2020 Ars Electronica Garden SEOUL


Ars Electronica Garden Seoul

Korea National University of Arts presents the Ars Electronica Garden Seoul Festival from September 9 to 13 – in Seoul and the online world. Korea National University of Arts was invited to the Ars Electronica Festival to present diverse ideas on natural and regional boundaries and digital networks related to the inherent physical limitations triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemics. In 2020, instead of rallying in Linz, Austria, for the Ars Electronica Festival, more than 120 participating organizations hold events under the theme of Garden in each region, while the Ars Electronica Festival organized a kind of digital travel agency that connected them online. Korea National University of Arts focuses on the regional characteristics of Seoul, Korea's representative city, through nature, society, and technical environment, as the overall “garden”. The approach raises the topic of what kind of garden we will take care of in the future of "Third Life," where reality and virtual overlap.

Garden of Third Life

Director : Dongyean Lee 

(Vice President of Korea National University of Arts, Professor of School of Korean Traditional Arts, KARTS)

At  the end of the 20th century, cities in South Korea, demonstrated two distinct characteristics. First, the cities were transformed into a sea of apartment complexes. Second, high-speed Internet and digital technology became ubiquitous, which resulted in the creation of unique online communities. The former focuses on the collective and is a physical space, whereas the latter is more fragmented and virtual. Several cities of the world are similarly structured; however, cities in South Korea seems to naturally balance the tangible world with its more flexible virtual counterpart. We dream of a city for the future––an epic Smart City where these two spaces harmoniously coexist. 

The “Garden of Third Life” is a practical and metaphorical concept that explores what life is like during this pandemic. The phrase “Third Life” implies that we have reached a new third space in which we must live our lives. If the “First Life” is the physical world we live in and the “Second Life” is the virtual, synthetic world, the “Third Life” is where both elements exist together, and through their interaction, disintegrate barriers by adding virtual aspects to real life and real aspects to the virtual one, and facilitates living within that intersection. Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, holograms, and the Internet of Things invite us into  the Third Life.

The Third Life concept emphasizes that embracing ecology and technology is no longer optional, but is a part of our fate. Living in the age of disaster capitalism, risk society, the Anthropocene, and the pandemic means that we cannot support human life through taking technology forward without an ecological imagination. Similarly, an ecological imagination without technological progress will lead to a lonesome life like that of Robinson Crusoe, or would be unable to stop the tsunami  of global consumerism. In response, the “Third Life Garden” is a practical and metaphoric concept that imagines future human ecology, while simultaneously undertaking a serious reflection on technology. 


Plan/operation : KARTS, Center for Art Convergence, Art Collider Lab (Dayoung Lee Reseach & Planning Division Researcher, Hana Yun Global Exchange Project Manager)

The Global Exchange Project consists of, ON-Line and OFF-Line programs. The ON-Line program, which is designed to link global exchanges, combines nature and science and technology that today's art will think about, and the Online Lecture Series, which consists of lectures by artists, researchers and scientists, and the performance <Two Hands>, which combines Korean traditional art 'Gut' with projection mapping, a contemporary media, an online-based exhibition space experimenting with new art appreciation, the <Third Garden>, and <Seoul Garden>, was composed of the archiving Seoul urban garden that observed the city from the eyes of visitors. In addition, the OFF-Line program, which is a regional base, prepared a workshop <Web-Gardening> to learn how to create and learn Web, which is currently a live issue after the Pandemic.

Program 1. Online Lecture Series <Garden of Third Life>

Journey into the Third Life

Online Lecture Series <Garden of Third Life> consists of a total of 10 lectures, three sections of "Human-Nature", "Human-Local Community" and "Human-Third Life". In today's Technology-Driven Society, we try to look for ways to cultivate an alternative garden for the future through the lecture of experts from various fields including science, cultural sociology, art, and architecture. 

    • Martin Honzik (Director of Ars Electronica Festival)
    • Bongryeol ‎Kim(President of Korea National Universtiy of Arts) 
    • Dongyeun Lee(Vice President of Korea National University of Arts, Professor of School of Korean Traditional Arts, KARTS)
    • Chungyean Cho(Director of Center for Art Convergence, Professor of School of Film, TV & Multimedia, KARTS)
    • Hyehyun Cheon(Professor of Korea Polytechnic University, Art Director of 2019 Davinci Creative: Living Life)
    • Buhmsoon Park(Director of Center for Anthropocene Studies, KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology))
    • Soyo Lee(Lecturer, Department of the Arts, Korea National University of Arts)
    • Hanbyul Shim(Research Fellow of the Center for Asian Cities, Seoul National University)
    • Eunseon Park(Director of Listen to the City)
    • Hyun Seok Kang(Founding Director of SGHS architectural office,Author of <TVPR(2018)>, Adjunct Professor at Sungkyunkwan University)
    • Dongyeun Lee(Vice President of Korea National University of Arts, Professor of School of Korean Traditional Arts, KARTS)
    • Kwangseok Lee(Assistant Professor of Graduate School of Public Policy and Information Technology at Seoul National University of Science and Technology)
    • Wonjoon Yoo(Assistant Professor of School of Fine Arts, Transart department of Yeungnam University)
    • Chungyean Cho(Director of Center for Art Convergence, Professor of School of Film, TV & Multimedia, KARTS)

Program 2. Korean Traditional Arts X Media Performance <Two Hands>

Can future technology really dominate the human mind and soul?

Performance <Two Hands> is a combination of "Gut," a traditional Korean shamanistic art, and projection mapping to throw a question, "Can future technology really dominate the human mind and soul?" Art director Kyunghwa Yu(Professor of percussion at the Korea National University of Arts) is inspired by Roy Ascot's Technoetic Arts, which explored the connection between technology and spirit, and wants to focus on whether spiritual experiences can present new possibilities for broadening the limits of technology.

Art Director : Kyunghwa Yu(Professor of percussion at the Korea National University of Arts)
  • Visual Director : Pungyoun Cho(Professor of School of Film, TV & Multimedia, KARTS)
  • New Media Director : Seongouk Kim(Media Artist)
  • Musician 
    • Janggu, Chulhyungeum : Kyunghwa Yu
    • Contrabass : JC Curve
    • Synthesizer, Sound Design : Jeehyun Kim
    • Gut : Bumtae Park, Sunghoon Park

Program 3. Journey into the Virtual Third Garden <Third Garden>

In 'Third Life' where virtual and reality overlap due to the development of media technology, what kind of gardener (artist) can we be in a new forms of garden(creative environmet)? 

<Third Garden> is a web-based online exhibition that experiments with new art appreciation based on the cultural environment of Korean society where digital media penetrates deeply. Since the 20th century, the development of interactive media has made the creation of art in a new environment a hot issue, especially in 2020, due to Corona 19 Pandemics, we have been given a sudden mission to create and view art in new way. <Third Garden> was constructed to collect artists' concerns, research processes, and experiments. As an augmented reality exhibition based on mobile, <Third Garden> is designed to allow to view each artist's work at the exhibition that is unfolded through virtual 3D object, which is overlapped with the scenery of real space seen through the mobile. Audiences accessed into the <Third Garden> via QR code or link are invited as potential gardeners. 

    • [Faculty : Chungyeon Cho] Project One(Jeongho Lee, Yoochae Hwang, Jisun Nam, Hyunjoon Joo), Juicy Mosquito(Yeonseo Cha, Youngmyoung Cho, Eunjun Kim), F(J)=X(Jungah Lee, Daeun Joo, Minjung Park)
    • [Faculty : Youngju Kim] Hyunjung Yoon, Daeun Joo, Ysol, Chaeyeon Kang, Dahyun Yang, Hyeonji Lim, Sohyun Kim
*This exhibition is an AR exhibition that is optimized for mobile devices. Explore it on your mobile web browser!*When using a PC web browser, USE the directional key(↓→↑←) to move and 'Click' the ring(◎) in the middle to match the object to the artwork.

Program 4. Journey into the Everyday Life <Seoul Garden>

Green City, Seoul

<Seoul Garden> is a virtual exhibition space consisting of photographs and interviews taken in Seoul summer 2020, designed by Aïsha Noomi Stief, an exchange student from Germany. Aïsha re-constructed the landscape and conversations into virtual space in 'Mozilla Hubs', from her perspective. The project is based on an interesting view of Seoul's buildings and residents, who utilize even tiny spaces to grow their own gardens. It is a project that discovers a new image of Seoul as a green city through the eyes of visitors, which residents recognize only as "building forests" made by concrete.

  • Creator: Aïsha Noomi Stief(DE)
  • Assistant Researcher: Subin Lee(KR)
  • 3D Modeling: Cornelius Hussing(DE)


Program 5. Workshop <Web-Gardening>

<Web-Gardening> is a workshop program that creates own web-based garden. The workshop consisted of the <web-gardening> with the basics of the web, virtual exhibition space production with Google Tour Creator & Mozilla Hubs and web-based personalized electronic music instrument making, and the <Playful-Gardening> to define the meaning of "play" in game history and make games easily using web-based game production tools.

    • Guhong Min(Author of <New Order(2019)>, Web Designer)
    • Dongjoon Park(Media Artist, Director of Archiving Babel)
    • WONWOORI(Media Artist)
    • Daechan Huh(AliceOn Director)
    • Youngju Kim(Game Designer, Media Artist)
    • Eunji Kim(Media Artist)