Dates: Sep 6, 2018 – Sep 10, 2018
Location: Linz, Austria

What a festival: 5 days, 12 locations, 614 events and 1,357 artists, scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and activists from 54 countries made the Ars Electronica Festival from September 6 to 10, 2018 a truly extraordinary experience. With the theme “Error – the Art of Imperfection“, the media art event brought visitors from near and far to Linz – more than 105,000 visits were recorded at the festival this year, a new record in the history of Ars Electronica.

credit: vog.photo

+b (ORBIT) impressively showed, for example, how many atomic bombs have been detonated since 1945. The visualization plays on a world map made of sugar cubes, one of the earliest foods to be rationed in times of war.

+b (ORBIT)
Michael Saup (DE), Andrea Winter (DE), Andreas Erhart (DE)

+b (ORBIT) shows Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map of the earth built from multiple layers of white industrial sugar cubes and illuminated by the complete sequence of all nuclear explosions from 1945 until now. Using the cubes as three-dimensional pixels, +b emphasizes the intimate relationship between information, energy, resources and their impact on society and nature. +b stages the most extreme power released by humankind, irreversibly transforming the atmosphere and igniting the epoch of the nuclear Anthropocene with its application and supposed mastery of atomic power.

The work illustrates how this mastery is really the reiteration of a profound error and the subsequent compounding of that error. We keep on making mistakes. Some of these errors are extraordinarily beautiful and useful, some are terrifyingly destructive with long-term planetary impact, and many are both.

+b (ORBIT) zeigt Buckminster Fullers Dymaxion-Karte der Erde, die aus mehreren Schichten weißer Industriezuckerwürfel besteht und von der kompletten Sequenz aller nuklearen Explosionen von 1945 bis heute erleuchtet wird. Durch die Verwendung der Würfel als dreidimensionale Pixel betont +b die intime Beziehung zwischen Information, Energie, Ressourcen und deren Auswirkungen auf Gesellschaft und Natur. +b inszeniert die extremste von der Menschheit freigesetzte Kraft, die die Atmosphäre irreversibel verändert und die Epoche des nuklearen Anthropozäns mit seiner Anwendung und vermeintlichen Beherrschung der Atomkraft entzündet hat.

Die Arbeit veranschaulicht, wie diese Beherrschung wirklich die Wiederholung eines tiefgreifenden Fehlers und die anschließende Verschlimmerung dieses Irrtums ist. Wir machen immer wieder Fehler. Einige dieser Fehlleistungen sind außerordentlich schön und nützlich, andere sind erschreckend zerstörerisch mit langfristiger planetarischer Wirkung, und viele sind beides.

measuring the space
aligning the sugar
aligning the projection


Co-produced by Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau e.V. with the help of The Buckminster Fuller Institute, die wellenmaschine, Silke and Uwe Buhrdorf, Shuichi Fukazawa, Ulf Langheinrich, David McConville, Robert W. Gray, Knut Bressgott, Karolina Funk, Acci Baba, Endre Ketzel, Li Alin, Nicole Pesant Méalin, Rosa-Lee Sendlinger, Nadine Bors and openframeworks

More information at

Image on top: “The Landing” by Michael Saup, Ars Electronica Center Facade Animation, Klangwolke 2016

This was the 2018 Ars Electronica Festival!