Ars Electronica 1982
Festival-Program 1982
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Festival 1979-2007


Culture of the Information Society

'Hannes Leopoldseder Hannes Leopoldseder

ARS ELECTRONICA 82 will begin on September 24, 1982—that is 6308 days before the year 2000. For the year 2000 economists will apply the fifth Kondratieff-Wave, with microprocessors being the carrier structure. As industrial society has revolved around the machine, the age of the microprocessor, the third industrial revolution, will be determined by information and communication. Information society, with the developments of broadband cable systems, home-electronics, and direct radio-satellites, will produce new modes of cultural behaviour and—due to the change of technologies and media—also new forms and contents of artistic creativity. For this future ARS ELECTRONICA wants to provide markers. As to its contents, ARS ELECTRONICA is future-oriented, and new ways are being tried as to cultural communication. ARS ELECTRONICA, an open festival for art, technology, and society, wants to offer a program package featuring large-scale projects, music-theater, musical performances, campaigns, workshops, symposia, and exhibitions. Significant developments in the artistic application of new technologies are to be implemented on the one hand and new trends of future developments are to be manifested on the other.

The event of ARS ELECTRONICA is the result of the collaboration of LIVA —the Linz Special Events Planning Corporation and ORF—the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Regional Studio for Upper Austria. The individual relevant departments of the two institutions have been in charge of program development, crganization, and administration.

Five features have been of main consideration in developing the program for ARS ELECTRONICA 82:

  1. ARS ELECTRONICA 82 is concerned with our future—ranging from new technologies in art via the artistic space challenge to utopia, science fiction, and industrial robots, heralds of the year 2000.

  2. ARS ELECTRONICA 82 is directed at a definable municipal community and a social structure for which an expanded cultural concept is to be developed. This process is to evolve from existing conditions and is to initiate cultural intra-city communication.

  3. ARS ELECTRONICA 82 wants to use new technologies in art, in interdisciplinary concentration as well as in new ways of communication.

  4. ARS ELECTRONICA 82 strives to integrate electronic possibilities, media and the contents offered—the electronic facilities of radio and television are not only reproductive media but initiators of animation, creativity and creative cultural achievement.

  5. ARS ELECTRONICA 82 presents commissions exclusively, that is projects developed specifically for ARS ELECTRONICA. Thus the claim of innovation and the specific identity of Linz as a cultural and industrial city are being taken into account.
The individual projects of ARS ELECTRONICA are largely unique and original. They are not agency offers but artistic events of the first hour and of exemplary character.

In order to realize the objectives of ARS ELECTRONICA, collaboration of international institutions has been essential. At ARS ELECTRONICA 82, the Center for Advanced Visual Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents its main project of art with the SKY ART CONFERENCE'82. The MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, founded by Gyorgy Kepes and now directed by Prof. Otto Piene, has been concerned with the interaction of art and technology interdisciplinary for years in an unprecedented way. Having developed the concept of the SKY ART CONFERENCE at the MIT in Boston, Linz is the first place outside the center where artists and scientists will participate in an interdisciplinary SKY ART program: SKY ART, art of the future, is the artistic response of creative man to the challenge of space. The SKY ART CONFERENCE'82 under the direction of Prot. Otto Piene comprises the Laser-Opera ICARUS, Sky Events, Telecommunication, symposia on SKY ART, workshops, and exhibitions.

If in year 2000 satellites and broadband cable systems of the new media environment will make world-wide projects of telecommunication in which artists from all corners of the globe can participate as a common routine of media and art, our projects of telecommunication at ARS ELECTRONICA are to herald that future.

The dream of flying, of mastering finite space, has been perpetuated in the classic legend of "Icarus". At ARS ELECTRONICA that myth is being retold with new techniques as a stimulus for the future.

The dimension of open space, of space in general is of essential significance for ARS ELECTRONICA, be it outer space, the galaxies, open-air music, or new sound-space. Common denominator: new spheres of experience for man—in architecture as in "SOUND SQUARE" by Bernhard Leitner, in open-air music as in the artistic and sociocultural challenge of the "LINZ SOUND CLOUD".

The "LINZ SOUND CLOUD", this time with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, constitutes a model for experiencing symphonic music in open space. Unlike any other composer, Gustav Mahler in his music has reached for dimensions that may be appreciated by an audience of ten thousands in the experience of the "LINZ SOUND CLOUD". While the Rolling Stones attract ten thousands for a common experience of rock music, the "LINZ SOUND CLOUD" unites ten thousand for the experience of symphonic music in the Linzer Donaupark at the banks of the river.

The "LINZ SOUND CLOUD" and the "LINZER STAHLOPER" are the two major projects of ARS ELECTRONICA '82 reflecting the social structure of the steel city Linz. Whlie ARS ELECTRONICA on the one hand presents new possibilities of large scale art, as art in space, on the other it is concerned with a definable municipal community, an environmental experience, the identity of the neighbourhood.

In the "LINZER STAHLOPER" by Giorgio Battistelli, Linz, the Austrian steel city encounters an artistic interpretation of the cultural and working world—a subject the city has pledged itself to.

The "LINZER STAHLOPER" with musicians, steel workers, and machines of VOEST-ALPINE Linz is meant to stimulate and to elicit reactions. In the sphere of theoretical argument, the program ranges from a science fiction workshop to symposia on telecommunication and SKY ART as well as a scientific symposium on industrial robots. ARS ELECTRONICA wants to understand artistic events as a process not dominated by technology but using technology as a basis of personal creativity and imagination as stimulus. The first computer-acoustic sound symphony "ERDENKLANG" by Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader tries to combine the visual and acoustic experience of our environment by using the computer.

The White Noise reaching us from a distance of 1050 million light years from the "GALAXY CYGNUS-A", can hardly be reversed to the galaxy by present-day technology: the project "Galaxy Cygnus-A" marks borderlines and lifts individual imagination beyond space and time not yet overcome by technology.

As a result of our efforts towards preparing the broadcasting corporation for the future information society, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) is the only one on the continent to have received the mandate to examine an Austrian satellite project. The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation furthermore wants to point out new ways of cultural communication, wants to prepare the ground for a new electronic awareness in art and cultural life of the information society. For this purpose, the entire radio program of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday, September 26, 1982 will be dedicated to the year 2000: "Ö3 2000"—One Day in the Year 2000—tries to envisage everyday life in the year 2000. The future will be bring challenges for everyone.

By temporal coincidence, ARS ELECTRONICA will also be transmitted into outer space: In the week of ARS ELECTRONICA, on September 27,1982, a week's program of the European Satellite-Test-Program via the Orbital Test Satellite (OTS) will begin. This satellite program will include several events of ARS ELECTRONICA as well as continuous information on ARS ELECTRONICA.

ARS ELECTRONICA begins 6308 days before the year 2000, and ends 6300 days before the year 2000, as we may see from the "Calendar 2000" initiated by the "Committee 2000". The days in between belong to the future, to the stimulation of forms of art for the information society.

Dr. Hannes Leopoldseder, Director of the Regional Studio for Upper Austria of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation