Ibrida Festival in Forlì is back for its eighth edition, entitled Novacene! Every year the festival offers a vast selection of video art, performance art, interactive installations, workshops and live electronic music concerts. This year, as for the past two years, it will take place within the spaces of EXATR from 8 to 10 September 2023. The program, which is truly vast, also includes two workshops (one coordinated by Igor Imhoff, on video and the advent of AI and one by Filippo Venturi, focused on the relationship between photography and Artificial Intelligence), one of which will open the festival on 7 September (to book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
More than 100 videos were selected (arrived from an international open call to which over 400 artists responded) and will be screened on the various evenings of the festival. As for the live performances, however, there will be a world premiere: Dissonance by RAFAEL, a multimedia artist and Spanish musician who works between Berlin and Seoul and who, after Ibrida, will leave to present his creation at numerous international festivals; AGANiS by Italian-Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist Dominic Sambucco; Nostalgia for the Androgynous by the vocal experimenter, sound artist, performer and poet KRATU (Serena Dibiase) and by the video artist MEIN LICHT (Antonella di Tillo). Massimo Pupillo, bassist of ZU, will also be on stage at Ibrida 2023 with My own private Afghanistan, while Økapi will return to the Festival with Pardone-Moi, Oliver! 16 oiseaux pour Oliver Messiaen. The installations will, however, be present for the entire duration of the festival; among the artists on display we mention Donato Piccolo, Virgilio Villoresi, Igor Imhoff, Elena Bellantoni and Michele Di Pirro. To find out more and explore some of the changes and novelties of the festival, I decided to get in touch with the two artistic directors Davide Mastrangelo and Francesca Leoni for a short interview.
Sara Papini: Ibrida returns to Forlì! What’s new this year?
Davide Mastrangelo and Francesca Leoni: Ibrida is a festival in progress, always looking for new trajectories. In 2023, in addition to planning the days in EXATR, we entered into a new collaboration, opening the doors to further experience. The formula of the actual festival remains the same: four days of screenings, talks, live performances and installations in what we call the intermedia village inside EXATR, from 7 to 10 September. The new collaboration instead led to an exhibition born from the meeting with Nadia Stefanel, curator of the Dino Zoli Foundation. We have always thought of a widespread festival that would expand throughout the city and of an alternative space with an “off” project that would ideally act as a prologue. It was from these premises that the idea of the personal exhibition dedicated to Virgilio Villoresi was born. We contacted Virgilio, because we were aware of his wonderful machinery as well as his films and, once we received a positive response, we immediately involved Bruno Di Marino, critic and historian of moving images, as curator, who knows both our reality well than Villoresi. From this spark, the project has expanded day after day thanks to the enthusiasm of all the parties involved: Vertov Project, the Dino Zoli Foundation and PubliOne Società Benefit. Also leading us to the creation of an exclusive catalog for the exhibition entitled “Animagia. Devices / visions / films by Virgilio Villoresi”. The exhibition was inaugurated at the Dino Zoli Foundation on Monday 28 August at 7.00 pm and will end on 7 October. In addition to the exhibition, we decided to expand the part dedicated to the workshops, choosing a specific topic in line with this year’s theme: Artificial Intelligence. A festival like ours, dedicated to innovation and the intermedia arts, could not fail to take such an important issue head-on and tackle it from multiple points of view, including practical ones, such as workshops. Finally, we will close the eighth edition with an international award “Ibrida Forlì Video Art Prize” dedicated to international video art with an exceptional jury composed of Silvia Grandi (University of Bologna – Videoart Yearbook) Gabriel Soucheyre (artistic director of Videoformes) and Carlos Casas (artist and director). Giving an international video art award today in our country is an important signal that could feed and grow new generations of video artists.
Ibrida always brings with it an emblematic and representative subtitle, this year it is Novacene, why?
Every year we start with a reflection on the present. The risk is always the same: tripping over the present while thinking about the future. For this we look for different stimuli which, more often than not, do not necessarily come from the art world, but from science or other disciplines. In 2020, during the pandemic, we read Novacene, the age of hyperintelligence by James Lovelock. It was a bolt from the blue, both for the foresight of the author, a centenary scientist, who sadly died the following year, and for his prediction on the explosion of Artificial Intelligence in people’s daily lives. A visionary who foresees the end of an Era (Anthropocene) and the beginning of a new chapter for humanity, that of the Novacene. A theory not yet shared on a large scale by the scientific community, but which inevitably leads us to a comparison and reflection. “New beings will take shape from the artificial intelligence that we have designed and will think 10,000 times faster than humans and will perhaps look at us as condescendingly as we look at plants.” Lovelock goes further, stating that AI will be able, through its infinite computing capacity, to understand the Universe and take care of Planet Earth and its ecosystem. A positive vision of the future which perhaps, given the dark times that accompany us, returns to give us a clear image of the work that needs to be done, with all the risks involved.
As artistic directors of Ibrida we know that you have toured a lot in other festivals in the sector, this year you were also guests at Videoformes. First of all, how did it go and above all what do you think are the new international trends in video art?
One of the most important things for us as artistic directors is to look for new stimuli and learn from those who have been on the scene before us. In 2023 we were invited to the 38th edition of Videoformes as jurors and speakers, we had the immense pleasure of seeing how such an important and long-lived reality worked in practice. We met many artists, operators and viewed all the works in the competition. Although there are still detractors of this language and specifically of the term “video art”, we can say that international video art is doing very well, indeed it has undergone a new vital boost thanks to the digitization of all signals. We have always defended the code talking about hybridization of languages, well, surely this is no longer a trend but now a fact. Multiple disciplines are hybridized in a single work thus creating a third element that has become the norm and no longer the exception. For example, the awarded videos hybridized performance art with cinema, 3D with documentary and animation, and so on. We can conclude by saying that video art, today more than ever, is necessary to decipher the world we live in and that, thanks to the artist’s sensitivity, it still manages to shake souls, prompting us to reflect on the present.
Ibrida Festival delle arti intermediali
7-10 September 2023
EXATR, Piazzetta Savonarola a Forlì
She was born in Genoa but currently lives in Bologna, the city where she graduated from CITEM with a thesis on video art. She works in the world of events in the production sector and is an assistant professor of Visual Studies at UNIBO.