- Subtheme Speculative Mediations
The media play a primary role in our perceptions of the world around us. It can be argued that in some ways the media helps to create the world around us. What is our role as new media artists and manipulators? How do we engage in the world around us through the media? How do we move beyond speculations and get to the truth? Should we disclaim our personal bias within our work? If so, how?
- Subtheme Technology, Science and Art: East Meets West
From the very zero that makes possible the binary data that the information age is built upon to the recursive geometries of Arabesque patterns, the long history of mathematical, scientific and artistic contributions from the Arab world is well known. Within the context of the current state of geopolitical flux, speculation is solicited with regard to the contemporary and future balance of technological progress between East and West with prospects for trans–global cooperation and project collaboration.
- Subtheme Emerging Economies/Emerging Identities
Dubai has been the emerging economy to watch over the past 15 years. Both the unprecedented triumphs and dramatic overreaches have played a role in shaping identity and in many ways the reverse is also true. How has the course of emerging economies like Dubai’s at the turn of the 21st century played into the identity of the developed world and in the world that has yet to emerge? In what way has this influenced the work of artists?
- Subtheme Nomadic Shifts
The rich history and cultural identity of the Emirati people is closely tied to nomadic lifestyle. Microclimate, geography and biology of the region are the generative cause of the nomadic life of the Bedouin. Today, the idea of the nomad has taken on a multitude of diverse connotations with new generative causes. How do these new notions of nomadic existence affect the practice of new media art?
- Subtheme Digital Archaeology and Collaborative Spaces
Digital tools and applications are being used to recreate lost communities and to better understand spatial and cultural histories. In architecture and planning, virtual worlds create the opportunity to push the boundaries of materials and concepts (chaos, uncertainty, responsive environments) — that may or may not be realized. How does this practice impact the evolution of social systems? How has this practice influenced education and collaborations across disciplines?
- Subtheme Interlacing Worlds: Fiber and Sensory MediationTrading states along the Silk Road, by their nature as wealthy cross – cultural meeting points, played a catalytic role in advancing the evolution of luxury or exotic goods. In nomadic societies, fabrics — whether for clothing or housing — were developed from products in their surrounding environments. Today, technology has advanced to allow fibers and fabrics to engage upon our senses through optics and feedback response. The rich history of and the future possibilities for the influence of textile and related materials by digital technology are explored.
- Subtheme Nomadic Highway/Bridging Media
Social networks have played a pivotal role in today’s communication system. The Internet and other digital media are indispensable in the effort to illuminate and advance the public discourse on complex social themes and political systems. This theme provided a forum for the exploration of the future of social media in art and its potential influence on the evolution of social ecologies.
- Subtheme Connecting Worlds/Linking Ideas
As professors try to provide a better learning platform for students, to diversify their subject matter and engage interdisciplinary platforms, this theme focuses on the connection between art and science in the classroom. With the world ever more connected, how can educators embrace new technologies to create new and stimulating ways to link ideas and cultures around the world. Can art that has been developed by new intersections with science and technology lead to a new visual culture that link people and their ideas instantaneously, crossing all borders?