Interface Cult

8-12 September 2021
Interface Cultures at
Ars Electronica Festival

Contemporary artists, designers and inventors are creating new connections and systems, exploring how Silicon, Organic and even speculatively Alien forms of life are entangling, mutating, evolving. What can these new entities and relationships look like? Are they friendships and collaboration or competitions and conflict? For these new exchanges we need new languages: programmable, aesthetic, interspecies, non-human and post-scientific. The emerging hybrid and cyborg entities join and celebrate shamanistic and nonverbal traditions, hidden cultures, with magical symbols, energies and fictions. A culture or even a cult of symbiosis is required, a fusion between old and new ways of dealing with reality. We call to disrupt and disengage from destructive profit oriented technologies and systems which are based on oppression, manipulation and quantification. For our survival and the future viability of life on our Goldilocks Zone planet, we believe less anthropocentric knowledge systems must arise and more caring technologies are required.

Observing how contemporary tools often contain the traces of past traditions and knowledge, we wonder what has happened to the wisdom that was left behind. The logic of the all-encompassing scientific method, upon which most contemporary technologies are grounded, overshadows non-scientific, non-quantifiable, hybrid, or alien expertise and skills from non-dominant cultures. As a consequence, the ancient, folkloric, pre-industrial strategies to enhance and foster life and to confront the challenges of the future, these do not find enough space in the modern cultures of a faultless digitalization.

As AI becomes ubiquitous and more than just a buzzword, it starts to affect our daily lives and artistic practices. We need to have a forensic look at the beliefs behind the new tools and creative techniques engendered by the cults of technology. One approach is to fully embrace and test the aesthetic capabilities of quasi-unlimited combinations and database driven creations. Another, is to investigate and measure their social impact and to interrogate the role we assign to our technology and to creativity as a whole.

Creative thinkers and artists want to look behind the curtain and unveil what is hidden beneath the layers of AI, machine learning, automation and surveillance technologies. Like detectives or inspectors might, they question the “black box” to discover how and why these intelligent systems make certain decisions, what these decisions mean and for whom fundamentally they are being made. Students of Interface Cultures, University of Art and Design Linz, have developed works which combine current technologies with ancient, humanistic and esoteric practices, delving into topics such as, divination, twirlings, the subconscious/unconscious, secrets, rituals, leisures, energies, contemplation, along with cults, both old and new.

Interface Cult is part of Loops of Wisdom, Kunstuniversität Linz Campus at Ars Electronica 2021. 8th-12th of September 2021, at Kunstuniversität Linz, Hauptplatz 8, Linz



Private Garden


CnC Punch needle Machine MK-1

Ear to Ear

Technology is...

PHC (Painfully Human Chatbot)



Injected sounds referring to dissolution

In between nodes

Eerie me

Tara's Diary

Sonic Utopias


Exciting Research

Future Memories of Deep Water

Post-Dervish Chant




exhibiting artists

Noor Stenfert Kroese (NL)

Kristina Tica (RS)

Qian Xu (CN)

Nomi Sasaki Otani (PE/JP)

Hess Jeon (KR)

Seo Son (KR)

Anaïs Lossouarn (FR)

Lea Schnell (AT)

Iosune Sarasate Azcona (ES)

Kevin Blackistone (US)

Sara Koniarek (AT)

Bálint Budai (HU)

Alejandro Quiñones Roa (CO)

Błażej Kotowski (PL)

Polina Khatsenka (BY)

Rozi Mákó (HU)

Rozi Mákó (HU)

Razieh Kooshki (IR)

Vahid Qaderi (IR)

Barbara Jazbec (SI)

Parisa Ayati (IR)

Mahnaz Rastgoumoghaddam (IR)

Daphne Xanthopoulou (GR)

Funda Zeynep Ayguler (TR)

Jo Caimo (BE)

Sebastian Sprenger (DE)

Smirna Kulenovićc (BA)

Tiio Suorsa (FI)

Indiara Di Benedetto (IT)

TAZ 22

interface cultures faculty

Christa Sommerer

Laurent Mignonneau

Manuela Naveau

Fabricio Lamoncha

Davide Bevilacqua

Gertrude Hörlesberger

production / design team

Kevin Blackistone

Sara Koniarek

Iosune Sarasate Azcona

Indiara Di Benedetto

Juan Pablo Linares

Kevan Croton