ADAF_18th Athens Digital Arts Festival / FUTURETRO
25-29 May | Kotzia square | Building complex of former notoshome
Futurology as a science, is a branch of social studies, parallel to the field of History. Is postulating the probable, possible, and preferable scenarios and the worldviews for the future, also taking under consideration the beliefs and myths which imply them.
A precious instrument for this field has proven the art-genre of Science Fiction, from which one can easily ascertain that what begins as fictional, especially when it comes to a “ technological marvel”, can indeed become a reality in the future. Aeroplanes, Spaceships, Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Biotechnology, the Anthropocene era, are some of the ideas and notions that have materialized through science and technology after originally being fictitious mentions in fantasy futures or alternative realities of this art genre. Criticizing the route of contemporary and future society, Science Fiction and Futurology are often taking the form of contestation, while exploring the possible ramifications of innovation, in society, science and technology. With this quality they are capturing the “cultural wallpaper” and warn about its probable evolution.
“And because today’s real life so resembles day-before-yesterday’s fantasy, the old-time fans are restless. Deep within, whether they admit it or not, is a feeling of disappointment and even outrage that the outer world has invaded their private domain. They feel the loss of a ‘sense of wonder’ because what was once truly confined to ‘wonder’ has now become prosaic and mundane.”
- Isaac Asimov
Next to futurology comes the aesthetic movement of retrofuturism. Frequently emanating from dissatisfaction towards the present, retrofuturism is attempting a depiction of the future, as dreamed on at an earlier age, offering skepticism and implying the reevaluation of technological means. It explores the relationship of the past and the future, and in extension the impact of technology which appears sometimes alienating and sometimes empowering, through a nostalgic contrast. If futurism is characterised by the feverish anticipation of what will come, retrofuturism is the reminder of this anticipation.
“Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you.”
The international Festival of Digital Arts in Greece, Athens Digital Arts Festival has chosen the theme RetroFuture, with a retrospective mood for its coming of age 18th edition ADAF 2022. Taking on the occasion of the contemporary discomfort and scepticism over the present time, especially after the pandemic and economic crisis, the climate change e.t.c. The festival is turning towards science fiction and retrofuturism -as part of futurology- to see the technological milestones of today both through the eyes of the past, and as foreshadowing for the future. What was the past speculating about the technology of the present? How is retro technology being reused today in the section of art-technology and science? Will the contemporary cutting edge technology e.g. NFTs, AI, Contemporary Robotics, Biotechnology e.t.c be considered the retro of tomorrow? Are the current tech speculations such as superintelligence, 3D bioprinting , mind uploading, singularity, transhumanism e.t.c. the actual future? What will that mean for humankind?
We call for artists, scientists, intellectuals, technologist and every other creator to submit their applications to the respective categories, Installations, Video Art, Performances, Web Art, Animation, Digital Image, VR/AR, Games, Talks, Workshops, Music, Kids (which contains all of the above addressed to children) till the 1st of March. All applications will be considered for assemblage of the 18th edition, physical and online, which will take place in spring and fall 2022 respectively. The shortlisted artists will be notified via email for the status of their application and details regarding the possible presentation of their work in any or both of the festival versions.
“Join us, in seeing the future through the eyes of the past and the past through the eyes of the future…”