This week Editor-in-Chief Rob Alderson explains why the most interesting creative festival almost certainly isn’t the one you think it is. As ever you can throw your thoughts into the mix using the discussion thread below…
Think of the ingredients that go into producing the perfect cultural coming-together. Cutting-edge creative practitioners? A diverse programme? Affordability, and stemming from that, a genuine mix of attendees? An ambience which combines socialising and opportunities to meet creative minds you admire?
Put these factors together and you’re getting pretty close, but I’m not talking about that event you’re thinking of. Nope, nor that one. The best match on this list of criteria is to be found in the perhaps unlikely setting of Belgrade, where every spring for the past couple of years the digital art festival Resonate has brought together artists, designers and educators to, “participate in a forward-looking debate on the position of technology in art and culture.”
This year’s line-up boasts the likes of Fabrica’s Dan Hill, Semiconductor, Jonathan Puckey and Luna Maurer of Moniker, Rhizomatiks, Aaron Koblin, Universal Everything and Yuri Suzuki. But above and beyond the great speakers, Resonate’s organisers work hard to ensure that the range of activities on offer are varied too; ranging from talks, screenings and panel discussions to workshops, performances and even collaborative projects initiated by Resonate themselves.
This isn’t just a talking shop; this is a living working exploration of the ideas being espoused from the stage. And herein lies an exciting new direction for these kinds of conferences, where meaningful participation is as important as exposure to the wisdom of the leading practitioners.
Carl Sagan said: “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.” What Resonate does is nurture and develop this enthusiasm; not in a bandwagon-jumping-wait-is-science-hip-now? type way but in an exciting and engaging context.
I’ll leave the last word to a colleague who attended last year: “Belgrade is an amazing city; the Serbians seem to live on a diet of meat and beer.”
Roll on Resonate 2014!
- Wrap up warm with this week's Best of the Web
- This is Jane: a charming photo series that displays the empowerment of women
- Brooklyn-based illustrator Aaron Fernandez’s fluorescent editorial commissions
- London-based designer Laura Jouan’s well-considered, monochrome portfolio
- Join Jonathan Barnbrook, Maisie Willoughby, Wallace Henning, Anna Lomax and Jess Bonham at Nicer Tuesdays December
- Legs 11: artist Alfie Kungu’s comically long-trousered figures
- Wes Anderson directs H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody
- The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s Railfreight
- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
- London’s first crisp restaurant, Hipchips, launches with branding by Ragged Edge
- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich