ARTEFACT festival: Up in the Air

ARTEFACT festival: Up in the Air

STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound

Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus D’Aspremont, 2012. Digital c-type print. Courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery.

January 29, 2016
ARTEFACT festival
Up in the Air
February 9–21, 2016
STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
Naamsestraat 96
3000 Leuven
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“We come out into the air, reaching for it and bring it inside. In a way, we become air-born(e) as soon as we leave the womb.”
–Peter Adey, Air: Nature and Culture, p. 45

“…our idea of the sky must be reconciled with what we do in it. Our actions there mapped and charted. The sky itself must be woven into the fabric of our societal sense of place.”
–Megan Prelinger, “Charting the Sky: On The Atmosphere Guide by Amy Balkin”

For Artefact 2016: Up in the Air, we turn our gaze up towards the skies. What does our sky consist of and which meanings does it bare? Which systems operate within and what are the legal frameworks that regulate this? How do we deal with this in a local/global context?

Artefact 2016 aims to investigate the poetic, political and economic parameters that guide our relation to airspace. The spiritual dimensions that seem to be closely related to an “up there,” the hopes and dreams for which we turn our gaze up, the attempts to understand the intangible and sometimes invisible stand in stark contrast to the more practical, political and economic approaches that organize and regulate our use of air space in areas such as transportation, scanning and surveillance and air quality control.

Commercial development of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and the lack of a functioning legal framework in relation to it has turned the topic of how to run airspace into a burning issue. President Barack Obama himself exemplified the not-in-my-backyard attitude beautifully when an UAV landed, well, in his backyard.

Up in the Air wishes to place these contemporary societal questions in a broader investigative context that brings forth our relation to airspace regardless of the technologies at hand.


Participating artists

James Turrell (United States), Paolo Di Trapani & CoeLux (Italy), Ief Spincemaille (Belgium), Frederic Geurts (Belgium), Rob Sweere (Netherlands), Berndnaut Smilde (Netherlands), Alistair McClymont (United Kingdom), Charlotte Charbonnel (France), Vincent & Lawrence Malstaf (Belgium – Belgium/Norway), Bilal Bahir (Iraq/Belgium), Sjoerd Knibbeler (Netherlands), Javier Pérez (Spain), Marije Baalman (Netherlands), Amy Balkin (United States), James Bridle (United Kingdom), The Center for Genomic Gastronomy (United States/Norway/Ireland) & Nicola Twilley (United States/United Kingdom) Alicia Framis (Spain), Laurent Grasso (France), Ruben Pater (Netherlands), Forensic Architecture (United Kingdom), Superflux (United Kingdom/India), Wesley Goatley & Georgina Voss (United Kingdom), Bigert & Bergström (Sweden) and Liam Young (Australia)

Artefact Music Festival
Lorenzo Senni (Italy), Hiele (Belgium), Hantrax (Belgium), Powell (United Kingdom), Fis (New Zealand), Sagat (Belgium), Kassett (Belgium), FilosofischeStilte (Netherlands), Nosedrip (Belgium), Samuel Kerridge (United Kingdom), Shapednoise (Italy), Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat (Belgium), William Basinski (United States), Amatorski (Belgium), John Bence (United Kingdom), Ansatz Der Maschine (Belgium), Christina Vantzou (United States), Rafael Anton Irisarri (United States), Peter Kirn (Canada), Darsha Hewitt (Canada)

Performances and lectures
Rodrigro Sobarzo (Chile/Netherlands), Vlad Ionescu (Belgium), Daniel Blanga-Gubbay (Italy), Bart Remes (Netherlands), Stijn Postema (Netherlands)


Expo guide / publication to download from from February 9, 2016

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STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
January 29, 2016

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