Room for artistic freedom, Mario Schmidhumer, δημοσίευση στο Ars Electronica Blog [22/12/2022]Marilena Pateraki
In the second part of our Year In Review, we turn our attention not only to art, but also to the exciting stories of the people behind it.
The year is coming to an end and we look back at 365 days of Ars Electronica. Russia’s war against Ukraine, the increasingly dramatic climate change, the question of exclusion and minorities, but also the question of culture in the digital space, the digital transformation and the ethics of artificial intelligence – our society is undergoing profound change. As Europe’s largest and most important platform for art, technology and society, it is our task to reflect on our own role and respond to the changes in society. Can art play a role in this? Certainly not in the sense of overall responsibility. But art can try to offer a space, an alternative, a neutral place where change can be experienced in its contradictory complexity. Unfortunately, there are artists for whom it is difficult or impossible to develop their artistic freedom due to difficult conditions. With international open calls, exciting collaborations and the Ars Electronica Festival as a stage, we try to reach these people and support them in these difficult times.
The war in Ukraine has devastating consequences, destroys livelihoods and tries to destroy the cultural identity of Ukraine and its citizens. These dramatic and frightening developments in the Eastern European cultural area are an important occasion to deal with the situation of cultural workers and artists. With the “State of the ART(ist)” call for proposals, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ars Electronica are creating a virtual art gallery to enable the unfolding of artistic freedom within a secure framework. The aim is to support artists in Ukraine and around the world who are unable to work for peace, freedom and self-determination on the ground, or who can do so only under great threat. All submitted State of the ART(ist) projects will be presented online as part of the Ars Electronica Festival 2022 “Welcome to Planet B: A different life is possible. But how?” and thus made visible to a worldwide audience. Ars Electronica received a total of 357 projects from 40 countries.