What to See at the Athens Digital Arts Festival 2018

HAKANAI, Compagnie AMCB, Danseuse AKIKO KAJIHARA, THEATRE DE ROANNE, MARS 2014 | © Athens Digital Arts Festival
Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 18 May 2018
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Taking place annually in May, the Athens Digital Arts Festival (ADAF) is an international event that brings the digital arts community to a wider audience. Established in 2005 as the Athens Video Art Festival, the event showcases works and artists from around the globe involved in the art scene and the world of technology.

In 2018, the ADAF will take place May 24th–27th in the impressive Megaron Mousikis Music Hall under the theme Singularity Now. The aim is to explore the unknown future of the technological apocalypse through technology, science, and, of course, the arts. Here are some of the must-see talks, performances, and installations.

Fight by Memo Akten (Daily/10:00–23:00)

London-based visual artist Memo Akten is known for using software and hardware systems and advanced electronics to create experiences with the aim of changing perceptions on our relationships with technology, culture, and science. In this sense, Fight is a “un-Virtual Reality” installation in which Akten explores the binocular rivalry phenomenon, where different images are presented to the viewer’s left and right eyes. When presented with distinct signals, the viewer’s conscious mind sees an irregular and unstable juxtaposition of the two images. But even when subjected to the same two distinct images, each viewer sees a different final image, as we all have different physiology. As Akten said in a recent interview, “Everybody literally sees something unique.”

Acoustic Additive Synthesizer by Krzysztof Cybulski (Daily/10:00–23:00)

Music virtuoso and sound artist Krzysztof Cybulski is a composer and creator of digital sound tools and instruments, but he is also known for creating interactive installations such as the Acoustic Additive Synthesizer, an acoustic device that won honorary mention at Prix Ars Electronica 2017. The Acoustic Additive Synthesizer is actually a small pipe organ connected to a computer that controls pitch and volume. The device, which captures sound (speech or singing) through a microphone, is intended to resynthesize any sound by exploiting Fourier analysis and resynthesis.

Cultural heritage and contemporary art with Yiannis Kranidiotis (Friday the 25th/17:00–17:50)

An emerging media artist, Yiannis Kranidiotis enjoys exploring the relationship between art and science by creating spaces and experiences through light and sound. His recent work involves an interactive statue reminiscent of ancient Cycladic sculptures, which will serve as a reference for the talk that will try to answer how we can use modern technology to transform tradition.

Sisyphus by Eleana Dimopoulou (Sunday the 27th/18:30–20:00)

Exploring the myth of Sisyphus, king of Corinth, who cheated death and was forced to roll a boulder up a hill where it would roll back down when almost reaching the top, the video created by Eleana Dimopoulou focuses on the story by using visual and spatial tools, recreating some aspects of the myth, such as entrapment, physical effort, repetition, and the influence of time.

A freelance makeup artist and designer, Eleana studied interior architecture, decorative arts, and design at the Technological Institute of Athens before focusing on her love of makeup and turning it into a career. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Audiovisual Arts, and she participated in the Athens Video Dance Festival in January 2018 with her video project Sisyphus, which she directed and edited.

What’s Up VR Graffiti (Saturday the 26th/13:00–16:00; Sunday the 27th/13:00–16:00)

This workshop with professional instructors gives anyone (well, adults only) the chance to experience virtual reality and learn how to paint like a real street artist in a virtual environment. An entertaining way to discover the fascinating world of VR, this activity is totally free but requires registration prior to the event as places are limited. To reserve a spot, please email with the name of the workshop, your name, and surname, as well as contact details and the number of participants.

Hakanaï by Adrien M & Claire B (Friday the 25th/22:00–22:40)

Co-directed by Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot, Hakanaï, which is used in Japanese to define something fragile, transient and ephemeral, is a solo choreographic performance unfolding through a series of images in motion. The performance, blending between dreams, imagination, and reality, involves a dancer evolving in a magical environment where on-stage animations move to the rhythm of sounds. As the performance progresses, the audience discovers a digital installation on stage.

These are only but a few of the highlights of the festival. Check the complete program and let your mind be blown by the fascinating world of digital arts.

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