KIBLIX 2020–2021: Virtual Worlds Now
International Festival of Arts, Technology and Science
Dec 2020 – Dec 2021
Curators: Živa Kleindienst, Tadej Vindiš, Peter Tomaž Dobrila, Aleksandra Kostič
Design: Dorijan Šiško
In line with Kibla’s long-term research focus on Extended Reality (XR) technologies, and considering that 2020 and 2021 were the most “virtual years” to date, KIBLIX festival curatorial team consisting of Živa Kleindienst, Tadej Vindiš, Peter Tomaž Dobrila, and Aleksandra Kostič, examined what are the virtual worlds now?
This is not the question of technology as magic, but the critical evaluation of the intersections and disconnections between the virtual and the physical. On one side, we are faced with a persistent ambition of industry towards persuasive technologies, designing the virtual to fully assume, control, and subsume the physical, while on the other, we are constantly needing to mitigate technological incompatibility with the physical as such. KIBLIX 2020–2021 therefore placed the experience of the human at the centre – with their material limitations and socio-political conditions of the body – while understanding the virtual environments as spaces for speculative realities, variable identities, and ever more acute social transformations.
The KIBLIX 2020–2021 took on a new COVID-19 hybrid form with a year long programme, from 24 November 2020 onwards, and throughout 2021. The festival’s program concluded with an international group exhibition in the largest independent exhibition space of contemporary art in Slovenia, KIBLA PORTAL. Alongside the artistic projects presented at the physical exhibition, the program included thematic panels, seminars, workshops, audio-visual performances, Slovenia Global Game Jam, and other virtual activities.
The material on this page is courtesy of ACE KIBLA.
The international group exhibition in KIBLA PORTAL, which was on display for 6 months, presented a critical overview of contemporary virtual spaces through 19 innovative artistic research projects in the field of the latest virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies.
The exhibitors included Lu Yang, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Fabricant, Marco Donnarumma, Pete Jiadong Qiang, Total Refusal, Tanja Vujinović, Untold Garden, Emir Šehanović, ATOM-r & Abraham Avnisan, Daniel Hanzlík, Compiler, Dorijan Šiško & Sara Bezovšek, Weronika M. Lewandowska, Tony Oursler, Mark Farid and Tadej Droljc, amongst others.
KIBLIX 2020–2021 thematic panel discussions were curated to engage with topical debates surrounding contemporary virtual worlds and their relational ecologies. A series of ten panels, which streamed live through the festival’s online platform, brought together artists, curators, professionals, technologists, academics, and industry experts, to discuss questions surrounding digital intimacy, XR storytelling, the preservation and substitution nature, the cultural heritage and the future of museums, digital art market, algorithmic decision making, the carbon footprint of digital infrastructures, and the question of our future through sustainable technologies.
The panels were moderated by Ghislaine Boddington, Régine Debatty, Mila Askarova, Dr Victoria Vesna, Dr Kaja Antlej, Žiga Pavlovič, Gaja Mežnarić Osole and Peter Tomaž Dobrila.