Media Art Experiments Take the Stage at VMU

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On Tuesday, 3 May, at 5 p.m., the international media art festival Media Art Days 2011 will open its doors at the VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53). Until 26 May, the gallery will serve as the location where all kinds of artworks – video films, installations, performances, campaigns, computer graphics and photography – by higher art schools’ students and lecturers will be presented.

The main idea of the festival is to form and make relevant the connections between art and technologies, among different forms of art creation. The organizers note that festivals of this kind are not frequent in Lithuania. "This festival is exceptional because, first and foremost, it is oriented towards students’ creations and the issues related to it. Every week the festival’s program is going to be updated with various experimental works and creative labs – we will seek to introduce the wide society of arts to the trends of contemporary media art which are prevailing not just in Lithuania but in other countries as well, at the partners’ institutions of art education", the curator of Media Art Days 2011, Remigijus Venckus, explained the details behind the festival. The festival Media Art Days 2011 is not restrained to a single setting. Throughout May, artworks will be exhibited in Kaunas city, at various places dedicated to cultural dissemination and education.

According to the festival’s curators, media art is gaining more and more significance in the 21st century. "Innovations in media culture, new means of communication have become relevant to daily self-expression of young authors. Union of new technologies and arts has emerged naturally, from the inner need for the perception and solidification of self-identity, from the environment we live in, its relation to technological progress and the creation of new norms of reflection. Media art phenomena and their progressive transformations require an active and creative participation from scientific and educational institutions", Remigijus Venckus said.

The idea of launching the international media art festival occured to Rimantas Plungė, Remigijus Venckus and Aritonė Plungienė, who are actively engaged in the development of media art education and curating. Over the last two years, they have held and participated in three art events in Vilnius, Kaunas and Telšiai. "These activities have received an especially large amount of public interest. It has been noticed that art lovers, participants of cultural events, young beginning artists still lack enough knowledge about media arts", Venckus said.

The festival, which is organized by the Dept. of Contemporary Art at the VMU Faculty of Arts (overseen by Rimantas Plungė, Remigijus Venckus, Romualdas Požerskis, Tomas Pabedinskas and Laima Penekaitė), will include participating students and lecturers from the Dept. of Contemporary Art at the VMU Faculty of Arts, the Estonian Academy of Arts, Norwich University College of the Arts (United Kingdom) and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA).

Program of the Festival

Tuesday, 3 May, 5 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

The opening of the Media Art Days 2011 festival and the introduction of the exhibition Experimental Spaces. Students’ performances: Give Freedom to the Artist (young artists of the university seek to attract attention to the phenomenon of the contemporary artist, his relations to social environment. By symbolic actions, the viewer’s attention is drawn to prohibitions and stereotypes as dangerous limitations on the creator’s self-expression and pursuit of creative freedom. The authors of the performance – second year students of New Media Art) and TEST (the performance will connect art with science and sound with vision. Sound-generated images of computer graphics will be complemented by a dance performed live, which in its arrangement will continue the illusions of reality generated by different media. The authors of the performance – first and second year students of New Media Art).

Wednesday, 4 May, 4 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Presentation of the photo artist’s Romualdas Požerskis’ works and a discussion.

Tuesday-Wednesday, 10–11 May
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

The laureate of the National Award, artist active in the global scene STASYS EIDRIGEVIČIUS will present his works and participate in a public discussion with the festival’s guests, the academic and cultural community and all public of Kaunas. More information about the meetings and the artist can be found here (in Lithuanian). 

Wednesday, 11 May, 4 p.m.
Kaunas Photography Gallery (Rotušės a. 1 / Vilniaus g. 2, Kaunas)

Video film viewing No. 1. Participants: students and lecturers from the Dept. of Contemporary Art at the VMU Faculty of Arts, the Estonian Academy of Arts, Norwich University College of the Arts and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Thursday, 12 May, 4 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Rimantas Plungė’s lecture-discussion The Landscapes of Media Art.

Tuesday, 17 May, 4 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Gintautas Mažeikis’ lecture-discussion Visuality as the Scheme of Desires and Fantasy Perception

Wednesday, 18 May, 4 p.m.
Kaunas Photography Gallery (Rotušės a. 1 / Vilniaus g. 2, Kaunas)

Video film viewing No. 2. Participants: students and lecturers from the Dept. of Contemporary Art at the VMU Faculty of Arts, the Estonian Academy of Arts, Norwich University College of the Arts and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Wednesday, 25 May, 3.30 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Remigijus Venckus’ lecture-discussion Soviet Lithuanian Amateur Cinema.

Wednesday, 25 May, 5 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Closing of the festival and presentation of exhibition REFLEKSIJOS (Reflections).

Thursday, 26 May, 5 p.m.
VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas)

Tomas Pabedinskas’ lecture-discussion The Medium of Photography.

Festival’s curators are thanking:

For all kinds of help and support – to the Vytautas Magnus University Rector Prof. Zigmas Lydeka, the Vice-Rector for Public Communication Prof. Auksė Balčytienė, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts Dr. Ina Pukelytė, the Chairman of the Kaunas Department of the Union of the Lithuanian Art Photographers Gintaras Česonis and the coordinator of the VMU Art Gallery 101 Dr. Daiva Citvarienė.

The curators thank the representatives of foreign higher education institutions – artists and art educators – for aiding in the preparation of this viewing: Prof. Shaun Camp (Norwich University College of the Arts, Great Britain), Prof. Raivo Kelomees (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn), Prof. David Helm (recommended the works by students from the USA), Assoc. Prof. Russell L. Nordman (member of the video artist’s Bill Viola’s creative team; the Dept. of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the USA).

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