Ars Electronica Archives Now Online
September 17, 2012

Ars Electronica Archives Now Online

LINZ, AUSTRIA  — Ars Electronica has one of the world’s largest digital art archives. On the occasion of the 2012 Festival recently and following intensive reconfiguration work, the archive is going back online—with a fresh new look and, for the first time, with multimedia content.

Get in Touch with Ars Electronica!

Touchable Ars is the programmatic name of a multi-touch table at which users can browse the Ars Electronica Archive and behold three decades of digital art. More than 3,000 photos, videos and contextual material document the beginnings of media art, its development worldwide, and current trends. Plus, as part of the BIG PICTURE festival theme exhibition that ran from August 30 to September 3 in the Brucknerhaus, two terminals there providee convenient access to the online archive and its more than 65,000 entries.

Three Large Collections

The new online archive consists of three major collections:

Prix Ars Electronica Showcase – This collection contains all submissions to the Prix Ars Electronica since 1987. The prize winners are documented with comprehensive information and audiovisual media; there are basic data about all other entries.

Pic Archive – More than 32,000 images having to do with the Ars Electronica Festival, Prix Ars Electronica, Ars Electronica Center, Ars Electronica Futurelab and EXPORT comprise this collection.

Print Archive – This material includes all Ars Electronica publications since 1979—all Festival and Prix/Cyberarts catalogs, all folders and magazines issued by the Ars Electronica Center, and all special publications.

Open Archive

With this relaunch, Ars Electronica is opening up an archive designed to service a broad spectrum of users, one that comprehensively documents historical trends in media art as well as the current state of the art. Via a custom-tailored interface—for example, with all social media sites and services that are part of Ars Electronica’s presence online—content will now be fed into the archive in real time on an ongoing basis, and the archive’s holdings will continuously grow.

In addition to a representative cross-section of the broad field of media art and digital art, it also opens up a historical overview of the data storage media and formats in use during this period that often have substantially influenced the appearance of the works being documented.

Moreover, articles about particular fields and themes—computer graphics, computer animation, computer and digital music, interactive art, net-art, software, mixed realities, media performance, bio-art and robotics—document both explicitly aesthetic strategies as well as the implicit technical facts and circumstances on which they are based.

Scholarly Research

Much work on material from the history of Ars Electronica has been done in conjunction with Austrian and international research projects. Ars Electronica is currently participating in Digitizing Contemporary Art, a three-year EU project being carried out in cooperation with 25 European partner institutions that is producing high-quality digital reproductions as well as strategies for long-term archiving. The Ars Electronica Archive is making a substantial contribution to this project by creating approximately 2,600 digital objects (including metadata) documenting Prix Ars Electronica prizewinners and making this material available.

This content can be accessed via the online portal. Some of it is being conveyed to Europeana to thereby become a part of Europe’s largest online art collection.

Ars Electronica Festival 2012: THE BIG PICTURE

THE BIG PICTURE was the theme of the 2012 Ars Electronica Festival running August 30-September 3 in Linz. The focus was on images of a world with a viable future, images that captured our progressive globalization and networks interlinking our planet’s inhabitants, and took into account contradictions and discontinuities as well as the extent to which humankind is growing together. This year’s conclave showcased inspiring best-practice examples from art and science in calling for a new, open perspective conducive to the development of a viable vision for our future.