International Festival
of Computer Arts

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The festival’s main curated programme is about to begin

15. Nov 2020

The festival’s main curated programme is about to begin

The International Festival of Computer Arts (IFCA) was first organised in Maribor in the mid-1990s. At the time, computer technologies played a key role in the broader social, economic and ecological transformations which steered the city’s development from its industrial past to the post-industrial future, and it is for this reason that IFCA places such a large emphasis on computer arts, which makes it a unique platform for discussing the changes and potentials that these technologies bring on the local and planetary level. A substantial part of this year’s programme was adapted to the new conditions brought about by the recently declared COVID-19 epidemic and the ensuing measures, including the restrictions regarding public events in Slovenia, which is why the main curated programme was moved online. The virtual environment that allows visitors to move, explore, and meet international artists and their diverse projects is available at: https://www.mfru.org/display2020.

The main programme of the 26th IFCA will reference some of the issues raised in the previous edition and thereby focus on the projects that deal with the infrastructural aspects of the relation between computer technologies and planetary ecologies. In the words of Tjaša Pogačar: “Computer technologies today expand into networked and ever more automated systems that not only extend globally, but also loop back into the organization of planetary processes. The emerging ‘technosphere’ reframes our position to technology, which is not only an extension or prosthesis of the human, but rather seems to be defined through its own complicity with the planet, where we are but a temporary medium of its transformation, haunted by the image of a world without us. At the same time complex algorithmic operations of ‘planetary computation’ that on many levels escape our comprehension also enable us to model and simulate complex processes that influence our existence in a very material way, to navigate this new terrain, and to develop an awareness of spatialities and temporalities that stretch toward non-human scales. The need to abandon the dualism of the natural and artificial, virtual and material, technological and ecological that such an undertaking entails resonates especially in the context of anthropogenic climate change and pending ecological collapse that marks our time.”

The programme Infrastructural Complex: Alter(ed) Earth brings together projects and positions that deal with the infrastructural layer of the ‘technopshere’, projects that have been developing the tools to navigate the new spatial conditions and temporalities that it causes, projects that open the planetary perspective and think about the capacities and co-involvement of digital technologies in the processes of transforming the Earth and use fiction to speculate on the possible infrastructural futures (the futures of management). We will begin with Simon Denny’s board game Extractor that maps the possible dynamics of global data-driven businesses or ‘platforms’ as they compete for world domination. Three game sets are available at the IFCA in English and German, and can be borrowed free of charge until the end of the year. More info at this link.

Online events, which will be available on mfru.org/live and the festival’s social media, will take us into the virtual world of the infrastructural complex and will be opened by dj final form and Liara T’Soni on Friday, 20 November at 21:00. On 20 November George Papamttheakis, an architect and geographer from Athens, will hold an online lecture on the descriptive models of the planetary sensing and computing apparatus that has become indispensable for understanding the environment. On 25 November Marko Peljhan’s project Makrolab will be put on display in the show window of the former Modna hiša on Partizanska Street. On 26 November at 19:00 we will once again go online, where Špela Petrič and Miha Turšič will use their project becoming.eco(logical) to present how the form and quantity of human carbon currents is so uncharacteristic of the existing planetary system that it forms a new geosphere—the anthroposphere. On 30 November at 19:00 Lukáš Likavčan will be joined by Anežka Horova, František Fekete and Daniel Burda to present the collaborative project Planet, Zone, Grid. The project, which emerged a result of academic discussions and research on the FAMU faculty in Prague, focuses on the politics of infrastructures and consists of a research paper, prints and a short film. The first set of events of the curated programme will be concluded on 2 December at 19:00 with the collective Geocinema, which explores the possibilities of a ‘planetary’ notion of cinema. We will watch their film Making of Earths, composed of the images of our planet’s surface that were created by individuals and various technologies.

Online events will be held until mid-December and will be regularly archived, so make sure to stay updated.