There are two types of multimedial features installed at "The Sound of Europe" conference:
First of all, there’s the custom-designed, nine-screen media display with a total projection area of about 160 m² in the Europasaal, the main hall of Salzburg’s Congress Center; secondly, there are interactive media installations in front of and inside the conference venue, as well as several media art interventions that are an integral part of the conference’s scheduled program and directly relate to the issues on which the proceedings will focus.
These projects were developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab in close collaboration with the conference’s planning staff: Klaus Wölfer, Ingrid Friedrich and Heidemarie Meissnitzer from the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
The production of “The Sound of Europe” is pioneering new approaches to putting on such events facilitated by multimedia features. Cutting-edge communications and presentation methods help to structure themes and prolong their immediacy. This results in more intensive audience involvement in comparison to traditional situations in which a speaker stands in front of an audience to deliver an address, and this new approach produces a setting conducive to lively discussions. The upshot is to endow conferences and debates with a completely new quality.
At the EU’s “The Sound of Europe” conference, prominent figures in the fields of politics, diplomacy, art, culture, science, media and business will convene January 27-28, 2006 in Salzburg, the birthplace 250 years ago of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Top priority on the conference’s agenda is to host a broad debate about the significance and role of Europe, about tensions within the European Union and about concrete solutions to these problems. Special emphasis will be placed on a discussion of the role of art and culture in dealing with these issues. “The Sound of Europe” is the inaugural event of Austria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2006.
The media installations and infrastructure designed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab react to the program of events being held at the conference but do not intervene in or comment upon them; rather, these features support the discussions by providing recapitulations and analytical visualizations.
Several media art interventions provide a fascinating contrast to the panel discussions and complement the discourse in an inspiring way. The entire conference is thus endowed with a visual as well as a musical identity that is derived directly from the panels’ topics and content rather than merely providing a decorative embellishment of them.