Ars Electronica 2020: In Kepler's Gardens

Registered for the online meetup on Friday 11 or Saturday 12 September? From 23:00 hrs onwards, join the meetup through the button down below! Live participants will receive email with address information.

join the meetup

This year, Ars Electronica 2020 is taking place in Kepler's Gardens! From 9 to 13 September 2020, the yearly festival will take place simultaneously at the gardens of JKU Campus in Linz, in the Linz city center, and in over 120 locations worldwide. The festival will thus consist of a physical programme in both Linz and at partner institutions of Ars Electronica, including Waag, and through an online programme.

More information

Hardly any other phrase has been used so often in recent months as that the world will be a different place after this crisis – prophetically, often as a glimmer of hope, more often as a threat. Is this true, and if so, what will be the changes? This question is the focus of this year’s Ars Electronica.

Kepler's expedition to the garden of planet B

As part of the Ars Electronica 2020 festival, Waag is organising Kepler's expedition to the garden of planet B, a program to happen live with a very limited audience on site of Waag’s planet B location at the Amsterdam Science park and its fringes, where it touches former now unused farmland with its growing biodiversity. The program will be streamed live via Zoom/Youtube to Ars Electronica’s audiences. It will consist of demonstrations and expeditions, presentations and discussions.

The program takes place 11 and 12 September between 23.00 and 02.00, in an attempt to be closer to those other species you never thought to be part of your garden, in the Amsterdam case in the fringes of the Science Park location arisen on former farmland. You can attend the programme through online videostream, or register for live attendance (maximum of 10 people) at our location yet to be revealed.


Friday 11 September

23:00 hrs - Welcome and introduction by Lucas Evers
23:10 hrs - Artist Christaan Zwanikken about city dwelling plant robots in conversation with curator of ecology related arts Alice Smits of Zone2Source
23:40 hrs - Intervention by Esmee Geerken and de Onkruideniers
00:00 hrs - Artist Saša Spačal and microbiologist professor Toby Kiers discuss microbial trade agreements
00:40 hrs - Q&A and conclusion
01:00 hrs - Drinks

Attend the programme online on Friday 11 September:

register: online

Attend the programme live on Friday 11 September (max. 10 persons, location to follow):

register: live

Saturday 12 September

23:00 hrs - Welcome and introduction by Lucas Evers
23:10 hrs - artist Špela Petrič and curator Nicola Triscot of FACT Liverpool, where the exhibition 'Say the Animal Responded' is taking place, talk about what opinions plants and animals may have about human activity on their/our planet
23:40 hrs - Intervention by artist Esmee Geerken and de Onkruideniers
00:00 hrs - Artist-biologist Angelo Vermeulen about socializing Mars-gardens in conversation with Els Corporaal, municipal ecologist of Amsterdam
00:40 hrs - Q&A and conclusion
01:00 hrs - Drinks

Attend the programme online on Saturday 12 September:

register: online

Attend the programme live on Saturday 12 September (max. 10 persons, location to follow):

register: live


Transversal is a loop - sound performance with live crickets - Sasa Spacal 2019

Where humanity’s disruptive power on the environment seems to have silenced for an instance, due to a virus that travels the globe, the understanding of the garden and gardening is shifting. Shifting in shape and size due to compartimentalisation of human activity; shifting in the way we as humans relate to them and we relate to the companion species that dwell there with us, that culture us. Gardens have a history where it comes to who they were made by and for what reason, for power, for aesthetics, for food, for trash and for imagination. In the frame of the current change in the way we understand gardens, and what happens in them in and out of our sight and senses we bring together artists, scientists and others to present their work and research and show us what we may have been overlooking, yet urgently might need to consider. 

About the festival

The festival itself is becoming a journey – a journey through 'Kepler’s Gardens'. A journey through the networked biotopes and ecosystems in which people all over the world are working to develop and shape our future, and in these days that means above all working to save our future. A journey to and with many committed communities that have already begun not only to think about the current problems, but to work on concrete ideas, actions and solutions. Places, initiatives and institutions where artists and scientists work together, challenge society and try out new alliances and forms of cooperation.

So 'Kepler’s Gardens' is not only the name of the new festival venue in Linz, which will move from the Postcity to the Kepler Gardens on the well-equipped JKU campus and transform its beautiful and extensive parks into an extraordinary festival site. 'Kepler’s Gardens' is also the metaphor for the organizational principle of the festival in a global lockdown: a festival that will not dive into the network and disappear there, but will emerge from the network and manifest itself in many places around the world, distributed and networked.

With this simultaneity and duality of local-physical and globally networked events, Ars Electronica will once again become an exciting experimental laboratory and prototype for a next-level networking that will focus primarily on new forms and possibilities of fusion and coexistence of analog and digital, real and virtual, physical and telematic proximity.

Obsidian: Duo Feigenbaum (Wahl & Geerken)Thumbnail

Waag and Ars Electronica work together as a part of S+T+ARTS. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732019.


EU official flag

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 956603.

EU official flag

This project has received funding from the European Commission under the H2020-SC5-20-2019 call under Grant Agreement number 868887.