“40 Years of Humanizing Technology - From Ars to Shenzhen” aims to trace the history of media art and explore the relationship between it and the technology and art being developed in China. Starting in 1979, Ars Electronica of Austria is a technology and art/media art festival enjoying international reputation. Its history of development represents the history of international media art. At its 40th anniversary, the theme this year demonstrates the summary and reflection on digital revolution. For China, this year marks the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening up and Shenzhen’s special historical significance and its orientation towards the creative city in the Greater Bay Area correspond very well to the theme of technology and art. Therefore, the exhibition in Shenzhen in 2019 is undoubtedly of great significance.
The exhibition consists of two parts, the literature exhibition and the artwork exhibition. The literature exhibition “40 Years of Electronica - Austria Ars Electronica in Shenzhen” includes:
1. Western Media Art History, which combs through Ars Electronica from a historical perspective, not limited to a review of the theme exhibitions over the years (Every year’s theme showed the popular technology/art topics of the year and the themes over the 40 years constitute the development of the themes concerned in media art);
2. Chinese Media Art History;
3. World/Chinese History of Technology and Demonstration.
The literature exhibition displays plentiful material objects and historical documents. For example, the Golden Nica award of the festival is the indicator of the media art world. In addition to a number of classic works in media art history, the exhibition also encompasses the literature of renowned scholars, curators and artists.
The artwork exhibition exhibits 20 artworks of foreign technology-based artists and 10 artworks of the teachers of Central Academy of Fine Arts/China Academy of Art. While combing through the international line, the exhibition is associated with Chinese history of media art/technology and art. Furthermore, it takes emphasis on local characteristics. Parallel with the exhibition, a number of universities and hi-tech companies of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have been invited to hold lectures. The exhibition aims to effectively connect and integrate the fields of art, science and technology of the Greater Bay Area and even the whole country.