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Paths through the Dense Thicket of Modern Reality
The world is becoming more complex and less predictable. The big picture keeps getting harder to see. Scientists and researchers are now using computer-based simulation in an effort to achieve an overview. The “Simulation” conference at the Ars Electronica Center will host an encounter with the possibilities and areas of application of techniques and technologies with great promise for the future.

“The Age of Simulation” – Ars Electronica Center Linz, January 12-14, 2006

How do epidemics spread in a world in which passenger transport is a mass-scale, global phenomenon? Would the pharmaceutical industry be able to produce vaccines fast enough and could the people of the world be vaccinated in time? Would a rapid rise in demand overwhelm global markets and countermeasures ultimately lead to a state of chaos? And could it be that precise knowledge of the diverse flight paths of migratory birds brings forth a possibility of prevention?

The drastic example of Bird Flu clearly reveals the virtually infinite complexity of our world. Answers to such questions lie in the professional processing of data by scientists and researchers. But simulation and network analysis can also deliver valuable information in managing tasks of an apparently less spectacular nature—for example, the prevention of daily traffic jams, the administration of businesses faced with highly segmented markets and consumer target groups, as well as the analysis of labor market conditions.

“The Age of Simulation” is a conference and exhibition that will be taking a transdisciplinary reading of the current state of the art of simulation. Attendees from all over the world will elaborate on the basic principles of simulation and explain its applications ranging from computer games and special effects in the field of filmmaking all the way to simulations of the behavior of working groups, flocks of birds, markets and panicky investors, traffic jams, and even the propagation of opinions and styles.

Internationally prominent experts including Ken Perlin, Ian Bogost and Bill Buxton will join specialists from the staffs of FAS.research and the Ars Electronica Futurelab to discuss the possibilities of applying simulation in various areas of business, research, education/training and the entertainment industry. The aim of FAS.research and Ars Electronica in staging this conference is to establish a solid basis for new perspectives on learning and research in what can well be termed the Age of Simulation.

“With the aid of simulations, highly complex interrelationships become comparatively easy to comprehend. This enables them to serve as instruments of analysis in science and research. Thanks to their ordering structures, simulations can offer scientists and laymen alike help in quickly grasping highly abstruse content. The upshot of this is promising potential for our ongoing development in the direction of a Knowledge-Based Society," stated Christopher Lindinger, director of R&D at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz.

During the course of the symposium, new methods of learning and research that utilize simulation to facilitate access to complex bodies of knowledge will be presented and discussed. Special evening lectures and performances related to the conference theme round out the program. Interactive installations on display at the Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future will showcase the playful, creative approaches that various forms of simulation can open up in a wide variety of areas.

“The Age of Simulation” is being produced jointly by
Ars Electronica and FAS.research
with support from
Fonds Innovatives Österreich

With queries, please contact:

Wolfgang A. Bednarzek

AEC Ars Electronica Center Linz
Museumsgesellschaft mbH
Hauptstraße 2, A - 4040 Linz, Austria

Tel +43.732.7272-38
Fax +43.732.7272-638
Mobil: +43.664-81 26 156

email: wolfgang.bednarzek@aec.at
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