As we reflect on the present crisis, we remember the promises made and the opportunities presented to us when we entered the 21st century. They confront us with questions and urge us to rethink the foundations of the digital world and what we want it to be. Digital tools, until recently used primarily in work processes, have suddenly become the social and cultural environments that dictate large parts of our lives.
With its central theme and programme segments, the 27th International Festival of Computer Art (IFCA), organised by MKC Maribor, questions the digital changes we are facing in the present and those that await us in the future. The festival will take place in display windows at more than ten locations around the city, thus seeking to attract the attention of the general public. Works by the Slovene and international artists and groups will be on display in shop windows of Kisilak at Glavni trg, Benetton, Polzela and Mladinska knjiga at Gosposka ulica, Bags & More at Jurčičeva ulica, Vijolična hiša, Modna hiša/Mercator, Textil House and the Centre of Creativity at Partizanska cesta. Each location will contribute its own content to the main programme, which will be enriched in the public space by two more works/interventions on poster places. The first work, entitled Periodic Colour Model (Periodični model barv), will be on display throughout the subway at TPC City (formerly Slavija). It was created by the painter, designer and professor Vojko Pogačar, PhD. His extensive oeuvre in the field of design and connecting art with contemporary digital knowledge will be the subject of a comprehensive exhibition entitled Inspiration for Change (Navdih za spremembe), which will be on view at Vetrinjski dvor until 22 October 2021.
The poster space at the two-storey bridge over the River Drava will be dedicated to the work entitled Towards the Unknown Territories (Neznanim ozemljem naproti), prepared by the visual and intermedia artist Maja Smrekar. In addition to the information point and the aforementioned exhibition by Vojko Pogačar, the OR poiesis (Petra Kapš) listening room will be available at the central festival venue, where visitors will be able to listen to the works of this sound artist. In the lower and upper rooms, video works will be on display from two Zagreb festivals dedicated to experimental and electronic art Glitch / fu:bar / and VectorHack, which are cooperating with the IFCA this year. This represents an important point of contact between other festivals and the IFCA, which has this year decided to cooperate with the NaGib festival for the first time. It will take place in shop windows around Maribor covering similar topics.
As part of the Connections project, the IFCA will feature on the airwaves of Radio Slovenia, where a selection of works from the TONŠPUR music platform will be broadcast in the ARS radio programme on 13 October 2021 from 8 pm to 10 pm. A day later, on October 14, 2021, the same radio programme will broadcast performative live stream by OR poiesis (Petra Kapš) and Udo Noll's Territory (Teritorij) at 11 pm. In cooperation with TV Maribor, works from the IFCA and video works from the already mentioned festivals will be presented between 8 and 15 October 2021 in 30-minute broadcasts every day after 10 pm.
Koroška cesta will become an archive and an open-air exhibition space, with selected photographs from the archives of past IFCA festivals on display in the windows of empty business premises.
The six segments of the 27th IFCA include the accompanying programme (created in cooperation with the Street Gallery at Židovska ulica and the GT22 community), as well as the Modul konS platform. The latter includes research presentations of selected artists from various faculties of the University of Maribor, as well as intermedia/new media/sound fusion concerts. In addition to signing a memorandum with the Municipality of Maribor, aimed at making a long-term commitment to connecting the city with an understanding of contemporary research arts that cross the boundaries of the known and the seen, the focus will be on intermedia and research workshops.
An important part of the festival programme is the annual discursive programme, which offers online lectures by domestic and foreign experts on selected dates. This year's lecturers include Steve Fuller, Ph.D., Polona Tratnik, Ph.D., Dan Podjed, PhD, and Peter Purg, PhD.
The last segment of the IFCA is dedicated to contemporary student computer artworks. Five Slovenian educational institutions (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana; Academy of Arts, University of Nova Gorica; Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, University of Maribor; Faculty of Education, University of Maribor; and Academy of Visual Arts AVA, University of Ljubljana) have published a call for students, which received ten applications. The selected and the awarded three projects will be on display at the Media Nox Gallery.
During the festival, at least three guided tours and a walk around all of the locations will be organised. Since part of the festival ends on 22 October 2021, works will be on display in shop windows until that date, as well as online and at Vetrinjski dvor, where an exhibition by Vojko Pogačar and an OR poiesis listening room will be organised. The Media Nox Gallery will host an exhibition of award-winning student works.
Aleksandra Saška Gruden and Miha Horvat,
Programme Managers of the 27th IFC