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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 9, 2021
EXPLORE A PORTAL TO A NEW WORLD 

Ready for a New Digital Deal? Open up a Portal and embark on a magical creative journey of interdisciplinary arts and new technology with Ars Electronica.

Presented and curated by the Extended Reality Ensemble,
co-curated by
Vizmesh and Never Knows Better.

OFFICIAL EVENT DATE: 

Ars Electronica Festival Garden NYC, September 8-12, 2021 @ Culture Lab LIC
 

A New Digital Deal

The prestigious Ars Electronica annual festival has been running from its base in Linz, Austria since 1979. Engaging with artists and organisations from across the globe, recent years have seen the festival develop into a hybrid event, traversing and blending real and virtual worlds. 

 

Dedicated to exploring the intersection between art, technology and society, this year’s theme is “A New Digital Deal”. 

 

How can we cope with the digital developments, get a grip on our problems, and at the same time prevent the increasingly obvious advances of powerful political forces? More than just making the most of the hand we’re dealt, how do we take control of and maybe even shape the deal?

Enhanced Poetry

The Enhanced Poetry Program brings together digital and analog artists who have never before co-created together. The program invites global audiences attending on multiple platforms from on-site, to live-streaming, to experience a nurturing experiment which asks the question “How do we dialogue together when we come from such different artistic backgrounds?” This exhilarating program honours the artistic differences of each artist whilst holding space for one another. Each poet, comedian, dancer, healer and musician will be paired with an augmented reality artist who will use Tilt Brush and Cosmic Sugar to make live virtual art inspired by the analog artist and vice versa. The audience will experience an improvised “jazz-fusion” of the best of both digital and non-digital worlds in a kaleidoscopic feast for the senses. After all the performances there will be a Q&A with the artists to start and deepen dialogues. Everything will be accessible in-person and via streaming online. Limited VR spaces available for audiences with VR headsets.

NFT Gallery

Part of the “new deal” is the proliferation of NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens. It is the strongest attempt yet to put a value on digital art, and platforms are growing fast. So it is with delight that we announce that the Ars Electronica Festival Garden NYC will host an NFT gallery. 

 

Blockchain developer Soo-Young, founder of Vizmesh, and curator.“We are in the earliest stages of the NFT art movement and being able to bring so many great works to such a large audience at XRE's Ars Electronica Festival 2021 is something I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of!”

Enhanced Poetry Workshop

Ultimately we want everyone in on the deal! Our Enhanced Poetry Workshops will connect kids and youth with senior citizens to open up a new dialogue through technology. 

AR Sculpture Garden

XRE presents an AR Sculpture Garden to open up a portal to a different reality. To ensure accessibility, we work with 8th Wall so that the sculptures can be seen through a general browser.

A Portal

The Extended Reality Ensemble are excited to introduce New Yorkers and a global online audience to the possibilities of a new deal through “A Portal”: a rich multi-layered experience where visitors can choose to take on the roles of audience or co-creator.

Conscious Community

The core goal of the New York Festival Garden is to explore the idea of a new digital deal across diverse communities and different realities. A core part of XRE’s program is called “Conscious Community”. We are beyond thrilled to partner with the Flex Dance Program as they host an online and in-person workshop for kids and youth in NYC and all over the world. 

 

Flex aims to foster positive growth among young people through promoting self-esteem, cooperation and communication. Their dance workshop as well as their performance will simultaneously exist in the real and virtual worlds through live performance, VR avatars and live streams.

NKB x Ars Electronica

Every discarded future that we have been promised has been accompanied by a technological shift that is billed to us as "essential." Successive generations of advertising experts and genius-designers have explained to us why the obsolete must be left on the side of the road. Faster processing, sharper graphics and artificial intelligence, we are told, will make our society safer, happier and more efficient. We are never asked why it was decided that we ought to be happier and more efficient, or by whom. By investigating the relationship between video and sound brought together by technology that until recently could only be dreamed of, our selection of talented NYC-area audio/visual artists will peel back through the litany of lost futures and promised utopias that haunt our imaginations until the ideological perversity buried within these promises is extracted and understood. Likewise, by providing emerging electronic artists with a platform to showcase their art and music, we demonstrate that ultimately in the hands of the artist, any piece of technology is simply a means with which they can communicate their ideas and share the joy of art with others.

International Garden Portals

We will open a portal to connect with different Ars Electronica Festival Gardens and artiists in Japan. The audience can travel through space and time zones to be immersed in art and technology installations as well as communicate with algae! 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

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"We are pleased to announce that Ars Electronica Garden New York City is curated by XRE"!

- Veronika Liebl & Martin Honzik, Managing Directors, FESTIVAL PRIX EXHIBITIONS

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"Let’s explore THE NEW DIGITAL DEAL – A PORTAL: traversing the intimacy of technology!"

 

- Clara Francesca & Anne Wichmann aka She's Excited!, XRE Curators

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“We are in the earliest stages of the NFT art movement and being able to bring so many great works to such a large audience at XRE's Ars Electronica Festival Garden 2021 is something I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of!” 

- Soo-Young Lee, Vizmesh

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“I am very excited to share a healing arts performance at Ars Electronica New York and to be creating with the fabulous XRE team: Quantum Art Healing through performance and ritual is necessary to make the world a better place.“

- Milenaria,
Blessing Artist

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"I'm excited to be a part of this festival because I'm driven by community shared experiences. Likewise, by providing emerging electronic artists with a platform to showcase their art and music, Never Knows Better demonstrates that ultimately in the hands of the artist, any piece of technology is simply a means with which they can communicate their ideas and share the joy of art with others."

- Erin Wajufos,
Never Knows Better

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The Curators

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