Soft control was designed as a perennial cultural project directed towards an actualisation of the cultural phenomena which occur when arts, science and social awareness are intertwined. The goal of Soft control is opening of the scientific laboratories and theory to the artists, as well as bringing various educational entities closer to the audiences. It is a unique cultural performance which will enable artists, cultural workers and anybody alse who might be interested to gain access to the work and the way of thinking of the reasearches, and the researshers, willing to share and experience the creative forms of the artistic experiment, to gather in various venues of Europe in order to work, listen, talk and exchange experiences and conclusions. SC implies an interaction and a call for an active participation of wide audiences, especially youngsters, students, older people. Culture as a branch and science as a branch can intertwine, constructively sharing cultural models of critical thinking, activism and experimentation with scientific methods, research and knowledge.
Europe faces major structural challenges – globalisation, climate change and an ageing population. The economic downturn has made these issues even more pressing. The gap between science and society has been shown to still exist, although surveys reveal a very positive and optimistic perception of what science and technology can actually do for humanity in terms of medical research, improvement of life quality, and opportunities for future generations. SC encourages active interest in public issues of science and technology and the complementary: science’s active interest in culture.
Science and technology is a visible incarnation of our ability to discover and use the laws of nature. A special significance is gained by artistic strategies aimed at shaping a new human right: the right to re-invent and rewrite the very basics of technological myth. This right implies a potential to create new forms and new identities in a fully independent, artistic, creative manner—although not in the capacity of protagonists of a narrative determined by history, but rather as its creators. Such practice goes to show the ability of the artist—and ultimately, of the spectators themselves—to become the authors of their own engineered past, engineering the living future as opposed to a lifeless mechanistic future which is being built without our involvement.
Everyday life has become so intimately interwoven with complex technological ecologies that we can no longer consider technology as the alienating other. The idea that we ‘inhabit’ technological ecologies emphasises our connectedness to our environment (material, natural, technological) and our dependence on the resources available there (material, energetic, biological, cultural). Mastering these conditions is vital to our survival on this planet.
Objectives of Soft Control
- transformation of the public view of art, technology and science from that of closed circles to open fields
- international, regional artists, thinkers, hackers, scientists, philosophers, educators, social scientists, engineers, writers and others as active participants of residencies
- aims to organise workshops and real and improvised laboratories for sharing of specific knowledge and hands-on collaborative creation
- SC emphasises collaboration and network of international artists/scientists/other experts and regional community
- SC will have a strong focus on education, hands-on creation, collaboration and sharing of knowledge
- SC partnership’s network (and networking other networks) will support dissemination of ideas, awareness of science as a cultural and society paradigm, stimulating citizens,
- common people and different target groups to the active participation
- to strengthen the pan-European collaboration, common production and interdisciplinary approach to art.
- to embrace the European urban territory (9 partners in 7 countries + additional countries through study visits and collaboration with X-OP association/network)
- to further develop interdisciplinary environment in relation to ICT, science and art creation
- to encourage intercultural dialogue, active ageing and inter-generational solidarity, cross-culture platforms and mutual collaborative approaches
- to highlight the importance of new technologies for the political and cultural integration of Europe, in particular of the future new EU members (R Croatia, R Serbia)
- to stimulate cultural policy making from bottom up
- integration of private sector and public entities
- to put a landmark of contemporary interdisciplinary arts and education practices in the ongoing 21st century, which may be also named as a interdisciplinary century
Activities structure of the project
A range of highly sophisticated art&science&technology works of 21. Century installed and displayed on core exhibitions, festivals, conferences and symposia during the project (venues: Maribor, Slovenj Gradec, Guimaraes, Porto, Rijeka, Riga, Prague, Belgrade, Barcelona). Exchanges, productions, mobility of artists and other experts and circulation of artworks as ongoing process, appearing at large- scale events and dispersed into smaller exhibitions, artists talks and other activities during the project on each partner’s location and connected through networks to other organisations and institutions in Europe and transcontinental locations.
Each co-organiser of SC declared its package of public presentations and involvements. This will result in numerous events, exhibitions, presentations, workshops, performances, lectures, debates, workshops, discussions, social activities etc. Presentations in virtual as well as real space.
SC network map of activities also connect KIBLA’s EU Culture and other projects’ networks, European media-art centres and European Capitals of Culture directly and Arab and American capitals of culture indirectly.