Category: Festival/Fair

5 reasons you should attend the world’s first Robot Film Festival

This July 16th-17th, 2011, the world’s first Robot Film Festival will take place at the Three Legged Dog Art and Technology Center in New York City. The event was created by roboticist Heather Knight, who is currently conducting her doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute while running Marilyn Monrobot Labs in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art.

Last year, Knight worked with Syyn Labs on OK Go‘s famous viral video This Too Shall Pass. “I realized how incredibly talented entertainers are at engaging and touching an audience. They know how to craft a story that will go viral. Meanwhile, as engineers and roboticists, we’re good at packing something together and making something work. It seems like a perfect marriage to combine those communities for inspiration and the ability to follow through,” says Knight. Knight (pictured below) hopes the festival will inject a sense of playfulness into traditional science and engineering, while exploring new frontiers for robotics before the technology is even possible.

Out of 74 films submitted, 53 were accepted. Criteria included relevance to robotics, storytelling, length, depiction of interaction between robots and people, overall entertainment value, inspiration of future technologies, creativity and robot design. The two-day celebration of robots is a red carpet event complete with cocktails, photo ops and technology-based art installations cherry picked from the NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Dress is black tie and robots are encouraged to sport sequins.

5 reasons to attend:

Read the complete article at TNW.

Layar Invades the 2011 Venice Biennale!

The 54th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition opens tomorrow, and just in case you’re not familiar, it has been among the top cultural events in the world for over a century, specializing in the avant-garde and showcasing the latest trends in contemporary art. With an historically “high art” reputation like that, it’s practically begging to be co-opted by guerilla Layar ARtists.

So if you make it out to Venice this weekend, or at least before the end of November, here are a few art installments that only the “Layar elite” can see:


Bjork Explores The Relationship Between Technology And Nature

Taking place at the end of this month is the biennial Manchester International Festival in Manchester, UK. It’s relatively new in terms of festivals, kicking off in 2007, and features a mix of performing and visual arts, with some popular culture thrown in for good measure. This mixing of pop and art creates a strange brew. This year you can see Marina Abramovic opposite William Defoe in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, then spark up a blunt, drink some gin and juice and go watch Snoop Dogg performing Doggystyle, perhaps finishing off with an opera about Elizabethan occultist and Renaissance man Dr. John Dee, with music composed by Damon Albarn fromBlur and Gorillaz.

But perhaps most interesting of all is Bjork, who’ll be coming back to the live stage and starting her Biophilia show, performing work from her new album Biophilia (the word means the affinity between human beings and other living organisms) along with her back catalogue.

Read the complete article at The Creators Project.

Filmmaking legend Bertolucci embraces 3-D

Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci was given the first inaugural lifetime achievement Palme D’Honneur award at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday for his ground-breaking epics, including 1900, The Last Emperor and Last Tango in Paris.

The 71-year-old director, whose health has been declining, was in a wheelchair when he was presented with the award for his life’s work. The directing legend had never won an award at Cannes before.

Read more at USA Today

ARE2011 Coming back to Santa Clara, California

The annual Augmented Reality Awards event, the Auggies, is coming back to Santa Clara, CA this year with an impressive lineup including Bruce Sternling, Will Wright, and many more.  With each team getting a mere 5-minutes to present their tools, it’s a high-adrenaline nail-biting event for presenters and attendees alike.

Read more at Vizworld

The Festival of Ideas: Keynote by Jaron Lanier and more

The Festival of Ideas starts tomorrow with events at the New Museum, Cooper Union Great Hall, Bowery Poetry Club, and other venues around the city. Here are a few highlights from a rich program of events that address urban development, art, architecture, and technology. Many downtown organizations are working together to imagine the future city:

The Networked City
Thursday, 7:00pm
Keynote Address: Jaron Lanier
$10. The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St. (between 3rd and 4th Aves.)
Author of the best-selling You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto, Jaron Lanier has long been associated with Virtual Reality research and founded VPL Research, the first company to market VR products. He has served as Chief Scientist of Advanced Network and Services and as Lead Scientist of the National Tele- immersion Initiative, a coalition of research universities studying advanced applications for Internet2. He has recently served as Scholar at Large for Microsoft and currently acts as their Partner Architect. Purchase Tickets.

Swiss Institute
Sunday, 12:00pm
Does Innovation Ask for Destruction?
495 Broadway, between Spring & Broome Streets
Tickets: $7. Limited capacity, please make a reservation beforehand at
The special talk, in conjunction with the exhibition “Under Destruction,” sheds light on the role of destruction in urban planning. The exhibition features twenty international contemporary artists contemplating destruction in today’s art.

Read more about the festival at Rhizome.

Feature: 3D craze sparks glimmer of hope at Berlin Film Festival

At this year’s European Film Market (EFM), 3D sales and new trends in cinema seem to be lightening the otherwise gloomy skies over Berlin.

The financial crisis over the past few years has had a colossal effect on the EFM, which is the first film market of the year and often sets the economic forecast for film buyers, distributors and producers alike.

The year 2009 was a very terrible year. People were hit with a tsunami, EFM director Beki Probst told Xinhua. “Of course we do reflect a crisis. Here in the market, it’s all about doing business. To do business you need cash.”

Probst has held the position of director since 1988. Under her management, the EFM has become one of the most important film markets in the world.

For Probst, it is no easy job to lure people to come out rain or shine when the market is not so stable. Still, she said, the skies appear to be clearing slowly.

“In 2010, we saw a shimmer of hope and optimism. After Berlin last year, at Cannes, Toronto and the U.S. film market, you saw the tendency for more stability in the financial sense,” Probst said.

This year the number of participators stands at about 7,000, with the increase in buyers’ numbers attributing to the jump. The registered number is 1,527, up from last year’s 1,365.

Read the complete article at

Art-house cinema in 3D to star at Berlin film fest

Art-house cinema in 3D, Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut and new thrillers starring Liam Neeson and Kevin Spacey will headline the 61st Berlin film festival starting Thursday.

A slimmed-down competition will see 16 films from around the world vying for the Berlinale’s Golden Bear top prize, to be awarded by a jury led by Italian-American actress and director Isabella Rossellini on February 19.

And at the event’s booming European Film Market where rights are traded, out-takes from a new movie made by Madonna are slated for a sneak preview, possibly in the presence of the pop superstar.

The festival will kick off with Joel and Ethan Coen’s reimagining of the classic Western “True Grit”, a US box office smash starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon that is nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

“Margin Call”, the feature film debut of US director J.C. Chandor starring Spacey, Demi Moore and Jeremy Irons and set at an investment bank at the start of the financial crisis, will launch the competition Friday.

“One of the trends that we tried to set this year was toward younger directors and more young female directors in particular,” festival director Dieter Kosslick, now on his 10th Berlinale, told reporters.

“We also wanted to discover new forms, which is why we opened up the programme to films made in 3D.”

After a rash of Hollywood 3D blockbusters such as “Avatar” and “Toy Story 3”, European auteurs are now discovering the artistic appeal of the format.

Read the complete article at