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Ars Electronica Festival 2003

Messa di Voce • Tmema (USA), Jaap Blonk (NL), Joan La Barbara (USA) •  • Source: Golan Levin • Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica, Linz • 
Messa di Voce
Tmema (USA), Jaap Blonk (NL), Joan La Barbara (USA)
Source: Golan Levin
Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica, Linz
Ars Electronica Festival 2003
LINZ  •  Ars Electronica Center Linz  •  Ongoing
Gerfried Stocker and Christine Schöpf, the artistic directors of Ars Electronica, summarize this year's festival program in these terms: " CODE – the Language of our Time is the theme of Ars Electronica 2003, an encounter with digital code's role within and influence upon art and society. Three thematic domains—Code=Law, Code=Art, Code=Life—provide a framework for this artistic, political and scientific confrontation with core issues. "

Software is omnipresent; digital codes are the materia prima of our modern, global Information Society. And it is precisely its unlimited capacity to be programmed that turns the computing machine into the unique medium that has so successfully and so mightily pervaded all aspects of our life—one that can simultaneously function as an implement of war, economic tool and artistic instrument.

A Symposium: CODE - The Language of Our Time, will be a confrontation with software and digital codes. The key topics of industry standards, the emergence of artistic trends as a consequence of program features, efforts to achieve artistic autonomy, and the aesthetics of codes will occupy the spotlight of attention of experts and scholars representing a wide range of disciplines and geographic regions.

Art & Events: Ars Electronica will present selected works in an array of formats—--network projects, installations, performances—by about 280 artists and scientists from 20 countries. A special highlight this year is Principles of Indeterminism, music performed in and around the Brucknerhaus and accompanied by impressive visualizations including large-format projections on the façade of the nearby Arcotel—a concert for all the senses and, simultaneously, a survey of musical forms ranging from traditional composition to digital live performance. In this ensemble extravaganza featuring the Bruckner Orchestra, digital music and dramatic visualizations, the greats of minimal music, electronic music and media art such as Dennis Russel Davis, Rupert Huber, Lia and Ryoji Ikeda will convene to perform works by Steve Reich, Edgar Varèse, Iannis Xenakis and Marco Stroppa.

Another program highlight will be Messa di Voce featuring two vocal artists utilizing a novel instrument. Every nuance of their vocalizations is recorded and transformed into 3-D graphic objects that float in space above and beside them. The singers can play with these objects or reposition and compress them, actions which, in turn, modify the acoustic reproduction of the graphics. The interplay of the two elements results in a concert of voice and code.

In addition to those specifically focusing on the CODE theme, the popular Cyberarts 2003 show features works submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica, as well as the electrolobby, a laboratory of innovators and trendsetters such as the dynamic, action-packed chase through urban and virtual space entitled Can You See me Now – A Project of Blast Theory in Collaboration with the Mixed Reality Laboratory, University of Nottingham (UK).

CODE Exhibitions present media artists' works having to do with CODE. In datawork : man, Richard Kriesche thematicizes the impact upon art of the deciphering of the human genetic blueprint. He translates genetic code into graphic depictions and thereby places it into a new context. The work of Casey Reas, on the other hand, stands for a new type of art comprised of code, in that he works with dynamic, independently reacting systems. His piece entitled MicroImage consists of thousands of micro-software organisms, every single one of which is programmed and reacts independently with movements in response to user interventions via mouse-click as well as to stimuli from their own immediate environment—that is, on the part of other software organisms. These movements are captured in graphic form, whereby new, unforeseeable images are generated by each system startup. Ben Fry, John Maeda and Roman Verostko are only a few of the other artists who will be presenting works connected with CODE. Christiane Paul from New York's Whitney Museum has curated the CODeDOC II exhibition for Ars Electronica.

Among the many new exhibits on display at the Ars Electronica Center is the upgraded "Humphrey II" simulator that gives visitors to the Museum of the Future the consummate illusion of flight.

Ars Electronica Festival 2003 Web Site

Contact: Tel: (43) 732 72 720

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