after a first day at the symposium i am left with mixed feelings. it seems that the symposium has been repositioned closer to the prix ars and the exhibitions of the festival. the morning session was dedicated to hiroshi ishiguro, this years featured artist, the guy who has created geminoid HI-1, an android robot built after himself, his robotic twin really as the name would suggest (see image above). the afternoon session introduced eduardo kac, the winner of the golden nica in the hybrid art category.
i can imagine that this redesign of the symposium was intended to create a more unified festival experience. but for me it comes as a big loss. i used to really enjoy the symposium to be more stand-alone, a place for a more theoretical discourse, not necessarily connected to the art on show here. i personally never cared too much for the prix ars, as i have quite a few doubts about the jury process and i often found many projects much more deserving of golden nicas than the actual winners. zai from etoy just expressed a very similar point of view, he said, and i paraphrase, that he regrets to see the symposium getting moved more and more to the back burner of the festival, that he always came here to listen. and i would add to that, i came here to listen and get inspired.
later steve lambert was here to represent the many people that worked on the new york times – special edition, winner of an award of distinction in the hybrid art category. a pure delight! he said that much of the project was inspired by the book Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe, very tempted to order that book. click click click? hmm