I’ve been pretty vocal about this: The Currents New Media Festival, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is one of my favorite media festivals in the world. Produced by Parallel Studios (co-directed by Mariannah Amster and Frank Ragano), Currents is a city-wide celebration of technology-meets-art-meets-spectacle. While we’ve done a recap of last year’s festival, we thought we’d look ahead to this year’s festival - and maybe give you a chance to attend!
This year’s Currents features a special partnership with Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlanetary Festival. That gathering is an exploration of humanity’s future with an awareness of today’s problems. The InterPlanetary Festival’s inclusion draws performers like Ozomotli, and DJ/VJ Max Cooper, which dovetails perfectly with the performances and installations that are the hallmark of Currents. All of this occurs throughout the beautiful city of Santa Fe, and is embraced by the vibrant academic and artistic communities of the area.
Recently, the Currents New Media Festival website has been updated to provide access to the amazing wealth of performance data, going back to its origins. Navigating to their past festivals page gives you an insight on the wide array of artists, technologists and performers that have been involved throughout the organization's history. Overview videos provide a historical reference to the growth of Currents – the kind of history that is often lost for important events.
The festival kicks off on June 8th, and the opening weekend is always filled with excitement and activity. This year, the Ozomotli Concert (presented by the InterPlanetary Festival) kicks things off on June 7th, followed by the Currents Opening Night event on the 8th. The lineup of performers, panelists and installation artists is amazing – but even more amazing is the fact that almost everything is open to the public and free to attend. The only exceptions are opening night (which has a suggested donation), a multimedia performance at SITE Santa Fe (which has an admission fee), and the Weaving and Coding Workshop (which is $75 for two full-day sessions). This is an amazing bargain, and it means that the entire city can get involved in the action.
Hopefully you can see some of the reasons I’m excited by the Currents New Media Festival – and hope that you’ll think about dropping in. It runs from June 8th through June 24th, and is a great chance to see work and hear talks by people like Marco Buongiorno Nardelli, Kristin Stransky and others. You also might run into some of us there – especially on that opening weekend, when the whole city is hopping.
If you find yourself traveling through Santa Fe in the month of June, or if you feel like and adventure, consider dropping in on the Currents New Media Festival and embracing one of the jewels of the Southwest.