Thessaloniki, December 2018

THE NEW NEW / Art Science Technology Festival / 8-16.09.2018

For the third consecutive year, Helexpo presents the Artecitya Art Science Technology Festival, in the context of the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair’s Pavilion 2, from the 8th until the 16th of September.

Already since its first edition in 2016, the Festival has been greatly successful, attracting more than 10.000 spectators of all ages. In its second edition, last year, the Fair’s audience rated the Festival with 8.1 out of 10, singling it out as one of the most popular, interesting and loved Pavilions of the Fair. So this year, the Festival takes place once more on the second floor of Helexpo’s Pavilion 2, a 2.700 square meters space, where more than 50 art & technology projects by over 120 young and acclaimed artists from Greece and abroad are presented.

The Festival’s title THE NEW NEW refers to the current, ever growing pace of technological advances. The rapid and countless developments in the field not only bring closer the scenarios of popular films and books predicting the prevalence of machines over our lives, but also prevent us from pinpointing the New, the Newest, the most Technologically Advanced. Responses vary, depending everyone’s age and background. The 3rd Artecitya Art Science Technology Festival by Helexpo brings to you the responses of artists and creators who experiment with the possibilities of technology in terms of form and content that redirects the focus back on humankind. 

The Festival is addressed to all ages and includes the following sections:

VIRTUAL WORLD
IN COLLABORATION WITH SXSW

Particular emphasis is put on Virtual Reality works by Greek and international creators. The selection has been made so that the potential of this new, seemingly limitless, technology is highlighted. Among the featured works are games, interactive applications and documentaries, that, using classical filming methods, 360 video or animation, transport us through time and space, to different locations on Earth or in space, in the past, the present and the future. The works are presented in different gear, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear or the newer Oculus Go, offering the audience the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the different technologies. The international artists works have been selected from this year’s SXSW (South by Southwest) – one of the world’s largest events on new technologies and creative industries, that takes place in Austin, Texas. 

GAMES & POLITICS BY GOETHE-INSTITUT & ZKM
Games & Politics is a traveling exhibition by Goethe-Institut, in collaboration with ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (Centre for Arts and Media), one of the most significant European institutions exploring the relation between art and technology, based in Karlsruhe, Germany. The title Games & Politics is based on ZKM’s exhibition Global Games and focuses on explicitly political games created since 2004 – a year that marks a significant shift for media researcher Ian Bogost. The 2004 US presidential elections, Bogost argues, coincided with the first explicitly political and activist utterance by the medium. And, in contrast to representational media such as painting and photography, computer games conceive of themselves not merely as a (re-)presentation of social conditions and conflicts, but attempt to simulate the processes and rules that give rise to these conflicts. All of the games in this exhibition share this political approach, which is intended by the games’ designers to set them clearly apart from both the conventional market, as well as from computer games as an entertainment medium. 

The exhibition includes 18 video games, by artists who use this popular medium in order to discuss and raise awareness around political, social and identity issues. Out of the 18 games featured in the exhibition, the public can actually play 16 of them or, alternatively, watch their demo videos.

The artistic and political value of games / Panel Discussion, 9/09, 18:00-20:00
According to the myth as reported by Herodotus, games were invented in ancient Lydia, during a time of great famine. In order for the available food reserves to last longer, the people of Lydia invented games with dice, balls and knucklebones. Every other day they played, thus forgetting their hunger, every other day they ate. They endured the famine for 18 whole years. Game is play and play is fun and fun makes us forget our worries and troubles; it makes us forget ourselves in a transcendental way, as we’re immersed into a sphere that’s beyond reality. A sphere where we are alone or uniquely connected to our co-players, our comrades. A sphere where we can learn without realising we’re learning. A sphere where we can test and stretch our limits. The other way round, fun is play and play is game and game can be competition and sport, amateur and professional. A sphere from which champions and heroes emerge. A vehicle for national pride and propaganda, as much as a multi-million dollar industry. In a society of spectacle, where everything is a product, games -digital, physical, analogue, amateur and professional- become part of a market that plays off our instinctive needs for having fun, developing our talents, being accepted and becoming part of a community. 

What can be the role of artists who develop games as part of their practice within this context? Can video and urban games function as political art works? Can gamers develop special skills that can be used for social causes? What are the secrets for a successful collaborative creation and consumption of games in the digital and urban space?  

As an opening to the discussion, the game Status designed by Team Scarlet will be performed.

Speakers: Maria Aloupi (concert pianist, composer, game developer and game producer; co-founder of beyondthosehills, Athens), Charalambos Andreanidis (designer; Team Scarlet, Athens), Christina Chrysanthopoulou (architect; co-founder and art director of ViRA, Athens), Andreas Diktyopoulos (game developer, creative director and music composer; co-founder of beyondthosehills, Athens), Sotirios Gyftopoulos (game developer; Labs Director at Anothercircus, Athens & San Francisco), Vasileios Karavasilis (computer engineer and game developer, co-founder of eNVY softworks, Athens), Michalis Lygkiaris (artist; Team Scarlet, Athens), Tasos Protopapas (musician, composer, computer programmer; Team Scarlet, Athens), Kyprianos Skafidas (gamer / game designer; Team Scarlet, Athens)

Moderator: Lydia Chatziiakovou (Artistic Director, Art Science Technology Festival by TIF-Helexpo). Advisor: Maria Saridaki (curator, researcher)

CONTEMPORARY ART & TECHNOLOGY
This exhibition includes video art, performances and interactive and participatory installations, by Greek and international artists who use technology as their main artistic medium, in order to discuss issues that have to do with the impact of technology on our interaction with each other, as well as with the natural and urban environment. The works have been selected among proposals submitted through an open call process, as well as upon invitation to selected artists and institutions, such as the University of Bournemouth (UK) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s MA – Advanced Design: Innovation & Transdisciplinarity in Architectural Design. 

FREIRAUM PROJECT BY GOETHE-INSTITUT THESSALONIKI
Freiraum is a programme by Goethe-Institut that focuses on the concept of Freedom in Europe, activating a network of 42 Goethe-Instituts and their partner institutions, cultural and civic. In this context, Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, London and Glasgow, in collaboration with AWAZ Cumbria (Carlisle, UK), ArtBOX (Thessaloniki) and the project LABattoir of the Municipality of Thessaloniki focus on two issues that shape our personal perception and expression: our social and cultural identity and the way we interact with each other and the world via technology. Artists Evi Karathansopoulou and Thomas Koch use different sound and image technologies in order to touch upon this issues, bringing in contact people from Thessaloniki, Carlisle and other parts of Europe, forging a network of communication and transmitting their voices to the world. In Spring 2019, the two artists works will be presented in Berlin, along with other works and projects selected among the Freiraum network.

 

INFO / CREDITS
Opening hours: 
Saturday & Sunday, 8-9 & 15-16 September: 10:00-22:00
Monday – Friday, 10-14 September: 16:00-22:00
 
ORGANIZATION – PRODUCTION 
TIF – Helexpo

Project Manager: Vicky Dalkrani (HELEXPO)
Artistic Director: Lydia Chatziiakovou (ArtBOX)
Coordination: Dimitris Kourkouridis (Institute of Exhibition Research)
Production Assistants: Konstantinos Chatziandreou, Giannis Fourkiotis
Technical team – installation and audiovisuals: Diapason
VR installation expert: Kane White
VR installation assistants: Daniel Bell, George Fisher
Graphic Design: Studio Hervik
Photo documentation: George Kogias
Video documentation: Media Lab by LABattoir project
 
COORGANIZER
Municipality of Thessaloniki – Department of Culture & Tourism 
 
PARTNER INSTITUTIONS
Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki
ZKM – Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki – Freiraum programme
SXSW – South by Southwest, USA
Bournemouth University, UK
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Department of Architecture – MA in Advanced Design: Innovation & Transdisciplinarity in Architectural Design
Municipality of Thessaloniki – LABattoir programme

OPEN CALL SELECTION COMMITTEE 
Sotirios Bahtsetzis (curator, art theorist, ArtBOX.gr), Elli Chrysidou (artist, Vice-Mayor of Culture, Municipality of Thessaloniki), Vicky Dalkrani (Director, Institute of Exhibition Research – HELEXPO), Christos Savvidis (curator, ArtBOX.gr; Artistic Director, Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki)

ADVISORS FOR THE GREEK PARTICIPATIONS IN VR WORLD 
Christina Chrysanthopoulou, Maria Saridaki

SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dr. Rudolf Bartsch (Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki), Aris Kalogiros (Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki), Lela Tsevekidou (Municipality of Thessaloniki – Department of Culture & Tourism), Natalia Sartori (Goethe-Institut Athen), Stella Anastasaki (LABattoir), Christina Vlachou (LABattoir)
GAMES & POLITICS EXHIBITION
Organization – ProductionGoethe-Institut, ZKM
Curators: Jeannette Neustadt (Goethe-Institut), Stephan Schwingeler (ZKM)
Project management: Jeannette Neustadt
Curatorial assistant: Sophie Rau
Administration and tour management: Kirsten Rackwitz
Technical director: Steffen Reichelt
Technical support: Museum and Exhibition Technical Services ZKM
Film production: Eckart Zerzawy
Films: Jeannette Neustadt, Christian Schiffer
Project Coordinator Let’s Plays: Simone Mändl, Rebecca Niederländer
Let’s Plays: Yannis Bermig, Mireille Green, Nicola Hahn, Dominik Lossie, Simone Mändl, Elisabeth Mayer, Rebekka Niederländer, Kris Weinand & Winder Orekalcus
Exhibition Architecture: Anita Kaspar, Jesko Fezer, Andreas Müller / Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik 
Graphic Design Concept: Studio Matthias Görlich, Darmstadt 

Games & Politics Exhibition in Thessaloniki:
Organization: Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki in collaboration with TIF – Helexpo – Artecitya programme
Coordination: Aris Kalogiros (Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki), Vicky Dalkrani, Dimitris Kourkouridis (TIF-Helexpo)
Curator: Lydia Chatziiakovou 
Advisor: Maria Saridaki
Exhibition installation: Alexandros Charissis