Ars Electronica festival for art, technology and society looks at 'The Big Picture'

The annual Ars Electronica festival will invite viewers to take a look at “The Big Picture” -- the theme of the event for 2012 -- as they envision the world of tomorrow through art, technology and social discourse.

“Occupying the focal point is the effort to identify all-encompassing images that capture the world that’s coming to be, Big Pictures that do justice to the progressive globalization and interrelatedness of our world, ones that capture its contradictions and flaws as well as ways in which people are coming together,” said Ars Electronica.

“By showcasing inspiring best-practice examples from art and science, this year’s festival is a call for a new, open-minded way of considering the development of a viable vision of our future—how such a Big Picture ought to be composed and how it might become reality.”  

This year the Ars Electronica Festival has teamed up with New York-based media group Seed and UdK-Berlin University of the Arts.

Seed will be the featured guest at the festival and will participate in a symposium, an exhibition and workshops during the event, with the goal of helping people look at the bigger picture by “thinking scientifically.”

Work by young students at the UdK-Berlin University of the Arts will be presented as part of the festival’s Art University program.

“These young scholars deal with cultural, communicational, ethnographic, historical and anthropological aspects of sound and hearing,” explained Ars Electronica. “Festivalgoers will be able to see and, above all, hear their work on the premises of the Art University.”

Additional highlights at this year’s event include the WikiSym annual symposium, which focuses on the subject of wikis and open collaboration, the u19 - Create Your World festival within a festival that encourages kids and young people to think about their world in a new way, and of course the CyberArts exhibition of winners from the world's highest endowed prize for digital arts, the Prix Ars Electronica.

The Ars Electronica Festival, scheduled this year for August 30 through September 3 in Linz, is an annual event featuring projects that converge in the space between state-of-the-art technology, provocative art, and intellectual thinking.

Since 1979 the festival has invited artists, scientists and technologists to enrich the minds of people around them through festival activities such as exhibitions, performances, discussions and lectures. It is considered to be the most important digital arts festival in the world and attracts 35,000 visitors annually.

The full schedule of events for 2012 will be announced in late July.