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Version>03 festival

Version>03 :: Digital Arts Convergence
Exploring the multitudes of technology / society / arts / activism and culture

March 26-30 2003 : :: Chicago

For its second annual festival of digital media arts, the MCA and Select Media examine two forceful trends, Globalization (the merging of economies) and Singularity (the adaptation of man to machine), as seen, created, and debated by programmers, artists, scientists, activists and critical thinkers. The five-day festival, Technotopia vs. Technopacalypse, brings together emerging and leading practitioners employing or responding to the latest advancements in virtual reality, robotics, biotech, and other such technology defining our time. The roster featured in concerts, films, installation labs, workshops, and panel discussions consists of proponents as well as critics of the latest developments.

Many believe the earth as a living system may collapse within the next few decades unless we take global actions at every level to bring in sustainable development and change the direction of the current dominating systems. Others believe benevolent applications of technology and science will save us from ourselves. And still others think the techno fetishization is a waste of time.

Version>03 will explore technotopian and technopacalyptic visions of the present and future through discussion, symposia, workshops, performance, installations, video and film screenings, and exhibitions. By examining practices, tools and ideas that direct us into the future, we hope to encourage dialogue, direction and action towards addressing real and speculative forces arrayed in the 21st century.

We will have conversations and investigations on topics identifying the technologies, cultures and economies affecting the creation of technotopian and technopacalyptic futures such as: wireless networks as strategic media; contestational robotics; new and old tools for radicals; tactical media projects; freenet open source cultures; fear and terror economies; resistant virtualities and global solidarity networks; security culture; robot armies and non-lethal weaponry; direct action strategies; parasitic media; genetically engineered foods; nano-technology; campaigning; tactical magic; technology and agriculture, and many other issues.

Projects to be featured at version>03 include:
tactical vending, freenetproliferation, gameboy music workshop, skillshare workshops, direct action workshops, experimental lectures, telepresence, virtual reality devices, streaming media workshops, surveillance practices, version>03 Video library, alt.space networking, power mapping and others.

This year Version>03 will take place at seven locations througout Chicago centering around the loop and the West Town areas. The central conference and performance program will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The MCA theatre program offers four days of musical performances, films, and a series of panel discussions. The Version Lab, adjacent to the theater, provides performance space for multimedia artists, video makers, and musicans. The lobby is transformed into an informational space for web installations and demonstrations by some of the best in the emergent media arts cultures.

As part of Version>03 the Chicago Cultural Center hosts Temporary Reconstruction Network Structure (TRNS), a thematic exhibition on the Singularity. The central component of TRNS is a series of immersive structures constructed using geodesic domes/pods. Supplementing these domes/pods are video projections, video and sound installations, sculpture, and robots. A film series runs during TRNS hours in the Claudia Cassidy Theater.

Alternative art/performance spaces, Buddy, Heaven Gallery, and Open-End Gallery as well as SAIC's 1926 gallery will host installations, events/performances and the 2nd Annual Cassette Jockey Battle. The Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois Chicago will be open to the public during the festival featuring works by VR artists. A free bike system will be available to visitors and attendees of version>03 for transport to and fro the locations of the festival. Mass transit also provides easy access to all of the facilities.

Selected programs of Version>03 are organized with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; the Department of Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC); the Visiting Artist Program at SAIC; Nomads & Homesteaders at SAIC; the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois Chicago; the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at Northwestern University; and the Block Museum of Art.

Four-day pass to panels, films, lectures, hands-on workshops at MCA $15
Each 8pm concert at MCA $15
Chicago Cultural Center and 1926 gallery programs are free to the public
Electronic Visualization Laboratory programs at the UIC are also open and free to the public
Version Evening events (after 9pm) are $5-10 at Open End, Buddy and Heaven.

Inquries regarding :
articles interviews and essays, web based works, film and video submissions are still welcome. A festival cd, dvd, and festival reader will be released during the convergence.

inquiries to ed marszewski ed@lumpen.com

materials to:
960 w 31st street
chicago ill 60608