Impakt is happy to be part of the Athens Digital Arts Festival 2015, taking place 21-24 May.
ADAF is an International Festival which celebrates digital culture through an annual gathering bringing together a global community of artists and audiences.
As part of the section ‘Festivals of the World’, Impakt compiled a screening program featuring some highlights of the Impakt Festival 2014 program curated by A.E. Benenson.
IMPAKT’s 2014 festival “Soft Machines. Where the Optimized Human Meets Artificial Empathy” explored 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. Though 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.
This screening at ADAF 2015 in the section “Festivals of the World” features highlights of the single channel video works presented in the Impakt Festival 2014, providing a bird’s- eye view onto the Soft Machines screening programs. Head Curator of the Soft Machines Program: A.E. Benenson; Assistant Curators: Ken Farmer, Noah Hutton, Dr. Leah Kelly.
The screening at Athens Digital Arts Festival is introduced by Ilga Minjon, Curator of the Impakt Organization.
John Butler — The Ethical Governor
UK, 2010 8:00 mins
Produced in the mock-serious tone of an intra-governmental presentation Butler’s Ethical Governor uses black humor to skewer the ethical problems of autonomous drone strikes.
In narrating the “advanced” capabilities of a computerized killing machine, Butler highlights how the language of Neoliberalism makes broad, cold-blooded equivalences amongst economic, humanitarian, and legal concerns in light of overriding geopolitical goals.
Ann Hirsch — Decay II
US 2014, 11:22 mins
A video from a series that uses a range of digital video vernaculars to navigate questions of contemporary feminism, sexuality, objectification, and their interplay on social media.
Jon Rafman — Still Life (Betamale)
US 2013, US, 4:56 mins
A non-linear portrait of a new kind of digital underground man, whose affective environment consists of violent video – games, arguments on message boards, and erotic fixations on avatars.
Wojciech Bąkowski — Suchy Pion (Dry Standpipe)
PL 2012, 12:09 mins
Bakowski develops an architectural metaphor for the way a film can construct emotional states by piecing together certain images and associations. What would it be like to literally build structures from images that capture a certain way of being or a sensation? Despite the obvious impossibility of Bakowski’s project, he manages to reveal allegorical truths about the empathetic capabilities of cinema.
Feiko Beckers — Walking up and down to a woman I once had a crush on
NL 2009, 07:00 mins
A self-explanatory short that investigates the formalization of love and nostalgia through the technical tropes of cinema.
Cécile B. Evans — Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen
US 2014, HD video, 22:30 mins
A short film narrated by the failed CGI rendering (PHIL) of a recently departed actor. In an intensification of so-called “hyperlink cinema”, various digital iterations of humanity—CGI models, spam bots, holograms—are woven through multiple converging story-lines that unfold across various settings, genres, and modes of representation. Familiar conditions of linear narrative falter under a multiplication of connections that never quite cohere into a linear narrative. The emotional prickle of the uncanny—borne out of the failure to cohere— is raised to the level of narrative form and cultural critique: an uneasy “in-between-ness” definitive for our contemporary moment.
Metahaven – Interference (Music Video for Holly Herndon)
US/NL 2015, 05:18 mins
The Dutch design and art collective Metahaven have premiered their new music video “Interference”, by the much acclaimed experimental musician Holly Herndon. Directing their critical attention to the conditions of sharing and display on social media, and recreating Guy Debord’s A Game of War, their video explores how affect and control converge in a new decentralized culture industry. This video was supported by Impakt.