Now! The online closing event of the international Augmented Europe project

Apply now for the closing event of the international EU “AugE” project – “Augmented Europe. Our Future is Connected” taking place on Zoom, on June 14 at 19:00 (Riga time). The event’s program will feature a concert by the Italian singer David Blank, as well as presentations on topics relevant to society in the context of art and creativity introduced by international artists and experts. The RIXC artist Rasa Smite, will introduce how climate change and ecology can be merged with art, the digital futurist from Greece Dimitris Dimitriadis will tell how business and startups could be developed in the future with social media and creativity, while the Canadian artist and engineer from Berlin Michael Ang or Mang will introduce how graffiti can be made digitally, connecting people from various locations through art.

Apply by this Saturday, June 12 here! We especially invite young people, students and pupils to apply! Free entry.

Musician David Blank. Photo: Bekka Gunther

Augmented Europe (AugE) is a joint project of 4 European art organizations, MEET Digital Culture Center in Milan, Public Art Lab in Berlin, MADE Group in Greece, and RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Latvia. As part of this project, the art centers from November 2020 to April 2021 organized four ideathons or workshop, lecture and discussion series for young people to prototype new ideas, solutions, and innovative policies on some of the most pressing challenges of our time like social inclusion (MEET – Milan, November 2020), intercultural understanding (Public Art Lab -Berlin, December 2020), climate change, art and isolation (RIXC – Riga, March 2021) and new models of employment, creativity and entrepreneurship (MADE – Thessaloniki, April 2021).

RIXC invites everyone who is interested in art, technologies, and digital creativity to join the Augmented Europe closing event on June 14. The event’s program will be opened by the musical performance by the Italian singer David Blank online from the stage of the newly reopened MEET Digital Culture Center in Milan. Rnb, soul and afrobeat musician David Blank was introduced to singing by his father, a Nigerian preacher in a small Italian town, at the age of 5. Now the artist in his music combines modern and African rhythms, exploring universal feelings such as waiting and solitude, introspection, transformation, and evolution.

MEET Digital Culture Center, Milan, Italy. MEET publicity photo.

The themes of the project’s ideathons will be introduced by special guests of the European art centers: digital futurist Dimitris Dimitriadis from Greece, artist and engineers Michael Ang from Germany, and artist Rasa Smite from Latvia. The futurist Dimitris Dimitriadis will talk about the creative opportunities for young people in the age of startup and social media and will explain how exponential technologies shape the way we communicate and tell stories now and in the future. Dimitris is a digital marketing specialist, “TheFutureCats” co-founder, as well as a lecturer and speaker who shares his vision and experience on digital technologies and marketing.

Michael Ang during the Digital Calligraffiti live performance and welcome campaign for migrating cultures in Berlin (2017). Photo credits: Michael Ang

Michael Ang known also as Mang is a Canadian artist and engineer based in Berlin, as well as a professor at NYU in Abu Dhabi. He creates light objects, interactive installations, and technological tools that expand the possibilities of human expression and connection. Countering the trend for technology to dissociate us from ourselves and surroundings, Michael’s works connect us to each other and the experience of the present moment. In the context of the Berlin ideathon’s theme – Connecting People and Places – the artist will introduce a “Digital Calligraffiti” art project. Calligraffiti is a fusion of traditional calligraphy and graffiti art in which, through technology, people from different geographical locations “connected” to create digital works of calligraphy and graffiti that were simultaneously projected in urban areas in Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, and elsewhere. It is a global urban art movement that shapes our streets as an expression of engagement generated by young people. Live projecting calligraffiti onto buildings turns the walls of the city into a hybrid platform and shared canvas for expression that can connect us across cities and cultures. How can we transform a practice like calligraffiti (the fusion of calligraphy and graffiti) into a hybrid scenario of new togetherness? How can we create large-scale projections that connect people locally and at distant places? Michael Ang's Infl3ctor makes all this possible. The Infl3ctor is an interactive writing table that transforms physical calligraffiti writing on paper into large-scale projections through an interactive livestream system

Digital Calligraffiti - Networked Scenario Berlin-Marseille (2017). Photo credits: Michael Ang

The artist Rasa Smite will introduce the theme of the RIXC ideathon – Climate Change, Art and Isolation – exploring how arts, creativity, and digital technologies can contribute to raising awareness of climate change issues and building a 'greener' and more sustainable Europe. During the presentation, the participants will also have an opportunity to learn more about her and Raitis Smits’ immersive Atmospheric Forest artwork that was nominated for Purvitis Prize 2021.

Maija Demitere. Deep Sustainability: Grow (and Make) Your Own! AugE / RIXC ideathon, 26.03.2021. Excerpt from the mini-aquaponics garden. Photo: Maija Demitere

The artwork visualizes the complex relations between a forest, climate change and the atmosphere. Trees emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds that we can sense as a habitual scent of the forest. Scientists have long known about the link between the fragrant forest and warming climate, but are uncertain about its impact and scale. While some believe that the strong smell of a pine forest indicates that climate change can be limited, others suggest that the volatile emissions could make global warming worse.  The Atmospheric Forest reveals patterns of this complexity by visualizing the scientific data of volatile emissions and resin pressure in pine trees during one growing season. Although the impact of volatile emissions is still unclear, visualized patterns show that with climate change we are set for a more fragrant and more "atmospheric forest" in the future.

 

Rasa Smite. Photo: Kristine Madjare

 

Program (Riga, LV time)
Online / Zoom

19:00 Welcome and Introduction

19:10 MEET Digital Culture Center (Milan, IT). Presentation of the ideathon theme and results.  Inclusion, equality and diversity for a better Europe.

19:20 MADE Group (Thessaloniki, GR). Presentation of the ideathon theme and results. Youths, future, and startups.

19:40 RIXC Center for New Media Culture (Riga, LV). Presentation of the ideathon theme and results. Climate Change, Art and Isolation

20:00 Public Art Lab (Berlin, DE). Presentation of the ideathon theme and results. Connecting People and Places.

20:20 Closing

20:30-  The screening of the full video version of the Atmospheric Forest artwork by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits at the Spatial Chat platform. Fireside chat with the project leaders.
Online / Spatial Chat: https://spatial.chat/s/augmentedeurope

 

Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits. Atmospheric Forest (2020).

The Atmospheric Forest artwork is on view at the Purvitis Prize exhibition in the Latvian National Museum of Art until August 8. The artwork has been chosen as the key to the event’s central artistic message by the event’s artistic curator, the director of the Public Art Lab, Susa Pop.  The artwork will connect project partners and European cities during the event – the digital version of the artwork will be simultaneously projected in urban space in Berlin and at the MEET center in Milan. The participants will also have a unique opportunity to watch a full video version of the artwork after the event’s official part, at the new virtual Spatial Chat platform.

Spatial chat is a virtual space where people can form groups for conversations with different topics. It is similar to the breakout room in Zoom, but it is better for online social-events as participants can move freely between groups, or form new groups, by simply dragging their avatar. Anyone can join the virtual space at any time via a link to the specific digital room through a link. The link to the event’s platform: https://spatial.chat/s/augmentedeurope

 

Contacts: rixc@rixc.org, +371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)

AUGE project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Riga City Council. The leader of the project: MEET / Milan - IT, partners: Public Art Lab / Berlin - DE; RIXC / Riga - LV; MADE Group / Thessaloniki - GR. Supported by the New European Bauhaus.

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