Touch Me Festival – Feel better!

December 18, 2008

Usually I don’t write here a sort of announcements for festivals, events and so… coz this is a cool blog not an info board…  seems like I’m ready to make an exception this time… And why is that?! Well, this is going to be a small confession on reasons why I actually started with blogging…

The reason why I started with blogging was the perception and media reaction after the Extravagant Bodies Festival which took place last year in December in Zagreb… The festival and symposium tried to present issues regarding disabled artists, particularly in the region, but with elementary international artworks from, let say, last decade…

Performance Art  ‘In Your Hand’ by Dash MacDonald (c)

Some people (journalists, critics, art historians…) heavily body build-ed an attitude sort of ‘we are going to be so cool and serious now, we don’t want to feel sorry for anybody, but to be realistic and objective’.  Well, it’s a trap. That’s exactly the reason there is a positive discrimination in the world… so, some people that I had a lot appreciation for their work (and I still have!), simply have fallen into that trap… by trying to be distant to the whole situation they got stuck into their own labyrinths, not very connected with the things that they previously have seen… and I realized that several days later when I was reading most of the time copy pasted texts from the festivals’ catalog… I mean, it really is a compliment to every organizer that the catalog was done great, but…

So, that’s the history of this blog here…

From War Games by William Linn (c)

The link that connects Touch me and Extravagant Bodies is the same curatorial crew, Kontejner. Kontejner was founded in 2002 with an aim to explore ‘intermedia and interdisciplinary art projects at the junctions of science, technology, live art, body art, hybrid and formally innovative usage of the media.’

They did remarkable thing with another ‘spin of ‘of their activities and that was the project Device Art. The first Device Art took place exactly four years ago, but that edition was more attached to and programming stuff. The second (2006) was oriented to DIY devices and robotics, but mainly trying to re-activate domestic and regional art scene to be ‘good and brave’ to do some stuff along this line, messin’ with technology and art, seriously and with an attitude.

Markus Decker & Dietmar Offenhuber (c)

Touch me is going to be irresistible this year, because it thematizes the concept of pleasure under slogan – Feel Better!

‘Touch me festival is still testing out how the individual can be bound into the network of mechanical, electro-mechanical, electronic and cybernetic aids and biotechnology, and the non-critical attitude of society towards ethical issues that the changes in contemporary technological reality open up. The topic of this edition of the international festival is related to the imperatives of happiness, pleasure and hedonism, and draws upon paradigms that explain how in the contemporary social and political system the issue of stability and control has been diverted from the area of power and repression to the area of happiness and fun. It starts off from the proposition that being down, gloomy, depressive, uninterested is equivalent to being socially unacceptable. Some of the pieces in the festival thus attempt to cheer the visitors up, to shift them into a state of short-lasting hedonism, provide them with all kinds of sensual and sensory pleasures, known and unknown.’ (Kontejner)

Massage Me by Mika Satomi & Hannah Perner-Wilson (c)

The programme is pretty cool for those hooked up to sound and more performative things (Dash MacDonald), but the exhibition will also give you a peek on ‘stuff from Linz’ and else, some classics… Markus Decker & Dietmar Offenhuber,  Food Hacking, Demitrios Kargotis, Dalibor Martinis, Material Beliefs, Monochrom, Satoshi Morita, Marnix de Nijs, Ana-Marija Pacek, Katarina Petrovic & Milan Nenezic, Mika Satomi & Hannah Perner-Wilson, Dorde Smajlovic, Kal Spelletich, Stahl Stenslie, Silvio Vujicic, Sonja Vuk…

Freaky Delicious by Food Hacking (c)

Symposium will host theoreticians and curators jointly with artists: Marc Powell, Honor Harger, Tobie Kerridge & Jimmy Loizeau, Stahl Stenslie, Mark Paterson and Todd McGowan…

Touch Me Festival – Feel better! from 19th to 23rd December in Zagreb.

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