10 Years Interface Cultures Celebrations

flyer-014th –  8th September 2014
Raumschiff and Strafsachenstelle, Hauptplatz 5, Linz

Ten years ago the Interface Culture master study program was founded at the University of Art and Design in Linz Austria. The program teaches interactive art, interface design and the development innovative interface solutions at the confluence of art, design and research.

The rapid and ongoing integration of media and communication technologies into our daily lives has cause significant social impact over the past years. The relationship between humans and digital technologies becomes closer and closer, and one could say even more opaque. In our prosumer society interactivity is omnipresent, as we are constantly asked to react, interact, evaluate, vote and judge. Social media play an important role in this trend. Big data, increased surveillance, the NSA scandal, cyber security, quantified self tendencies and a proliferating data economy bring up new social and cultural challenges.

Artists have always been barometers when it comes to interpreting and translating new societal changes. Participation is not a new trend in the arts, already in the 1950ies audience participation has been used for art making, art perception and a critical reflections onto society at large. Relational Art and other forms of the Open Art Work concepts have prepared the ground for Interactive Art since the early 1990ies and the Ars Electronica Festival is one of the key promoters for enabling and promoting this developing art form.

Over the past 10 years students at the Interface Cultures department have developed interactive art pieces, new interface solutions and prototypes that investigate cultural and societal issues surrounding participation and interaction. Around 150 projects have been produced by now and 40 master thesis and 2 doctoral thesis were produced. These range from investigations into the connection between interactive and participatory art, aesthetic classifications of interactive art, developments of new musical instruments, playful and tangible interactions, research into human-plant interfaces, augmented social environments and brain computer interfaces, as well as development of novel interfaces for media facades, digital story telling and healthcare. The range of master thesis topics is very open, it depends on the interest and background of each student. In a practice based research approach young artists and designers investigate how interaction and communication challenge our society. They produce artworks and prototypes that range from media art, contemporary art, critical design, new interface technologies to new communication services, as well as conceptual art and theoretical reflections.

Over the past years media art and contemporary art have also finally grown closer together and technologically supported art has finally entered the art market. Pioneers of digital art, kinetic art, reactive kinetic art, expanded cinema, electronic art and interactive art are finally being acknowledged by art history. In an academic context media art has become an art form in its own right, with its own history, its own aesthetics, its own discourse and its own principles.

All this provides a great context for young students to engage in the ongoing development of interactivity and forms of audience participation as a reaction to the current trends and developments in our society.

To present the wide range of topics that we have and will further investigate at the Interface Cultures department, we will celebrate the 10 Years Interface Cultures anniversary at this years Ars Electronica with four events:

Interface Cultures Network Talks

5th September 2014, 14.00 – 16.00
Where: Kunstuni Audimax A K2 Kollegiumgasse

Here we will reflect on past and future trends in interactive art, interface design and education through lectures by our international partner university representatives.

The Interface Cultures program provides a strong international network and students are encouraged to participate in international exchanges with our partner universities in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. These exchanges have helped our students to create a professional network for themselves, gain professional experience and insight into other cultures. Over the years our network has also extended and many international guest researchers from Japan, Brasil, Europe, South America have visited the Interface Cultures department for research stays from one month up to a whole year.

-> List of the featured speakers and titles of the talks

Interface Cultures Student Exhibition

4th to 8th September 2014, open from 10.00 to 21.00
Where: Raumschiff and Strafsachen

Since 8 years Ars Electronica has provided our students the opportunity to show their works at the Interface Cultures Student exhibition. This year we will feature our department’s latest developments and give our students the opportunity to present their works and prototypes to an international audience. 16 project will be shown.

-> Exhibition’s page

Interface Cultures Alumni Meeting

6th September 2014, from 16.00 to 18.00
Where: Raumschiff

The third format is the Interface Cultures Alumni Meeting. Interface Cultures graduates will give short presentations about themselves and their current working place. They will show how their studies influenced their professional carrier. This Pecha-Kucha style format is intended to enable networking between our current students and the Interface Cultures alumni and to enlarge the Interface Cultures family.

– > Alumni

Interface Cultures Live Performances

6th September 2014, from 18.00 to 19.00
Where: Raumschiff

Interface Culture students and researchers propose and experience that seeks to challenge the traditional human.machine interaction with a new sensory and perceptual repertoire of electronic music. An immersive experience with tangible scores, edible synthesizers, noisy jelly circuits and parametric sound compositions.

-> Interface Cultures Live Performances

Bring Your Own Art Format

7th September 2014, from 16.00 to 18.00
Where: Raumschiff

This presentation format is open for all interested artists, international partner university students, guest researchers and any potential student interested in our program. Everyone is invited to bring their own art projects in the form of short presentations which are projected or demonstrated and discussed by the Interface Cultures faculty. The format is intended to discuss new trends in media art and generally network with the local and international community interested in media art and contemporary art. This format will also help to meet potential students and raise awareness of Interface Cultures’ multi-disciplinary and hybrid approach on topics surrounding interaction and communication.

-> Take a look at the registered projects!


-> Here the press releases about the celebration


Faculty: Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Michaela Ortner, Reinhard Gupfinger

We thank Dipl.Ing. Gerfried Stocker of Ars Electronica for his continuous effort to promote our study program, the head of our University of Art and Design Linz Dr. Kannonier and Mag. Rainer Zendron for their support and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy for awarding us the Hochschulraum-Strukturmittel grant that helped us realize the activities involved in “10 Years Interface Cultures”. We would also like to thank all the lecturers and team members of the Interface Cultures program for educating, inspiring and promoting our students. They are:

Hon.-Prof. Dr. Hannes Leopoldseder, Hon.- Prof.in Dr. in Christine Schöpf, Univ.-Ass. Dipl.-Ing.in Mag.a Marlene Brandstätter, Dr. Tim Boykett, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Buurman, Johannes Grenzfurtner, Mag. Andreas Haider, Dipl.des. Daniel Hug

Dipl.-Ing. Tiago Martins, Alexandra Murray-Leslie BA, Dr. Hideaki Ogawa, Mag. Ricardo Nascimento de Oliveira, Dr. Georg Russegger, Prof. M.A. Giaco Schiesser, Mag. Gebhard Sengmüller, Dr.in Sabine Seymour, Dipl.-Ing. Tomas Calderon, Dipl. Designer FH, Stefano Vanotti, Ao.Univ.Prof. Mag. Andreas Weixler, Dipl.des. Alexander Wilhelm , MFA Mahir Yavuz.

A very special thanks goes to Gertrude Hörlesberger.

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