Santa Fe is far from ocean waves, but there’s a noticeable current of excitement about contemporary art that flows annually in June. That’s when CURRENTS International New Media Festival takes over El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe and a variety of other Santa Fe venues from now through June 26.
Since 2002, this feast for the eyes has entertained art-lovers with a pageant of cutting-edge curiosities and craftsmanship. Video and new media installations, performance art, live music, artist presentations, panels and workshops, outdoor events and digital dome programs all captivate the creative eye and mind––and best of all, most CURRENTS 2016 events are free to the public!
For the following two weeks, Santa Fe will host an international roster of new media artists exhibiting exceptional and extraordinary work and visitors eager to experience this distinct festival. This year features 100 artists from 18 U.S. states and 19 countries.
We’ve highlighted a few events and performances that we think you will enjoy. For your ease, we have featured some of the events by their location.
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe
Located in the heart of the Santa Fe Railyard, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe is a 31,000 square foot warehouse facility which houses galleries, exhibition spaces and a theater.
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe brings CODE and NOISE This exhibition presents fifteen artists from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles , the Bay Area, and China who use, create or leverage software to produce works that engage, stimulate and invite us to ponder many current issues such as the environment, memory, art history, data collection, emotions and surveillance. CODE and NOISE runs through June 26.
For many years Steina has been creating multiscreen compositions. This is a composite of works from many periods of her life starting in the 80’s. There is a definite autobiographical thread through these pieces. This is a rare opportunity to view a selection of work from the oeuvre of this remarkable artist.
The premiere of a multi-channel video work by Steina will be held on June 25 in the theater of El Museo Cultural from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Mouse In The Machine: Nature in the Age of Digital Art opens on June 18 at The Art House . The show features 15 digital and software-based artworks by 12 artists from the Thoma Foundation art collection to examine the intersection of technology and nature. Using customized software and code, the artworks simulate lifelike biological and ecological systems to emulate the passage of time, seasons and lifecycles.
Mouse In the Machine includes works such as a video art aquarium by Nam June Paik, realtime generative computer animations by John Gerrard and Marina Zurkow, an interactive augmented reality conveyor belt by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Opening reception is on June 18 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at The Art House.
Institute of American Indian Arts
The Digital Dome at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is a unique space to learn new applications for creative expression, scientific and technical exploration, and the merging of art and technology. It is also unique in the world as the only articulating dome which can move 90 degrees and be positioned in multiple locations for different viewing experiences. IAIA has joined the international fulldome consortium to link programming and knowledge formation with others across the country and the world experimenting in ways in this immersive environment.
You’ll want to make a point to spend an afternoon viewing immersive fulldome videos created by artists from around the world. The fulldome screenings take place on June 18 and June 19. There will be three repeating 40-minute screenings at 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. The Roadrunner Shuttle is making hourly round trips between El Museo Cultural and IAIA beginning at 1:15 pm.
Santa Fe’s art production collaborative group Meow Wolf is thrilled to have Everything Is Terrible!. They are the internet sensation video collective responsible for some of this millennium’s most intriguing and mind melting videos. For years, EIT! has mined the absurd VHS universe for the best/worst bits. Every video is original and fantastic media art that creates a window into America’s hidden past and future! Not only has EIT! managed to make thousands of new web videos every day, but they’ve also made 6 features including their 2012 remake of The Holy Mountain using nearly 3,000 dog-related clips. The video blog collection will be held on June 18 at 8:00 pm . Tickets are available now. Seating is limited and on a first come, first serve basis.
Nosaj Thing and experimental music performers Lucky Dragons come to Meow Wolf on Friday, June 24. It’s been six years since the release of Nosaj Thing’s highly acclaimed debut album, Drift. Now, the producer, musician and DJ from Los Angeles is back and ready to showcase his new album, Innovative Leisure- which marks the first time he has incorporated guests vocalists. Get your tickets today.
Meow Wolf’s “Fancy Town” venue will play host to these multimedia performances, along with several other performances in conjunction with CURRENTS 2016 programming. Please note that CURRENTS events at Meow Wolf require paid admission.
Here’s the complete list of CURRENTS events happening at Meow Wolf.
Violet Crown will play host to two Experimental Documentary Series beginning on June 15 through June 23. The Experimental Documentary Series: Shorts Program showcases nine documentary shorts. One short A Thousand Midnights tells the story of the Great Migration in which six million African Americans who were relocated from the rural South to the cities of North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970.
Also showing at the Violet Crown Cinema is Natural Life. This is a feature length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth. The documentary will be shown on June 16 and 23 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
The Railyard is where Santa Fe comes to meet friends and neighbors, to gather with family, shop for unique products, have a great meal, see thought-provoking art, experience live performances, or just relax and play. Here’s one event on the Railyard Plaza you won’t want to miss!
Elegy is a transmedia performance in which audiences participate both virtually and in person (online and offline). The performance presents a narrative taking place in real time over the course of a week in multiple locations. The plot follows a young woman’s journey out from the wilderness as she tries to recover a mysterious personal history that she has almost entirely forgotten. Presented in a series of site-specific performances interspersed with documentation of the main characters’ travels on various media platforms, including 360-degree video, are influenced by audience members, who are invited to interact virtually in the days leading up to and following the live events they attend.
Elegy will be held on June 16 at 6:00 pm on the Railyard Plaza.
CURRENTS International New Media Festival is the only festival of its kind––featuring groundbreaking international artists working to transform evolving technologies into poignant, entertaining, beautiful and provocative expression. It’s an experience that delights locals and visitors year after year. Here’s a complete list of CURRENTS International New Media Festival 2016 events.
So much creative new media art can be found in The City Different. Feed your creative side and plan your trip. Don’t forget to request the official 2016 Santa Fe travel guide to help plan and also check out all the deals and specials that area businesses are offering.