Ars Electronica Festival explores the first evolutionary sparks of innovation

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The Independent Culture

This year the Ars Electronica Festival has teamed up with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, for an explosive journey into the heart of creation and the science that collides with it.

The Ars Electronica Festival, scheduled this year for August 31 through September 6, is an annual event featuring projects that converge in the space between state-of-the-art technology, provocative art, and intellectual thinking.

More than 300 events are planned for the 2011 edition of the festival, which will focus on the theme of "ORIGIN - How It All Begins."

“Our focus on CERN at Ars Electronica 2011 is meant to make a statement on behalf of the importance of advanced basic research,” explain Christine Schopf and Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Directors of the Ars Electronica festival. “It is also an expression of the fascination inherent in expanding the boundaries of our knowledge and understanding.”

While some people may have the preconceived notion that the disciplines of art and science are worlds apart, Schopf and Stocker insist that the two fields have a great deal in common: “they are not only manifestations of human longing for insights, but also guarantors and indicators of a society’s openness and its capacity for innovation and development.”

Highlights in this year’s festival include the exhibition What Machines Dream Of, a vivid program of films featuring “plots that move in the direction of the origins of developments and stories” as part of Origin Cinema, and and the CyberArts 2011 exhibition of winners from the world’s highest endowed prize for digital arts, the Prix Ars Electronica.

Since 1979 the Ars Electronica 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.

2011 will also see the launch of Create Your World: Future Festival of the Next Generation, a festival that has been designed to inspire the next generation of inventors, artists and scientists. Create Your World will run concurrently to the Ars Electronica Festival.
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