Writer – Photographic Artist – Art Curator
Writer – Photographic Artist – Art Curator

Alchemists of the Future – Ars Electronica Futurelab

“It is an institution like no other, with an eventful history of 25 years now behind it. Compared with the common academic or industry research and development lab, this unit is rather small, comprising a staff of a mere three to five dozen people. It is neither an academic institute nor a corporate department, but a hybrid of artistic atelier and research laboratory. And there is a special third element, a philosophical and profane form of modern “alchemy,” which allows for the team at the “Futurelab” to also be considered as “Alchemists of the Future.” In fact, the people working there embody that fruitful dialogue between art and science, which often leads to astonishing and unconventional results. An ongoing dialogue between art and science is taking place among their team, which is assembled from artists, programmers, and engineers, as well as within the individual Futurelab members, their working biographies, and the multiple skills that they bring to their creations. This group of remarkable people have devel- oped their own brand of steep learning curves into unknown territory and a culture of boundless curiosity and keen-eyed risk-taking. Although they rarely do so, they could well point to the fact that they have been far ahead of the times with many of their visionary ideas, which they turned into working prototypes and realized projects.”

From: Andreas J. Hirsch, Alchemists of the Future — Ars Electronica Futurelab — The First 25 Years and Beyond / Horst Hörtner, Roland Haring, Hideaki Ogawa (eds.), Ars Electronica / Hatje Cantz, Berlin, 2021

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