9. bis 12. September 2020 Kunstuniversität Linz, Hauptplatz 6, Strafsachengalerie
Network meeting im Rahmen von THE WILD STATE - Kunstuni Campus bei der Ars Electronica 2020
Agora Digitalis is the Interface Cultures’ network meeting point during Campus exhibition 2020. The general idea behind Agora Digitalis is to create an informal setting where students, (future) makers and future students meet and all get acquainted with Interface Cultures. Agora Digitalis is a physical and virtual place where everyone should be able to express and share their ideas. It is planned to be a place for informal learning and critical debate about developments in the arts, technology and science.
This year’s State of Intimacy edition will undoubtedly reflect on our recent online experiences and might also, in its slipstream, revisit recent techno-utopian ideals. To kick-start the Agora Digitalis debate I’ll highlight some issues that came to the surface in recent conversations and reflections with students and artists. For the sake of the argument I’ll summarise these in some bold statements:
· Recently the city and the world came to a stand-still and we moved our learning and work lives to online environments, this confronted us with the internet’s sensorial shortcomings.
· The dominance of commercial software platforms forced us to face that our daily online experiences are situated on a neo-capitalist transactional playground.
· For IC art students and artists in the field of art & technology, a good internet connection and technical literacy are more important than ever.
· The pandemic brutally pointed us to our problematic relationship with our biosphere; what we eat and breath.
Please note that I am not putting forward these issues as doom scenarios. On the contrary, I look at these issues as references to the, also frequently heard, hopeful voices from engaged scientists, artists and authors that label the pandemic as a game changer, a turning point for change. (Carrington, Giordano, 2020) We are now in the position to rethink and maybe even reshape our reality. To do so, we need creative forces that immerse us in intimate multisensorial experiences and take us to alternative realities. Although this might sound like high-flown idealism, we’ll need imagination and radical creativity to shape our mixed reality. Or as Pierre Levy once wrote: … imagination, and especially collective imagination, produces reality (Lévy, 2005). In this context, it is probably unnecessary to state that our recent experiences taught us that our reality is a mixed reality. But as was mentioned earlier, today’s mixed reality has considerable shortcomings. Interface Cultures finds itself at the spot, where art, technology and science intersect. Initiatives such as the Science Technology and ARTS (STARTS) Prize, hosted by Ars Electronica and others, show us that this nexus is a splendid point of departure to catalyse creativity, to shape (parts of) our near future. (Nigten, 2020)
Therefore, it is important to discuss with students, artists and their science and technology allies how they perceive their role and the relevance of art in these times of change.
Dr. Anne Nigten /Guest professor Interface Cultures / Curator Agora Digitalis
Damian Carrington, Coronavirus: 'Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief, 2020 www.theguardian.com
Paolo Giordano, How Contagion Works, 2020
Pierre Lévy, Collective Intelligence, A Civilisation: Towards a Method of Positive Interpretation, Article in International Journal of Politics Culture and Society, 2005
Anne Nigten, STARTS Prize, Evaluation 2017-2019: a theory of change, 2020