To produce “The Age of Simulation. Learning and Researching in the 21st century,” the Ars Electronica Futurelab was able to draw upon its extensive experience doing R&D work in this field to undertake a wide-ranging interdisciplinary encounter with simulation’s basic principles and powerful applications. The international conference and exhibition staged in cooperation with FAS.research took up key developments and issues of great social relevance as a means of illustrating how simulations can be produced and utilized in nearly all facets of life and work, and can make understanding and planning within the context of conditions prevailing in the 21st century considerably easier and more productive.
Tying in to the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s areas of foremost expertise in visualization, simulation and interaction provided a solid basis for elaborating on the concepts, methods and applications that are making simulation at the nexus of artistic and technological innovation one of the most powerful tools being deployed in conjunction with a revolutionized culture of learning in our knowledge-based Information Society that operates according to the principles of network linkage and an interdisciplinary approach.
The conference was based on a wide-ranging concept encompassing a number of key focal-point issues - Simulation and Social Interaction, Simulation and Business, Simulation and Education, Simulation and Research, Simulation and Public, Simulation and Entertainment - interrelated via projects, workshops and theoretical as well as practical exhibit installations. Speakers and panelists included internationally renowned experts in science, R&D and education, as well as network specialists, software and game developers and multimedia artists who discussed innovative ways of utilizing computer-based simulation to provide easier access to complex content.
Exemplary projects and applications are on display in an experiment-friendly setting at the Ars Electronica Center’s Museum of the Future until October 2006. This Simulation Path conducts visitors through a sort of proving ground—a compilation of simulations culled from a broad spectrum of fields where they’re now being applied and showcased in a variety of exhibition formats including interactive installations and 3-D visualizations, educational computer games, artistically animated films and videos, and network visualizations.