Ars Electronica Festival 2015 – Linz (AT)

Ars Electronica Festival is a big “container” of art and technology (and everything there is between them). Arts and technology connect in several ways: technical innovation and its consequences on society is one of the main topics in art today.
Touch screens, virtual reality visors and other interfaces are the main attraction of the exhibitions and then there are technology related artworks, not made of technology, but made to make us meditate on tech.

Photo showing an impression of voestalpine Klangwolke (Cloud of Sound) 2015: Hochwald. Tanz der Bäume im Donaupark. The woods come to town: For the voestalpine Klangwolke 2015, director Hubert Lepka and his company Lawine Torrèn (AT) have taken their inspiration from Aldabert Stifter’s romantic tale “Hochwald.” The forest is the chief protagonist in both the original and Joey Wimplinger’s new text version. For Stifter, the woods still constituted a secure place of refuge for two young women during a time of troubles and war, whereas the current production scrutinizes the forest’s future prospects as a “natural landscape.” credit: Florian Voggeneder via

technical innovation and its consequences on society is one of the main topics in art today

This year’s topic was the “city of the future”, it may sound a bit banal or too general, but it has allowed expressing the whole potential of the event, making of Linz a city from the future for a week. Self-driving cars, electric motorbikes, hydroponics, organic food, internet of things, things of the internet et cetera  create an exciting enviroment interacting with the structures from the past, like the post, the historical city centre.

Photo showing the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion during his stay in the main square of Linz. credit: Florian Voggeneder via

Each object of the exhibition has an essential caption, suitable for the generality of the audience. It was possible to figure out the meaning of each piece of art, and the functionality of every new technology.

Photo showing Death of Things (DoT) by Martín Nadal (ES) at Interface Cultures:Post-Post Exhibition during the Opening and Introduction Parcours. credit: tom mesic via

Just visit the Ars Electronica Center on every day of the year and try on the prosthesis of a tail and pet the robotic seal cub and you will agree.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/arselectronica/5514729300/in/photolist-9pjqTE-9pgnK4-isTqqd-ayArCp

“Paro” by Japans National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is an animal-like robot that has been in use in Japan and Europe since 2003 for therapeutic purposes—for example, providing care to people with Alzheimer’s disease. Modeled on a baby seal, Paro registers environmental stimuli via two computers and five sensors that measure touch, light, sound, temperature and physical position. This enables it to interact with its human interlocutor. Paro is able to learn—it can recognize 50 different voices and responds to its name. The form of a baby seal was selected because most people have no preconceptions about how this creature behaves.
credit: rubra via

We managed to live the Ars Electronica not as experts, nor as engineers, enjoying the sense of wonder even for the most easy to understand technologies. Just visit the Ars Electronica Center on every day of the year and try on the prosthesis of a tail and pet the robotic seal cub and you will agree.

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