The ARS ELECTRONICA FESTIVAL premiered in 1979 in Linz, Austria. This pilot project was designed to take the Digital Revolution’s emergence as an occasion to face important questions about the future and to focus these inquiries on the nexus of art, Technology and Society. Since 1986, the festival has been held annually and dedicated to a specific theme and has developed into one of the world’s most important media art festivals, featuring symposia, exhibitions, performances, interventions and concerts, each successive biennial production more multifaceted than the one before.
The lineup of 20 artists and scientists in 1979 now consists of several hundred network nomads, theoreticians, artists and technologists from all over the world convene in Linz each year including about 550 journalists and bloggers reporting from the Ars Electronica venue. Contributors to the festival’s incomparable spirit are the approximately 35,000 annual visitors—a colorful mix of old friends and new faces.