The ultimate view on technology
There is much to be learned about the relationship between humans and technology, as explored in the forthcoming MACHINISTA ART FESTIVAL.
Jack Mottram logs on.
Is not eyery day that a Rttsso-Scottish cornucopia ol man-machine art hits town. but here comes Machinista. an international collaboration that aims both to provide a window into the world ol cttlting edge computer art and to proyoke a debate on our relationship with increasingly peryasiye technology. Now in its second year. the nomadic l'estiyal began lil‘e
in Russia. "l‘he original idea came from a group ol
artists from Perm in the West l'rals.‘ says (iuy \r’eale. one ol‘ the l'estiyal’s 2t) curators and organisers. "l‘he fact that the city is in a sensitiye military area meant that artists there haye access to decommissioned technology. and that became crucial in informing their work. eyen before the liestiyal came to l‘ruition.‘ lixpanding on this local scene. Machinista l‘ounder Sergey 'l‘eterin gathered together artists. Vls and software coders. mostly from eastern liurope. creating twin festivals in the process: one an online virtual gallery ol' submissions. the other a series of events and exhibitions in the good old real world. Machinista (ilasgow. which catne into being when the only western liuropean artists at the inaugural l’erm eyent. (ilasgow- based audio—Visual collectiye Pointless Creations. got inyolyed. will follow the same dual l‘ormat. "l'he idea is to give as many people as possible the chance to show work that wouldn't be exhibited anywhere else.’ says Veale. "l‘he initial pttsh comes from unmediated open submissions online the work there is presented as it’s submitted. It‘s not modil‘ied. it's not curated and that
proyides a lorum lor people to View work. and l’or
artists to get feedback on it. Then the ultimate View is to proyide some artists with the chance to exhibit at an
offline l'estiyal. The idea is to blend the non-space of
online exhibitions with lestiyals in specilic geographic locations. almost to pt'o\'e that you can form an
'THERE'S A STRESS ON IMPERFECT IONS AND MISTAKES, AND OUR LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF MACHINES'
international l'estiyal out of a simple call for
submissions.’ It’s an innoyatiye format. to be sure. bttt what exactly can Visitors to the Machinista website. shows. talks and club nights expect'.’ The l'estiyal‘s three themes Artists Against Machinic Standards. Art liroin the Machine and Full-Screen Roboyision
proyide a clue. "l‘he artists in the first group are yery present in the work.’ says Veale. 'l’erhaps making a satirical point. or using technology to a certain end: then other artists tnight emphasise the lack ol‘ control o\‘et' the technology they work with. With all three. there‘s a stress on imperfections and mistakes. and our lack ol‘ understanding of machines. All the work explores the idea that there is a relationship being l‘orged between eotltptllet's or technology and people. and that there is a lot we still don't understand about that relationship.' In real terms this means eyerything l‘rom an international troupe of wirelessley connected rollerbladers brandishing computerised lunchboxes to l)Js using modilied turntables to scratch and mix \‘ideo l’ootage. \‘ia demonstrations ol‘ homemade robots. Machinista. then. isn't quite the sort ol cleyer-cleyer bol‘f'in-l'est you might expect from a l'estiyal ol technology and art -~ a point hammered borne by the paper \‘it‘tls ol' l'lyers
currently propagating around (ilasgow. with its set ol
slogans to collect. including ‘\\'illiam (ilbsolt Ate My 'l‘amagotchi’ and ‘(‘l’l' Buggers R l's.~
So. whether you're the sort ol‘ person who has trouble programming the Video bel'ore a night out. or the type who ne\'er leayes the house without a \Vil’i- enabled laptop. Machinista (ilasgow ollet’s the chance to explore new technology through art. and lime fun doing it.
See listings and www.machinista.org
Get out and discover these permanent attractions
Brass Rubbing Centre Chalmers Close. Royal Mile, 556 4364. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. but there is a charge for making a rubbing. Situated in the apse of a Gothic church dating back to 1460, the centre houses a selection of church brasses and ancient Pictish replicas — as well as lots of crayons so you can get rubbing.
Camera Obscura Castlehill, Royal Mile. 226 3709. Mon—Fri 9.30am—6pm, Sat & Sun 10am—6pm. $24.95— $14 (22.50—83.95). It feels like you could pick up a pedestrian in your hand at this attraction, which gives visitors a real-time. 360' image of the city. The most recent addition to the venue is the Magic Gallery. giving hands-on experiences of the art of visual trickery.
Craigmillar Castle Craigmillar Castle Road. 661 4445. Daily 9.30am—6pm. €1.80 (75p). For a real taste of history. take a drive out to this ramshackle old castle. which. although not quite as intact as Edinburgh Castle. is far more atmospheric and the scene of much plotting during the reign of Mary. Queen of Scots.
Burrell Collection 2060 Pollokshaws Road. 287 2550. Mon—Thu & Sat 10am—5pm; Fri & Sun 11am—5pm. Free. Sir William Burrell's world famous collection of beautiful art objects from around the globe. housed in a specially designed. award-winning building.
Glasgow Cathedral Castle Street. 552 8198. Mon—Sat 9.30am—1 pm & 2—6pm: Sun 2—5pm. Free, A stone—built church has stood on this site since 1 136 and the lower church contains the shrine of St Mungo. who died around 612.
Glasgow School of Art The Mackintosh Gallery. 167 Renfrew Street. 353 4500. Glasgow School of Art is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's greatest achievement and it continues to intrigue and inspire visitors from all over the world.
'2‘ At" l\.'._i. THE LIST 101