Ars Electronica 2007
Festival-Website 2007
Back to:
Festival 1979-2007


My Museum - Your Museum

'Nicoletta Blacher Nicoletta Blacher

What additional role is assumed by persons partaking of interactive works of art that provide for a process of direct, physical encounter and in which user participation is an integral component of the work? How are spatial arrangements and compositions configured within the zone of interplay at the nexus of utopian designs and the domains in which real life is played out? How can the expansion surrounding virtual space be used creatively? Familiar phenomena appear in a different light, and strange worlds are shifted into our immediate proximity.

In this context, cooperative agreements among museums and a variety of different regional institutional partners offer manifold opportunities for users to recognize the museum setting as part of their own lives and not just as part of the cityscape, and offer identification possibilities that break down these buildings’ structural shells and further the transfer of knowledge and experience.

In conjunction with this year’s festival, the Ars Electronica Center is launching a joint venture with the Museum of the Province of Upper Austria, the O.K Center for Contemporary Art and the Stifterhaus. Tours and workshops invite visitors to take an up-close-and-personal look at highly diverse forms of contemporary artistic production. Each respective exhibition situation offers a different form of interaction.

Three exhibitions in the Museum of the Province of Upper Austria are dedicated to the subject of children.(1) Utopian settings for activities, decisions and social behavior open up diverse possibilities of interaction for kids and adults alike. The Stifterhaus is the point of departure for journeys of discovery in literary worlds, and the “Cyberarts” exhibition in the O.K and the Ars Electronica Center present installations that focus on the expansion of the senses between real and virtual space. Another featured presentation is “Dialog Media: Cultures,” a six-month youth project that fostered an active, creative encounter with the categories of the Prix Ars Electronica and the conceptualization of exhibitions in the Ars Electronica Center. Contributions by more than 50 youngsters—pupils at three Linz schools and youngsters affiliated with a local youth cultural center—are being presented online.(2)

The museum not only as a place of presentation, but as a place of encounter and dialog. The museum as a place for individual worlds of experience and for designing worlds at the intersection of real and virtual space: The mission of the Museum of the Future is to provide an expanded setting for the transfer of knowledge and modes of learning that are usually treated only marginally in formal educational institutions. Visiting a museum is no longer a special event; rather, it’s now something taken completely for granted. One goes to the museum intentionally to experience and to try out new things.


Translated from German by Mel Greenwald

u 19 – freestyle computing

Got a question: Just phone up Wikipedia! This year’s Golden Nica in u19 – freestyle computing goes to VoIP-Wiki. A three-member team of students from Mössingerstraße High School worked together with the Province of Carinthia’s Association for the Blind to develop this project that enables users to access information in the online encyclopedia via telephone, cellphone or voice synthesizer hooked up directly to the user’s computer. This project can best be generally characterized as a combination of Web 2.0 and social software. But perhaps its most outstanding individual feature is its approach to mediating knowledge and fostering media skills, one that maintains a highly professional level without taking the fun out of things. In the way they combine traditional media, link up systems in networks and increasingly use opensource programs, young people today are bringing out utilization possibilities oriented on actual everyday practice. A unique, personal signature thus becomes visible in the development of game environments, animated films, websites and installations.

The Ars Electronica Center’s exhibition of prizewinners in the u19 – freestyle computing category showcases the incredible breadth of digital creativity. From gaming, animation and graphic design all the way to FOG PAINTING, an object that makes feelings visible in a light installation, the entire u19 spectrum is represented. The Center’s permanent exhibit of prizewinning works in u19 has been continuously updated over the last two years and augmented by presentations in the SimulationLab and Projektspace.

u19 - freestyle computing, Austria’s largest computer competition for young people held in conjunction with the Prix Ars Electronica, is entering its 10th year—a perfect occasion for a traveling exhibition showcasing the amazing diversity of creative work being done by Austrian youngsters. In cooperation with KulturKontakt Austria and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, we’re planning an exhibition this October in the new net.culture.space (Telekom Austria and Ars Electronica) at the Museumsquartier in Vienna.


MUSEUM ONLINE is a project initiative of KulturKontakt Austria and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture to promote cooperation among museums and schools in conjunction with the use of innovative technologies.

(1) http://www.landesgalerie.atzurück

(2) http://www.aec.at/museumonline or http://www.museumonline.atzurück

More information about developments at u19 – freestyle computing was presented by Sirikit Amann of KulturKontakt Austria at JugendMedienKulturen (YouthMediaCultures), a conference of experts from all over the world recently held at the Ars Electronica Center. See http: www.aec.at/center

KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture