Technology fairs are not just about geeks comparing chips. A raft of collaborations between the art and science worlds means tech fairs can be as wild as a festival. Caroline Davies presents six of the best
Kinetica Art Fair
Kinetica is the galleries’ tech art fair. Bright lights, a pulsating spiky suspended ball and an agressive looking, electronically operated boar’s skull all fought for attention at this year’s show with exhibitors from Singapore to the States, Russia to Indonesia. The fair encourages independent and student artists to exhibit alongside established galleries making it a good place to pick up unique art works.
London,UK, Febuarary/March 2014 kinetica-artfair.com
First started in 1979, Ars Electronica is the techwhizz– kid grandfather of technology art festivals. 2013 is the year of ‘Total Recall: The Evolution of the Memory’, but AE is far more than just a fair. Its annual competition, Prix, spots the talent before the markets do: previous winners included Pixar, Wikipedia and Wikileaks. Their exhibition centre draws year round crowds with their interactive exhibits on everything from media art to prosthetics and the cinematic sounding ‘future lab’ supports experts in art, design, architecture and virtual reality that will change the way we interact with the world.
Linz, Austria, 5-9th September 2013 aec.at
The first place to see entertainment innovation. Originally held in Barcelona in 1990, Art Futura holds 13 festivals simultaneously across different Spanish speaking cities. If digital technology connects the world, it makes sense that a fair does too. Last year’s central event was held in Uruguay. Focusing on new media, interactive design, videogames and digital animation, previous participants include Brian Eno, MIT Media Lab and Pixar. International. November 2013 artfutura.org
As bohemian as tech gets, OFFF is all about the arts, not the funding. A post-digital culture festival, it showcases films, art, design and music and holds its own market, lounge, gallery and classroom. Independently curated, it is free of the big corporate atmosphere and has more of an extended family vibe. Conferences are so popular, guests sometimes sit on the floor to hear speakers.
Barcelona and international, 6-8thJune 2013 offf.ws
Dutch Electronic Art Festival – DEAF
Founded under the dramatic title ‘Manifestation for the Unstable Media’, DEAF is the biennial art and media technology fair run by interdisciplinary art and media centre, V2_. Aimed at pulling in a new, diverse audience, the fair is another way of sparking debate for the group who also publish works by the great minds of technology today. Expect to hear the big questions, even if you don’t always find the answer.
Rotterdam, Holland, Next in 2014 deaf.nl
Festival de Arte Digital – FAD
The quirky art tech festival in Brazil was set up by Tadeus Mucelli, aka DJ Tee, and Henrique Roscow, the fair encourages young creators to experiment with digital technology. A pioneering idea in their state, the fair began in 2007 as a way of informing the public and exciting artists. Today the fair is concerned with democratising information on new technologies so that everyone can make the best use of the new digital world.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil. October 2013 festivaldeartedigital.com.br