2016 Gray Area Festival

A conference, performances, workshops, and an exhibition surveying culture through the lens of art and technology.

  • Dates: April 21-23rd, 2016
  • Location: Gray Area / Grand Theater, San Francisco, CA
  • Role: Curator
  • Link: Gray Area Festival 2016
  • Collaborators:
    • Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
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In the 1960’s Buckminster Fuller proposed the World Game, intended to be a tool that would facilitate a comprehensive, anticipatory, design science approach to the problems of the world. His approach was holistic, encompassing art, design, architecture, storytelling, engineering, and technology development to “make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”

Today, we have more advanced tools and capabilities than ever before, but often seem paralyzed when asking “what to do next?” What is the real-world impact of the current trajectories of technology development? How can art and aesthetics play a functional role in helping to shape responses to the issues facing the globally interconnected Earth? How can designers, artists, and technologist work together to articulate a vision for a world beneficial for 100% of humanity?

The second annual Gray Area Festival builds off the 2015 edition’s exploration of art and technology’s impact on culture to suggest ways that holistic, anti-disciplinary thinking can provide novel approaches to the unique challenges facing our ever-accelerating world. It also continues to highlight the leading role that San Francisco has played in both the current and historical directions of art and technology, further establishing the Grand Theater as a global epicenter for forward looking art and technology in civic, educational, and aesthetic practice.

Thursday, April 21st we open the “Refraction Exhibition” of digital art from local and international artists, exploring art, science, technology, perception, and gameplay. On Friday and Saturday mornings, we welcome festival pass holders for two full days of conference featuring talks and panels from leading international thinkers and practitioners. In the evenings, we present audio and visual performances that celebrate electronic media. Finally on Sunday, we teach a collection of Creative Coding workshops for both beginning and advanced students. We close the festival with a special showcase of screenings and live AV sets from Dutch filmmakers, Macular Collective.