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The upcoming 'Nova Rio Biennial of Art and Technology' is all set to take Rio by storm

Curated by Ricardo Barreto and Paula Perissinotto, the biennial at Museu do Amanhã promises to be a major moment for art and technology in Brazil.

by Manu SharmaPublished on : Sep 13, 2023

From September 20 to October 29, 2023, the science museum Museu do Amanhã in Rio de Janeiro will be presenting the Nova Rio Biennial of Art and Technology. The biennial is curated by Ricardo Barreto and Paula Perissinotto, who have already achieved some acclaim for founding the FILE (International Festival of Electronic Language), which has been held for over 20 years. The biennial is open to audiences from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, and aims to contextualise notions of the “future” as per the works of an international body of creators who develop and exhibit pieces for screens of varying sizes—from the handheld cellular variety to the monolithic.

‘Hell’, 2023, David O’Reilly | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | David O’Reilly | STIRworld
Hell, 2023, David O’Reilly Image: Courtesy of David O’Reilly

The Nova Rio Biennial of Art and Technology is sponsored by Shell through the Federal Law for Cultural Incentive. In a press release from Museu do Amanhã, Glauco Paiva, Executive Manager of Communication and Social Responsibility at Shell Brazil was quoted as saying: "The Nova Biennial celebrates the entire diversity of art and technology with a program that values innovation, stimulates reflection, and promotes the exchange of knowledge, thereby contributing to one of the company's commitments to society, which is the development of citizenship through culture."

‘The Great Adventure of Material World’, 2023, Lu Yang | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | Lu Yang | STIRworld
The Great Adventure of Material World, 2023, Lu Yang Image: Courtesy of Lu Yang

The biennial shall display nearly 70 artworks from 30 countries, made by 66 artists. Ten of these artists represent Brazil, with the rest composing an international body of creative practices focused on the intersection of art and technology. 50 mediators have been trained in order to educate and facilitate a smooth interaction between the public and each art exhibition on display at the Nova Rio Biennial. The press release for the art biennial quotes the curators saying: "This aspect offers immense reach, creating a flow for the complexity of knowledge to reach the viewer. We are fully committed to establishing in Rio de Janeiro an event of substantial scale in this theme, which has been our platform for decades. Creating knowledge is a cultural endeavour."

‘Captured’, 2023, Hanna Haaslahti | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | Hanna Haaslahti | STIRworld
Captured, 2023, Hanna Haaslahti Image: Courtesy of Hanna Haaslahti

This first edition of the Nova Rio Biennial of Art and Technology will explore two themes, titled The New Aesthetics and Supercreativity in the Era of Artificial Intelligence, and will present both, indoor and outdoor works along these lines. New Aesthetics will treat audiences to vibrant new aesthetic sensibilities through works such as Capture by Hanna Haaslahti of Finland, which will allow visitors to generate a digital avatar that will then be added to a virtual crowd. Another piece on display, Cycles of Creation by Guli Siberstein explores an alternative creation history, wherein the natural world is built by cybernetic beings. The work of Brazilian artist Gabriel Massan, whose prolificity continues to rise, also makes an appearance at the Nova Rio Biennial and will treat audiences to virtual ecosystems that launch themselves from Saidiya Hartman’s concept of Critical Fabulation.

‘Cycles of Creation’, 2023, Guli Silberstein | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | Guli Silberstein | STIRworld
Cycles of Creation, 2023, Guli Silberstein Image: Courtesy of Guli Silberstein

Coming to Supercreativity, this theme explores the ongoing clash between human and artificial intelligence-driven creativity. A piece highlighted in the press release, LIMINAL by Canadian artist Louis-Philippe Rondeau, seeks out the boundary between space and the endless march of time by allowing the viewer to pass through a portal, with their image to be projected across dimensions.

‘Unbonded on a Bonded Domain’, 2023, Gabriel Massan | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | Gabriel Massan | STIRworld
Unbonded on a Bonded Domain, 2023, Gabriel Massan Image: Courtesy of Gabriel Massan

To quote the curators of the Nova Rio Biennial from the curatorial text, "When we think about recent art, in the strict sense, we necessarily think of the concept of 'New' as the engine of the arts, without which they would be merely normalised or purely market-driven. (...) When we reflect on the concept of 'Art and Technology,' we notice that more than a mere combination of these two things, a fusion between the new and innovation takes place, giving rise to another conceptual form, which we call NOVA = artistic novelty + fusion + technological innovation.”

‘LIMINAL’, 2023, Louis-Philippe Rondeau | NOVA RIO BIENNIAL OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY | Louis-Philippe Rondeau | STIRworld
LIMINAL, 2023, Louis-Philippe Rondeau Image: Courtesy of Louis-Philippe Rondeau

It remains to be seen what kind of reception the biennial will receive, but one may hope that it will build a strong foothold for tech art within Rio de Janeiro.

The participating artists include Akihiko Taniguchi, Amy Karle, Anaisa Franco, Anders Lind, Banz & Bowinkel, Camila Magrane, Corin Ileto & Tristan Jalleh, Clelio de Paula, David OReilly, Enhance, Estudio Guto Requena, Francesca Fini, Gabriel Massan, The Game Bakers, George Jasper Stone & Dark0, Glenn Marshall, GLOR1A + biarritzzz, Guli Silberstein, Gustaf Holtenäs, Guto Nóbrega, Hanna Haaslahti, Heart Machine, Ief Spincemaille, Ines Alpha, Iregular, Isaac Horton, Jason Osinachi Igwe, Jean-Philippe Côté & Victor-Drouin Trempe – Empreintes Sonores, John Butler & Lina Theodorou, Martina Morger, Jon Rafman, Julius Horsthuis, Leo Castañeda, Lilia Li-Mi-Yan & Katherina Sadovsky, Louis-Philippe Rondeau, Ludmila Rodrigues, Lu Yang, Marpi Studio, Matthias Oostrik, Melodie Mousset | PatchXR, HanaHana AR, Memo Akten, Mike Pelletier, Minimaforms, Nikita Diakur, Numen / For Use, Oli Sorenson, Özge Samanci, Pepapuke, Peter Burr, Robin Baumgarten, Sam Rolfes, Sam Twidale & Marija Avramović, Seph Li, Theo Jansen, Theo Triantafyllidis and Zahy Tentehar.

STIR is a media partner with Nova Rio Biennial of Art and Technology.

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