As the niche genre of software art expands beyond the web and into mobile devices, media artists are finding ways to integrate their work into a new form of business model. Instead of giving away your work for free on the web, Apple's iPhone and iTouch devices provide an ample platform for distribution (through the Apple App Store) and hardware support for novel ways to experience screen-based work.
Focusing on a wide array of themes such as the context of a rapidly changing planet, our evolving human / natural ecosystem, the growing global strain on natural resources, and the advancement of artistic methods on potential of technological infrastructures, the 10th edition of the FutureSonic festival spanning 14 years integrated a wide and impressive array of international speakers, workshops, exhibitions, and performances. Scattered around the bustling city of Manchester in the United Kingdom, the festival took into account both its local strengths and its global outreach to encourage debate and showcase a wide arrange of artistic projects that examined just how far we have come in these debates and how far we have to go to make sense of the evolving technological apparatus that surrounds us.
In it's 29th year as the one of the most important media arts festivals in the world, Ars Electronica 2008 focused on trying to make sense of the economic and social realities of a "knowledge-based" society, where limits of intellectual property and aging copyright laws are beginning to lose relevance in an increased international atmosphere of open systems, sharing information across networks, and collective artistic action and utility. This year's theme was "A New Cultural Economy", a vision of the present and future that imagined cultural and artistic exchange and remixing as a key indicator of the success of current and future generations. Through this 6 day festival, events ranged from conferences, exhibitions, performances, to student exhibitions such as a wide range of projects from the University of Tokyo entitled "Towards a New Horizon of Hybrid Art."