Digital Icons Publishes a Comprehensive Interview with CYLAND Artists

Recently published Digital Icons Issue 19 includes a comprehensive interview with CYLAND MediaArtLab founder Anna Frants along with CYLAND artists and curators Ludmila Belova, Alexandra Dementieva, Victoria Ilyushkina and Elena Gubanova. Titled “Women and Tech in the Post-socialist Context: Intelligence, Creativity, Transgression”, the interview is based on CYLAND MediaArtLab role in developing new media art scene in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Possessive Shoemaker installation by Anna Frants, St. Petersburg, 2018

New media art is an extensive concept, which unites a number of different art forms made with the help of media technologies such as digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, internet art, interactive art, video games, computer robotics, 3D printing, cyborg art and art as biotechnology. Media art has existed in Russia for more than twenty years and female artists were the core developers of media art in St. Petersburg. Taking the CYLAND media art laboratory as its vantage point, this interview with five artists aims to give an account of the history, key works, exhibitions and ideas in St. Petersburg media art. The artists participating in this interview are Anna Frants, Ludmila Belova, Alexandra Dementieva, Victoria Ilyushkina and Elena Gubanova. They all have exhibited their works extensively both in Russia and abroad and contributed significantly to the development of Russian media art and CYLAND’s development as one of the leading media art institutions in Russia.

Full interview can be accessed from the Digital Icons website.


Digital Icons

Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media (Digital Icons) is an online publication that appears twice a year. The journal is a multi-media platform that explores new media as a variety of information flows, varied communication systems and networked communities. The main goal of the journal is to disseminate research on new media in the region across global communities of scholars, media practitioners and the general public.

New York Exhibitions of an Artist Featured in the CYFEST Video Program


SCREEN SERIES, a selection of Virginia Lee Montgomery’s surreal videos currently screen throughout the New Museum’s lobby through March 3rd, 2019. Additional information is available online alongside Curatorial Assistant Kate Wiener’s beautiful, short text on the videos.

Working across video, sculpture, and performance, Virginia Lee Montgomery interrogates the relationship between physical and psychic structures and the uncanny materiality of lived experience.

Meanwhile, every night at midnight for the month of February, HONEY MOON will play simultaneously across the many screens of Times Square. Both SCREENS SERIES and HONEY MOON coincide with the ongoing exhibition of Montgomery’s work in The Socrates Annual curated by Director of Exhibitions, Jess Wilcox, at New York City’s Socrates Sculpture Park on view through March 24th, 2019.

Pratt Digital Arts Class Visits CYFEST-12 at the Made in NY Media Center

This Thursday, December 6th, students of the Pratt Institute visited the Made in NY Media Center where CYLAND MediaArtLab is preparing CYFEST-12 premiere.


For CYFEST, Pratt Digital Arts MFA students made a special video installation project curated by Carla Gannis. Designed to explore the genetic and memetic evolution, devolution, and re-evolution of the human consciousness. These topics, represented by three interconnecting 45-second animated loops, combine to tell a story about our collective personhood.

Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram

Публикация от Richan Li (@richanlyyc)

CYFEST-12: ID premieres December 13th at the renowned Made in NY Media Center BY IFP. The inaugural event will set in motion it’s year-long, multi-city festival; geared towards exhibiting new media work which explores the dynamics of identity in our ever-expanding digital culture; focusing on levels of tech:intimacy, self augmentation, identity health, and technological personas at large.

For more information on CYFEST-12 please visit this page.

CYFEST and CYLAND MediaArtLab Mentioned in a New Book from The MIT Press

Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art, a recent book by Janine Randerson, includes mentions of the CYFEST’s Weather Forecast: Digital Cloudiness theme as well as Weather Station 1, Atmospheric Acoustic Transducer, an artwork by Alexey Grachev produced by CYLAND MediaArtLab.

Published by The MIT Press in their Leonardo series, the book is an exploration of artworks that use weather or atmosphere as the primary medium, creating new coalitions of collective engagement with the climate crisis.

Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art (Leonardo)

In a time of climate crisis, a growing number of artists use weather or atmosphere as an artistic medium, collaborating with scientists, local communities, and climate activists. Their work mediates scientific modes of knowing and experiential knowledge of weather, probing collective anxieties and raising urgent ecological questions, oscillating between the “big picture systems view” and a ground-based perspective. In this book, Janine Randerson explores a series of meteorological art projects from the 1960s to the present that draw on sources ranging from dynamic, technological, and physical systems to indigenous cosmology.

Randerson finds a precursor to today’s meteorological art in 1960s artworks that were weather-driven and infused with the new sciences of chaos and indeterminacy, and she examines work from this period by artists including Hans Haacke, Fujiko Nakaya, and Aotearoa-New Zealand kinetic sculptor Len Lye. She looks at live experiences of weather in art, in particular Fluxus performance and contemporary art that makes use of meteorological data streams and software. She describes the use of meteorological instruments, including remote satellite sensors, to create affective atmospheres; online projects and participatory performances that create a new form of “social meteorology”; works that respond directly to climate change, many from the Global South; artist-activists who engage with the earth’s diminishing cryosphere; and a speculative art in the form of quasi-scientific experiments. Art’s current eddies of activity around the weather, Randerson writes, perturb the scientific hold on facts and offer questions of value in their place.

Janine Randerson is a media artist and curator and Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology.

For more information on the book, visit


CYLAND’s Alexandra Dementieva Reports from the Whitney Museum of American Art

CYLAND MediaArtLab artist Alexandra Dementieva shares her report from the Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 exhibition, now on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 establishes connections between works of art based on instructions, spanning over fifty years of conceptual, video, and computational art. The pieces in the exhibition are all “programmed” using instructions, sets of rules, and code, but they also address the use of programming in their creation. The exhibition links two strands of artistic exploration: the first examines the program as instructions, rules, and algorithms with a focus on conceptual art practices and their emphasis on ideas as the driving force behind the art; the second strand engages with the use of instructions and algorithms to manipulate the TV program, its apparatus, and signals or image sequences. Featuring works drawn from the Whitney’s collection, Programmed looks back at predecessors of computational art and shows how the ideas addressed in those earlier works have evolved in contemporary artistic practices. At a time when our world is increasingly driven by automated systems, Programmed traces how rules and instructions in art have both responded to and been shaped by technologies, resulting in profound changes to our image culture.

The exhibition is organized by Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art, and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Melva Bucksbaum Associate Director for Conservation and Research, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant.

Explore the exhibition yourself here.

Carla Gannis’ Video Work Presented in Times Square in NYC

This August, Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts, features a vivid work by Carla Gannis. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition, Times Square Arts, Streaming Museum and HarvestworksPortraits in Landscape is a video animation that exemplifies her signature process of remixing historical artworks with contemporary forms of communication, taking smartphone and selfie culture to the extreme. It depicts two separate figures in a twinkling landscape, each immersed in their smart phones and occasionally snapping photos.

The piece is inspired by the sixteenth-century mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, noted for his proto-surrealist portraits composited from images of animals, vegetables, flowers and books. Rather than static, organic objects, Gannis uses thousands of her own digitally painted emoji to compose her images. The work speaks to the hyper-real condition of inhabiting virtual and physical landscapes simultaneously, and its characters may seem uncannily familiar to viewers in Times Square.

“Portraits in Landscape, a single-channel video from my “After Arcimboldo” series, is a continuation of my focus on combining eccentric art-historical references with visual smartphone language. Through this process I reflect on the constructions and perceptions of identity in contemporary culture. Unlike the subjects of Arcimboldo’s paintings, the portraits in this series are not of aristocrats and wealthy patrons. Instead they began as 3D models, the avatars of our age, that I digitally shaped into selfie poses. I then overlaid the models with hundreds of emoji, similar to Arcimboldo’s process of using everyday objects to sculpt uncanny human likenesses. Bringing the portraits to life in a hyper landscape teeming with “digital nature” expresses my fascination with how virtual and physical embodiments intersect in our networked communication age.” —Carla Gannis

Carla Gannis | Portraits in Landscape
August 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018
1560 BROADWAY, SUITE 1001, NEW YORK, NY10036
Every night from 11:57 – midnight

The 2018 Lumen Prize Longlist Features Two CYFEST Projects

The Lumen Prize’s 7th Call for Entries attracted entries from artists from 48 countries globally. The International Selectors Committee considered nearly 700 submitted artworks, by category, and picked this year’s longlist of 60 works, published here.

CYLAND MediaArtLab is pleased to see two of the recent CYFEST projects — William Latham’s Mutator VR and Kseniia Galkina’s Holo Sapiens — entering the longlist in their respective categories.


Holo Sapiens project presentation during the 11th CYFEST, St. Petersrburg, 2018

Our team wishes best of luck to both of the projects and looks forward to the further announcements. Finalists will be announced on September 1. Winners will be revealed on September 27th at the Frontline Club in London and live on Facebook.

And while the jury panel works on selecting the shortlist — which will be announced on September 1st — it’s now up to you to find a People’s Choice winner from one of these 60 works. Explore the projects and pick your favourites at the Lumen Prize website.

CYLAND’s Alexandra Dementieva Reports from the 14th Athens Digital Arts Festival

CYLAND MediaArtLab artist Alexandra Dementieva shares her report from the 14th Athens Digital Arts Festival. The latest festival edition took place May 24-27, 2018 at the Megaron Concert Hall exploring the unknown future of the upcoming Technological Apocalypse through art, science and technology under the theme “SINGULARITY NOW”.


Event Horizon is the conceivable surface of a black hole, a place where gravity curves space-time so much, there is no escape, not even by light itself. Its core is the singularity, a zero point, where space and time are discontinued and is unknown what exactly happens further. A wormhole? Termination of everything? A new universe through a white hole?

When something enters the event horizon, all physics laws get distorted, while gravity becomes such, that inevitably reaches singularity and from there on…

For more information visit

The 2018 Lumen Prize, an International Open Call for Artists Engaged with Digital Technology

2018 Lumen Prize

Now welcoming submissions, The Lumen Prize is an international award that celebrates artists working with digital technology.

Deadline: June 1, 2018


Open to emerging and established artists working with technology and digital media, the competition offers a prize fund of $11,000, plus shortlisted and winning artists will have their works included in Lumen’s annual programme of exhibitions and events around the world.

Now in its 7th year, The Lumen Prize has already awarded over $50,000 in prize money and has staged over 40 exhibitions worldwide, in cities including London, New York, St Petersburg, Shanghai, Amsterdam and Athens.

The 2018 prizes are:

  • Gold Award ($4000)
  • Moving Image ($1000)
  • Still Image ($1000)
  • AR/VR ($1000)
  • 3D/Interactive($1000)
  • Founder’s Award ($1000)
  • The BCS Artificial Intelligence Award ($1000)
  • Meural Student Prize ($500)
  • People’s Choice Award ($500)

The 2018 Jury Panel includes:

  • Carla Gannis, Professor of Digital Arts, Pratt Institute, New York, Winner of the 2016 Lumen Prize Founder’s Award
  • Bruce Wands, Chair Emeritus, School of Visual Arts, New York
  • Fei Jun, Head of Media Lab at China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts
  • Irini Papadimitriou, Digital Programmes manager, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Foteini Aravani, Digital Curator, Museum of London

The closing date for entries is 1 June 2018 at 11:59 GMT. The winner will be announced on September 27th at the Lumen Prize Winners’ Gala in London.

Shortlisted artists and recipients of The Lumen Prize from other years have gone on to achieve success around the world. Carla Gannis, 2016 Founder’s Award winner and 2018 Jury Panel member, has recently been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of Art for the net art project Sunrise/Sunset; Rachel Ara, shortlisted for the 2016 Still Image Award, has begun a residency at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and Alexandra Handal’s web-based Dream Homes Property Consultants, winner of the 2014 People’s Choice Gold Award, has been acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark.

Key information:

  • Administration fee of US$47.50 for two works and US$23.75 for each additional work. Fees go directly to the prize fund and associated exhibitions
  • You must select a category to enter from: Still, Moving Image, AR/VR, 3D/Interactive and the BCS AI award
  • The Student Prize is only valid for still and moving image. To enter the Student Prize contact:
  • Digitised versions of traditional artworks will not be accepted
  • Deadline for submissions is June 1 2018 For more information visit or contact

The Zooetics+ Symposium Commences at MIT ACT

The Zooetics+ Symposium commences Friday, April 27, 2018 with the sessions “What Does Ecosystemic Thinking Mean Today” and “Knowledge Production Through Making and Living with Other Species,” discussing the habits of thought associated with cybernetics and the transition towards new thinking, inspired by sympoietics. The day will be finalized with a session speculating on what non-human imagination could look like in the session “The Radical Imagination: Toward Overcoming the Human.”

On Saturday, April 28, the program will explore further devices for ecosystemic thinking, discussing relevant artistic methods and practices in the panel “Artistic Intelligence, Speculation, Prototypes, Fiction.” “Creating Indigenous Futures” will be explored through bringing Indigenous values together with science and technology. The need for other, alternative vantage points—of species, of time, of traditions, of beings will be addressed in the session “Futures of Symbiotic Assemblages: Multi-naturalism, Monoculture Resistance and “The Permanent Decolonization of Thought.”

The symposium will conclude with a roundtable and launch of a new artistic research program “Sympoiesis: New Research, New Pedagogy, and New Publishing in Radical Inter-disciplinarity.”

Zooetics+ will be accompanied by a program of performances and installations by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Allora and Calzadilla, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Rikke Luther and NODE Berlin/Oslo.

Zooetics+ is part of ACT’s program recognizing the 50th anniversary of the founding of the renowned Center for Advanced Visual Studies, a predecessor to ACT.

Online registration closes at midnight EST on April 24. Onsite registration will be available throughout the Symposium. Hurry up to reserve your seat!

For detailed schedule and description of program sessions follow the link here.

The Zooetics+ Symposium at MIT is co-produced by Jutempus Interdisciplinary Art Program and MIT Program in Art, Culture & Technology (ACT). Co-presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), and sponsored, in addition, by the Office of the Dean of the School of Architecture + Planning, MIT.

CYLAND’s Alexandra Dementieva Reports from The Recent New Media Art Exhibitions in Paris

CYLAND MediaArtLab artist Alexandra Dementieva shares her reports from the recent exhibition she had visited in Paris, France. Both exhibitions explore an immersive and interactive digital world – an augmented body sensory experience that subverts our notions of space and time. The exhibition “La invención de Morel” (“The Invention of Morel”) at Maison de l’Amérique latine à Paris is named after a celebrated novel by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares depicting a strange invention capable of recording human lives and later – inhabiting these recordings. Despite being written in 1940, “The Invention of Morel” serves as a poetic explanation of our current technologies revolutionising human lives and even the conditions in which artworks are produced, presented, disseminated, conserved and received.

“Artistes and Robots” at the Grand Palais is an opportunity to experience works of art produced with the help of increasingly sophisticated robots.  Featuring works by some forty artists, it offers a gateway to an immersive and interactive digital world – an augmented body sensory experience that subverts our notions of space and time.

This selection of works explores the questions raised by artists, which are also questions we ask ourselves : What can a robot do that an artist cannot? If it has an artificial intelligence, does a robot have an imagination? Who decides: the artist, the engineer, the robot, the spectators or everyone together? What is a work of art? Should we fear robots? Artists? Artist-robots?

For more information on “The Invention of Morel” visit and for “Artistes and Robots” –

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