Flux, and the Futures

Last weekend Eindhoven (or rather it’s Strij-S complex) hosted Flux-S, an ‘international art festival’. It was already a second edition for Flux-S, so the festival can claim its annual status. It also claimed the ‘future’ theme, with a somewhat enigmatic subtitle of this year ‘Drafts Establishing Future’.

Everything ‘future’-related is very welcomed in this blog, and I was going to write a proper story, starting with a recap of Flux-S’09. To all my surprise, I didn’t find any records about last year’s event in the blog. We visited the festival’s premises, and I do remember quite well a number of interesting concepts (of which I took quite a lot of pictures). Strangely, all that didn’t find a way here, and I started to ask myself why.

It was a very original concept (for me, at least), to rethink the meaning of the (urban) space, and imagine its possible reincarnations in various art forms. The last year intro video, with a swirl of the colorful stripes rushing thought an abandoned building, was amazing (you can still see it on their site, Flux-S’09), and very well expressed the intention and the focal point of the event, to enchant the old complex with new layers of meaning. In my view, this was best manifested in the installation by Femke Shaap ‘Layers and Skins’ (which we between us renamed into Light Icebergs):

It was amazingly simple, yet amazingly powerful a show: big and small pieces of foam plastic cut into (more or less) crystal shapes, distributed over a huge dark room and lighted by slow-mo projections. The result was a completely surreal space, totally immersing, soothing and elevating you at the same time. There were few other interesting projects presented, yet I didn’t write about them either, back then. However, as I understand now, it was not because the event didn’t impact me; it did, very much so, and there is an easy way to ‘prove’ it: I counted at least six (6) images from the festival that went to my own aman-geld project . Those images were not necessarily the part of the art projects presented at the festival – for example, a fragment of an impressive performance Boom, or a light trace of the installation Picture of the Mountain, by Sema Bikerovic. More important (for me, at least) were the images of the broken windows, or peeled walls that became real art pieces, as if the event transformed them, conjuring the new beauty.

Interesting enough, the story about art festival therefore becomes the one about my own works created thanks to the event, and not about the displayed art objects. I wonder if this may become a new criteria of any art event (or an establishment, like a museum) – it’s not important what you show, it is important what the visitors will produce after your show.

Re the Flux-S’10 itself: I may actually try to write more stories this time, and tell about a few projects here, in separate postings. But to be honest the general impression was a bit disappointing; first, there were less projects presented (yet they were described in many more (pseudo) sophisticated words). Second, the event lost in many ways its initial ‘spatial’ nature, and the original theme of spatial rebirth, or reincarnation, it played so well first time. There were also not so many cases of really interactive and co-creative art (there were some, but I would expect more, especially from the event taking about the ‘future’). But let me reserve a few ‘spots’ for the future postings, where I would try to be more descriptive, and less judgmental.

I like the subtitle, though, with all its ambiguity. One can read “Drafts Establishing Future” as merely three separate words, creating a certain ‘semantic dance’. You can read it as “the drafts that establish the future’. But it can be also understood as “the future that establish (= preemptively form) certain drafts”. I would like to know more about the copyrighters’ ideas, as well as to listen to the opinions of the native speakers.

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