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  • HSE Art and Design School to Present Its Programme at Ars Electronica Festival

HSE Art and Design School to Present Its Programme at Ars Electronica Festival

Xtal Castle

Xtal Castle
© Katya Pravda (HSE Art Gallery)

From September 8 to 12, 2021, the HSE Art and Design School will present projects that examine the topics of online privacy, attention deficit disorder in the digital environment, the perception of the human body, and ‘dark ecology’. The programme includes performances, interactive art exhibitions and a roundtable discussion on the theoretical understanding of digital transformations of culture.

Ars Electronica is an annual exhibition of achievements in arts and technology that has been held in Linz, Austria since 1979. In 2020, the festival went international and is now held in dozens of cities across the world both online and in person. This year’s theme of ‘A New Digital Era’ is a call to rethink the foundations of the new digital world—or what is traditionally considered the ‘digital world’.

Tatiana Rivchun

‘At HSE University, we are always looking to expand the boundaries for our students and colleagues. We are creating an intellectual environment for expression, creativity and projects that use the languages of sound, visuality, moving imagery, gesture, digital code and so on. Our goal is to keep creating these new languages, to study and teach them, to better understand the universe and interact with it through the arts, design and new media,’ commented Tatiana Rivchun, co-founder of the HSE Art and Design School and Deputy Dean of the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design.

The projects featured in the festival are grouped by geographical origin and are called ‘gardens’. A garden (be it Moscow, Beirut or London) is a metaphor for a creative ecosystem made by each participant. The HSE Art and Design School’s garden includes seven art projects and a roundtable discussion.

Transprivacy is a speculation game that tasks users with defending their stolen social media accounts, while the Snowcastles project helps to vent annoyance from online procrastination amid looming deadlines. Visitors of HSE Garden Pavilion will also be able to look into a digital castle created by artist Katya Pravda, visit an auction of artworks created by a character from The Sims, travel around Sonic Portals—a virtual environment that uses sound to change perceptions of the digital environment—and try many other things. The programme will end with a roundtable discussion of the transformations of digital culture with participation from experts in media history, contemporary art semiotics, game research, and digital art and design.

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