ARTEFACT festival
Up in the Air
STUK - House for Dance, Image & Sound, Leuven


Artefact 2016 aims to investigate the poetic, political and economic parameters that guide our relation to airspace. The spiritual dimensions that seem to be closely related to an “up there,” the hopes and dreams for which we turn our gaze up, the attempts to understand the intangible and sometimes invisible stand in stark contrast to the more practical, political and economic approaches that organize and regulate our use of air space in areas such as transportation, scanning and surveillance and air quality control.
Commercial development of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and the lack of a functioning legal framework in relation to it has turned the topic of how to run airspace into a burning issue. President Barack Obama himself exemplified the not-in-my-backyard attitude beautifully when an UAV landed, well, in his backyard.

Up in the Air wishes to place these contemporary societal questions in a broader investigative context that brings forth our relation to airspace regardless of the technologies at hand.

Participating artists / Expo: James Turrell (United States), Paolo Di Trapani & CoeLux (Italy), Ief Spincemaille (Belgium), Frederic Geurts (Belgium), Rob Sweere (Netherlands), Berndnaut Smilde (Netherlands), Alistair McClymont (United Kingdom), Charlotte Charbonnel (France), Vincent & Lawrence Malstaf (Belgium – Belgium/Norway), Bilal Bahir (Iraq/Belgium), Sjoerd Knibbeler (Netherlands), Javier Pérez (Spain), Marije Baalman (Netherlands), Amy Balkin (United States), James Bridle (United Kingdom), The Center for Genomic Gastronomy (United States/Norway/Ireland) & Nicola Twilley (United States/United Kingdom) Alicia Framis (Spain), Laurent Grasso (France), Ruben Pater (Netherlands), Forensic Architecture (United Kingdom), Superflux (United Kingdom/India), Wesley Goatley & Georgina Voss (United Kingdom), Bigert & Bergström (Sweden) and Liam Young (Australia)


Photos: Kristof Vrancken
From left: "Hail Cannon," 2012; "Watershed," 2012 and "Tornado Diverter," 2012
"Tornado Diverter," 2012. Aluminum, polyester, PVC, nylon, powder coated steel, led, wood, rubber, car batteries, high-voltage transformer, cables, lamps, 200 x 330 x 205 cm
"Watershed," 2012. Stainless steel, water pump, filter,rubber wheels, 180 x 40 x 190 cm
Screen: "The Weather War," 2012. 58 min. HD
"Joplin Trees,” 2012. UV-printed photo on three-layer glass, 100 x 70 x 6 cm