MFRU – The International Festival of Computer Arts with the longest tradition in Slovenia, organized by MKC Maribor – Youth Cultural Center Maribor, proudly represents itself in this year’s 19th edition. By opening space to computer arts and attracting a wide specter of interdisciplinary guests, MFRU provides for appropriate localization of digital and intermedia arts in the local environment. Jointly with Multimedia center KIBLA and its festival KIBLIX, likewise present for the 12th consecutive year it is paving the path of progress in the fields of new media development and interconnection of various artistic and technological disciplines. The result of this cooperation is a common platform for art, science and technology MFRU-KIBLIX, founded in 2010.
This year, the festivals are taking place in the common area of a deserted textile factory at Valvasorjeva 40 Street, Maribor, at the KIBLA Portal.
The integrative denomination of the festival MFRU-KIBLIX2013: “When Worlds Collide” derives from the 1951′s classic science fiction movie of the same title. The symbolism of the movie emphasizes division, the paradox of a gap between the developed and underdeveloped Third World. Respectively, MFRU-KIBLIX2013 symbolizes the living nature, reality in which we live in and is closely tied to and dependant on the swift development of science, technology and consequently art, making it impossible for us to keep up with it promptly.
MFRU-KIBLIX2013 “When Worlds Collide” represents a bridge between the theoretical and practical content of intermedia arts, associating them with digital media, scientific achievements and technological novelties. It stimulates interactive cooperation of different approaches to digital arts, as well as their integration into practical, namely productive and pedagogical environment. Computer art is the founding stone of new media, signifying that a computer is becoming a tool, whereas an artist still remains a creative producer.
But is it really so? Or is it just the other way around? Intermedia and computer artists in Slovenia and across Europe showcase various intriguing approaches to the subject. The festival enables the annual promotion of contemporary artistic-programming orientation, with its global impact being fortified by modern technology; therefore, the festival’s implication as an incubator of upcoming, mostly Slovenian young artists, is of a particular importance, as it contributes to fulfilling a loophole in Maribor’s events and strengthens its reputation of a European festival city.
Lack of time and more so opportunity prevent us from autonomously keeping pace with technological progress of institutes and research organizations. That is why this festival is a unique opportunity to become familiar with at least one part of this progress, which demonstrates itself through artistic approaches towards new technologies and through creative use of computers. Artists are visionaries, striving to be one step ahead in the future, while still reflecting and commenting on current society. Consequently, they are developing interactive installations and robots, executing experiments with modern technology, printing 3D objects from highly diverse materials, both natural and unnatural. Interdisciplinarity of science, technology and art therefore goes hand-in-hand with the development of transdisciplinarity – integrating modern concepts which call for joint collaboration of the previously mentioned operators in order to be understood.
This year’s festival events are aiming to address two fundamental viewpoints – the artistic and educational modules; by doing so, they are following the basic scope of interdisciplinary networking, which is essentially connected with research, education and perceptivity of artists participating from different locations; the latter, due to their own artistic creativity, are continuously and ceaselessly improving, upgrading and perfectioning their knowledge, while progressively extending the framework of their formally attained educational level.
The educational and pedagogical approach of the festival targets at pupil and student population, aiming to include elementary and high-school pupils as well as students. The formal educational system’s orientation still remains prevalently unilateral and insufficiently interdisciplinary, thus confined to the narrow domain of its own scientism which, in this global era, is melting away its paraffin-coated wings. Educational system is stubbornly holding onto the notion that excessive use of computers and modern appliances is dangerous; in this regard, we wish to underline the simple fact that the same rule can be applied to each and every field of human activities.
When worlds collide, new worlds are born: Festival activities section will take place between 6th and 9th of November; it will consist of workshops held by mentors, professors of robotics, electronics, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as students, pupils and artists themselves. Workshops’ final panels, discussions, presentations, artists’ talks and lectures will also be conducted, in addition to presentations of an Israeli student campus and of students from Faculty of Education Maribor, department of Fine Arts, in cooperation with students of Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Maribor.
MFRU-KIBLIX2013 will also be accompanied by an exhibition of artistic worlds of Maša jazbec, Eva Petrič, Zoran Srdić Janežič, Tiago Martins, and by works of Saša Spačal, Maja Smrekar, Kathy High, Dragana Sapanjoš, Robertina Šebjanič, Ricardo O’Nascimento, Theresa Schubert and Oscar Martin, which will all be on display until 25th of November 2013 at the KIBLA Portal.
Vojko Pogačar’s exhibition From 2D to 3D features an overview of computer science development, starting from graphics and moving towards 3D printing; an upgrade of the latter is a joint performance by Jože Slaček, the conceptual father of the MFRU festival, and Primož Oberžan, musician and artist. In collaboration with Ortotip enterprise, they will carry out a 3D printing concert.
Finally, a Gaming Lounge and daily DJ and VJ performances will enrich the festival as well, bringing a more relaxed ambience to the vibrant venue.