In 2004, the Interface Cultures Master programme was founded by Christa Sommerer (AT) and Laurent Mignonneau (FR / AT) at the University of Art and Design Linz. The programme is named after Steven Johnson’s book, Interface Culture. The plural in ‘Interface Cultures’ was chosen to highlight the multi-layered diversity of approaches and cultures that surround people working at the myriad intersections of the digital world. Recognising the importance of this openness, Sommerer and Mignonneau - international pioneers of interactive art - developed this idea into an educational programme for the art university context. In 2020, Manuela Naveau (AT) joined the team with an additional focus on Critical Data, to interrogate the opportunities for participation behind complex computer systems that are based on data, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
The Interface Cultures Master study programme teaches at the confluence of media / digital art, interactive art, interface design and participatory practices at the intersection of art, technology and artistic research. Objectives of the master’s programme are:
> Education in interactive art and interface technologies
> Research on cultural aspects of interface and interaction design
> Focus on critical data, sustainable IT and the environmental issues of digitalisation
> Transmission of conceptual as well as practical prototype development
Since 2004 Interface Cultures has promoted the international visibility of its students through the annual presentation of their projects at the world-famous Ars Electronica Festival, a festival for art, technology and society, alongside other international exhibitions and symposia. In recognition of Linz’s excellence in this field, the city was accepted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and named a UNESCO City of Media Arts in 2014.
"With its vibrant art scene, the Upper Austrian capital is the ideal breeding ground for media art. At the University of Art and Design Linz, world-class artists cross paths and come together alongside promising newcomers in a potent mix. As clear proof of this, the city of Linz is a designated UNESCO City of Media Arts.
This achievement is the comprehensive result of numerous creative and innovative minds working consistently together over many years. A continual contribution to this is made by the Interface Cultures Master’s programme at the University of Art and Design Linz. A mixture of high artistic and scientific standards, alongside a strong application-oriented focus coupled with comprehensive interdisciplinarity, makes this degree programme both fascinating and highly valuable.
These strengths are further enhanced by a wide variety of collaborations - including Ars Electronica Linz. Together, students and teachers drive forward innovative creative and societal developments. Ambitious new contributors are always needed. We look forward to meeting you - at the University of Art and Design Linz."
Brigitte Hütter, Rector
"From the very beginning Ars Electronica Linz has not only been an annual exhibition platform and a springboard for young artists, but above all a research and discussion venue that can be regularly visited and used during the academic year via the Ars Electronica Archive and the Ars Electronica Center. The Interface Cultures Master programme was launched in 2004 and has been feeding directly into this network ever since. We urgently need young artists and designers who can rethink the interweaving of art, technology and society, and we need public institutions that can help them."
Gerfried Stocker, Co-CEO/Artistic Director, Ars Electronica
Dr. Christa Sommerer
Mon, Tue and Wed:
7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
T: +43 (0)732 7898 2480
for study related questions:
Sen.Art., Mag.art. Michaela Ortner
T: +43(0) 732 7898 2483
M: +43 (0)676 84 7898 483
University of Art and Design Linz
4020 Linz | Austria