Festival X 2023

6 - 7 - 8
Alserkal Ave.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is characterized by cultural diversity, where tradition and modernity, as well as regional circumstances and global dynamics, intersect in a unique way. These circumstances have led to a special ecosystem in which people and their culture, tools, and relationship with nature form a special alliance. This relationship is the result of specific existential conditions and has created a logical connection between tradition, innovation, and vision that is not evident in the same way in other parts of the world. The ability to defy and adapt to circumstances has become an everyday routine and an important part of the cultural identity.

This raises the question of how this complex life situation can be artistically reflected and what artistic forms of expression and tools can emerge from it. Ars Electronica and Festival X have joined forces to explore this question and find answers through local and international artistic perspectives.
The contemporary form of media art, which engages with a society shaped by new technologies and the associated risks and opportunities, is presented. Media artists, in particular, use these very technologies as tools for innovative artistic expression.

The common goal of Ars Electronica and Festival X is to promote a local artistic community through this future-oriented art form. Inspired by the dynamics of the region’s unique circumstances, a distinct dialectic of media art will emerge. A new perspective on art and artists is intended to strengthen identity within the region and build a direct bridge between tradition and modernity through innovative forms of expression. Tradition should no longer be solely associated with the past, but rather become a concept that represents a society’s attitude that is aware of its roots and values, while being open and adaptable to a challenging future.

In the exhibition ‘From the past we love, to the future we need’, we encounter not only an innovative form of art but also artworks that address the major challenging questions of our time and offer alternative, prototypical solutions beyond mere criticism. Sustainability, coexistence, and collaboration will be defining concepts, as well as the role we, as humans, assume and the role we want to assign to technology. It explores where we position ourselves in nature, the significance we give to nature itself, and ultimately how this affects the nature of humans and human existence.



The 2023 title for Festival X is inspired by Zero Labs Automotive