2018. what now / now what
Sofia Underground is an independent participatory and inclusive community-oriented initiative dedicated to serve as a platform for flexible and experimental showcasing of performance art and other contemporary art forms.
Presenting works across a dynamic range of unique performances, presentations, lectures, screenings, exhibitions, public interventions, electronic music parties and other events, Sofia Underground acts like a critical bridge between the local and the international art scenes and between emerging and established performance art practitioners, activists and enthusiasts.
In 2017 Sofia Underground marked its 20th anniversary and closed a chapter in it’s history. Over 65 participants from more than 30 countries took part in the event, spread over 8 locations, and a week-long program – the longest and most intense edition of the oldest festival for contemporary and performance art in Bulgaria. It asked and answered a lot of questions related to time, space and durability.
In 2018 Sofia Underground did present the traditional three modules – live art, talks and an exhibition, although it returned with another approach to the artists and the public, conceptualized as a reflection over the feedback of its experience so far.
Physically participating artists were personally invited to realize specially developed projects. The festival also featured an exhibition with carefully selected via open call video documentation of performance art works.
WHAT NOW / NOW WHAT
26 — 29 April 2018
Two simple words questioning the present state of our mere existence as humans.
What is now? What is contemporary in present-continuous tense? What is contemporary art and the role of the audience now and here?
What happens now when we are constantly viewing, posting, sharing, co-existing, co-producing, co-creating and reach a state of living gone elusive?
What now when we can’t just shut technology off?
Addictions and newly formed psychological diseases are deeply rooted in our everyday life, while anything stored in computerized form is vulnerable to breakdown and obsolescence.*
What now when tech-sphere already generates its own living tissue, thus integrating with biology and eventually nature and technology become one?
Now what? How can we be relevant with the ever changing now?
In a world that’s increasingly non-fixable, answers, solutions, alternatives can always be given, but what are those applicable to now?
*As proposed by Bruce Sterling more than a decade ago in 2004 in his article Delete our cultural heritage?