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The 25th anniversary of the “Ars Electronica Festival” was this year’s theme “Timeshift – The World in 25 years” and was held Sept. 2-7 September in Linz, Austria.

The Ars was hosting once again a series of symposium where scientists, artists and interested had the chance to exchange, debate and get inspired. For one week there is a certain digital-artistically veil over the whole city with installations, performances and panel discussions.

You had the chance to experience this year’s festivals over the internet, with “streams” from the panel discussions, in museums, exhibition areas and in the city – even the main square was turned into a time machine presented with sounds and visuals.

The Ars Electronica Center itself is always in progress and evolved completely new expositions in the last years like “Gulliver’s World“. A mixture between virtual and real worlds which go hand in hand with the user. You may take a look at the “virtual walk-around” with more information about projects like “Humphrey II” or “Sur la table“.

One of the greatest shows was the “Sensory Circus” in the garage of the AEC – A huge audiovisual playground in a great electro-industrial environment with real time activity where the audience had the chance to play in computer-animated worlds and reconfigurations of acoustic and visual landscapes.

Those who hadn’t the chance to visit Linz this year; you have the possibility to take a look at the panel discussions on the website of the festival — and there is a “timeline +25” where everybody can get a prophecy about what will happen in the next 25 years.

This postings forecast that in 2026 Bill Gates junior is going to be tell us that the 512 terrabyte RAM will be enough and in 2029 music will be replaced with noise which you can only listen in cars, because computers are banned from homes. This project is declared as a cultural experiment, influencing your imagination of future scenarios.

And my thought for the future is that there is much more potential in digital art and science which extrudes hopefully year for year and will further be supported by/in Linz – and there is a good chance that this will happen.

Ars Electronica 2004
Date : 2nd -7th September 2004
Place : Linz
Address : 14 Buergerstrasse T732-669013 Austria

Text & Photos: Simon Scheiber from Nuiland

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