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World’s Preeminent Festival of Art, Technology and Society

Essinova is proud to be the Development Partner for Tsinghua University, an Academic Sponsor for Ars Electronica 2016.

What is Ars Electronica?
Academic Sponsor
Development Partner

With its debut on September 18, 1979, Ars Electronica was a festival created to spotlight the emerging Digital Revolution, embracing it into Austria’s rich music heritage.

Today it is the world’s finest in media arts, known as the "Oscar of Digital Art"; and comprehensive laboratory-studio-showcase of excellence, with permanent facilities, event venues and public spaces in Linz, Austria, known as City of Media Arts, a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) network, and a European Capital of Culture.

Ars Electronica is funded by the City of Linz, the Province of Upper Austria and the Republic of Austria, with support from world-renowned academic institutions and corporate sponsors.

The Festival

The Festival

Annual proving ground and experimental setting for artistic and scientific encounters with social and digital cultural phenomena

The Center

The Center

Museum of the Future - Year-round display and interactions among all the diverse blends of ➢ artistic genres ➢ scientific domains ➢ technological directions

The Prix

The Prix

International trend barometer - honored by the Prix, then worldwide sensations: ➢ Pixar, 1987 ➢ Jurassic Park, 1994 ➢ Wikipedia, 2004



AE’s R&D motor, with feelers throughout realms of science and research, art and technology; prototyping the future, and discussing their meaning for our society.

Ars Electronica 2016 Theme

RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time ... and what comes after self-driving cars and the Internet of Things?

“While the world still has its hands full dealing with the Digital Revolution and the cultural and social transformations and challenges that it’s brought about, a young generation of scientists and creative engineers has set a course for new frontiers and is already at work amalgamating the disembodied world of digital data with the physical world of our bodies.”

Radical Atoms

“human interactions with future dynamic materials that are computationally reconfigurable”

  • ➢  a close collaboration with Prof. Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab;

  • ➢  facilitating physical objects to modify their surface and form just as quickly and organically as digital models;

  • ➢  interconnecting bits and atoms in elementary form, fabricating new high-tech materials from natural substances;

  • ➢  teaming up with artists and designers, employing neurosciences and biotechnology, digital hardware & software, and bringing together old handicrafts traditions with 3-D printers and laser cutters. 

Ars Electronica 2016 Program Highlights

Exhibitions and awards


➢  CyberArts show featuring Prix Ars Electronica winners and top selections by juries

➢  Theme exhibition - a wide array of artistic approaches with diverse perspectives on this year’s festival theme

➢  Multiple exhibitions at the 3,000 square meters of space at the Ars Electronica Center

➢  Linz Art University’s annual Campus show, curated this year by Tsinghua University

RHIZOME, Prix 2016 winner of Computer Animation/Film/VFX, an experimental black and white animated short involving repetitive music, mathematical art work, paintings and different scientific theories about the development of life, genetics, the infinitely small and the infinitely large

2016 STARTS Prize: Art as Catalyst (new award this year)


conducted by Ars Electronica on behalf of the European Commission, with a mission to recognize excellence at the nexus of science, technology and arts (STARTS).

Winner, “Innovative Cooperation between Industry/Technology and Art” 

Artificial Skins and Bones: Art, Bodies and Prostheses 

Winner, “Artistic Exploration”

Magnetic Motion: Fashion with the Power of Attraction

Iris van Herpen explores the interplay of magnetic forces. By thoroughly examining the representation of dynamic forces of attraction and repulsion, the designer fuses nature and technology. Earlier this year, van Herpen visited CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, whose magnetic field exceeding that of the Earth by 20,000 times, provided inspiration for Magnetic Motion.

Conferences and symposia

Multiple symposia to focus on festival theme

Future Innovators Summit:

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.

Concerts and Deep Space 8K

One of many concerts

One of many concerts

➢ Music and visualizations are mainstays of the Festival program; ➢ An opening extravaganza on Thursday, September 8, 2016 kicks off the five-day media art festival

Deep Space 8K

Deep Space 8K

Crystal-clear images on a jumbo-format 16×9 meter wall-and-floor projection surface making a visit to Deep Space 8K an unforgettable experience

Campus 2016, by Tsinghua University, Academy of Art and Design

Ars Electronica 2016
Campus Show by Tsinghua
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