Is it good to go to a new media art festival?
Yes, i think is good because: You always meet people who tells you new things.
You are surrounded by information
and you get so many tracks to follow on the net later (once you are at home 2000km away) You see what and how other people is doing, how easy, how dificult, how far from you they are... Of course i think network is very useful but i like to meet people on diferent places.
Then what if the festival is not very good?
Peter Weibel spoke once about
"A pact with the evil" refering to the unstable relationship, so neccesary on other hand, to sponsors and to the pulse betwen the organizers and the local or national institutions and privates sponsors. With this on our mind, last festivals I have been, the evil won: ART FUTURA in Madrid, has shown how private sponsors get the space without any risk for them, they were showing their products as the CEBIT, the international computer fair, and the festival lost its value. The concept behind the festival was quite abstract.
On a diferent way,
SÓNAR, an Electronic Music Festival in Barcelona, began with an ambicious plan with no so much money. By now they are very well known with more than 30.000 people coming from all over the world with a huge number of sponsors, not only private, but national institutions involved. Eventhough the organizers always had a very clear spirit and idea about what they want S—nar to be.
A track to follow, in order to know which orientation the festival has, can be who is organizing it or who is invited to. In case of doubt, go to the first point.
What is the purpose of a festival?: To show or to encourage
Spain doesn«t have many art institutions
with new technology to develop, but we have some ideas. Perhaps these ideas and the used technology are not ravely actual but they have a political interest for the local area. The problem is to show our stuff in an european context.
The question is still in the air:
What is the purpose of a festival? If the goal is to show, our stuff is not competitive enough just because our technology is not the last one, but, if the purpose is to encourage the sponsors and investors then -to encourage the porjects finally-, I think we should be in every festival just to develop this project in a local area.
On this context i think festivals which have associated a fixed building or institute where people is working or following projects the rest of the year have much more interest.
How many people is going to a festival or to whom is adressed
Sónar has 30.000 people every year,
Ars Electronica, being very specific and having more echo on the news, move less people.It can be a question of fashion but it can also be a quesion of being more specialized on a subject, or, as a new possibility, if the festival is well covered, you can follow it by the net, as in Documenta - I mean the video-conferences ie. -. This is an interesting question, because i think festivals must be good for many reasons: to whom the festival is modifyng, who is getting the attention from and why.
Knowing these answer i can get a clue to see if the festival is interesting or if i am interested in this kind of festivals.
Another good clue is to follow the track
of these events or organizations in the net: Ars Electronica, V2 Organisatie, Osnabrueck, INM- Frankfurt, The Thing, Isea, VNS Matrix, Times«up ... and following their links.