Press Information 2016 Linz - UNESCO City of Media Arts

Linz is a UNESCO City of Media Arts

The contemporary Danube city that looks to the future

In 2016, the European Capital of Culture 2009 invites its visitors to discover Linz as a contemporary city that looks to the future. The aim of Linz Tourismus is to enable guests to experience the UNESCO City of Media Arts with all their senses. An impetus for internationalisation that is a great opportunity for the Danube city. That’s why the tourist board has also decided to make the theme of media arts the focus for tourism in the Creative City for 2016.

Linz is a symbiosis as a city of industry, culture and nature, and an international, contemporary Creative City – surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. The city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Media Arts shows that Linz, together with Lyon, Sapporo, Tel Aviv and Dakar, is one of the world’s most future-orientated locations. In addition to pioneering technology and visionary media arts, the city offers a variety of historical and cultural highlights, as well as culinary delights.

Diverse media arts activities are already being planned and carried out, such as a series of three dialogues in Linz‘s Kepler Salon beginning in November 2015, a virtual City of Media Arts tour and a cooperation project with the museum of the future, Ars Electronica Center.


Media arts highlights in the UNESCO City of Media Arts

The main players in the UNESCO City of Media Arts include Ars Electronica Center and Creative Region GmbH, the Tabakfabrik, the OK Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz University of Arts and Industrial Design, Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences, the Johannes Kepler University, the Anton Bruckner Private University, and many educational institutions and training facilities. The independent scene is also integrated, with organisations such as Time’s Up, Stadtwerkstatt, Radio FRO and dorf tv.

Only cities that can demonstrate extraordinary achievements in one of the categories of literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, gastronomy, design or media arts are accepted by UNESCO into the Creative Cities Network.

  • Highlights include Ars Electronica Center – a gravitational centre for pioneering technology and visionary media arts – with its annual festival in September and the renowned Prix Ars Electronica. The digital archive of Ars Electronica is the largest archive in the world for the genesis of cyber arts.
  • In addition to the museum of the future, the cultural big players of the European Capital of Culture 2009, such as Linz University of Arts and Industrial Design, the Tabakfabrik, the Brucknerhaus, Lentos Kunstmuseum and the OK Offenes Kulturhaus, will offer guests from all over the world digital media arts tightly interwoven with current developments in society over the coming months and years. Linz has been taking a leading role globally in the relationship between humans and technology for a long time. Immerse yourself in the international media city with a recreation factor!
  • Ars Electronica Festival
    The first Ars Electronica Festival and the first visualisierte Klangwolke (clouds of sound) were staged as early as 1979.

    Christoph Lindinger, co-director of the Ars Electronica Futurelab, one of the architects behind the recently designated UNESCO City of Media Arts: “It is precisely because Linz focused on the connection between technology, arts and the participation of the population earlier than any other city that the many creatives, technology researchers and guests here in Linz were never only commentators on current events, but were also always pioneers and relevant co-creators of a technological revolution which, with the Internet, social media and other digital tools, has been part of our everyday life for a long time."
  • Prix Ars Electronica – world-renowned media arts prize
    The Prix Ars Electronica has the world’s longest tradition as a media arts competition. Tim Berners-Lee, for instance, the inventor of the World Wide Web, was awarded the renowned Linz media arts prize by Ars Electronica in 1995 for his hypertext concept – the first prize he had ever received for this. In the same year, Ars Electronica Center was created as a unique museum of the future.

    The Ars Electronica Futurelab is a research and development unit, which was named one of the top 10 media laboratories in the world by the magazine WIRED.
  • The world’s largest outdoor gallery at Linz’s harbour
    Be inspired by oversized graffiti artwork in the UNESCO City of Media Arts on a boat trip in Linz harbour. The world’s largest connected outdoor gallery with 20 large-scale pictures on the facades of old industrial buildings and house walls awaits you here. Experience the oversized paintings of international spray-paint artists and graffiti artists from eight different countries. The Spanish street artist ARYZ has immortalised himself in Linz with his 30 x 15 metre mural on a warehouse in Hafenbecken 2. His style is an impressive inspiration for the scene. ARYZ’s tools include a roller and brush in addition to the spray can.

    The outdoor gallery Mural Harbor is gradually transforming the commercial port into an urban area for art in a public space:
    As part of Bubble Days, the outdoor events at the harbour, international street artists and graffiti artists have regularly been invited to Linz in recent years: ROA from Belgium has painted his characteristic, large-scale animals at the harbour. STOHEAD from Berlin is responsible for the oversized calligraphy letters that adorn the facades. On over 500 square metres, he has translated characters and calligraphy into the spray-paint language. Classic graffiti by ZORES from Linz, among others, can also be seen. The Upper Austrian spray-paint artists Phekt and Shue have also decorated the harbour district by hand.
  • UNESCO City of Media Arts at the Landestheater
    There’s a great deal of the UNESCO City of Media Arts in the new programme for this season at Linz’s Landestheater:

    LA TRAVIATA – Giuseppe Verdi, opera
    from 19 September 2015, main auditorium

    TERRA NOVA ODER DAS WEISSE LEBEN - Moritz Eggert, opera
    from 26 May 2016, main auditorium

    HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH - John Cameron Mitchell / Stephen Trask
    from 20 November 2015, BlackBox Musiktheater

    A rap and live comedy performance with TEXTA
    from 23 October 2015, BlackBox Musiktheater
  • Tabakfabrik
    The Tabakfabrik is considered a model example of innovative urban development, and is an important player in the UNESCO City of Media Arts. Here, you can experience the transformation from the former location for cigarette production to a hub for creatives, designers, hackers and makers. With the VALIE EXPORT Center, an international research centre for media arts and performance art will be located on the premises of the former tobacco factory from 2017.
  • LentosKunstmuseum
    VALIE EXPORT Archiv will include artwork, sketches, drafts, negatives and other extensive archive material from the oeuvre of the Linz-born media artist, performance artist and filmmaker.

    By purchasing the legacy of VALIE EXPORT, the so-called VALIE EXPORT Archiv, LENTOS Kunstmuseum is experiencing the largest expansion of its collection since the Gurlitt collection was purchased in the 1950s. At the same time, the City of Linz is laying the foundation stone for running the VALIE EXPORT Center, an international research centre for media arts and performance art. The collection will be located in the Tabakfabrik.
  • OK Offenes Kulturhaus OÖ in the OÖ Kulturquartier
    The OÖ Kulturquartier is the connector that links the country's cultural centre, Ursulinenhof, and the Offenes Kulturhaus. Temporary exhibitions, the independent cinema Moviemento and gastronomy in OK Platz make the OÖ Kulturquartier a lively and inspiring hub. The special feature of the OK Offenes Kulturhaus is its very contemporary and comprehensive concept of art and many years of experience in the field of artistic production. Here, you can find the successful exhibition format "Höhenrausch-Kunst über den Dächern" (art above the rooftops).
  • Creative Region
    The CREATIVE REGION promotes the dynamism and expertise of the people in the creative industries of Linz and Upper Austria. For three years, development of creative industries has been taking place in the region, allowing the extraordinary skill, unwavering professionalism and can-do attitudes of creative professionals to continue to develop.
  • Kunstuniversität Linz
    The Linz Kunstuniversität is dedicated to the Zeitgeist, and in line with this is focussing more and more on new media and art forms.
  • Johannes Kepler Universität
    The faculties of technology are closely connected with the institutions in Linz.
  • Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität
    Music, drama and dance lie at the very heart of the fields of study offered by the university, with a particular focus on innovation and tradition, as well as disciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. The university is both an educational and a cultural institution with a regional anchor but an international network. In November 2015, the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität opened the doors to its new building at the foot of the Pöstlingberg.
  • voestalpine Stahlwelt
    The world of discovery based on steel as a material in all its application areas – from production to the voestapline group’s business – presents itself as very interactive and multimedia-driven. In 2015, for example, the SteelEcht Multimedia Guide was introduced, adding a new, interactive dimension to visits to the voestalpine Stahlwelt. “Augmented Reality” is the magic word, and alongside this “SteelEcht” conjures up additional information on the tablet, which is lent to you. The texts, images and videos in real-time complement the real objects and turn your visit into a multidimensional adventure. In addition, there are treasure hunts and a quiz and, of course, all the important information at a glance!


Events on the theme

  • Linz Klangwolke (clouds of sound)
    We searched for a popular link between Ars Electronica and Brucknerfest, and found one! So far, two million people have visited the Linz Klangwolken in the Danube Park, which have become a trademark of the city. “Visualisierte Klangwolke” 10.09.2016 / “Visualisierte Klangwolke” for children a week later.
  • International Brucknerfest 18 Sept. - 7 Oct. 2016
    Every year the International Brucknerfest invites a partner country to Linz, attracting its high-profile classical music artists and connecting Linz with the rest of the world. In 2016 South Korea will be the partner country. Over the year other festivals are also attractive, for example, Frühlingsfestival (Spring Festival), baroque music, guitar, piano, world music, and many more.
  • Höhenrausch May to October 2016
    The only art exhibition that is not in the museum but high above the rooftops of the city. The  OK Offenes Kulturhaus in the OÖ Kulturquartier will also start the Höhenrausch once again in 2016.
  • Crossing Europe20 -25 April 2016
    The European Film Festival presents some 180 handpicked films from independent cinema, documentaries and feature films.
  • Next Comic Festival 10 -20 March 2016
    Austria's first and only comic festival brings together illustrators and comic enthusiasts in different cultural institutions for exhibitions, workshops, theatre and much more.


Finding your way around - by digital or traditional means

The Linz Tourist Board brochures can be ordered free of charge from Linz Tourist Information, +43 732 7070 2009, or at


Apps for mobile devices

Linz Pocket Guide
NEW:  City of Media Arts Tour will go online in the app at the end of 2015

Download in iTunes Store
Download in Google Play Store


Let's Geo - scavenger hunt through Linz

Linz is a UNESCO City of Media Arts. With Let’s Geo, you can experience Linz as a modern, creative media city on an exciting digital tour. Equipped with a smartphone and the app, go on a modern scavenger hunt to the media arts hotspots in the Danube city. At the different stations, there are puzzles to solve – and at the final media arts stop, a prize awaits the digital city explorers! The game is free of charge and also works offline. You just need an Internet connection to download it.

Download in iTunes Store
Download in Google Play Store


Further apps for your visit to the city:

Download in iTunes Store
Download in Google Play Store

Download in Google Play Store
Download in iTunes Sore is also designed so that it's responsive and easy to use on the move.


Want to share, like or post something about Linz?

Here, you can find more information, pictures, current events and tips about the Creative City by the colourful Danube! With our social media channels “VisitLinz”, you’ll always be ahead of the times.

Use the following hashtags when you're surfing and sharing online: #visitlinz #meinlinzmoment


Enjoy a weekend in Linz!

Get away to Linz for a weekend in 2016 ! Discover the European Capital of Culture 2009 and UNESCO City of Media Arts. Linz, the international, contemporary Creative City invites you to make a stop on the banks of the Danube: Leave your everyday routine behind, and experience cultural delights by the river.
From € 109,- Euro per person in a doubleroom!
Information at:

Tourist Information Linz,
Hauptplatz, 4020 Linz
Tel. +43 732 7070 2009