CYFEST-12 (2018-19): About festivalNew York (December 2018 / Personal Identity)St. Petersburg RU (January 2019 / The Winter Symphony)Moscow (April 17 — May 18.2019 / Aurora + Transmission)Venice (11.05 — 28.06.2019 / ID. ART:TECH EXHIBITION)St. Petersburg RU (13.11 — 24.11.2019 / ID)


CYFEST-12: ID. The International Media Art Festival

THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ART FESTIVAL CYFEST-12 will be held from December 2018 to November 2019 in New York, Venice, St. Petersburg and in other cities. The key event will take place November 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia.


When portrait was conceived as a genre, a person was depicted at the best moment of his or her life – at the height of their maturity, strengths and actions. The portrait, the painted ID, was conferred on prosperous and influential people. Galleries of their images are kept in the museums while the metadata about the canvases’ protagonists, as to who they are and why they are depicted, break away from the carrier and settle in the archives and in the heads of experts. What’s left is the visual images that acquire multiple interpretations depending on the background of the beholders. Portrait, as a prototype of infinite interpretation, is acquiring new forms nowadays.

There is a vague image on the flickering screen. The spellbound Narcissus looks at the device and, with a whisking gesture to-the-left-to-the-right, choses his reflection for today. However, is he the only one who determines his choice? When he looks at the screen he watches the others and accepts, as a game rule, the fact that he himself is being watched at this moment. The glance of the others, much like one’s own glance at the others, is capable of transforming the process of image-building into the infinite roaming in a mirror gallery.

Now one can compose one’s own infinite portrait gallery of avatars for all of the life’s intents and purposes. One is able to clarify and to update the image or, the other way around, to freeze the moment and to change nothing for years, to speak about the one thing and to keep silence about the other, not to reveal oneself at all, to blend in, to create simulacra, to steal the accounts and to generate doppelgangers. The image yields both to a slight correction and to a transformation beyond all recognition. To achieve all this, one needs not to be famous, well-to-do or socially significant.

The ultimate truth becomes the body that serves as an evidence of the existence and a unique characteristic. Biometrics turns into a document. For now, one cannot relinquish the body. This reaches an absurdity – the body is necessary because it interacts with the device.

The thing-device itself has its ID and serves as its keeper for the human being. Both the thing and the person have their own set off numeric characters. People have the TIN, passport and Social Security Number. The things have their own ID – the identifier, barcode and IMEI. The entrance through a fingerprint or face recognition becomes a point of interaction between the machine and the human being. ID turns the unknown into the known, named and attributed. The authorization through the ID provides an access and prevents an entry for strangers. Logins and passwords are simultaneously a lock and a picklock.

The integrity of being and of presence in the world gets disintegrated. That which determines and forms the human being took up its residence in the number as well. One can simultaneously be in two of here and now – in the real and in the virtual. The existence gets split into a multitude of the accounts in all forms of virtual communication with the world (from the accounts in social media, mail clients, services and games to mobile phones and bank accounts). The ID freezes between the virtual and the real, the invented and the real, the body and the thing.

A lifestyle that excludes an access to the internet looks more and more like a hermit’s life. Nevertheless, to be in the internet is still useful rather than essential. An encounter with the articulated position of an internet hermit or a technoluddite who refuses to get the new version of a yet more user-friendly gadget or to have it at all reflects how the notion of day-to-day existence has changed. The reluctance to be represented or to leave a minimal footprint in the internet gains momentum while turning into a radical position bordering on marginalization. The younger the generation, the more noticeable this is. This places emphasis on how the boundary of what’s normal or conventional has shifted and on the change of how we perceive the comfortable existence whose day-to-day set of daily routine actions includes regular plunging into the internet with a secure and nonstop access to it.

“ID” has a wide scatter of meanings – from the term in psychoanalysis (id) to the document that certifies one’s identity (ID). We are interested in what ID represents in the world of people and things, what new meanings come to life when they interact and what this leads to.

Elena Gubanova, Anna Frants, Lydia Griaznova
Curators of the 12th CYFEST


Silvia Burini, professor at the Ca’ Foscari University, Director of the Center for the Studies of Russian Art CSAR (Venice, Italy)
Giuseppe Barbieri, professor, head of the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, Italy)
Sofia Kudryavtseva, head of the Youth Educational Center at the State Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia)



12th CYFEST in St. Petersburg, RU

CYLAND Media Art Lab presents the 12th International Festival of Media Art CYFEST (St. Petersburg, Russia).

Festival theme: ID
Dates: 13.11–24.11.2019

Opening program
November 13

Venue: Annenkirche
Address: Kirochnaya st. 8b

17:00 — Festival opening.
Presentation: MASBEDO (Italy), Fragile, 2016.
17:30 — Livepainting performance by Kazu Yanagi.

Venue: Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design
Address: Solyanoy lane 13–15

19:00 — Festival opening. Presentation of the exhibition project ID. Curated by Anna Frants, Varvara Egorova, Valentino Catricalà, Jack Addis, Patricia Olynyk, Carla Gannis, William Latham, Lydia Griazonva.
19:30 — Music performance by Ensemble kYmatic (White Metal by Michael Pisaro).




12th CYFEST in Italy

CYFEST-12 Continues in Venice, Italy – 11.05 — 28.06.2019 / ID. ART:TECH EXHIBITION



12th CYFEST in Moscow

April 17, 2019 next exhibition of CYFEST-12 opened at the GROUND gallery in Moscow. The exhibition curated by Elena Gubanova, Valentino Catricalà, and Katya Bochavar features two projects: AURORA by Alessandro Sciaraffa and TRANSMISSION by Dmitry ::vtol:: Morozov. Read more about the Event >

CYFEST-12: “The Winter Symphony” – multimedia installation by Alessandro Sciaraffa takes place January 30th in St. Petersburg, Russia

Sciaraffa web_ENG

The Italian artist Alessandro Sciaraffa comes to Russia on January 14. During a month, based at the Art Residence of North-Western branch of ROSIZO-NCCA in Kronstadt, he will be working on the multimedia installation The Winter Symphony. The artist invented it expressly for the halls of Youth Education Center at the State Hermitage. Elements of installation by reacting to the movement of viewers will create an immersive space of light, shadows and sounds.

The event will take place within the framework of an education project of Youth Education Center at the State Hermitage and International media art festival CYFEST-12.

Read more about the Event >


CYFEST-12: ID Premieres December 13th at the Renowned Made in NY Media Center BY IFP


CYFEST-12: ID. The International media art festival
Video Media Art: Personal Identity

CYFEST-12: ID premieres December 13th at the renowned Made in NY Media Center BY IFP. The inaugural event will set in motion it’s year-long, multi-city festival; geared towards exhibiting new media work which explores the dynamics of identity in our ever-expanding digital culture; focusing on levels of tech:intimacy, self augmentation, identity health, and technological personas at large.

30 John Street DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Thursday, December 13th 6pm- 10pm
On view: December 13th -31st

Read more about the Event >


Made in NY Media Center cyland_new_logo

CYFEST is one of the largest international media art festivals, it was founded in St. Petersburg in 2007 by independent artists and curators. The festival promotes the emergence of new forms of art and high technology interactions, developing professional connections between artists, curators, engineers and programmers around the world and exposing wide audiences to the works in the field of robotics, video art, sound art and net art.

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