Cyfest, the Russian Festival of Art and Technology, organised by Cyland Media ArtLab in St Petersburg, is about to open its doors for the first time in Italy, in the city of Caserta. From 22 June to 1 July 2018, the Royal Palace of Caserta will host the final stage of the 11th edition of CYFEST (Cyberfest), a global touring event that started in St Petersburg (Russia), with events programmed in New York (USA), Beijing (China) and Brighton (UK).
Cyfest arrives for the first time in our country, in the “year of Russian culture in Italy”, building a connection between the State Hermitage Museum (the Cyfest headquarters in St Petersburg) and the Royal Palace of Caserta. In the baroque rooms of the royal apartments, art and technology merge in a unique exhibition curated by Anna Frants, Elena Gubanova and Isabella Indolfi. 13 Italian and Russian artists confront each other through interactive installations, kinetic sculptures, video projections and artificial intelligence.
In line with the theme of the 2017-2018 Cyfest, “Weather Forecast: Digital Cloudiness”, the exhibition in Caserta invites artists to address the influence of technology on life. Man has always tried to forecast and control meteorological conditions, which naturally represent an unpredictable metaphor for the future. In our contemporary age, however, man has surpassed Nature by altering, through irresponsible acts, the global climate itself and has thereby shaped the future. At the same time, digital technology is an omnipresent cloud, permeating and changing all aspects of social life, as if through Kantian lenses: from work to communication and from personal to intimate relations. We live in parallel worlds: in “private clouds”, “public clouds”, “community clouds” and “hybrid clouds”. Artists are the only individuals who consciously use digital technology, bending it to their needs and using it to answer their questions. Through these new technologies artists try to re-create, recuperate and elicit what is most profoundly human: doubt, feeling and emotion.
With the aim of promoting the interaction between new art forms and the most advanced technologies, CYFEST is organised every year by Cyland Media Art Lab, a NGO founded in 2007 with headquarters in St Petersburg and New York. During 11 years of events, CYFEST has created connections and cultural exchanges between Russia and the rest of the world, hosting 236 artists and 37 curators from the US, Germany, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Italy and the Philippines. CYFEST has also organised exhibitions in Moscow, New York, Bogotá, Mexico City, London, Berlin, Tokyo and other cities across the world, collaborating with prestigious partners such as The State Hermitage Museum, the Pratt Institute, Leonardo/ISAST and the NCCA in St Petersburg.
Cyfest, Reggia di Caserta, Italy, 22.06 – 01.06.2018
images: (cover 1) Invito (2) Elena Gubanova, Ivan Govorkov – Dialogue (3) Alexandra Dementieva – Sleeper (4) Anna-Frants – Number zero.