(Abstract) Today we are witnessing the transformation process from new media to post media situation which is characterized not only by equality and convergence of different media technologies but also by emergence of new “techno-ecological” paradigm. Namely, artists who once were in vanguard exploring digital frontiers, today are among those who are engaged in the quest for a more sustainable future. By working together with scientists and farmers, urban gardeners and rural communities, media archeologists and future visionaries, the artists are bringing to foreground ecological issues, yet staying rooted in new media. In lecture Raitis Šmits will introduce three more recent RIXC's exhibition cases - Techno-Ecologies (2011), Save As (2013) and the Fields (2014) analyzing the shifts from techno-scientific to techno-ecological paradigm. He will also argue that art is not anymore an autonomous field, but it plays a role of a catalyst fostering social, scientific and technological changes.
(Biography) Raitis SMITS is Riga based artist and curator. He is artistic director of RIXC, and works as assistant professor at the Latvian Academy of Arts (Visual Communication Dept.). He is also PhD candidate; the theme of his doctoral thesis - “New Media Art. Preserving and Representation Problematics”.
Since the mid-90s Raitis is working with emerging media technologies together with artist Rasa Smite. They are key founders of RIXC – Riga based artist collective and the center for new media culture, co-curators of Art+Communication festivals, and chief editors of Acoustic Space – peer-reviewed journal series.
Their art works are long-lasting ('slow'), process-based, experimental, often collaborations with other artists, networked, visionary and contextualized – as created in context with their regular festivals and reflected in the Acoustic Space publications. Through artworks, projects and events they together with RIXC have been introducing novelty themes such as 'internet radio' (1997 / 1998 – their pioneering internet radio network project Xchange was awarded with PRIX Ars Electronica in), 'acoustic space lab' (since 2001 – collaboration with radio astronomers at Irbene Radiotelescope), 'locative media' (2003 – coined this term together with Marc Tuters), 'waves' (2006 and 2008 – co-curated large-scale exhibitions in Riga and Dortmund together with Armin Medosch), spectral ecology (2007). Since 2009 they are engaged in sustainability quests, building Renewable Network – North-European cooperation platform for art and science, and focusing on themes such as 'renewable energy' (2009), 'transbiotics' (2010), 'techno-ecologies' (2011), 'art of resilience' (2012).
More recently, Raitis and Rasa have organized the 5th Media Art Histories: ReNew conference in Riga, 2013, and co-curated large-scale exhibition FIELDS in Riga, May-August, 2014 together with Armin Medosch. Now out is also their book “Talk to Me” (2014) that introduces their artistic research project on human-plant communication. Their extensive art and science research project and networked sound installation “Biotricity” (created together with sound artist Voldemars Johansons) was recently exhibited in “Project Genesis” exhibition in the Ars Electronica Center (2013-2014), and new, the updated version – in the FIELDS exhibition in Riga (2014). Currently, online is available also live stream from Pond Battery – RIXC's ongoing art and science experiment with 'bacteria battery' technology in outdoor environment: http://rixc.org/camera.html
RIXC new website: http://rixc.org
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