FUNKEN Academy

Academy for artistic-technological research

pictures by Ernesto Uhlmann

pictures by Ernesto Uhlmann

FUNKEN Academy

Academy for artistic-technological research

Co-funded by European Union.


A project by Klub Solitaer e.V., Ars Electronica and WRO Art Center in association with Fraunhofer ENAS and Fraunhofer IWU.
Project’s website:


In the FUNKEN Academy, artists, technological institutes and research facilities come together to experiment in the field between arts and technology. We live in a time characterized by technology and the idea of progress, a time full of transformation which is invisible to the vast majority of society. Although the societal effects of digitization and automation can be felt by all of us, the underlying process is no longer perceptible, yet shapes the way we live and interact.

The increasingly rapid developments in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, synthetic biology, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and many more will become one of the greatest challenges for society in the coming decades in terms of ethics and values. Technology and science are not only changing our environment, but our bodies and our behaviors. The transformation from an industrial to a digital society, in which robots and autonomous systems take over production, supervision and creation and processes are increasingly automated, lead to potential improvements of living but also uncertainties entailing fears for the future.

High-tech institutes are breaking new ground every day in the technical field. Their research and innovations are built on digital progress, as for example conceived on the basis of ever smaller sensors and more powerful computer chips and new technologies like virtual modeling. Artists, on the other hand, usually only gain access to these technologies once they have been incorporated into products.

The project is intended to enable artists to carry out long-needed mediation work, to make complex processes and technologies easily accessible. Change is not brought about through information, technology and science alone, but through experiments generating ideas that precede and accompany the change.

A project by Klub Solitaer e.V. in partnership with Ars Electronica and WRO Art Center in association with Fraunhofer ENAS and Fraunhofer IWU. This action is funded by the European Union and co-financed by Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony and the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament and by federal funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Summer School

RE:SOURCING EUROPEAN SUMMER SCHOOL 2023 (17.07 – 14.10.2023)

The FUNKEN academy’s European summer school is devised to be an interdisciplinary Pan-European collaboration network among cultural institutions, high-tech institutes, experienced artists and young creatives alike. At the intersection of arts and technology, it creates novel content for artistic education and production, sparking an eye-level discourse around the potential of new technologies for general society as well as the art world.

The technologies that the research partners provide for the FUNKEN Academy – re:sourcing programme offer artists specific and novel possibilities in working with different matter, such as metal, DNA, and fungi. Over the term of the course we use them to expand the media and possibilities of artistic creation and modelling. At the same time, we invite participants to reflect artistically on the technological procedures.

Through artistic collaboration, the summer school programme combines serendipity with scientific research processes, developing sustainable innovation by providing an aesthetic-poetic view to technological research and societal issues, bringing together young European future professionals form the arts (students and post-graduates) in the generation of new ideas and society at large into the ensuing discourse.

The Summer School for young artists is created by renowned artists, which are selected by an international curatorial consortium formed by the renowned cultural institutions and cooperation partners Klub Solitaer e.V. (Chemnitz, Germany), WRO Art Center (Wroclaw, Poland) and ARS Electronica Center (Linz, Austria). The course results will be internationally exhibited in Chemnitz, Wroclaw and Linz.

LBPF technology enables the production of delicate solid metal structures in a 3D printing process. In another 3D printing process, self-growing, evolving structures can be produced from mycelium-impregnated substrate. With another technology and in a completely different dimension, DNA strands can be folded on a nanoscopic level.

The FUNKEN Academy will experiment with these technologies and explore the questions:
How does high-tech access to material shape the human and artistic use of resources? What happens when we embark on a journey into the nanosphere for creative interventions? What emerges when we design and shape with technical means in collaboration with another species? Which codes and messages will be more important than their material value in the future?


Shaping the Invisible – Folding of DNA strands and rendering structures in nano scale | Carolin Liebl and Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler | Fraunhofer ENAS
More info: HERE

Metal Data Solid Culture – information and its protection as a medium of art | Pawel Janicki | Fraunhofer IWU
More info: HERE

I N T E R S P A C E Co-creation with fungi | Noor Stenfert Kroese | Fraunhofer IWU
More info: HERE