Emotional robots and sensual machines at the sixth Device_art Festival of art, robotics and new technologies

“Everywhere it is machines and machines are not alone.” This powerful statement from curator ZHANG Ga is at the heart of the upcoming sixth edition of Device_art festival and it’s large central exhibition Machines Are Not Alone. The exhibition opens on December 18th 2018 in Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb at 7 p.m., and it stays opened until 3rd February 2019. With 21 exhibited artworks by 25 international artists, it represents an in an attempt to map out the activities of contemporary machines and their cohabitation with humans in our contemporary society.

"We have initiated the Device_art festival 15 years ago as a project dealing with technological devices, machines and robotics in contemporary art. A lot has changed since that time. The complexity of the of the theme of technology in art and life has become truly vast - as well as the number and the quality of artists on the international scene engaged with this theme. The topic is handled in fascinating ways: through large, complex projects, research verging on science ∫ction, futurist and dystopian visions, elaborated theoretical concepts that analyse and illuminate the relations between machine, man, society, politics and nature."

The central event of this year's Device_art festival is the 1500m2 exhibition Machines Are Not Alone at Zagreb's Museum of Contemporary art. The artworks represent top quality contemporary artists engaged with topics of technology, robotics and machines, artificial intelligence and cybernetics. Rooted into the local community and environment, the exhibition reflects the idea of machinic ecology - a worldview of unity which endorses giving every thing its due place as equally significant and worthy with respect and care. The production scale of this years exhibition places the event among the most significant cultural programmes in Croatian contemporary art in the past 10 years, establishing the position of Zagreb and Croatia on the global artistic scene

Zagreb will therefore host some of the top new media artists from all over the world, such as Ralf Baecker (Germany), Martin Howse (UK), Marnix de Nijs (The Netherlands), Ief Spincemaille (Belgium), Navid Navab (Canada/Iran) and Wang Yuyang (China). The exhibition will also present the large Empathy Swarm project that will in its finals stage consist of 100 interactive robots reacting to human emotions. The artists working on this fascinating project are Adam Donovan (Australia/Austria) and Katrin Hochschuh (Germany); they have been building the robots during a three-month residency in Zagreb and with the production support of KONTEJNER. The exhibition also presents the works of Croatian artists Silvio Vujičić, Mirjana Vodopija, Tin Dožić, Siniša Lordan and Vladimir Novak.

Panels on art, technology and society

The discoursive programme of the festival consists of four thematic panels on art, technology and society: Short circuit, Postmordial Swamps, Autonomous relations and Technomitologies. This one-day programme takes plaxe on December 20th from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. The panels present eleven artists presenting at the central exhibition - the programme is open for public and the entrance is free, with a concert of the band Transonik at 9 p.m. and drinks and mingle with the artists powered by DJ Borovich.

Festival programme for all ages

During the festival, Zagreb will become the largest regional meeting place of creative people, artists, engineers, scientists and technologists. The Festival will offer numerous attractive events for all ages, from the lecture of our well known entrepreneur and innovator Mate Rimac, afterparty of the exhibition Machines Are Not Alone at the Podmornica club in Katran complex with DJ duo Blažević & Боровић, a concert, education for artists and citizens and cinema programme. The programme also brings five live performances on Saturday 26th January 2019 at Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb when the festival will host young emerging european artists of our Future DiverCities Lab. Our youngest visitors will enjoy numerous workshops on the topic of robotics and technology as well as relations between ecology and technology.

Device_art festival in Rijeka and Split

The festival warm-up already begun on December 7th in Split with performances and workshops at the Youth Centre, while the programme in Rijeka at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is the extension of the Future DiverCities Lab programme in Zagreb and is scheduled for January 29th, presenting Norvegian artists Mathias Loose, French artsits Valentin Durif, Lucas Paris and Elio Libaude and the Dutch/Norvegian artist Jiska Huizing.

Open hours for the exhibition Machines Are Not Alone is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday besides Monday. Admission is 30,00 kn (20,00 kn for students and citizen groups, 15,00 kn for student groups). Each Saturday at 4 p.m. free gudied torus are organized for the visitors, in Croatian language.