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Electrofinge 2004: Replicate, automate, infiltrate

Matt Gardiner's Oribotics (detail) Matt Gardiner's Oribotics (detail)
photo Matt Gardiner & My Trinh Ha
Revelling in a world increasingly dependent upon technical toys and worrying at the growing global challenges to life and art, Electrofringe 2004 poses 3 options for survival: replicate, automate, infiltrate. With this provocative theme, the festival explores the many manifestations of media art practice in a 5-day program of workshops, panel discussions, masterclasses, showcases, exhibitions, screenings and performances.

Wade Marynowsky and Emma Stewart have teamed with 2003 festival co-director Gail Priest to create a 2004 program with a more fluid approach to the areas of sound art, audiovisual fusions, screen-based explorations, new media performance and interactive installations. Looking at ideas of replication, discussion panels will deal with bio-tech, a-life and art science fusions. What is compelling artists to make digital progeny and how are they going about it? What is the interplay of virtual and real through mediated environments? Automation opens up discussion of DIY robotics, generative art and cellular automata, querying where humans fit in an expanded reality. On the infiltration front, artists discussing their works will explore appropriation, connectivity and digital communities, locative and mobile media, asking how technologies can be used for alternate and subversive purposes.

The main body of the program takes the form of panel discussions with topics such as Appropriate or Perish? with Wake Up and Listen and Soda_Jerk; The Poetry and Politics of the Art Science Nexus with Boo Chapple and Dusan Bojic; DVD Creations and Mutations with Vikki Wilson and Corin Edwards. There is strong focus on interactivity with panels such as Cause and Effect 1: the Human in the Interface presenting the latest installation work by George Khut; Cause & Effect 2: Performance Integrations looking at recent projects such as Anna Helme and Louise Terry’s Electric Dreams and Fiona Malone’s Obcell; and Sentient Screens, interactive video works by David Wolf, Mel Donat and Tim Webster.

Electrofringe confirms its growing international standing with a workshop and presentation by Eric Singer (USA) and his League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR); video artist and VJ HC Gilje (Norway/Germany) from the award winning 242 Pilots; nMn aka Lieven Menschaert & Jan De Pauw (Belgium), the Ghent chapter of Dorkbot who will be making music with microscopic creatures; and Aki Onda (Japan), producer, composer and photographer.

With an increased emphasis on hands-on skills sharing there will be several intensive workshops on the first day of the festival including Locative Media co-presented by ANAT, dLux and Electrofringe. Sampling Site/Instant Places is a combined audio and visual workshop with Anthony Magin and Joel Stern on the use of contact microphones to sample the audio environment with Ian Birse and Laura Kavanagh (Canada) guiding the visual sampling. Along with other interested artists, Laura and Ian will then be in residence for the next 4 days in ProjectSpace working with the material and presenting the results on the Sunday evening. ProjectSpace will also function as a media lounge with screen-based works and projects on display during the festival. Courtesy of the University of Western Sydney there will also be a dedicated Patcher Lab for all manner of technical tinkering in the software world of Max/MSP and related methodologies.

In the Newcastle Region Art Gallery Electrofringe will present 2 programs. The first is Oribotics by Matt Gardiner, an installation that combines origami, robotics and an interactive audiovisual interface. The second is a screening program curated for gallery viewing. Electrofringe is also collaborating with local gallery Rocketart to present an exhibition curated by Rebecca Cannon and Ashley Whamond, looking at technological mediations of the everyday. There will also be a satellite exhibition of screen and works at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space through October.

The screening program, a huge hit of the 2003 festival, returns with another ElectroProjections series of experimental screen works from a global call for submissions, as well as the international showcase from Transmediale04, The Marler Video Art Prize showcase courtesy of the Goethe Institute, excerpts from Rebecca Cannon’s NeoPoetry and the return of Resolutionary TV, curated by Tim Parish and Undergrowth collective.

Also back again is QuantaCrib, run by the Not Art Cadets, who will be creating a workshop/performance space for improvised, collaborative explorations. Throw in some mutant industrial robots and the program is looking wild, loud and full of provocative ideas. Immerse yourself. RT

Electrofringe 2004, This Is Not Art, Newcastle, Sept 30-Oct 4, full program available mid-August,

RealTime issue #62 Aug-Sept 2004 pg. 29

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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