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 fine art video installations, multimedia performances, single channel video, animation, digital dome programs, experimental documentary,web based/app art forms, architectural mapping, the oculus rift, robotics and 3D printing. Parallel Studios reaches out to local high and middle school students through its Youth Media Makers Program. All exhibitions and most events are free.
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 7,000 visitors attended festival events in 2016. 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 – and 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 video and 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 – installational, site specific, projected and interactive video – 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 video 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 organize traveling exhibitions not necessarily focused on large urban art centers but to take this new art form to smaller towns that would not normally have the opportunity to experience this type of work.
To archive and present the works of our artists on an online exhibition space.
Last year we are partnered with Youth Shelter’s Access Program for “at-risk” teens. Due to funding and staffing issues they are no longer able to participate but we have found a new partner we are very excited about. In collaboration with the Santa Fe Mountain Center’s Healthy Transitions program and Little Globe, Currents will provide a week long intensive workshop (4 hrs a day for 5 days) followed by a paid internship opportunity for 5 of Santa Fe’s “at-risk” youth.
During the workshop the participants will create their own short experimental films that will be shown in the exhibition at CURRENTS 2017. The youth will learn how to use video equipment, record sound, edit video and sound, and conceptualize a narrative within the context of a theme. Through hands on experience, participants will come out of the workshop will a new set of skills and tools available to them. This portion of the program will be facilitated by Little Globe.
After completion of an original video art work, the youth will continue the program by installing the work in CURRENTS along side the work of professional and emerging artists from New Mexico, the U.S. and the world. They will be responsible for 36 hours of work in the exhibition, from our install process to staying on as docents, running exhibits and helping visitors.
Each school year, as part of our Youth Media Makers Project, we visit several high schools in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Española 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 11 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 10 tours of the Festival’s main exhibition at El Museo Cultural to over 200 youth from the City’s Summer Camp Program and the Rio Grande Charter School. This year we will be giving 15, at this point, having added 4 Boys and Girls Club and the New Mexico School for the Deaf tours. There is a very good chance that we will be adding more as the Festival approaches. I would imagine that we will exceed 300 youth for CURRENTS 2017.
We post an international call for interns. This year we received 47 applications and selected 5. 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.
Once again we will be mentoring 2 AmeriCorps Members from Highland University’s AmeriCorps Cultural Technology Program.