Reawakening from an exhausted world. Quian Xu's “Private Garden” as a place of relaxation. © Photo: Tom Mesic / Ars Electronica

07.09. – 11.09. 2022

Welcome to Planet B – Another life is possible! But how?

Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of the ARS Electronica Festival, is and remains a defiant optimist. He believes in the chance that people can still turn this planet around, which is in a critical overall condition, and not just because of climate change.

“Welcome to Planet B” is the motto of this year’s Ars Electronica Festival. However, Stocker does not understand this “Planet B” to be another place where we can continue as before, but rather a code for the absolutely necessary behavioral and structural changes that should enable us to continue living together on this one planet.

One thing is certain: hollow phrases alone will no longer get us anywhere.

“Blah, Blah, Blah.” Greta Thunberg on the results of the last world climate conference.

In any case, Stocker is convinced that “we will need every bit of technology, every organisational or logistical optimization that can help us to reduce emissions, to filter them out of the atmosphere again.” And he appeals – almost in the style of a John F. Kennedy: “This time, the greatest innovation project in human history must be ourselves, our ability to meet the challenge as a global community – a reinvention of humanity!”

The Ars Electronica Festival offers a kaleidoscope of sustainable future perspectives, which will be presented and developed at numerous locations throughout Linz during the festival. Young media artists from Latin America and Eastern Europe present their works in the Lentos Art Museum. The “S+T+ARTS Center Oberösterreich”, which is part of a Europe-wide network of similar institutions, will also be presented for the first time as part of the festival. (If you love such easy-to-read and self-explanatory art names – here is the plain text: S+T+ARTS stands for Science and Technology Arts). The idea behind it: Through the close cooperation between art and research, new holistic and human-centered approaches should be developed by using the latest technologies.

An example of this is the “Data Nutrition Project” by Sarah Newman, Kasia Chmielinski and Matthew Taylor, which also received the Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity 2022. It deals with the question of how we can use the data we produce in such a way that artificial intelligence will deal with it responsibly and in the interests of people. The central idea is to establish a kind of “data nutrition label” that is intended to bring transparency to data sets and thus help to avoid misinterpretations and interpretation bias caused by AI.

Amazon and the NSA will certainly be happy about such a data quality label. Hopefully the rest of mankind too.

07.09. – 11.09. 2022
Linz, various locations