23rd September — 1st October 2022
TQ9 6EL, UK
Elena Gubanova & Ivan Govorkov
Anna Frants, CYLAND Media Art Lab
Victoria Ilyushkina, CYLAND Video Archive
FERMENT is an arts and ecology festival which explores fermentation in its broadest sense — of both fermenting food and also ideas — and offers an exciting range of activities with food and art as mediums for creative engagement.
Through free art trails around the Dartington Estate, talks, performances and workshops, we will be exploring the metamorphoses that fermentation represents.
Join us for our opening gathering where there will be guided tours of the exhibits, a DJ session on the Great Lawn and tasty fermented food and drink. The MA Arts and Ecology students will also be presenting an exhibition of work in the Gallery and some other site specific happenings.
Both weekends will offer concerts, family theatre, talks and active food fermentation workshops. Artists from CYLAND will be offering free workshops to explore some of the technology they use in creating their artwork. During the weekday evenings, the exhibits will remain open until 9pm, and will be accompanied by a special installation of Eclipse, a video and sound installation in the Great Hall which will start after dusk each day.
Dirty Electronics will also be running workshops in schools in Torbay and Newton Abbot throughout the festival.
Dartington Trust is a centre for learning, arts, ecology and social justice based on a 1,200 acre site near Totnes, in Devon. Throughout our history we have drawn leading artists and thinkers including Bernard Leach, composer Igor Stravinsky, cellist Jacqueline du Pre, musician Ravi Shankar, playwright Bernard Shaw and environmental activist Vandana Shiva.
— a social-enterprise hub for like-minded organisations and charities
— a place for nature with range of conservation, agroforestry and sustainable food-growing projects.
— a creative community with a year-round programme of art and craft short courses, theatre, music and dance events as well as a wide selection of films at the independent Barn Cinema.
We are also an award-winning destination with woodland walks, riverside trails, cafés, and restaurants and family-friendly activities.”
Since its inception, CYFEST’s main concerns have been to examine the dialogue between new and traditional visual languages and to show technological achievements via artistic transformation. CYFEST unites art professionals, artists, curators, educators and thinkers, programmers, engineers, and media activists all over the world, and expands contemporary art, intertwining it with various disciplines of science and technology.
From the very first event in 2007, CYFEST has been systematically cooperating with educational and public institutions around the world. CYFEST is showcasing art:tech exhibitions to make media art visible and accessible for people with different backgrounds and interests. Our partnership with Dartington Trust is the perfect match in the goals and aspirations for achieving this through experimenting and trying out new formats.
We are glad to be here with the second iteration of CYFEST-14: Ferment. Fermentation as a natural process might be an entry point in seeking new approaches to perceive the world and to devise alternative attitudes of how to live here differently. To be able to respect life as it is and share the world with others seems to be an essential feature and an ongoing training process in an ever-changing world. Sometimes a radical step will not be another leap in progress made in a blink of the eye, but will take place extremely slowly, with a long-standing accumulation of energy. Where there was once a sharply-focused vision with a well-planned horizon of the future, there will be a wide-angle observation of ways to exist “other than me” — planetary, existentially, organically.
We are inevitably part of the world of many forms and ways of lives, despite how individual and separated our own life might feel sometimes. How could we be conscious and responsible actors in this process? Art might not provide straightforward and exact answers, but it may offer some clues about the directions where these answers could be located.
Anna Frants, Artist, Curator, Founder of CYLAND MediaArtLab
Lydia Griaznova, Exhibition Coordinator, CYLAND
Interactive sound installation; Tapestry, AR, 2015–2017
A series of tapestries together forms an installation that presents a sequence of film frames from the movie “Sleeper” by Woody Allen. The movie has been glitched and accidentally "edited" by the artist's crashed computer, becoming completely transformed and practically unrecognizable. The order of narrative development has been rigorously preserved: the still images are arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film. The tapestries convey the movie’s plot, but in their own way, where some parts have been lost and others have remained. The size of each tapestry is 58x77 cm, which corresponds to the television and film format (4x3) of the 20th century. The artist uses an old visual technique: the art of weaving. Even if contemporary digital media were destroyed, this technique would be preserved.
By pointing a tablet with an AR application at a tapestry, visitors can watch a video which gives an explanation for each tapestry. The video is made from the perspective of human descendants / space travelers, who have found the tapestries 2000 years later. Their conclusion is that the tapestry is a way to archive film and video from the 20th-21st centuries. The film they find is Sleeper, a science fiction movie about a dystopian world.
Artist Union. Still life
From the series “Matter of Chance”
Media installation, 2019
In collaboration with CYLAND Media Art Lab
“Artist Union. Still life” is a reflection on the law of large numbers. Is it applicable in visual arts — to colors in painting, lines in graphics, forms in sculpture, and the image integrity in installations? The law of large numbers is a principle that describes the completion of the same experiment many times. According to this law, the joint action of a large number of random factors leads to a result almost independent of the chance. For example, in the XVI century the length of the English foot was defined, by a royal order, as the arithmetic average length of the foot of the first 16 people leaving the church on Sunday matins. Although the law of large numbers was not yet defined, it serves as the basis for the principle of arithmetic mean used in determining the length of a foot.
Peck of salt
From series “Gravity”
Engineers Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov, Viktor Timofeev
From the saying “Чтобы узнать человека, надо с ним пуд соли съесть” (“A man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him”).
Elena Gubanova & Ivan Govorkov
«…All men, lions, eagles, and quails, horned stags, geese, spiders, silent fish that inhabit the waves, starfish from the sea, and creatures invisible to the eye—in one word, all the lives, all the lives, all the lives, completing the dreary round imposed upon them, have died out at last.
Thousands of centuries have passed since the earth last bore a living creature on her breast, and the unhappy moon now lights her lamp in vain. No longer are the cries of storks heard in the meadows, or the drone of beetles in the groves of limes. All is cold, cold, cold.
All is void, void, void…»
—A. P. Chekov, «Seagull»
In Eclipse, the peaceful day of clear existence is replaced by darkness and anxiety. In the modeled and accelerated version of the global, natural process, artists show the cyclical nature of time and history, in which human life is contained.
The video of a sped-up solar eclipse projected onto a wall. It is a video recording of the movement of the Sun in real time, taken at the Pulkovo Observatory on a solar telescope. The action in the video is synchronized with a soundtrack and with the flow of air from large fans placed above the projection.
A dark circle of the Moon gradually creeps across the projection until it covers a white circle of the Sun. As the Sun becomes darker, the flow of air blown at the viewers gets stronger and more sounds are added and grow louder. At the culminative moment, when the full eclipse takes place, the fans and sound are working at full capacity. The entire space is filled with wind and cacophony—the voices of enraged animals. This sound field is supplemented by the constant low-frequency hum of the air fans and an audio track with the sound of the Sun.
This installation is based on a story of how Elena’s father had seen in childhood the eclipse.
As he recalled, the enormous shadow of the Moon slowly crawled across the Earth, covering the light of the Sun. It became as dark as night, stars appeared in the sky and the wind began to blow. Panic broke out in the yard: Dogs howled, roosters crowed and cows mooed. He grew up in the impoverished and difficult period following World War II and knew little about astronomy until 1956. This year, in his fifth year at school, he saw a total solar eclipse. After this experience, astronomy became his main interest and his lifetime career.
Reverse Drift. Unpacking and Absorption
The name of the project refers to situationism and the texts of Guy Debord, primarily the essay “Mode d'emploi du détournement”. Since the time these manifestos were written, “drift” as a form of artistic invasion has become a widespread practice for the author to interact with the surrounding reality.
The project “Reverse Drift” includes copies of classical sculptures, with their surfaces covered in snails. Dozens of snails are also found in the furniture and on grass. One of the points of attraction is the glass case: inside it the snails replace a familiar exhibit.
The artistic intervention of the academic ends with a removal, a disappearance. The spiral of any process, like the spiral of a snail, can be unraveled and rolled back up. The anthropic era has only existed for 20–30 centuries, and this is nothing compared with the millions of years when the biosphere developed. And the practice of “deviation” (détournement) turns out to be accessible not only by people, but also by gastropods.
two-part installation; solar powered model and fermented herbal tea sets, 2022
components: 8 solar panels, 4 electric pumps, 100m of 6mm plastic tube, herbal tea sets
A solar panel powers up a small pump that runs water particles within plastic tube circuit. The speed of water movement depends on the intensity of the Sun, visualizes and thus represents the energy flow.
If you think about it, every form of life, every living being could be seen as a matter transformation process driven by our suns energy. Every process has its own time period and frequency. Some of them last for ages, other finish within seconds. On the other hand, it is hard to say where one starts and the other ends, everything is connected in this planetary scale fermentation process. Only one remains the same, the Sun, the catalyst doing its job.
Each plant is a perfect illustration of this concept, especially since they transform sunlight directly. Edible plants make it even better, because when we consume them we convert further.
I welcome every visitor of the Summer house. Here you will find herbal tea leaves that I've collected and processed during this summer in my native forest in Russia. I kindly offer you to brew a hot cup of tea and review a short story of each herb with a glimpse of the idea of global transformation.
We all are a part of one chain. We have to care for each other and everything around us.
Please, have a good time.
Objects; ceramics, glaze, 2022
The project builds upon Sergey Katran’s years of research exploring the ways in which the biocentric concept impacts ethical ties and building of special society networks. That said, we register a certain correlation between grassroots initiatives of artistic communities’ networks, and mycelia. Both are based on thin, interlaced fibres of daily existence.
Various forms of cooperation and mutual assistance act as a binding principle in all this. Altruism viewed as an inalienable component of the biocenosis and aided by the ethical element in anarchist ideas, are two permanent constituents present in the life of animal communities, plants and fungi, and occur in natural environments, as well as in human society. Self-organization as grassroots, independent initiative, confirms the viability of its alternative ethical practices and behaviours that radically differ from those adopted by capitalist societies, geared for profit, and based on manipulation to achieve the higher standards of living. Mutual communal support is a vital component of artistic practices. By self-organising as groups, artists find optimal ways of existence steeped in equality and mutual responsibility. The first handshake upon a meeting becomes the metaphor for an encounter of kindred artistic souls.
The mushroom anarchy, as a metaphor for grassroots symbiotic artistic communities, establishes the hubs of respect for those living entities that are prone to empathetic behaviours and for the interspecies altruism in their joint search for the way out of the environmental and cognitive impasse.
— Katran, Natasha Timofeeva
Alena Tereshko and Antti Kukkonen
2020 — present time
Home Odysseia project consists of drawings, objects resembling theatrical scenery, videos and performances with the participation of "stuffed toys", authors’ friends who take a direct part in their everyday life.
In a presented series of short videos the family duo of artists Alena Tereshko and philosopher Anti Kukkonen introduces in their home world of stuffed friends Isovelikarhy, Possy, Tike and Naha. In the format of living dialogue they discuss relationships in society, differences between socialism and capitalism, history and politics.
«How do I see my relation to our teddy bears? Of essence is love. Without love, a teddy bear is only a thing, material substance. Following philosopher Max Scheler, I could state the following: With the power of love, they exemplify ever higher values, and it is us who by loving our animal friends, partake also in these higher values. In a sense our animal friends show us what love can achieve, when we also see how for others our loved ones are only stuffed things. When we compare these two attitudes, we understand a great deal on love.»
— Antti Kukkonen