Linz cyberarts festival 2004

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Mike, Emu, DerTeufel and Jimbo at the Wikipedia booth at Ars Electronica

From Sept 2-7, 2004, Wikipedia was present at the Ars Electronica Cyberarts Festival in Linz, Austria. Wikipedia had won a Golden Nica in the category digital communities of the Prix Ars Electronica and Jimbo Wales was invited to speak at the presentation of the prize winning projects.

In the Brucknerhaus where the conference talks took place, all the prize winners were given the opportunity to present their projects. Mike from the german wikipedia organized the Wikipedia booth at the so called electro lobby where Mike, Emu, Elian and DerTeufel explained Wikipedia and its concepts to the visitors. We had a very nice neighbourship: The people from Creative Commons were there, filling everyone up with "Open Source Water" under a Creative Commons License.

Open Source Water under Creative Commons License

The glorious gala on friday which was transmitted on Austrian and German TV was a little bit disappointing, however. After lots of lengthy speeches of local politicians and sponsors the awards were handed out. Since we had received our Golden Nica already in June in New York, Wikipedia had no live part in the ceremony and Jimbo missed the moment where all the prize winners assembled together at the podium.

Instead of a live part in the ceremony, they played a brief video film about Wikipedia which included footage from the London meetup. So we have this nice photo of London Wikipedians as displayed at the Gala.

Wikipedia film at Linz cyberarts festival 2004

On saturday the whole population of Linz came to listen to the "Linzer Klangwolke", the so called "sound cloud", an Open-Air concert at the riverside. A symphony of a modern composer should be played together with spectacular light effects, fireworks etc. After what we have heard about this Mega-Event we arrived with high expectations - and left in a hurry to seek refugee in a cafe and finished the evening with a quiet wikipedia meeting. I'd like to spare the readers the details of the mixture of bombastic classical music, combined with extremely mediocre pop music, sung by the composer's wife.

Sunday evening Jimbo had dinner with Howard Rheingold and Joichi Ito, two big fans of wikipedia who were on the Jury of the Award committee. Later we went to a party with Ito and some others, among them Jane Metcalfe from Wired magazine and Armin Medosch from the german online magazine Telepolis.

The museum Lentos at night

On Monday Lawrence Lessig payed a short visit to Linz, speaking on a panel and Jimbo and he talked about the future of the GFDL. Martin Wattenberg, a researcher from IBM who had worked on a Wikipedia visualization project [1] demonstrated his Java program at the Wikipedia booth - really, really great stuff.

On the last festival day Jimbo held his presentation about Wikipedia on the Digital communities panel, where the jury members Rheingold and Ito explained their decisions for the awards. Since Ito, sitting on the panel, played around with his notebook, Jimbo decided to do the same and went chatting on IRC during the speeches. In an experiment, Jimbo asked the folk on #wikipedia to write an article about Ito for the English wikipedia which resulted in some funny conversations and - in the end - an article while Ito was blogging it. We finished the conference celebrating together with the people from Creative Commons the launch of Creative Commons Austria.

In between: lots of interviews, meeting nice people, crazy artists and Wikipedians having a great time together.

See also[edit]