In a city abounding with artists, art festivals and art opportunities, you may wonder why someone would create yet another art event. But Mateca Arts founder Teresa Otten had no such question when creating Mateca Arts Festival. As a visual artist herself who is concerned for nature and the impact that we have on our environment, she has created an event that brings together university students from Latin America and Canada to express how they feel about our environment and some of the tech-inspired results will make you stop and think twice about how we affect nature.
If you’re a supporter of Arts & Culture, you may think you’ve seen it all before but I ask you, have you ever seen a talking bush? We have! And it was one of our favourite works at the inaugural Mateca Arts Festival that took place last weekend at U of T’s Burwash Quad, on the Victoria College campus.
While children marvelled at how a plant could be walking around, seemingly interacting with passers by, they also experienced “Lighting rain” an interactive installation by Proyecto that was made up of LED lights hanging like leaves from a tree above where the ‘plant robot’ was wondering around, that changed colour when you walked up to or around them. The ‘Lightening Tree’ lights changed colour when you interacted with them and was a good visual example of how our interactions with nature change our environment.
The works that spoke to me the most were displayed inside Victoria College and were made up of dinosaur sculptures that looked like they would belong in the ROM except they were filled with fluorescent lights, garbage and laptops pumping out unsettling beeps and bleeps as people walked by. It can sometimes be hard to understand that the choices we make everyday have an impact on the environment but when you see dinosaurs stuffed with human garbage, the message suddenly becomes more clear.
I love that this exhibition shows how art and technology have evolved to a point where there is often no difference between the two. Meaning that where art and design used to be thought of as completely different entities, today art can be digital (like design) but it can also include tech elements and I hope that this exhibition with inspire our hEr VOLUTION supporters to think about how they could include technology in their art.
Have YOU created any tech-inspired art lately? Leave a comment and let us know, or send us pictures to have them featured in an upcoming post about Art & Technology.