Report from the international mixed media festival

Full house in Blekinge museum when Art Line and BTH event #MIXITUPFEST started Friday 24th of May.

During three days – and one night – Swedish city Karlskrona was the arena for mixing art forms and realitites, May 24-26. The #MIXITUPFEST with performances, art installations, marathon reading, seminar and workshops, enhanced the knowledge of the possibilities AR (augmented reality) now gives museum people aswell as curators and artists. Guests from not only around the Baltic but also around the world participated during the event. This was an arena where both scholars and artists met the public, all in the spirit of the Art Line project.

Maria Engberg at BTH made the keynote speech at the seminar on Friday the 24th.

The first event was a daytime seminar and workshops, Friday the 24th at Blekinge tekniska högskola BTH in Karlskrona where the concept of Augmented reality (AR) was explained, first and foremost by Maria Engberg of BTH (and Georgia Tech). After that, several examples of this were presented from representatives from the BTH, Malmö högskola and Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology). Presenters included: Melissa Foulger & Rebecca Rouse (Digital Media and Performance, Georgia Tech), Matthew Rouser (AR and Urban Space, Malmö), Daniel Spikol (Computer Science, Malmö University), Trish Harris (Curator and Journal Editor, USA), Talan Memmott (Digital Artist and Researcher, BTH), Maria Engberg (AR/MR and Digital Culture Researcher, BTH), Lissa Holloway-Attaway (AR/MR and Digital Culture Researcher, BTH), Elektro Moon Vision: Elwira Wojtunik & Popesz Csaba Láng (Media Artists, Poland), Mateusz Pek (Media Artist, Poland), Jesper Norda (Media Artist, Sweden), Astrid Selling Sjöberg and Kristin Borgehed (Musicans and Culture Heritage Researchers, Folk Practice Academy). In the afternoon of the AR/MR day there was also a “poster session” presenting projects from students in Digital Culture and Computer Science at Blekinge Institute of Technology and Malmö University and other researchers. Among the projects are cultural heritage and tourist applications, games, and art and narrative projects. Due to unforseen circumstances the keynote speaker of the seminar, professor Jay David Bolter, was not able to attend, but could later during the #MIXITUPFEST take part in the different activities.

Friday evening, there was a series of performances and three installations were started – all at the Blekinge museum, Karlskrona. They all in one way or another could be said to be mixing realities – the digital and the physical. Music, dance and theatre were some of the traditional art forms that were in different ways “augmented” by technical devices. The performances were part of educational programs about using digital technology in an art context.

The artist installations were made by Jesper Norda, Mateusz Pek, Elektro Moon Vision (Elwira Wojtunik, Popesz Csaba Láng with the assistance of Magdalena Pińczyńska), and the screening of the Re-Making Moby Dick Project with Project Curator and Director Trish Harris and Lissa Holloway-Attaway.

The Barbarum fretum installation(video)

From the marathon reading of Moby-Dick. The light was on the readers of Moby-Dick, though a lot of devices were used in order to broadcast and to connect the participants from overseas.

Saturday, the public in Karlskrona got the opportunity to experience the different installations, which many of them did. By noon it was time for a marathon reading of the Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick. This was done in real time on the internet, and with participation from all over the world via Skype. The marathon reading took place in the Blekinge museum auditiorium which was transformed into a broadcast central during the (as it all came down to) 25 hour reading.