October 20, 2020


News from the European Union

Foreign Ministry announces foundation of a new special award for Ars Electronica

I am pleased that we can intensify our cooperation with Ars Electronica,

 said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

We have already been supporting the many different projects of Ars Electronica every year, which have been attracting great international attention for years and often represent pioneering work. With this new special award, from 2021 we want to take a further step to establish Austria as an international platform for the fusion of art, culture, society and technology. We also want to promote cooperation between national and international institutions and stakeholders,

said the Foreign Minister.

The special award is intended to honour international artistic projects that deal with the effects of technology and digitisation on society and the image of humanity. The 10,000 euro prize will be awarded annually at the festival’s gala.

 “With the foundation of the special award, the Foreign Ministry’s long-standing support is being taken to the next level. I am proud that Ars Electronica is held in such high esteem through its participation in the festival and now also with the Prix by the Foreign Ministry’s International Culture Department. At this year’s festival, “In Kepler’s Gardens – A global journey mapping the ‘new’ world”, which, because of the coronavirus, is taking place not only in Linz but in 120 destinations around the world, the San Francisco representative authority is participating with a garden, and the Foreign Ministry’s network is also involved in other gardens as a cooperation partner,” explained Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, City Councillor for Culture and chair of the advisory board at Ars Electronica.

An official agreement on the special award was concluded by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg during the visit with City Councillor Doris Lang-Mayerhofer and Ars Electronica CEO Gerfried Stocker.

 “Whether we like it or not, almost every one of our actions generates data that is stored somewhere, evaluated and used profitably. For this to be “profitable” not only for the large IT groups but for us as a society, a new, digital humanism is needed. Artists can make an important contribution to this by asking the right questions of our time – they are right because they are controversial – and initiating a broad discourse. The Foreign Ministry’s new special award helps to bring projects such as these into the public forum,” concluded Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica.



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