Finally some time to update my website! In the beginning of September I went to Ars Electronica. The first time I have been there it was in 1989, that edition’s topic was “Im Netz der Systeme” (In the Network of Systems) and the catalogue was a whole dedicated number of Kunstforum. At that time the idea of creating images through the computer was still playing a major role, so the Prix Ars Electronica 1989 awarded with the Goldene Nika three categories: Computer Graphics (won by Tamàs Waliczky, with honorable mentions to Charles Csuri and Kenneth Snelson), Computer Animation (won by Joan Staveley, with honorable mentions to Susan Amkraut & Michel Girard and Simon Wachsmuth) and Computer Music (won by Kaija Saariaho with honorable mentions to François Bayle and Alejandro Viñao).

Although the interactive arts were not yet listed as a category in the Prize (it would have happened in the following year, 1990), there were many historical projects on this topic: Roy Ascott with Aspects of Gaia, Lynn Hershman with Interactive Sexual Fantasy Disk, Jeffrey Shaw with The Legible City, Ruth Schnell with Tür für Huxley, and some very interesting post punk extreme media ensemble, like Radio Subcom (Media Landscape), Rabotnik TV (The Sublime), Stadtwerkstatt TV (Automaten TV), Station Rose (Gunafa)… In front of the Brucknerhaus, on the Danube’s bank there was an extarordinary big chromatic and practicable installation by Maurice Agis (Colourspace). My first Ars Electronica was a beautiful – although a (no stop) rainy – experience…

But… let’s go today! This year Ars Electronica took place in the Tabakfabrik, a very huge and fascinating industrial space not so far from the Brucknerhaus. Its history goes back to 1850, when the Austrian State Tobacco Company began producing cigars and pipe & chewing tobacco here. Ars Electronica 2010 theme and the theme was “Reapair”. From the catalogue:

“There’s no time left for warnings. We’re in it up to our necks right now—in the climate crisis, Surveillance Society, the bankruptcy of the financial sector … We’ve passed the points of no return. The dramatic consequences are looming on the horizon today. And there’s no excuse for our lethargy since we already possess ideas, tools and techniques to initiate a change of course. We just have to take action! Roll up our sleeves and get to work on a job that can no longer be avoided. We have to mend our ways and get things moving in the right direction.

In search of ways out of this mess we’ve gotten into, the 2010 Festival for Art, Technology and Society turns to the pioneers of our age. Not the adventurers who’ve sailed forth because they wanted to find out what awaits them on the other side, but rather the visionaries who are bringing expertise as well as a great deal of creativity and idealism to bear in their work on an alternative future. repair is the title of a festival designed to pursue the paths opened up by these trailblazers and to show why it’s imperative for us to follow their lead …”

More images here.