Vector Festival 2020: Online Edition

imageVector Festival 2020. Design by Emi Takahashi and Rebecca Wilkinson.

Vector Festival 2020
Online Edition
July 16 – 23, 2020

InterAccess is pleased to announce the full program for Vector Festival 2020: Online Edition. This year’s festival, curated by Katie Micak and Martin Zeilinger, is the expression of our efforts to respond – rapidly and in real time – to the emergent impacts of the pandemic and the globally enforced cancellation of many cultural events.

Featuring the work of more than 6o artists, the festival features a diverse mix of media art that includes digital artworks, live-streamed performances, video games, panel discussions, participatory workshops, and screenings. This year’s programming is resonant with themes of solitude, distanced interaction, digital art-making and curation, and the many new forms of community, solidarity, and care spawned by the challenges and promises of the current moment.

Vector Festival will launch on Thursday, July 16 with the release of our flagship exhibition Online is the new IRL on our new online platform. The exhibition encompasses interactive artworks, art games, video works, web tool hacks, and artist studio live streams by Hiba Ali, Jennifer Chan, Ronnie Clarke, Hilarey Cowan, Thirza Cuthand, Maya Ben David, Steph Davidson, Hannah Epstein, Jord Farrell, Dimitris Gkikas, Milumbe Haimbe, Fay Heady, Amay Kataria, Samuel Kiehoon Lee, Gina Luke, Ben McCarthy & Cale Weir, Amelia Merhar, Roberto Santaguida, Juli Saragosa, Jordan Sparks, Lee Tusman, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Qirou Yang. While not every artwork featured in the exhibition was created in direct response to the pandemic, what unites them all is their resonance with themes such as digital connectedness, overcoming isolation, and building and maintaining virtual relationships.

This year’s festival features a robust program of live-streamed performances. To celebrate the festival’s opening night, artist collective Tough Guy Mountain (Cat Bluemke, Jonathan Carroll, and Iain Soder) will present the VRChat performance Intern Purgatory: A Covid-19 VRChat Story. On July 17, Justin Massey will deliver False Positive, a musical performance remixing recordings of IRL performances and collaborations with computer generated audio and visual elements. The following night, on July 18, Olivia Shortt will present ishkwe-ayi’ii, an installation and performance that looks at the global climate crisis through an Indigenous lens and asks—is the apocalypse coming for humanity if we don’t fix this soon? Keiko Hart will lead two back-to-back virtual life drawing sessions, is this real life drawing and unstill life drawing, on July 19, followed by the participatory Twitch-streamed audio/visual performance Luna with visuals and violin by Meghan Cheng and cello by Cheryl Ockrant.

Over its seven day program, Vector Festival will present discursive and instructional workshop sessions including “A to Z Experimental Chatroom” by Xin Xin, “Resistance Strategies in the Age of Surveillance” by María Angélica Madero and Joselyn McDonald, “Fermenting a Revolution” by Ashley Jane Lewis, “Making Meme Art On Your Phone” by Fallon Simard, and “A Queer Guide to GIF-Making” by Alex Jensen. Additionally, Meagan Byrne will lead the panel discussion “You Need Protocols: Working with Indigenous Culture in the Digital Realm”, with artists Elijah Forbes and Taylor McArthur.

Festival events will be hosted on a new, custom built online exhibition platform designed by Toronto artist Jordan Shaw. Using real time data visualization, the site translates the excitement and energy of the festival experience into the virtual sphere.

All Vector events will be presented for free or pay-what-you-can to encourage wide participation while creating new opportunities for community engagement, exploration, and learning. Visit vectorfestival.org to view the full program.

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About the Curators

Katie Micak has a multifaceted arts career with a focus on emerging digital art practices. She is a co-founder of Vector Festival and of Toronto Kids Digital Festival and is currently the Exhibitions Curator and Residency Coordinator at the Living Arts Centre as part of the City of Mississauga. Micak designed exhibitions and presentations at The Phillips Collection (Washington), assisted at Art in General and the Moving Images Festival (New York), and Directed Spark Contemporary (Syracuse) and Propeller Gallery (Toronto). She holds an MFA from Syracuse University in Transmedia, and an MA from OCADU’s Digital Futures program.
katiemicak.com

Martin Zeilinger is based in Dundee, Scotland, where he works as Senior Lecturer in Computational Arts & Technology at Abertay University. He has been co-curator of Vector Festival since 2014, has joined the curatorial collective for Dundee-based NEoN Festival in 2019, and is a frequent collaborator of Furtherfield (London) and the Institute for Network Cultures (Amsterdam). Martin’s work focuses on critical intersections between contemporary art and emerging technologies such as AI and the blockchain. He is currently completing a monograph on artificial intelligence, posthumanist creative agency, and digital art.
marjz.net / @mrtnzlngr


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Vector Festival is a participatory and community-oriented initiative dedicated to showcasing digital games and creative media practices. Presenting works across a dynamic range of exhibitions, screenings, performances, lectures, and workshops, Vector acts as a critical bridge between emergent digital platforms and new media art practice.

Vector Festival is funded by the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

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Founded in 1983, InterAccess is a non-profit gallery, educational facility, production studio, and festival dedicated to emerging practices in art and technology. Our programs support art forms that integrate technology, fostering and supporting the full cycle of art and artistic practice through education, production, and exhibition. InterAccess is regarded as a preeminent Canadian arts and technology centre.

For press images please contact:

Megan MacLaurin
Programming Coordinator, InterAccess
art@interaccess.org