. community —


New Media festival/conference 'ART + COMMUNICATION' + electronic arts
and media center E-Lab opening.

ART + COMMUNICATION was a 2 day event focusing on the relationship
between art and communication 22. - 23. November in Riga, Latvia,
located at Latvian Academy of Arts and in Performances & Art club
'Secret Experiment'.

Presented as part of E-lab's opening week in the baltic states, Art +
Communication was a major international 2 day festival of electronic
art. With a focus on the changing relationship between art and
communication, this event managed to be a landmark in the presentation
and discussion of technology in the arts in Latvia.

The festival centred on a conference with speakers drawn from an
international field of practitioners, thinkers, writers and polemicists
from art, communication, philosophy and cultural studies. The conference
provided a critical framework through which to explore questions around
the re-positioning of both art and communication within wider culture.
The theme was reflected in the site-specfic works on show at a number of
venues in central Riga and on-line project "Refresh" on the Internet.

Art + Communication incorporated the opening of E-lab a major
organisation in interactive artworks in Latvia.

The conference comprised of plenary panels for all delegates and a
number of smaller, practice based sessions including artists' talks,
resturants, parties and walks. Speakers included: Eric Kluitenberg,
Alexei Shulgin, Ando Keskyla, Heath Bunting, Rachel Baker, Diana
McCarty, Inga Steimane, Olia Lialina, Rasa Smite, Janis Garancs.

The event took place across a number of venues clustered in the centre
of Riga, offering a unique insight into the city and providing a
backdrop to the debates reflecting the shift from mechanical to
electronic culture. Art + Communication sought to locate recent
developments in electronic art and the current enthusiasm for
communication and technology in wider culture within the shifts in the
traditional opposition of "objective" communication and "subjective"
art. The event also sought to provide a meeting place between
disciplines and to be of interest to practitioners and theorists from
across the fields of art, pure and applied communication, history of
art, theory of science, cultural studies,electronic music, design and

Programmed by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smit for E-lab Productions.
Supported by Soros Foundation and the British Council.

E-lab is an arts organisation based Riga, Latvia that develops new
strategies with Communications artists for different contexts and across