Bilbao is a city well suited to exploring the Challenges to a Ubiquitous Identity theme of this years Ciber@rt festival and conference of digital art, since the city is in the midst of transforming its own identity from industrial powerhouse to cultural centre. It is the site of the new Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry (with the aid of computer modelling), a wonderful building that stretches out along the river in a sculptural medley of titanium, limestone and glass.
Ciber@rt is a biennial event that began in Valencia,
Spain in 1996 and relocated to Bilbao in 2004. This years festival
was held at 2 different venues about 15 minutes walk apart. The exhibition
was located in an old indoor market place, The Mercado del Ensanche. A
total of 237 pieces were on show, most of them screen-based internet works
providing an exhilarating investigation into internet culture in the broadest
sense. The organisers were able to draw from a wide range of activity
happening on the internet, thereby dodging the impasses of territorial
contests. The works were divided into 5 separate categories: Net-Art,
Multimedia, Minimisation (which included narrative and experimental work),
Animation and Interactive Installations.