Archive > Version


Version #03

technotopia vs technopacalypse 
( March 27-30, 2003 ) 
@ the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and other locations

Version>03 was our second convergence that took place at the MCA and additional venues throughout the city. The festival expanded and continued focusing on tactical media and digital arts. We have limited documentation available. But managed to find the festival website at
The festival program as a PDF can be downloaded via this [link]

For its second annual festival of digital media arts, the MCA and Select Media examine two forceful trends, Globalization (the merging of economies) and Singularity (the adaptation of man to machine), as seen, created, and debated by programmers, artists, scientists, activists and critical thinkers. The five-day festival, Technotopia vs. Technopacalypse, brings together emerging and leading practitioners employing or responding to the latest advancements in virtual reality, robotics, biotech, and other such technology defining our time. The roster featured in concerts, films, installation labs, workshops, and panel discussions consists of proponents as well as critics of the latest developments.

Many believe the earth as a living system may collapse within the next few decades unless we take global actions at every level to bring in sustainable development and change the direction of the current dominating systems. Others believe benevolent applications of technology and science will save us from ourselves. And still others think the techno fetishization is a waste of time.

Version>03 will explore technotopian and technopacalyptic visions of the present and future through discussion, symposia, workshops, performance, installations, video and film screenings, and exhibitions. By examining practices, tools and ideas that direct us into the future, we hope to encourage dialogue, direction and action towards addressing real and speculative forces arrayed in the 21st century.
We will have conversations and investigations on topics identifying the technologies, cultures and economies affecting the creation of technotopian and technopacalyptic futures such as: wireless networks as strategic media; contestational robotics; new and old tools for radicals; tactical media projects; freenet open source cultures; fear and terror economies; resistant virtualities and global solidarity networks; security culture; robot armies and non-lethal weaponry; direct action strategies; parasitic media; genetically engineered foods; nano-technology; campaigning; tactical magic; technology and agriculture, and many other issues.

Projects to be featured at version>03 include:
tactical vending, freenetproliferation, gameboy music workshop, skillshare workshops,direct action workshops, experimental lectures, telepresence, virtual reality devices, streaming media workshops, version>03 Video library, networking, power mapping and others.

This year version>03 will take place at seven locations througout Chicago centering around the loop area and the West Town area of Chicago. The central conference and performance program will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The MCA theatre program offers four days of musical performances, films, and a series of panel discussions. The Version Lab, adjacent to the theater, provides performance space for multimedia artists, video makers, and musicans. The lobby is transformed into an informational space for web installations and demonstrations by some of the best in the emergent media arts cultures.

As part of Version>03 the Chicago Cultural Center hosts Temporary Reconstruction Network Structure (TRNS), a thematic exhibition on the Singularity. The central component of TRNS is a series of immersive structures constructed using geodesic domes/pods. Supplementing these domes/pods are video projections, video and sound installations, sculpture, and robots. A film series runs during TRNS hours in the Claudia Cassidy Theater.

Selected programs of Version›03 are organized with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; the Department of Film, Video, & New Media at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC); the Visiting Artist Program at SAIC; Nomads & Homesteaders at the School of the Art Institue (SAIC); the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois Chicago; the Center for Art & Technology at Northwestern University; the Block Museum of Art, the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC), Genewsie and Criticalartware.

Additional support and programs by: Sharp, OVT Visuals, Bruner & Bay, Yoshie (Nipporn), Genewise, Smartmeme, Performance Department at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC); Heaven Gallery, Open-End Gallery, Buddy, Lumpen, Beige, SubRosa, Mike DiGioia, Elisa Harkins, Creative Rescue Organization (CRO), Method Media, So & So, Video Machete, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Working Bikes, 1926, Mod Square, Rotten Milk Productions, Face Five.

Version>03 is also a contribution to the N5M4 international tactical media festival taking place year round all over the world to culminate in May 2003.

//// Documentation of the actual version>03 Website can be found at:
are below:
Each time we produce a festival we like to create accompanying artifacts. For Version>03 we are releasing a number of media pieces to further distribute the ideas and goals of version>03. It usually takes the form of a special edition of Select. The Select Magazine is free to the public , but the CD and DVD will be for sale to the public during the Version>03 programs at the MCA and the Chicago Cultural Center Singularity Systems exhibit.