The Impakt Festival 2014, marking the 25th anniversary of the Festival, was an event worthy of thisspecial occasion. Soft Machines: Where The Optimized Human Meets Artificial Empathy once again rewarded the curiosity of our visitors with exhibitions, cinema programs, music and lectures.
We are very grateful to the many guests, speakers, academics and artists, who were each in their own way pivotal to a many-faceted and successful festival program.
A high standard was set from the get-go with the opening of the Impakt Festival on Wednesday. With his 99 Computer Jokes, Michael Bell-Smith gave a rich and humorous analysis of the shortcomings of technology. In an entertaining and critical keynote speech, Bruce Sterling, special festival guest, acutely delineated the Soft Machines theme.
The next four days through to Sunday 1 November were all about the relationship between humans and machines, and the debate about artificial empathy and intelligence in robots, computers and new technological networks. The program dealt with different visions of the present and future, while at the same time offering room for science and artistic imagination. As suggested by writer and director Annie Dorsen in her lecture Algorithmic Theaters, as a healthy middle way: an approach that avoids the pitfalls of both technophobia and techno-fetishism.
You can read great day-to-day recaps of the festival on our Soft Machines Blog. You can also find the daily festival reports and the after movie on our Impakt YouTube channel and photo reports on Facebook and Flickr.
On behalf of the entire Impakt team,
Arjon Dunnewind (Festival Director),
Ilga Minjon (Assistant Curator),
and A.E. Benenson, Ken Farmer, Dr. Leah Kelly and Noah Hutton (Festival Curators)