Technology has transformed all aspects of everyday life and continues to develop at an unprecedented rate. Imagining the future, the 14th Athens Digital Arts Festival, entitled SINGULARITY NOW, explores the potential of new media through art, science and technology. Bringing together VR, video art, installations, animation and audio-visual performances, the event offers images of new realms whist providing fresh perspectives on the present.
In installation, works such as Andreas Lutz’s Daemon, featured above, investigate ideas of artificial intelligence. The piece comprises three interactive screens, which visualise planned tasks and processes through a rational pattern of light. When visitors enter the room, the projections react to movement, becoming distorted and emerging with audiences’ silhouettes. Reflecting on the ever present nature of AI, the work questions the boundaries between humans and machines, and how these are being deconstructed or challenged.
In a world where nearly half the world’s population use social media, Diana Galimzyanova’s video piece Androids dreaming of nonexistence is especially poignant. The piece imagines a post-human society, reflecting notions of emotional disconnection and loss of identity in an alienated landscape. Comparably, Vishal Kumaraswamy’s (b. 1988) does anyone know what’s going on? Responds to the current socio-political context, examining ideas of detachment in a world dominated by information networks.
Further engaging with timely ideas of data and surveillance – in 2011 there was one CCTV camera for every 32 people in UK – Quadrature’s minimal audiovisual performance uses global satellite data based on information from the US Air Force. The artists collective is interested in scientific methods and physical experiments, using technology and academia as sources. Identifying classified objects in space, the piece emulates the movement and patterns made as this matter traverses the night sky.
Exploring human emotions in an increasingly withdrawn society, the animation programme features two works by Aesthetica Short Film Festival alumni. Britt Raes’ Catherine explores the theme of relationships through the bittersweet life story of a young girl and her cat. Expanding this idea, Alita Serra’s Chaos (a fish tale) uses illustration to explore inner feelings, positioning the art form as a cathartic activity.
Athens Digital Arts Festival runs until 27 May. Find out more here.
1. Andreas Lutz, Daemon, 2016.