Press Release Date:
4. September 2014

Press images



  • Maria Falkinger
    Marketing / Presse
    Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

4. – 14. SEPTEMBER 2014

The OK “Offenes Kulturhaus” in the Upper Austrian Culture Quarter produces and presents new currents and trends in contemporary art, which always also reflect social developments. For years, the CyberArts Prix Ars Electronica exhibition has been an important part of the ambitious program of changing thematic exhibitions and solo presentations. Exciting developments in media art become evident, particularly in the cooperation with the Ars Electronica Festival.

The Prix Ars Electronica is considered the world’s most important showcase of excellence in digital media art. Its 27-year history impressively documents how quickly the Digital Revolution has progressed during this time span.

Since 1998 the OK has been the venue for presenting the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica. Expert juries have selected the most interesting works and awarded Golden Nicas, Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions in seven categories.

Current trends are always reflected in the choice of jury members and in the selection for the CyberArts exhibition. They show that media art is a hotbed of critical inquiry into social and technological changes or work on actively designing our environment.
The CyberArts exhibition, curated by Christine Schöpf and Genoveva Rückert, offers a compact and concentrated overview of the Prix Ars Electronica and its categories.

Along with the new Prize Visionary Pioneers of Media Art, which was given to Roy Ascott, artist and media scholar, projects of all categories are presented: Interactive Art, Digital Communities, Computer Animation / Film / VFX, der Hybrid Art,u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD and the [the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant. An interactive database shows all entries of this year.

The Interactive Art category has been a Prix Ars Electronica mainstay since 1990. The entries include a broad spectrum of formats ranging from installations to network projects. The jury focuses on the artistic quality of how the work’s interaction is designed and developed, and looks for a meaningful dialog between the content on one hand and the work’s interaction principles and interfaces on the other. Of particular interest is the sociopolitical relevance of the interaction and how it manifests an inherent potential to expand human beings’ latitude for action.

Digital Communities: In 1995 in the wake of the World Wide Web’s emergence, the Prix Ars Electronica launched its Internet category, and then proceeded to repeatedly redefine it in accordance with the rapid development of life online. The focus is currently on projects with significant social relevance. Citizen activism, strategies to promote financial and political transparency, enabling projects in the so-called Third World, optimizing individual potential and crowdfunding reflect the massive paradigm shift that’s still underway. The individual project presentations are accompanied by introductory videos.

Bill Fontana, one of the most renowned audio artists in the world, is developing a new work for Linz parallel to the Ars Electronica Festival. Fontana has been using sound as a sculptural medium since the late 60s. Since then he has created over fifty sound sculptures and twenty – partly intercontinental – radio sculptures, with which he has attracted major international attention. In 2013 he was honored with the Golden Nica of the Prix Ars Electronica for his life work. The OK presents his first solo retrospective exhibition in the German-speaking region.
His new production centers around the steel works of the voestalpine AG in Linz. Visitors are taken on an acoustic journey by means of a live transmission of sound and image. A show of Fontana’s work extending from the OK up to the rooftop landscape of HÖHENRAUSCH also shows earlier projects.

Sat 6.9.,

The Prix Forum offers the possibility to meet the winners of Prix Ars Electronica 2014 and hear them talk about their work, motives and motivations.

Sat, 6.9.

Is traditionally a high point of the festival week.

7 p.m. WANDL (AT) live and DJ Martin Klein (AT) at the OK Platz
11 p.m. Zanshin (Affine Records / AT) and Johann Destroy (Radio Diffusion, Compost Records / AT) at Solaris
The „Electronic Theatre“, a selection of the „Computer Animation“ category, takes place at Movie 1 at 8.30 and 10.30 p.m.

The OK Night also offers an opportunity to enjoy the end of the evening of the “Linz Cloud of Sound” in the Höhenrausch exhibition high above the rooftops of Linz until 11:00.

CYBERARTS opening times: 4. 9. – 14. 9. 2014
daily 10.00 am – 9.00 pm (Sat 6. 9. until 11.00 pm)


Cyberarts Exhibition Impressions
All images if not otherwise marked : © Otto Saxinger


Bill Fontana /US
Desert Soundings

Interactive Art

Interactive Art / Golden Nica
Paolo Cirio /IT
Loophole for All

Our global tax system allows large international companies to avoid tax by channeling their profit through states or countries where taxes are low or even non-existent, making the tax burden fall disproportionately on individual taxpayers and smaller companies. Loophole4All is an artistic intervention that empowers ordinary people to avoid tax the same way. By using the identity of a company registered on the Cayman Islands and benefitting from their legitimate anonymity, anyone can invoice from this tax haven. Cirio’s work provocatively questions the transparency, secrecy and anonymity of the global financial industry, institutionalized illegality and the inequality of globalization.

Interactive Art / Award of Distinction
Jacob Tonski (Miami University, Ohio) /US
Balance From Within

Nearly all our social interactions-dinner, chatting, job interviews, even death — can take place on a sofa like this one. But relationships are balancing acts, and balance is delicate. Sometimes we fall down. Balance from Within is a kinetic metaphor for the inherent risk in social relations. A 170-year-old sofa balances precariously on one leg, constantly teetering, responding internally to external forces.

Interactive Art / Award of Distinction
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez /UK
Disarming Corruptor

Disarming Corruptor is a tool for doing reversible damage to STL mesh files, the file format that describes the 3-D surfaces used in computer-aided design and manufacturing. You can obliterate the file into something totally unrecognizable, share it online under its new guise, and selectively distribute the key code to recipients so they can reverse the damage and retrieve the original object. DC is a free software application. It provides an important and critical addition to the realm of digital manufacturing that highlights the limits of freedom on the web, raises issues having to do with digital surveillance, opens up an interesting debate about encryption, file distribution censorship and internet control, and offers a free tool to help subvert such activities.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Ief Spincemaille (werktank) /BE
There is the sun

Sint Maartensdal, a large residential complex in Leuven (BE), was constructed in the 60s in order to offer quality living space to the community. But despite the good intentions behind the project, due to its orientation, half of the residents in block one were deprived of sunlight. Ief Spincemaille’s project brought the residents’ community together. By installing a set of motorized mirrors in front of the building and creating a website that residents could use to “book” their sunshine slot by moving the mirrors to reflect light into their apartments, he returned the building and community to the utopian ideas that gave rise to this construction project. A programmed choreography illustrates the project in the CyberArts exhibition.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Agi Haines /UK

Each of the five animatronic baby sculptures displays a different design for a potential body enhancement that has been surgically implemented for its benefit. Each modification is put in place to solve a potential future problem for the baby, ranging from medical to environmental to social mobility issues. Holding the realistic, breathing, sleeping babies gives the audience a sense of the potential reality behind the future of modification.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Quayola /IT

Captives is an ongoing series of digital and physical sculptures, a contemporary interpretation of Michelangelo’s unfinished series Prigioni (1513–1534).
Quayola also captures the figures in a state of metamorphosis. Using modern techniques, he unearths them out of the material. They emerge, take shape and come to life from the surrounding material only to collapse again back into it without a beginning or end. In virtual form, the sculptures evolve from computer-generated formations into life-size, surging-and-receding, classical figures. As in the original Prigioni, the sculptures are left unfinished, documenting the very history of their creation and transformation.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
James George /US, Jonathan Minard /US

Clouds is a documentary that allows the viewer to explore creativity through the language of code. Filmed using a new 3-D cinema format called RGBD, Clouds uses a probability-based “story engine” to present an endless, ever-changing conversation about the role of computational thinking in contemporary arts and design. The interview subjects comprise an intergenerational community of more than 40 artists, designers, hackers and thinkers. An algorithm leaps from clip to clip, creating new conversations while preserving the continuity of the ideas and themes.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Boris Petrovsky (bp Studio) /DE
Das Vergerät

A collection of household appliances—for example, a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, electric toothbrush and drill—are grouped together and connected to each other. These are machines that surround us and play major roles in our everyday lives. The machines in this installation function, though in an unconventional way. They register the messages and commands visitors speak into a microphone, translate them via speech synthesis into their own idiom, and repeat them. In Das Vergerät (a German neologism meaning something like “dis-appliance”) the machines articulate the visitors’ words in a vocabulary of electrical noises.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
James Coupe /UK

Swarm is a video installation that monitors, records and, with the use of profiling algorithms, rearranges museum visitors into demographically similar groups. The installation’s monitors display four panoramas of the gallery space, each occupied by a different group, while its stereo cameras detect people in the space, profile them and add them to crowds of similar people, based on race, age group, gender etc. One screen always shows the majority demographic, one the minority, another the same group as a person in the gallery, with the other panorama dynamically changing. Each group is shown as what appears to be a live video image, with people inserted into a crowd alongside other previous visitors.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
BeAnotherLab / Transnational
The Machine to Be Another - Art Experiment

The Machine to Be Another offers users an immersive experience of what it feels like to be in the body of another person. By using a video-game device and accessible, low-budget technologies, it connects people in innovative ways. It aims to work as an open tool for social relations that ask the question: What would the world be like if we could really see through the eyes of another, and if we really put ourselves in someone else’s shoes? The system has been used in performances and experiments investigating bias towards immigrants.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Nadya Kirillova (Dentsu) /RU, Daito Manabe (Rhizomatiks) /JP, Yu Orai (Dentsu) /JP, Taeji Sawai (Qosmo) /JP, Kosai Sekine /JP, Kaoru Sugano (Dentsu) /JP, Sotaro Yasumochi (Dentsu) /JP, Kyoko Yonezawa (Dentsu) /JP
Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989

Sound of Honda used 24-year-old Formula One data to bring an Ayrton Senna race back to life in sounds and images. Installing speakers and LED lights along the 5.807-meter Suzuka circuit in Japan made it possible to pair the reproduced engine sounds with motion data from the race. The work, combined with the idea of using sound data and challenging engineering systems physically set in the space, presents a very simple but powerful site-specific large-scale installation, live performance and experience of motor

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
teamLab /JP, CN, ROC
Peace can be Realized Even without Order

A dark space is filled with hologram dancers simulating scenes from Awa Odori, an ancient Japanese dance festival. The unorganized crowd of dancers keeps dancing, independently interacting with music, and achieving movement and musical harmony. When visitors enter the space, the dancers stare at them as outsiders interrupting their order, and resume after a break. The work is a high-tech opera, a combination of large-scale holographic and interactive technologies, highly visual and auditory content, and human-like interactive algorithms.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Benedikt Groß /DE
Avena+ Test Bed — Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes

Avena+ Test Bed shows how digital manufacturing might be used by agriculture in the future. The project also highlights changes in our countryside, in particular the shift from food to biogas production. Benedikt Groß focuses on precision farming and digital mapping. He uses customized software, GPS tracking and repurposed farming research equipment to map the landscape and “print” seeds with an efficient pattern promoting diversity, reducing vermin and therefore the use of pesticides. Avena+ Test Bed speculates on the idea of the landscape of the future and agriculture that will have been transformed into a digital activity.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Philip Beesley (Philip Beesley Architect Inc.) /CA
Epiphyte Chamber

Epiphytes belong to a species of plants that can grow without soil support. Epiphyte Chamber consists of a breathing, responsive environment, a suspended world of complex, interwoven structures that form this organism. For many years now, Philip Beesley has been creating elaborate installations made of thousands of digital components, sensors, chemical systems and microprocessors. While moving around this “womb” space, visitors can trigger minute changes or motion reflecting relations with our natural environments but also mirroring the cosmos.

Interactive Art / Honorary Mention
Ryoko Ando (Design Musica), Hiroshi, Inukai, (EUREKACOMPUTER CO., LTD.) /JP
Sports Time Machine

The Sports Time Machine is a simple interactive installation using sensors, projectors and computer systems to record every participant’s running data.
Runners can choose whom to run with, and thereby compete with animals, other people and even themselves in the past. At any given time, they can interact with someone’s archived data in the system. The project allows the runners’ bodies to travel through past and present, and to communicate with others in a different way by creating a new type of community.

Computer Animation

Computer Animation / Golden Nica
Matt Pyke (Universal Everything) /UK
Walking City
Video installation

Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architectural practice of the Archigram group, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. A walk cycle, an iconic archetype of traditional animation, becomes the starting point for a complex visual and aural journey. Walking City is inspired by the sense of walking through a city—how absorbing your surroundings alters sensation and emotion; how you become part of the fabric of the city, a manmade eco-system.

Computer Animation / Auszeichnung
Video installation

Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection mapping on moving surfaces. In the first chapter, a performer transforms a flat panel into an open box, blurring the line between two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. The illusions build as objects intersect, levitate and transform, ultimately immersing the performer and viewer into an alternate graphic reality. In the final chapter, the performer exits the scene through a portal and the camera reveals the robotic mechanism behind each illusion. The result is a hybrid of art, technology and experimental filmmaking.

Visionary Pioneers of Media Art

Roy Ascott /UK

What began as a technological revolution has since developed into a new culture and a social reality. Visionary pioneers, through their creative output, not only anticipated these developments; they often decisively shaped them and, in so doing, established the foundation of media art as we know it today.
In order to accord them the respectful recognition that is commensurate with their accomplishments, the Prix Ars Electronica created a new prize: the Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneers of Media Art. Nominating the candidates and selecting this year’s winner was done online by 224 individuals who have themselves been recipients of a Golden Nica since 1987.
Roy Ascott, artist and media scholar, is this category’s first award winner. The exhibition is divided into three focal-point themes: cybernetics, participation and interaction. They offer insights into more than 50 years of extraordinary artistic achievement as a practitioner, teacher and researcher.

Next Idea / Grant

Markus Schmeiduch /AT, Andrew Spitz /FR, Ruben van der Vleuten /NL

The objective of the BlindMaps R&D (research and development) project is to enable visually impaired people to independently navigate and explore in a city they’re unfamiliar with. The user inputs a route query via voice command. The device outputs the routing on a braille-like screen via tiny raised pins that the user can feel in real time. If the user encounters an obstacle en route, this can be reported to the system by the push of a button and the route is revised for future users. Open data, open hardware and open design are being used to develop BlindMaps.

U 19

Sarah Oos /AT
Femme Chanel—Emma Fenchel

Femme Chanel—Emma Fenchel combines a Chanel commercial with various scenes from films starring Audrey Tautou. The name of the lead character, Emma Fenchel, is an anagram of “Femme Chanel,” and thus announces the basic principle of the video—rearranging various components to compose a new message.