The 2nd Open Fields Conference and RIXC Art Science Festival 2017

October 19–21, 2017, Riga

DEADLINE for conference and exhibition submissions

EXTENDEDJune 7, 2017

VIRTUALITIES AND REALITIES is the theme of this year’s RIXC Art Science festival in Riga, Latvia, that aims to establish a space for artistic interventions and conversations about the complex implications of immersive technologies. The festival programme will include the 2nd Open Fields conference, workshops, performances and exhibitions presenting the most innovative approaches in artistic research. The festival will take place in October 19–21, 2017, in Riga’s most significant contemporary art venues – kim? Contemporary Art Centre and RIXC Gallery, as well as in the Art Academy of Latvia, and the Latvian National Museum of Art.

E.E.G. KISS by Karen Lancel & Hermen Maat, Open Fields exhibition, RIXC Art Science Festival 2016. Photo: Didzis Grodzs


Immersive technologies coupled with superior virtual environments, artificial intelligence algorithms, faster processors, and biometrics are launching a new era in virtual experiences, entertainment and story telling. At the same time these technologies have the potential for reinforcing stereotypes, contributing to massive economic and social disruptions, and implementing new systems of invasive monitoring and control.

 What do these new developments in VR/AR mean for education, entertainment, social policy, and systems of codified knowledge? Like their predecessors the telephone, television, and mobile phone, what are the impending new vistas and reduced horizons?

Biometrics and the uploading and tracking of personal data spans areas from health care to advertising, with implications for law, criminal justice, entertainment (gaming), education and sports. Machine learning and algorithms are harvesting and making use of big data in new and startling ways. Some of it allows pinpoint accuracy in determining issues of public health, economics, climate change, story telling, political leanings and the migration of populations. What does all this data combined with new technologies mean? What are some current and future artistic strategies that deal with this? Combined with the acceleration of VR/AR and technologies of immersion, how will societies react?

Taking place in the framework of the RISK CHANGE EU Creative Europe’s project, various festival events will explore relations between “virtualities” and “realities” in our post-media society. The Open Fields conference will discuss the socio-cultural and neurobiological impacts of virtual and augmented reality, and other immersive technologies. The conference participants will also look at the places and movements from a socio-political perspective, the mapping and charting of migrating cultures particularly people and their data traces. The conference will be complemented by the festival exhibition that will explore the changing role of art in society, its transformative potential, and its relations to the sciences, especially focusing on neomateriality, new aesthetics and other critical qualities of the post-digital.


By following many requests, we have extended the submission deadline till June 7, 2017. We welcome artists and theorists, academic researchers and creative practitioners to submit the abstracts for CONFERENCE and proposals for EXHIBITION with regards to the following THEMES:

  • augmented and virtual reality
  • 360-degree video and interactive story-telling
biometrics, AI and machine learning
  • tracing and charting the migrating cultures
artistic and scientific research practices
  • techno-ecological perspective
  • neomateriality and post-digital aesthetics
digital art archives and curating practices
  • data visualization and immersive environments

Welcome to submit your conference proposal consisting of:

– keywords 5–6,
– an abstract 250 words,
– biography of the author(s) 200 words each.



The Open Fields conference is the annual gathering in Riga, Latvia, for international scholars and artists working at the intersection of arts, humanities and science. The conference was launched in 2016 with the aim to create the Nordic-Baltic region based platform for artistic research. It is taking place in the framework of the RIXC Art Science festival.
The conference venues this year will be: the Art Academy of Latvia and the Latvian National Museum of Art.

The Open Fields conference will be complemented by the festival exhibition, presenting the most innovative approaches in artistic research practices. The exhibition will be featuring 25 artworks. It will take place in kim? Contemporary Art Centre.

In case of any issues (i.e.with the openconf system), please don’t hesitate to contact us:

More info – on the festival website:

Conference chairs:
Rasa SMITE / RIXC / Liepaja University / Latvia
Ellen PEARLMAN / Parsons / New School / Art-A-Hack / ThoughtWorks / New York, USA

The International Conference Scientific board:
Lev MANOVICH / Cultural Analytics Lab / The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
Jussi PARIKKA / Winchester School of Art / University of Southampton / UK
Geoff COX / School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University, Denmark
Kristin BERGAUST / Oslo and Akershus University, Norway
Laura BELOFF / IT University, Copenhagen / Finnish Bioart Society, Helsinki, Finland
Lily DIAZ-KOMMONEN / Head of Research Department of Media, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland
Ursula DAMM / Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany
Vytautas MICHELKEVICIUS / Nida Art Colony, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania
Margrét Elísabet ÓLAFSDÓTTIR / Art Education at the University of Akureyri, Iceland
Ilva SKULTE / Riga Stradins University
Regine DEBATTY / / UK/BE
Piibe PIIRMA / Tallinn University / Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia
Raivo KELOMEES / Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia
Aleksandra KOSTIC / Kibla / Risk Change project / Maribor, Slovenia

The Festival and Exhibition curators: Raitis SMITS and Rasa SMITE / RIXC

The Festival is produced by RIXC / Riga, Latvia in collaboration with Risk Change / Creative Europe’s project partners.

The Conference is organized by RIXC / Riga in collaboration with the Renewable Futures Headquarters / Oslo, and Art-A-Hack / New York, and Hybrid Lab Nordplus project academic partners: Liepaja University, Aalto University and HiOA, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

Support: EU Programme Creative Europe’s Risk Change project, Nordplus Hybrid Lab project, the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Riga City Council, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia


Contact:, +371 67228478 (RIXC office), +371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)