November is historically a month of rather dull stagnation. A usually grey, raining, sometimes depressing month where all you do is either push away memories of weeks of wild summer parties or badly crave the long awaited Christmas time. Well, this is exactly the opposite of what happened in Namur the past Thursday and Friday. Namur is the tiny Belgian city hosting the third edition of Kikk festival, an international festival of digital and creative cultures that explores the economic and artistic implication of new technologies. The program includes conferences, workshops, an exhibition with digital art & prototypes, a creative contest and a final party with live performances. The incredible panel of speakers includes Jessica Walsh, Kyle McDonalds, Evan Roth, Usman Haque and Ivan Purpyev amongst others. DailyInspiration was honoured to attend and report for all our readers.
The convention was skillfully managed and organized by an amazing team directed by Gilles Bazelaire, co-founder of dogstudio and superbe, that, I have to admit, really challenged my editor’s skills making truly difficult the selection process amongst such a rich variety of talented artists.
First on the stage was Paolo Cirio, a politically engaged, financially aware and artistically excellent artist. A very passionate character creating “information sculpture” that deals with power, language, information and communication. Amongst others he is responsible for face to facebook , loophole44all, p2pgiftcredit, but my personal favourite is streetgosth, where life-sized pictures of people found on google’s Street View are printed and posted without authorization at the spot where they where originally taken.
Then, the stage got gently taken by Paul Harrison. An incredibly humble guy showing a selection of emotionally charged art works produced in a search for meanings in the physical world rather than the digital one. An inspiring collection of extremely low-fi works concerning play, magic, wit, physical laws, randomness and luck.
Next on the stage was Gabriel Shalom, an extraordinarily clever guy defining himself as an audiovisual composer seeking to dig out musicality off every single object. He brightly grabbed the crowd through an audiovisual journey into hypercubism and his many incredible projects studying different aspects of our society. Amongst others Cosmopolitan Cyberdog, The Foundation Trap and the installation at the Tosso Pavillion as part of the Venice Biennale.
After seeing Evan Roth on the stage I can officially say that I have a new muse. A poignant talk taking the crowd through an impressive body of work that sits right in the fine artistic line between hacking, coding, graffiti art, conventional art and 3d. Project like The Cathedral and The Convenience, Google car, and Free Speech are true masterpiece. He then expressed a very interesting analogy on the drives and characteristics pushing creative disrespect in both the hackers community and the graffiti one.
Then Usman Haque jumped on the stage with a paper titled “In praise of messy cities”. The gifted London based artist argued how citizens have to be given access to appropriate and accurate monitoring equipment to reveal all the intricacies and complexities of our finite world in order to make the “smart city paradigm” possible. Then through five terrific projects he showed what he believes are the key factors to achieve what he calls the Society of the Data Spectacle: Make Measurement, Make Stuff, Make Noise and Play, Make Decision, Make Futures.
Last but absolutely not least is Ivan Poupyrev, the extrovert Russian scientist working at Principal Research Scientist at Walt Disney where he directs an Interactive Technology group. “My research” he told me during an interview, “focus on inventing breaking through new technologies and design innovative physical interactive devices”. I was personally very impressed by projects like Touché, a technology able to make any device interactive and responsive; and Paper Generator where he presents a new technology that he believes will allow a local on demand power generation- a future where people will be easily creating their own energy.
Focus on inventing breaking through new technologies and design innovative physical interactive devicesIvan Poupyrev