Kiblix festival in Maribor exploring virtual worlds

Maribor – The international festival of art, technology and science Kiblix this year explores virtual worlds and because of the epidemic it is being held in a new hybrid form. Organised by the Kibla centre, the 2020 festival focuses on the human experience of virtual worlds, which have become so important this year because of coronavirus.

The festival informally started at the end of November, but the main events will be held between December and February.

Tadej Vindiš, a representative of the organisers, says the festival deals with the question of which and what kind of virtual worlds we have today, given that 2020 is the most virtual year so far.

The festival will focus on the experience of human – with all material restrictions and social and political circumstances – in the virtual spaces of speculative reality, elusive identities and increasingly acute social transformations.

According to one of the festival’s curators Živa Kleindienst, the art and research projects will be fully presented online and if possible also at Kibla’s gallery Portal in Maribor.

Other events will include seminars and debates, featuring international guests, artists’ presentations, audiovisual performances, a quarantine game jam and other virtual activities.

The first debate, discussing digital intimacy, will be moderated by Ghislaine Boddington, co-founder and creative director of the London-based company body>data>space, while the creative director of Kibla’s lab for extended reality (XR) technologies, Žiga Pavlovič, will moderate a debate on the challenges of XR industry, education and staff training.

An international student GameJam will focus on development of creative solutions for strengthening of social proximity in times of physical distancing.

A series of webinars will explore virtual worlds through theoretical texts and art pieces.

The festival will wrap up with an international exhibition at Portal.

The Kiblix festival critically analyses modern media technology and its usage in contemporary art, culture and education. It is part of a project of a network of research centres at the intersection of art, science and technology. Co-funded by the EU, the partners to the project are developing innovative products and services for a human technology of the future.