Festival: Golden Nica Ars Electronica 2018
Ars Electronica Festival once again brings creative, innovative minds to Austria for the 2018 Prix awards under the theme; Error- the art of imperfection. Ars Electronica offers compelling snapshots of codependent technological and artistic development with expansive and lasting social and cultural impacts . The festival was born in 1979 with the premise of providing room for experimentation, evaluation and reinvention. Each September; lectures, exhibitions and workshops that interlink art, technology and science attracts many participants to the festival in Linz, Austria. The Prix is annually awarded honouring creativity and innovativeness in the use of digital media under several categories and the winners’ work is showcased in the festival.
This year’s theme; Error, is accompanied with the colour YInMn blue, which is the first new discovery of a pigment of blue since cobalt blue in 19th century . Researching the magnetic and electric properties of manganese oxide, Mas Subramanian and his team came to the unexpected result. The 2018 Festival, hence, will focus on mistakes that could lead to a catastrophe or a breakthrough.
What makes an error become a failure or an invention? Is error a mistake or a deviation from the norm? The artistic director of Ars Electronica Gerfried Stocker argues for error being an unexpected result, not necessarily a disaster, and the way to avoid being prejudiced about the unexpected is to introduce the term ‘tolerance’ to our language. Stocker: ‘Error and tolerance are twins, siblings. Tolerance is necessary for error’s productive power to unfold ‘.
The winners of the 2018 contest, all impressive and inspiring; show elements of the philosophy of Ars Electronica: technical developments have social and cultural consequences. Digital Communities Golden Nica went to bellingcat.com; a website that allows citizen journalism. In the portal, topics are investigated using open source and social media, bringing together contributors who specialise in these. Bellingcat.com also provides guides for anyone who would like to learn and be part of its network. Many more cutting edge projects will be on display in September 2018, satisfying our thirst for new and unique ideas.
 Trent Nathaniel Grover (2008), Dream of the Techno-Shaman, Appendix A (“Ars Electronica: Towards the Integration of Art, Technology, and Society”), pp. 53-68 Schonbrun, Zach. “The Quest for the Next Billion-Dollar Color”. Bloomberg.com https://www.aec.at/aeblog/en/2018/04/12/error-the-art-of-imperfection/
Text by CLOT Magazine (Twitter @clotmagazine)
(All photos courtesy of Ars Electronica. Photo credit: BitSoil Popup Tax & Hack Campaign: LarbitsSisters (BE) / larbitslab)