Ars Electronica Linz meets Science Centre Singapore

Science Centre Singapore
Opening Night: 29 May 2015
Open to Public: 30 May – 16 August 2015

Ars Electronica is making its second guest appearance at Science Centre Singapore. The successful debut was a large-scale exhibition in 2007. Now, eight years later, the follow-up entitled “INTERPLAY – Ars Electronica Linz Meets Science Centre Singapore” is more modest in scope, but this compact package delivers awesome content once again. A mobile version of Deep Space, the multidimensional projection & experience domain that’s a favorite of visitors to the Ars Electronica Center, and seven other art projects will definitely dazzle Science Centre audiences with breathtaking images of the micro- and macrocosm. Attendance of 55,000+ is expected during INTERPLAY’s run from May 29 to August 16, 2015.

Art is in play, and this exhibition sheds light above all on playful encounters in art. Play can give rise to something new—the Futurists, the Dadaists, Fluxus artists and the Situationists were convinced of this: “only play can deconsecrate, open up possibilities of total freedom. This is the principle of diversion, the freedom to change the sense of everything which serves Power”[1]. Play calls power structures into question. Chance also plays a major role in play. The outcome of a game normally cannot be predicted, planned or programmed. Play as a process demands the player’s full attention. In Homo Ludens (1938), Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga put forth a very early explanatory model whereby human beings develop their capabilities above all by playing. When children at play are “only pretending” or doing something “only for fun,” the prevailing system is, according to Huizinga, not a matter of “‘ordinary’ or ‘real’ life. It is rather a stepping out of ‘real’ life into a temporary sphere of activity with a disposition all of its own.”[2] The fact that both play and art can entail an abstraction of reality is alluded to by the title INTERPLAY and demonstrated by the artistic works presented in it.

An Ars Electronica Academy will be held on the exhibition’s opening weekend. During this two-day conclave, attendees will join the participating artists in scrutinizing and questioning playful approaches in artistic practice today.

[1] Daphne Dragona, Who Dares to De-Sacralise Today’s Play? in: Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Homo Ludens Ludens. Third Part of the Gaming Trilogy, Gijon 2008, p. 42

[2] Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, London, Boston and Henley 1980, p. 8