When cities join hands! „Connecting Cities” in Riga

When cities join hands! „Connecting Cities” in Riga
06-09-2013 A+ A-
On 7 September, three significant works from the project „Connecting Cities” will be offered at „Esplanāde 2014” culture summer house. It’s a result of cooperation between the contemporary art and technologies taking down borders and distances, connecting cities and its inhabitants into one artistic adventure.

Everyone will be able to join the „Where2Now” video game where players save inhabitants of an utopian village, download a special app and invole in an additional reality dance as well as to look in a binocular from the project with the same headline „Binocular” in order to see landscapes from other cities and eyes watching us at the same time. Indeed, those works are presented in other European cities therefore „joining hands” between European cities with the help of technologies.

„Connecting Cities” is a significant project valid for three years from 2013 to 2015 where 9 European cities are involved including Riga as The European Capital of Culture. It is a project curated by „Culture”, a programme by The European Community. The main aim is to use all technologies available in a city in a best possible way through creative and artistic perspective. Basically, it’s a story about technologies, art and the city.

Curator of the Latvian side is Diāna Čivle, the head of „Rīga 2014’ Foundation who admits that it is a possibility for our young artists to creat innovative projects as well as to get an international recognition.

The main aim is to use all technologies available in the urban environment, for instance, large-scale advertising screens, mobile devices, interactive window shops in order to make a platform for international art objects. Though Riga gets behind other European cities, for instance, there are practically no screens in the city where advertisements are being screened, but our main interest is to involve big Riga events into this city network where technologies are being used, for instance, „Staro Rīga” or „White Night”. Besides, those are the most active artistic projects in Riga available for a large amount of visitors.

„Technologies and arts join hands. Artists get an idea and then they have the need to learn technology use even more in order to support their creative work or, otherwise, to develop technologies and get new impulses for the artists. In fact, the aim is to improve the cooperation between the artist, technology manufacturer and technologic idea maker,” explains Čivle.

Each year from 2013 to 2015, a new, unique theme is being selected for the project, and it’s „Networked City” this time.

„It’s important to realize that art projects are being made in several cities simultaneously, and it’s a way how cities connect. Besides, an artist thinks in another dimension and bears in mind that the bridge between those cities has to be built.”

A good example will be „Binoculars” project during the „White Night” where Riga, Liverpool, Berlin and Dessau will join hands. The authors are Estonian artists Mar Canet Sola from Germany and Varvara Guljajeva from Estonia. While looking into this unique binocular, Riga visitors will be able to see places in project cities, but the rest will be able to look in eyes watching them at the sime time, shown on big screens.


Latvian artist Kristaps Ancāns takes part with his work shown at „Staro Rīga” in November. Soon, a new competition for 2014 will be announced, it means that artists can apply with their projects in any city of the project. International jury will judge the applicants, Diāna Čivle is going to be a jury member representing Latvia.

Head of „Rīga 2014” Foundation says that the selection is a complicated process. Jury members have to think of creative interests and ability to join all the cities. For instance, if White Night” is held in Latvia, other cities have similar cultural events where those technology and art mixes can be carried out.

„First of all, it’s cooperation with several cities, artist’s mobility and an international recognition. In our case, Riga meets several practical issues. We have almost no advertisement screen where we could show artworks. It means that we have to set up that screen. In this way, the project develops the whole city. Not always it’s an option to take a project. Most likely, these are technology and money issues. It made me think how strong we wish to be as developed as other European cities in this technology perspective,” says Čivle.

„Connecting Cities” offers 12 various artworks, three of them are shown at „Esplanāde 2014”. To find more, click here!

Project is made as a part of "Networked City 2013" and "Media Facades Festival" within the "Connecting Cities" project. It is supported by "Culture", the programme curated by European Commission, The Ministry of Culture of Latvia, "Rīga 2014" Foundation and "Lattelecom".



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