Digital Carnival Twines Ancestral Wisdom and Digital Innovation Aug 31 & Sep 1, 2018
We acknowledge that this event takes place on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.
Ancestral wisdom and digital innovation intertwine at Digital Carnival 2018: AIR as the Richmond World Festival hits the field on August 31 and September 1, 2018.
Featuring works inspired by the theme of “air,” prepare to discover new worlds and encounter the unexpected through more than a dozen avant-garde installations that tackle everything from the latest technology to the most pressing geopolitical issues. Participating artists range from the local (Coast Salish Territories) to the global (Bern, Switzerland), each bringing a unique perspective on the complex relationship between art, nature and technology. Festival guests can look forward to interactive installations, immersive video projections, virtual reality demos, and more.
“A number of the projects this year are very complex both technically and logistically,” said Curator Wynne Palmer. “Technology is evolving at lightning speed and artists, because they are always looking for new modes of expression, are often early adopters. This is the first time that we will be working with VR technology, doing an outdoor water top projection, and putting a canoe in a fountain – all at the same time.”
The canoe and the water top projection are part of the special exhibition by Featured Artists Lisa Birke and Terrance Houle. Different Ways is a collaborative multi-disciplinary, multi-media, community engaged project that weaves together new and old art forms to reimagine first encounters and to explore contemporary relations between settlers and the Indigenous community. The exhibition will be presented in the Richmond Art Gallery for a limited two-day run, with live performances starting in the gallery at 8pm each night, and an artist talk at 4pm on Saturday, September 1.
An award winning video artist, Birke examines ‘self’ by situating in spaces of liminality whilst dismantling notions of femininity. Houle, born and raised in Calgary, is a proud member of the Kainai Nation. He explores his identity and ways of knowing through interactive performance, photography, video and print media . Created in collaboration, Birke and Houle’s Different Ways carves out new space for a conversation around regenerating the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities while simultaneously acknowledging and honoring the land.
A cross country initiative, “this project takes to heart the call to action for all Canadians to begin a conversation—to listen and to learn—in a bid for reconciliation” said Birke and Houle. “Through ceremony, music, live performance, animation and innovative projection, we are exploring the slippery and unsteady understanding of our shared history and stories at events and festivals across the country, in an effort to demonstrate how dialogue and reclamation can steady the course in Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations.”
In addition to honouring Indigenous culture, the Digital Carnival programme seeks to create space for other diverse voices. “Cinevolution’s goal has always been to foster intercultural dialogue through immersive, artistic experiences beyond the borders of language” said Artistic Director Lynn Chen. “This means being intentional about including and inviting diverse artistic voices, as well as making the event accessible for all members of the community.”
Digital Carnival takes place from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1. Admission is free!
Digital Carnival 2018: AIR is a Cinevolution Media Art Society co-production with curator Wynne Palmer.
Cinevolution wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Richmond World Festival, Richmond Art Gallery and VIVO Media Arts Centre, without which this year’s Digital Carnival would not be possible. We also wish to thank all of the participating artists and festival attendees who choose to share this experience with us year after year.