Reality Shift by Discovery festival

New technologies have already  moved beyond science, being more and  more penetrating into an everyday life. Equipment and technical refinements not only became available in the market consumption, but also formed a separate artistic direction - new media art. The Netherlands has a great bridgehead for new technologies and experiments, and it finds its wide expression in many festivals that have their annual status, and the list is growing.

One of the most recent highlights of Amsterdam has become a platform for media projects BEYOND Biennale (17-26 September). Amsterdam Nord was turned into a temporary  centre for recent advances in interactive media, visual art, design, technology and science. The two-week program full of intense performances, interactive installations, film screenings and exhibitions ended with Discovery festival and gathered around it scholars, artists, designers and activists from several countries.

Here is an overview on most spectacular installations, which have attracted a lot of attention and many willing to try new inventions in action.

I would like to focus on the fact  that wearable objects such as  different kinds of masks, helmets, collars, prevailed at the exhibition. Oculus Rift headset which  became a real trend for unreal visualisation was used in the HEAVENLY REALITY project by Sander Bos. He uses the device to play with different layers of reality by simulating a mystical dimension and putting virtual reality in a ritualistic context.

The other way of perception of reality was shown in the 3RD project by DUS ARCHITECTS & MONOBANDA (NL)

By using the mask one can see himself from the side. In a real-time experience the camera translates the video-recording to the small screen inside the mask.

The guests had also a chance to create surreal and frenetic video footage of their faces by helmet called  VIDEODOME by GARNET HERTZ. Sixteen micro video cameras mounted inside of a clear helmet pointed toward the face produce the video rapidly switching between cameras. The result resembles a paranoid blinking portrait.

E.E.G. KISS by KAREN LANCEL & HERMEN MAAT. This project raises a lot of questions. E.E.G. measures brainwaves while the visitors participate in the experiment.

The ongoing research is dedicated to the discovery in a field of untouchable in the network. The E.E.G. kiss lab investigates how a kiss can be translated into data. Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together? Can we transfer a kiss and it's intimacy online ?

For the project by MICHAEL BURTON & MICHIKO NITTA (UK) called ALGAE OPERA (INSTALLATION) the  special outfit was created to be used by opera singer. This mask/costume makes the symbiosis between humans and vegetabale organisms visible. The breath of an opera singer forces the algae to circulate in the mask which is connected by a lot of tubes to the system of glass jars.

There were also a lot of works explored the connection between sound and image.

One of the brightest works is Firewall by AARON SHERWOOD & MIKE ALLISON (USA). An interactive media installation that enables you to create insane fire-like images and music. By touching and stretching the flexible display, you get tactile feedback of images and sound that you've never experienced before. 


As soon as it got dark the light sculpture on the roof had appeared.  SOL DOME by  LOOP PH (Great Britain)

Is the geometrical construction of the sculpture based on the chemical molecular bonds between carbon atoms and  visualizes the level of CO2 in the air. The sculpture consists of woven composite fiber and is light trough a matrix of solar powered LED lights. The rotation of the sculpture is determined by the CO2-sensor. This allows us to experience the cyclical changes in the air quality in the public space.

Such events as Discovery festival erase any borders between technical disciplines, artistic creativity and tests of the newest inventions and developments in practice. The art of inventions, the spreading of the ideas in society and imaging studies - all this puts practical art and science  onto a new popular level. The experimental character of the event gives an opportunity to the viewer to get his own experience. We are looking forward for Discovery 2015. 


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