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November
Interactive and inspiring art installations at Microwave Festival
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Hand shadows being turned into magical monsters? Counting the number of visitors can become a welcoming performance? Interesting, inspiring and interactive art installations from prominent media artists worldwide will be shown at the “Microwave International New Media Arts Festival” from today (November 4) until November 15.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the festival showcases integration between cutting edge technology and new media arts through exhibitions, video screenings, conferences, workshops and talks at various venues. Not to be missed is Daniel Sauter’s “Light Attack” which travels around the city with an animated virtual character.

A special treat this year is a programme which is a tribute to Korean video art master Nam June Paik, a globally influential figure in the development of media arts.

Officiating at the opening ceremony at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong City Hall were Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho; Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Dr Ng Chi-wa; Director of the Goethe-Institut Hongkong, Mr Michael Muller-Verweyen; Programme Director of Department of Cultural and Religious Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mr Oscar Ho and Board Director of Microwave, Ms Ellen Pau.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and organised by Microwave, the “Microwave International Media Arts Festival” has “Animatronica” as its theme this year to explore the nature of animated images through the form of animation and surveillance devices. People are invited to engage, participate and experiment in the different works.

The exhibition of “Animatronica” at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong City Hall features works of international media artists including Rafael Lozano-Hemmer from Canada, Max Kazemzadeh and Camille Utterback from the United States, Philip Worthington from United Kingdom, Alvaro Cassinelli from Uruguay, Daniel Sauter from Germany and Jin-Yo Mok from Korea. Admission is free.

Surveillances devices are perceived as an intrusion to privacy but Rafael Lozano-Hemmer turns the device into fun. In his classic work “Surface Tension”, animated eyes react to the movement of the public through a detection system. His other work “Glories of Accounting” is an interactive installation tracing the emotion of visitors with large hands.

Philip Worthington’s “Shadow Monsters” turns a shadow into a magical monster associated with sound and animation. Alvaro Cassinelli’s “Khronos Projector” enables participants to interfere in time and space with their hands and Max Kazemzadeh’s “SpinFlick” lights up a panel of light when a coin spins.

To encourage more local art works, the festival presents “X-D Animation Award 2006 Prize Presentation and Showcase”. The six winning awards are exhibited with the American artist Daniel Shiffman’s “Super Happy Particles” at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Film Archive.

To commemorate the life and works of Nam June Paik, screening programmes on November 11, 13 to 15 at the Cinema of Hong Kong Film Archive will feature a collection of Nam’s works including “The Strange Music of Name June Paik”, “You Can’t Lick Stamps in China”, “A Conversation”, “Experiment with David Atwood”, “26’1.1499 For a String Player” and “Stockhausen’s Originale”. A special lecture with Korean speaker Wonil Rhee will be held at 7pm on November 14 before the screening. The lecture is conducted in English.

Another screening is the “Best of the best from Siggraph 2006 Computer Animation Festival” at 9pm on November 15 at the Hong Kong Film Archive.

Two conferences will be held on November 13 at the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. “Hong Kong Distinguished New Media Artists Presentation” will be held at 3pm.

The keynote conference “Strategies of Interactivities in Media Arts & Visual Culture” will be held at 7pm to explore the relationship between electronic arts and the social and cultural space. Guest speaker Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will present his enigmatic works “Glories of Accounting”, “Surface Tension” and “Body Movies” while Daniel Sauter will showcase his “Light Attack” - moving projection that travels around the city.

Four workshops from Alvaro Cassinelli, Max Kazemzadeh, Jin-Yo Mok, and Philip Worthington will be held from November 5 to 8 at the North Committee Room, High Block of Hong Kong City Hall followed by talks on their exhibits at the Exhibition Hall.

Conferences and artist talks are conducted in English and admission is free. Tickets priced at $30 for screening programmes are now available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

For programme details and ticket discounts, please refer to the leaflet available at LCSD performing venues or call 2734 2900 or visit http://www.microwavefest.net or http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp .

Ends/Saturday, November 4, 2006
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