Cairotronica: Where Art, Technology Meet
Focusing on electronic art exploration, the Cairo International Electronic and New Media Arts Symposium, also known as Cairotronica, highlights art beyond its traditional scope.
“Art is not only tied to oil painting and sculptures,” said Haytham Nawar, director of Cairotronica and assistant professor and director of the graphic design program in the Department of the Arts. “Any medium can be used to introduce art. Nowadays, it’s not only about paint colors, but also about technology and advanced design tools.”
With this mindset, Cairotronica – organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Fine Art Sector and AUC – aims to connect artistic visions to academic, business, scientific and educational practices under the theme of electronic art exploration. “The goal of Cairotronica is to inspire, educate and challenge students to exchange ideas,” said Nawar. “Cairotronica achieves this goal by enabling young professionals from different disciplines, backgrounds and countries to be exposed to the latest in electronic arts installations through an interactive environment.”
The two-week event featured activities, exhibitions, performances, workshops and screenings by local, regional and international artists, academics, and technology experts. The conference program also included a three-day academic conference held at AUC’s Falaki Mainstage Theater, giving researchers and scholars the opportunity to engage in active conversations about the role of technology and new media in social and cultural development.
From film to music and visuals, the symposium exhibitions presented electronic and modern media art in a wide range of forms including: algorithmic art; digital and performance art; electronic and game art; generative design and music; information art; interactive art; Internet art; video and experimental film; and animation.
Cairotronica initiated the opportunity for young Egyptian professionals to learn and discuss the evolution of art outside of Egypt, said Nawar, pointing out that innovative art is influenced by technology, architecture, fashion and modern culture. “Although Egypt’s new generation is more familiar with medium in art, they’re not used to learning about the integration of art with technology or art with scientific implementation,” he said. “Our society needs to learn that there are many ways you can make connections in this field.”
Aiming to increase awareness about the field of art and technology among Egyptians, Nawar hopes the next edition of Cairotronica in 2018 can get more involvement from the community. “The hope is to have Cairotronica serve as a catalyst through which connections and opportunities can develop,” he noted. “Students and art lovers around the region will have the option in Egypt to learn about modern technology, art and science. This is how professionals will learn to become innovative, create solutions together and help bridge the gap between different audiences and professionals.”