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GOODBYE PRIVACY – Festival Ars Electronica 2007

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on September 5, 2007

A new culture of everyday life is now upon us, bracketed by the angst-inducing scenarios of seamless surveillance and the zest we bring to staging our public personas via digital media. One in which everything seems to be public and nothing’s private anymore. Panopticon or consummate individual freedom of expression? At symposia, exhibitions, performances and interventions, the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival will delve into what the public and private spheres have come to mean and the interrelationship that now exists between them. Dates: September 5-11. Location: throughout the City of Linz.

Second City

This year’s festival is “going public” too before the backdrop of our (involuntary) digital transparency and the (voluntary) relinquishment of our privacy. “We are very intentionally running this “public sphere risk” because this step—going public, going into the public realm—is the only logical and consistent way to approach GOODBYE PRIVACY,” said Ars Electronica Artistic Director Gerfried Stocker. In going about this, urban spaces and infrastructure serve not only as a stage but also as a medium that blends with artistic interventions and, in turn, becomes a message. The epicenter of this “infiltration” is Marienstraße, a street that seems to be a dead zone in the middle of downtown Linz. The prevalence of vacant retail spaces here strongly evokes the atmosphere of a stage set and makes pedestrians feel like they’re walking past the artificial buildings of a virtual city. Ars Electronica will put these premises to use and transform Marienstraße into Second City, into the portal between reality and artificiality. What will be staged here during the week of September 5-11 is not some sort of urban renewal program; rather, this initiative has a strictly transient, virtual character. It is real artificiality and, conversely, artificial reality. The festival’s traditional propagation is thus endowed with a new quality—not just out into the city but throughout the cityscape.

Ars Electronica – innovative, same as ever

A mix of traditional features and completely new approaches will make GOODBYE PRIVACY a one-of-a-kind festival in several respects. For one thing, “art in public space” will be taken to the next qualitative level: art as public space. Campus, an Ars Electronica fixture of long standing, has also gotten a conceptual makeover: Campus 2.0 approaches networking not only as a chance to share experiences and knowledge but as an essential component of the research process itself. Accordingly, the emphasis will not be on showcasing the outstanding work being done at a particular art college but rather on getting many such research facilities linked up with each other. Another new feature involves the Animation Festival that made its debut in 2005. This year, it’s being exported in real time, which means simultaneous screenings in Linz, Vienna and Kiev. Another first this year is the presence of the new mobile atelier of the ORF – Austrian Broadcasting Company’s radio station Ö1. This prototype container module is an innovative piece of art in its own right. The mobile atelier engages in a dialog with its physical surroundings and also provides artists with working and exhibition space. Another bold experiment is being carried out jointly by Ars Electronica and Stephan Doesinger: “Bastard Spaces – 1st Annual Architecture Competition in Second Life.” This open competition will pursue new trends in architecture and design.

http://www.aec.at/en/festival2007/

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