Art + Tech + Policy

Level: Beginners

St. Pölten UAS

How can you shape the future of technology? Transforming Silicon Valley through a European digital humanism in art + tech + policy.

Each in their own way, artists, technologists, and policy makers are creating the parameters for the fourth industrial revolution. Frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence are already profoundly transforming our economy, society, and democratic institutions. They also challenge our notion of what it means to be human in the digital age.

A new digital humanism is required to break through existing siloes, to align our human aspirations with the development of beneficial AI, and to empower citizens to participate in the public discourse around the technologies of the future. This course takes a closer look at the intersection of art, tech, and policy to help achieve those goals. It will provide you with a framework to understand the current shifts in the international system and analyse a new global arms race caused by tech innovation. Artists as cultural ambassadors have an important role to play in positively shaping technology at its core. We will showcase some groundbreaking artistic projects that blur the border between human and artificial creativity.

By inviting prominent thought leaders in international tech diplomacy, Big Tech, and the arts from Silicon Valley and Europe we aim to inspire animated discussions and together develop new pathways responding to concrete challenges as a result of the ongoing digital transformation.

Key words: digital humanism, tech diplomacy, geopolitics, artificial intelligence, frontier technologies, policy, digital human rights, new digital world order, art, education, cultural diplomacy, experience design, immersive technology, community empowerment, society, Silicon Valley, Europe, Big Tech, artificial creativity


Dr. Clara Blume | Head of Art + Tech Lab | Open Austria

© Pia Clodi

Clara Blume, Ph.D. works as a European cultural diplomat and artist in Silicon Valley, heading the Open Austria Art + Tech Lab.

The Art + Tech Lab was launched in October 2020 to explore the interplay of human and artificial creativity. Set out as a laboratory for open and interdisciplinary collaboration, Blume curates, commissions, and promotes art projects that redefine what it means to be human in the age of artificial intelligence. In concert with Austria’s efforts in tech diplomacy, the Art + Tech Lab is working with policy makers from Europe and the US to advocate for a new digital humanism in tech.

As President of the EU National Institutes for Culture Cluster in the Bay Area (EUNIC Silicon Valley) in 2019 and 2020, Blume spearheaded the creation of the art and technology network The Grid (Art Powers Technology) with funding from the European Commission and Salesforce. She most recently launched and curated the first edition of the San Francisco based art + tech festival The Grid: Exposure – Art + Tech + Policy Days in September 2020.

Prior to her new role in cultural diplomacy, she worked as a professional musician, songwriter, and internationally touring recording artist. As founder of Austria’s touring live music show “The Singer Songwriter Circus”, Blume helped promote over 350 artists from around the world and jumpstart the careers of many Austrian newcomers. She was nominated both “Artist of the Year” and “Woman of the Year” in 2016. Blume studied music composition and fine arts at Academia de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). She holds a M.A. in comparative literature and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and history from the University of Vienna. Blume is a regular conference speaker and a published author.

Martin Rauchbauer | Austrian Tech Ambassador and Co-Director | Open Austria

© Nadine Schach

Martin Rauchbauer is the first Austrian Tech Ambassador in Silicon Valley, Co-Director of Open Austria and Austrian Consul in San Francisco.

As an Austrian diplomat, Martin was sent to San Francisco in 2016 in order to open and establish his country’s first innovation outpost in Silicon Valley. Martin’s office helps Austrian entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers, and creative minds to connect with the biggest innovation ecosystem in the world. Open Austria engages in tech-diplomacy, a strategic dialogue with the tech industry on the global governance of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

Martin has served in many capacities due to his passion for tech-diplomacy, including but not limited to teaching “Digital Diplomacy” at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and holding the local San Francisco chair of the European Union in 2018.

Before coming to San Francisco, Martin was Deputy Director of the Business Support Service and Head of the UNESCO unit at the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna. In 2014, he was briefly CEO at the Österreich Institut GmbH in Vienna. Between 2011 and 2014 he served as Director of Deutsches Haus at NYU in New York City. From 2007 until January 2011 he was the Deputy Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York. Martin also served as Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Mexico City and as Desk Officer at the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Martin received his M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy and Washington D.C. He also holds a degree in Philosophy and German Studies from the University of Vienna.

Open Austria

Open Austria is the official Austrian representation in Silicon Valley – a joint venture between the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Trade Commission, and the Austrian Business Agency. Our mission is to connect Austria and Silicon Valley in the fields of business, technology, investment, tech diplomacy, and the arts.


Panel discussion „Art + Tech + Policy“ | 24 June 2021