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The AVL Cultural Foundation has been awarded the prestigious Aurica® Trophy and named European Cultural Investor of the Year 2018 at the 13th European Cultural Brand Awards. The event, hosted in Berlin in November, recognizes those individuals and organizations which have worked tirelessly to promote cultural work throughout Europe.

The AVL Cultural Foundation embraces projects that bring together arts and science to explore and foster human creativity and innovation, opening up dialogues between various disciplines.

It is in this essence that the award validates the work of the foundation. Since 2007 the AVL Cultural Foundation has been promoting and commissioning art projects that bridge the gap between art and science and celebrating the shared processes in the creation of both.

The European Cultural Brand Awards are the most innovative ones in Europe and are made possible with the backing of more than 53 partners from across the industry. With submissions from as far and wide as Albania, Portugal, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Malta, Greece and the German-speaking countries, the jury was faced with a wide variety of exciting work to consider.

As well as the AVL Cultural Foundation, nominees for the European Cultural Investor of the Year 2018 Award included Erste Group Bank AG and BMW Group. The award reflects the excellence, attractiveness and openness of the European cultural market and is synonymous with outstanding commitment, and so it is with great pride that the AVL Cultural Foundation is able to accept this prestigious accolade.

Digital Design Weekend
Technology brings art to life

Showcasing the work of digital artists from around the world, in 2017 the AVL Cultural Foundation joined forces with Ars Electronica and the Austrian Cultural Forum London to support Austrian participants at London’s Digital Design Weekend. Three days of installations, workshops and presentations by some of the planet’s most innovative technological creatives took place at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum.

During the Digital Design Weekend, the museum was brought to life with robots, digital sound performances, and creative experiments such as Handcrafting the Digital by Irene Posch. This installation explored the use of digital technology in textile design, while other artists such as Davide Beliacqua, Veronika Krenn, Leo Peschta and Ebru Kurbak crafted electromechanical jewellery, experimented with robotic fruit cutters and built performances around pocket calculators.

The artworks dealt with hot-topic concepts such as modern economics, artificial intelligence, immigration, and the use of organic and inorganic materials in digital circuitry. The three-day exhibition was commemorated by the publication of a book, Bridging Open Borders, which brought together the cutting-edge work of the artists in a reassuringly low-tech format.

Graz x Osaka
The discovery of an ancient Japanese screen triggered a cultural exchange between Japan and Austria

During the renovations of the Eggenberg Palace in Graz, Austria, a sensational find was uncovered. What were thought to be paper wall hangings in the palace’s beautifully ornate Japanese Room were, in fact, panels from an incredibly rare Japanese folding screen. The Osaka-zu byobu found its way to the Austrian palace in the 17th century, and depicts the golden era of Osaka’s opulent palace complex, including scenes from everyday life in the Japanese city.

Inspired by this find, and the previously unknown connection between the two cities in Austria and Japan, the AVL Cultural Foundation gave it’s support to a new cultural exchange between the two countries. Two young composers, Christof Ressi (Austria) and Yuki Sugimoto (Japan) were asked to create new compositions for two traditional instruments – the dulcimer and the shamisen inspired by the Osaka-zu byobu.

With support from soloists Hemma Pleschberger on the dulcimer and Seiyu Tsurusawa on the shamisen, and backed up by 24 string musicians chosen from a variety of exceptional European orchestras, conductor Jon Svinghammar led performances in Graz and Osaka. Audiences were delighted as the two instruments, which rarely play such a lead role in the orchestra, took centre stage in the performances of the outstanding new classical masterpieces.