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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

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

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

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…

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

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

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

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?

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