ISEA2015 / / DISRUPTION

ISEA2015 vancouver

The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEA2015, will be held in Vancouver at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology (FCAT), and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT).

ISEA is one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events, mixing scholarly, artistic, and scientific domains in an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art, interactivity, and electronic and digital media. The event annually brings together artists, designers, academics, technologists, scientists, and general audience in the thousands. The symposium consists of a peer-reviewed conference, a series of exhibitions, and various partner events—from large-scale interactive artwork in public space to cutting-edge electronic music performance.

Katie Turnbull (Australia), Modern Vanitas 2012. Image by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2012 (commissioned by Experimenta)

Katie Turnbull (Australia), Modern Vanitas 2012. Image by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2012 (commissioned by Experimenta)

In the last three years ISEA has been hosted in Istanbul, Turkey (2011), Albequerque, New Mexico (2012), and Sydney, Australia (2013), with an upcoming ISEA2014 in Dubai. ISEA2015 in Vancouver marks its return to Canada, 20 years after the groundbreaking first Canadian ISEA1995 in Montreal. Conference events will be held at the Woodward’s campus of Simon Fraser University in downtown Vancouver with exhibitions and events taking place at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and other sites and venues throughout the city.

ISEA2015’s theme of ‘Disruption’ invites a conversation about the aesthetics of change, renewal, efficiencies and game-changing paradigms. We look to raw bursts of energy, Davids and Goliaths, reconciliation, error, and destructive and creative force of the new. Disruption contains both blue sky and black smoke. When we speak of radical emergence we must also address things left behind. Disruption is both incremental and monumental. Anachronisms; earlier versions. The moments of peace and crisis: the state of things now and a moment ago; the proud Luddites and the insecurity of change; the unstoppable giants, now only shells.

Ken & Julia Yonetani, Stilllife 2010. Image courtesy of the artists

Ken & Julia Yonetani, Stilllife 2010. Image courtesy of the artists

We are familiar in art, design, science, and media with strategies in which something is overturned in order to create something new. In practices ranging from hacking and detournement to inversions of place, time, and intention, creative work across disciplines constantly finds ways to rethink or reconsider object, context, body, network, function. Artists push, shape, break; designers reinvent and overturn; scientists challenge and re-state; technologists hack & subvert to rebuild. We hope to broaden the spheres in which disruptive aesthetics can be explored, crossing into the worlds of science, technology, design, visual art, contemporary and media art, innovation, performance, and sound.

Symposium Directors for ISEA2015 are Dr. Philippe Pasquier and Dr. Thecla Schiphorst from Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT) within the Faculty of Communication, Arts & Technology (FCAT).  Artistic Directors are Malcolm Levy, Founder and Director of the New Forms Festival and Kate Armstrong, Director of the Social + Interactive Media (SIM) Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Sue Gollifer, Director of ISEA. Image courtesy of Sue Gollifer

Sue Gollifer, Director of ISEA. Image courtesy of Sue Gollifer

The Board of ISEA International has also announced ISEA2016 symposium to be held in Hong Kong in May 2016. School of Creative Media – City University of Hong Kong, the School of Design – The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Videotage, Microwave Festival and other partner institutions. The main symposium and exhibitions venues as “two iconic ultra-modern buildings by Daniel Libeskind and Zaha Hadid which are evidencing the new renaissance of arts and culture in Hong Kong.” A third venue will be the Cattle Depot Artist Village, a reminder of Hong Kong’s past.

Its ‘Cultural R>evolution’ theme operates on several levels. In addition to addressing the impact of digital technologies on culture it relates also to symposium’s timing and local political developments. These include the advent of universal suffrage in 2017, as well as the government’s current massive investments within the West Kowloon Cultural District. Sub-themes including: The New Economic Geopolitics of (Art-)Making, From Interactivity to Playability, Crowd A.I., (De)institutionalization D.I.Y. and Electronic Art beyond Anthropocentrism further develop the theme.

Donna Franklin, Fibre Reactive, 2004. Image courtesy of Robert Firth

Donna Franklin, Fibre Reactive, 2004. Image courtesy of Robert Firth

ISEA symposia are coordinated by ISEA International. Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology. ISEA International Headquarters is supported by the University of Brighton (UK).

Call for artists and Symposium submissions for ISEA2014 Dubai ar now closed however calls for student works are still open until 7 February.

Further information is available from international ISEA Director Sue Gollifer at info@isea-web.org, the project website and facebook.