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Focus – Thursday 14 March – 2pm


Media art laboratory / Armenia

CYLAND is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by independent artists and curators. We are promoting the emergence of new forms of art and high technology interactions, developing professional connections between artists, curators, engineers and programmers around the world and exposing wide audiences to the works in the field of robotics, video art, sound art and net art. Emerging or established, local or international — selected artists are provided with resources from technicians to equipment and professional development.

Programme presentation :

The CYLAND Video Archive is a platform for studying and presenting contemporary video art. Launched In 2008, it provides access to 600+ original video works by 100+ international artists and art groups.

One of the tasks of the archive is to build an open and accessible platform, to protect works of art from being locked in private collections, and to prevent their technical basis from becoming outdated. The archive is structured in two parts: videos on the website with open access (artists personal pages), and the offline collection for professionals accessible upon request.

The content of the archive can be divided into two periods: analogue-to-digital (VHS, MiniDV, DVD) in 1986-2011 and works in HD video format from 2011. The collection includes video art, experimental films, computer graphics, 3D animation, stop-motion animation, poetic video, video documentation of art and education projects in the field of cutting-edge technologies.



The program was inspired by the 15th Cyfest festival curatorial concept entitled Vulnerability, with focus on imagining new perspectives regarding the ostensible (anti)fragility of human and non-human bodies, bio and cyber environments, histories and futures, encounters and relationships with the world in transition.

New structures are appearing, adapting to the current world’s dynamic nature and resisting violence. They are launched by the disruption of traditional systems from sociopolitical cataclysms, eradications of the displacement of trauma, and losses.
In the works selected for this program, the artists reexamine notions common to us: language, motherland, home, nature, matter. They do it by deconstructing and rebuilding their personal stories and documentary evidence through the use of performative practice, verbal and nonverbal communication, digitizing and 3D modeling of their surroundings or by algorithms of computer-assisted instruction and artificial intelligence.

-Victoria Ilyushkina, program curator for the CYLAND Video Archive and International Cyfest video programs


Black Swan in Three Variations / Patricia Olynyk & Adam Hogan / 2023 / United States / 3’00

Drawing from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s timely and relevant book from his Incerto Series, “Antifragile,” and the notion that individuals can gain from the impact of highly improbable events, this triptych and evocative soundscape offer three meditations on a selection of black swan events, including 911 and its aftermath, the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and collapse of the global financial market, the sinking of the Titanic, and the recent rise of ChatGPT. The score in particular explores perceived randomness and variability through algorithmic electroacoustic composition and granular synthesis.

Land und Blut / Gohar Sargsyan, Anna Sowa / 2022 / Armenia / 6’00

Animation by Gohar Sargsyan, sound by Anna Sowa

Audio-visual Manifesto, in which sound and animation form a complex interacting structure. In these times of globalization and armed conflicts, which concept of ‘country’ is closest to you? How do you identify with the place where you were born? Do you feel an attachment to the environment in which you grew up? What influence did it have on you? A country is not a territory but, above all, people who, despite all their differences, think alike, share a common history, function and empathize in similar ways. It is, in a direct and symbolic sense, a family bound by blood. It is people who breathe at a similar rhythm and in the same polluted air. People who face an overwhelming reality day after day, a common DNA that cannot be changed.

ARBOR / Maria Kuptsova / 2023 / Austria / 3’54

ARBOR is a cyborganic living entity grown through bio-artificial means using technology. The project proposes a method of capturing the diverse properties possessed by a living tree using machine learning algorithms to embed its logic into a digital form. It is a regenerative system in which the entire organism is alive, and the concept of life encompasses both biological and technological forms. The project offers an approach to extracting the intelligence of organic wood structures and reimagining their life cycle as a bio-artificial system that is alive in a cybernetic sense.

Eksperiment Katja / Éléonore de Montesquiou / 2022 / France, Estonia, Germany / 9’25

Music: Lucy Railton

Katja was born in 1992, an experimental generation for the new Republic of Estonia. She is floating, neither attached to Estonia, nor to Russia. Like Little Red Riding hood, she has freed herself from experiments and fears imposed on her. The film suggests several metaphors to describe the trauma of the displaced — from Little Red Riding Hood to the keyword of experiment. Location: Narva, Estonia.

Braces system / Lidiya Rikker / 2021 / Germany / 2’30

A video essay in the found footage technique. The film is built on visual metaphor and uses ironic juxtaposition, telling of the strange force that always makes humanity put itself in order, as if it were lining up in even rows.

06_Surmatans Mars rising Stanislav Andrea

Surmatants – Mars Rising / Andrea Stanislav / 2021 / United States / 9’00

Music: Jesse Gelaznik

Surmatants – Mars Rising is an elegiacally visceral response to the CV-19 pandemic, in three acts — grounded in the Sci-Fi genre and informed by Pittsburg’s Slavic immigrant labor history, and bubonic plague imagery of Bernt Notke’s Surmatans, painting (1633), of the dance macabre. Following an abstract narrative that weaves in tenants of Russian Cosmism, a transcendence is evoked through Jesse Gelaznik’s musical compositions, paired with renowned choreographer- Željko Jergan and John Harbist’s dances choreographies performed by the Tamburitzans.

The narrative follows an ascent to Mars as a result of the dance, lead by a pale rider on a white horse disguised as a beguiling female Slavic dancer and accompanied by a chorus of female singers who transform into human Motanka dolls (a benevolent kind of Slavic voodoo doll — until the ribbons come off of the face). The third finds the dancers resurrected on Mars — transmitting a human resurrection on Mars from the future.


07_Their portret Alexandra Dementieva_carrot_01

Their portraits / Alexandra Dementieva / 2023 / Belgium / 5’00

The work you are describing is an artistic collaboration between the artist and an AI application called Midjourney to create fictional alien beings that resemble tardigrades. These beings are sentient and interact with their environment in a unique way due to their Umwelt, which is their subjective sensory environment. As they inhabit a human environment, their experience is strange and highlights the importance of considering an organism’s unique perspective and subjective experience when studying behavior and ecology.

Moon Moth Bed / Virginia L. Montgomery / 2023 / United States / 6’20

Moon Moth Bed is a surreal, symbolic, and eco-feminist art-film about destruction, rebirth, and collaborative consciousness. Inspired by Dr. Donna Haraway’s ecofeminist writings and panpsychic philosophy, this live-action, lens-based film investigates the idea that all matter is conscious and interconnected. Moon Moth Bed depicts real luna moths hatching from their cocoons amidst an ethereal video dreamworld set with bells, a miniature moon, and a small moth-scale bed.


Presentation :


Website :

Curator and founder: Anna Frants

Born 1965 in Leningrad USSR. Artist and curator of multimedia art. Founder of the non-profit cultural foundation Cyland Foundation Inc. Co-founder of CYLAND Media Art Lab and CYFEST. Frants’ interactive installations have been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), the Video Guerrilha Festival (Brazil), the Manifesta 10 Biennial (2014, Saint Petersburg, Russia), the Hermitage Museum ( Saint Petersburg, Russia), the Chelsea Art Museum (New York, USA), the Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia), the Kunstmuseum (New York, USA) and the Kunstmuseum (New York, USA). USA). Petersburg, Russia), Kunstquartier Bethanien (Berlin, Germany), Hatcham Church Gallery, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK), Dartington Estate (UK), Ca’ Foscari Zattere Cultural Flow Zone (Venice, Italy), MAXXI Museum ( Rome, Italy), National Arts Club (New York, USA) and in other important places around the world. The artist’s works are part of the collections of the Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia), the Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), the Sergey Kuryokhin Center for Modern Art (Saint Petersburg, Russia) and the Kolodzei Art Foundation (New York, USA), as well as numerous private collections.
Lives and works in Miami, USA.

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