RIXC Festival 2019 – UN/GREEN. Naturally Artificial Intelligences



The RIXC Festival 2019 taking place from July 4 – 6, 2019, in Riga, Latvia, aims at complicating the pervasively employed notion of ‘green’ by providing a cross-disciplinary platform for discussions and artistic interventions exploring one of the most paradoxical and broadest topics of our times.


The festival features the UN/GREEN exhibition at the Latvian National Museum of Art, and the 4th Open Fields conference that aims to ‘un-green’ greenness, eco-systemically reconnect post-human postures, and discover and unpack ‘Naturally Artificial Intelligences.’ The festival programme also includes Opening Performances, Public Keynotes, Artist Talks, Un/Green Summer School (pre-event), and Sensible Garden – closing programme, experiencing the immersive installations by young artists.





July 5 – September 22, 2019

The Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga




Going against the grain of dominant colour symbolism, the UN/GREEN exhibition addresses ‘green’ as percept, medium, material biological agency, semantic construct, and ideology. ‘Green’, symbolically associated with the ‘natural’ and often employed to hyper-compensate for what humans have lost, is addressed here as the most anthropocentric of all colours, in its inherent ambiguity between alleged naturalness and artificiality. We, as the human species, symbolically re-contextualize techno-scientific tools and their related metaphors to offset what we feel we are losing in the times labeled the Anthropocene. 


Are we in control of ‘green’? Despite its broadly positive connotations, ‘green’ incrementally serves the uncritical desire of fetishistic and techno-romantic naturalization in order to metaphorically hyper-compensate for material systemic bio- and necro-politics, consisting of the increasing technical manipulation and exploitation of living systems, ecologies, and the biosphere at large. 


On the one hand, engineers brand ‘green’ chemistry or biotechnology as ecologically benign and sustainable; on the other, climate researchers speak of the ‘greening of the earth’ to address the alarming effect of increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions and nitrogen deposition, resulting in ‘global greenness trends’ and climate change. Toxic algae blooms have done much to discredit the shallow symbol and overused association of ‘green’ with ecological sustainability, while humans are green-washing greenhouse effects away.


At the same time, the current hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life based technical fixes sparks discussions about whether the largely ambiguous notions of ‘intelligence’ and ‘artificiality’ are reserved for human cognition, action and prowess, when designing regulatory systems. Beyond anthropocentric positions and related modeling of human-like capacities and consciousness, the innate technical capacities of non-human agents play a crucial role within a larger bio-semiotic web of trans-species relationships, resulting in eco-systemic intelligence that might be addressed as ‘Naturally Artificial Intelligences.’


Art at the threshold of the techno-sciences appears to be well suited to reveal the contradictions and paradoxes, and to disentangle such allegedly linked notions as ‘aliveness’, ‘naturalness, and ‘greenness’. The media arts are especially well equipped to critique and deconstruct the entanglement between symbolic green, ontological greenness and performative greening. They stage the noxious ambivalence, perceptual shifts and multi-sensory alternatives to vision, trans-species encounters, technologized lawns, or the very ‘ungreen’ impact of digital technologies. 

Despite their different media, UN/GREEN art employs ‘greenness’ with techno-scientific awareness and criticality, and addresses the philosophical and political ‘nature versus culture’ debates through the lens of a much-needed deep media analytical approach.


Exhibition Co-curators:

Rasa SMITE (LV), Raitis SMITS (LV), Jens HAUSER (FR / DE)


Exhibition Artists: 


Rebekah BLESING (US), Karine BONNEVAL (FR), Adam W. BROWN (US), Bureau d'études (FR), Santa FRANCE (LV), HeHe (FR), Robert HENGEVELD (CA), Iodine Dynamics (NL), Voldemars JOHANSONS (LV), Eva-Maria LOPEZ (DE), Francisco LÓPEZ (ES), AnneMarie MAES (BE), Agnes MEYER-BRANDIS (DE), Joana MOLL (ES), Quimera Rosa (FR/AR), Jan-Peter E.R. SONNTAG (DE), Taavi SUISALU (EE), Rihards VĪTOLS (LV). 


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The 4th Open Fields conference on Art-Science Research,

July 4 – 6, 2019, Riga, Latvia

Venues: The Latvian National Museum of Art / The Art Academy of Latvia




Alongside 'green', the central topic of this year's festival, the Open Fields 2019 conference also includes visionary and critically un-green, spectral-prismatic, post-anthropocentric, and socio-algorithmic papers by artists, scientists, researchers and experts from different academic disciplines and professional fields.


The topics:


* green/ungreen – 'symbolic green, ontological greenness and performative greening'

* biopolitics and ecotopia – beyond the anthropocene, towards multi-species relations

* ‘green’ intelligence – environment and naturally AI within algorithmic societies

* post-anthropocentric visions – 'nature culture' and eco-critique

* sensible ‘green’ – beyond the  visual: acoustic, olfactive, chemical, etc.

* biosphere and technosphere - techno-ecological perspective of our planet and in Space

* prismatic – color theories, light and perception


Conference Speakers:


Miguel ALMIRON, Phil AYRES, Marcus BANKS, Katherine BEHAR, Laura BELOFF, Davide BEVILACQUA, Karine BONNEVAL, Nadine BOTHA, Till BOVERMANN, Agnes MEYER BRANDIS, Adam W. BROWN, Oksana CHEPELYK, Nina CZEGLEDY, Maija DEMITERE, Karel DOING, Casper DRAKE, Tuc EREL, Teodora Sinziana FARTAN, Ksenia FEDOROVA, Adam FISH, Gabriela GALATI, Elena Fuertes GONZÁLEZ, Paul GRANJON, Christina GRUBER, Catherine HARRIS, Katharina HAUKE, Jens HAUSER, Irène HEDIGER, Chelsea HEIKES, Robert HENGEVELD, Martina HUYNH, Petja IVANOVA, Ian INGRAM, Marton KABAI, Theun KARELSE, Raivo KELOMEES, Alexander KIRYUTIN, Normunds KOZLOVS, Joy LAM, Natela LEMONDZHAVA, Cammack LINDSEY, Eva-Maria LOPEZ, Vanessa LORENZO, AnneMarie MAES, Selenia MARINELLI, Vytautas MICHELKEVICIUS, Jorge Sobejano NIETO, Karin OHLENSCHLÄGER, Kira O'REILLY, Ellen PEARLMAN, Pettifer RICHARD, Ramón Martínez PÉREZ, Jakub PALM, Anton PEITERSEN, Margherita PEVERE, Nadja Gabriela PLEIN, Chelsea POLK, Elke REINHUBER, Karolina RYBAČIAUSKAITĖ, Claudia ROBLES-ANGEL, Haakon Haraldsen ROEN, Lauren RUIZ, Aliya SAY, Elizabeth SHORES, Vegas SIMBELIS, Eva SJUVE, Ilva SKULTE, Jan-Peter E.R. SONNTAG, Rasa SMITE, Raitis SMITS, Saša SPAČAL, LUC STEELS, Taavi SUISALU, Nadya SUVOROVA, Tytus SZABELSKI, Anna TOKAREVA, Riccardo TORRESI, Colette TRON, Vako VARANKIAN, Aline VEILLAT, Yvonne VOLKART, Antonio ZINGARO, Peter ZORN.


Video session participants (remote contributions):


Neal WHITE, Anna NAZO, Carlos CASTELLANOS, Fabricio FAVA, Camila MANGUEIRA, Miguel CARVALHAIS, Bianca HLYWA,  Claire BREACH, Allison HOLT, Paul E. QUAST, Adnan HADZI, and others.


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Un/Green Summer School (Festival Pre-Event)
July 1 – 6, 2019




“We like to imagine ourselves as rational beings who think and speak, yet to live means first and foremost to look, taste, feel, or smell the world around us. (Emanuele Coccia)


SENSIBLE GARDEN is the closing programme of the RIXC Festival that will take place on July 6, at 17.00, at the Garden and on the Rooftop of the Art Academy.

During the Summer School the students from HfG-Karlsruhe and Art Research Lab of Liepaja have created and set up site-specific immersive sound and audiovisual artworks that combine the artistic with the social and the natural, the scientific with the emotional, the sensible with the actual, and the human (experiences) with non-human. During the closing programme of the festival, the guided tour through the Sensible Garden exhibition will take place in order to see the results of the Summer school, as well as the most recent work by the students and young artists from Karlsruhe and Liepaja.


Curated by Rasa SMITE.


Participating students and artists: Isabella MÜNNICH, Vanessa BOSCH, Christopher VON FRANKENBERG, Janis ZECKAI, Paula VĪTOLA, Ieva VĪKSNE, Ivo TAURINS, Milda ZIEMANE.


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Thursday, July 4, 2019


10:30 Press conference / Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art (Exhibition Hall in the Basement)

15.00 – Un/Green, Com/Post/Human, N/AI  / Thematic Panel of Open Fields 2019 Conference Opening Day / Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art 

17.00 – Ungreening Greenness and Naturally Artificial Intelligences:

Public Keynotes and Artist Talk: Jens HAUSER, Luc STEELS and Karine BONNEVAL / Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art

19.30 – Reception and Opening Performances: Florent DI BARTOLO (EMAP resident / work in progress), Platons BURAVICKIS, and others / Venue: The Art Academy of Latvia


Friday, July 5, 2019


10.00 – OF2019 Conference Day 1: Thematic Panels and Parallel Sessions / Venues: The Latvian National Museum of Art / The Art Academy of Latvia

16.00 – Un/Green and Com/Post/Human – Public Keynotes and Artist Talks:

Agnes MEYER BRANDIS, AnneMarie MAES, Peter ZORN / Taavi SUISALU / EMAP / Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art

18.00 – UN/GREEN Exhibition opening / Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art / The Art Academy of Latvia


Saturday, July 6, 2019


10.00 – OF2019 Conference Day 2: Parallel Sessions

Venues: The Latvian National Museum of Art / The Art Academy of Latvia

17.00 – Sensible Garden – Closing Programme and Artistic Interventions by young artists

Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art


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OPEN FIELDS CONFERENCE International Scientific Board:


Prof. Lev MANOVICH / Cultural Analytics Lab / The Graduate Center, City University of New York, US

Dr. Ellen PEARLMAN / Parsons / New School / Art-A-Hack / ThoughtWorks / New York, USA

Prof. Kristin BERGAUST / OsloMet-Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Ph.D. Jussi PARIKKA / Winchester School of Art / University of Southampton / UK

Ph.D. Geoff COX / Plymouth University, UK

Assoc. Prof. Laura BELOFF / IT University, Copenhagen / Finnish Bioart Society, Helsinki, Finland

Prof. Lily DIAZ-KOMMONEN / Head of Research Department of Media, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland

Prof. Ursula DAMM / Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany

Dr. Vytautas MICHELKEVICIUS / Nida Art Colony, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania

Ph.D. Margrét Elísabet ÓLAFSDÓTTIR / Art Education at the University of Akureyri, Iceland

Dr. Ilva SKULTE / Riga Stradins University, Latvia

Dr. Piibe PIIRMA / Tallinn University / Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia

Ph. D. Raivo KELOMEES / Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia

Regine DEBATTY / we-make-money-not-art.com / BE/UK/IT

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Organizer: RIXC Center for New Media Culture


RIXC Festival producers and contacts: Agnese BARANOVA (conference, agnese@rixc.org) , Daina SILINA (exhibition, daina@rixc.org)

Contact: rixc@rixc.org, +371-67228478 (RIXC office), +371-26546776 (Rasa SMITE).


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The EXHIBITION is a part of EMAP – European Media Art Residency network project, supported by Creative Europe.


The CONFERENCE is a part of RISK CHANGE project, supported by Creative Europe, and it is co-organized by Renewable Futures network, Art in Society / OsloMET, Art Research Lab (MPLab) of Liepaja University, and RISEBA University for Business, Art and Technologies.




State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, European Commission's framework programme Creative Europe in relation with EMAP –f European Media art platform and Risk Change projects, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Riga City Council, LG Electronics Latvia, Reverie TG, OU\/ERT, The Estonian National Culture Foundation, Outset Estonia Contemporary Art Fund, Goethe-Institut Riga, SIA Gardens, Art Research Laboratory (MPLab) of Liepaja University, The Latvian National Museum of Art, The Art Academy of Latvia, Erica Synths, The Canada Council for the Arts, ArtsNL – Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Grif.lv, U.S. Embassy in Latvia


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Contacts: rixc@rixc.org
+371 67228478 (RIXC office)
+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)


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