Ars electronica | Program Belgrade Garden

2 min read

Forty-two years after its founding, in the second year of the Covid pandemic, as the digitization of our world has intensified along with the hopes and fears we attach to it, Ars Electronica is also looking to its own roots. A platform for committed people who see the future, not as a glimpse into the tech companies’ crystal ball, but as the responsibility of our time and have begun accepting this responsibility, as social activation and empowerment, as a source of analytical, corrective and alternative thought and action.

And so, once again, Ars Electronica in Kepler’s Gardens will be a globally networked festival supported jointly by well over a hundred partners. Because just looking over the garden fences is not enough – we network, open and share our gardens as places of ideas, inspirations, thought-provoking impulses and role models.

Belgrade Garden introduces the Festival audience to the sixth art+science edition which focuses on the creative and critical reading and analysis of AI-based systems, their value and their possibilities. The accelerated hyperproduction of content and the unrestrained proliferation of technology provide a false (societal) sentiment of fulfilment, as a result of which the questioning of numerous focal aspects and issues is actually omitted and dismissed.

Belgrade Garden tries to act as a stage for the insightful discussion and inspired partnership of Austrian and international peers in all related fields. Through an open and facilitated dialogue – established on a Danube axis between Linz and Belgrade, and bringing in multiple linked points – an exchange of knowledge, ideas and practices is fostered and made operational.

The Ars Electronica Festival premiered on September 18, 1979. This pilot project was designed to take the Digital Revolution’s emergence as an occasion to scrutinize potential futures and to focus these inquiries on the nexus of art, technology and society. With this philosophy, which remains Ars Electronica’s watchwords to this day, the Festival’s founders laid the foundation for Ars Electronica’s ongoing success. The Ars Electronica Center was established in 1996, and since then, year after year, it gathers tens of thousands of kindergarten children, pupils, apprentices and students around questions concerning the ever-increasing digitization of our world. Current focus is on the potential of the next Game Changer: Artificial Intelligence.