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On September 7th, we screened the works from the ACA Media Arts Festival on a gigantic theatre screen set up on Hauptplatz, a big square in the middle of the old town.

The theme for the 6th year was “Japanese Animation”. Nine young Japanese animation artists were chosen from the entries to be screened: Satoshi Tomioka, Usagi Tanaka, Saku Sakamoto, Akino Kondoh, Iwai Akiko, Hiroyuki Okui, Hiroyuki Nakao, Tomoyasu Murata. Their works openly wore the hearts of Japan’s youth on their sleeves and were received really well.

Despite showing in the unfortunate slot 9:30pm slot on Sunday night, over 500 people gathered to see the event and each piece was greeted with huge applause. In fact, it was successful enough to add a second showing to the original programme.

Having taken part in ARS Electronica, I understand it as much more than an art event. It digs deeper, representing relationships such as “art and technology” or “art and society”. It is jointly sponsored by the ARS Electronica Centre and ORF, the national television network, and the running of the event has a homemade feel to it, an unashamed passion apparent in the staff. Careful attention is given to the smallest of details and we were treated to attentively and kindly.

At the ARS Electronica Centre, industry-university collaborations seem to be making progress in their developmental projects, and the locals seem to have embraced the centre. The idea presented by ARS Electronica, “A New Mission for Art”, is put to good practice here.

Personally I gained a lot to take home with me from this year’s ARS Electronica, not only content-wise but also on the management side.
Gerfried Stocker, the director of ARS Electronica, is the same age as me, which gives me great motivation to build the ACA Media Arts Festival into something that measures up in appeal.

On that note, the ACA Media Arts Festival is open to submissions until October 20th. We hope to carry on introducing wonderful Japanese works abroad, and visa versa.

ARS Electronica 2003
Date : September 6th to 11th 2003
Linz, Austria

The 7th ACA Media Arts Festival
Place : Enquiries to Secretariat of the ACA Media Arts Festival
Address : c/o CG-ARTS Society, 1-11-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3535-3501

Text and Photos: Yoshihisa Abe from Computer Graphic Arts Society (CG-ARTS協会)
Translation: Kristy Kagari Sakai

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