the fourth festival of cybernetic art – CYBERFEST
took place in St.Petersburg, Russia,
19 — 26 November 2010
CYBERFEST 2010 is dedicated to understanding of domestic life and everyday practice in digital civilization.There is a constant flow of new things appearing to serve the customers – more complex and advanced household appliances, utensils, furniture, tools, clothes, communication channels, hygiene products and so on. On the one hand, everyday life improves, on the other – technical progress formulates new challenges to the human being. There are changes in speed, limits of intimacy, possibilities of communication, and above all – in fundamental notions of real and imaginary, live and not live.
CURATORS: Anna Frants, Marina Koldobskaya, Sofia Kudriavtseva, Victoria Ilyushkina
Festival Board: Петер Вайбель (ZKM), Dmitry Ozerkov (State Hermitage Museum),
ДОМАШНИЕ ТАРАКАНЫ / HOUSE BUGS
Curators suggested the following possible subjects:
· revolt / disobedience / independence / secret life of machines
· program error, leading to paradoxical / catastrophic / heuristic results
· banalization / domestication of artificial intelligence
· new notions of house comfort / fears/pleasures
· changes of surrounding / repairs / upgrades in digital civilization
· digital pets / children and household
Artificial intelligence is a great thing. But there is something wrong with it. Simple machines are just breaking. Intelligent machines become insane. E-mail boxes receive sexual proposals, sent by a robot. Intelligent vacuum cleaner completely eats cat's food. Intelligent dryer makes a colorful pancake from a favorite dress. Mobile phone photo camera makes suprematic composition from a banal landscape. The further we go, more miracles and strange things we receive. All this is cool, interesting and even funny, but a bit scary. Because we already can't live without those small tyrants. Mobile phone, notebook and i-pod are as necessary as a cup of coffee in the morning, car during the day and hot bath in the evening. We are surrounded but not giving up. We are in charge for the ones we tamed – those, who in turn tames us. We will compete in madness with those things, that make our life better.
The reference point of the St. Petersburg festival Cyberfest could be considered the arrival of the media-art living legend Julie Martin, wife and colleague of Billy Kluver, founder of the EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology). It is, in fact, from her that I heard the story of making such masterpieces as Oracle by Robert Rauschenberg, Field Painting by Jasper Johns and many others.
Now they all are in most important museums of the world. This year, the Cyberfest has spread out on multiple sites. Its participants are artists from over 20 countries and, more importantly, numerous media artists from all over Russia. Due to these successes, a greeting from the cyber-coffee-maker Manya, that I met at Borey Gallery, looks prophetic. At the question, “Ready, Manya?” it started cheerfully blinking in red light. Manya definitely is ready. “Manya, please make me some coffee” – Manya babbles, smacks and pours the first-class espresso into a small cup…
On the other hand, what’s there to be surprised? After all, St. Petersburg has always boasted good coffee, if not since the times of Peter the Great, ertainly since the times of Saigon!