POST CITY - Habitats for the 21st Century. 92,000 visits, 482 individual events featuring 946 artists, scientists, activists and other protagonists from 42 countries. This retrospective look at one of the best-attended festivals of all time is an amazing sight to behold. We’ve assembled an array of excellent impressions of all the festival venues—but especially of PostCity at Linz’s train station.
Credit: Martin Hieslmair
The blue spiral packet chutes quickly became PostCity’s trademark. A year ago, they were still being used in what was then an Austrian Postal Service logistics center to twirl letters and parcels down one level …
… where they were loaded onto the countless trucks that took them on the next leg of their journey.
Set up between Bays 1 and 7 was the 2015 Ars Electronica Festival’s Welcome Desk, the go-to location for visitors, artists and journalists.
The festival had lots of room, to say the least! The spacious premises totaled 80,000 m2. One huge room was set aside as a conference hall, where Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica, introduced the first talk at 10 AM on opening day.
One of the top attractions was, of course, the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion self-driving car.
The participants in the Future Innovators Summit doing some meeting & greeting.
Ars Electronica Futurelab Director Horst Hörtner tests the Big Robot MK1.
The CyberArts exhibition showcasing this year’s Prix Ars Electronica prizewinners opened on September 3, 2015 at the OK Center for Contemporary Art.
The exhibition will be running until September 13, 2015.
New exhibits have also opened at the Ars Electronica Center, and they too will remain on display after the festival.
Back in PostCity, another performance was taking off. These eye-catchers are flying objects manufactured by FESTO.
There was a lot to see throughout the five-day festival. The gamut ranged from interactive animation …
… to extremely sensitive robot arms.
Needless to say, there was no shortage of space and ample time for conversations. Festivalgoers were welcome to listen in.
Derrick de Kerckhove at one of the first talks in PostCity.
Hiroshi Ishii of the MIT Media Lab.
PostCity hosted the Opening on the first evening of the festival.
The Opening took place inside the former Post facility as well as outside in the courtyard still adorned with signage for bulk mail customers.
The spectrum of performances at the Opening was wide indeed. There were piano concerts …
… fanfares by brass instruments …
… choral vocals …
… and the Diaspora Maschine that transformed the spiral packet chutes into an extraordinary sound-corpus for the duration of the festival.
The various batteries of packet chutes also contributed stylish visual highlights to the pleasant festival atmosphere—here, for instance, adjacent to PostCity’s bakery.
To see everything at this festival, you had to cover quite a bit of ground. For those who needed to take a short break, these wooden tables offered a user-friendly spot to hang out.
PostCity also hosted Post-Post, this year’s Campus exhibition by Linz Art University.
Drumming on the spiral packet chutes during a “Diaspora Maschine” performance.
Shooting down the chutes.
Workshops in conjunction with the Future Innovators Summit also took place amongst the chutes.
Kilian Kleinschmidt, a humanitarian aid expert active worldwide, delivering his address at the first POST CITY Symposium.
The youngsters honored this year by the Prix Ars Electronica received their awards at the u19 Ceremony on Friday.
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD is the festival-within-a-festival for young people under 19 years of age.
The workshops called for creativity as well as a bit of patience on the part of kids and youngsters.
“Feed me” was an impressive walk-through installation.
Round Table at the u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD Festival.
Renaming the City sought a suitable name for the main promenade through Linz’s Volksgarten park.
The Ars Electronica Center’s new Deep Space 8K was one of the featured attractions at this year’s media arts festival.
Giving the “older” stations some play could turn out to be a rewarding experience too.
A tour through PostCity’s assorted spaces offered multifaceted impressions.
Prizes were bestowed on the 2015 Golden Nica recipients at the Ars Electronica Gala on Friday evening in the Brucknerhaus.
The off-beat outfits that could be admired during the day in PostCity’s Fashion District were presented in the evening at the Gala.
A great moment—all the 2015 Prix Ars Electronica prizewinners assembled on stage.
The presentation of the Golden Nicas was the penultimate highlight on Friday, Day 2 of the festival.
Finally, PostCity shifted into nighttime mode and staged an in-house Nightline in the Track Hall.
New day, new lineup—prizewinning art works created for the Teletext system were presented in Deep Space at the Ars Electronica Center.
The Council of Europe also hosted a conference in the Ars Electronica Center.
At the five Prix Forums held on Saturday, the spotlight was on the prizewinners and the jurors. They convened for talks in the OK Center for Contemporary Art.
For festivalgoers, this was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for up-close-and-personal encounters with the artists themselves.
Tasty, locally produced products were on sale at the “Farmers’ Market of the Future” in PostCity on Saturday.
Hammocks offered rest & relaxations for busy festivalgoers.
Sporadically swirling up in the background: the blue spiral packet chutes.
Works of art by undergrads at Université Paris 8 were showcased on the campus of Linz Art University on Hauptplatz.
PostCity’s highway signage came in handy on the weekend when thousands of spectators stormed the main festival venue.
Many of the exhibitions’ installations were hands-on affairs.
In the bunker at PostCity.
Immediately adjacent to PostCity’s Train Hall, the clocks kept time in a zone of their own.
On Saturday evening, the voestalpine Klangwolke in Donaupark was the biggest show in town.
This year’s “Cloud of Sound” was entitled “Hochwald – Dance of the Trees.”
Thousands of spectators gathered on the banks of the Danube for this dramatic spectacle.
The final performance of “Second Body” was in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday night.
Saturday night at the movies: the roof of the OK Center for Contemporary Art was a great setting for animation alfresco.
Winding down another eventful day, this time with inspiring talks …
… new perspectives and prospects …
… and manifold forms of visual impetus at the nexus of art, technology and society.
On Sunday, Day 4 of the Ars Electronica Festival, spectators packed Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center.
PostCity was easily identifiable with its own jumbo-format city limits sign.
Carlo Ratti kicked off another series of speeches in the Conference Hall.
Thanks to the spacious emptiness of PostCity’s premises, works of art could spread out and do their thing.
The artists customized their presentations according to the facts & circumstances on site.
Dark spaces were ideal settings for light installations.
Thanks to a diversified food court, festivalgoers could spend the whole day in PostCity.
Or simply immerse themselves in other virtual realities.
The roof of PostCity was the right spot for an artistic work.
Continuous changes of scenery and an ongoing process of discovery—too bad PostCity is just a temporary setting for media art.
Painting come to life.
Out-of-the-ordinary projection surfaces.
Urban spaces and green landscapes coalesce.
Kids get hands-on experience with 3-D printing.
The days of festival seemed to fly by, not only for visitors but also for the many Ars Electronica staffers involved in producing this extraordinary festival.
Presentations on an ongoing basis.
Find your place in the future!
Or simply play.
Sunday wound up with a marvelous Big Concert Night in the Train Hall.
Music Monday wrapped up the 2015 Ars Electronica Festival. See you next year!