In a city that is constantly changing and evolving (Iasi), I think it is absolutely necessary to come up with initiatives that propose a change of perspective on a creative and technological future. The New Media District event of the Romanian Creative Week 2023 edition consolidates a series of artistic practices that question the relationship between art and technology, practices founded in the New Media Alley / RCW2021 and New Media Street / RCW 2022 pilot editions. The New Media District project aims to exhibit new media works by young emerging artists and established artists in the public space for the public to meet, interact with and discover. The event aims to exist as a platform for dialogue, innovation and experimentation where both artists and the public can meet and develop new discourses of communication and artistic knowledge. 

The generic concept of Romanian Creative Week, the theme “WONDER”, is translated in the context of the New Media District by a careful configuration of new media projects that explore, out of a desire for discovery, knowledge and wonder, digitally expressed worlds, diversity and multi-disciplinarity, experimentation and innovation, but most importantly: creativity in all that is unexpected, in the relationship between technology and classical forms of artistic expression.

Alex Halka’s work proposes an immersion into an unknown universe in which the atomic structure of man is decomposed and recomposed through a black hole that absorbs the viewer’s attention and directs it towards the contemplation of the unknown. 

As we have become accustomed to having them present at each edition, the VJ group Edge Mapping resumes the series of video mapping projections on the statue of the Voivodes in which the statues try to reincarnate themselves in the present to serve as a voice of the viewer’s consciousness. In parallel we can also find a specific Edge Mapping work, namely the video mapping show on the military hospital “Dreams of future self”, where the permanent question “who are we?” echoes in the viewer’s consciousness. Edge Mapping’s works question a range of the individual’s relationship to the mystery of the past and the unknown of their future. 

The visual artist Adistu proposes to the public through the work ”Reaction-Diffusion-Fashion” an exploration of metamorphosis, of the hybridization between what is meant by the presence of the body and clothing from the perspective of bionic beings, where their faces are only holographic imprints. This perspective is complimented by a series of works ‘AI _DREAMS’ by the same artist, Adistu, who proposes a probing of the algorithmic subconscious, with the question: can artificial intelligence dream, and if so, what do those dreams look like?

In the continuation of these explorations, perhaps the term digital mythologies could arise from the projects of Radu Martin who, through his work “Organic mapping”, creates different generative digital visual structures on the volumes of buildings, which transform the building into a living and different organism for each interaction with viewers. To complete the cycle of works, Radu Martin also proposes through the work “BodyMind” a fusion of the biorhythmic data of the spectator into an amorphous digital structure, where the heartbeat and brain activity of the spectator are used as digital pigments in drawing a new universe.

In this synaesthetic conglomerate of interceptions of the expansion of human perception we find the work “Infinite Random Reflection” by the artist Red Iulian, which is based on a structure of kinetic mechanisms through which light is reconfigured and reshaped as an unpredictable quantum flow. 

Artist NoiseLoop will be present this year in the New Media District with a trilogy of spatial dimensions through the works “ENDLESS”, “LUMINATIV” and “PLURALISM”, a series of works that invite the audience to integrate and reflect on forms of light and interaction in a constant visual noise.

And while we are on the subject of noise, there is a special place where the artist Mihai Marian Mina, chooses to capture the invisible signs around us, radio or television signals, and to create a sarcophagus where analogue audio-video transmission signals are buried, in the work “Signarium”. 

The works “Horus” and “Terminal”, by the artist Dromp, challenge the audience to an interaction with interactive sound and luminescent vines, an eye that levitates and enters into a symbiotic relationship with its viewer through the terminal where the audience can print on a receipt a work it generates. 

Andrei Botnaru proposes through the work “N-Life”, an almost microscopic x-ray of a digital organism reacting to the presence of the biological organism, a work that questions the dialogue between biological and digital existence.

Because the general discourse of the exhibition concept is about the relationship between art and technology, it is absolutely necessary to discuss the performative act augmented by technological methods and languages, ideas and concepts carefully debated by artists with extensive experience in theatre, performance and choreography. Thus, we can find a second episode of Alexandra Diaconița’s project, “VR Theater – Volume 2”, where theatre and virtual-reality reading forms are assembled in a coherent and poetic format without cancelling the media between them. Another segment representing performing arts is the work “This place was meant to tell a story” by artist Valentin Mocanu, where he performs five personal stories in public space, but the artist’s presence is realized through Augmented Reality processes.

Real space and virtual space are two parallel worlds that have only one point where the two coincide, namely the human mind and its relationship with the movement of the body in these two spaces, expressed extremely expressively by the two choreographic artists Alice Veliche and Radu Alexandru through the work “Quantum Bodies”, where the existence of the body and movement happen simultaneously in both realities. 

The human mind also becomes a motif in the work “In Brain” by artists Aurel Asanache and Emilian Andrei, where the human brain becomes a tangible structure whose memories and experiences can be accessed by a simple touch. The artist Aurel Asanache also proposes through the work “Interactive drawings” an interactive exploration of graphic design. 

The sound universe of this edition is completed by the well-known artist Ana Teodora Popa, who proposes a sensorial exploration of emotions through the installation “Binaural Gates”, where the public can be immersed in fantastic worlds created only through quadrophonic sounds. 

Another unique project that proposes a reformulation of the way of reading painting is the collaborative project between artists Felix Aftene, Gabriel Caloian and Andrei Cozlac, the project “Augmented paintings” that brings together two works exhibited in Paris, Berlin, Iasi, Brasov, namely the installation fragment of the series “Dali’s Moustache” by Felix Aftene and “Anarchic Games” by Gabriel Caloian. 

Because the multiplicity of three-dimensional forms of visual expression can also appear in two-dimensional forms, the artist Silviu Apostol brings back to the public the work “Orb”, where two-dimensional space is spectacularly brought back into a three-dimensional framework through video mapping techniques.

Shapes can be extracted or synthesized in any corner of our proximate reality, so the artist Andrei Cozlac proposes through the work “Tree of Awe” to turn our attention to trees whose energy and pulsation is brought to the surface in an epiphanic phenomenon.  

Collaborative projects always create intersections between artistic visions and practices that define a shared experience. “Reactive Fountain 2.2” brings to the public an installation by artists Silviu Apostol and Andrei Cozlac, an installation in which the interactive and reactive element becomes the water of the fountain itself. 

The Word is the graphic form through which the artist George Roșu assembles shapes and animations with a message on the facade of the buildings in real time, contaminating the volumes of the space with ideas and rhetoric sometimes full of humour and irony.

Because in the new digital culture where the concept of blockchain, crypto and NFT are beginning to change paradigms in the valorisation of the digital art object, “Augmented Gallery” becomes a micro-gallery where thirty artists exhibit their digital works for appreciation and sale.

Artist Dan Basu proposes to the public a video intervention on the facade of the French Institute building, which he uses as a drawing canvas, an animated graphic structure.

The New Media District thus becomes a universe of new media arts in a permanent state of flux, transformation and unpredictability, where the public can play, discover and discover itself in new languages.