Cinnamon Colomboscope 2016 as ‘Testing Grounds’ for art and digital cultures

EUNIC Sri Lanka together with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts presents the fourth edition of Cinnamon Colomboscope, a contemporary and multidisciplinary arts festival that takes place in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. This year, the festival will be titled Testing Grounds: Art and Digital Cultures in South Asia and Europe and will be held from 25 August to 1 September.

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Testing Grounds will focus on contemporary art that reflects on how digital technologies impact and shape the perception and conception of the world. As digitisation continues to extend to all areas of life, people, in response, have learned to adapt to these ‘atmospheric’ systems.
Digital technology plays a significant role as Sri Lanka seeks to reimagine its future and find its unique position in an increasingly globalised, business-driven world. As in all other fields, the arts too will respond to the changes brought on – among others – by digitisation.

This year, Colomboscope will provide ‘testing grounds’ for a new liaison between contemporary art and digital technology in Sri Lanka. Testing Grounds will take place at the General Post Office, an iconic Colonial building erected in 1895 and unused for the last 20 years. In this non-conventional space, visitors will be able to engage with audio-visual, responsive and interactive installations as well as image-based artwork in an extensive exhibition. Over 50 Sri Lankan and international artists and speakers will contribute to this year’s programme including screenings of experimental
films, audio-visual performances and an online exhibition that can be accessed from anywhere. Through a series of workshops and public conversations, the festival will foster knowledge exchange between Sri Lankan and foreign artists, local and international technology specialists and the audience.

Testing Grounds has been conceived by German curator Susanne Jaschko, a renowned expert in the field of media arts who can look back on an impressive list of international art events and exhibitions. “Testing Grounds,” she explains, “will be experimental in nature, and rich in contrast. For most local and South Asian artists, working with electronic and digital media is a new and widely unchartered field, while artists in Europe have been working with new media for over 25 years. Testing Grounds will create an awareness of the impacts that digital technologies have on our societies and cultures – among which are data privacy and ownership issues – which need to be addressed in Sri Lanka.”
Established in 2012, Cinnamon Colomboscope is a festival that looks at how art genres can be used to create a cross-cultural exchange between artists in Sri Lanka, Europe and the wider South Asian region. Each year the festival evolves and changes shape with a new curator bringing new and trending art forms to the country.

The festival is organised and produced under the umbrella of the EUNIC Cluster, the network of European national cultural institutions – the Goethe-Institut, British Council and Alliance Française de Kotte – based in Sri Lanka, with contributions from the Swiss Embassy, Dutch Embassy, Turkish Embassy, German Embassy Teheran and the University of Quebec. This year, the festival is held in venue partnership with the Postal Department.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is the title sponsor of the festival for the second time.
The detailed program for the festival will be announced soon. Please visit the website
www.cinnamoncolomboscope.com for updates on the program.

Participating artists and speakers include:

Arash Akbari (Iran), Kavan Balasuriya (Sri Lanka), Muvindu Binoy (Sri Lanka), Josephine Bosma (Netherlands), Asvajit Boyle and Lalindra Amarasekara (Sri Lanka), James Bridle (UK), COCA (Sri Lanka), Dinelka (Sri Lanka), Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon (France), Rohini Devasher (India), Malaka Dewapriya (Sri Lanka), Constant Dullaart (Netherlands), Sanjana Hattotuwa (Sri Lanka), Gustav Hellberg (Sweden), Louis Henderson (UK), Fieke Jansen (The Netherlands), Sunara Jayamanne (Sri Lanka), Zihan Karim (Bangladesh), Gihan Karunaratne (Great Britain), Daniel Keller (USA/Germany), Michael Ketigan (USA/Sri Lanka), Subasri Krishnan (India), T. Krishnapriya (Sri Lanka), Marc Lee (Switzerland), Manu Luksch, Tobias Reinhart, Thomas Tode (Austria/Germany/Great Britain), Imaad Majeed (Sri Lanka), Danushka Marasinghe and Isuru Kumarasinghe (Sri Lanka), Ali Miharbi (Turkey), Mehreen Murtaza (Pakistan), Aamina Nizar (Sri Lanka), Dhanya Pilo (India), Archana Prasad (India), Arun Prematilleke (Sri Lanka), Chamila Priyanka (Sri Lanka), Tobias Revell (United Kingdom), Jocelyn Robert (Canada), Chris and Ali Rodley (Australia), Sebastian Schmieg (Germany), Semiconductor (Great Britain), Sam de Silva (Sri Lanka), Isaac Smith and Sumudi Suraweera (Sri Lanka), Urs Stäheli (Germany), Sunara (Sri Lanka), Tactical Technology Collective (International), Ivar Veermäe
(Estonia/Germany), Ansh Ranvir Vohra (India), Arun Welandawe Prematilleke and Isuru Kumarasinghe (Sri Lanka), Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Sri Lanka), Subha Wijesiriwardena (Sri Lanka).

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Online 22/08/2016

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