Parallel Studios (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) has been producing, curating and designing small and large scale currents video exhibitions in Santa Fe since 2002. In 2010 we launched CURRENTS NEW MEDIA as an annual, citywide event. The Festival brings together the work of established and emerging New Media artists, from New Mexico, the US and the World, for events showcasing interactive and non-interactive installations, multimedia performances, VR and AR environments, single channel video, animation, experimental documentary, robotics, wearables and 3D printing. Parallel Studios reaches out to local high and middle school students through its Youth Media Makers Program.
While New Media Arts embody the basic motivations and intentions of all the fine arts, their distinctive use of technologies that are pervasive in 21st Century culture, make New Media Art a bridge between contemporary art and the general public. The Festival introduces the public to new technology molded by artists into vehicles for expression and the communication of ideas, broadening the definition of 21st century art making and fostering a more expansive use of technology.
CURRENTS NEW MEDIA provides the community with opportunities to experience New Media Arts in traditional venues, public and outdoor spaces. Over 9,000 visitors attended festival events in 2019. The Festival is enjoyed by a broad demographic – children spinning through the galleries reveling in interactive New Media – seniors contemplating image and meaning – working class families – savvy collectors.
The Festival is the result of a collaboration between Parallel Studios, its partners throughout the city and the many volunteers who invest their time to support this project. It is truly a community endeavor.
To present the work of national and international emerging and established new media artists through its CURRENTS NEW MEDIA exhibitions.
To foster an international exchange of this art form by inviting foreign artists to present work at our exhibits and by establishing international connections in order to present the work of U.S. artists abroad.
To give the community at large the chance to experience the latest in the video arts in a open and non-intimidating environment and to provide docent tours to expand the general public’s understanding of the medium. We have always made it a principle that our exhibits are free to the public so as not to discourage those unfamiliar with this form from visiting the exhibitions. We are committed to a non-discriminatory and inclusive approach to community involvement. To this end Parallel Studios designs group installations that offer the public an intriguing invitation to new media. Though our exhibit designs are first and foremost grounded in service to beauty and excellence we also create and design with exploration, playfulness and accessibility in mind. Our exhibits present a diversity of staging formats and aesthetic concerns, all unified by the artists’ overarching commitment to an unbridled approach to what defines the world of new media.
To create an environment for the participating artists that is conducive to the sharing of information and experience. Selected artists present lectures and hands on workshops which are open to artists and the public.
To engage youth in this art form by presenting their work at our exhibitions and by inviting youth groups to attend the exhibits. Knowledgeable docents are available to guide them through the exhibit and answer their questions.
To establish a program of media art presentations at local high schools in order to introduce students to this art form and encourage them to create work that may be presented at our exhibitions.
To recruit college and high school students to participate as interns in the mounting and maintenance of the exhibitions as a learning experience.
To archive and present the works of our artists on our website.
Each school year, as part of our Youth Media Makers Project, we visit several high schools in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos and Taos presenting a documentation of the previous year’s Festival and showing videos and animations created by professionals and local students. This school year we will have visited 10 schools. The goal is to expand the students artistic vocabulary and to encourage them to submit videos to be presented at our main exhibition venue.
Youth Exhibition Tours
Last June we gave 12 tours of the Festival’s main exhibition at El Museo Cultural to over 300 youth from the City’s Summer Camp Program, Boys and Girls Clubs and school summer programs.
We post an international call for 5 interns. They will be here for 1 month – through install, run of the festival and de-install. The interns will gain hands on experience and have the chance to interact with media artists from around the world. We supply housing and a stipend.
In 2018 we launched an intern program for local high school students, paying them Santa Fe’s generous minimum wage.