• Opinion-lead
Opinion

Opinion: Why the most interesting creative festival is to be found in Serbia

Posted by Rob Alderson,

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!

comments powered by Disqus
Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. List

    In light of our recent changes and the launch of the new-look Design Observer, Rob Alderson reflects on design websites’ redesigns. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and we’re particularly keen to hear what you’re making of our new look!

  2. List

    This week James Cartwright wonders what the V&A is up to with its policy of “Rapid Response Collecting” and whether it really marks a shift in their curation policy. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  3. List

    This week Rob Alderson considers the aftermath of the disastrous Robin Thicke Twitter Q&A and wonders how it was ever signed off when what was going to happen seemed entirely predictable. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  4. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what makes a good group show. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be, or are they poised for failure? Tell us what you think of them and which you’ve been to that were especially brilliant or terrible in the comments section below.

  5. Main

    This week online editor Liv Siddall wonders if anyone actually enjoys the huge amount of wacky summertime events that are on offer in London. As always your comments and opinions are welcome below.

  6. Main

    This week, editor Liv Siddall gets excited about the upcoming ELCAF festival in London, and tells you all sternly why YES it is very important that we keep going to live events surrounding graphic arts and comics.

  7. Top

    This week Nat Hunter, director of design at The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) and a trustee of D&AD, welcomes awards being given to projects that make a real difference. It might mark, she believes, a fundamental shift in the design world. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below.

  8. Main

    This week our Editorial Assistant Madeleine Morley reflects on her four weeks at It’s Nice That but wonders if the fast turnover of creative content online is really a good thing. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to join in the conversation below.

  9. Main1

    This week Apple turned down an application for an app that promotes female masturbation on the grounds that it’s inappropriate. Liv Siddall wonders whether, despite the criticism over the design of the app, that was really the issue here. As always, get involved with your own comments below.

  10. Opinion

    This week Rob Alderson looks at actors who were too good-looking for the roles they played and asks Hollywood to give viewers a bit more credit. As ever you can join the discussion below.

  11. Main

    Two years ago when this Opinion feature started, Rob Alderson wrote a piece about the rampant rise of the “must-see” culture; shows which the media’s frenzy makes you feel like you have to go and see. Hands up who found themselves queuing for the Bowie show at the V&A without knowing much more about him than just the chorus to Life on Mars? Me. Who queued bottom-to-crotch in the rain with about 1,000 grumpy pensioners to catch a glimpse of Hockney’s A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy? Also me.

  12. List

    We really enjoyed this year’s Pick Me Up festival (as you can see from our glowing review) but others were not so convinced. Here Lawrence Zeegen, dean of design at the London College of Communications, argues that the graphic art world needs a wake-up call.

  13. Main

    This week we are privileged to reprint some of the thoughts of branding legend Wally Olins, who died recently aged 83. Tributes poured in from across the creative industries after his death, made all the more poignant by the introduction to his book Brand New : The Shape of Brands To Come which was published only last month. He rounds off the book’s foreword saying: “I am writing about it all now, because I won’t be here to see it and listen to people telling me how wrong I was.”