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FACT welcomes Giovanni Papini to experiment with 3D gaming environments
  • Still from xssGranted:Genius_Loci. Image courtesy of GVN908.

In January 2017, FACT is pleased to welcome this year’s winner of the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange (EMARE) award, Italian filmmaker Giovanni Papini (member of GVN908), who will explore how people interact with hacking. As the starting point for their new project, Giovanni will be using the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Picture Entertainment, where, in response to the release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean-themed “political satire comedy film”, The Interview, hackers exposed sensitive information about SPE’s employees and executives’ life and hidden political agendas.

The EMARE award is a product of the European Media Art Network (EMAN), consisting of FACT, Bandits-Mages (France), Impakt (The Netherlands), Werkleitz (Germany), and HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) (Switzerland), which supports research, production, presentation and distribution of media art in Europe and beyond. The annual EMARE award is granted to outstanding European media artists, with all partnering organisations hosting one artist each, every year. This year, the EMARE award received more than 130 applications from countries, including India, Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, USA, Ireland, UK, Croatia, Netherlands, Greece, and Turkey.

The six-week EMARE residency at FACT will allow Giovanni to work closely with FACT’s Video Production team, and creative technologists in FACT’s experimental design and technology space FACTLab. Exploring the new possibilities of real time computer graphics, immersive game engines, motion capture and multi linear editing, Giovanni’s project aims to examine the role of hacking in the creation of offline personae and the collapsing separation between data and flesh.

The finished product of the residency will be a Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MORPG), presented online in March 2017 in parallel to the exhibition, How much of this is fiction. at FACT (2 March - 21 May), a major exhibition which examines the movement ‘Tactical Media’. This show not only presents examples of ‘hit and run’ media activism perpetrated by artists since the early nineties, but also considers how future technologies may affect how we engage with our political landscape, and how artists exist as ‘tricksters’, subverting the systems used by mass media and political propaganda to draw attention to hypocrisies and flaws within those very structures. Rather than using a linear storytelling, the film will make use of a realtime game engine to create several realms, in which anonymous observers can witness the story evolve.

The 'European Media Art Network' (EMAN) was founded in 2007. EMAN developed from the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange (EMARE), a project that was started in 1995. EMAN was founded by four key European media art institutions: Impakt (The Netherlands), InterSpace (Bulgaria), VIVID (Great Britain) and Werkleitz (Germany). Currently EMAN consists of FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Great Britain), Bandits-Mages (France) and the two founding members Werkleitz and Impakt.

The network annually awards production grants to outstanding European media artists and supports research, production, presentation and distribution of media art in Europe and beyond.

In 2007 and 2008 EMAN received support from the European Union's 'Culture 2007-2013' program to organize a series of residencies for European artists as part of the residency programs of the four EMAN members. In 2012 and 2013 the EU supported an exchange of European and Mexican artists for residencies at the four European EMAN members and media art labs in Mexico. For 2014 and 2015 EMAN received similar EU funding to organize a residency exchange for artists from Europe, Canada and Australia.