Five grant-winning projects on art, science, and technology to be presented at the 2021 Ars Electronica Festival

By June 17, 2021June 18th, 2021BIST

Estampa with the project Cambres fosques de la ideologia, Andy Gracie with the project EoE Triptych #1, Óscar Martín with the project MMM [meta music machines], Esther Rodríguez-Barbero with the project ¿Sueñan los cuerpos con órganos electromagnéticos?, and Anaisa Franco with the project Neuroconnection have all won grants for the production-research of artistic pieces at the intersection of art, science, and technology. The initiative is organised by the Institut Ramon Llull, the New Art Foundation, the UOC, La Caldera, and Hangar as part of the HacTe residency programme, Barcelona’s art, science, and technology hub, with the participation of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and other centres of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). The selected projects, in addition to receiving grants, will have the chance to present themselves at the 2021 Ars Electronica festival, which for the second year includes Barcelona as one of the main venues.

The grant projects will explore various forms of artistic research, some of which will be exhibited as finished productions, while others will become research processes in progress. The Ars Electronica Festival, the world’s most important event dedicated to the interconnections between art, technology, and society, will be the ideal stage for them to be presented.

The projects selected in modality 1, with a grant consisting of €5,600 for production and  €1,400 in fees (gross amounts), are:

Estampa with the project Cambres fosques de la ideologia, an investigation of the technological mediations that operate behind images and use different audiovisual formats, which put the camera obscura in dialogue with the operative images of artificial intelligence (AI).

Andy Gracie with the project EoE Triptych #1, in which he develops cultural and scientific narratives around the end of the Universe in three different stages (the end of the Solar System, the end of the Galaxy, and the Universe) in a triptych format, recurrently used in the history of art to frame narratives about the fate of humanity and its possible redemption.

Óscar Martín with the project MMM [meta music machines], a sound and sculptural research project that, among other things, tries to develop and build a non-human sound composer, a machine/sculpture that is inspired, feeds on and “learns” from the music created for centuries by human culture.

Esther Rodríguez-Barbero, with the project ¿Sueñan los cuerpos con órganos electromagnéticos?, a research project on the relationship between the body and implanted biomedical electronic devices and its derivations around perception, self-perception, spatial movement, the construction of spaces, and narratives capable of embracing these realities.

And in modality 2, financed by the BEEP Collection with an grant of €9,400 for production and €1,600 in fees (gross amounts), the winning project is:

Anaisa Franco with the project Neuroconnection, an interactive installation that connects thoughts within a parametric light sculpture that allows people to play and control light-sensitive reactions using their own thoughts.

The projects were selected by a commission formed by Maria Lladó and Susana Millet (Institut Ramon Llull), Marisol López (Director of the Digital Area of the ICEC), Marie-France Veyrat, Andreu Rodríguez Valveny, and Vicente Matallana (NewArtFoundation), Pau Alsina and Irma Vilà (UOC – ISEA Barcelona), Cristina Riera (La Caldera), Roberta Bosco (independent curator and critic), Alex González (BIST), Lydia Sanmartí and Silvia Tognetti (ICFO), Fernando Cucchietti (BSC), and Lluís Nacenta and Miguel Ángel de Heras (Hangar), the latter as technical advisor with voice but no vote. A total of 71 proposals were received.

Ars Electronica returns to Barcelona for a second time

Barcelona will become one of the main delocalised venues of the Ars Electronica Festival, which will hold its 42nd edition in Linz (Austria) and 120 cities around the world, from September 8-12. This year’s theme is A New Digital Deal – How the Digital World Could Work.

At last year’s edition, under the slogan In Kepler ‘s Gardens – A global journey mapping the new world, Ars Electronica Garden Barcelona was organised around the Garden Barcelona Show, an exhibition at the Ars Santa Monica which brought together productions and acquisitions from the BEEP Collection and the works produced at Hangar, thanks to the grants awarded to Monica Rikic for New Home of Mind, Roc Parés for Doble Conciencia and Santi Vilanova for Forms – Screen Ensemble. There was also a series of round tables at DHUB, and a workshop and Algorave (computer music concert with real-time programming) at Hangar. The programme was wrapped up by the Taxis, a series of audiovisual capsules that took the public on a virtual tour of the studios of some of the most important artists on Barcelona’s electronic and digital scene, in collaboration with UOC art and technology experts Pau Alsina and Irma Vilà. See these materials here.

This year, and for the second year running, the COVID-19 pandemic is shaking up the festival. Linz has become the epicentre of a delocalised festival, with more than a hundred cities rotating around it, including Barcelona. These will broadcast their programme by streaming through the festival’s website.

Last year’s event organisers, the Ramon Llull Institute, Hangar, New Art Foundation, and the UOC, are joined this year by La Caldera, Espronceda, and the Canódromo – Ateneo de Innovación digital y democrática, together with HacTe, a hub for art, science, and technology, and its partners including the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).

All invited cities will be gardens of the festival. In Linz the festival will take place in the gardens of Johannes Kepler University, Kepler’s Gardens. Many of the events will have a virtual presence, with conferences, debates, performing arts, and concerts broadcast in real time through the festival’s website.

The last Ars Electronica that could be held normally before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out was the 2019 edition, which brought 1,449 artists and scientists, and 110,000 visitors from 45 countries to Linz for five days.

Learn more:
Hac Te
Ars Electronica 2021
Production-Research Grants