The SXSW Art Program can be counted on to bring provocative public art installations from all over the world to Austin every spring as part of the larger conference and festivals. Past displays have included Turkish artist Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room and a TRIPH, a light installation produced by Dutch collective Circus Family in collaboration with musical artist Oij.
This year marks the third iteration of the annual program, with seven works by six artists to be on display March 8-16. Apropos of the SXSW Interactive Conference’s environment, the chosen works are experiential and conceptual, use immersive environments, and incorporate emerging technologies.
In a new twist for for 2019, SXSW will also host an Art Series of Sessions as part of its Conference programming. The two-day track of conversations and panels—which runs March 11-12 within the Design Track, will look at technology’s influence on contemporary art and the creative community. In presenting the series, SXSW Art hopes to create a discussion around major current art-world topics among patrons, curators, institutions, startups, technologists, designers, and visual artists.
The SXSW curatorial team chose the 2019 selections along with a group of creative advisors, including Suhair Khan, Ben Vickers, Kim Cook, Mia Locks, and Patton Hindle.
Other arts-related events during the festival include the UNESCO Media Arts Exhibition at the Austin Central Library, programming by the Facebook Art Department that culminates in the painting of a collaborative public mural with local nonprofit organization HOPE Campaign, and the photographic exhibit and dance performance Paper Dance at The Contemporary Austin—Jones Center downtown.
2019 SXSW Art Program
APPARATUM by panGenerator— Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński, Jakub Koźniewski
The APPARATUM was inspired by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, one of the first in the world to produce electroacoustic music. This installation uses analog sound generators and optical components orchestrated with a graphic score composed by a digital interface.
Arctic Passage by Louie Palu
Award-winning photographer Louie Palu will install large-format photographs—created in the Arctic over the course of three years—frozen in blocks of ice blocks on the plaza of the Harry Ransom Center on the UT campus at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 12.
Belongings by John-Paul Marin, Matt Smith, Patrick Abboud, Tea Uglow, and Kirstin Sillitoe
Belongings brings together diverse personal experiences through a common thread of treasured possessions, with people who left their homelands and almost everything they owned in search of a new life in Australia sharing their stories behind meaninful objects from the countries of their births.
Blooming by Lisa Park
Blooming depoloys biometric sensors in the form of a life-sized cherry blossom tree to create intimate environments for interaction and emotional response.
EVERY THING EVERY TIME by Naho Matsuda; Producer: FutureEverything
EVERY THING EVERY TIME will draw on data streams generated by the everyday events occurring in Austin, transforming them into poetry presented on a large-scale screen. It investigates the concept of the “smart city,” including notions of privacy and the role data plays in our lives.
hash2ash by panGenerator, Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński, and Jakub Koźniewski
The interactive installation addresses selfie culture and the fears around the impact of technical failures, impermanence of data storage, and technical obsolescence on our personal histories. Yes, the live taking and projection of selfies is involved.
Semeion by Circuit Circus
Semeion is a light and sound installation that explores artificial intelligence from an aesthetic and humanistic point of view. In the artwork, AI manifests itself in several large, minimalist structures that respond to human presence
Art Series of Sessions
Humanizing Innovation Through Artist Residencies
Speakers: Julia Kaganskiy (Independent Curator), Domhnail Hernon (Nokia Bell Labs), Kenric Mcdowell (Google), Sarah Newman (metaLAB at Harvard)
Speakers: Jamie Bennett (ArtPlace America), Mindy Fulilove (New School), Shaun Leonardo (Artist)
The Changing Role of Women in the Arts
Speakers: Patton Hindle (Kickstarter), Suzanne Deal Booth (FOHP), Laurie Frick (Data Artist)
Acts of Sharing: How Art Fosters Empathy
Speakers: Poornima Sukumar (Aravani Art Project), Shanthi Sonu (Aravani Art Project), Dr. James R Doty (Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research)