heath bunting (www.irational.org) on Wed, 4 Dec 96 15:56 MET

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New Media festival/conference 'ART + COMMUNICATION'
+ electronic arts and media center E-Lab opening.

ART + COMMUNICATION was a 2 day event focusing on the 
relationship between art and communication 22. - 23. 
November in Riga, Latvia, located at Latvian Academy 
of Arts and in Performances & Art club 'Secret Experiment'.

Presented as part of E-lab's opening week in the blatic
states, Art + Communication was a major international 2 day
festival of electronic art. With a focus on the changing
relationship between art and communication, this event
managed to be a landmark in the presentation and discussion
of technology in the arts in Latvia.

The festival centred on a conference with speakers drawn
from an international field of practitioners, thinkers,
writers and polemicists from art, communication, philosophy
and cultural studies. The conference provided a critical
framework through which to explore questions around the
re-positioning of both art and communication within wider
culture. The theme was reflected in the site-specfic works
on show at a number of venues in central Riga and on-line
project "Refresh" on the Internet.

Art + Communication incorporated the opening of E-lab a
major organisation in interactive artworks in Latvia.

The conference comprised of plenary panels for all
delegates and a number of smaller, practice based sessions
including artists' talks, resturants, parties and walks.
Speakers included: Eric Kluitenberg, Alexei Shulgin, Ando
Keskyla, Heath Bunting, Rachel Baker, Diana McCarty, Inga
Steimane, Olia Lialina, Rasa Smite, Janis Garancs.

The event took place across a number of venues clustered in
the centre of Riga, offering a unique insight into the city
and providing a backdrop to the debates reflecting the
shift from mechanical to electronic culture. Art +
Communication sought to locate recent developments in
electronic art and the current enthusiasm for communication
and technology in wider culture within the shifts in the
traditional opposition of "objective" communication and
"subjective" art. The event also sought to provide a
meeting place between disciplines and to be of interest to
practitioners and theorists from across the fields of art,
pure and applied communication, history of art, theory of
science, cultural studies,electronic music, design and

Programmed by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smit for E-lab
Productions. Supported by Soros Foundation and the British

E-lab is an arts organisation based Riga, Latvia that
develops new strategies with Communications artists for
different contexts and across formats.

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