During the fourth edition of the FIBER festival, I was proud to call myself one of its ambassadors!
I wrote a Guide-to-FIBER for the Friday and Saturday program. A short introduction of the FIBER Festival's theme: PRIMA MATERIA:
"Three days filled with alchemical thinking and making in art, design and music! The fourth edition of FIBER Festival takes place from 11 to 14 May in Amsterdam and remains THE international hub for lovers and makers of innovative digital culture, audiovisual art and electronic music. FIBER Festival attracts over 50 participating speakers and artists, 2500 visitors and a wide selection of local businesses and organizations, who will gather in the city of Amsterdam. FIBER connects with both a local and international audience of young, professional creators and enthusiasts who are operating at the frontiers of digital technology, to create or encounter immersive and mind-bending experiences."
Sometimes, something brilliant hits you. In this case, it seems to be FIBER’s theme ‘Prima Materia’. They draw the comparison between contemporary art, music, design and the practices of alchemy. While diving into the list of speakers, exhibitors and music acts to prepare myself for the festival, the theme becomes more and more brilliant as I go.
Being a starting design researcher, I found a historical soul mate in the alchemist – they too practice the ‘mystical, irrational pseudoscience’ in times of changing eras.
I have a newfound frame for the pieces of my designer’s jigsaw puzzle and suddenly I am feeling like a new age alchemist.
I’ll enter the festival with a quest: finding my fellow new age alchemists! Friday’s focus: search for those that philosophize or go into the great detail!Cis van Heertum
I’ll start my festival with a crash course on alchemy by Cis van Heertum [bibliotheca philosophica hermetica], hoping she will be a helping hand in discovering what I could learn from the alchemists. Specifically, could she ease my troubled mind when it comes to documenting and communicating the processes and outcomes of my design practice? “Could Van Heertum ease my troubled mind?”
“Could Van Heertum ease my troubled mind?”
Parikka is one of those researchers that I somehow am not able to ‘grasp’ through the internet. So I’ll join his talk, curiously, hoping to hear some about what I came across while investigating his digital tracks. How does he think the material world influences the immaterial world and vice versa? (part of the work at his research office Archaeologies of Media and Technology (ATM)). What are his ideas on why media is billions year old? (from his book A Geology of Media) And how does he explain our insecurity about networks through the history of computer viruses? (his Digital Contagions book)
Ralf Baecker is a continuous must-see for me. I think this will be about the third talk I’ll attend from him, but it is a necessity. I often think, seeing his posts on Instagram, ‘what is this thing he is working on now?!’. His works dazzle me, and they only make total sense when he himself explains them to me.
Yoni van den Eede
For those who know a wee-bit about my graduation project ‘Disrupting Clocks’, Yoni van den Eede talks about very similar topics: philosophy of technology - how technology seems to have more existential impact on our lives than we might realize – and the influence of ‘efficiency’ that make us humans try to organize our daily lives in not-so-human ways. I am expecting exciting in-depth philosophical thoughts and some new views on the ‘art of living’!
Panel Artefact Exhibition
Already having planned when to ‘sneak out’ during the conference to have good and quiet look around the exhibition - its only a 15-minute walk from the conference location to the Looijersgracht 60 – I’ll prep myself by attending the panel discussion Artefact Exhibition ‘On Alchemy and Magic’. While being curious to hear about the artists' ideas about the festival’s theme, the most exciting to me is seeing moderator Karen Verschooren bringing three artists* together in one discussion.
*Femke Herregraven, RYBN, Tobias Revell & Natalie D. Kane.
Femke Herregraven's 'Rogue Waves' is one of the project at the exhibition.
To me, the music and perfomances track of the festival is just a matter of getting immersed. The easy thing on Friday is, I don't have to move! At the Brakke Grond I'll be waiting for the artists - amongst others Paul Prudence! - to show of their skills on stage. I believe tonight some of them are taking me off the world for a while... a good warm-up for Saturday's program at Shelter!
This article has been featured on FIBER's website, find the link here.