[ISEA2012] Opening Note: Suzanne Sbarge – Welcome to ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, Re-envisioning Art, Technology and Nature

Opening Note
ISEA2012 (the Eighteenth International Symposium on Electronic Art) consists of a conference, a multi-site exhibition and a season-long series of public programs around the region, all exploring the intersection of art, science and technology. We are pleased to be hosting over 100 artists and over 400 presenters from 29 countries for the exhibition and conference, and working with over 100 partners from the region and beyond. ISEA is held every year in a different location around the world, and has a 30-year history of significant acclaim. It feels like a milestone for Albuquerque to be joining the group of host cities that has included Istanbul, Singapore, Belfast, Dortmund, Helsinki and major urban centers around the globe. This project is drawing a wealth of leading creative minds to New Mexico, and is engaging our local community through in-depth partnerships, putting Albuquerque on the map in a whole new way. Organizing the expansive ISEA2012 project has been an incredible honor and challenge for 516 ARTS, a small, independent, nonprofit, community organization. It has stretched our minds and greatly expanded our network. Crossing the divide between the arts and science opens up a vast realm of collaboration and possibility. Art and science, when combined, de-mystify each other and become more mutually accessible, offering a tremendous opportunity for creativity and innovation in both fields. The ISEA2012 conference, which kicks off the season-long collaboration, takes place in Albuquerque September 19 – 24, 2012, with pre-conference activities in Southern New Mexico and El Paso, and post-conference days along New Mexico’s “Cultural Corridor” in Santa Fe and Taos. The main conference is based at the museums in Albuquerque’s Old Town, with a day at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and two days Downtown. I encourage local and regional audiences to save the ISEA2012 Program Guide and use it as a resource for the whole fall season. And locals, please join in the conference activities together with hundreds of national and international attendees. ISEA2012 presents a unique opportunity for our community to interact with leading creative minds in art, science and technology from around the world. The conference programs have something for everyone, including Intel Education Day geared towards teachers and youth, the Downtown Block Party for the whole family, and many ticketed performances and celebrations. I encourage participants from near and far to join in the excitement of this momentus international gathering here in Albuquerque and the Southwest. Learn, play, connect and be a part of re-envisioning art, technology and nature.

Suzanne Sbarge is ISEA2012 Executive Producer and 516 ARTS Executive Director