Pixelache Residencies
2020 X 2021: The relationship between #Burn____ Program and the #BURN____ Festival

Pixelache's #Burn____ theme is unique in Pixelache's long and varied history of thematic premises, in that it takes place over a two year period.

Its two parts are comprised of, in short form:

  • #Burn____ 2020 "Program" - which is an incubation and development year, focused on members' projects, 2021 festival design, and the legacy of the association.
  • #BURN____ 2021 "Festival" -  in which we will host one of our larger festivals in the association's recent history. This year 2021, and it's accompanying festival, will not only serve as the culmination of the previous year's development and incubated projects, it will also play host to several partnerships facilitated between 2020-2021. 

#BURN___ is the thematic premise for these two years of Pixelache’s cultural output as an association, which aims to connect conceptions and experience of psychological, social and environmental collapse, and how we can survive it, developing resilience. [Ed: As a nod to this spirit, I just wish to add that originally this text has a mix of 'program' and 'programme' used in it, because I believe that there's no 'me' in program. Deal wi it]

The Programme 2020 is designed to give the possibility to different actors to interpret the theme ‘#Burn___’ in multiple ways, and continues our experiments in open and collaborative curation methods. Primarily within our association this has meant enabling our membership to take the reigns in response to the theme. In 2019 this manifested in the Autumnal development of our projected 2020 activity plan, whereby we tasked our members to respond to this theme in the form of 'video pitches'. These pitches became the basis for 2020's "monthly" programming. In light of the restrictions we now face in 2020, as the Finnish government responds to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the outset of monthly events has been re-prioritised and re-scheduled. Where possible, we are looking at digital platforming for these projects. 

The program projects are imagined as 'demos', part of a process, our 2020 program potentially being fully realised in 2021 as part of our festival. Accompanying these projects are some larger productions, the 3rd iteration of our ongoing and highly-successful Social Tools conference series, as well as a standalone legacy event, the 'Gathering of Elders' through which we will "touch base" with some of Pixelache's accomplished alumni, with a particular focus on Pixelache's first ten years of activity. 

The programme of 2020 will consist of monthly public events which invite an audience into the capacity-building and partnership dialogues necessary to tackle such a hybrid and multi-dimensional combination of inter-relations, as well as start working towards archiving past Pixelache endeavours. Hence, the programme year 2020 is actually the start of our longer-term view of our whole activity over a longer period, and so is designed as a Festival which unfolds as a stretched series of public monthly events, instead of a compact festival week of activity. Having a full calendar of events in support of this 'scaled-up' festival, a year in advance will also enable us to increase our profile and public outreach, while simultaneously contributing to the cultural and media art scene of Finland, regional scenes, and our international network of collaborators.

The Festival 2021 in earnest formed in early 2020, when the venue and partnership of ____ was secured. This is an exciting prospect for the association and festival, hearkening back to an earlier period in our history in which we regularly collaborated with large institutions. ____ as a setting is complimentary to many "pixelache-y" things, the building relies on a blending of technology, knowledge and social exchange which are cornerstones of our own "pixelache-y" structure. As a multilevel and multiplatform space there are so many potentials which we are, while writing this, happily designing with ____'s production team in partnership. At present the main focus for development has manifested with our open call.

What shape the festival will take after the open call is not easy to define with detail yet, speculatively speaking. Through thematically, as with the 2020 program, we foresee the focus of #Burn____ covering a wide spectrum of possibilities, from the personal to the social and extended systemic perspectives, including for example mental health and ecological collapse as related subjects. We hope to address the topic through (post- &/or) post-media and somatic contemporary art practices, as well as social activism, commons-orientated, and increasingly non-mediated but network-facilitated exchanges and commissioned artworks. We aim to explore these topics as a means to address their cause and potentially hypothesise their remedy.