Together artists, designers, curators, scientists and philosophers delved into technodiversity, contemporary utopias and dystopias, the future of money, Glitch Feminism and cultural resistance, and the human-technology relationship from an artistic, philosophical and scientific point of view
At MUTEK_IMG in Montreal, i got to hear some very interesting and, at times, provocative ideas about artificial intelligence, post-truth media, human-machine choreography and automated storytelling tools
The conference brought together leading artists and thinkers from the world of art, technology, science and documentary. The food was a bit revolting. Everything else was amazing
What aesthetic and political strategies may counter the quest for collecting data and measuring and predicting human behaviour, characteristic of informational capitalism?
The internet is everywhere. Set free from the websites and the screens, it now penetrates our thoughts and our bodies and everything around us. Each day, the digital and physical become more integrated – but how does this effect our experience and how do we express the new, augmented reality?
Alienation represents a potential to expand the horizons of our current lives, to think and act progressively and usher in change. Thus M9 wants to welcome the alien, also the alien in us, without preconceptions of familiar and foreign. It wants to welcome the alien as a challenge to the present as well as a promise of better, extraordinary futures
Momentum 9, The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, opened a few days ago in Moss, Norway. Its focus is Alienation, a pertinent theme for a time characterized by deep social and economic inequalities, new forms of rabid colonialism, atmospheric turmoil, transhumanism, closing borders and relentless questioning of democracy
The festival’s rallying cry was that time had come to discuss the economy without inviting the economists to the table. The videos of the keynotes are online and i’d like to highlight 2 of them: Frank Trentmann‘s chronicle of the consumerist society and Geerat Vermeij‘s theory about how a closer study of biological ecosystems can teach us more about the economy than we might suspect
The short films, animations and documentaries screened at the festival exposed the world of finance under the most human perspectives: from the bank robbery that goes terribly wrong to an economic system so complex they become incomprehensible for humans, from the bankers trying in vain to avoid massive troubles to people forming endless queues in order to receive free soup and bread, etc.
Why not start by treating economics like any other technology? Play with it, hack, use input from other disciplines, unleash science fiction on it, approach it in an artistic manner
This year the theme, Senses & Sensors, explored perception: how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. How we absorb and comprehend what we see, and how rapidly progressing technological advances expand and augment our perceptions
Hybrid ecologies unfold through complex interactions between actors and elements: human, non-human, biological, mineral, robotic, artificial, etc. There has always been some forms of interaction between humans and their immediate biological environment (through agriculture, bee keeping, fermentation techniques, etc.) but contemporary science is speeding up the synergies and frictions
The actors of hybrid ecologies are many. They are genetically engineered plants, cloned trees, animals used as sensors. Or they are robots, software and networks that encroach on the biological and sometimes manage to fuse with it. Some of this hybrid ecology is the direct result of human actions but increasingly, we see signs that biological and technological entities are escaping human control and are transforming the planet
Albedo suits are designed to increase the solar energy reflectivity (albedo value) in the forests; this way cooling the climate and mitigating the climate change. The work plays with the notion of geoengineering and forest management as a geoengineering project
The 11th edition of this festival of unconventional and radical art was anchored into the most banal manifestations of our networked society, one that is made of surveillance, social bullying, aesthetics of power, communication guerrilla and disintegration of the space of free speech and ideas that internet was meant to be
The event is a one-day meeting for filmmakers, producers, artists, designers, entrepreneurs and anyone else interested in exploring how digital technologies and new forms of interactivity are shaping the future of documentary storytelling. The conference is one of the highlights of the Seamless Reality program set up by IDFA DocLab, a festival program for ‘undefined art and unexpected experiences’
A few months ago, the festival accès)s( in Pau (France) invited the audience to have a critical look at the idea of a techno-driven progress, at a propaganda machine that promise that new ‘advances’ in information and communication technologies will solve our problems and fulfill the dreams we don’t even know we had. All we need to do is update, upgrade and replace our devices
Where are we heading? What are the conditions of survival for our region and the world at large? What are the struggles and what kind of strategies do we need for survival?
The Survival Kit festival explored the theme of local and global survival through the lenses of visual art, music, food, discussions and lectures.
The most compelling part of the day for me was when i discovered the nominees of the Digital Storytelling competition. Because the focus of the selection is as much on new forms of interactivity as it is on strategies to weave a compelling story, all the projects were deep, multi-layered and compelling. Some took me ages to explore. Take the super addictive podcast of the now cult “Serial” for example…
Finally! I found some time to type down my notes from the DocLab: Interactive Conference, a one-day event that looked at how artists, film makers, designers and entrepreneurs are exploring digital behaviour and redefining the documentary genre in the digital age
A few days ago, the Haus der elektronischen Künste (House of Electronic Arts) in Basel inaugurated its new premises with a three-day festival of drones, music performances, immersive data explorations and giant mushrooms.
HeK space is a cultural center dedicated to the new art forms of the information age. The programme is as sleek and geek as its buildings be but its spirit is critical and inquisitive. HeK takes technology out of consumer culture and looks at its more meaningful, socially-engaged or aesthetic uses
Retail Poisoning is the act of intentionally injecting: critical / corrupt / fake / glitched data and/or hardware, in existing online and offline retail outlets
Upper Space took up the renovated engine room of a former cotton mill in Manchester to organize a series of exhibition, workshops, screenings, talks and public interventions that invited citizens of Greater Manchester to reflect on possible alternative and resistance to ‘consumerism and the disempowerment that it represents’
Speculative designer Lisa Ma is looking for the relevance of Luddism in the modern era by shifting focus from digital and communications technologies to the innovations of biotechnology industries. These biotechnologies which have started to pervade the food, health and ecological systems will undoubtedly attract their own forms of luddism. So who are the BioLuddites? Where are the group and individuals who ask for a demystification of biotechnologies and who are calling for a public debate about GMOs, systems ecology, hormone replacement, etc?
This year’s edition of the GLITCH festival in Dublin examines how artists use new media to investigate social and political systems to find their position within and in relation to these larger systems. In this fuzzy zone of information production, where boundaries and roles are increasingly blurred, the exhibition deploys humour and critique to reconfigure our ideas about our current digital economic climate
FIELDS investigates the place of contemporary art practices in society and the role artists can take not just as generators of new aesthetics but also as catalysts of active involvement in social, scientific, and technological transformations. While some of the works in the show present a critique of ongoing political or ecological issues, others go a step further by suggesting positive visions for the future
Critical Exploits showed how a new generation of artists, designers and engineers are taking a highly critical approach to the development and use of the engineered systems and infrastructures that we increasingly rely on for daily life
Showcasing a comprehensive selection of the group’s diverse output, the exhibition includes video, software, net art, installation, and performance. F.A.T. Lab members will also be creating and hacking on new, cutting-edge projects to be added to the exhibition on the fly
n All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (a title that refers to a passage in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto. ) Deller takes a personal look at the impact of the Industrial Revolution on British popular culture, and its persisting influence on our lives today.
A couple of weeks ago, i was in Derry/Londonderry. Beautiful landscapes, super friendly people, vegan-approved yummy food at the Legenderry Warehouse, stunning socially-engages exhibitions i’ll tell you about later and a city-wide event called Lumiere. Lumiere is a festival of 17 projections and installations that lit up as the night came onto the city. It is a crowd-magnet, a place to bring your family and marvel at what artists and designers can do with light. Some of the works, however, had depth and bite
BPB12 explores how space is constructed, controlled and contested, how photography is implicated in these processes, and the tensions and possibilities this dialogue involves. This year’s Biennial provides a critical space to think about relationships between the political occupation of physical sites and the production and dissemination of images
Finally! An art & tech festival that makes sense. A festival that resonates with the media art expert and the casual passerby alike. An event that values art above in-your-face tech prowess. It was my first visit to an AND festival. I found it witty, surprising, often thought-provoking and enlightening
There’s an exhibition featuring sci-fi, history, video games, homosexuality, soap operas, censorship and a powerful sense of humour at Cornerhouse in Manchester right now. The show is called Subversion and it questions and knocks around whatever assumption you might have about an homogenous ‘Arab world’, whatever image politicians and the media might have given you about its culture and identity
Robots and Avatars invites visitors to imagine a future -not so distant from now- when the advance of technology will bring us in even closer contact with artificial intelligence and machines and force us to re-assess what we now define as ‘life.’ How do we envisage our future relationships with robotic and avatar colleagues and playmates, and what point does this evolution cross our personal boundaries of what it is to be a living, feeling human being?
Some of the works on show at Kinetica this year are candidly whimsical, others explore responsive architecture, pay homage to Jean Tinguely or to Newton’s third law, take the form of small models of celestial mechanics, or of experimental music gigs on modified Fisher Price Turntables
I like GAMERZ because it’s eclectic, because it makes me discover plenty of artists i had never heard about before but also because it reminds me that festivals should be left more often in the hands of artists. They take risk, follow their whim, trust other artists barely out of the academy, and care little about sticking to genres and formulas
This year, the organizers and curators at STRP had the admirable and timely idea of setting up an exhibition that brought the spotlight on the history of Dutch art and technology. The show was both a celebration of the talent of media artists in The Netherlands but also a gesture of support towards the Dutch new media institutes (namely V2_, Waag Society, STEIM, Mediamatic, WORM, Submarine Channel, NIMk) whose survival is threatened by drastic (and short-sighted) governmental cuts
The last edition of STRP attracted almost 30,000 visitors. They came for the concerts and parties of course, but also for the performances, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and associated events that were taking place in the city of Eindhoven. The exhibition was particularly exciting with its mix of no tech and high tech
Prédiction was the biggest exhibition of the International Design Biennial in Saint Étienne. Its ambition was to reposition the boundaries of contemporary design, exploring in over 100 artefacts and 2000 m2 the new types, methods, and practices of the discipline
Fast, furious and enthusiastic images from Sao Paulo and the 11th edition of the FILE Electronic Language International Festival, i think the report will have to wait till i’m back in Europe