The IMPAKT Festival 2021 (3-7 November) is all about Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies) and is curated by Katerina Gregos en Arjon Dunnewind. In our on-demand society, we increasingly meet, date and love online. A future in which algorithms, artificial intelligence and online interactions determine our romantic experiences does not seem so far away. Elderly already get cuddly robots against loneliness and platforms like OnlyFans and social media offer limitless possibilities to perform our perfect self and engage in virtual love fantasies. How does this change the way we meet, date, love — or even break up? How can artists help us understand the way in which new technologies are affecting the most human of emotions —love?

During the festival, IMPAKT offers a rich, 5-day programme of lectures, panels, film screenings and an exhibition — both in Utrecht and online. Love might well be the essence of our being human. The craving for human contact that spread like the virus itself during the Covid-19 pandemic shows that we cannot do without touch and love. How can we reclaim meaningful intimate relationships? Is there a way out for the cold intimacies caused by digital technologies?

In virtual environments we pose, make selfies and chose how we want to present ourselves. Online we look for intimacy, but our carefully curated personalities are often so artificial that they can get in the way of a real connection. At the same time, the Internet also creates many new bonds and communities. The internet and social media provide a safe and liberating stage for identities and alternative forms of desire, from LGTB+ communities to secret fetishes.

IMPAKT Festival 2021: Modern Love
Different locations in Utrecht and online
3-7 November 2021

Festival exhibition 
At the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture]
3 November 2021 – 9 Januari 2022

The IMPAKT Festival 2021 Modern Love is based on the exhibition Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies), curated by Katerina Gregos and produced as a collaboration between Tallinn Art Hall Foundation, Tallinn, Estonia, Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg, Germany and IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture].

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