Ars Electronica Linz

In Kepler´s Gardens Linz

Finding fresh collaborations – or strengthening existing ones – plays a vital role when exploring new shores. This years’ inauguration of the new Ars Electronica Festival site at the JKU campus is an exciting step towards an even more intense and fruitful partnership with the local university. In many ways, this is a very logical development, considering the thematic affinities between both institutions and the international orientation so intrinsic to the realms of art and science. Both share a clear commitment to science, and a fact-based, responsible way of dealing with each other, as a basis on which to develop a significant, cross-institutional statement for science and art in light of current and future challenges.   This year, what was hitherto understood as theme exhibitions at the festival site will take place entirely online and be rooted in the manifold contributions by Ars Electronica Partner Gardens around the world. Our home base in this networked festival is Kepler’s Garden at JKU Linz. After five brilliant years at the POSTCITY, it is refreshing and exciting to discover the potential of our new location. Nevertheless, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the precautionary steps it is demanding, this year presented the additional challenge of developing a fitting local concept. In contrast to our previous, extensive festivals, the on-site program at JKU for 2020 is indeed smaller, though focused even more intensely on mediation, guided tours and proximity to the local audience. Of course, a lot of the program parts at the JKU campus will be accessible through our online channels as well. As for the projects presented within the exhibitions and programs at JKU, the idea is to further promote the interplay between arts, research and industry/design, as represented by a group of selected artworks that pick up and play with the garden metaphor, the Transformation Projects – in which JKU presents an array of their latest research – and the STARTS exhibition, which shows fascinating and prizewinning projects in the fields of creativity and innovation. Last but not least, there will be several AIxMusic projects and performances at the festival-site.

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