What actually is Art & Tech Days? What events does it include, who are its potential visitors and what fields does it refer to? In this article, we reveal a story and the background of a festival produced by the non-profit organization Creative Industry Košice, which connects the worlds of IT, culture and art. At the same time, it is a direct link to the city’s prestigious membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities network: Košice – UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. November 2020 will bring the fifth year of Art & Tech Days with the new topic of Human Responsibility. What are its best features and why should you attend it?
A unique festival of its kind in Slovakia connecting the worlds of technology and art
Art & Tech Days from Košice is an exceptional format on the Slovak market as it popularizes the topic of media art through several events that take place during almost one week in November. Thanks to the organization of the event itself, the awareness about new topics emerges, as described by Michal Hladký, the director of non-profit organization Creative Industry Košice (CIKE) and the face of the whole festival: “Art & Tech Days works on the base of interdisciplinarity – speakers of our conferences present digital tools in a different light. The primary function of the festival is, therefore, to educate participants or create a space where a dialogue about digital technologies is possible.”
Media art is a term that refers to artworks created using current technology. Disciplines such as literature, fine arts, dance and music performances that used to be clearly separated now use digital instruments and produce new forms of art. It is an unconventional, non-traditional form of art which reacts to the rapid development of technology in everyday life and its impact on society.
Presentation of top speakers from leading companies and organizations from around the world
Since 2016, thousands of visitors have attended the festival together with 78 speakers from 13 countries who gave their lectures on the topics of each year: Creativity – Technology – Art (2016), Design of non-traditional solutions (2017), Artificial Intelligence – Revolution happening now (2018) and Language and Communication (2019). In the last four years of this event, representatives of companies such as Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc., IDEO, Prezi, Medialab Katowice, WRO Art Center, Lava, Canal180, Kitchen Budapest, Pink of view, MATSUKO, Biela noc or Tatra banka. The fifth-year will focus on the topic of Human Responsibility – the ultimate responsibility of man for the impact, use and development of technology and its aftermath on humankind. Michal Hladký points out: “The aim of the event in 2020 is to raise awareness about the impact of technology on the planet. Digital reality was created by the man himself – we can consider mankind an absolute creator and ruler responsible for all the consequences in its usage. The human responsibility to planet Earth is, therefore, fundamental. That’s why we want to discuss the issues regarding the environment where people live and which they affect during the festival.”
A platform to create collaborations between the IT, culture and art sectors
Michal Hladký also mentions the unconnected worlds of culture and technology in Košice during the process of the Master Plan in 2012: “In the past and still nowadays, there exists this general feeling of a great potential of creative people who use and work with digital technologies, whether in the artistic sphere or otherwise. In our organization, CIKE, we believe that connecting people from the IT and cultural or artistic sectors can bring new products, innovative results. These can then be useful for the city itself or even, for example, other sectors such as healthcare, tourism, travel. We wanted to create a platform for such cooperation – it eventually became the festival Art & Tech Days where we want to point out the possibility of working together and emphasize the potential of contribution in other industries. Various collaborations with our partners such as DAAVS (Days of Current Audiovisual Meetings) led by the team of VUNU, T-Systems Hackathon, Košice IT Valley, Game Days by Game Dev Košice have already been established in the process of making the festival. This year we are hoping to work with AmCham Slovakia and Botanical garden of Košice.” Cross-sectoral cooperation is, therefore, one of the main reasons for organizing the festival. First and foremost, it is a physical space where creative people from different industries meet and, by connecting their professions, bring unique products.
A link to the international title of Košice from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
UNESCO Creative Cities Network is an international network of almost 250 cities from around the world. The project originated in 2004 by UNESCO organization to support several cities which consider creativity as a major factor for sustainability and urban development. Košice became part of the network in 2017 with the title Creative City of Media Arts. Creative Industry Košice manifests the prestigious title with the production of the media art festival Art & Tech Days, the fifth year of which will take place on November 24 – 29, 2020 with the topic of Human Responsibility.
A chance to get to know the city and its institutions in a different light
Art & Tech Days is not just an enlightenment of media art in eastern Slovakia – on the other hand, it is a great opportunity to get to know other buildings and venues of the city where individual events take place. Michal Hladký suggests that this city festival should, last but not least, have an urban character as well: “Every live performance, whether dance, music or otherwise, a lecture, workshop or conference is held at a different spot in Košice. Through various genres, visitors are introduced to the city’s premises – they wander and discover its face in a new light to which they are originally used to.”
6-day program dedicated to participants of all ages
The central conference of Art & Tech Conf and all the side events of the festival are designed for everyone who is interested in the world of technology and art. Above all, however, it is for people of all ages who like to broaden their perspective in the field of culture and new spheres that they are not familiar with. Creative Industry Košice selects the events for the program which may educate its visitors in other areas than those covered by the conference. Art & Tech Days presents a festival without limits – its goal is primarily to support education and cooperation between fields using digital technologies.
Only a few months left, November 2020 with the fifth year of Art & Tech Days – Human Responsibility will happen in the midst of fall. Save the date November 24 – 29 and stay tuned for more info through our website and social networks.