Ars Electronica 2000
Festival-Website 2000
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Festival 1979-2007



Stadt Linz

Land Oberösterreich

Bundeskanzleramt/ Kunstsektion

Compaq Computer Austria GmbH

Hewlett-Packard GesmbH

Brau Union Österreich AG

Microsoft GesmbH

Oracle GmbH

Gericom AG

Silicon Graphics Computer Systems GesmbH

Telekom Austria

Siemens AG Österreich

Quelle AG

ORF – Österreichischer Rundfunk


Prix Ars Electronica wird unterstützt von / is supported by:


Datakom Austria

Österreichische Postsparkasse

Voest-Alpine Stahl

Stadt Linz

Land Oberösterreich

Prix Ars Electronica Additional Support:

Casinos Austria

Courtyard by Marriott

Fujitsu Siemens

öks Österreichischer Kulturservice

Porsche Austria


TNT International Mail

Additional support for Ars Electronica and Prix Ars Electronica by Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa.

Mag. Herbert Schweiger
CEO / Geschäftsführer
Compaq Computer Austria GmbH
The Ars Electronica Festival continues its thematic focus on the life sciences with this year’s topic “Sex in the Age of its Procreative Superfluousness,” an elaboration of the potential cultural and social-political implications of modern reproductive biology. This consideration of the fascinating as well as controversial subject of genetic engineering—the challenge and provocation of our age—forces us to confront visions of an ethical disaster while, at the same time,making us curious about the technological possibilities of the future.
In doing so, Ars Electronica as a festival for art, technology and society undertakes the important task of assuring that the social and cultural changes technology might bring about are not left up to society’s conscience alone, but rather are brought out into the open as the subject of a political discussion.
Best wishes for success in your encounter with these challenging issues!
Erich Höllweger
Member of the Board of Directors / Mitglied des Vorstandes
Quelle AG
Are love and sex really falling into a state of “procreative superfluousness”? Are they being relegated to laboratories and test tubes? To men and women whose humanity is also a matter of moral conviction, such a development seems inconceivable. After all, love, feelings and emotions are still our ultimate existential impulses, and by no means the least important determinants of our day-to-day behavior.
Nevertheless, the question remains: how far can and may our intervention into the basic workings of life go? The Ars Electronica Festival cannot provide an answer. As an interface of art, technology and society, though, its supreme objective should be to present progressive and critical approaches that make the public at large aware of these difficult issues.
As a patron of the Ars Electronica Festival, Quelle Österreich wishes you all the best in taking on this demanding task.
Jochen Krumpe
Marketing Director Central Europe
Silicon Graphics GmbH Germany
The subject to which the title NEXT SEX refers is one that is at the center of intense debate. The fact that it affects all of humanity makes it all the more important to shed light on and, if possible, visualize all facets of these issues from every perspective.
SGI, as one of the leaders in the IT field, supports this artistic endeavor to enable all of us to more easily approach these key issues and to achieve greater insight into them.
Komm. Rat Johann Sulzberger
Member of the Board of Directors / Vorstand
Brau Union Österreich AG
We beer brewers live and work with nature, since the treasures that nature bestows upon us are the basis of our products. The maintenance of our natural resources is something we regard as our utmost duty, the supreme watchwords of our commitment. The naturalness of beer is not a topic for discussion; therefore, in the future as well, it should not be modified by terms like “not genetically manipulated,” should not be subject to relaxed standards, or even be called into question. This year’s Ars Electronica Festival for art, technology and society confronts the subject of genetic engineering.We are doing that too, since the ultimate reward for our labors is the knowledge that we will be able to enjoy the flavor of our naturally brewed beers tomorrow as well!
DI Wolfgang Gruber
CEO / Geschäftsführer
Hewlett-Packard GesmbH
In light of views recently expressed by public opinion leaders and social policymakers on the decoding of the human genome, the Ars Electronica 2000’s theme is the most controversial one ever. The Festival’s organizers are demonstrating for the 21st time their instincts for focusing on timely issues. The creativity and professionalism evident here are making an important contribution to establishing Austria’s image as a great place for innovative high-tech firms to do business.
Ing. Mag. Hermann Oberlehner
CEO / Vorstandsvorsitzender
Gericom AG
Rapid developments in biotechnology and genetic engineering—which the Ars Electronica already began to address in 1999 with the “LifeScience” theme—turn the Festival’s focus this year to reproductive technology. This field may well be the most scientifically exciting as well as the socially and culturally most explosive because of its location only a few steps away from the completely industrial production of life.
What will be technologically possible in such a future, what, on the other hand, will be ethically and socially permissible, and where will the boundaries be drawn between science, technology and society, or what kind of new barriers will be erected, will be among the central issues of the Ars Electronica Festival 2000, NEXT SEX.
As a future-oriented high-tech Austrian company, we support Ars Electronica, the internationally unique festival for art, technology and society, because nothing is more exciting than the future.
DI Wilfried Schöfer
CEO / Geschäftsführer
Oracle GmbH
For Oracle, the use of modern Internet technologies constitutes an essential contribution to the society of the third millennium. The time in which science, and thus leading-edge technology as well, were pursued as ends in and of themselves is over once and for all.
Now, we must critically analyze what usefulness society has from brand new product innovations connected with the new Internet dimension. And success—not only in business—will come to those capable of answering this question in a timely manner.
The term “life science” is thus most appropriate to describe this interplay between science and life. For us, that means discovering where we as a firm active on an international basis can help people and organizations achieve a competitive advantage and an enhanced quality of LIFE through the skillful use of SCIENCE.
Mag. Alexander Stüger
CEO / Geschäftsführer
Microsoft GesmbH
By the time this Ars Electronica Festival catalog appears, an event will have already transpired that can justifiably be called an epoch-making scientific achievement and placed on a par with the insights of Galileo—the complete decoding of the human genome.
The tremendous opportunities as well as responsibilities that this development has placed in the hands of science and society were perhaps best captured by a term coined at a little-noted scientific conference that took place recently in the vicinity of Beijing: a tool is now available that will make a “genetic upgrade” of mankind possible. As much as vivid images like “upgrade” can help to make the subject of biotechnology easier to grasp, they also bring with them the potential for dangerous oversimplification—“I mean, like, it’s just an upgrade.” Contributing to staging a comprehensive and profound, controversial and responsible discussion of these issues, as the Ars Electronica Festival will do once again this year, is a proactive approach to averting that danger.
Mag. Josef Wiener
CEO / Geschäftsführer
Telekom Austria
Reproduction as a calculated, managed business; offspring ordered form a catalog; trading in genes and the services of surrogate mothers on commodity exchanges—and all of this, of course, on the Internet.
NEXT SEX sensitizes us to deal more thoughtfully with this issue, particularly since the direction in which things will proceed remains in the hands of human beings as the users of these technologies whose development and potential are unlimited. The more intensive the discussion about technological developments, the greater the efficiency with which they can be integrated into life, because in spite of all these technological advances, one aspect ought not to be neglected —the interpersonal communication with which human beings learn to make use of technological achievements instead of submitting to them. This is how potential is developed and realized, and we wish the Ars Electronica 2000 all the best in going about this.
DI Kurt Martinek
CEO / Generaldirektor
Datakom Austria GmbH
Not all that long ago, on February 23, 1997, the birth of Dolly the cloned sheep sent a shock wave through society. The cover story in the news magazine Der Spiegel was headlined “Now Everything is Feasible.” A little over three years later, a first draft of the entire human genetic code is being presented to a surprised international public. In light of these developments, it seems that it will only be a matter of a few years until the first cloned human baby is born to a delighted mother. This year’s Ars Electronica is dedicated to this scenario and its ethical, economic and social implications. DATAKOM AUSTRIA, as one of the chief sponsors, is pleased to be able to support such an important discourse.We wish all participating artists and scientists a fruitful experience at the Ars Electronica 2000, and thank the organizers for putting on a thought-provoking event boldly addressing such a controversial topic.
Gen.Dir. Mag. Max Kothbauer
President / Generaldirektor
P.S.K. Österreichische Postsparkasse
One of humanity’s great puzzles is the question “Where do we come from?”
Generation after generation has responded with countless answers.What is new in our own age is the intervention into the origination and development of emergent life, and the manipulation of it in some desired direction.
In the past, a well-conceived effort has been made to employ sensitivity in assessing research in the field of reproductive biology and to conduct these programs cautiously. And cognizance of the fact that human life with all its facets and each individual’s various strengths and weaknesses is precisely that which makes possible the fascinating coexistence of people in a society should always be the premise behind all efforts to intercede in human life, its formation and its plan. Particularly for young people growing up in a high-tech, visualized world, it is important to be able to also have access to spaces that are independent of electronics and technology where the individual can experience feelings and emotions.
Considered from this perspective, the Ars Electronica Festival as a platform for the latest breakthroughs in art, technology and society quite properly highlights the multifarious possibilities for the relief of human problems offered by genetic engineering and reproductive biology. But global social responsibility for those living today as well as for future generations should also be proclaimed in order to give some food for thought to the young people who will in a few years be the ones defining and determining the values of this world.
In supporting the young people’s category u19 freestyle computing, P.S.K. sees its role as that of catalyst and promoter of innovative ideas and projects, as well as their public presentation. Young people’s creativity deserves to be subsidized, and they ought to be kept abreast of hot issues like ”Next Sex” in order to assure an informed constituency in the open encounter with social policy considerations. If high-profile public initiatives like the Prix Ars Electronica can bring about a certain degree of awareness among young people of the chances, risks and possibilities of technological achievements, then much will have been accomplished.
Dr. Peter Strahammer
Chairman of the board of Directors / Vorsitzender des Vorstandes
We live at a time when the weight of technical knowledge and know-how has become so oppressive that hardly any room is left over for orientational knowledge—the know-why. This makes it even more important for the social discourse surrounding modern human genetics and its revolutionary possibilities to be conducted—notwithstanding any and all moral considerations—in a way that is as free as possible from taboos, prejudices and ideologies. The artistic context made available by Ars Electronica seems to me to be the one best suited for such a discourse.