Code - The Theme of Ars '03

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Ars Electronica, the Austrian Festival for 'Art, Technology & Society' has been a social and critical staple of the technoart scene for almost 25 years. Founded to support dialogue between industry, the academy, and artists using consumer electronics, video, satellite, and radio, this year the Festival, which takes place in early September, takes as its theme 'Code - The Language of Our Time - CODE = Law, CODE = Art, CODE = Life.' Quite a mouthful, but the slogan denotes a focus on privacy, copyright, media art, and bioinformatics. Online forums are usually a staple of Ars, but this year's web site offers detailed previews of Conferences, Exhibitions, Events, Prizes, and more. Also, the site houses an exhaustive archive of previous Festivals -- however seemingly outdated or idiosyncratic the topics or discussions seem in hindsight, dig deep. Invariably you'll excavate some interesting material. -- Rachel Greene