With its first edition of the Art – Science – Technology Festival, Helexpo ventures a new approach to the Artecitya idea, focusing on the relationship between art, science and technology, particularly on the investigation of the possibilities for social change that are embedded into all three fields. The inspiration behind this approach has been the greatly successful E-Gaming Festival organised by Helexpo since 2012, largely attended by mostly young audiences.
According to Jane McGonigal (Institute for the Future, Director of Games Research and Development) gaming can contribute to the creation of a better world, because of the special skills (superpowers as she calls them) that gamers develop: urgent optimism – belief into an immediate positive result that can be succeeded thanks to the action of the gamer; social fabric – individual players become communities that work together towards a common goal; blissful productivity – belief into hard work, endeavour and perseverance; and epic meaning – the search for an epic win. With these skills, the solution of complex, urgent problems looks feasible!
Moreover, through applications such as e-gaming or virtual and augmented reality, our perception of space and time expands, it becomes shifting and intermittent. The city –either as community (present) or as scenography (dystopic future or medieval past)– becomes versatile and flowing depending on the Gamer’s actions and movements.
Typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) are often applied to other areas of activity, typically as online marketing technique, to encourage engagement with a product or service (gamification). In the same manner, the use of such elements may be used for the reinforcement of the feeling of community among people from different backgrounds, the solution of social problems and the embracing of a healthier, sustainable way of life.
Within this context, alongside the E-Gaming Festival that now becomes part of the Art –Science – Technology Festival of Artecitya by Helexpo, the following projects are presented:
The hugely successful E-Gaming, hosted by Helexpo since 2012 is the largest gaming event in the Balkans. A real treat for gamers of all age groups, the programme includes classic and contemporary gaming, presentations and showcases, competitions and tournaments, discussion panels and happenings, as well as a special board games section for the most traditional types.
A socially aware virtual reality game against bullying, winner of the 1st Prize in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2016 competition – World Citizenship category.
AMANDA was created by four students of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Vassilis Baltatzis, Margarita Bintsi, Ilias Chrysovergis and Georgios Schinas created the application under the guidance of their Professor and mentor Leontios Hadjileontiadis. AMANDA is addressed to pre-teen and teenage school kids, while it supports educators and pyschologists in their effort to deal with such incidents. (amandaproject.net)
ENTER THE GAME
In coopeartion with ass. Professor Manthos Santorinaios and the MA programme “Art, Virtual Reality and versatile artistic expression systems” run by the Athens School of Fine Arts and Université Paris 8.
Enter the Game artistically approaches the world of gaming and uses virtual reality to allegorically address space – the space of thought, the space of the human body, the space of memories, emotions and perception. The art works, set-up as games, take place within a hybrid space, between the real and the virtual.
AURA – Advanced Urban Responsive Art
In cooperation with Leontios Hadjileontiadis, Professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AURA will be developed within the context of the Festival’s two upcoming editions (2017, 2018), through workshops with students and young professionals from the sectors of art and technology. AURA is an “invisible information network” that will form the digital aura of the city. It is distributed to the public / users as a real and digital object, transmitting data drawn from the city relevant to its everyday reality, encouraging citizen participation in public space and the city’s structures.
Overall, the Festival’s programme goes beyond the established boundaries between art, science and technology, boundaries that in any case have largely been expanded. Besides, Artecitya focuses on “art for social change”, a practice that typically emerges during periods of crisis. Similarly, the main goal of the Art – Science – Technology Festival of Artecitya by Helexpo is to investigate whether and how this model can be applied in technological applications –as e-gaming and virtual or augmented reality– with the ultimate goal to empower the participants to build a better world.
Production, organisation, coordination:
Maria Sitzoglou, Eleftheria Gavriilidou
PROJECT EGAMING CONTRIBUTORS:
PROJECT AMANDA CONTRIBUTORS:
Created and developed by:
Leontios Hadjileontiadis, Professor
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Faculty of Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Footage courtesy of:
To Hamogelo tou Paidou (“A Child’s Smile” Non-Profit Organisation)
European Antibullying Network
“Arsakeio” School Drama Club
PROJECT ENTER THE GAME CONTRIBUTORS:
In collaboration with:
MA Programme “Art, virtual reality & versatile artistic expression systems”
Athens School of Fine Arts & Université Paris 8
Postgraduate program directors:
Manthos Santorinaios (Associate Professor, ASFA), Alain Lioret (Professor, Université Paris 8)
In collaboration with Professors:
Dr Stavroula Zoi
Dr Nefeli Dimitriadi
Curator, installation concept:
Dr. Manthos Santorinaios
Dr. Stavroula Zoi
Giannis Bardakos (lecturer / PHD candidate, ASFA and Université Paris 8)
PROJECT AURA CONTRIBUTORS:
Concept-text: Leontios Hadjileontiadis (Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, AUTH)