.

*All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of editorial coverage*

©Photo credit: Courtesy of ARS ELECTRONICA

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[…] by Immaterial Future Association. (*bonus: if you visit the space, you can meet also other CultTech Startups there, alongside […]

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