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Electrons on parade: The new-media carnival of Currents 2013

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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 11:09 pm, Thu Aug 22, 2013.

If the sensory experiences offered at this year’s installment of Currents, an international festival of new media, are any indication, gone are the days when “new media” was simply another term for video. Of course, there will be plenty of video but also a whole lot more. The center of the activity, as in past Currents, is El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, with satellite events occurring at locations across town throughout the month, culminating in a free concert at the Railyard Plaza by D Numbers on June 29.

The festival is the brainchild of Mariannah Amster and Frank Ragano, digital media artists whose organization Parallel Studios began producing the festival in 2002 at the Center for Contemporary Arts, with only eight video artists. Past Currents occurred sporadically between the years 2002 and 2009, but the festival has grown in size to become an annual event over the last four years. Several galleries and art venues are partnering with Parallel Studios for Currents 2013, including Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, which hosts a talk by César Meneghetti at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. Meneghetti worked with physically and mentally disabled people from Rome’s Community of Sant’Egidio, a Christian evangelical charity organization, on his project I\O — a component of which, called Opera #01, is on view at El Museo. Also at Zane Bennett is a panel discussion on June 21, “Art and the Legacy of Artificial Life.” In addition, CCA hosts New Media: Arts and Sciences, an afternoon of events on June 23 presented by 1st-Mile Institute’s SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) program. The day’s activities include screenings, panel discussions, and presentations. Together with “Art and the Legacy of Artificial Life,” it represents one of several convergences — this one between art and science — that make Currents 2013 a dynamic, broadly focused festival. Other convergences include music and new media as well as live multimedia performances that incorporate video projection and video installation. Details of all events, including performance times, can be found on Currents’ website, www.currentsnewmedia.org.

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