The nineteenth edition of the festival that has become a point of reference in Spain for Digital Culture and Creativity will reach ten cities this year with an extensive program that explores the most important projects and ideas that have come up over the last year on the international panorama of new media, videogames and digital animation.
This year’s program includes a special documentary on the exhibition “Souls and Machines” presented in the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, the new selections of the ArtFutura Show, Full Motion Theater, Demos+Intros and 3D in Spain, retrospectives from the French school Supinfocom and of the Japanese animator Satoshi Tomioka, and two impacting documentaries: “The Net” by Lutz Dammbeck and "Playing Columbine" by Danny Ledonne
The 2008 edition will once again bring us a curated selection of the best works in 3D produced over the last twelve months. Among this year’s pieces, those that particularly stand out are: “Our Wonderful Nature” by Tomer Eshed (Special Prize - Siggraph 2008) and “Wanderlust” from Encyclopedia Pictura (the new video by Björk). “L'Homme à Tete de Pule” from Supinfocom and “Rua das Tulipas” by Alê Camargo will also be included.
Every year, the ArtFutura Show includes everything from the most spectacular pieces produced by the large companies to small wonders created by independent artists from all around the world. This year, works received from France and Brazil stand out.
3D in Spain
The 3D in Spain prize is the most relevant competition in our country for the best works of 3D animation and special effects produced throughout the previous year by companies, students and independent artists. The program includes the finalist works that will be awarded prizes according to votes cast by the attending public.
This year’s program features “La Dama en el Umbral”, a work by Jorge Dayas that was recently awarded a prize at the Festival de Annecy (The Jury’s Special Prize). “Jaulito” from the Escuela IDEP and “Grunt” from MA-ISCA Baleares are also in the program.
Souls and Machines
A documentary program about the exhibition “Souls and Machines” presented in the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid and curated by Montxo Algora and José Luis de Vicente (from the ArtFutura team).
“Souls and Machines” deals in depth with the fact that at the beginning of the 21st century, art and science are following parallel paths. And it does this through the work of a group of artists chosen for their capacity to unite art, technology, mystery, emotion and beauty. The crucial element in the new technological discontinuity is our humanity. With this, nothing else has sense. Computers do not think, they replicate thoughts. Computers do not feel, they replicate our feelings. They are, as defined by Sherry Turkle, the psychological mirror in which we see ourselves.
Featuring 17 of the most outstanding artists working in the area of digital art and new media. Including: Theo Jansen, Paul Friedlander, Sachiko Kodama, David Byrne, Vuk Cosic, Daniel Rozin, Evru, John Maeda and others.
Satoshi Tomioka Retrospective
The outstanding Japanese director, Tomioka, creates impossible worlds populated by humans and machines in an industrial age full of color. Satoshi Tomioka’s work can be defined by its inimitable style and its colorful and comic content that receives a great amount of interest as much in Japan as in Europe.
In Tokyo, Tomioka directs Kanaban Graphics and in Europe he works with Nexus Productions, an independent company that produces animated films, advertisements, TV series, videoclips and credit titles. Among other commissions, the creator has made identifiers for ‘Tower Records’, MTV and the Japanese TV program ‘Smap’, online ads for Kansai.com and the PSP game ‘Exit’.
Full Motion Theater
Intros are a special cross between the interactive world of videogames and cinematographic narrative. These non-interactive sequences that make up part of the narrations of the most popular tittles in the world of electronic leisure become more sophisticated and visually innovative every year. Full Motion Theatre offers a selection of the most interesting audiovisual productions related to videogames. .
The 2008 edition features titles for the new generation of consoles and includes samples of projects such as “Resident Evil”, “Afro Samurai”, “Little Big Planet”, “Prince of Persia” and the hyper-realist “Heavy Rain”, among others.
Demos + Intros
Once again, ArtFutura presents a monographic program that includes the most outstanding of recent productions in the world of "Demoscene". Images, sounds in synchrony and large doses of imagination and technical skill characterize the works of this wholly European subculture of digital creation. The digital image in movement understood as urban culture.
The demos are programs larger than 64 Kbytes in size and include effects, graphics and music. The intros are similar to the demos, but with an important limitation in terms of space: they are between 4 and 64 Kbytes. Recently, the technological advances have brought us faster computers with larger memories, more powerful graphic processors and hardware with 3D acceleration. Having lost a lot of their challenges of the past, the focus of the demos has turned towards creating art in real time, well designed and with style.
You can find more demos and intros in escena.org and know more about demoscene culture in the festival D///FEST 2009.
Supinfocom 20 Years
Supinfocom is a French school, with campuses in Valenciennes and Arles, which specializes in teaching computer animation. The curriculum is completed with other aspects of filmmaking such as conceptualization, storyboarding and product design. Short films produced by the students, which have won prizes in competitions held by Siggraph, Ars Electronica and Annecy, for example, endorse the high standard of education offered by Supinfocom that, this year, celebrates its 20th anniversary.
To mark the event, ArtFutura will present a selection of some of the best and most recent short films created by students from this school that has obtained an international reputation.
"The Net" by Lutz Dammbeck
“The Net" (Das Netz) is an independent film directed by Lutz Dammbeck and subtitled "The Unabomber, LSD and the Internet".
The film explores the ideas and histories of groundbreaking artists Marshall McLuhan and Nam June Paik, hippy idealists such as Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey, counterculturalists such as John Brockman and Stewart Brand, cyberneticists such as Robert W.Taylor and Heinz von Foerster, and neo-luddite Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
âPlaying Columbineâ by Danny Ledonne
On April 20th 1999, the United States was rocked by a horrific school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In the years to follow, many forms of media began to sort out the events of that day. Books were published. Films were produced.
Then in 2005, one Colorado man created an amateur videogame exploring the actions and possible motives of the two shooters. Offered as a free online computer game, it was downloaded over half a million times, became immensely controversial and brought a pressing question to the public discussion: we can read Columbine, we can watch Columbine, but can we play Columbine? Moreover, should we?
While created to reflect upon the shooting at Columbine and provide critical commentary on the media's incitement of "moral panic" over videogames in the aftermath of the tragedy, SCMRPG itself inadvertently became yet another layer in the debate it was attempting to engage in.
Playing Columbine brings together game industry leaders, theorists, and developers, authors, filmmakers, journalists, elected officials, school shooting survivors, concerned citizens, festival organizers, media activists, free speech loyalists, and videogame players to examine the issues surrounding the future of videogames as an art form and how one game has touched upon the larger development of an emergent form of expression.
Thanks to: Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (Gijón) for the spanish subtitles.