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Bozar opens sixth Electronic Arts Festival
Esther Venrooy, Certain.

BRUSSELS.- For the sixth time now, the multidisciplinary BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival occupies the Centre for Fine Arts. Over several days this festival presents the broadest possible view of the electronic arts (performance, music & visual arts) and digital culture. At BEAF one can discover, share, experience challenging artistic developments, technological applications and innovative social experiments.

Five exhibitions are on display. Laureates of the international competition for innovation, STARTS Prize 2017, unveiled their winning installations. Six female Belgian artists get to work with technology and science in the exhibition Tendencies. Estonia, digital pioneer in Europe, takes over the European Presidency and exhibits a selection of astounding digital video art in The Archaeology of the Screen. The Estonian Example. The valuable contribution of artists to innovative scientific research projects is demonstrated in Future Emerging Art & Technology.

The BOZAR Lab, a new space in BOZAR for art and research, opened its doors. In this lab, coders, starters, hackers, researchers and active citizens investigate how digital developments ‘rethink’ the artistic project BOZAR.

Electronic music remains central, with headliners such as Johann Johannsson, Ben Frost, William Basinski and Pantha du Prince. The programme also includes performances by the likes of Michela Pelusio and the NeuroTheatre Collective.

The Archaeology of the Screen. The Estonian Examplestolen
The Archaeology of the Screen. The Estonian Example is an exhibition project that analyses the relationship between art and new media, and is connected to three concurrent events: the transfer of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to Estonia in July 2017, Estonia’s celebration of its centennial in 2018, and the opening of a new wing of BOZAR, BOZAR Lab in September 2017.

Since the early 1990s, a part of Estonian art has dealt consistently and intensively with new technologies. This approach has progressed simultaneously with the development of the Estonian state, which, in the early 1990s, chose information technology as one of its developmental priorities, and launched a unique e-state project, which has attracted attention around the world. Another important factor in Estonian art during the 1990s was the change in artistic paradigm: from the officially regulated and financed art scene of the Soviet Union to a free and open artistic environment, which was especially receptive to developments in new technologies. The works of all of the artists in the exhibition are associated, in one way or another, with the wealth of possibilities created by new technology, as well as by an environment that could be manipulated and was open to constant cultural and technological change.

Tendencies: Belgian Art in the Digital Age. In the Feminine #2stolen
In reference to the pioneering European movement – launched in Zagreb – in the 1960s & 70s, the ‘Nove Tendencije’ – which got people thinking about and developing works relating to the issue of “Art as research” - Tendencies wants to place the emphasis on works that question as much as they confirm and that incorporate scientific and technological innovations. The exhibition is about getting people thinking about these links and breaking down the borders that separate the contemporary arts from movements stemming from media and so-called hybrid arts. The exhibition wants to transcend professions whilst highlighting existing structural analogies between creators from distinct and complementary fields.

For this second edition, Tendencies reveals the work of six female artists: Alex Verhaest, Stéphanie Roland, Anne-Marie Maes, Claire Williams, Katia Lecomte Mirsky and Esther Venrooy who stand out from the crowd due to the relationship they have with the issues concerned. Works by established and up-and-coming artists which sound out the innovative protocols and paradigms of artistic, scientific and technological creation.

Edition #2 takes place in partnership with NOVA XX – an international competition dedicated to Technological, Scientific and Artistic Innovation relating to the feminine in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. An initiative of the Halles Saint-Géry, its first edition will take place in December 2017.

STARTS Prize 2017stolen
The meeting of science, technology and the arts (STARTS) is the favoured basis for the innovation necessary if we are to combat the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe will be facing in the near future. The STARTS Prize, an initiative of the European Commission taken up by Ars Electronica in cooperation with BOZAR and Waag Society, rewards projects that bring significant progress in this field, acknowledging on the one hand a work of art that changes the perception of technology and on the other a creation that combines innovative forms of cooperation between the private sector and the world of culture.

For this second edition, ‘I’m Humanity’ by Etsuko Yakushimaru won the Grand Prize for Artistic Exploration. The Japanese singer has composed a work in which musical information was converted into genetic information. This was then incorporated into the chromosomes of blue algae, thereby permitting its cross-generational transmission. If the human race were to disappear and algae survive, a future species would be able to listen to our music that is literally embedded in the genetic memory of these cyanobacteria.

'Rock Print’ from the ETH–Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich and the Self-Assembly Lab of MIT was awarded the Grand Prize for Innovative Collaboration. This prefigures the future progress of 3D printing in the field of architecture, generating a more efficient exploration of raw materials, a better design and lower costs than its predecessors.

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