RIXC Art Science Festival
and the 2nd Open Fields Conference 

Riga, October 19 – 21, 2017

Early Bird registration extended until September 30, 2017
Register Now:

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.

RIXC Festival is internationally renowned gathering for artists and scholars working at the intersection of arts, digital humanities and science. This year’s festival programme features Public Keynotes, the 2nd Open Fields Conference, Exhibitions, Performances and AR/VR Showcases.

The main festival events will take place from October 19–21, 2017, in some of Riga’s most visible art venues – the Conference will take place in the Art Academy of Latvia, and the Latvian National Museum of Art, while the exhibitions – in kim? Contemporary Art Centre and RIXC Gallery spaces.

* Monika FLEISCHMANN & Wolfgang STRAUSS / research artists & scientists, DE
* Ellen PEARLMAN / Parsons / New School / Art-A-Hack / ThoughtWorks / New York, USA
* Chris SALTER / Concordia University, CA
* David ROTHENBERG / New Jersey Institute of Technology / USA


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 healthcare 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 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.


THURSDAY, October 19, 2017
15.00 – 16.00 Registration
Monika FLEISCHMANN and Wolfgang STRAUSS / DE
Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art (Address: Jana Rozentala laukums 1, entrance from the park side)
Venue: kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Sporta iela 2

FRIDAY, October 20, 2017
10.00 – 11.30 Plenary Session: Thematic Keynotes and Featured Presentation:
By Media Lab of AALTO University (Helsinki/FI)
Venue: The Art Academy of Latvia / Address: Kalpaka bulvaris 13 (from the park side)
12.00 – 16.30: Parallel Sessions
Venues: The Art Academy of Latvia, and The Latvian National Museum of Art
Venue: The Latvian National Museum of Art

SATURDAY, October 21, 2017
10.00 – 11.30 Plenary Session: Thematic Keynotes and Featured Presentation
Venue: The Art Academy of Latvia
12.00 – 16.30 Parallel Sessions
Venues: the Art Academy and the National Art Museum
17.00 – Closing Session: OPEN FIELDS BOOK-REVIEW, presentations by authors (Pecha Kucha format), and “RENEWABLE FUTURES” (Acoustic Space Vol. 16) book discussion.
Venue: The National Art Museum
21.00 – Satellite Event: PERFORMANCE NIGHT
Venue: RISEBA Media and Architecture Center H2O6, Durbes iela 6

October 19–21, 2017

The 2nd Open Fields conference will take place in October 19-21, 2017, in Riga, Latvia, in two venues (which are closely each to other) – the Art Academy of Latvia and the Latvian National Museum of Art. 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 a part of the annual RIXC Art Science festival, and it is closely connected to the festival exhibition that every year showcases the most innovative artwork and artistic research projects. The 1st Open Fields conference edition took place in Riga, October 2016, gathering together 120 participants from 30 countries worldwide. The conference is complemented by the exhibition and closely linked to it, as the conference also aims to reflect upon artistic practice and research in the age of post-media and post-digital, whereby inventing new taxonomies and shaping new contact zones between art, science, technology and social engagement.

This year we received more than 260 compelling conference and exhibition proposals from around the world, out of which conference organizational board selected 80 proposals for the conference, and 20 for the exhibition. Overall, this year we expect more than 100 participants from 35 countries, representing more than 60 universities, art centers, museums, institutions and companies, as well as independent artists, scientists and scholars from different fields, who work with immersive technologies, experiment with augmented and virtual reality, discuss future of digital and data aesthetics, whereby exploring complex relations between the “virtualities” and “realities” in our post-media society.

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

Conference Participants:
John-Patrick AYSON (USA), Memo AKTEN (United Kingdom), Hiba ALI (USA), Jamie ALLEN (Canada), Miguel ALMIRON (France), Sandra ALVARO (Spain), Arnas ANSKAITIS (Lithuania), Daniil BAKALIN (Russia), Tracey BENSON (Australia), Kathryn BLAIR (Canada), Andrew BLANTON (USA), Luis BRACAMONTES (Mexico), Jonah BRUCKER-COHEN (USA), Kim BURGAS (USA), Samuel CAPPS (United Kingdom), Aoun CARLOTTA (France),  Oksana CHEPELYK (Ukraine), Cristina COCHIOR (Netherlands), Alice CORONA (Netherlands), Guillermo CROSETTO (France), Shannon CUYKENDALL (Canada), Doville DAGIENE (Lithuania), Christina DELLA GIUSTINA (Netherlands), Maija DEMITERE (Latvia), Violetta DESAGA (Germany), Pablo DESOTO (Sweden), Lilly DIAZ (Finland), Steve DIPAOLA (Canada), Michael DOTOLO (India), Hannah DRAYSON (United Kingdom), Tomi DUFVA (Finland), Mikko DUFVA (Finland), Natalia EGOROVA (Russia), Caitlin FOLEY (USA), Elena FUERTES (Spain), Gabriela GALATI (Italy), Jānis GARANČS (Latvia), Mitch GOODWIN (Australia), Yvette GRANATA (USA), Vanessa GRAVENOR (Germany), Paola GUIMERANS (Spain), Varvara GULJAJEVA (Estonia), Hanna HAASLAHTI (Finland), Adnan HADZI (United Kingdom), Chris HALES (Latvia), Asim HAMEED (Pakistan), Greta HAUER (United Kingdom), Jukka HAUTAMAKI (Finland), Jane HAWLEY (USA), Brandon HEARTY (Canada), Ben HIPPEN (USA), Janina HOTH (Austria), Martin HOWSE (Germany), Camilla JALLER (Denmark), Mine KAPLANGI (Turkey), Katerina KAROUSSOS (Greece), Raivo KELOMEES (Estonia), Anna KENNEDY (Australia), Raphael KIM (United Kingdom), Philipp KOHL (Germany), Jacob KOK (Netherlands), Jaana KOKKO (Finland), Aleksander KOMAROV (Belarus), Korsten & DeJong (Netherlands), Andrea KOVACS (Hungary), Normunds KOZLOVS (Latvia), Ron KUIVILA (USA), Karen LANCEL  (Netherlands), Daniel LANDAU (USA), Mikko LIPIAINEN (Latvia), Maryna MAKARENKO (Germany), Srinivas MANGIPUDI (India), Ramon MARTINEZ (Spain), Orr MENIROM (United States), Nicolò MERENDINO (Netherlands), Richard MERRITT (USA), Lina  MICHELKEVIČE (Lithuania), Vytautas MICHELKEVIČIUS (Lithuania), Christopher MILLER (USA), Alvaro MOLINS (Spain), Sean MONTGOMERY (USA), Reese MUNTEAN (Canada), Anna NACHER (Poland), Livia NOLASCO-ROZSA (Germany), Vygintas ORLOVAS (Lithuania), Andrew Gryf PATERSON (Finland), Ledo PEREZ (Spain), David PIRRO (Austria), Dijana PROTIC (Croatia), Misha RABINOVICH (USA), Stefanie RAU (Germany), Elke REINHUBER (Singapore), Morten ROCKFORD (Denmark), Jenny RODENHOUSE (USA), Giorgio RUGGERI (Italy), Martin RUMORI (Austria), Hanns Holger RUTZ (Austria), Vincenzo SANSONE (Italy), Vanessa Sonia SANTOS (Spain), Thecla SCHIPHORST (Canada), Johanna SCHMEER (Germany), David SCHMUDDE (USA), Sarah SCHORR (Denmark), Vygandas SIMBELIS (Sweden), Sergey SIMONOV (Russia), Eva SJUVE (United Kingdom), Ilva SKULTE (Latvia), Jorge SOBEJANO (Spain), Winnie SOON (Denmark), David STRANG (United Kingdom), Prophecy SUN (Canada), Maxim TYMINKO (Belarus), Anna TOKAREVA (New Zealand), Sender VEENHOF (Netherlands), Paula VĪTOLA (Latvia), Zil Julie VOSTALOVA (Czech Republic), Florian WIENCEK (Austria), Ludwig ZELLER (Switzerland).

October 19 – November 28, 2017

Venue: kim? Contemporary Art Center, Sporta iela 2, Riga

The main festival exhibition will feature the most innovative artworks that experiment with augmented and virtual reality, create immersive environments, and explore complex relations between the “virtualities” and “realities” of our post-media society with its networked communities and migrating cultures.

VIRTUALITIES AND REALITIES exhibition artists: Marc LEE (Switzerland), Jacques PERCONTE (France), Juuke SCHOORL (the Netherlands), Brenna MURPHY (USA), Hans BREDER (USA), Clement VALLA (USA), Matteo ZAMAGNI (United Kingdom), Zane ZELMENE (Latvia), The Swan Collective (Germany), Annie BERMAN (USA), Felipe CUCKER and Hector RODRIGUEZ (Hong Kong), Gunta DOMBROVSKA (Latvia), Martin John CALLANAN (United Kingdom), Nina FISCHER and Maroan EL SANI (Germany), Santa FRANCE (Latvia), Greta HAUER (United Kingdom), Martin HESSELMEIER and Andreas MUXEL (Germany), Raphael KIM (United Kingdom), Michal KINDERNAY (Czech Republic), Christopher MANZIONE and Seth CLUETT (USA), Andrew MCWILLIAMS (USA), Melodie MOUSSET and Naem BARON (Switzerland), Martin REICHE (Germany), Hanns Holger RUTZ (Austria), Julia SOKOLNICKA (Poland/the Netherlands), Danielle ZORBAS (Australia).

Curator: Raitis SMITS / RIXC

Parallel Exhibitions:
Parallel exhibitions related to the festival theme on Virtualities and Realities, will be also on view in both RIXC gallery spaces: FLUCTUATIONS OF MICROWORLDS by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits will be on show at Lencu iela 2, and DATA.LOGS by artist  collective Trihars – at 11. novembra krastmala 35. More information available at


The papers by conference participants will be published in conference proceeding, which will come out in the Acoustic Space, (double blind) peer-reviewed journal & book series. The call for full paper submissions will be announced shortly after the conference on the Acoustic Space journal website, in November 2017.

The new issue of Acoustic Space (Vol. 16) – RENEWABLE FUTURES. Art, Science and Society in the Post-Media Age, edited by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits in tribute to Armin Medosch (1962–2017) has been published recently, and it will be presented at the closing day of the conference – during the OPEN FIELDS BOOK-REVIEW session.

The Open Fields Book-Review is a dynamic open participation session in Pecha Kucha format (20×20), during which conference speakers and exhibition artists have an opportunity to present their recent or upcoming books. The Book-Review by authors will take place on October 21, 2017 at 17.00 at the Art Academy of Latvia.

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

The Conference is organized by RIXC / Riga in collaboration with the Renewable Futures network, 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:  The State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Riga City Council, Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, EU Programme Creative Europe’s Risk Change project, Nordplus, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Goethe-Institut Riga
, the Fulbright Specialist Program, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Latvian National Museum of Art, Art Academy of Latvia, University of Liepaja, Art Research Lab of Liepaja University, Studija, ESSE, PK Riga Hotel.

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