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15 + 16 May 2015
A Lab, Volkshotel & Radion, Amsterdam
Audiovisual art,
digital culture & music

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Copyright 2015 FIBER Festival
Design + Dev. by Studio Naam

Coded Matter(s) Symposium: Exploring the Subterranean

FIBER Festival 2015
Coded Matter(s) Symposium: Exploring the Subterranean

Date: SAT 16/05
Time: 10:00 – 18:00
Location: Volkshotel

Coded Matter(s) explores the influences of custom built software and automated systems on the production of art, design & music. As part of the festival we’ve put together a symposium programme bringing artists, designers and thinkers together under the festival theme The Subterranean. Via thematic talks and portfolio presentations we excavate our networked and ‘smart’ landscape that has emerged from a worldwide explosion of digital technology and networked systems.

We focus on the question: What is the influence of this often invisible technological layer, fusing with our daily lives. Which worlds, processes and entities lay hidden behind the surface of our computer screens and ‘smart’ user products and what power structures are embedded in them? The programme unfolds in a critical inquiry where we show how these networked tools and systems, on the one hand, are used by cooperations and goveernements as tools for surveillance and control, while artist and designers,  on the other hand, adopt and subvert the same tools to create new cultural forms and poetic expressions. This critical inquiry should shed some light on the often ‘hidden’ and opaque processes that lay deep in the Subterranean.

Block 1: Talks
Exploring the Subterranean of Our Digital Landscape

Time: 10:30 – 12:30
Participants: Hans de Zwart, Michael Dieter, Ralf Baecker.

Today we live in the era of Big Data, and do we really have nothing to hide?! Algorithms define what we see on our timelines, increasingly control us and nudge us into certain pre-programmed directions. Corporate platforms frame how we perceive reality. Hackers and artists try to subvert them. In the name of securing our western values, governments forge alliances with both of them and impede close inspection. A digitally mediated landscape is forming our everyday life. It’s time to excavate these complex stacks and reveal the entanglements between governments, corporations, human and non-human life. This block explores the influence of interfaces on our perception and the responsibilities of the developers who design our digital landscape.

Block 2: Talks
Digital Light & Shadows; glimpses of immediacy, materiality and immateriality

Time: 13:30 – 14:45
Participants: Gaspar Battha, Frouke ten Velden & Nick Verstand. Introduction by Michelle Kasprzak

In the last decade digital art has left the screen and entered our physical surroundings. Artists have built immersive light installations as if they were contemporary Trompe L’oeil’s by programming shadows and directly tapping into our neural network. This seductive move lets us forget the physical notion of the computer, while at the same time the idea  that the computer is built by, and made up out of living geological materials is something artists and thinkers stress in their work. It is something we are becoming more aware of in our networked society. We are capable to devise artificial neural networks with machine learning capabilities, which leads us to the question: Does the machine know that it’s made of living materials inside? Does it dream at night?

Block 3: Discussion panel in association with FRAMED
Validating the Stream; digital art and networked authenticity

Time: 15:00 – 16:00
Participants: Filip Visnjic, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Matthias Tarasiewicz, Margriet Schavemaker.

Digital methods, such as alternative currencies, blockchain encryption, crowd sourcing and Big Data of taste are used as artistic techniques. In this panel artists, designers and thinkers are invited to discuss the influence of these digital tools and autonomous systems on the production and distribution of art & design.

Block 4: Talks
An Artwork Born From Infrastructure

Time: 16:30 – 18:00
Participants: Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Julian Adenauer & Michael Haas (Sonice Development.

Artists show us that digital processes have become a way of thinking that enable and constrain them. However, the line of thinking in a systematic algorithmic manner has never been purely tied up to the digital medium. It transcends it and reconfigures material physical processes and the way we think, act and behave. In this block we’ll explore the influence of algorithms on popular culture and explore how they can be used as artistic tools to create awesome art.

More info can be found in our programme section

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