Impakt Festival 2014 | Soft Machines | 29 OCT- 2 NOV | Utrecht 29 October 2014

Impakt Festival 2014: Soft Machines
Date
29 October 2014
Time
17:00
Where
Fotodok/Casco
Price
Free entrance / Gratis toegang
Date
29 October 2014
Time
19:15
Where
Theater Kikker Grote Zaal/Main Hall
Price
Free entrance / Gratis toegang

The festival will be opened officially on Wednesday 29 October at 17:00 at Fotodok/Casco and Sleper Gallery and then from 19:15 until 20:25 in Theater Kikker.

17:00 Opening Exhibition: (!?) – Fotodok / Casco & Sleper Gallery
Free Entrance / Read More

19:15 Festival Opening Night / MICHAEL BELL–SMITH (US) – Theater Kikker
Free Entrance / Read More

20:15 Opening reception – Theater Kikker
Free Entrance

21:00 Keynote Bruce Sterling – Theater Kikker
Read More & Get your tickets

The opening of the Exhibition (!?) is sponsored by Warsteiner.

See the full program here.

SOFT MACHINES

Where the Optimized Human Meets Artificial Empathy

IMPAKT’s 2014 festival “Soft Machines” explores the intersection of affect and machines, taking the concept of empathy as both its content and form. Here, technology adopts the ethical and emotional burdens of humans and our own emotional world is reshaped by the demands of technology. Machines turned soft, and soft flesh codified into machines. In turn, this crossing of paths defines the structure of the festival itself: an interdisciplinary moment for visual artists, scientists, scholars, and musicians to come together and share with each other and the public.

From this comes a new diagram for understanding how technology changes our lives: not the straight line of “progress” but the figure of the X, describing both a convergence and a short-circuit, equal promises of exchange and confrontation.

Thought much of the work of artificial empathy still lies in the future, we already know that there is no single kind of affective bridge being built between humans and technology and that their emerging forms are both stranger and more pervasive than we expected.

And so as much as “Soft Machines” necessarily points towards work not yet done or only just begun, speculations on the future are also crossed, challenged by a critical line that moves in the opposite direction through the present and the past; the field’s early moments full of ethical problems, disappointments, and outright failures become opportunities for revealing our own aspirations, fears, and ideologies.

In this way, by moving towards an understanding of what it means for a machine to feel, we find ourselves doubled-back upon the course of self-understanding instead, borne by the route of the X back to a redefined sense of what it means to feel human.

Head Curator: A.E. Benenson (US)

Assistant Curators: Ken Farmer (US), Noah Hutton (US), Dr. Leah Kelly (US)

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Impakt presents critical and creative views on contemporary media culture and innovative audiovisual arts in an interdisciplinary context. Impakt Works is a residency program for media artists, artists working with digital media, video, sound, interactive technologies etc. The Impakt Works residencies are project based, with a finished work – for instance an (interactive) installation, a performance or a video – as the end result. We are looking for artists’ projects that fit our profile – i.e. investigative, critical. It is possible to consciously connect to our year theme ‘Soft Machines’ in your proposal. Read more about it here. […]

  2. […] apply for the Impakt Works residency programme in Utrecht. We encourage projects connected to the Soft Machines theme. These residencies will take place between April and October. Read more on the submission […]