Conferences, Lectures, Workshops

The Ars Electronica Festival is a platform for encounters with and exchange among outstanding scientists and artists. A series of symposia focuses on the Festival theme. The Future Innovators Summit is a conclave at which seasoned experts, up-and-coming entrepreneurs and social activists, engineers and scientists, artists and designers get together to exchange insights and skills and to inspire one another. The Prix Forums are panel discussions featuring Prix Ars Electronica jurors and prizewinners.

Radical Atoms Symposia

The 2016 Ars Electronica Festival theme symposia are scrutinizing the alchemists of our time. Who are these people conjuring up our near-term future?

Ars Electronica DroneLab

From our home base, DroneLab in POSTCITY, we’ll embark on a fact-finding tour featuring projects, demos, races and airborne artistry, and providing insightful looks into the fascinating world of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Future Innovators Summit

Collaborative brainstorming and the creative development of questions having to do with humankind’s future, education and the digital commons—that’s the mission of the Future Innovators Summit.

2. HelferInnenkonferenz: ZusammenHelfen in OÖ – Gemeinsam für geflüchtete Menschen

The Ars Electronica Festival will host the 2nd Conference of People Providing Aid to Refugees in the Province of Upper Austria in order to offer part-time volunteers and full-time staffers a setting in which to do networking, acquire information and exchange views. Wide-ranging input from experts and various workshops on subjects such as language, cultural understanding, work and training are meant to strengthen and motivate helpers as they carry on their efforts on behalf of refugees.


Attention isn’t focused only on the prizewinning projects of STARTS–Prize 2016; Ars Electronica’s spotlight also shines on the people who produced them. At the STARTS–Forum 2016 they will have an opportunity to elaborate on their approach and point of view, their methodology and the results they’ve achieved with it.

Prix Forum I – Computer Animation/Film/VFX

The Computer Animation / Film / VFX Prix Forum will deal with developments in the animation field. With Gerfried Stocker (AT), Boris Labbé (FR), Yuya Hanai (JP), Mari-Liis Rebane (EE) and Johannes Schiehsl (AT).

Prix Forum II – Digital Communities

The Digital Communities Forum is dedicated to the social consequences of global interconnection via digital networks. With Sarah Kriesche (AT), Stacco Troncoso (ES), Paul Feigelfeld (AT) and Nakano Hitoyo (JP).

Prix Forum III – Interactive Art +

The Interactive Art+ Forum will elaborate of interactive works and the expanded interpretation of interactive art. With Victoria Vesna (US), Mathias Jud (CH), Christoph Wachter (CH) and Frank Kolkman (NL).


Taking work done by MIT’s Tangible Media Group and the Ars Electronica Futurelab as the point of departure, this part of the symposium will deal with how the evolution of Radical Atoms will be felt in various occupations, economic sectors and, by no means least of all, our everyday life.

Focus Digital Music and Soundart: Sonic Saturday

The Sonic Saturday schedule includes a diversified lineup of offerings—symposia, panel discussions, a guided tour, Listening Room and Medium Sonorum—dedicated to listening experiences in general and modern multi-channel compositions and computer music in particular.


On the Future Innovators Stage (FIS) in POSTCITY, the staff of innovative projects will present work that’s already in the implementation stage.

Kotatsu Conference

Kotatsu is a traditional Japanese heating appliance. It is a square table placed on the floor with a heat source inside, and the outside covered with a quilt, to warm the people sitting round it.

Girls on Wires

ModularSynthesizer workshop for girls mit with JessicaKert (Schneiders Laden Berlin)

Quadcopter Flying School

Learn to pilot multi-rotor mini-copters and get a feel for what they’re capable of. Display your skills executing slick maneuvers through a tricky obstacle course. Along the way, you’ll find out a lot of interesting stuff about how these drones are being used in science, the military, art and entertainment.

Current and future applications of BCIs

BCIs translate brain activity into control signals for numerous applications, including tools to help severely disabled users communicate and improve their quality of life.

Participation and Political Socialization in the Age of New Media

For several years now, new social media have been changing how people communicate and thus our everyday life. Especially among young people, these media now constitute a central part of their lived reality. Even our political discourse is increasingly conducted via Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms, which thus open up new forms of sociopolitical participation and socialization. The conference will confront this new reality and the challenges accompanying it, and scrutinize the impact of this development on political education.

People Thinking Lab

A true revolution of technology is taking place in the stream of people’s everyday lives. The accumulation of new interactions between people and technology is creating a culture and shaping a new society. And that is how cultural and social innovations are initiated.

ORI*LAB Masterclass

We offer insight into our research and development process, and actively pursue it with the method of learning by teaching, by conducting a masterclass in-situ with participants selected by open call.

Focus Digital Music and Soundart: Music Monday

The highlight of the final day of the festival features encounters of both a sensory as well as intellectual nature with electronic and experimental music. Accompanied by musician/musicologist Werner Jauk (AT), festivalgoers will enjoy close-up contacts with creative artists as well as first-hand insights into the music and tonal worlds conjured up at the festival.

Meet the Alchemists

This is the place where experts can meet and discuss in small groups about alchemistic solutions for our world. It is an open place, where festival visitors can participate in the discussions. Here, you can break the barrier of key panels and formal lectures and discuss directly with visitors and other experts in small groups. You can choose the time, date and the topic of your speech – no rules, no restrictions.

Campus Educators Forum

At the Campus Educators Forum, lectures of and about different study programmes connected to media arts take place.