Civil Society:Critical Upgrade

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Critical Upgrade - New Media Culture Week was a week-long program of new media culture held in May 2002 in Zagreb, Croatia, organized by Multimedia Institute and Goethe-Institute in Zagreb. One of the main topics of this manifestation was generative art - art created by technology, or algorithmically determined computer generated artwork.


Critical Upgrade-New Media Culture Week program consisted of series of different events organized in 4 components:

  • GenArt exhibition - Multimedia Institute exhibition of generative computing art which consisted of two installations: 1) Web of life - installation that was exhibited in Meštrović Pavilion (also known as Home of Croatian Artists), curated by Željko Blaće and 2) Coans and Blisses - Brian Eno's computer installation exhibited in Karas Gallery. Web of life installation was interactive installation whose audiovisual ambient could be directed by visitors drawing with their own palm on the screen. Coans and Blisses installation consisted of 6 screens showing geometrical abstract in techno colors.[1]
  • Two-day conference Reality Check for Cyber Utopias, held in Goethe-Institute, gathered more than 30 artists, activists, web developers, media theorists and philosophers that discussed about cyberutopia breakdown in politics, economy, culture and art. Conference consisted of 4 subthemes: D-Art about critical approaches to new media, Media Topoi about use of Internet as tactical media, information war etc., Topoi Istoka and Markets about new economies (open source, free software etc.). Some of the conference panelists were: Ricard Dominguez, Marina Grinič, McKenzie Wark, Josephine Bosma, Maja Kuzmanović, Hiroshi Yoshioka, Keiko Sei etc.[2]
  • Music festival Testtone aimed to present recent courses in Glitch Electronic. Number of concerts (and workshops) took place in Zagreb clubs: KSET, MaMa and Močvara where some of the leading names of glitch electronic scene were introduced: Jan Jelinek (Berlin), Kim Cascone (USA), Chris Kummerer and Emanuel Frakt (AU). Croatian electronic scene presented Zvuk broda, Aesque, Blashko, Plazmatick, Jeanne Fremaux and Qwerty.
  • Quorum - new media cultural workers meeting and project presentation held in MaMa club.