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23-24/01 - Electrodome

Published: 25/01/15

I was invited in November last year to exhibit my CSSArt at Electrodome. I found the offering exciting. Now I know why.

Electrodome is a new festival for interactive, electronic and transmedia art, aiming at promoting transdisciplinary works at the intersection of art and technology. The festival is part of Gokinema - the annual film industry event hosted at Gothenburg Film Studios. The art festival is created by Collaboratory, an organization with roots in the maker movement. The movement can be described as a culture emphazing learning-through-doing by combining technology with art.

The festival included interactive art exhibitions, workshops and dialogs. Game developers, artists, entrepreneurs and activists were all gathered to inspire, network and to share experiences. Visitors of the festival were invited to a wide range of activities. Depending on your passion, you could choose whether to get involved in the technical development of established startups or participating in social change by conceptualizing future cities. Some just enjoyed to watch the creative wonders of our time.

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The team of Collaboratory had done a phenomenal job by bringing international projects and individuals to Gothenburg, strengthening the brand of the city as a future platform for innovation. Artists from large parts of Europe, Los Angeles, New York, Montreal and Mexico were all present to interact with Swedish artists.

After attending the two day festival, I went home with lots of inspiration, impressions and values that I believe will be crucial as I explore the intersection between art and technology. I have an interdisciplinary educational background but I had rarely seen such close and real interactions across different mediums. I left with keywords such as innovation, creative freedom and a strong sense of community.

I found these values in two specific cases. The first example is the interaction between BUKE, Strawbees, and Engineers without borders. BUKE is a project from Los Angeles aiming to reinvent collective green transportation by combining the concept of busses with bikes. BUKE began a discussion with Strawbees, a startup that has developed a toolkit enabling makers to create quick prototypes. BUKE lacked extensive engineering skills so Enginieers without borders helped them to build prototypeswith with Strawbees product.

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My second example is the light master, Mustafa. He recently came to Sweden without any family and he felt in love with light sources. He builds all types of lamps but he finds LED’s most exciting. He installed his lamps all over the festival to bring light to all visitors and exhibitors. At some point he began collaborating on a sculpture with one of the artists. I was inspired how he took the opportunity to share his knowledge and to seize opportunities to try out new things.

As last words I would like to highlight how platforms, such as Electrodome, manage to embrace discussions about change on both micro and macro levels. I strongly believe in the importance of understanding the equality between art and technology. Both concepts have strengths and weaknesses but it’s not until they can meet under mutual grounds that they can merge into astounding creations. Electrodome is such a meeting.

Written by Afra Noubarzadeh