Pixelache Festival 2019

Breaking the Fifth Wall

20 — 26 toukokuu 2019, Helsinki, Finland

The curatorial team, composed by, Alan Bulfin, Steve Maher, Saša Nemec and Vishnu Vardhani Rajan, all Pixelache members, will work on the curatorial and festival theme of ‘Breaking the Fifth Wall’.

The concept is based on the term, mostly used in theatre and film, which is an extension of the term fourth wall, the imagined wall separating the audiences from the actors. Here, the curatorial team uses it to describe a fictitious wall that we, as a society have created and hidden behind, a wall made from technology, social media and what looks like connectivity. Manuel Castells talks about how as our society orientates and organises itself through networked interfaces and it, in turn, falls prey to networked thinking. Traditionally the bounds of how social movements came about in society was functionally at a different pace. The spread of the ideas faced generational testing, its core ideas and principles explained to us by our neighbours and loved ones. Today, however, the rate at which ideas or memes are spread is accelerated, there are no enclaves through which social experimentation can explore their function as their transmission is now immediate. The premise of the festival plays with our notions of both reality and society today, which give us less and less physical connections and time to think while putting emphasis on digital interactions - the festival is a means to overturn that.

The starting point and developing strategy for the Pixelache Festival 2019 is its relationships. This is a direct way for building the festival’s foundations on difference. Our reasoning is there is no Self before the Other and difference and chance encounters are what makes ‘Breaking the Fifth Wall’ relevant today. What we achieve in this way is not an exploration of our festival’s identity but through its relationships a fateful construction of fleeting relations or eternally engaging ways of being very different together. This is why we are dedicated to our relationships with others and finding ways we can both flourish in our endeavours and efforts. That is to say connecting and searching out encounters, acknowledging and cherishing difference and transforming and transitioning to different ways is the foundation stones for the Pixelache Festival 2019.

The festival invites artists, both local and international, to carry out projects which respond to the curatorial premise of Breaking the Fifth Wall. Some of these responses are direct technological interventions, while others are tactile responses to feedback from our immediate and non-digital environment. The festival will continue to support contemporary artists and their endeavours, through commissioning new works from Dries Depoorter and the artistic duo Varvara and Mar, through hybrid performances by Ali Akbar Mehta and Vidha Saumya,  Laura Dahlberg, Brigitte Kovacs and Low Profile and workshops by Derek Holzer and Jan Lütjohann. The festival will also gather support for members projects like Samir Bhowmik’s Circuit Breaker, the BioSignals platform and Tuomo Tammenpää, Daniel Blackburn and Lisa Roberts’ VR Bucket. Many other parts of our programme will be announced 

The festival is held throughout the city, with a programme of events and installations within its borders however our intent is to draw audience members away from the usual central city cultural spaces, with workshops held in the culturally diverse neighbourhoods of Kontula in East Helsinki (Museum of Impossible Forms), former industrial spaces repurposed as cultural zones (Oranssi, Kalasatama), independent art spaces (Maa-Tila, Sornainen) as well as outside of the city itself with a fully developed collaboration with our partners Seinäjoki’s Taidehalli. The festival also explores collaboration with our existing partners, working with the BioArt Society in SOLU an artistic laboratory and platform for art, science and society founded in 2018 as part of the 10th anniversary of the Bio Art Society.

In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.   

- King T’Challa of Wakanda

Breaking the Fifth wall focuses on inclusiveness before specialization, difference before identity and play before culture. The festival is about creating and simultaneously exploring alternative pathways, tangible interactions apart from the anaesthetized interfaces which slowly envelope our social interactions.