11th CYFEST — Weather Forecast: Digital Cloudiness


Photography by Yury Goryanoy

The 11th annual CYFEST presents its projects in Venice (IT), Beijing (China), Caserta (IT)New York (USA), and St. Petersburg (Russia) in 2017/2018.

One of the largest international media art festivals, CYFEST 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. Over the years, the festival has invited artists from Russia, USA, Germany, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Italy, the Philippines and other countries. Explore CYFEST history 2007-2017 >


This year, CYFEST is partnering with Lumen to exhibit in St. Petersburg 2016 Lumen Prize Gold Award winner Hyperplanes of Simultaneity by Fabio Giampietro and Alessio de Vecchi and the 2017 Founders Award, Slide to Expose by by Nicole Ruggiero, Molly Soda, and Refrakt alongside a showreel of selected moving image works.

The human being is constantly looking for a comfort zone. Changes induce anxiety and a desire to stick to the already known, familiar and comfortable. We suggest to treat changes in the realm of the digital technologies, which became integrated to our mundane life, as if they were the weather patterns. As something that is beyond our control, but what directly affects our routine.

Throughout its history, the CYFEST Festival main concerns were to inspect the dialog between new and traditional visual languages and to try to show the technological achievements via artistic conversion.

(img: © Maurice Benayoun, Emotion Winds, 2014)

Art absorbs contemporary technologies and gives rise to the augmented reality in its realm. Artist avails her/himself with ever new instruments for creating images and metaphors of the real world. What our world looks like today and how it moves towards a new visual language; how our communication and our perception of the known are being transformed. We are no longer satisfied  with a reflection in the mirror — our images are built out of hundreds digital photographs, and it is possible to travel anywhere without being physically present in place simply using a computer program. To what extent is this sufficient, necessary — or too much — for us?

Artist would always keep its secret box where (s)he could preserve the precious, digitally non-convertible, non-transferred into the ‘cloud’ moments: a true experience, a move or a memory, a coincidental image or a feeling. These treasures are similar to the tiny diamonds used to be the defining element of the clockwork mechanism since XVIII. What is the purpose of combining art and technologies? To expose the language of the future or simply to adapt the rapidly changing world to our past? Digital reality has come to the traditional culture so close that it is barely undistinguishable whether simple human interactions and the real world sounds are enough for us — or we need the digital decoding of those interactions and sounds.

We invite artists and specialists in computer programming to jointly adapt their knowledge and creative energy to the art processes. Through the lens of an artistic statement we propose to look ahead, observe the everyday and compose a “weather forecast” of the real/digital coexistence – at least for the present day.

Digital clouds are storages without shape or boundaries, impersonal and dispassionate. Nowadays,  the term ‘Cloud’ is used in the I-technologies as a metaphor based on the Internet’s picture on the diagram of the computer network or as an image of the complex infrastructure that covers up all the technical details. There are already ‘private clouds’, ‘public clouds’, ‘community clouds’ and ‘hybrid clouds’.

In other words, a parallel world has been created, a new environment for the information maintenance. Practically simultaneously with the launch of the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (Amazon EC2) in August 2006, the terms ‘cloud’ and ‘cloud computing’ were used by the Google principal Eric Schmidt. From then on, one can encounter numerous references to cloud computing in the media, publications of  the IT-specialists and within the academic field.

Elena Gubanova, curator


Explore CYFEST11 St. Petersburg program >


Festival Board

Silvia Burini, professor at the Ca’ Foscari University, Director of the Centre of 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)

Festival Curators

Anna Frants, Elena Gubanova (main program), Sofia Kudryavtseva (education program), Victoria Ilyushkina (video program), Sergey Komarov (sound-art program), Varvara Egorova, Isabella Indolfi, Silvia Burini, Giuseppe Barbieri, Vlad Strukov, Natalia Fuchs, Anna Zavediy (exhibition projects), Ellen Pearlman, Andy McWilliams, Anna Zavediy (project Art-A-Hack)

Festival Venues


Festival Partners

CYFEST is sponsored by: