Share festival – Part 1

On Sunday, i spent a few hours at the Share festival in Turin, the most important date with Italian art, digital culture and new media. The most important date! Excuse me?!? Isn’t it a bit exaggerated? I always try to stay neutral and avoid nasty comments on the stories i blog but this time i can’t help it.


The programme was online only a few days before the opening of the festival, the organisers didn’t think it was important to hire professional translators for the conference (i mean it’s only a question of being polite towards the people you invite to give a talk), the art pieces were shown in a quite depressing setting… That said, the talks i heard, the selection of works (especially the Radical Software section) were very good and i met several people i like a lot (Oscar Abril Ascaso made me want to go to Sonar this year, Hans Bernhard was as sweet as his work is though-provoking, and… well, i felt like a dork because i had never heard of [epidemiC].) So i’d say at i spent an interesting Sunday afternoon ;-) and i wish i could have attended other talks.


I don’t know what’s wrong with this country and media art. There are several excellent publications on the subject: Neural is by far the best place to read about new media art and digital culture. Both offline (i’m quite fond of the Spanish a minima too) and online. TK_off is one of my daily reads and i check random, Noema as well. Plus there are some excellent mailing lists.

So Italy can write about and enjoys new media art. They sometimes organise cool events: Connessioni Leggendarie (which i missed but i heard positive reports from people who visited the show, plus their catalogue is really good), then there’s Netmage in Bologna, Peam in Pescara (never been there either so i can hardly voucher for its quality)… But a real “important date with Italian art, digital culture and new media” has yet to be organised in this country.

By the way, i’d love to be wrong, so if any reader who lives in Italy has a different view on the state of nma festivals in Italy, please write me or comment on this post.

Ok, back to the festival. Here’s the first part about what i’ve seen there:

nervous.jpgnerveuse.jpgNervous, by German artist Bjoern Schuelke, is a bright and fluffy hemisphere. When approached, it becomes nervous, starts to beep and shake (Video from Beap04.)

The Nervous body contain a Theremin. It is one of the first electronic music instrument, invented in 1917 by Léon Theremin.
The musician stands in front of the instrument and moves the hands in the proximity of two metal antennas, the distance from the antennas determining frequency and amplitude. No need to touch the instrument.

lifesupport.jpglifesupport3.jpgLife Support Machine promotes the concept of a therapeutic inter-relationship between people and machines. The installation has a soothing predictability that is based on the sound of waves. Fish scales layered between plastic sheeting rub together driven by a motorized mechanism that expresses recorded waveforms. The movements are controlled by special software, tuned to the sound of surf. I don’t know if it was because of the fishy-rubbery sound, the movement of the pages or the projection of waves on the screen, but i’d have stayed there for a long time, watching and listening to it was so relaxing.

My images on flickr.