Each year festival “Art+Communication” offers a variegated programme of audiovisual performances, introducing the local public and guests with some of currently most acknowledged sound and image artists from all around the world. This year's programme will amaze with extraordinary lazer projections accompanied by the sound of cello, novelties of film and sound from Japan, the experimental radio violin and original real-time modulations of sound and video.
“COVEX” - a unique laser-performance created by the composer and sound artist Yamila Rios and visual artist Joris Strijbos. In this audio visual performance the duo explores relations between electro-acoustic sound and diffracted light-patterns. The sonic output consist of a live performance with an extended cello, whereas within the visual domain, a meticulous constellation is formed by shooting laser beams trough transparent objects.
An opportunity to experience the sound of the infinite universe will be provided by the talented Japanese video artist and filmmaker Makino Takashi in his video performance “Space Noise 3D.” In the performance an unusual sonification of the cosmic silence will interplace with surprising, sumptuous visualizations.
The renowned Austrian composer, violinist and vocalist Mia Zabelka in her“ Radio Violin” performance will use an antenna to power the radio violin. Using two speaker systems she is able to hear both what she is playing live and the received radio signals that she has played miliseconds earlier. The acoustic delay becomes part of the piece, a constant echo, a memory.
The Latvian sound artists collective “Clausthome” (Lauris Vorslavs, Girts Radzins) andvideo artist Martins Ratniks will present a sound and video modulation performance unclosing saturated sound landscapes and collages of the electromagnetic waves, created by scanning and retranslating a real-time audio and video signal modulations.
International conference on art, science and cultural innovation
Riga May 15-18, 2014
Renewable Futures is a new conference series, the launch of which will take place during the FIELDS exhibition opening weekend on May 15-18, 2014 in the framework of Riga - European Cultural Capital programme. In a response to recent quests for a more sustainable future and overcoming the crises of the present, the conference aims to invent new avenues for future developments by bringing together traditionally separated domains. Inspired by the approach of FIELDS Exhibition, which does not just look at art in a narrow sense but takes into account all kinds of creative practices that bring together new ways of thinking, scientific knowledge, aesthetics, technologies and social practices. The conference will shape new contact zones between academic research and diversity of contemporary art practices, art and science, sustainable businesses and social engagement in the 21st century.
* Preliminary programme:
THURSDAY, May 15
18.00 FIELDS exhibition opening (Arsenals Exhibition Hall)
FRIDAY, May 16
10.00-12.00 RF conference series launch & board meeting (introduction, discussions about new series, next conference topics, orgnaizational issues, etc.) / 12.00-13.00 Lunch / 13.00-14.00 RF meeting (résumé)
17.00-19.00 FIELDS Public Lectures / RF conference plenary session (Goethe Institute - Riga)
Armin MEDOSCH (Austria) / Misko SUVAKOVIC (Serbia) / Ieva ASTAHOVSKA (Latvia)
20.00 Art+Communication festival performances (Spikeri Concert Hall)
SATURDAY, May 17
RENEWABLE FUTURES conference Day 1 (Goethe Institute - Riga):
10.00 Keynotes and DiscussionSession: BUILDING NEW SUSTAINABILITY THEORIES
12.00-14.15 Session 1/Session 2 - ART AND SCIENCE / TECHNO-ECOLOGIES
15.00-18.00 Participatory Session - PLAYING FIELDS: RADICAL TAXONOMIES
19.00-24.00 FIELDS exhibition public event programme with artist performances during the Museum's Night (Arsenals Exhibition Hall)
SUNDAY, May 18 (bus trip to Liepaja and back)
RENEWABLE FUTURES conference Day 2 (Liepaja University's Art Research Lab)
13.00-14.30/15.30-16.30 Session 3 - ART AS RESEARCH
16.30-17.00 New Media Art Showcase by Liepaja Art Research Lab
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Arsenals Exhibition hall of Latvian National Arts Museum (May 15 - August 3, 2014)
The changing role of art in society is one where it does not just create a new aesthetics but gets involved in patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations. The exhibition Fields presents a lively landscape of art that challenges existing viewpoints, deconstructs social issues, and proposes positive visions for the future.
The exhibition will show approximately 40 artworks by artists from all over the world, but with a special focus on Central, Eastern and Northern Europe. Curators - Raitis Smits, Rasa Smite (Latvia) and Armin Medosch (Austria). Artists - Oliver Ressler, Shu Lea Cheang, Lisa Jevbratt, Superflex, Gints Gabrans, Marko Peljhan, Cecile Babiole, Voldemars Johansons, Erich Berger, Martins Ratniks, Hayley Newman, Annemie Maes (Okno), YoHa, Martin Howse, Franz Xaver and many more.
*Conference Organizers and Mission:
The new conference series will be launched in a joint effort by RIXC, Renewable Network and ARS BALTICA, as well by other involved partner organizations, art institutions and collaboration networks. More then just building an other new Baltic-Nordic collaboration platform, this event aims to play a role of 'connector' - maintaining links between different platforms and networks existing in North European and Baltic Sea region, as well as connecting them with the other European countries and the rest of the world.
The Renewable Futures conference takes place in the framework of Renewable Network - long-term collaboration project supported by Nordic Culture Point.
The Fields exhibition is supported by Riga 2014, Riga City Council, Nordic Culture Point, State Cultural Capital Foundation, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Austrian Ministry of Culture, EU Culture 2007-2013 programme, Nordic Culture Point.
Partners: The Latvian National Museum of Art, Soft Control (EU Co-Project), Techno-Ecologies (EU Co-Project), Goethe Institute in Riga, French Institute in Latvia, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia, The Danish Cultural institute, ARS BALTICA, Renewable Network.
A European Capital of Culture Event
Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art
May 16 – August 3, 2014
Fields –patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations.
The changing role of art in society is one where it does not just create a new aesthetics but gets involved in patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations. Fields, jointly curated by Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits and Armin Medosch, presents an inquiry into patterns of renewal and transition. The curators asked which expanded fields of artistic practice offer new ideas for overcoming the crisis of the present and developing new models of a more sustainable and imaginative way of life.
In preparation for the Fields exhibition, a widespread survey was undertaken, that did not just look at art in the narrow sense but all kinds of creative practices that bring together new thinking, scientific knowledge, aesthetics, technologies and social practices. A year in advance, a public call was launched that was met by over 200 proposals.The curators of Fields could draw on international networks such as the Baltic-NordicRenewable Network and the European collaborations Techno-Ecologies and Soft-Control. The artist-in-residency series Fieldwork on measurement ship Eleonore, Linz 2013, aimed at creating ideas and projects for Fields. Workshops and panels at Transmediale 2013 – Berlin, Pixelache 2013 – Helsinki, and the Media Art Histories conference Renew – Riga, October 2013 were used to discuss work and taxonomies for Fields.
From the 200 proposals received through the public call, the curators have chosen 40 works from all over the world, but with a special focus on Central, Eastern and Northern Europe. Fields will be exhibited between May 15th and August 3rd 2014, at the Arsenals exhibition space of Latvian National Arts Museum, the largest and most important exhibition space for contemporary art in Riga, as a part of Riga – European Culture Capital 2014. The exhibition will be accompanied by public lectures, Renewable Futures conference as well as artist performances and concerts. A catalogue will be produced, which will consist of a special issue of the Acoustic Space peer reviewed academic journal, jointly issued by Liepaja's University Art Research Lab and RIXC.
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are artists and founding directors of RIXC, an art institution in Riga, Latvia, whose Art + Communication festival has become one of the most important festivals of this kind in Europe and worldwide. Armin Medosch is a curator, writer and artist based in Vienna, Austria. The Fields exhibition is a follow-up project to Waves 2006, which was also shown at Arsenals in Riga, co-curated by Smite, Smits and Medosch.
The curators selected works that are considered to be contextual seedbeds for social change. The changing role of art in society is one where it does not just create a new aesthetics but gets involved in patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations.
Fields presents a lively landscape of art that challenges existing viewpoints and deconstructs social issues, but also proposes positive visions for the future. A premise behind this project was from the very start that no single field and associated label can do justice any more to the diversity of contemporary art practices. Typically, today, the most interesting practices are transdisciplinary and transformative - they rely on new combinations of existing fields-as-in-disciplines, combining the artistic with the social and the natural, the scientific and the emotional, the sensible with the actual.
Fields opens up the contemporary field for a free and associative play of radical taxonomies, remixing and recombining existing categories, thereby carrying out important boundary work that gives a new shape to the contact zones between art, science, technology and social engagement in the 21st century.
While the final list of artists may still change, we would like to present some examples for the radical diversity of approaches:
The relationship with nature plays a major role in this exhibition, often in combination with ideas from the open culture that emerged on the net, about sharing resources and tackling social issues through participatory and social mechanisms. In some cases, such as Leave it in the Ground by Oliver Ressler (2013), or Seedsunderground (2013-14) by Shu Lea Cheang, the work carries a clear and direct political message, concerning issues such as renewable energy, sustainability or the fight for the diversity of agricultural seeds and plants.
Other work, less overtly political, opens our senses and minds to new ways of seeing the world, referring to what French philosopher Jaques Rancière calls the 'distribution of the sensible'. Lisa Jevbratt shows how different reality is if we imagine to look at the world with animal eyes.
In her work Foraging fields (2014) the Belgian artist Annemie Maes from collective Okno combines rooftop gardening and beehives to create new maps of the distribution of plant life in cities. Erich Berger measures changes in the magnetic field of the Earth. Manu Luksch offers a free ride on a water taxi in exchange for a conversation with Kayak Libre (2011).
The human body itself becomes seen as a node in a complex network of force-fields, where nature, genetic science and political and economical topics intersect. The Latvian artist Gints Gabrans proposes to modify our bodies so that, with the help of new enzymes, we can eat grass and tree branches. Hu.M.C.C.- Human Molecular Colonization Capacity project by Maja Smrekar, Slovenia, uses an enzyme from the artist's body to create a yoghurt. Hans Scheirl's paintings and installation Transgenic (TM) breaks through barriers between 2D and 3D, simultaneously opening up new ways of artistic and bodily trans-gression.
The intersection of social and visual fields is the topic of works by Austrian video artist Annja Krautgasser's Prelude (2010) and media artist Hannah Haslaati, Finland, who uses principles known from Gestalt psychology to make group dynamics visible.
The intersection of the globalised economy with digital technologies, financial markets exploitative labour practices and culture and concerns of local communities and indigenous people are addressed in works such as Histoire Économique (2013) by British artist Hayley Newman, Working Life (2013) by Danish artist collective Superflex and Eccentric Archive (2012-14) by Ines Doujak in collaboration with John Barker.
The relevations by Edward Snowden about global surveillance activities of the USA through its PRISM program have made evident how important the invisible world of data flows and data bases is. Data fields, battlefields and the war on terror mark the background for works such as Endless War (2012-14) by British-Japanese artist couple YoHa (Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji), and We should take nothing for granted! - on the building of an alert and knowledgeable citizenry by Slovenian artist Marko Peljhan and Project Atol.
The relationship between matter and information, as suggested by cybernetics pioneer Norbert Wiener, is the topic of the Earth Computer (2014) Martin Howse and Ghostradio (2014) by Pamela Neuwirth, Markus Decker and Franx Xaver.
Artists such as Martins Ratniks' installlation with 27 CRT TV screens, and French artist Cecile Babiole's sound installation are engaging with the raw energy of electrical and electro-magnetic fields, continuing work started with the Waves project in 2006.
Relationships between electrical and biological fields inform the collaboration between Latvian sound artist Voldemars Johansons and RIXC's own project Biotricity (bacteria battery) as a result of which live music is generated from electrical signal fluctations stemming from living micro-organisms.
These are some key topics and examples of up to 40 works that will be shown at Fields.