WED, NOV 16
CET 18:30 - 19:30
ET 12:30 - 13:30
Panel and Presentation
Histories of the Avant-garde and Contemporary Disruptive Technologies
Panelists consider the critical impact of current digitization processes on contemporary culture and political life in relationship to the avant-garde. Is digital art the new avant-garde? Given the intense and rapid growth of immersive and blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, and the increasing proliferation of memetic culture, is it useful to talk about these technologies and practices as legacies of the historical avant-garde? To what ends?
Arseniy Zhilyaev, Joshua Citarella, Egor Kraft
Artist Josh Citarella has been mining the online memetic culture of teenagers for many years, and has discovered a mass leaderless movement organized around open source digital images that create cultural agitations across the spectrum of extreme political positions. With uncanny similarities to the anti-art of the Dadaists, these online proliferating verbal jokes, images, and videos are not simple mirrors but magical mirrors of social reality: they exaggerate, invert, re-form, magnify, minimize, dis-color, re-color, even deliberately falsify, chronicled events. Both a haven for ideologies and trolls, memetic culture offers insights into the formation of young radicals under the current media paradigm, and an opportunity to learn from their viral tactics and broad horizon of political possibilities. At the very least, watching their activity might help tip us off to new ideological currents before they hit the mainstream.
Arseniy Zhilyaev speaks about the digitization of everything for the sake of management. He will speak about this topic through his prism of Avant-garde museology investigation and the Institute of Time Mastery, that works with the legacy of Valerian Muravyov. In the 1920s, Muravyov proposed the idea of time mastery through productive mathematics and set theory.
Egor Kraft will talk about his ongoing interest in contemporary technology and the challenges of the ever-increasing computationally accelerated condition. Today's methodologies disrupt our historical, established ways of thinking and doing - such developments as AI may be seen as synthetic forms of knowledge production, thus philosophical projects on their own. They pose ontological and epistemic challenges to our thinking and studying of nature and culture. At the same time, new models of self-sovereign organisation, ultra-sound communication, see-through economy, autonomous politicisation and de-bureaucratisation via networked computing are being developed and widely addressed via term web3. While it is argued that a cultural phenomenon of Avant-Garde historically has been preoccupied with revealing and challenging existing power structures and mass culture, largely produced by industrialisation, today's condition suggests a similar potential for artistic liberation from old models of power and the birth to new ways of representation of reality and objects.
WED, NOV 16
CET 20:00 - 21:00
ET 14:00 - 15:00
Intervention, Resistance, Digital Art and Activism
Artists are deploying digital technologies to disrupt international politics in numerous and fragmented ways. These panelists present works that draw critical attention to the growing social, political, and economic crisis surrounding border politics and nationalism in the US, as well as conflicts and changes in the Post-Soviet countries.
Chico MacMurtrie & Luise Kaunert, Ellina Genadievna, Irina Konyukhova
Chico MacMurtrie & Luise Kaunert discuss their ongoing public interventions that invite various publics to rethink the notion of borders in a globalized world. Technology currently helps to overcome cultural and economic borders, but is also frequently used to maintain and reinforce physical borders. For the past ten years MacMurtrie has been creating a series of lightweight robotic sculptures and performances called Border Crossers.These works envision technology as a positive tool to establish dialogues beyond borders, to question borders, and to create a symbolic suspension and transcendence of borders. Their actions allude to the equality of humanity against a backdrop of tensions and conflicts over national and cultural identity. The inflatable sculptures rise up to several stories high and extend across a given threshold. Their choreographed performance, originating on both sides of the border, would stage a symbolic connection. The project treats the border as a physical condition that can be temporarily transcended by technological proxies. It offers a critique of militarized geopolitical borders, and a metaphorical suspension of those borders in the form of temporary arches.
Ellina Genadievna talks about the development of technical tools for implementing imaginary worlds into a digital environment through the prism of a she artist in the Post-Soviet patriarchate system. She will speak about digital art and activism through creating paracosms in VRChat, the platform which allows users to interact with others with user-created 3D avatars and worlds.
Irina Konyukhova is an artist who explores feminism and resistance. She shares her experience as a Russian based in Germany curator, who tried to represent artists from conflicting Post-Soviet countries. “With what frenzy modern artists take part in conflicts, becoming, of course, on the only right side - the side of frenzied patriotism - the development, it seems to me, is quite new. I can only guess how we arrived at this state of affairs.”
WED, NOV 16
CET 21:30 - 22:30
ET 15:30 - 16:30
Panel with Presentations
Digital Nomadism and Virtual Production
First viewed as an unattainable luxury, digital nomadism has become a critical condition and practice problematically embraced by millions of people affected by a troubled gig economy, the ongoing pandemic, and an unpredictable war that is displacing people all over the world. Often mediated by digital platforms, these artists strive to overcome immense geographical, economic and political challenges, all the while revealing the digital divide that continues to expose our socio-economic fault lines.
Anna Evtyugina + Nikita Shokhov, Georgy Molodtsov, Team Rolfes
Anna Evtyugina and Nikita Shokhov are Russian based in US artists who discuss how to create an international project, being far from their home and connecting together artists from all over the world. They will share with audience details on how they use AR, VR and interactive mirrors to share the story of the international queer society.
Georgy Molodtsov is a Russian producer and curator temporarily based in Georgia in the centre of Russian immigrant society. He speaks about the creation of the live music concerts and performances in virtual reality with international teams. He will share the story of Jean-Michele Jarre’s concerts in VRchat and how they were presented at the main international festivals.
Team Rolfes demonstrates the virtual tools they’ve been developing for several years including experimental motion capture, VR puppetry, and spatial performance. The team walks through digital spaces of their past performances to demonstrate both their groundbreaking practice and unpack the ways in which they've assembled and coordinated teams of artists across the world to make work under the increasing pressures of a gig economy.
THURSDAY, NOV 17
THU, NOV 17
CET 20:45 - 21:45
ET 14:45 - 15:45
Panel with Presentation
Performing Identities and Activism
As the pace of technological change increases and the multitude of ways for individuals to construct their online identities expands, understanding our increasing reliance on computers is more critical than ever. How have recent changes in computational power refashioned fundamental questions about community and identity? How are these identities performed and staged within these new platforms and hybrid contexts, and with what political, artistic, and social consequences? How does the production of these digital selves articulate differently across gender, racial, ethnic, and national boundaries?
LaJuné McMillian, Anna Shvets, Oleg Nikolaenko
LaJuné McMillian makes VR works about black digital bodies, identities, and racial politics in the USA. Her work speaks directly to how identities are being fashioned, performed, staged in digital environments and speaks specifically about how these works circulate within black creative communities. She calls attention to the need for more visible racial others in a white dominated digital system. The curator Wayne Ashley says: I can’t think of a more perfect artist to speak about identity and digital representation within computer mediated worlds. The description of her interests may need simplifying but she speaks directly to the heart of the panel, at least from the US perspective on racial identities and representation through computation and VR.
Anna Shvets will analyse performing art practices through her new project ArtAmbassadors, where she combines artists and curators all over the world. In her presentation she tells about cases that she actively participated in and curiously witnessed, those examples of taking direct action to achieve political and social goals, that are taking place in the hybrid contexts.
Oleg Nikolaenko is a digital theatre director. He shares with the audience how he uses VR technologies in theater performance with real actors. He will tell how he has combined volumetric graphics, 360 video, Tilt Brush art and real actors on stages. In particular, he will speak about his ongoing 360 photogrammetry project, which is connected with the Russian-Ukranian war.
THU, NOV 17
CET 22:15 - 23:15
ET 16:15 - 17:15
Panel with Presentation
Blockchain Technology and NFTs: The New Art Market, its Histories, Misconceptions, and Opportunities
The adoption of NFT platforms and blockchain technology by artists, curators, and gallerists has raised questions about the interrogations and conceptual paths that digital art began exploring in the later 1950s and 60s: What is Art? Where is Art happening? How is it valued? Who is the Artist? Who’s deciding? Who’s buying Art? How are they valuing Art? After considering some of the misconceptions surrounding NFTs and its historical antecedents, these panelists discuss the potential of blockchain technologies, challenges they pose and how they can be driven already now because of war conflicts and sanctions.
Olga Dvoretskaya, Vladimir Storm, Sutu
Olga Dvoretskaya shares her story as an international producer in ART & TECH and how she is creating educational programs for NFT ACADEMY. She has a huge experience of working with NFT-artists and why it is important to create a society around the artist or a group
Vladimir Storm shares his experience as a Russian-German crypto and digital artist, who has explored the Eastern practics in his art and tells the story behind the direction one of of the Pussy Riot music video.
FRIDAY, NOV 18
FRI, NOV 18
CET 18:30 - 19:45
ET 12:30 - 13:45
Lev Manovich, Technologies of Freedom
Lev Manovich begins his talk in the place of memory, recalling the conditions of his earlier life in the USSR during the Cold War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and its parallels with Russia’s current war in Ukraine.
After fleeing the communist empire to New York City in 1981, Manovich has become one of the most important theorists teaching and writing about the impact of technology on cultural production. Framing these as technologies of freedoom, Manovich discusses four distinct developments that have emerged over the past 40 years, enabling some of the most exciting innovations in media, art, and information. These include the internet followed by the web and social media; computer graphics and other visual computational media; big cultural data and data visualization; and finally cultural AI (including GPT-3, Midjourney and similar services). Drawing upon his own personal art and group research projects, Manovich foregrounds the liberatory possibilities of these technologies and practices, particularly significant at this historical juncture as authoritarianism increases across the globe.
FRI, NOV 18
CET 20:15 - 21:30
ET 14:15 - 15:30
Panel with Presentation
XR Technology and New Directions in Physical Performance and Media
The recent proliferation of new digital technologies and art distribution platforms has resulted not only in a major shift in the way contemporary artists create and distribute their artworks online, but continue to transform how artists work in analogue and hybrid modes of expression—theater, dance, sculpture, opera, video, music and installation. These panelists discuss the aesthetic and political dimensions of their work and its entanglement with the emerging fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, social media, and video gaming.
AES+F Group, Theo Triantafyllidis
Theo Triantafyllidis discusses his current work exploring the spaces between artificial intelligence, live action role playing (LARP), theater, gaming culture and social media. Triantafyllidis will discuss these hybrid spaces and production models through two new works—Radicalization Pipeline, a realtime, AI-driven simulation that dramatizes scenarios of civil war in the US. And Mutants of Readiness, a serialized LARP for 8-16 players simulating the growing social conflict in America. Both positions bleak apocalyptic dystopias where madness, misery and toxic personalities have won over reason, and offer insight into how the virtual spaces of social media platforms function less as spaces for communication and connectivity and more as enclosed sites of conflict.
AES+F discuss their ongoing project Turandot 2070, the reinterpretation of the old story of Princess Turandot, with the action transferred to 2070 and set in Beijing. The images of the Princess Turandot fairy tale acquire new meaning due to AES+F’s unique creative method, by which subjects from classical art are retold in an ultramodern socio-cultural context. In the surreal phantasmagoria of AES+F our time has become the past, and we can only guess what led Princess Turandot to such radical actions: the MeToo movement, women’s struggle against harassment or trauma that stem from their family history.
FRI, NOV 18
CET 22:00 - 23:00
ET 16:00 - 17:00
Meta immersive musical performance
Mycelia II is the follow-up part of a meta immersive musical intervention that
premiered at the A MAZE, Berlin, 2021.
Living fungal bio-electrical activity within an audio-reactive VRC environment. This unique incarnation of Mycelia Nanotopia is working with the incredible performance artist Sina wsémoon, with biodata sonification from Ganoderma lucidum (fungi) by combining dance, performance art and sound.
After its premiere at the A MAZE Berlin Festival, 2021, the work went on to become an invited Special Event during the 78th Venice Film Festival Immersive and was nominated for and won The Spirit of the Festival award at the Raindance Film
Festival UK 2021.
Tosca Terán’s works are designed to raise awareness of environmental and societal issues. Often these works express scientific data obtained through collaborations with scientists, physicists and engineers that take the form of sound art, bio-art and design. She started sharing her artistic collaborations with Algae, Physarum polycephalum, and Mycelium in 2016, translating biodata from non-human organisms into music. Her works incorporate realtime, nonhuman bio-sonification, and illicit strong emotional, empathic responses towards nonhuman organisms. In this virtual performance and discussion, Terán presents a remake of Mycelia, a live immersive electronic music and 3D world created in VR Chat, an online virtual world platform. In this work, Terán She connects living mycelium (a network of fungal threads or hyphae) to the Mycelia VRChat environment where it creates a reactive mediascape. Haptic sensors are placed around the mycelium in the physical world which respond to touch within VRC.
A quote from Tosca: I feel one of the most dangerous diseases of humankind is often people's inability to imagine the world from another person, animal, and/or plant’s perspective. My work in nonhuman bio-sonification, fungi bio-materials; creating immersive environments strive to overcome these biases. Tosca Terán
FRI, NOV 18
CET 23:15 - 00:15
ET 17:15 - 18:15
Panel with Presentations
Art, Media and Social Justice in the Metaverse
The tools and foundational technologies exist to create what we imagine the metaverse might be one day: an interconnected web of mixed reality and fully 3D navigable digital worlds that are persistent, interoperable, and social, with vibrant economic structures and diverse cultures. In this panel we’ll hear from artists pushing the creative limits of what is possible in our efforts to make the metaverse not only a place for consuming, conducting business, and socializing, but also a space for artistic experimentation, engaged participation, belonging, well-being, and social justice.
Panelists and Presentations:
Tosca Terán, Oksana Syhareva, Alina Mikhaleva
Tosca Terán’s works are designed to raise awareness of environmental and societal issues. Often these works express scientific data obtained through collaborations with scientists, physicists and engineers that take the form of sound art, bio-art and design. She started sharing her artistic collaborations with Algae, Physarum polycephalum, and Mycelium in 2016, translating biodata from non-human organisms into music. Her works incorporate realtime, nonhuman bio-sonification, and illicit strong emotional, empathic responses towards nonhuman organisms. In this virtual performance and discussion, Terán presents a remake of Mycelia, a live immersive electronic music and 3D world created in VR Chat, an online virtual world platform. In this work, Terán She connects living mycelium (a network of fungal threads or hyphae) to the Mycelia VRChat environment where it creates a reactive mediascape. Haptic sensors are placed around the mycelium in the physical world which respond to touch within VRChat.
Oksana Syhareva shares her experience as a Ukrainian XR-producer and tells about her project UP IN THE AIR. UP IN THE AIR is a story about children who develop their abilities in the circus studio. They are air gymnasts. The studio's students win numerous international festivals and competitions, some of them perform in French Cirque du Soleil. These kids are future students of the Ukrainian National Circus Academy and future artists of the Ukrainian Circus. Children used to train in a unique building - the Old Circus named after Grikke which is over 120 years old in their hometown Kharkiv, Ukraine. This is the first stone circus in the city and in the country.
Alina Mikhaleva discuss her experience as news media executive and XR technologist through the prism of Venice VR Expanded satellite program organization. With over ten years of experience in broadcast media and content marketing, Alina witnessed digital revolution in the news industry from within. Seeing the overall struggle of the news business to stay relevant to audiences worldwide, Alina shifted her attention to future formats of audience engagement - Virtual and Augmented reality. Her experience in digital media and immersive tech has led her to develop a deeper interest in how human brains interact with content at large, and inspired her to launch a new initiative. Since 2020, Alina has been running virtual events and helping audiences to connect in virtual reality.