WSK AXIS 2017 Festival pushes for a new media community across Asia
Manila, Philippines—WSK: The Festival of the Recently Possible together with The Japan Foundation Asia Center and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts open deeper cultural exchange with an axis of exhibitions, workshops, fora, and concerts featuring contemporary Asian new media art at Manila’s creative hubs in a month-long tech arts festival on October 23 to November 4, 2017 at De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts.Artists from Japan and the Philippines will come together to showcase critical perspectives on how emerging artforms and innovative applications of new technologies can respond to the cutting edge of cultural and social thought.
Featuring interdisciplinary forms of media and art such as video, sound, robotics, computer-generated graphics, and performance, the exhibition INTERSTICES: Manifolds of the In-between explores the cracks of art whose nature falls between, rather than within the familiar boundaries of accepted genres or media, and the figurative gaps of the Philippine art scene. “The exhibition spread all over the hallways, foyers, and classrooms all over CSB-SDA, these non-traditional 'interspaces', act as a pop-up gallery where the usual exhibition spaces of galleries and museums are suspended. The choice of exhibiting instead within the crevices of a university building which includes a university gallery and a museum are deliberate,” WSK founder and artistic director Tengal Drilon said. The works range from Kurokawa’s vision of a molecular cloud data gathered by astrophysicists at the Research Institute in the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (CEA, France) as close as possible to the scientific truth using striking 3D representations of space. Ermitano’s vibrating cylinder of metal is a speaker the size of a small room that vibrates with the sound of the electricity coursing in the world is an animist meditation on electricity. Hisakado's installation, a collage of hundreds of small, circular mirrors shatter reflections of the gallery interior, offers odd structural soundscapes based on a grammar of the familiar.
The Japan Foundation Asia Center’s media project entitled ref:now—toward a new media culture in asia aims to showcase contemporary media culture and creativity through art, exchange, education, and collaboration, thus deepening the collaboration with WSK Festival this year.
Shining a spotlight on the creative scene in Asia against the backdrop of the region’s rapid development and advances in information technology, the project fosters dialogue and partnership across exhibitions, workshops, symposia and performances that introduce the innovative fusion of technology and art that is new media art, as well as trends in pop culture and music following the emergence of the Internet.
The ref:now project has aspired to cultivate new platforms for media culture in Asia in cooperation with festivals and events in ASEAN countries.
“The project introduces prominent examples of dynamic culture in our networking society as well as individual creativity that is strikingly synthesized with media technology. Also, this event in Manila will continue to the next stage, with an international symposia, exhibitions, and training program in Tokyo on February next year,” shares Director Hiroaki Uesugi of Japan Foundation, Manila. “Moreover, The mission of the Japan Foundation Asia Center aims to create a new culture and give back the results both inside and outside of Asia through communication and collaboration. Through this project we would like to promote the exchange and collaboration among media creators of next generation in ASEAN countries and Japan, resulting in the creation of a new culture in the field of Media Art.”
In partnership with leading Manila electronic music record label Buwan Buwan Collective and Tokyo-based Maltine Records, the Electronic Music Showcase X-POL at Club XX XX on October 28 showcases the latest sounds from dance to pop, chiptune and electronic music, with the Philippines’ top musicians as well as special guests from Japan.
A professor at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, one of the new festival directors Joee Mejias revealed that the partnership with Benilde was her attempt to expose students to other uses of new media. She recalled her conversation with Director for Center for Campus Art at CSB Gerry Torres. “Gerry Torres and I were talking about how we want the students in Benilde to explore possibilities of the medium. Through this event, we want to let the students see that they can make use of the skills that they have learned here to experiment and express themselves and contribute something new to the arts and cultural sector.”