Thinking and Tinkering
with art & technology
Les Voyages de Capitaine futur
THINKING AND TINKERING WITH ART & TECHNOLOGY
A project led by Cinekid [Amsterdam, Netherlends], La Gaîté Lyrique [Paris, France], KIKK [Namur, Belgium] and Woelab [Lomé, Togo]
Omnipresent and ever-changing, digital technology is changing the way we create, communicate, learn and work. Not only does digital technology offer new possibilities for connecting people, it is also vital to democracy, knowledge-sharing and our understanding of the world. Artistic practices and scientific advances are becoming more accessible and serving as catalysts for change that give rise to new perceptive, technological and political capabilities through investigation, experimentation and storytelling. The creative use of technology is broadening the horizons of generations growing up in our hyper-connected democratic societies.
The cooperation project
La Gaîté Lyrique, Cinekid, KIKK and WoeLab are joining forces to write the collective narratives of the digital age by using art to delve into our technological world. United in their creative and critical exploration of the complexity of the 21st century, the four partners are developing a European cooperation project featuring Capitaine futur, an imaginary character whose unifying journeys inspire children to discover present-day art and learn about new media.
Les Voyages de Capitaine futur approaches society from three different angles: it considers children as an audience in their own right, digital technology as a cultural discipline that merits study, and art as a laboratory for the future. A testing ground for artistic and educational content, the project calls on artist-researchers’ ability to weave tales, invent original forms and prepare for what is to come. The project encourages children and their guides – culture and education professionals – to think about their relationship with technology and expand their knowledge in order to confront the changes underway proactively.
Drawing from the teaching potential of media art and the possibilities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing offered by digital technology, Les Voyages de Capitaine futur has developed working and creation methods based on five pillars:
- The active participation of children, who will pass on future experiences and practices
- The creation of narratives about the world as a means to demystify its transformation
- Stimulation of all five senses in the discovery of our environments
- The importance of experimentation in the learning process
- The promotion of collaborative culture
A response to the societal need to instil technology culture from an early age, Les Voyages de Capitaine futur uses media art as a tool for emancipation, by helping to expand the artistic repertoire of innovative approaches to the visitor experience and developing creative learning environments. To reach these aims, Les Voyages de Capitaine futur is launching in june 2017 an international call for artworks and supporting the production of three original media artworks. Creation workshops will be designed in conjunction with the artworks as part of pilot classes in the four partner countries, and adapted into online tutorials so that they can be easily replicated. The cooperation project will share the Capitaine futur character under an open license and offer a unique narrative environment based on the theme Super-natural: stories of worlds yet to come.
The open call is closed.
Cinekid, la Gaîté Lyrique, KIKK and WoeLab are issuing an open call for proposals for the creation of three media artworks as part of Les Voyages de Capitaine futur, a European cooperation project supported by Creative Europe.
The march of technology continues to blur the lines between artistic disciplines. New interactive, tactile and aesthetic possibilities are emerging. Grouped under the umbrella term ‘media art’, these forms are expanding the definition of art to include practices that combine and transform prototypes, relationships, processes and resources. Media art bears witness to the monumental changes underway in contemporary society by harnessing the latest in research and technical advances, experimenting with and subverting technology that is still unstable in order to develop future practices and raise questions about those in use today. Les Voyages de Capitaine futur explores the artistic languages and creative processes that have emerged from media and the digital world. Digital technology is not only a technological tool; it is also a path to emotions, collective narratives, and knowledge.
Three proposals selected from the entries will be produced and exhibited at several international events, venues and festivals in 2018 and 2019 to a family audience.
The call for proposals is open to all artistic forms and practices that use, subvert, investigate and experiment with media in a critical, creative and sensory way, including the fields of artificial intelligence, art & science, robotics, bioart, biohacking, machine learning, smart objects, up/recycling, interactive design and speculative design.
The call is international and open to all artists.
Theme: “Super-natural: stories of worlds to come”.
The theme invites artists to offer their perspective on the technological, dematerialized, complex environments and ubiquitous machines that have become natural elements in our lives. A host of singular species coexist in this new world: virtual animals, mutant plants, electronic viruses, insatiable computers, memory rocks, tentacular networks, autodidact algorithms, domestic robots, cybernetic forests and more. This organic, composite, living world requires us to rethink how we live, communicate and use our senses. To explore the transformations of our era, we need a plethora of new skills, freshly attuned senses, emotions and forms of thought outside the bounds of rationality. Is this an intermediate stage of natural evolution or a ‘big bang’ of singularities? What new configurations are in store? What tools must we craft to survive, experience, adjust to and negotiate these new types of coexistence?
Super-natural: stories of worlds to come aims to elicit poetic visions, narrative approaches and fictional tales that recount a land where humans are no longer central and undergo a metamorphosis upon contact with heterogeneous beings. We are entering an era of hybrid ecology: AI as landscape, networks as biotopes, data as organisms and media as humus. Where do we go from here?
- Open call launch: 20 June 2017 (online submissions)
- Deadline for submissions: 6 September 2017 at 11:59 pm - GMT +2
- Selection of three projects (feasibility studies and judging panel): September 2017
- Results announcement: October 2017 at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam
- Creation of artworks and residencies: October 2017-February 2018
- Exhibition of the commissioned artworks: April 2018-January 2019
The artworks will be created between October 2017 and February 2018. The artists and the partners will reach an agreement regarding the exact dates, based on an assessment of the projects submitted. The art installations must be completed by no later than February 2018. The artwork may potentially be created during a residency at one of the partners’ premises, pursuant to discussions between the artist and the partners. Applicants seeking a residency should mention so in their application.
The budget allocated for each individual work is €15,000, which includes the artist fee for creation and production expenses (technical materials), as well as the rights to use the artwork and its constituent parts for the duration of the project. The partners will provide technical guidance in line with the needs of each project, along with material and human resources and a limited accommodation and travel budget.
Exhibition of the artworks
The three co-commissioned projects will tour the partner’s venues and events:
- The Capitaine futur and the Super-nature collective’s exhibition, held at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, France, from April to July 2018.
- The Cinekid Film, Television and Digital Media Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as part of the ten-day MediaLab exhibition in October 2018.
- Little.KIKK, an event held in conjunction with the KIKK Festival in Namur, Belgium, for seven days in November 2018.
- One of the three projects will be exhibited at WoeLab in Lomé, Togo, in late 2018 / early 2019.
APPLICATION AND SELECTION
Applications must be submitted via the online form on the cooperation project website and will not be accepted if sent by any other means. To be accepted for consideration, the application must be submitted in English and include:
- the completed online form.
- a full presentation of the project in a single file, with the following items: an artist’s statement, visuals/diagrams, technical information, a project timetable indicating the various steps in the process (design, research-creation and production) and a detailed budget with estimates of the resources required.
- each artist’s portfolio and CV.
The applications will be judged based on three main criteria:
- artistic quality: the artist’s point of view, the explanation provided with the work, the narrative and aesthetic impact of the project, and the visitor experience.
- the relevance of the project to the theme, “Supernatural: stories from worlds to come”.
- the ability of the applicant to complete the project within the deadline using the allotted resources.
In submitting a proposal to the open call, the artist agrees to the following terms:
- The artwork is an original concept by the artist(s) and/or their studio.
- The artwork will be unveiled to the public as part of Les Voyages de Capitaine futur.
- The artwork is a functioning installation ready for presentation to a large audience at several events and festivals, which can be installed, taken down and shipped as needed.
- The artist is responsible for the use of any copyrighted third-party materials that are incorporated into the artwork.
- The artist is available during the proposed development period to create the artwork submitted.
- The artist is willing to travel to the exhibition locations to install and present the artwork.
- The artist will accept production assistance to ensure deadlines are met and the artwork is completed within the set budget.
- The artist will work actively with the partners at all locations to ensure that the exhibition of his or her work is executed smoothly from a technical standpoint.
- The artist will work independently on the main technical and creative aspects of the project and identify any outside skills needed (feasibility studies).
- The artwork will be sufficiently durable and reliable to withstand shipping and the large, enthusiastic audiences at each venue.
- The artwork’s visitor experience will be short enough to accommodate a high number of visitors.
- The artist authorises the partners to use images and visual materials provided in the submission for promotional, press and educational purposes.
- The artist will heed all requests from the four co-organising partners for press availability and promotional activities.
The artist must inform the partners if he or she needs space for a residency, in order to confirm availability.
Les Voyages de Capitaine futur is produced by Cinekid, La Gaîté Lyrique, KIKK and WoeLab, with the support of Creative Europe.
For all inquiries regarding:
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN
For the past 30 years, Cinekid has organised an annual film, television and new media festival in Amsterdam and 40 other Dutch cities, attracting 60,000 visitors to its market for professionals, conferences and masterclasses. At its MediaLab, Cinekid explores trends in audiovisual technology, art, games, writing and media, with a focus on anticipating future developments, uses and opportunities.
The Cinekid MediaLab engages children in active, creative discovery of media through exhibitions on topics at the crossroads of art, science and technology, which feature interactive installations, games, applications and workshops that offer a window into leading-edge research. Recognising the role of collaboration, technological chance and processes in learning, the MediaLab developed the “Art, Research and Development” (AR&D) module, which spotlights sector stakeholders, studios and multidisciplinary laboratories by inviting artists to create installations that share their research with a broader audience and taking part in a robust network of designers and organisations across Europe and farther afield.
HUB FOR DIGITAL CULTURE
La Gaîté lyrique is cultural institution in Paris that specialises in emerging forms of digital culture and the dialogue between art, technology, research and society. As part of a new generation of ‘third places’ for exploration , La Gaîté lyrique demystifies culture, technology and knowledge for adults and children alike.
La Gaîté lyrique organises exhibitions, concerts, conferences, projections and workshops – events that bring people together and chart a path through the complex flow of information and figures that make up our world. The institution approaches contemporary artistic expression from insightful, critical, offbeat and entertaining angles, as a means of thinking critically about the impact of technology and development decisions in our ever-changing society.
Education in digital technology is viewed as vital to empowering citizens at La Gaîté Lyrique, which explores thoughtful approaches to living, doing things together and confronting the changes at hand proactively.
FESTIVAL, CREATIVE PLATFORM AND FAB LAB
Creative, polymorphic and versatile platform, the KIKK association explores digital cultures. Founded in Namur in 2011, it is involved in building bridges and ties to the areas of arts, science, culture and technology. KIKK transforms and densifies space. With a free spirit and mad audacity, KIKK fits between technological innovation and creativity, and refreshes - in recess - the foundations of an economy to be reinvented. KIKK is a space ship which organises events, supports the production of artistic work and is involved in the emergence of new projects.
AFRICAN CENTRE FOR TECHNOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY
Founded in 2012, WoeLab is the first laboratory for social and technological innovation in Togo. Spearheading a network of local tech hubs at city level and West African Fab Labs, WoeLab promotes a collaborative mindset, facilitates collective action and incubates #LowHighTech technology accessible to the most disadvantaged segments of the population.
Replicable by design, WoeLab seeks to support and simplify disruptive technologies by advocating an economy of means and frugal innovation while encouraging younger generations to take advantage of peer-to-peer learning, knowledge transfer and pooling, open-source solutions, recycling and local creativity.
At the Woe-academy, the centre holds free weekly courses in programming, open-source technology and building computers. It also oversees a series of programmes for creating practical objects that can be 3D-printed, and brings together the maker community at the Boot(woe)Camp, an annual DIY event where participants explore low-cost technologies.
CREATIVE EUROPE PROGRAMME
Les Voyages de Capitaine futur has been granted two years of funding from Creative Europe (2017-2019).
Les Voyages de Capitaine futur is guided by an international committee:
Régine Debatty (Belgique)
Régine Debatty is a writer, curator, critic, and creator of the blog We Make Money Not Art, winner of two Webby Awards and Honorary Mention at the 2016 STARTS Prize, a competition that recognises “innovative projects at the interface of science, technology and art”. Régine is known for exploring connections between art, science, technology, and social issues in her writing. She writes and lectures internationally about the way in which artists, hackers, and designers use technology as a medium for critical discussion. She also created Artists in Laboratories (A.I.L.), a weekly radio program about the collaborations between art and science for Resonance 104.4 FM in London (2012–14), and is the co-author of the “sprint book” New Art/Science Affinities, published by Carnegie Mellon University.
Valerie Frissen (Pays-Bas)
Valerie Frissen is Director of SIDN Fund, a foundation that provides financial support to ideas and projects that aim to make the internet stronger or that use the internet in innovative ways. SIDN Fund aims to help increase the social impact of the internet in the Netherlands. SIDN Fund is an independent foundation established by SIDN, the foundation for internet domain registration in the Netherlands. In addition to her role as Director of SIDN Fund, Valerie is a professor of ICT & Social Change at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Daito Manabe (Japon)
Daito Manabe is a media artist, DJ and programmer. He founded Rhizomatiks in 2006, and since 2015 has worked with Motoi Ishibashi on Rhizomatiks Research, the company’s R&D arm. He also carries out collaborative projects with artists in various genres, making full use of programming and interactive design. In 2011, Manabe started to work in collaboration with the dance company ELEVENNPLAY to produce works using machine-learning technologies and computervision in order to devise new body expression, as well as other technologies such as drones and robotic arms.
Nick Pagee (Canada)
Nick Pagee is a designer and award-winning curator of interactive art, videogames, film and animation. Pagee has consulted on interactive art for the Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF (Canada), TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace (Canada), The National Videogame Arcade (UK), Spin Master (Global), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (USA), The Strong National Museum of Play (USA), La Gaîté Lyrique (France), The Walker Art Center (USA), The Rec Room (Canada), and more. He holds an MSc Interaction Design from Malmo University, and a BFA New Media from Ryerson University.
Sophie Pène (France)
Sophie Pène is Vice President of the French National Digital Council (Conseil National du Numérique, or CNNum). Pène is an active voice in the fields of social inclusion, digital literacy and the digital transformation of institutions. She recently took part in the French A.I. Plan led by CNNum and France Stratégie. A tenured professor at Paris Descartes University, Pène is a member of the National Academy of Tecnologies of France, the City of Paris’ Council for Future Generations, and the Grande Ecole du Numérique steering committee. She is also Co-Director of the EdTech Master’s Programme and Open Lab at the Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity.
Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou, founder